Beatrice Springborn (Courtesy of UCP)
Universal Content Productions, otherwise known as UCP, has tapped Hulu head of originals Beatrice Springborn to lead the Universal Studio Group-owned division. The move comes just two months after the elevation of Pearlena Igbokwe to Universal Studio Group chairman amid a broader shakeup within NBCUniversal top brass.
“If you want to build a winning team, you have to draft all-star players,” said Igbokwe. “Beatrice has broad industry experience and is one of the town’s most respected executives. The distinctive series that she has championed throughout her career speak to her creative instincts and I’m confident that she is the right person to grow the UCP brand while continuing to position the studio as one of the industry’s leading suppliers of premium television.”
Springborn, who has been with Hulu since 2014 as vice president of content development, will oversee all of UCP’s slate, from Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy” to the upcoming series “Dr. Death,” “Joe Exotic,” and “The Girl From Plainville.” Her primary directive is to expand UCP’s production output.
“I have long admired Pearlena’s work at UTV and now Universal Studio Group,” said Springborn. “She and her team approach the business with an entrepreneurial, innovative and creative spirit while Dawn Olmstead and her team built UCP into a studio known for its best-in-class talent and series. I’m thrilled to join such an impressive organization that aligns with so much of what I have done and am excited to have the opportunity to further their tremendous growth.”
Springborn led comedy and drama development, co-productions and casting at Hulu, forging the streamer’s strategy to draw on book-based IP, such as “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Normal People,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and others. The exec has an existing relationship with UCP through her work on “The Act” and “Difficult People” and Universal Television’s “The Mindy Project,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “The Path.”
“The last six-and-a-half years at Hulu have been nothing short of life-changing and wonderful. I’ve been so proud and inspired by our work and now I can’t wait to be a fan,” she added. “I’m filled with enormous gratitude for Dana Walden, Peter Rice, Kelly Campbell and, most importantly, Craig Erwich, my biggest advocate and mentor.”
Igbokwe has spent her time since September fleshing out her leadership team and incorporating Universal’s alternative team into the Universal Studio Group following the exit of Meredith Ahr (which itself came on the heels of the ouster of NBC Entertainment head Paul Telegdy over allegations of racist, sexist and homophobic behavior).
Variety's Elaine Low contributed to this post.