Global Showbiz Briefs: Australia, Disney In India, UK Crime Channel, BBC Comedy Czar

Australia’s Network Ten Top Programmer Quits
Network Ten’s chief programming officer David Mott today fell on his sword after a steep slide in ratings and the failures of a slew of local series including Everybody Dance Now, The Shire, I Will Survive and Being Lara Bingle. A 16-year company veteran, the respected and well liked Mott said “it’s a sad day when you say goodbye to friends and colleagues. In a job where you live and die by the numbers, perhaps I’ve been luckier than most. It’s been a great ride, and I’ve loved every second of it.” The company said network head of programming Beverley McGarvey would take over Mott’s responsibilities for the time being. Successful shows Mott commissioned include MasterChef, Australian Idol, The Biggest Loser, Thank God You’re Here, Big Brother, Offspring and Puberty Blues. In the first half of 2012, Ten’s audience share averaged a lowly 15.9%, versus Seven with 24.7% share and Nine at 22.7%.

India Approves Disney Investment
India approved a $180 million foreign direct investment plan by the Walt Disney Company as part of the finance ministry’s push to clear a backlog of investment proposals in an effort to inject some life into the economy. Disney in February acquired a controlling stake in UTV, one of India’s premier media and entertainment companies, then delisted it after spending about $375 million to buy out other investors. Disney has plans to restructure its digital assets in India to drive growth in segments like mobile, online and interactive TV, the company says on its India website.

New Commissioner Of Comedy At BBC
Shane Allen, former head of comedy at Channel 4, has been named controller of comedy commissioning at the BBC. At Channel 4, Allen had a hand in the BAFTA-nominated Friday Night Dinner and the BAFTA-winning IT Crowd and Peep Show. He also commissioned the second and third seasons of The Inbetweeners, whose feature adaptation was a smash at the box office in 2011. For the BBC, Allen will be based in London as part of the team delivering a pan-UK comedy strategy across TV, radio and online. (more…)

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