Universal International Studios Appoints Ed Havard to Lead Unscripted

Universal International Studios has promoted Ed Havard to lead its unscripted efforts as senior VP of creative, unscripted programming.

Based in London and reporting into head of studio David O’Donoghue, Havard will be responsible for leading the studio’s unscripted strategy in the U.K., and building on strategic partnerships with creators, producers and on-screen talent to source shows with global scale and appeal. Havard most recently served as VP of creative partnerships.

In the new role, Havard will be tasked with tapping further into NBCUniversal’s talent roster and IP library, identifying new opportunities to build on the company’s unscripted brands, and fostering more creative partnerships between production subsidiaries Monkey, Matchbox Pictures, the studio’s formats division and Universal Television Alternative Studio.

Havard, who joined NBCUniversal from Channel 4 in 2019, last year fostered a development partnership between the BBC and NBCUniversal to identify and fund ambitious unscripted formats with transatlantic potential from U.K. production companies.

O’Donoghue, the newly installed head of Universal International Studios, said: “Ed is a highly respected and gifted creative executive, with a flair for identifying great shows with global potential and fostering talent both on and off screen. Under his leadership, we will supercharge our stellar unscripted business and continue to break new ground with our programming.”

Havard added: “It’s a very exciting time for Universal International Studios. The scale and ambition of unscripted programming across NBCUniversal is extraordinary. I can’t wait to drive this next phase of growth in our unscripted strategy, ensuring that UIS remains the home for the most exciting ideas and talent in the UK and international market.”

Prior to joining NBCUniversal, Havard spent seven years at Channel 4 across various roles including head of entertainment and TV events, where he built a slate of shows, including the BAFTA-winning “The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan.” He began his career at the BBC, where he went on to become the editor of BBC One’s “Question Time” and executive producer for BBC Arts and Entertainment.

Universal International Studios and Universal Alternative Studio are divisions of Universal Studio Group.