Discovery Channel U.S. has appointed former ITV commissioning editor Andrew O’Connell (pictured) to the post of VP of development and production, effective July 11.
Based in Discovery’s UK offices, O’Connell will work alongside the UK production community and is tasked with generating factual formats for the U.S. market.
He will report to Discovery’s executive VP of production and development Denise Contis and will also collaborate with Discovery Networks International’s development and production team.
A commissioning editor at ITV since 2014, O’Connell was responsible for greenlighting such factual programming as Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, Sugar Free Farm, Rookies, Britain’s Favourite Dogs and Life at the Extreme. He departed from the broadcaster in May.
Prior to this, he spent four years at Channel 5 as head of news, current affairs and factual, where he was responsible for commissioning a raft of series including Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railways, Trauma Doctors, World’s Biggest Pets and Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol.
O’Connell also served as commissioning editor of factual and acting director of programs at Sky1 between 2005 and 2009, where he developed and extended Ross Kemp’s work in the doc space through such series as Ross Kemp on Gangs and Ross Kemp in Afghanistan.