[01/03/11 - 09:03 AM]
BBC America Hires Discovery and IFC Exec to Development Role
Smith will oversee all aspects of non-scripted program development for the channel.

[via press release from BBC America]


- Perry Simon's first appointment marks commitment to original content-

New York, January 3, 2011 - Perry Simon, BBC Worldwide America's GM, Channels, has made his first appointment, hiring former Discovery, IFC and Bravo Production and Development executive, Rachel Smith, to the newly-created position of VP, Original Programming. The appointment reinforces BBC AMERICA's commitment to developing original content for the channel.

Reporting to Richard De Croce, SVP Programming, BBC AMERICA, Smith will oversee all aspects of non-scripted program development for the channel. As well as working closely with BBC Worldwide Productions, BBC Worldwide's own west coast production studio, Smith will be charged with developing relationships with show creators, talent, agents and writers in the U.S. and UK to identify and develop program formats, concepts and genres specifically designed for BBC AMERICA.

Perry Simon, BBC Worldwide America's GM, Channels, says: �Rachel's appointment marks an important milestone for BBC AMERICA, as we move into the development of original programming for the channel. Our aim is to create a slate that speaks to an American audience with the same quality, intelligence, irreverence and innovation that you expect from the BBC. This is an exciting new era for BBC AMERICA, and Rachel will play a key role as we move forward.�

Rachel Smith added: "It's an honor and a privilege to be part of the team charged with extending the much revered BBC brand into home grown American content. I look forward to working with the BBC AMERICA team and program makers to create some great shows for the channel."

Smith joins BBC AMERICA from Discovery's Planet Green where she played a major role in the network's original programming strategy and mandate, and oversawthe development and production of non-scripted, primetime original programming for the channel, including titles such as Dresscue Me, Dean of Invention and Operation Wild.

Prior to this, Smith was VP Development & Production for scripted programming at IFC, overseeing all aspects of development and production for the network. She joined Bravo in 1999 first as Manager of Production and later as Director of Development where she developed the original Real Housewives of Orange County and executive produced primetime reality-based series including Being Bobby Brown and the Emmy-award winning Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List.

She began her career in television research in her native Australia, working for the public broadcaster channel SBS, before moving to New York to work with Deep River Productions.

Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney, Australia, and a Master of Arts degree from the New School University in New York.

BBC AMERICA brings audiences a new generation of award-winning television featuring news with a uniquely global perspective, provocative dramas, razor-sharp comedies, life-changing makeovers and a whole new world of nonfiction. BBC AMERICA pushes the boundaries to deliver high quality, highly addictive and eminently watchable programming to viewers who demand more. It is available on digital cable and satellite TV in more than 68 million homes.

  [january 2011]  

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