Former Discovery exec will be VP of original programming

BBC America has tapped Discovery Communications alum Rachel Smith as veep of original programming.

Smith, an Oz native, previously oversaw programming for Discovery’s Planet Green cabler. Smith was VP of development and production at IFC and played a part in launching several shows at Bravo.

Smith will oversee all aspects of nonscripted program development for BBC America, and develop relationships with show creators, talent, agents and writers in the hopes of mining new shows for the cabler. She will report to Perry Simon, who joined BBC Worldwide America in August as g.m. of channels.

Said Smith: “It’s an honor and a privilege to be part of the team charged with extending the much-revered BBC brand into home-grown American content. I look forward to working with the BBC America team and program-makers to create some great shows for the channel.”

BBC America recently acquired rights to the Showtime series “The Tudors.” Starring Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, “The Tudors” will make its basic-cable premiere when it launches Jan. 16 in a marathon of episodes from its first two seasons. Regular timeslot will be at 10 p.m. Tuesdays.

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