Chopped with David Noll, Episode #66

Today’s guest on the Mitlin Money Mindset™ is David Noll, co-founder, and co-president of Keller Noll. David and his partner, Cleve Keller, joined together exclusively in 2007 to form Keller Noll with 50 plus series together, they have become one of the most successful TV development teams in the world. David has created, sold, and produced 50 plus series and over 3,300 episodes, both in the US and around the world. Some of these include Chopped, Chopped Junior., Chopped Champions, Dinner Takes All, Face the Truth, Punchline, and many more.

David Noll is referred to as a “TV mastermind” by Emmy Magazine, a “Television Formats Powerhouse” by C21 Magazine. He is a two-time Emmy Award Winner, two-time Gracie Award Winner, and he won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Television Series: CHOPPED. Dave is also a keynote speaker whose unique look at the business world, storytelling, and tangible tips has thrilled and inspired audiences from Los Angeles to Miami to New York. Listen in and hear about David’s journey to becoming a television powerhouse and being responsible for over half a billion in television sales.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • David’s path to success [3:00]
  • Was David a TV junkie growing up? [5:35]
  • What does David attribute his success to? [7:48]
  • The mindset needed to stay focused enough to put hits together [12:03]
  • How did Chopped come to life? [16:15]
  • Chopped Junior planned from the beginning? [21:07]
  • The value of mentorship [26:37]
  • “There is no fear” [33:56]
  • What David did today that put him in the right mindset for success? [38:41]

David’s path to launching Keller Noll

David says in television no path ever looks the same. Everybody’s path is totally crazy, any successful television show is a complete miracle. Not only is it a miracle, but it’s like 72 different miracles that have to happen along the way. For David it started with a bunch of college tours, unsure of what he was looking for. American University had this big old ancient, empty TV studio on the side of the campus tucked away in the back behind a parking lot. There were a bunch of kids going crazy making a game show. Dave was sold and ended up going to American University where he majored in communications.

There he started a late-night talk show that he hosted himself because no one else wanted to do it, after two years his co-host took over, and then his brother. Later after David started working at MTV networks for MTV and VH1, and doing projects for Nickelodeon and Comedy Central he was able to pitch the talk show. The Chris Wild Show only aired for one season on Comedy Central but David says it was an amazing journey and what kicked off his career creating television shows.

Attributing success to a couple of key moments

There aren’t many people like David that are able to say that they’ve created 50 plus TV series and over 3,300 episodes. I mean, the accomplishment is huge. So, what does David attribute that success to? He says there are a couple of big moments in his life that he believes to be pivotal.

One of those moments happened when David was working at MTV Networks. Bill Brand, his boss at the time, called him into the office and told David he was creating all these shows but it wasn’t his job, he was breaking the process. The process is people from the outside pitch shows and then they make money if the shows do well. What happens from the inside is you pitch shows and then if this show is a huge hit you might get a 2% raise. His advice to David was to leave and then pitch shows from the outside. David, with encouragement from his wife, took that advice and it’s paid off BIG TIME!

The other pivotal moment was meeting Cleve Keller. David had listened to a thousand pitches, it was like listening to people play piano for two years and then having Mozart walk in, Cleve was that amazing. He knew he could sell her very first pitch in one phone call, and he did. He begged her for four years to stop producing and join him. She did in 2007 and they have worked together exclusively ever since.

Being more than just a “big thinker”

There was a point where David realized there are a lot of people out there who are big thinkers. The problem with that is that 99 times out of 100 you’re not as smart as Barry Diller. You think you’re a big thinker, but this guy is thinking so much bigger than you on so many levels. You have to calm down, take a breath, study everything and try to be a HUGE thinker.

There is a moment that resonates with David where he thought he had crushed it. He’d pitched a show to a high-end network and they immediately gave him 10 episodes. Straight to series, no development, no pilot. David was thrilled because this never happens! He went into the big monthly meeting with Barry Diller, people on screens, and lawyers, you know…the scariest people possible. In 3 minutes Barry tore down how this particular show could only ever do 10 episodes a year, how it would never last beyond three seasons, it couldn’t be franchised, it had no spinoff possibilities, and it would never make more than eight million dollars. He was right. David was a big thinker that day, but Barry was a huge thinker.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with David Noll



Dave Noll is a TV “Mastermind” (Emmy Magazine).

He’s a “Television Formats Powerhouse” (C21 Magazine). Dave is a two-time Emmy Award Winner, two-time Gracie Award Winner, and he won the coveted James Beard Award for Best Television Series: CHOPPED. Dave is also a fiery and insightful keynote speaker whose unique look at the business world, light-up-the-room storytelling, and tangible, practical tips have thrilled (and inspired!) audiences from Los Angeles to Miami to New York.

Career Highlights:

  • Dave has created 50+ Television Series.
  • Over 3300+ Episodes.
  • In 2007, Dave co-created the legendary CHOPPED franchise.
  • Over $500,000,000 in television sales.
  • 2 Emmy Awards.
  • 2 Gracie Awards.
  • CHOPPED was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame.
  • The Platinum Album Award from the Recording Industry Association of America for his work on the soundtrack to TIT

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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