Graeme-Evans to o'see drama

SYDNEY — Indie producer Posie Graeme-Evans has been tapped to oversee drama at Kerry Packer’s Nine Network, a job held until this week by Kris Noble.

Graeme-Evans is creator and co-creator of the only two Oz shows to sell into the U.S. in the past 18 months — drama “McLeod’s Daughters” was picked-up by Hallmark for all its territories and kidshow “Hi-5″ is be re-made with a U.S. cast in Sydney. Both series are hits for Nine.

Nine’s once male-dominated executive ranks have been purged this past year, beginning with the sacking of topper David Leckie. Other high profile exits include Nine Films and Television topper Hugh Marks and sport chief Gary Burns.

Noble’s exit, after a decade shepherding series including “Murder Calls,” “Water Rats” and “Stingers,” follows the failure of Southern Star drama “Young Lions” to gel with auds, after a hyped mid-year launch.

Nine is Australia’s most-watched network but second-ranked Seven’s “All Saints” and Blue Heelers” are the most-watched dramas. Third-ranked Ten, under the control of Sue Masters, has emerged as a formidable challenger with twentysomething fave “The Secret Life of Us” and the strongest of four mid-year drama debuts, copshow “White Collar Blue.”

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