Sky Entertainment Channels chief Stuart Murphy is stepping down after six and a half years at the company and segueing into a production deal with Sky Vision to write, direct and develop comedy and drama projects. During his tenure, Murphy oversaw channels Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living, as well as overseeing the comedy, drama, factual and entertainment commissioning teams. He is a board member of the History channels, Jupiter Productions and is involved with virtual reality company Jaunt.
“Stuart has been responsible for brilliant dramas from The Enfield Haunting to You, Me And The Apocalypse and standout comedies including Moone Boy and Stella,” said Sky managing director of content Gary Davey. “He has developed compelling channel brands which our customers value and commissioned content they love. He leaves behind a strong and well-respected commissioning team who will take our content to even greater heights and we look forward to working with him in the future.”
Murphy first joined Sky as director of programs in 2009. His strategy of moving the channel toward original commissions resulted in the likes of Emmy-nominated Strikeback, An Idiot Abroad and Treasure Island, and in 2011 Sky 1 won Broadcast’s Channel of the Year Award for the first time in its history. In February 2011 he launched Sky Atlantic, a result of a multi-year exclusive deal with HBO.
During his time at Sky, the company has stepped up its international co-productions with partners from NBC (Dracula; You, Me And The Apocalypse) to Canal Plus (The Tunnel; The Last Panthers), Showtime (Penny Dreadful), HBO (Strikeback and Doll And Em – the first Sky show ever to sell to HBO).