Springborn, who has shepherded series including The Handmaid’s Tale and Normal People to screen, takes over from Dawn Olmstead, who is leaving to join Anonymous Content as CEO.
The move means that Universal Studio Group, now run by Pearlena Igbokwe, has named two of the three executives to run its divisions. Last week, it was revealed that Erin Underhill was promoted to President of Universal Television, the division previously run by Igbokwe. It is still searching for a boss for NBCUniversal International Studios following the departure of Jeff Wachtel.
Springborn, a sought-after hire, will be responsible for UCP’s slate, which includes series such as The Umbrella Academy, Dr. Death, Joe Exotic and The Girl from Plainville and has been tasked with focusing on growing the studio’s production output.
Her hire comes after a period of change at Hulu. Disney assumed full operational control of the streamer in May 2019 with Dana Walden taking oversight of Hulu’s scripted series development run by Craig Erwich. Walden herself got a new job title last week – Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television – as part of a wider streamlining of its media and entertainment businesses with the former Fox exec overseeing the development and production operations of Disney TV Studios, Hulu Originals, ABC Entertainment and Freeform.
Springborn joined Hulu in 2014 as VP Content Development and during her tenure has led comedy and drama development, co-productions and casting across the streamer’s slate of originals such as Little Fires Everywhere, Nine Perfect Strangers and Shrill as well as The Great, Ramy, Pen15 and animated series Crossing Swords and Solar Opposites.
She worked closely with Universal Studio Group, having overseen UCP’s The Act, which Hulu said drove more new subscribers to the service than any other original series, and Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner comedy Difficult People as well as Universal Television’s The Mindy Project, Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Path.
Prior to joining Hulu, she was head of television for Craig Zadan and Neil Meron’s Storyline Entertainment, which had deals with Universal Television and NBC International.
“If you want to build a winning team, you have to draft all-star players,” Igbokwe said. “Beatrice has broad industry experience and is one of the town’s most respected executives. The distinctive series that she has championed throughout her career speak to her creative instincts and I’m confident that she is the right person to grow the UCP brand while continuing to position the studio as one of the industry’s leading suppliers of premium television.”
Said Springborn: “I have long admired Pearlena’s work at UTV and now Universal Studio Group. She and her team approach the business with an entrepreneurial, innovative and creative spirit while Dawn Olmstead and her team built UCP into a studio known for its best-in-class talent and series. I’m thrilled to join such an impressive organization that aligns with so much of what I have done and am excited to have the opportunity to further their tremendous growth.
“The last six-and-a-half years at Hulu have been nothing short of life-changing and wonderful. I’ve been so proud and inspired by our work and now I can’t wait to be a fan,” she added. “I’m filled with enormous gratitude for Dana Walden, Peter Rice, Kelly Campbell and, most importantly, Craig Erwich, my biggest advocate and mentor.”