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ITV Drama Executives Behind 'Downton Abbey' to Launch Production Firm

Shirley MacLaine in Downton Abbey - H 2012

UPDATED: Laura Mackey, the British TV company's director of drama, and controller of drama commissioning Sally Haynes will depart midyear.

LONDON -- Two top drama executives at U.K. TV networks company ITV, who brought hit show Downton Abbey to its flagship channel, will leave the company midyear to launch their own production firm.

Laura Mackie, ITV's director of drama, and Sally Haynes, controller of drama commissioning, will depart at the end of June.

Under the pair's leadership, ITV has seen success with a range of dramas, including recently launched Mr Selfridge, starring Jeremy Piven.

ITV's head of drama serials, Steve November, will take over as acting director of drama until a permanent successor is named.

“Sally and I have loved our seven years at ITV and are incredibly proud of the dramas that we've commissioned, former BBC executive Mackie said.  

Said Peter Fincham, ITV director of television: “Laura and Sally have had a tremendous run at ITV, and their legacy is an incredibly strong drama slate for 2013 and beyond. We're going to miss them, but we wish them all the very best for their exciting new venture and look forward to working with them again.”

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai