People/Biz

Jane Street Ent boosts development with Davies, Varela

The New York-based prodco has named Gemma Davies (pictured) as its VP of development, while John Varela joins as director of development.
November 12, 2014

New York-based prodco Jane Street Entertainment has hired Gemma Davies (pictured) to be its VP of development and John Varela to serve as director of development.

Davies, formerly a producer with Boundless Productions, will head the development team and report to Jane Street co-founders Donna MacLetchie and Linda Lea, while Varela will report to Davies. Jane Street is known for food-centric programming such as Rachael vs. Guy for Food Network, with other series including RowHouse Showdown for FYI, and Young, Hot and Crooked for Investigation Discovery.

In her new role, Davies will oversee the development of original docuseries and formats for both U.S. broadcast and cable networks, while managing the company’s development team.

Meanwhile, Varela – who previously served as director of development at Andrew Jenks Entertainment – will take on the same role at Jane Street, supporting the company’s development of docuseries and formats.  Prior to Andrew Jenks, Varela worked in development at MTV Networks in the comedy, animation and reality departments.

Prior to joining Jane Street, Davies served as a talent and development producer for FremantleMedia-owned Boundless Productions, as well as TwoFour Broadcast. Her credits include Choccywoccydoodah (UKTV), Magaluf Weekender (ITV), Holiday Hit Squad (BBC1), Britain’s Biggest Hoarders (BBC1) and the forthcoming Taking New York (Channel 4).

“Heading our development team requires special skills – it’s not enough, at Jane, to just come up with a format. We don’t do gimmicks. Every one of our shows has to have a real respect for storytelling,” said MacLechtie, co-founder and executive at Jane Street, in a statement.

“Gemma absolutely embodies that,” she continued. “She is one of the most inventive and nuanced developers we’ve encountered in a long time, and an amazing manager to boot.”

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