Blink49 hires former BBC Studios & Fifth Season exec to lead global scripted push

Mal Stares

Blink49 Studios, the Toronto-based firm headed by former Entertainment One exec John Morayniss, has hired the VP of international TV production at Fifth Season to lead its scripted efforts.

Mal Stares becomes SVP of global scripted at Blink49, which is backed by Fifth Season, and will work across development and production. She is based out of LA and reports into Carolyn Newman, EVP of global scripted.

Her remit includes working with creators, authors, writers, producers and broadcasters, as well as initiating a new slate of development projects to add to the Blink49 pipeline.

Most recently, Stares led Fifth Season’s expansion into Australia, New Zealand and Canada, selling Amazon’s first Australian original series The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart and helping to secure deficit financing for productions such as BBC’s Queen Of Oz and SBS’s Swift Street.

Prior to Fifth Season, Stares was at BBC Studios, where she worked on shows including Call Me Kat for Fox, and also worked with former HBO exec Anne Thomopoulos at Trio Lunch on Outlander for Starz, Versailles for Canal+ and Black Box for ABC.

Blink49 was co-founded in 2021 by Morayniss, Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas and Nelson Kuo-Lee, with backing from Fifth Season. Its slate includes Hallmark Channel’s rodeo-themed family drama series Ride and CTV’s Sight Unseen, as well as adaptations of Charlene Carr’s Hold My Girl and Marissa Stapley’s novel Things To Do When It’s Raining.

The company hired former eOne alum Tashi Bieler earlier this week as SVP & head of production and last year set up an unscripted division.

“Mal is a true champion of writers’ voices and talent. She brings to Blink49 the perfect combination of global experience, relationships and great taste, which we have gotten to know firsthand through her work with us at Fifth Season,” said Newman.

“Through my time working with them at Fifth Season, I recognized that we share a passion for discovering and supporting creative voices and I look forward to continuing our journey together in this exciting new role,” added Stares.

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