Novel, the UK-based studio that has become Europe’s largest independent podcast producer on the back of a host of acclaimed, award-winning and globally chart-topping podcasts made for partners including Wondery, iHeart, Spotify, Amazon, the BBC and more, announces the hiring of Neil Krishnan as their new Head of TV and Film. Krishnan joins from his role as Director of Creative Acquisitions for Universal Studio Group, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies.
Krishnan brings a keen eye for exceptional stories and the creative vision necessary to shepherd the company’s slate of audio projects into the Hollywood landscape. As Director of Creative Acquisitions for Universal Studio group, he was instrumental in finding and landing undeniable IP across NBCUniversal’s four television studios and approximately 200 talent deals, and was a key player in closing several competitive IP projects across books, graphics novels, and podcasts.
Previously, Krishnan worked as a creative executive at Erik Feig’s PICTURESTART, an independent multimedia studio that produces and finances stories rooted in self-discovery for all mediums. Recent releases have include Cooper Raiff’s Cha Cha Real Smooth for Apple TV+ and the upcoming adaptation of Luckiest Girl Alive for Netflix. Prior to his work at PICTURESTART, Krishnan began his career in business strategy with stints at Bain & Company, Microsoft, and Netflix before making the leap to the creative side of Hollywood. A vocal advocate of those from marginalized backgrounds, Krishnan seeks to amplify and elevate underrepresented voices and perspectives through his work.
With robust experience in both creative development and production, and strategy, his wealth of experience is especially suited to take on the newly-created role of Head of TV and Film at Novel. Krishnan says, “I was immediately blown away by Novel’s bold approach to story, incredible access to original journalism, and unyielding ambition. I’m thrilled to utilize both my creative and business backgrounds as I help grow the already burgeoning Novel brand across the podcast, film and TV landscapes.”
Sean Glynn, CEO of Novel, says, “Novel is on a rapid expansion journey. The exploitation of our IP beyond podcasting is a key part of our future as we increasingly look to self-fund, in addition to working with our partners. Neil is going to be integral to this and we couldn’t be happier.”
Matt O’Mara, Managing Director, says, “From the moment we met Neil we were taken aback by both his excitement about Novel and his incredible dual creative/commercial outlook, which is rare. It’s fantastic that Neil has joined the business and will bring with him his vast experience and a huge number of industry connections.”
Today’s announcement is Novel’s latest in its series of top-level podcast industry talent hires: since March, Novel has announced the hires of Julie Shapiro as Executive Creative Director (formerly of PRX and Radiotopia), Austin Mitchell as Creative Director, Production (formerly of New York Times’ The Daily), Mythili Rao as Managing Editor (formerly of the Guardian’s Today In Focus), and Indira Birnie as Head of Marketing and Communications (formerly of Penguin Random House).
Now with over 40 staff and a thriving partnership with United Talent Agency, Novel is primed to meet the demands of its ambitious repertoire of content planned throughout 2022 and beyond. The company is already exploring adaptation possibilities across its varied slate, including for its recent releases The Superheroes Complex, and Deliver Us From Ervil, made in partnership with iHeart Media.