BREAKING– Ben Stephenson, responsible for the commissioning of all drama programmes on BBC television and online, is in talks to leave the broadcaster. Sources tell Deadline that one possible destination for Stephenson, one of the most powerful execs in the UK, could be J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. It is believed he could steer the company’s expansion into international co-productions. Though no deal has been agreed yet, talks have been ongoing for some time.
Rumours of Stephenson’s exit has been circulating the Brit biz for days now. Neither Stephenson nor the BBC have made any official comment. Stephenson has been at the BBC for a decade and overseen the likes of Sherlock, Wolf Hall and Parade’s End.
Stephenson has also forged close ties with broadcasters in the U.S. Show like Peaky Blinders, An Honourable Woman and forthcoming the Weinstein Co-produced War and Peace have all had American partners on board.
Aside from Bad Robot, there are other Stateside possibilities for Stephenson, who is sure to be much in-demand given his talent relationships with British writers and producers, as well as his keen understanding of the international marketplace.