BBC Worldwide North America, the commercial arm of the BBC operating in the U.S. and Canada, said Jane Tranter, head of BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions, will step down from her position effective Aug. 14 and will be succeeded by Matt Forde (pictured), current EVP, TV Sales & Digital Distribution, whose role will expand to include leading both Los Angeles-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, the company said in a release.
“Since arriving in the U.S., Jane has systematically grown and diversified our production base in Los Angeles," Herb Scannell, president, BBC Worldwide North America, said in the release (Scannell also is leaving, to be replaced by Sarnoff on Aug. 1). "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. 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.”
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 reformatted Top Gear for History, currently in production on its fifth season, and revitalized 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 built a scripted slate for both BBC Worldwide Productions and Adjacent Productions producing 81 hours of scripted shows, including three seasons of Getting On, the new mini-series Crime, both for HBO, and three seasons of Da Vinci's Demons for Starz.
Matt Forde, who began with BBC Worldwide in 1998 and joined the North America team in 2009, has successfully secured U.S. co-production partners for 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. On the digital side, the business has produced such titles as The Wrong Mans, Rev and Misfits with 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 U.K. 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 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. Gardner will leave the company in August to join Tranter in a new independent production company.