'Chopped' Production Company Taps Head of Development

Gemma Davies Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy of Jane Street Entertainment

Gemma Davies Headshot - P 2014

Gemma Davies and John Varela join Jane Street Entertainment

Jane Street Entertainment, the production company behind Food Network's Chopped and Rachael vs. Guy series, has tapped a development head.

Gemma Davies has been named vp development, tasked with generating new docuseries and original formats for broadcast and cable, managing the development team, and contributing to a diverse programming slate. She will report to co-founders Donna MacLetchie and Linda Lea.

Additionally, John Varela has been named director of development, reporting to Davies. He will be charged with creating docuseries and formats.

“Heading our development team requires special skills – it's not enough, at Jane, to just come up with a format. We don't do gimmicks. Every one of our shows has to have a real respect for storytelling," says MacLetchie. “Gemma absolutely embodies that. She is one of the most inventive and nuanced developers we've encountered in a long time, and an amazing manager to boot.”

Davies has over a decade of experience in U.K. television, developing and casting formats such as Choccywoccydoodah, The Magaluf Weekender, Holiday Hit Squad, Britain's Biggest Hoarders and Taking New York. She previously worked at FremantleMedia's Boundless productions and Twofour Broadcast.

Varela previously served as director of development at Andrew Jenks Entertainment and was at MTV Networks.