Disney APAC Boss Uday Shankar Quits
Uday Shankar, president of The Walt Disney Company Asia Pacific and chairman, Star & Disney India, is to step down at the end of 2020 after less than two years in the role. Shankar said he intends to pursue new entrepreneurial opportunities to “give back to the country.” Before stepping down, he will work with Rebecca Campbell, chair of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international segment, to identify a successor. Campbell said: “With the successful launch of Disney+ throughout the region, he has helped put The Walt Disney Company in a commanding position in this dynamic and incredibly strategic part of the world. His vast experience and expertise have been invaluable in bringing together a strong, cohesive APAC leadership team to chart a path forward for our streaming businesses in the region and beyond.”
BBC Three Picks Up Lena Waithe’s ‘Twenties’
The first two seasons of Lena Waithe’s single-camera BET comedy Twenties have been acquired by BBC Three. Distributed by ViacomCBS International Studios Distribution, the show following a young black lesbian writer trying to make it in LA will premiere in the UK on October 25. New Zealand streamer Neon also acquired Season 1 of Twenties. Meanwhile, two further scripted series recently added to the VIS Distribution portfolio, Sistas and The Oval — both from Tyler Perry’s Studios — will air on Canal+ Africa and A+ this autumn.
BBC Studios Hires 4 Comedy Execs
BBC Studios’ head of comedy Josh Cole has bolstered his team with the addition of four executives. Madeline Addy joins from Sir Lenny Henry’s indie Douglas Road Productions as an executive producer, as does Tom Jordan, who previously worked at Have I Got News For You producer Hat Trick. Kudos’ Sarah Linton joins as a senior development producer and Kenny Tanner has been hired as a development producer after three years at Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman. “They bring with them fine comic minds and a passion for nurturing and unearthing brilliant talent and stories,” Cole said.
MTV Orders Online Shorts
MTV International is expanding its digital slate with two new remotely-filmed shows made for YouTube and Facebook. Appeal TV-produced Celebrity Bumps Mike + Perri follows former athletes and TV personalities Mike Edwards and Perri (Shakes-Drayton) Edwards as they become parents. True North’s MTV’s Living The Dream follows the bromance of Love Island alums Michael Griffiths, Chris Taylor, Jordan Hames and Danny Williams. Both shows will stream across MTV International and BET International’s social pages.
Edinburgh TV Festival Names New Chair
Fatima Salaria, the managing director of Fremantle’s Naked TV, has been appointed as the executive chair of the Edinburgh TV Festival. Salaria succeeds So Television co-founder and managing director Graham Stuart. Salaria said: “I can still remember the thrill of being at the Festival for the first time and the excitement, and a touch of fear, at being asked to speak as a panellist, so to be asked to take on this role now really is a huge honour.”
Channel 4 Orders Princess Diana Doc
Channel 4 has become the latest British broadcaster to commission a film on Princess Diana’s explosive BBC Panorama interview in 1995, during which she was candid about her faltering relationship with Prince Charles. Blink Films will make Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview. It features interviews with Diana’s former Private Secretary Patrick Jephson, biographer Andrew Morton, and Sir Max Hastings, the former Daily Telegraph editor who reveals how Diana told him the whole story. Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview follows Channel 5 announcing Rogan Productions-produced Diana: The Interview That Shocked The World last week.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.