McDermott will run the venture, which was struck by the British public broadcaster’s LA division and the Orange Is The New Black producer in October 2018. The venture will identify, co-develop and co-fund scripted formats and original IP for the U.S. market. He will oversee the operation and shepherd its content plans.
McDermott began his career at Fox, where he was EVP, programming overseeing hits including In Living Color, The Simpsons, Married with Children and Beverly Hills 90210, before becoming DreamWorks first president of television and working on its ABC co-venture, which spawned series including Spin City and Freaks and Geeks.
More recently, he partnered with Lorenzo di Bonaventura to launch a television company where he executive produced series like Zero Hour, The Real O’Neals and the upcoming Jupiter’s Legacy for Netflix.
“I have always followed my curiosity and ambition – from the early days at Fox and DreamWorks to my years spent writing and producing content. Now, I am inspired to lead the partnership of these two great companies,” said McDermott. “BBC Studios is a treasure trove of great properties and talent, and Lionsgate is a global content platform with one of the most exciting independent television businesses in the world. The extraordinary teams of Mark Linsey and Matt Forde at BBC Studios and Kevin Beggs and Sandra Stern at Lionsgate are the perfect partners to make this happen. I can hardly wait to dive in.”
“Dan’s business acumen and deep roots in the creative community make him the perfect candidate to lead the charge on this collaboration with our great partners at BBC Studios,” said Lionsgate Television Chairman Beggs. “He is not only an experienced media executive but an incredibly talented content creator responsible for some of television’s most iconic properties. We’re excited to be working with him and can’t wait to see all the amazing content he’ll bring to our programming slate.”
“From television to film, from distributing content to writing his own, Dan has proven that he’s a skilled studio executive with a very creative spirit,” added Forde, Managing Director, International Production & Formats, BBC Studios. “As we continue to ramp up our scripted operations with Lionsgate, we’re looking forward to having an astute leader like Dan to guide the team that will fill our content pipeline with great television series for the U.S. market.”