Universal International Studios has appointed former Netflix executive Tesha Crawford as senior VP of global scripted series.
Based in London, Crawford will report into UIS president Beatrice Springborn and focus on expanding the studio’s scripted slate in the U.K. and Europe. Crawford will be responsible for scouting and packaging new projects for UIS and supporting its portfolio of deals, talent and projects. She will also head up the studio’s U.K.-based creative team.
Crawford joins from Netflix, where she spent the last six years working across international original series and was one of the first content executives hired on the Netflix International Originals team.
The exec started in Latin America, building the platform’s slate of originals including “La Casa De Las Flores” (“The House of Flowers”), “Ingobernable,” “3%,” “Coisa Mais Linda” (“Girls from Ipanema”) and “Sintonia.”
She later relocated to Amsterdam to lead the company’s first Nordics series team, developing and overseeing series such as “Quicksand,” “Ragnarok,” “Snabba Cash” and “The Playlist.”
Most recently based in London, she worked across global franchise series, overseeing shows such as “The Witcher” and “Millarworld.”
Prior to joining Netflix, Crawford served as senior VP of scripted development at Superb Entertainment in New York, developing and packaging shows for Lionsgate, Fox and YouTube Red. Prior to that, she worked at Marvel Live Television.
Crawford will partner with Kelsey Balance, senior VP of global scripted series, who leads the U.S.-based team in Los Angeles, across all global territories. Most recently, Balance has shepherded projects such as “The Plotters” with Soo Hugh, “Apples Never Fall” with Heyday Television, which is heading to Peacock, and “The Day of the Jackal” for Sky and Peacock.
Springborn, president of Universal International Studios, said: “Tesha is such a force and is so respected for her exceptional taste and eye for identifying great global talent. We’re thrilled to have her join the UIS family and look forward to her and Kelsey forging a powerhouse dynamic to bring even more exciting voices and stories to global audiences.”
Crawford added: “I am so excited to be joining UIS. Beatrice has such a strong vision for the creative team that greatly aligns with what I have always believed in when making shows. This is a unique moment in the industry, which is evolving globally more and more each day. So as the studio continues to break ground with its programming and partnerships with global storytellers, I look forward to building on its legacy as a home for creators to do their best, most innovative work without boundaries.”
Uiversal International Studios comprises the production companies Carnival Films, Monkey Kingdom, Matchbox Pictures, Working Title Television and Heyday Television, plus global formats division NBCUniversal Formats. The studio’s projects include “We Are Lady Parts,” “Everything I Know About Love,” “The Capture,” “Clickbait,” “Everyone Else Burns,” “Made in Chelsea” and “That’s My Jam.”