Granada America (Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen,” VH1’s “Celebrity Fit Club”) has tapped programming vet Paul Buccieri as prexy-CEO.
Appointment has been in the works for months, but Buccieri had to first finalize his exit from Twentieth Television, where he formerly served as president of programming, production and development (and also had a hand in the launch of MyNetworkTV).
At Twentieth, he oversaw skeins such as “Divorce Court,” “Decision House” and “America’s Most Wanted.” He also oversaw the production of Twentieth’s series of telenovelas for MyNetTV; that ambitious slate ultimately didn’t pay off in the ratings.
Exec replaces David Gyngell, who earlier this year moved back to Australia as CEO of the Nine Network.
As prexy-chief exec, Buccieri will be charged with developing further U.S. business for ITV, which operates Granada America.
“I’ve always had a real interest in being a part of an international company where I was more directly involved,” Buccieri said. “This also gives me the opportunity to get back into producing, and being in primetime and cable, areas I’ve been in the past.”
Buccieri reports to Dawn Airey, ITV’s managing director of global content.
“This is a critical role in ensuring ITV’s international growth by creating and delivering high-quality content to American audiences,” Airey said. “Paul has a superb track record in producing hit shows for the U.S. networks. Building on the success of the team there, we want Granada America to grow even further, and I look forward to working closely with Paul to deliver that growth.”
Buccieri’s new job will also include sitting on the board of Jaffe Braunstein Entertainment, with which Granada is partnered on scripted fare in the U.S.
In addition to alternative fare, Buccieri said he hopes to bring more scripted ITV formats over to the U.S. CBS, for example, is developing a version of ITV’s “The 11th Hour” with Jerry Bruckheimer Prods., Warner Bros. and Granada Intl.
“We have a lot of those kinds of formats that we haven’t taken full advantage of,” Buccieri said.
Buccieri said he plans to expand his team in the coming months, bringing on drama development execs and expanding Granada America’s reality development department.
Buccieri moves to ITV-run Granada America just as Airey implements a new global development strategy. Under her direction, ITV development teams in the U.K., Germany, Australia and the U.S. will work together more closely to develop and produce formats around the world.
“Dawn has set a mandate that all the CEOs of the different countries work together as one team and really exploit our creative formats going to different countries,” Buccieri said. “I really think there’s a big opportunity right now here, given what Dawn Airey is implementing, using development teams as one unit. Working together, we can create a lot of quality programming.”
Before Twentieth, Buccieri was a producer based at Endemol, developing projects such as “I Want to Be a Hilton,” “The Next Great Champ” and “Anything for Love.” He also spent several years producing shows including “Penn & Teller’s Sin City Spectacular” alongside former partner Rob Weiss.
Granada America’s other productions include “Nanny 911” and “Kitchen Nightmares” at Fox; “Phenomenon” at NBC; and “SWAT” and “The First 48” at A&E.