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SCV -- Hollywood's Backlot: Jeff Sutphen

Experience as producer helps on-air host

Posted: October 30, 2009 1:25 p.m.
Updated: October 30, 2009 1:30 p.m.
Valencia resident Jeff Sutphen, host of Nickelodeon's "BrainSurge," is also a successful television producer. Valencia resident Jeff Sutphen, host of Nickelodeon's "BrainSurge," is also a successful television producer.
Valencia resident Jeff Sutphen, host of Nickelodeon's "BrainSurge," is also a successful television producer.
"I've always wanted to work in the entertainment industry. I knew from an early age that this is what I wanted to do," said Jeff Sutphen, the star of Nickelodeon's new hit game show "BrainSurge" - a show that tests contestant and viewer's memory and concentration skills. At an early age Sutphen and his childhood friends would make hilarious home videos that eventually led them to create and star in their very own weekly sketch show that aired locally on their cable access channel. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg for Jeff Sutphen.

Graduating from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, with a BA in communications, Sutphen soon began working for MTV Networks, where he pursued his dream of one day becoming both a successful producer and on-air host. Although many in the industry told him it was an impossible goal to achieve, he welcomed the challenge and was able to prove them wrong once he landed a Segment Producer gig on Nickelodeon's "U-Pick Live." Not only did he co-produce 400-plus episodes of live daily television, but he was also one of the main characters on the show.

"Those were long days. I was so busy balancing my multiple duties that I sometimes had to prep celebrity guests in a strange costume," said the Nickelodeon star. "I'm not sure I've ever worked harder, but I can honestly say, to date, it was one of my favorite jobs. I'm very fortunate. I love doing what I do. I don't consider it work. And I've had some incredible experiences with my career."

Sutphen has traveled coast to coast on Nickelodeon's Slime Across America Tour, has flown to France to cover the Cannes Film Festival, has been to two Super Bowls and reported from both the Democratic and Republican conventions as well as the historic Obama inauguration. Yet out of all those amazing experiences, the one thing he looks forward to each year is hosting the pre-show at the Nickelodeon "Kids' Choice Awards," which he has done for the past seven years.

Does being a producer make Jeff Sutphen a better host on the game show "BrainSurge?"

Sutphen said, "Personally I think it does make me a better host because I have a better understanding of what the production needs. Being I'm a producer myself, I can appreciate all the hard work that everyone has put in, so I make sure I do my job as the host to show up prepared. I can also put some of those production responsibilities on my shoulders to lighten their load."

"BrainSurge" can be seen weekdays at 4:30 p.m. on Nickelodeon. Sutphen said he's having a great time working on the show, because it reminds him of the game shows that he grew up watching on the network. Nickelodeon is known for its legacy of successful family game shows, like "Double Dare" and "Figure It Out." Being the host of BrainSurge, and a part of Nickelodeon's newest game show incarnation, is very exciting, he adds.

While Sutphen's focus has predominately been Nickelodeon, he's also produced for and appeared on networks such as MTV, E!, WE, VH1, CBS, G4 and The Game Show Network.

One would think while working such long hours in the industry and setting such ambitious goals, this would leave Sutphen with absolutely no time for outside interests. However that couldn't be further from the truth. The native New Yorker is also a 10 year accomplished triathlete and can be found taking advantage of all the great biking trails in the town of Valencia, Calif. where he resides with his wife and soon to-be first child due in January. Contact Jeff Sutphen or Stacy Asencio-Sutphen at


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