National Geographic Channel is signaling an expansion in original scripted programming with the hire of longtime Shine executive Carolyn Bernstein as EVP, Head of Global Scripted Development and Production. Bernstein, the first dedicated scripted executive for the cable network, will be based in Los Angeles, reporting to National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe. She starts on January 4. NGC ventured into scripted programming with its popular Killing movie franchise. Its latest scripted effort, Saints & Strangers, this week received three Critics’ Choice nominations. Scripted projects in development include Last Men Out from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson and In Harm’s Way with Mark Gordon and ABC Signature Studios.
“Carolyn’s vast experience, exceptional creative taste and strong industry relationships will enable us to reach unprecedented new heights with our scripted endeavors in ways that support our brand and new programming vision,” Monroe said.
Bernstein was at Shine’s U.S. outpost for the past eight years. She oversaw scripted for Shine America until the Endemol-Shine merger, including such series as The Bridge at FX and Gracepoint at Fox. She also developed Utopia for HBO. After the consolidation, Bernstein continued as EVP scripted programming, working alongside Endemol Studios EVP Jeremy Gold. Gold will now lead Endemol Shine Studios’ scripted operations solo. The company’s slate includes series Hell On Wheels and Kingdom as well the Showtime pilot I’m Dying Up Here and projects in development, including Think Like A Man and 305 at Fox, Bourbon Kings and NBC, Debt at WGN and a series adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Before joining Shine America, Bernstein was SVP and EVP of Drama Development at the WB and also worked as a development executive at FX and Fox.