FremantleMedia North America has tapped former Sci Fi Channel exec Tony Optican to head its scripted programming division.

Optican will be charged with helping FremantleMedia break into the scripted field as the company continues to broaden the scope of what it produces. He’ll oversee scripted development and also sell existing U.K. scripted formats, adapted for U.S. auds.

Exec will report to FremantleMedia North America chief creative officer Eugene Young. CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz announced the appointment Monday. She cited Optican’s track record of “developing creative, cutting-edge, original programming” as key to aiding the company’s push into the scripted realm.

At Sci Fi, where he served as senior VP of original programming, Optican developed programs such as “Eureka,” “Tin Man” and “Stargate: Atlantis.”

Prior to Sci Fi, Optican was at Fox, where as VP of current programming he worked on shows such as “24,” “The X-Files,” “Ally McBeal” and “Dark Angel.”

Optican’s resume also includes stints at MGM Worldwide TV Group (“The Outer Limits”).