Sky Studios has hired BBC drama exec Rebecca O’Connor as its director of production.
O’Connor, who was most recently head of business, drama, comedy, films & acquisitions at the UK pubcaster, will take up the newly created role in August and reports into Sky Studios COO, Caroline Cooper.
Her remit includes overseeing physical production for Sky Studios’ UK-based scripted division, working with comedy chief Jo Hunter, Livia Burton for drama, and Eugenio Perez for in-House and third-party projects. Hunter, Burton and Perez will report into O’Connor.
O’Connor led BBC Drama’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and oversees shows including Doctor Who and Eastenders. Before that, she worked at Channel 4 where she held various finance and production roles across scripted, working on shows including Top Boy, Skins, Derry Girls and Black Mirror.
Sky Studios focus to ‘streamline & simpify’
In a memo to staff, Cooper said the appointment followed a review in which the company explored how it could “streamline and simplify” its pohysical production processes.
“As we both commission projects from independent production companies and work flexibly to co-produce and partner with talent and smaller indies on projects via our in-house team, we need an agile production management model that can flexibly support the growing range and diversity of projects,” she said.
“Given the importance of physical production and the broad range and scale of projects we are working to across our slate, we have decided to create a new position to have oversight of this work and I’m pleased to say that Rebecca O’Connor will be joining us in the newly created role of director of production, reporting into me.”
O’Connor is the latest new addition for Sky Studios, which hired former BBC Studios exec Tobi de Graaff earlier this month to become SVP of commercial. He too reports into O’Connor.
Speaking at Series Mania in March, Sky Studios’ director of original drama Meghan Lyvers said that the company is looking to deficit finance more scripted projects without a US partner, as the current Stateside streaming commissioning pull-back impacts upon business across Europe.
The European operator has previously tended to secure US partners on its high-cost dramas ahead of commission, with the likes of AMC joining Sky’s Gangs Of London and Comcast sibling Peacock joining the remake of Day Of The Jackal revealed last year.