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BBC Studios adds Roxanne Harvey, Apple’s Tom Williams to drama team

Tom Williams and Roxanne Harvey

BBC Studios (BBCS) has appointed Tom Williams from Apple to a newly created role within its drama department, one of three new appointments announced today.

Williams becomes head of development for drama across the entire BBCS Drama production unit.

At Apple, he was part of the European commissioning team and before that head of development at Wall to Wall. He also worked on shows such as Ten Percent and The Man in the High Castle for Amazon and The English Game for Netflix.

His appointment follows the recent news that Kate Oates has been named head of drama productions at BBCS. Alongside Oates, Deborah Sathe has been promoted to creative director and Siân O’Callaghan to director of production.

As head of development for BBCS Drama productions, Williams will oversee the national development team as well as the BBCS writing initiatives, reporting to Sathe.

Roxanne Harvey also joins the drama department as exec producer for long-running drama series Casualty, as well as leading on development in Wales.

She will take the helm of Casualty, together with developing her own slate of new projects for both the UK and international markets.

Most recently, Harvey coproduced Joan, a new six-part series for ITVX starring Sophie Turner. Previously she story-produced the BAFTA-nominated Too Close, starring Emily Watson, for ITV and BBC One series Strike for Bronte Film and Television. During this time she also built up her own slate of projects alongside creative director Jenny van der Lande.

The appointments follow this morning’s news that former Endemol Shine and Discovery executive Kasia Jablonska has been promoted to director of digital and on-demand for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at BBCS.

Starting the role immediately, she will report to Arran Tindall, chief commercial officer and executive VP of EMEA key markets, and Tim Christlieb, senior VP and general manager of branded services of EMEA key markets.

Jablonska has been promoted from her previous position as BBCS’s head of VoD. Her remit is to develop strategic plans to expand digital revenue streams, innovate new products and optimise audience engagement on digital platforms across EMEA.

Her role will support editorial and commercial teams across EMEA, maximise revenues, help upskill teams and grow digital audiences.

Jablonska joined BBCS in 2021 and was initially responsible for the editorial product development for affiliate BBC Player VoD services and growth initiatives for free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels in EMEA.

She contributed to the launch of BBC Player in Poland and BBC Nordic+ and under her leadership, BBCS has grown its FAST portfolio in EMEA to six channel brands in 42 countries.

These include the recent launch of the Top Gear FAST channel with Samsung TV Plus in Benelux and Pluto TV in German-speaking territories, France, Italy and the Nordics.

Prior to joining BBCS, Jablonska held roles including head of digital and monetisation at Endemol Shine Group, regional director for central Europe at Fox International Channels, commercial director at NBCUniversal Media and VP affiliate sales at Discovery.

BBC Studios has also signed a new content agreement with Lemino, a Japanese video-on-demand streaming service operated by NTT DOCOMO.

From November 15 onwards, the service will carry a line-up of BBC Studios content including the first four seasons of Sherlock, the first 11 season of Death in Paradise, Unforgotten season one to four, and every episode of period drama Call The Midwife.

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