Dan McDermott

Source: Photo: Amy Graves

Dan McDermott

BBC Studios and Lionsgate have picked former DreamWorks television president Dan McDermott to head the US TV partnership they formed late last year.

The Los Angeles-based venture launched in December to identify, co-develop and co-fund scripted formats and original IP for the US market.

BBC Studios’ production unit in Los Angeles is responsible for US broadcast reality show Dancing With The Stars and National Geographic Channel documentary series Life Below Zero. BBC Studios also manages US joint venture relationships with AMC Networks on the BBC America channel and with ITV on streaming service BritBox.

McDermott began his career at the Fox network and at DreamWorks shepherded shows including Spin City and Freaks And Geeks. He also partnered with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura in a TV company where he served as executive producer on broadcast network drama Zero Hour and upcoming Mark Millar superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy for Netflix.

McDermott commented, “I have always followed my curiosity and ambition – from the early days at Fox and DreamWorks to my years spent writing and producing content. Now, I am inspired to lead the partnership of these two great companies. BBC Studios is a treasure trove of great properties and talent, and Lionsgate is a global content platform with one of the most exciting independent television businesses in the world.

“The extraordinary teams of Mark Linsey and Matt Forde at BBC Studios and Kevin Beggs and Sandra Stern at Lionsgate are the perfect partners to make this happen. I can hardly wait to dive in.”

Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs added, “Dan’s business acumen and deep roots in the creative community make him the perfect candidate to lead the charge on this collaboration with our great partners at BBC Studios. He is not only an experienced media executive but an incredibly talented content creator responsible for some of television’s most iconic properties. We’re excited to be working with him and can’t wait to see all the amazing content he’ll bring to our programming slate.”

Matt Forde, BBC Studios’ managing director, international production and formats, said: “From television to film, from distributing content to writing his own, Dan has proven that he’s a skilled studio executive with a very creative spirit. As we continue to ramp up our scripted operations with Lionsgate, we’re looking forward to having an astute leader like Dan to guide the team that will fill our content pipeline with great television series for the US market.”