EXCLUSIVE: BBC Studios is seeking an L.A. exec to help discover the next generation of unscripted formats and collaborate with UK headquarters on new shows for the U.S. market, Deadline can reveal.
A job advert was issued this week for an SVP, Unscripted Development for Valerie Bruce’s BBC Studios L.A. Productions, a newly-created role that was forged following a record growth year for the division that produces the likes of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Nat Geo’s Life Below Zero. The SVP is expected to play a key role in maintaining this growth.
Reporting to Ryan O’Dowd, EVP of Entertainment & Music, the successful candidate will develop high-profile talent-driven projects, major entertainment formats and original series across entertainment, factual, gameshow and lifestyle. O’Dowd’s unscripted team has developed, sold and produced the likes of The Weakest Link, When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren, Ex-Rated and Murder Among the Mormons.
The exec will play the lead in connecting L.A. Productions with BBC Studios’ wealth of UK unscripted divisions, as the pair seek shows that will work in the U.S.
The job advert specifies “experience in the U.S. television market along with awareness of the UK and international markets” and pre-existing relationships with [linear and streamer] commissioners.”
Bruce told Deadline: “We achieved record growth in our unscripted business in 2020-2021 and we’re on track to drive strong, continued momentum this year.
“As a result, it’s the perfect time to expand our senior leadership team by bringing in an experienced industry executive with a proven track record of success to work with us in driving our trajectory of commercial growth across our thriving entertainment and factual business.”
The BBC is prioritizing increased returns from BBC Studios and that priority has become more important since the licence fee was frozen for the next two years. Director General Tim Davie is targeting a 30% increase in returns from BBC Studios over the next five years and producing sellable formats is key to the plan.
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