Scripps, BBC Worldwide British Networks Venture UKTV Fills Commissioning Role
LONDON -- UKTV, a British TV networks joint venture of lifestyle channels firm Scripps Networks Interactive and BBC Worldwide, has shored up its commissioning ambitions.
The home to shows including Dynamo: Magician Impossible and The Happenings has promoted Richard Watsham to director of commissioning. Watsham, previously senior commissioning editor, will be tasked with steering UKTV's origination strategy for programming.
Watsham, in his previous role as senior commissioning editor, oversaw the birth of projects including Ross Noble Freewheeling and Dave Gorman’s Modern Life is Goodish, plus brand-funded adventure sport series Red Bull Cliff Diving and Red Bull Soap Box. He will continue to report directly to UKTV chief executive Darren Childs.
"The director of commissioning's role is central to this business' ongoing success, and Richard Watsham's confidence and creative leadership, coupled with fantastic ambition, will make sure we stay on the front foot creatively during this great period of share growth for UKTV," Childs said.
Childs added: "He [Watsham] will be creating UKTV's first commissioning charter, to give more transparency to our incredibly important relationships with the indie community. He will be leading a vital transformation of our business affairs process to ensure that program makers are spending their time and resources making great TV, and he will be increasing UKTV's footprint in high-quality scripted programming, building on our raft of successes including Crackanory, You, Me & Them and Red Dwarf X."
Watsham added: "After a number of recent successes, I'm inheriting the department in great shape and will be doing everything I can to continue building our reputation as originators of highly innovative and engaging programs."
UKTV, whose popular entertainment channel Dave is the most watched non-PSB broadcaster in the U.K. posted record-breaking ratings in 2013 and accounted for 8.2 percent of all commercial viewing in the U.K. last year.