Exec returning to role as TV producer

ITV director of entertainment Paul Jackson, former head of Granada America, is ankling at the end of the year to return to making programs.

Speculation regarding Jackson’s future has been rife since the arrival of director of TV Peter Fincham in May.

Fincham, whose background is also in entertainment, succeeded Simon Shaps. He had appointed Jackson at ITV. Shaps and Jackson also worked together at Granada.

Praising Jackson, Fincham said, “He committed to the role for three years and has commissioned and overseen some of the network’s biggest and best program, including ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ and ‘Benidorm,’ while taking ‘Dancing on Ice’ and ‘The X Factor’ from strength to strength. I am very grateful for his support and look forward to working with him in his next venture.”

For his part Jackson said, “We have had a challenging and exciting ride since the new entertainment and comedy team came together, and it has been a blast to work with some of the best professionals you will find in U.K. television.”

Jackson, a former head of the BBC’s entertainment empire, helped launch Granada shows like “Nanny 911″ for Fox in the U.S. and has also worked in Oz as managing director of Granada Media Australia and CEO of Red Heart Prods., Granada’s Australian production joint venture with the Seven Network.

He was the first director of programs at the now-defunct ITV station Carlton Television, prior to which he worked as a distinguished entertainment producer helping to reinvent British TV comedy in the ’80s.

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