Beatrice Springborn, president of UCP, is adding president of Universal International Studios to her portfolio, while David O’Donoghue has been named head of Universal International Studios.
The U.K.-based Donoghue will report into Springborn, and continue to have operational responsibility for the international business. Meanwhile, Springborn reports into Pearlena Igbokwe, chairman of Universal Studio Group, and now has oversight of all aspects of Universal International Studios’ slate, with a keen focus on growing the studio’s global footprint.
Springborn’s creative strategy will continue to bolster the business’s in-house scripted programming division, which is responsible for developing and producing shows including “Hanna” (Amazon) and “Dodger” (BBC). The global operation’s production labels include Carnival Films, Heyday Television, Matchbox Pictures, Monkey Kingdom, Working Title Television and Tony Ayres Productions.
Universal International Studios rebranded from NBCUniversal International Studios in November 2021 to further align with the Universal Studio Group and sister studios UCP, Universal Television and Universal Television Alternative Studio.
“In the interim roles, Beatrice and David have proven to be a dynamic and collaborative duo,” said Igbokwe. “Expanding Beatrice’s purview to drive both of these bold, vibrant divisions will expand opportunities for our talent and IP and amplify our global success.”
Springborn joined Universal Studio Group in November 2020 following a six-year run at Hulu, where she led comedy and drama development, co-productions and casting across the streamer’s slate of originals.
“Universal International Studios has always embraced and championed global storytelling and the best-in-class storytellers,” said Springborn. “This cross-studio collaboration allows us to further that mission and amplify our international talent and IP. Our international team, led by David, is the best in the business. So I am thrilled to continue collaborating with them to unlock even more potential of the studio and bring more great voices to the fore.”
O’Donoghue was previously executive VP of business affairs and operations for Universal International Studios. Prior to that, he served as joint managing director and chief operating officer for Carnival Films, producers of “Downton Abbey.”
Universal International Studios will now comprise of NBCUniversal Formats, which has had success exporting its IP around the world in the form of local adaptations. As revealed by Variety, the company recently sold an Arabic version of “Suits” into OSN, and is also producing the first international adaptation of workplace comedy “Superstore.” The division’s brands include “The Real Housewives” franchise, “Top Chef” and “Suits”.
Elsewhere, the studio’s recent productions include Netflix thriller “Clickbait,” produced by its production companies Matchbox Pictures, Tony Ayres Productions and Heyday Television, and music comedy “We Are Lady Parts” from Working Title Television for Channel 4 and Peacock.
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