ITV drama topper steps down

Mackie to set up shop as indie producer

LONDON

U.K. drama topper Laura Mackie, who commissioned “Downton Abbey,” is quitting British web ITV to set up as an independent producer, taking her deputy, Sally Haynes, with her.

It’s a blow to ITV, which has seen a revival in its drama shows, but symptomatic of the times. Increasingly, senior commissioners are quitting broadcasters to join the potentially more lucrative world of independent production.

Steve November, ITV’s head of drama series, will take over as acting director of drama.

Mackie and Haynes will finish projects that have already been greenlit before their departure in June.

ITV’s director of television, Peter Fincham, said, “Laura and Sally have had a tremendous run at ITV and their legacy is an incredibly strong drama slate for 2013 and beyond.”

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