After departing Channel 5 in February as head of the British free-to-air broadcaster’s preschool programming block Milkshake!, Jessica Symons has re-emerged as managing director of her own independent children’s prodco, Ivy House Productions.
The new company has several live-action, animated and puppetry shows in development for preschoolers and tweens, including a Greek drama series produced in partnership with Channel 5′s former children’s controller, Nick Wilson, and UK-based creator and illustrator Malou Bonicos (The Beeps).
During her 10-year career at Viacom-owned Channel 5, Symons was responsible for developing and acquiring hundreds of hours of children’s programs, as well as commissioning original series including series like Dave’s Dinosaurs, Wissper, Shane the Chef and Winnie and Wilbur.
Under Symon’s watch, Milkshake! secured its highest viewing figures on record, including its best-ever share of kids viewing last year. She also produced, wrote and directed numerous in-house shows, created several successful live music events and launched Milkshake! Magazine and the Milkshake! VOD app on Youview.
Prior to becoming C5′s children’s boss in 2012, she served as the network’s commissioning editor and manager of children’s.
Her pre-C5 work was in theater management and script supervision on feature films and in television production.