FREE! Join WUCF for a conversation with Susanne Simpson, executive producer of the iconic PBS drama series MASTERPIECE.

You’ll learn more about the production process, visit with a few of our favorite shows, and get an exclusive sneak peek into what’s coming up on MASTERPIECE in 2023.

Susanne Simpson is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and two-time Emmy® winner for her documentary and dramatic films for television and theater. Since joining MASTERPIECE in 2007, Simpson has been responsible for such programs as Sherlock, Victoria, and Downton Abbey, and more recently as Executive Producer, All Creatures Great and Small, Sanditon, and Miss Scarlet and The Duke. Susanne Simpson was named Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE in 2019.

This event is held in partnership with WUCF as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations.

WUCF PBS logo.   PBS Masterpiece logo.

Behind-the-Scenes with PBS MASTERPIECE


Susanne Simpson

Executive Producer of MASTERPIECE

As executive producer of MASTERPIECE, the iconic PBS drama series, Susanne Simpson commissions original U.K. productions, including the upcoming “Tom Jones” with Hannah Waddingham, Jane Austen’s “Sanditon”, and “Magpie Murders”, written by Anthony Horowitz and starring Lesley Manville. Simpson co-produces many U.K. programs such as “All Creatures Great and Small”, “Around the World in 80 Days”, and the long-running detective series “Endeavour” and “Unforgotten”. She is currently developing “Miss Austen”, adapted by Andrea Gibb for Bonnie Productions, as well as other series. Simpson is a two-time Academy Award® nominee and two-time Emmy®-winner for documentary and dramatic films. As an executive producer of “Downton Abbey”, Simpson was in charge of all aspects of the U.S. broadcast of the most watched drama in PBS history and recipient of 59 Emmy® nominations and 12 wins. She also oversaw co-productions such as “Sherlock”, “Wolf Hall”, and “Victoria”. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, the Television Academy, and former member of WGA, East. Simpson is the executive producer of MASTERPIECE Studio, a podcast with more than 20 million downloads since 2016.

BaBette Davidson

President & CEO of The Programming Service

BaBette joined the Program Service in 2000 after serving as Program Manager at Georgia Public Television (GPTV). Prior to that she was Director of Special Projects/Corporate Communications at WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to all the programming functions while at GPTV, she was also executive producer of on-air fundraising, managed the Ready-To-Learn initiative, supervised all communication and viewer services and the promotion area. She currently serves on the PBS Content Services Committee, PBS Fundraising, Research and the Children’s Advisory Committees. She is also a member of the PBS Kids Station Leadership Committee. BaBette has also served on the PBS Communications Advisory Committee and the CPB Prime Time Research Initiative Task Force. She is a past president of the Public Television Programmer’s Association and recipient of the Programmer of the Year Award. BaBette is frequently seen as a national talent on pledge programs. She has enjoyed more than 30 years in the public broadcasting family.