DNI Promotes Hawken

Industry Vet Named VP Production and Development, Factual
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Discovery Communications said it has promoted Helen Hawken to Vice President of Production and Development, Factual for Discovery Networks International.  She had previously held the role of Director of Programming, Factual, for Discovery Networks International and will move into her new role immediately, reporting to DNI’s EVP and chief creative officer Phil Craig.

In her new, expanded role, Hawken will develop and commission both natural history and factual productions for Discovery Networks International’s London production hub to be broadcast in over 200 countries including the UK.

“Helen has made a terrific impression on me in the short time we have worked together and has been a powerful force in factual programming for many years,” Craig said in a statement. “She has some fantastic ideas for the new style of natural history we are developing here, and for many other genres.  I look forward to moving hit shows forward into production with her in the years to come.” 

During her tenure at Discovery Networks International, Hawken has commissioned some of its most successful animal programming including: Meet the SlothsMeet the OrangutansThe Ape Who Went to CollegeRobson Green’s Ultimate Catch and Seven Deadly Sins with Richard E. Grant.  

“I am delighted to be working with Phil to help realize his vision for the international network portfolio at this exciting time," Hawken said in a statement. “I can't wait to start developing and commissioning bold ambitious new ideas and building on the success of our returning series. I look forward to collaborating with producers in the UK and internationally, as well as colleagues in the U.S. networks and local and regional markets."

Hawken has also served as executive producer on many hit shows in the factual and specialist factual genres including: Man V Expert; Marooned with Ed Stafford; Naked and Marooned; You Have Been Warned; What Happened Next? and Combat Dealers.

Prior to joining Discovery Networks International in 2012, Hawken worked for a wide range of independent producers across a number of genres, including: science; history; reality; factual entertainment; features and documentary series for both UK and international broadcasters, including: the BBC; Channel 4; Discovery; Science; PBS and Good Food Channel. 

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