Frank Spotnitz’s Big Light Productions, whose credits include “Medici: Masters of Florence,” “Ransom” and Emmy winning “The Man in the High Castle,” has named Oliver Lang as chief operating officer. Based at the company’s London headquarters, Lang will oversee its operations, strategic partnerships and financing for drama projects.
Writer-showrunner Spotnitz, who credits include “The X-Files,” “Hunted” and “Strike Back,” founded Big Light five years ago to produce a diverse slate of international television series, and has since become one of Europe’s fastest-growing independent production companies.
As well as Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle,” now in its fourth season, the company’s projects include “Ransom,” now in its third season for CBS and Global; “Medici: Masters of Florence” and two seasons of “Medici: The Magnificent,” both for RAI and Netflix; and “The Indian Detective” for Netflix.
Lang is managing director of Sharp Edge Media, the company he founded earlier this year to provide commercial and strategic advice to the TV industry. He will continue as head of Sharp Edge, in addition to his role at Big Light.
Lang has worked in the TV industry for more than 20 years and has held senior positions in the BBC, BBC Worldwide, Carlton Television and the independent sector. He has been responsible for more than £1 billion ($1.3 billion) of investment in original production, led major organizational change and established BBC Worldwide as a leading investor in the U.K. production sector. He has extensive board level experience including as a director of British network UKTV and of Steve Coogan’s Baby Cow Productions.
Before founding Sharp Edge, Lang was controller of content investment at BBC Worldwide, the British public broadcaster’s commercial arm. There he oversaw investment in some of the U.K.’s best-known programs including “Blue Planet II,” “Sherlock” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” known in the U.S. as “Dancing With the Stars.”
He also initiated BBC Worldwide’s strategy for investment in British production companies: investments completed in his time included Lookout Point, Baby Cow, Clerkenwell, Curtis Brown and Cuba Pictures’ Original Talent and 72 Films.
Prior to BBC Worldwide, Lang was head of operations and business affairs for factual commissioning at BBC Television, with responsibility for a commissioning business delivering 2,000 hours of original productions a year. Programs broadcast during this time include “Great British Bake Off,” “Who Do You Think You Are” and “Frozen Planet.”
“Oliver possesses a wealth of experience, incredible strategic know-how and deeply held relationships in the industry,” Spotnitz said.
“I love the ambition of [Big Light’s] shows and the richness of their slate and I’m looking forward to scaling new heights with them,” Lang said.
Lang replaces Jamie Hall, who joined Big Light from Eleven Films two years ago. Hall will unveil his next venture on Wednesday.