Sony Pictures Television Networks’ VP of children’s and youth programming, Sarah Muller, is set to rejoin BBC Children’s as head of acquisitions and animation. The role was previously held by Jackie Edwards before she left to lead the British Film Institute’s Young Audiences Content Fund in February.
The former BBC exec will return to the BBC’s Salford office in a couple of months to head acquisitions and animation for CBBC and CBeebies. In her new role, Muller will also be looking for live-action acquisitions for both channels.
Muller served as creative director for scripted, animation and co-productions at CBBC two and a half years ago. She spent nearly a decade at BBC, also serving as head of acquisitions, animation and drama development for the channel. During her tenure, Muller commissioned animated and live-action projects including Danger Mouse, Strange Hill High, Creeped Out, Wolfblood, The Dumping Ground, The Worst Witch, Tracy Beaker Returns and Just William.
After leaving the British pubcaster she moved to the top children’s position at Viacom-owned UK net Channel 5 and its preschool block Milkshake! She then took the reins at Sony Pictures Television Networks in January 2018 as its VP of kids programming where she led the company’s linear kids brands, POP, Tiny Pop and POP MAX, as well as AVOD service POP FUN.
Edwards, meanwhile, served as head of acquisitions and independent animation for BBC Children’s from 2015 until earlier this year. She originally joined the BBC in 2008 as content manager for CBeebies and later worked as an executive producer on shows including Tree Fu Tom, Octonauts, and Clangers.
Now, as head of the BFI’s US$75-million, three-year Young Audiences Content Fund, she’s leading the charge to diversify the kids public service broadcast landscape in the UK. The Fund opened for submissions earlier this month and will support production and development funding for content that targets audiences up to 18 years old in both animation and live-action across all genres, including entertainment, education, comedy, drama, arts and culture and factual and religion.