Stuart Murphy has been Director, Sky Entertainment Channels since 2013, with overall responsibility for Sky1, Sky Living, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, Challenge and Pick TV, as well as the commissioning teams in Comedy, Drama, Factual and Entertainment. He is a board member of Jaunt, a tech start up in San Francisco.
Stuart joined Sky as Director of Programmes, Sky1 in May 2009. He reduced the number of shows on Sky1 by a third, increased the cost per hour and as a result improved peak ratings in the first 12 months by 37%. He moved the channel in favour of commissions over US shows, and Sky1 now commissions more hours of drama than Channel4. Sky1 hits included Got To Dance (which sold to 8 territories including CBS), An Idiot Abroad (now in 37 territories and the third highest rating show on Sky1 in 20 years), BAFTA winning A League Of Their Own (in season 8), Stella (the highest rating UK comedy in Pay TV and BAFTA nominated), Mad Dogs (BAFTA nominated), Pineapple Dance Studios (BAFTA nominated), Moone Boy (winner of an International Emmy Award and 3 IFTA’s) and Modern Family. Strike Back, An Idiot Abroad and Treasure Island were the first Sky originations to be nominated for Emmy’s. In 2011 Sky1 won Channel of the Year for the first time ever.
In September 2010 he was made Director of Commissioning, responsible for originations across the Sky wholly owned channel portfolio.
In February 2011 he launched Sky Atlantic, the result of a multi year exclusive output deal between Sky and HBO. He commissioned Hunderby (winner 2 British Comedy Awards and BAFTA nominated), Paul Abbott drama Hit + Miss starring Chloe Sevigny, and Steve Coogan’s Places Of My Life (BAFTA winning). Within a year Sky Atlantic became responsible for 15% of all new subscribers joining Sky.
In April 2012, he was appointed Director, Entertainment Channels. In this period, Sky Living comedy Doll and Em became the first Sky show ever to be sold to HBO, A Touch of Cloth won Best Comedy at the Broadcast Awards, A Young Doctor’s Notebook Best Multichannel Programme and An Act of Killing won a BAFTA Film Award as well as being nominated for an Oscar, David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive won a BAFTA and The Green Prince doc opened Sundance.
Previous roles Stuart has held include Creative Director at Twofour Productions; Creative Director at RDF and the first Controller of BBC Three, commissioning Little Britain, Gavin and Stacey, Torchwood, Nighty Night and Bodies. Under his Controllership, BBC Three won Broadcast and MGEITF Channel of the Year. Before then he ran BBC Choice, UK Play and worked on shows such as The Sunday Show, Great Railway Journeys, The Big Breakfast and Reportage.
He went to school in Leeds, studied Geography at Clare College, Cambridge and has two sons.