Press Releases — BBC Worldwide Productions

July 6, 2015

BBC Worldwide Announces Jane Tranter Leaving/Matt Forde Appointment

JANE TRANTER TO LEAVE ROLE AS HEAD OF BBC WORLDWIDE PRODUCTIONS AND ADJACENT PRODUCTIONS TO LAUNCH OWN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION COMPANY

MATT FORDE APPOINTED TO EVP, CONTENT PRODUCTION, SALES AND DISTRIBUTION TO LEAD BOTH PRODUCTION UNITS IN ADDITION TO CURRENT ROLE

Forde Appointment Marks an Integrated Business Proposition Across All Genres

Julie Gardner, SVP, Scripted Also Set to Exit Company to Join Tranter in New Venture

Los Angeles, CA – July 6, 2015 – BBC Worldwide North America, the commercial arm of the BBC operating in the U.S. and Canada, today announced Jane Tranter, Head of BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions, will step down from her position effective August 14, 2015.  She will be succeeded by Matt Forde, current EVP, TV Sales & Digital Distribution, whose role will expand to include leading both LA-based production units.  Forde’s new title will be EVP, Content Production, Sales and Distribution.  He will report to Ann Sarnoff, incoming President, BBC Worldwide North America, and split his time between New York and Los Angeles.

Forde will build upon the company’s successes of the last five years by bringing its core production, development, sales, and distribution capabilities together to maximize the breadth and depth of BBC IP and formats.  This will offer a single, integrated and multi-faceted content proposition for network and digital platforms across all genres.

“Since arriving in the U.S., Jane has systematically grown and diversified our production base in Los Angeles.  She energized Dancing with the Stars, which concluded its 20th season this year; took the company into scripted development and production with DaVinci’s Demons and Getting On; and grew our network of partners by building relationships with highly-regarded cable channels.  We wish her the very best in her new venture,” commented Herb Scannell, President, BBC Worldwide North America.  “Matt is unmistakably a champion of producers, writers, and creators – this coupled with his passion for the BBC’s unrivaled, high-quality output will no doubt prove to be a win for the company and our valued partners.  I’m proud of what Jane has accomplished, and look forward to seeing Matt soar in his new, expanded role.”

Forde remarked, “Jane and the team have built a truly strong production business and I am very fortunate to inherit such a stellar team of creative and commercial executives – including Courtney Conte, who will work closely with me to ensure continued growth of this thriving business.  BBC is a fantastic brand and a powerhouse in creating IP and potential formats for the U.S. market.  With the media industry changing at speed, there is an ever increasing set of new opportunities to complement our growing slate of shows.”

Tranter said:  “I have relished every minute of the rollercoaster ride of being a Brit helming a U.S. scripted and unscripted production company.  It has been an honor to have had the responsibility of reformatting so many iconic BBC programs, and a creative privilege to have founded the Adjacent label to develop and produce original programming on behalf of BBC Worldwide.  It would not have been possible to achieve any of this without having such a distinctive, loyal, and creative team working across the globe both in front and behind the cameras.  Their independent minds and strong hearts have been at the center of the company’s success and I am delighted to be handing over such a committed and top class team to Matt Forde, who I know will nurture the company’s talent and take it to new heights.”

Jane Tranter has led BBC Worldwide Productions since January 2009, when she moved from her previous post as Controller of Fiction at the BBC to create a scripted and unscripted production entity for BBC Worldwide.  Since then, Tranter has overseen the production of some 870 hours of programming for the company.  Tranter successful reformatted the global phenomenon Top Gear for History, currently in production on its 5th season, and revitalized ratings powerhouse Dancing with the Stars, leading it from season eight to season 20 on ABC.  In 2011, Tranter launched Adjacent Productions – a label specifically created to encapsulate the growing production slate of new formats and originations, including Life Below Zero for Nat Geo, Ladies of London for Bravo, and the recently launched Lost in Transmission for History.

In Scripted, Tranter and Gardner combined their multi BAFTA award-winning experience and built a scripted slate for both BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions producing 81 hours of scripted shows, including three seasons of the critically-acclaimed Getting On, the highly-anticipated new mini-series Crime, both for HBO, and three seasons of the epic award-winning series Da Vinci’s Demons for Starz.

Matt Forde, who began with BBC Worldwide in 1998 and joined the North America team in 2009, has initiated massive growth and success in securing U.S. co-production partners for critically-acclaimed and award-winning series such as Sherlock, Top of the Lake, and The Honorable Woman.  Recently, Forde brought together the creative teams from the BBC and PBS for a three-year co-production deal that will result in up to 10 factual specials per year, such as Big Blue Live and Waking Giants.  Over the past three years, Forde and his team have been at the forefront of the digital revolution and have built a substantial digital-focused business with key exclusive titles, including The Wrong Mans, Rev, and Misfits, with top digital partners such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  Prior to his tenure in the U.S., Forde held senior creative and commercial roles at BBC Worldwide, working with independent UK drama, comedy, and factual production companies on program development, and set the BBC Worldwide investment strategy with the BBC.

Julie Gardner, the executive producer who, in partnership with Russell T Davies, was responsible for the re-launch of the international hit series Doctor Who, has overseen both BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions scripted slates since 2009, and has served as executive producer on multiple scripted shows during this time including Da Vinci’s Demons and Getting On.  Gardner will leave the company in August to join Tranter in a new independent production company.