The recently retitled fifth season of Endeavor Content signaled serious international intent with the hiring of Ben Irving, a former BBC drama acting director whose executive producing credits include His dark beginnings, Doctor Who as well as Gentleman Jack.
Irving joins a newly created role as British television creative director a week after Endeavor was renamed Fifth Season after South Korean company CJ ENM bought 80% of its script for $785 million.
Irving will lead the studio’s UK production and development team, working on existing UK development projects as well as creating new series. Recent Fifth Season TV projects in the US include Apple TV+. Severance, Peacock wolf like me and HBO Max tokyo vice and also distributes Killing Eve, Night Manager as well as Ordinary people.
It will begin work in November and will report to Joe Hipps, executive vice president of TV production and development, who called it “the key ingredient we were looking for.”
“His wealth of experience, strategic sense, long-standing creative relationships and exceptional taste for great programming will play an important role as we expand our footprint in the UK,” added Hipps.
Irving said Hipps and Endeavor CEOs Graham Taylor and Chris Rice “built something special”.
He added: “The company has always had a strong focus on the international market and together we will build on their many successes to further grow the studio’s TV production by continuing to support and empower the best creators and producers in the UK and beyond to tell stories that resonate. to a global audience.”
Irving is the second seasoned BBC drama executive to join the international division of a major US player this year following former drama director Piers Wenger’s high-profile move to A24.
He joined the BBC in 2017 and moved to commissioning editor a year later, becoming executive producer of some of the corporation’s biggest shows, including His Dark Materials, Doctor Who, Gentleman Jack, Industry, Capture as well as Sherwood.
After Wenger’s departure, he took over as acting director of the drama, but was recently beaten to the top job by Netflix UK script commissioner Lindsey Salt.
The BBC’s drama department has also been hit by the departures of commissioning editor Manda Levin and head of development Tom Lazenby, according to UK TV trade Broadcast.
Prior to joining the BBC, Irving was Vice President of Development and Production at David Heyman’s Heyday Films, where he worked on films such as Gravity, Paddington as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.