Ellen Rakieten

The creative mind behind some of television’s most popular programming, Ellen Rakieten is President of Ellen Rakieten Entertainment and Executive Producer of the NBC comedy The Marriage Ref. Before she formed her own company, she held the position of Executive Producer of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated broadcast in TV history. During her more than two decades with the show, Ellen Rakieten won 10 Emmy awards and created some of its most watched programming. Her concept for the 2005 “Wildest Dreams Come True” season attracted in excess of 10 million viewers per day and secured the show’s biggest May sweeps audience in more than a decade. Ellen Rakieten also initiated new segments that resonated with viewers. She was the mastermind behind “Oprah’s Colonial House Adventure,” “Oprah’s Favorite Things,” “Oprah’s 50th Birthday Bash,” “The 2004 Car Giveaway,” and Oprah’s Series on The Katrina Catastrophe. Since she launched Ellen Rakieten Entertainment in April 2010, Rakieten has spearheaded the creation of a number of new TV shows. Teaming up with Jillian Michaels, trainer on the reality series The Biggest Loser, Rakieten developed a spin-off, Losing It with Jillian. Rakieten also has been enlisted to originate programming for Oprah Winfrey’s network, along with HGTV, Food Network, Lifetime, and Style. Capping off 2010, The Hollywood Reporter placed her on its list of the 50 most powerful people working in reality television. After promoting hundreds of books on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen Rakieten has written a dating handbook with co-author Anne Coyle. Published in 2010, Undateable: 311 Things Guys Do That Guarantee They Won’t Be Dating or Having Sex, helps lovelorn men navigate the dating world. She currently is working with VH1 on a reality program based on her book. A longtime resident of Chicago, Ellen Rakieten lives in a historic 1927 Beaux Arts building with her husband and their two sons. Her newly renovated residence was recently featured in Elle Décor magazine.