You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nick Samwell-Smith to Quit as Chief of Endemol Shine-Owned Initial

LONDON — Nick Samwell-Smith, managing director of Endemol Shine-owned production company Initial, has decided to leave the company and will depart in May.

Samwell-Smith, who joined Initial in 1997, became the company’s creative director in 2006 before being promoted to managing director in 2013.

He will be succeeded in the role by creative director Mirella Breda, who joined Initial in early 2014 following a succession of senior roles in broadcasting and production at the BBC, ITV and RDF, among other places.

Additionally, Sandra Smith, Initial’s head of production since 2011, is promoted to a newly created role as director of production.

Samwell-Smith’s early work at Initial included producer roles on “Fame Academy” and “Big Brother,” co-creating and exec producing “The Match” for Sky, as well as launching and producing “Soccer Aid” for ITV. His credits include many high-profile entertainment shows including “Total Wipeout,” “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” “Dating in the Dark,” “101 Ways to Leave a Game Show” and, more recently, “The Almost Impossible Game Show.”

Samwell-Smith has overseen 15 successful series of “Big Brother” and “Celebrity Big Brother” since the format’s move to Channel 5 in 2011, when Initial took over its production.

Since joining Initial in 2014, Breda’s credits have included new commissions “Stars in Their Eyes,” “Big Box Little Box” and “Give a Pet a Home.” Prior to Initial, Breda was commissioning editor at BBC Entertainment, working across BBC One and BBC Two. Her commissioning credits include “MasterChef,” “Mary Queen of Shops,” “James May’s Toy Stories,” “Room 101” and “Total Wipeout.”

More TV

  • Milo Ventimiglia'Second Act' film premiere, Arrivals,

    Milo Ventimiglia on 'This Is Us' Golden Globes Snub

    “This Is Us” critics and fans were shocked when the NBC hit received no love from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association earlier this week with zero Golden Globes nods. The show, after all, was nominated for three Golden Globes last year, including best television drama. Plus, Sterling K. Brown won the 2018 statue for best [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez 'Absolutely' Wants to Direct Film and Television

    Jennifer Lopez epitomizes the phrase “she’s done it all” — but there’s still more that the superstar would like to do. Lopez recently directed her first music video, “Limitless,” the track featured on her new rom-com “Second Act,” and it seems the multi-hyphenate has caught the directing bug. “Absolutely, absolutely,” Lopez responded when asked by [...]

  • Kaya Scodelario

    Kaya Scodelario Joins Netflix Ice Skating Drama 'Spinning Out'

    Kaya Scodelario has signed on for the lead role in the upcoming Netflix drama “Spinning Out,” Variety has learned. Scodelario takes over the role that was previously held by Emma Roberts, who bowed out in October. She stars as Kat Baker, an up-and-coming, high-level single skater who’s about to turn in her skates after a disastrous [...]

  • Kevin Hill

    Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia's Seven Bucks Productions Names Kevin Hill Head of TV and Digital Content

    Seven Bucks Productions, the production company co-founded by Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia, has named Kevin Hill the head of television and digital development. In this role, Hill will identify, develop and produce new scripted and unscripted projects for Seven Bucks Productions and Seven Bucks Digital Studios. His background includes a six-and-a-half year stint at WME working [...]

  • Cardi B iHeart Radio Music Awards

    iHeartRadio Music Awards Move to Fox

    iHeartMedia and Fox Broadcasting Company today announced the return of the iHeartRadio Music Awards in 2019. The show will air live on Thursday, March 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, and will also stream online and broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide. Performers will be announced in [...]

  • Best TV Shows of 2018

    The Top 20 TV Episodes of 2018

    This year provided TV fans with one of the most promising pilots in years (“Barry”) and an all-time-great series finale (that of “The Americans”), but there was plenty in between, too. The following are 20 of Variety’s critics’ favorite episodes to have aired all year, across genres. Of note: while episodes of “Atlanta,” “Barry,” “BoJack [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content