Unscripted

Sky news: Studios chief Gary Davey to exit; “Dating No Filter” heading to Sky1

Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios — the production arm of European mediaco Sky, owned by Comcast — is stepping down from the company in summer 2021. In an internal memo ...
December 14, 2020

Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios — the production arm of European mediaco Sky, owned by Comcast — is stepping down from the company in summer 2021.

In an internal memo obtained by Realscreen, Davey (pictured) wrote: “As you will imagine, this has not been an easy decision for me, and I would only be stepping down if I believed that our business had rock-solid foundations, strong and ambitious leadership and a bright and exciting future ahead of it. All of this is true.

“Next year Sky Studios will become profitable and the year after we will open the doors to Sky Studios Elstree, a huge, long-term investment in Sky’s original content ambition, enabling us to truly fulfil our potential as we look to more than double our investment by 2024.

“All of this makes Sky Studios one of the most exciting places to work in TV, but it also makes it the right time for me to pass the reins on to a new CEO as I shift down gears to spend more time with my wife Angelica here on the farm in Sicily.”

He will continue to lead the team until a new CEO is appointed.

Davey was named CEO of Sky Studios at its launch in June 2019. Prior to that, he served as managing director of content, with responsibility for Sky’s entertainment, movies and news channels in the UK and Ireland, as well as the entire entertainment offering of Sky Deutschland where he was EVP of programming since 2011.

For the majority of his career, Davey worked as a senior executive in the international pay TV industry, holding senior roles in Europe, Asia and the U.S.

Before joining Sky Deutschland in June 2010, he held a senior role at Sky Italia, where he was responsible for launching its terrestrial TV network, cielo. He also worked as MD of BSkyB in England and CEO of Star TV in Hong Kong.

A memo from Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive at Sky, reads: “Under Gary’s leadership, Sky Studios is off to a roaring start, more than fulfilling the ambition and vision we had for the organization in the first 18 months… Despite the challenges of COVID, the business is in rude health and I couldn’t be more grateful to Gary for expertly guiding Sky Studios through this launch phase and building a strong team around him in the process.

“We will all miss Gary and his love of content, his energy and his wise counsel.”

In other news, Sky has commissioned the 8 x 30 minute factual entertainment series Dating No Filter from UK- and U.S.-based Monkey, part of NBCUniversal International Studios.

The format, licensed globally by NBCUniversal Formats and originally produced for E! in the U.S., is being adapted for UK audiences. It will air in early 2021 on Sky1 and TV streaming service Now TV.

The UK version will see a group of single individuals sent on blind dates, set up by comedians. The comics will be given some control over a range of matches and will then watch and provide commentary on the dates.

Dating No Filter joins other Sky Original entertainment shows due to air in 2021 such as A League of Their Own, Rob & Romesh Vs. and the Russell Howard Hour.

The series was commissioned by Zai Bennett, MD of content at Sky, and Phil Edgar-Jones Jones, director of Sky Arts and Entertainment. Shirley Jones is the commissioning editor.

For Monkey, Jessica Thomas and David Granger are EPs and Sarah Pack is series producer.

This marks the second international adaptation of the format, following the Polish version, which is currently airing on Polsat Café.

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