Rachel Smith Promoted to EVP of Unscripted Content at NBCUniversal

The executive stepped into the role on an interim basis following Rod Aissa’s exit in June

Rachel Smith, Executive Vice President, Unscripted Content, NBCUniversal Entertainment. (Heidi Gutman/NBCUniversal)

NBCUniversal has promoted Rachel Smith to the role of executive vice president of unscripted content for the company’s lifestyle and documentaries unit.

Smith, who has been serving in the role on an interim basis since June following Rod Aissa’s exit, will oversee all unscripted lifestyle, true crime, documentary and docuseries content development and current programming across NBCU’s entertainment portfolio, including NBC, Bravo, E!, Oxygen True Crime, Syfy, Universal Kids, USA Network and Peacock. 

She will report directly to NBCUniversal Entertainment chairman Frances Berwick.

“Rachel is an exceptional leader who has created many brand-defining original programs for NBCUniversal,” Berwick said in a statement. “Her expertise in storytelling and keen eye for intriguing personalities, arenas and trends, along with her deep relationships, make Rachel an excellent addition to our content leadership team.” 

Prior to her interim role, Smith served as EVP of unscripted development, for all lifestyle, crime and documentary programming across NBCU’s Entertainment portfolio, including Peacock’s highest-rated documentary, “Casey Anthony: Where the Truth Lies,” the Peabody Award winning documentary “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” “Queen’s Court” and “Paris in Love.”

Since joining NBCUniversal, Smith has played a key role in the development and production of series including the “Real Housewives” franchise, the “Below Deck” franchise, “Summer House,” “Southern Charm” and “Million Dollar Listing.” 

Prior to NBCU, Smith served as the vice president of original programming for BBC America, where she was responsible for the production of unscripted originals, including the Emmy Award-nominated “Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan” and “Richard Hammond’s Crash Course,” along with several specials around the “Planet Earth,” “Top Gear” and “Doctor Who” franchises.

Before that, Smith served as the Independent Film Channel’s vice president of development and production in its scripted programming unit and an executive producer for Discovery Fit and Health & Planet Green.  


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