UCP President Dawn Olmstead Joins Anonymous Content As CEO

Peter White
·4 min read

Dawn Olmstead is leaving UCP after six years to become chief executive officer of Anonymous Content.

Olmstead, who was promoted to president of the Mr Robot and The Umbrella Academy producer in November 2018, when she was the only solo female head of a traditional TV studio overseeing both scripted and unscripted content, will join the True Detective producer before the end of the year.

The move follows the death of Anonymous Content founder and CEO Steve Golin in April 2019.

Separately, former HBO exec David Levine, who joined Anonymous Content as President of Television last year, has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer, reporting to Olmstead.

Olmstead’s departure from the NBCUniversal studio is the latest executive change for the company. It follows the appointment of Universal Television president Pearlena Igbokwe as chairman, Universal Studio Group, overseeing Universal Television, UCP and NBCUniversal International Studios.

A source tells Deadline that an executive search for Olmstead’s replacement has begun with Olmstead working on the transition through Thanksgiving. A search for a new head of Universal Television and NBCUniversal International Studios, following the departure of Jeff Wachtel, are also understood to be underway.

Olmstead, during her time at UCP, has worked closely with the Anonymous Content team on series including Homecoming and Mr Robot. The latter was the first project Olmstead worked on at the studio and she subsequently worked with the management and production company on two further Sam Esmail projects, Peacock dramas Angelyne with Emmy Rossum and a reboot of Battlestar Galactica.

Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and president of Emerson Collective, the majority owner of Anonymous Content called Olmstead an “accomplished leader” who will “usher in a new and exciting chapter” for Anonymous. She added that she will build on Golin’s legacy and “steward” the company into a “new era of exquisite storytelling”.

“She is not only entrepreneurial, strategic, and a producer at heart, she also embodies the soul of Anonymous Content—original, ambitious, boundary-pushing. Dawn is a champion of diverse storytellers and emerging voices whose work will continue to enrich our culture and excite audiences,” she added.

Olmstead paid tribute to Golin’s work, saying he had “built a special place that cultivates emerging and established talent”. “I had the privilege of working with Steve and more recently with David Levine and the rest of the incredible team at Anonymous Content. I have seen first-hand the impact of Steve’s fearless and soulful influence on this truly unique company that seamlessly integrates top-tier talent management with premium content creation. I look forward to all that our future holds for Anonymous, and I’m thrilled to help guide that journey,” she added.

Olmstead, who had previously exec produced series including Bravo’s Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Fox’s Prison Break after stints working on Saturday Night Live and The Jon Stewart Show, joined UCP in 2014 as EVP, development. She was Co-President alongside George Cheeks before becoming sole boss in October 2018.

In addition to shepherding series for NBCU’s cable portfolio, including Bravo’s Dirty John, she branched the studio out to sell to third party streamers including Netflix with The Umbrella Academy and Hulu with The Act and upcoming projects such as The Girl from Plainville starring Elle Fanning and Candy starring Elisabeth Moss. She also worked closely with NBCU streamer on upcoming originals such as Dr. Death, starring Joshua Jackson, Alec Baldwin, and Christian Slater, and Joe Exotic, starring Kate McKinnon. On the non-scripted side, she partnered with documentary filmmakers such as Errol Morris, Joe Berlinger and Amy Ziering, to develop premium docuseries and set up podcast network UCP Audio with projects such as The Lost Kids.

“Dawn’s pioneering spirit and keen eye for identifying fresh talent has been invaluable to the growth of the UCP brand. However, this is a wonderful opportunity for her, and we couldn’t be more supportive,” said Pearlena Igbokwe, Chairman, Universal Studio Group.

Meanwhile, David Levine’s promotion will now see him oversee all creative direction for Anonymous Content’s film, branded, and television slates.

The last twelve months has seen the company produce series including Paramount Network’s Paradise Lost, Apple’s Defending Jacob and Home Before Dark and a second season of Amazon’s Homecoming.

Powell Jobs said, “David is a brilliant creative leader with impeccable taste and a fierce intellect. Since joining the company, David has injected passion and purpose into the Anonymous slate, and during a challenging year—for Anonymous and us all—his energy has been a stabilizing, inspiring force.”

Anonymous Content also has a roster of over 600 clients including directors, writers, actors, and comedians, expanded its international footprint with London-based production company Chapter One in association with Casarotto Ramsay and United Agents and formed Anonymous Content Nordic with Morten Tyldum and Guri Neby.

Its film slate includes Stillwater, directed by Tom McCarthy and starring Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin, Swan Song, written and directed by Ben Cleary and starring Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris and Midnight Sky, directed by George Clooney and starring Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, and Demián Bichir.

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