BBC America Hires Discovery Exec Rachel Smith to Focus on Original Programming

Smith’s past shows include “Operation Wild,” “Real Housewives of Orange County”

Last Updated: January 3, 2011 @ 2:36 PM

BBC America has hired former Discovery, IFC and Bravo executive Rachel Smith, to the newly-created position of vice president of original programming, a move that signals the network's focus on — you guessed it — original programming.

Smith is the first person appointed by Perry Simon, BBC Worldwide America's general manager of channels, and will oversee non-scripted programs and work with show creators, talent, agents and writers in the U.S. and UK.

“Rachel’s appointment marks an important milestone for BBC America, as we move into the development of original programming for the channel," Simon said.

Smith joins the network from Discovery’s Planet Green where she worked on the network's original strategy and helped develop such shows as "Dresscue Me," "Dean of Invention" and "Operation Wild."

She was previously vice president of development and production for scripted programming at IFC, and manager of production and then director of development at Bravo, where she developed the original "Real Housewives of Orange County."