Bentley recently joined Anne Mensah’s Bridgerton and The Crown division as Manager, UK Series, focusing on overseeing shows coming out of the UK. He reports to Mona Qureshi and is an addition to the team.
Bentley joined Netflix from AC Chapter One, the drama indie backed by Anonymous Content, Casarotto Ramsay and United Agents of which he was a founding member with Sophie Gardiner five years ago, at which point it was called Chapter One Pictures. Former ITV Studios drama lead Patrick Spence has since taken over.
Having worked with Jack Thorne on BAFTA-nominee Kiri and National Treasure prior to Chapter One, he was EP on the prolific British scribe’s Michael Sheen and Sharon Horgan-starring BBC drama Best Interests, which aired earlier this year and told the heartwrenching story of a married couple fighting for their disabled daughter’s medical care.
He was also EP on Netflix’s Boy Swallows Universe, the soon-to-launch Australian series about a young working class boy who enters Brisbane’s underground world in order to save his mother’s life from danger. AC Chapter One is also making a Nick Payne feature adaptation of cookbook Breadsong.
Prior to AC Chapter One, Bentley worked in the BBC drama commissioning team and, before that, Kiri producer The Forge. He kickstarted his career on No Offence and EastEnders.
Led by Mensah, Netflix’s UK drama commissioning team consists of the likes of former BBC drama commissioner Qureshi, former Element Pictures exec Anna Ferguson and Alice Pearse.
Upcoming shows include One Day and a drama series about the Lockerbie bombing co-produced with the BBC, although mega-hits The Crown, Top Boy and Sex Education are all coming to an end after their upcoming seasons, leading to the potential for creative renewal.
The team were out in full force during last week’s Edinburgh TV Festival, with Mensah addressing the commissioning slowdown that has hit the UK market in the face of shifting streamer economics by pointing to the “consistency” Netflix has shown by investing an annual $1.5BN on UK content over recent years. Commissioners also called on producers to pitch more shows featuring iconic women.