In his first executive appointment, BBC Worldwide America’s GM, Channels, Perry Simon has hired Discovery executive Rachel Smith to the newly-created position of VP original programming. Reporting to BBC America’s SVP programming Richard De Croce, Smith will oversee all aspects of non-scripted program development for the channel, working closely with sibling West Coast-based production company BBC Worldwide Prods. “Rachel’s appointment marks an important milestone for BBC America, as we move into the development of original programming for the channel,” Simon said. “Our aim is to create a slate that speaks to an American audience with the same quality, intelligence, irreverence and innovation that you expect from the BBC.” Smith joins BBC America from Discovery’s Planet Green where she oversaw the development and production of non-scripted, primetime original programming for the channel, including Dresscue Me, Dean of Invention and Operation Wild. Prior to that, Smith was VP development & production for scripted programming at IFC and served as director of development at Bravo.
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