Shay Spencer.

Shay Spencer is set to join Jungle Entertainment as development manager, drama, as the company continues its expansion beyond comedy.

Spencer joins the company from FremantleMedia where she was a drama executive, working with Jo Porter on drama series such as Picnic at Hanging Rock, Wentworth and Hoges.

CEO Jason Burrows said: “When we started talking to people about the role, Shay’s name kept being mentioned as a dynamic up-and-coming star in the industry and as someone who would fit the Jungle culture perfectly.”

Jungle, known for comedies such as Sando, SquintersNo Activity and Here Come the Habibs!, has moved into the drama arena only relatively recently, starting with Mr Inbetween. Directed by Nash Edgerton, it was the only non-US drama series selected for this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Jungle also has a number of dramas in advanced development with local networks, the slate of which Spencer will play an integral role in managing and growing. Spencer will be responsible for bringing in new projects and creative teams, and will work with head writer Phil Lloyd on the existing drama slate.

One of series currently in development is a ‘Cli-Fi’ initiative which brings together climate scientists and writers to develop an anthology of stories about climate change, funded by the ABC, Create NSW, Screen Australia and University of NSW.

Spencer said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Jungle. I’ve long admired their creative approach and original programming. The opportunity to be part of growing their drama slate was something I couldn’t resist.”