US indie Eastern hires McKeown from Nutopia

US factual producer Eastern has recruited Simon McKeown as its senior VP, development. He joins from Jane Root’s factual prodco Nutopia and will head up development at Eastern, which makes VH1 series Love & Hip Hop. Prior to Nutopia, McKeown was at Love Productions, where hus credits include the popular and controversial fact-ent series Benefits Street. He […]

Discovery poaches ABC exec as CCO

Discovery Communications has recruited Phil Craig as chief creative officer. Craig’s appointment comes after chief content officer, Luis Silberwasser left Discovery – later joining Telemundo as president – and creative director and head of commissioning Julian Bellamy exited the factual channel operator for ITV. However, the chief creative officer title is a new one at […]

Ex-London Live, Channel 4 exec joins Nutopia

Former London Live and Channel 4 commissioner Katie Boyd has joined Jane Root’s factual specialist Nutopia. Boyd joins the Story of Us… prodco along with CB Films’ Simon Willgoss. Boyd will become executive producer, while Willgoss becomes head of development. Nutopia’s current deputy head of development Lee McNulty is concurrently promoted to in-house producer. Former […]

News brief: Jane Root’s Nutopia hires development chief

Nutopia, the US factual prodco run by former BBC and Discovery exec Jane Root, has hired Allyson Mandelbaum as its director of development. Prior to Nutopia, she was director of unscripted at AMC Networks and has previously worked at MTV and indie prodco Magical Elves

CNN commissions Jesus doc series

Turner’s news and current affairs network CNN has ordered Jesus Code, a six-part series connecting historical artefacts to central figure in the Christian faith. Jane Root’s Washington-based prodco Nutopia will make the Jesus Code, which is the latest factual series ordered by CNN as it broadens its output from pure news and current affairs. It […]

ZDFE, Nutopia join up for Europe’s Story of Us

German rights distributor ZDF Enterprises and Jane Root’s prodco Nutopia are working on a European version of docu-drama format The Story of Us. Europe – The Story of Us is currently in development at format creator Nutopia, with ZDF’s commercial arm ZDFE taking international distribution rights. ZDFE and Nutopia said they are open to further […]

Pioneer Productions staffs up

Pioneer Productions has hired two senior production executives. The Tinopolis-owned factual producer has recruited former Channel 4 commissioner Nav Raman as its new director of development and poached  from the BBC as an executive producer. Barnes is tasked with growing Pioneer’s UK output. Raman joins from Jane Root’s prodco Nutopia and before that was a […]

Facebook creator’s sibling goes to work for Esquire

Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, is working on a cable series for nascent NBCUniversal channel Esquire Network. Zuckerberg has partnered with Coolfire Media to create HQ (WT), which will make up part of Esquire’s new season slate and looks into the most creative workplaces in the US. Joining HQ on Esquire […]

Nutopia’s The Story of Us getting Aussie remake

Factual producer and distributor Nutopia has shopped the format of its docudrama The Story of Us to Seven Network. The Australian free-to-air broadcaster will air a local version of the show. Local indie Essential Media & Entertainment, the producer of legal series Rake, will make the Australian version of the series, which is scheduled to […]

News brief: Nutopia hires Love’s head of development

Jane Root’s prodco Nutopia has hired Simon McKeown from The Great British Bake Off producer Love Productions. McKeown will take on the same role at Nutopia, which is behind doc series such as America: The Story of US, The British, Mankind: The Story of All of Us and We Invented the World. McKeown’s CV includes […]