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Playground ups Gardiner, hires creative chief

Wolf Hall producer Playground Entertainment has promoted one of its senior executives to oversee its UK production and development, and hired another from Fifty Fathoms as creative director.

Sophie Gardiner

Sophie Gardiner, who joined from Channel 4 in 2014, has been promoted to head of drama and executive creative director.

Melissa Gallant, formerly head of development at Fifty Fathoms, comes in to fill Gardiner’s creative director role alongside Katie Draper, who was previously senior development executive but will now take the creative director role alongside Gallant.

Gardiner will now oversee Playground’s growing UK slate, which includes Kenneth Longergan’s adaptation of Howards End for the BBC and US cablenet Starz, King Lear for the BBC and the recently announced commission of a Little Women adaptation for the BBC and PBS in the US.

At Fifty Fathoms, Gallant worked across an extensive slate with a number of UK writers. She was previously at Tiger Aspect working on series including Peaky Blinders and was series editor of ITV police drama The Bill before that.

Prior to Playground, Draper was a development executive at Kudos and Tiger Aspect.

The reshuffle at Playground follows UK MD Louise Pedersen’s decision to return to All3Media last year.

The New York- and London-based firm was set up in 2012 by award-winning producer Colin Callender.

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