Bad Robot Exec Ben Stephenson Launches Scripted Label at ITV Studios

Bad Robot’s head of television Ben Stephenson is leaving the company to launch his own as yet-unnamed transatlantic scripted label at ITV Studios.

Rachel Rusch Rich will step in as president at Bad Robot, promoted from her role as EVP.

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Stephenson’s label, which will focus on high-end premium drama, will be based in London and Los Angeles with Stephenson working between both locations. ITV Studios will distribute for the new label.

In L.A., Stephenson will benefit from the ITV Studios U.S. infrastructure, which is headed by Philippe Maigret.

Stephenson has been head of television at Bad Robot since 2015, where he has developed and exec produced shows including “Westword,” “LoveCraft Country” and “Challenger,” among other shows. Before joining Bad Robot he spent nine years at the BBC as controller of drama commissioning. Among shows he oversaw at the BBC were “Luther,” “Sherlock” and “The Fall.”

“We wish Ben the very best in his new endeavor and appreciate all he has brought to Bad Robot,” Bad Robot founder JJ Abrams said in a statement. “Though his wit, warmth and creativity will be missed, we are thrilled to elevate Rachel Rusch Rich from EVP to her new role as President, Bad Robot TV. Rachel and her team will continue to oversee our robust slate of projects, working with our incredible creative partners.”

Stephenson said: “I have had the most amazing time at Bad Robot and will be forever grateful to JJ, Katie and Brian and the whole team at Bad Robot, as well as our partners at Warners. It’s been a once in a lifetime opportunity and I have truly never learnt so much or worked with such kind and talented partners. I will miss everyone profoundly. But now is the time to forge my own company and I am very grateful to Julian and the whole team at ITV Studios for supporting my ambition to create a genuinely international company in the US and the UK.”

Julian Bellamy, managing director ITV Studios, added: “Ben is one of the most talented drama executives in the business. His fingerprints are across some of the best, most memorable drama series in global television from Westworld to Sherlock. I’m delighted ITV Studios will be Ben’s partner for his next big chapter – an ambitious new transatlantic venture dedicated to producing truly world class drama.”

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