Jacqueline Lesko has been promoted to President of Production at Word Games — the production company founded by multiple Emmy-winning writer, producer and director Craig Mazin, which is best known for its work on HBO’s smash hit series Chernobyl and The Last of Us.
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Lesko co-exec produced The Last of Us Season 1 and will exec produce the second season of the post-apocalyptic zombie show, co-created by Mazin and Neil Druckmann. She was also a co-producer on Mazin’s 2019 limited series Chernobyl, examining the fallout of the Soviet nuclear disaster, prior to Word Games producing the award-winning short George Lucas in Love, as well as the award-winning feature doc Spinning Plates.
“Jacqueline has been an integral part of our company’s growth and success for a decade now, and the proof of her value is right there on the screen for everyone to see,” said Mazin in a statement. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner as we continue our journey with my own projects as well as shows we’re developing with other artists.”
Coming in as HBO’s most-watched series in both Europe and Latin America, The Last of Us is based on the Druckmann-penned video game developed for PlayStation by Naughty Dog. The show takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pedro Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Bella Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival. The show was renewed for a second season last month, hitting on its highest viewership to date with an audience of 8.2M last Sunday in its airing against the Oscars.
In addition to readying The Last of Us‘ second season, Word Games is developing additional projects for HBO as part of their exclusive multi-year overall deal with the premium cabler.
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