Canada’s CBC Names Tara Ellis Head of Scripted Programming

Tara Ellis has been tapped to lead the CBC’s content teams in original scripted drama, comedy, kids and digital programming.

“Tara is one of Canada’s leading media executives and her incredible reputation, creative expertise, relationships with the independent community and leadership experience will undoubtedly serve her well in this role,” said Sally Catto, CBC general manager of programming.

Ellis started her career in TV drama at the CBC, where she served from 1994 to 2000 as executive in charge of production, overseeing the development and production of movies, mini-series, and features, and programming Canadian shorts and features.

Following that, Ellis served for almost a decade as VP of drama content for Canadian cable channel Showcase, leading acquisitions, original production and scheduling.

As Shaw Media’s senior director of original drama content from October 2010 to this past spring, Ellis commissioned Showcase series such as “Continuum,” “Lost Girl,” Stephen King’s “Haven,” and Tom Fontana’s “Copper” and oversaw series such as Global-TV’s“Rookie Blue” (with ABC) and History’s “Vikings.”

In 2012, Ellis received the Women In Film & Television Crystal Award for Creative Excellence. She has served as an industry advisor to the Banff Media Festival and Strategic Partners.

“The scripted teams under Sally has been developing and commissioning exciting, entertaining and relevant work at a time when the role of the national broadcaster has never been more crucial,” Ellis said. “I’m thrilled at the prospect of working with the independent community to continue to make the CBC the go-to home for great creative talent and projects in Canada.”

As CBC executive director of scripted content, Ellis will report to Catto and will oversee the CBC’s senior directors of drama, comedy and children’s content. CBC’s digital originals team will report to Ellis with respect to all scripted digital content.

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