National Geographic Channel is getting serious about scripted programming, recruiting respected biz vet Carolyn Bernstein to serve as exec VP and head of global scripted development and production.
Bernstein comes to Nat Geo from Endemol Shine Studios, where she had most recently served as exec VP. She will be based in Los Angeles and report to National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe.
“We are incredibly fortunate Carolyn is joining the network to oversee our scripted efforts,” Monroe said. “Her vast experience, exceptional creative taste and strong industry relationships will enable us to reach unprecedented new heights with our scripted endeavors in ways that support our brand and new programming vision.”
Nat Geo has gradually been fielding more scripted efforts, most recently last month with the two-night miniseries “Saints and Sinners” revolving around the Mayflower landing. It has a limited series in the works with Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson and a World War II-themed drama Kevin Bacon attached from producer Mark Gordon.
Bernstein had been with Endemol Shine’s predecessor, Shine America, since 2007. Among the projects she recently shepherded for Shine were Fox’s “Gracepoint” limited series and the FX drama “The Bridge.”
Before Shine, Bernstein was a top drama and alternative programming executive at the WB Network from 1999 to 2006, where she helped develop “Gilmore Girls,” “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill” and “Supernatural.” During her 1995-1999 tenure at Columbia TriStar TV (now Sony Pictures TV), Bernstein developed the WB hit “Dawson’s Creek.”
“The direction (Nat Geo Channel) is headed is incredibly exciting, and I cannot wait to play a part in evolving the scripted content strategy,” Bernstein said.
At Endemol Shine, Bernstein had been running the scripted department with exec VP Jeremy Gold, who now take the reins as solo head.