Exec will be joint head of production in U.S.

BBC drama topper Jane Tranter is relocating to Los Angeles as joint head of BBC Worldwide’s North American production biz.

She will spearhead BBC Worldwide’s ambitious plan to expand into drama and comedy.

Confirmation that Tranter will leave the BBC’s Television Center HQ in London to start her new gig in L.A. on Jan. 1 follows months of speculation and repeated denials from the BBC, including one from Tranter herself. But the move has been one of the worst-kept secrets in British media.

She will join BBC Worldwide as exec VP of programming and production, taking joint responsibility for North American production in L.A. and New York alongside Paul Telegdy, exec VP of content and production, USA.

Tranter, who has presided over a fertile phase in TV drama at the pubcaster, will report to Wayne Garvie, BBC Worldwide’s managing director content and production, and Garth Ancier, prexy of BBC Worldwide America.

Garvie said: “Jane Tranter is one of the most gifted television executives of her generation. She will be a beacon for British talent looking to succeed in the U.S.

“Jane and Paul Telegdy will form one of the most innovative, energetic and successful partnerships in Hollywood and take our existing American production business to another level.”

Tranter “has developed and overseen some of the most iconic dramas of the decade, many of which were co-produced with U.S. partners and enjoyed tremendous success in the States,” said Ancier.

Initially as head of drama and more recently as controller of fiction, a role that embraced comedy and acquisitions as well as drama, Tranter spearheaded a revival in BBC drama, which at the time was being outgunned by rival U.K. web ITV.

Among the shows she backed were “Doctor Who,” “Life on Mars,” “Bleak House,” “Robin Hood” and “Cranford.”

Tranter said: “Paul has already established a cracking pace and area of excellence out there, and I know that we have a huge and exciting task on our hands, and that we’ll have great fun tackling it. and am very pleased to be able to make the move to U.S. drama whilst staying within the BBC family.”

Tranter will step down as controller of fiction immediately.

Ben Stephenson will take over her commissioning role, although the BBC said Tranter would continue “to add strategic input to BBC Fiction as a whole until she leaves at the end of the year.”

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