BBC Studios has appointed a pair of key executives to lead its Los Angeles production business, with Valerie Bruce promoted to general manager.
Bruce will lead BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production activities to drive commercial growth. She and her team will collaborate with the U.K. in-house production team and U.K. independent producers, including those invested in by BBC Studios, on formats and original programs for the U.S. market. Most recently, Bruce has been responsible for driving all business initiatives for the Los Angeles-based studio as executive VP, commercial director.
Sam Zoda, a seasoned television producer with over 30 years of experience across all genres, officially joins BBC Studios as executive VP of production. Zoda will oversee all unscripted production for BBC Studios out of Los Angeles, including the high-profile shows Dancing with the Stars, Life Below Zero and Top Gear America. He has worked with BBC Studios as executive in charge of production on seasons 26, 27 and 28 of Dancing with the Stars and Dancing with the Stars: Juniors. Zoda reports into Bruce.
Matt Forde, managing director of international production and formats at BBC Studios, who previously oversaw the Los Angeles business, said, “Our Los Angeles production business is growing rapidly with a trio of franchise shows under the Life Below Zero banner, a new Top Gear America for MotorTrend, Dancing with the Stars, as well as a number of other shows in the pipeline on the unscripted side. In scripted, we have two network pilots, This Country at FOX and Ghosts at CBS, in the works, along with Call Me Kat headed straight to series on FOX. Valerie is the perfect executive to take BBC Studios to the next level. Her strategic vision, business acumen and talent relations expertise, united with Sam’s industry insight, critical judgment and established production experience will prove to be a powerful combination and a successful team.”