Rachel Bendavid has been officially named Head of Scripted Programming for the Lionsgate and BBC Studios Los Angeles partnership. The formal announcement follows Deadline’s report last month that the former longtime ABC drama executive had been tapped to head the Lionsgate/BBC Studios Los Angeles programming venture.
Bendavid is responsible for overseeing the operations and content initiatives of the television partnership as well as shepherding the development and production of its programming slate. Within a year of its launch, the partnership landed pilot orders for its U.S. adaptations of hit BBC series from Fox for This Country and CBS for Ghosts.
“Rachel is an incredibly talented executive with a strong track record and an impeccable creative eye for premium, must-see content,” said Lionsgate EVP, Television & Head of Development Scott Herbst. “Her leadership skills, passion for television and expert knowledge of the business will be invaluable in leading our partnership with BBC Studios and creating more great series for our content pipeline.”
Bendavid succeeds Dan McDermott who left in March to become president of original programming of AMC and co-president of AMC Studios.
“Rachel has a real knowledge of and passion for distinct British voices. Based on this, along with her deep experience at ABC and Fox and her strong connections within the industry, she is well positioned to build our scripted partnership and continue to develop exciting opportunities for the UK creative community in the U.S.,” said Valerie Bruce, General Manager, LA Productions, BBC Studios.
Bendavid spent the last decade as VP drama development at ABC. Prior to that she was a drama development executive at Fox, including a stint as co-head of the department. Her resume also include a four-year tenure at Spelling TV, the last two as SVP of series development, and a stint as director of series television at Lifetime.
“I’m thrilled to be joining the Lionsgate and BBC Studios LA family and to be working with global content leaders from both sides of the pond,” said Bendavid. “Lionsgate and BBC Studios are homes to deep and rich content portfolios and talent relationships, which makes this a very exciting and refreshing new venture for me. I can’t wait to continue to elevate this partnership and bring even more great programming to television audiences.”