BBC Worldwide America today appointed veteran programming executive Perry Simon as its general manager.
Starting his new job Sept. 7, Simon will be responsible for the growth strategy and creative direction of BBC America, BBC America HD, its video on demand fare, BBCAmerica.com, as well as the future content distribution platforms for the company's U.S. operations. Reporting directly to Herb Scannell, president, BBC Worldwide America, Simon will be based in New York.
Simon spent much of his career in senior executive positions at NBC, Viacom and his own Paramount-based production company, Shore View Entertainment. At NBC from 1980-93, he rose to executive vice president of prime-time programs, overseeing the Peacock's schedule and was instrumental in developing and supervising some of its notable series, including The Cosby Show, Cheers, The Golden Girls, Law and Order, L.A. Law, Miami Vice, Mad About You, Frasier and Seinfeld.
Subsequently, he spent 10 years as president of Viacom Productions, overseeing the Golden Globe-nominated Ed (NBC), the long-running Sabrina the Teenage Witch (ABC/WB), and HBO prison series, Oz. He also produced over telefilms including the 2002 Showtime movie, Bang, Bang, You're Dead, which earned both the Peabody Award and the Emmy for best family movie.
At his production company, Shore View Entertainment, Simon was executive producer on USA Network's science-fiction series, The 4400.
His resume also includes entries as a special advisor to You Tube, Inc. helping the company develop and execute studio and network partnership strategies from YouTube's start-up stage through to their acquisition by Google. Simon also has worked with Electronic Arts to adapt several of their gaming franchises for television.
"BBC America has been responsible for bringing some of the most innovative and compelling television programs to American audiences for over a decade." said Scannell in announcing the hire. "Perry is a creative force with a proven track record of successfully developing, producing, scheduling and marketing television and has most recently been active in emerging digital platforms. He has the perfect combination of experience in television and digital media to take BBC America to new heights."
"I'm delighted to be working with Herb Scannell and the entire BBC Worldwide team to help extend the reach of BBC America with signature, brand-defining programming and promotion," noted Simon. "I look forward to developing and extending the BBC America brand across all platforms in a coherent and compelling way. We will target viewers seeking quality innovative television that is ahead of the pop culture curve, and we plan to ramp up our production and acquisition activity to achieve this goal."