Fremantle’s Original Productions (OP) has brought in Jeff Stepp, formerly with Karga 7 Pictures, as its new VP of development.
In his new role, Stepp will focus on cultivating the company’s ideation of new original IP, working with the overall team from inception to series launch. He will be tasked with identifying characters, environments and narratives that lend themselves to furthering the company’s nonfiction programming, as well as partnerships that can expand OP’s production slate. Stepp reports to OP’s executive VP of programming and development, Brian Lovett, who joined the company in August.
At Karga 7 Pictures, Stepp served as the director of development, overseeing series development with partners such as Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery and A&E. He also previously spent time as a network producer at Science Channel.
Additionally, OP veteran Jeff Bumgarner is expanding his responsibilities, now serving as senior VP of programming and development. Since coming on board in May, Hasler has been further realigning the current team and bringing on board additional talent to push the company forward. Bumgarner also reports to Lovett.
“As we continue to build on OP’s brand of epic storytelling, bringing in exciting creative voices that help lead us into new creative territories will enable us to continue making compelling, genre-defining content for our platform partners and viewers,” said Jeff Hasler, president of Original Productions. “It’s important for me to look at how I can best combine new talent with our existing team members who have been shepherding the OP brand. Bringing Jeff Stepp on board, as well as expanding the role of Jeff Bumgarner, is an exciting phase for the company as we continue to push OP into new innovative realms.”