Universal International Studios (UIS) has appointed Tesha Crawford as SVP, Global Scripted Series.

Based in London, Crawford will report into UIS President, Beatrice Springborn.

Crawford’s focus will be on expanding the studio’s scripted slate in the UK and Europe. She will be responsible for scouting and packaging new projects for UIS and supporting its portfolio of deals, talent and projects. She will also head up the studio’s UK-based creative team.

Crawford joins UIS from Netflix, where she spent the past six years working across international original series and was one of the first content executives hired on the then Netflix International Originals team. She started in Latin America, building the platform’s slate of originals including La Casa De Las Flores (The House of Flowers), Ingobernable, 3%, Coisa Mais Linda (Girls from Ipanema) and Sintonia. She then relocated to Amsterdam to lead the company’s first dedicated Nordics series team, developing and overseeing series such as Quicksand, Ragnarok, Home for Christmas, The Chestnut Man, Snabba Cash, Young Wallander, The Playlist, Young Royals and more. Most recently based in London, she worked across global franchise series, overseeing shows deriving from large scale IP such as The Witcher and Millarworld.

Prior to joining Netflix, Crawford held the role of SVP of Scripted Development at Superb Entertainment in New York, developing and packaging shows for the likes of Lionsgate, FOX and YouTube Red. Prior to that, she worked at MARVEL Live Television, running creative and attaching talent to series such as Jessica JonesDaredevil and Luke Cage.

Crawford will partner with Kelsey Balance, SVP, Global Scripted Series, who leads the US-based team in LA, across all global territories to build on the studio’s talent partnerships, unearth more global IP and curate an intentional slate for buyers. Most recently, Balance has shepherded projects such as The Plotters with Soo Hugh, Apples Never Fall with Heyday Television, which is heading to Peacock and The Day of the Jackal, which is being reimagined with Carnival Films for Sky and Peacock.

Beatrice Springborn, President, Universal International Studios says: “Tesha is such a force and is so respected for her exceptional taste and eye for identifying great global talent. We’re thrilled to have her join the UIS family and look forward to her and Kelsey forging a powerhouse dynamic to bring even more exciting voices and stories to global audiences.”

Crawford adds: “I am so excited to be joining UIS. Beatrice has such a strong vision for the creative team that greatly aligns with what I have always believed in when making shows. This is a unique moment in the industry, which is evolving globally more and more each day. So as the studio continues to break ground with its programming and partnerships with global storytellers, I look forward to building on its legacy as a home for creators to do their best, most innovative work without boundaries.”

Universal International Studios is home to production companies Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Matchbox Pictures, Working Title Television and Heyday Television, plus global formats division NBCUniversal Formats. The studio’s projects include the BAFTA-winning We Are Lady Parts, Everything I Know About Love, The Capture, Clickbait, Everyone Else Burns, Made in Chelsea, That’s My Jam starring Mo Gilligan, The Real Housewives franchise, plus upcoming series Belgravia: The Next Chapter, Hot Air starring Andrew Garfield and Bad Behaviour, which will have its international premiere at the 2023 Berlinale Series. UIS has also fostered strategic partnerships with storytellers such as Quoc Dang Tran, Home Team and Buendía Estudios.

Jon Creamer

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