He used charm, others’ personal tragedies and fake celebrity endorsements. How Christopher LaVoie cast his reality show and reeled in successful entrepreneurs.
Christopher LaVoie, the executive producer of Gogglebox Canada, is known as the guy behind the camera. He is also Gogglebox’s producer, director, writer and producer in chief — the go-to guy, always with something clever to say about making TV. In the first of a series of interviews with LaVoie and guests, we are learning how his role in making Gogglebox successful changed his life.
LaVoie is a former executive producer who joined Gogglebox in 2014 and was named executive director in 2016 after the success of the original Gogglebox. Before that, he was the head of scripted series content at CBC. He was a production executive with CBC and produced popular scripted series such as The Hour and The Movie. He’s also helmed the CBC drama series Life and Times of Tim Horton, and comedy My Brother the Hero. LaVoie is the creator of the documentary series You’re the Expert, about life as an expert on the Internet, and the CBC series The Gogglebox and Go. The latter premiered in 2016 and was a big hit, making it to the top 10 Canada’s most watched programs for the CBC in its first season.
In the early days of the Gogglebox, when LaVoie was behind the camera, he used humor and personal tragedy to attract as many sponsors as possible to his show. He knew the show had the potential to help entrepreneurs, but he wasn’t sure how to get it to happen. He didn’t want to waste his time with a show that no one would watch. LaVoie had worked hard to get The Gogglebox selected for the 2015 Toronto Film Festival, and he knew that without sponsorship revenue he would not be able to make it work. He says he was not thinking outside of his own box. When he saw the results of the show, though, he’s realized he could make it happen: “Now I’m thinking to my client’s advantage, not my own. I’m thinking to their benefit. I�