GM, BBC America
WHY WE’RE WATCHING: After a little more than a year on the job, the former Comedy Central and British Broadcasting Corp. executive is enacting major changes to the import, now based in New York. Wielding an enhanced programming budget, Mitchell is pushing BBC America in new directions, rolling out co-productions and acquisitions across a number of genres. She’s also creating an in-house development team.
HIGH ’05s: “The success of Footballers Wive$. We received fantastic critical acclaim for medical drama, Bodies: It was No. 2 in Entertainment Weekly’s best series of the year round-up, beating Lost. We were all happy with the Golden Globe nomination for Viva Blackpool. We also initiated exciting new co-productions, and were pleased to see an upturn in ratings.”
PICKS IN ’06: “We’re putting an in-house development team in place and will proceed with a major re-brand of the channel.”
EXECUTIVE INFLUENCES: “Tess Alps, who headed advertising sales for Yorkshire TV and Tyne Tees television, introduced me to the ins and outs of commercial television. David Elstein, director of programming at [British Sky Broadcasting Group plc], gave me the opportunity to acquire American programs and taught me about scheduling. My other influence was Dallas — I never missed an episode.”
MY TIME: “I’m a card-carrying member of the Backstage With JonBon Jovi fan club. I spend time alphabetizing my DVD collection, and traveling in a desperate hope that one day I will find the perfect beach.”