Adams out amid Granada Oz shuffle

Production topper job cut latest in restructuring

SYDNEY — Production topper George Adams has exited Granada Prods. Australia in the latest round of restructuring.

Move follows the departure of co-founder and chairman Steve Vizard in December and the promotion of CEO Australia Paul Jackson to international entertainment and formats topper at Granada’s U.K. HQ last month.

Former business affairs manager Peter Davey, who replaced Jackson, said the production topper role — responsible for sourcing new projects from external producers — had been cut because “this general approach has not translated into real commissions.”

“On the other hand, we have a very strong development and production slate for 2002, which has been driven overwhelmingly from internal resources and selected external relationships. We intend to reduce our reliance on the general approach and are looking to strengthen our genre teams and will likely recruit another executive producer in the entertainment and formats division.”

Granada has struggled to rebuild its slate following the failed Red Heart production joint venture with the Seven Network, dismantled in March 2001. The last local sale for Granada Australia, which produced three hit series of “SeaChange,” was 13-part schoolroom sitcom “Sit Down, Shut Up” in mid-2000.

Last year, the division produced two episodes of hit Brit drama “Cold Feet” and the six-part BBC2 comedy “Dossa and Joe” (unsold in Oz).

In January, Jackson assured Daily Variety his promotion would “allow me to act as a better hinge between talent here and the U.K. market.”

Affiliated division Cox Knight Prods. has the kid drama “Worst Best Friends” in production and the miniseries “After the Deluge” in development, both for Network Ten. It’s also about to pilot the drama “Crash Burn.”

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