Disney Plus has hired Channel 4 commissioner Lee Mason to join its scripted team for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Variety has confirmed.
Set to join the streamer this summer, Mason will serve as director of scripted content for EMEA, reporting into Liam Keelan, VP of original content for Europe and Africa at Disney. He will work alongside Johanna Devereaux, the platform’s other director of scripted content.
Mason first joined Channel 4 in 2011, and has commissioned shows including “It’s a Sin,” now a major hit for HBO Max, and “The End of the F***ing World,” which was a high-profile co-production with Netflix. Other shows include “Ackley Bridge,” “Adult Material,” “Help,” “Screw” and “The Birth of Daniel F Harris.”
Keelan, a former BBC Studios scripted executive, has steadily been building out his team of commissioners for Disney Plus, which launched in Europe just over a year ago. Most recently, he hired former Channel 5 commissioner Sean Doyle.
Mason will oversee both drama and comedy efforts for EMEA, and will also commission for adult-oriented entertainment vertical Star (casually known as the “international Hulu”), which launched earlier this year. Disney Plus unveiled its first handful of original titles in February.
It’s worth noting that Keelan’s team of senior commissioners at Disney Plus have all been plucked from public service broadcasters, further highlighting the need among U.S. streaming giants to hire top local talent in order to be competitive with their domestic commissions. Notably, the hires also go some way in justifying the ongoing anxieties among British broadcasters, who claim there is an unequal playing field with the SVODs when it comes to resources and the ability to compete for talent and programming.
U.K. outlet Broadcast was first to report the news.