BBC seals the deal for stateside production

Jane Tranter will head prod'n business out of Los Angeles

LONDON -- BBC drama chief Jane Tranter's long-mooted move to the U.S. got the official green light Monday as BBC Worldwide said the executive will relocate to Los Angeles to head up its production business.

Tasked with bolstering the BBC commercial arm's production activities on the U.S. side of the pond in drama and comedy, Tranter takes up her new position as BBC Worldwide executive vp programming and production on Jan. 1.

She'll work as co-chief alongside Paul Telegdy, executive vp content and production USA, reporting to content and production managing director Wayne Garvie and BBC Worldwide president Garth Ancier.

"(Tranter) will be a beacon for British talent looking to succeed in the U.S.," Garvie said. "Jane and Paul Telegdy will form one of the most innovative, energetic and successful partnerships in Hollywood and take our existing American production business to another level."

Tranter is credited with bringing a slew of hits to BBC viewers including "Dr. Who," "Robin Hood" and "Merlin" and launching such series as "Spooks" and "Life on Mars."

Said Tranter: "I am thrilled to be returning to production and working with BBC Worldwide. Paul has already established a cracking pace and area of excellence out there, and I know that we have a huge and exciting task on our hands and that we'll have great fun tackling it, and am very pleased to be able to make the move to U.S. drama whilst staying within the BBC family."

She will step down from her current commissioning role with immediate effect -- to be replaced by Ben Stephenson -- but she "will continue to add strategic input to BBC Fiction as a whole until she leaves at the end of the year," a statement said.

The confirmation of her departure follows months of speculation and has been regarded by industryites and media commentators alike as one of the worst kept secrets in the television business.