BBC Studios has merged three areas of its formats business to create a new global entertainment division led by Matt Forde.
International productions and formats (already led by Forde), factual entertainment and events (led by Hannah Wyatt) and entertainment and music (led by Suzy Lamb) are set to be united under the banner of Global Entertainment, which will also oversee BBC Studios’ network of production bases in L.A., India, Australia, South Africa and Europe.
In addition to his new role Forde will stay on as managing director of international production and formats, having doubled the department’s business over the last three years, while also putting together a leadership board for the new umbrella division.
Wyatt and Lamb will also stay on as MDs of their respective areas, reporting in to Forde.
Global Entertainment is set to launch on Oct. 1. As well as offering a single face to the market (with the added aim of fostering the creation and international exploitation of new formats), it will also be home to BBC Studios’ invested indies Mothership Productions and Mettlemouse Entertainment, and will continue to work closely with partners such as Magnum Media, Final Straw Productions, Rebel Rebel Pictures and Hungry Bear Media.
“Taking our formats success to another level is key to our long term growth and this move is in response to the substantial changes in the global market where there’s a very high demand for more familiar and trusted brands,” said Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios Productions. “Matt’s track-record in recognizing the global appeal of our shows and overseeing their successful adoption by partners in multiple territories is second to none, and I’m delighted he’s agreed to lead this new business.”
Forde added: “As the global entertainment market continues to evolve at pace bringing our U.K. businesses into the centre of what we do will help us to continue creating, selling and adapting the best shows and brands from the U.K. working with the amazing talent in our local BBC Studios offices to deliver the next generation of entertainment and reality programmes to the world.”
BBC Studios, the commercial arm of the publicly-owned BBC, has produced global hits including “Strictly Come Dancing” (known in the U.S. as “Dancing With the Stars”) and “The Great Bake Off” on the unscripted side and scripted hits including “Luther” and “Ghosts.”
Variety's K.J. Yossman contributed to this post.