Simran Sethi Joins Netflix as Creative Executive for India

The former Freeform executive will be based in L.A. and be part of the International Originals Production Group.
Courtesy of Freeform/Craig Sjodin

Simran Sethi is exiting her post as Freeform senior vp scripted development and moving to Netflix, where she will serve as creative executive for India and be part of the streamer's International Originals Production Group.

Sethi, whose Freeform departure was announced Friday via an internal memo from executive vp programming and development Karey Burke, will now report to Netflix's Erika North and continue to be based in Los Angeles. (Read Burke's memo to staff, below.)

The International Originals Production Group — overseen by Erik Barmack — has produced series for Brazil (3%), Mexico (Club de Cuervos, Kate del Castillo starrer Ingobernable) and France (Marseille), as well as the upcoming Italian-language series Suburra and the German-language series Dark, which will make its debut at the Toronto Film Festival.

During her time at Freeform, Sethi — who joined the network under Burke in 2015 — shepherded the Disney-owned cable network's rebranding from ABC Family as well as programming including The Bold Type, Famous in Love and the channel's first late-night show, Truth & Iliza, in addition to a slate of 2018 fare including Marvel's Cloak & Dagger, Siren and the upcoming Black-ish spinoff, which moved to the cable network after ABC passed. She will remain on board through the end of September before moving to Netflix.

Before joining Freeform, Sethi had posts at NBC, as well as at Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions and Sony Pictures Television.

Netflix bosses Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos met with two of India's biggest stars, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan, in March as part of the company's concerted effort to ingratiate itself with top Bollywood talent and break through in the region before its rival Amazon conquers the subcontinent first. Amazon and Netflix both see India's 1.3 billion residents ­— and 300 million smartphone users — as their next great hope for global expansion.

Here's Burke's memo to staff:

Hey Freeform,

News is going to break in a little while that Simran is leaving Freeform at the end of September to oversee Indian content for Netflix's International Originals team.

Those of you who've been lucky enough to get to know Simran will understand what an important personal and professional opportunity this is for her, so please join me in congratulating her. It will make her very uncomfortable as she dislikes being the center of attention, but do it anyway.  

Please note that Simran will continue working here in her full capacity until Sept. 30. Because that's just the way she is. 

All business should operate as usual on development, pilots, new series, etc. 

I am so sad that she is leaving us, but so grateful for the legacy she is leaving behind. The slate of undeniably special shows that she has championed have brought us so much acclaim and interest, not just here but internationally, and will ensure that baller women everywhere will have cool shows to watch on Freeform for years to come.

I will miss her greatly. 

Not to mention Peaches the Dog. 




Gossip Girl

(JK it's me, Karey)