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BBC Studios LA taps Nicholas Oakley as senior VP, unscripted development

BBC Studios Los Angeles Productions has named Nicholas Oakley as senior VP, unscripted development.

Nicholas Oakley

In his new role, Oakley will work with the LA unscripted team to create and develop original concepts and build US and global formats. He will report to Ryan O’Dowd, executive VP, music and entertainment.

Oakley was previously the head of development at Mission Control Media, where he developed and sold gameshows and competition series, and before that he ran west coast development for the HLN network at CNN, overseeing the development of docuseries, prank shows, travel formats and gameshows. He also previously led the US office of Tinopolis-owned UK production company Mentorn.

During his career, he has helped launch several UK-to-US adaptations including Hell’s Kitchen, Nanny 911 and Celebrity Fit Club. Prior to moving to LA 17 years ago, he worked in London and began his career at the BBC.

The appointment comes as the commercial arm of UK pubcaster the BBC continues to build out its US presence, having launched 11 series over the past two years with partners such as ABC, CBS, FOX, Lionsgate, NBC, National Geographic, Netflix and Peacock.

Those partnerships include working with NBC on the reboot of gameshow Weakest Link and National Geographic on the Life Below Zero franchise. This month has also seen the launch of UK format Dancing with the Stars on Disney+, marking the first time a live series has streamed on the SVoD platform.

“I’m proud to say that our Los Angeles production business has never been stronger: we have developed, sold, produced and launched more new shows in the past two years than ever before in the 18 years since BBC Studios started production in Los Angeles, building on our slate of iconic and enduring hits like Dancing with the Stars,” said Valerie Bruce, who leads the LA division as general manager.

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