U.S. returning to ITV primetime

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ITV has picked up the Warner Bros. series "Pushing Daisies" and the CBS family drama "Swingtown" for its flagship channel ITV1, the first time the commercial broadcaster has attempted to put U.S. series into primetime in more than a decade (HR 6/7).

The network also has acquired the CBS-distributed dramas "Cane" and "Swingtown" for its digital network ITV3.

Under head of acquisitions Jay Kandola and director of programs Simon Shaps, Britain's top commercial broadcaster has been looking for a while to acquire a major U.S. show for primetime following the success of such shows as "Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty" here. Last year, Kandola picked up the J.J. Abrams project "Six Degrees," but it is unlikely to air after being canceled in the U.S.

Hopes for the supernatural drama "Daisies" are running high, however, because the show features U.K. talent in former soap actress Anna Friel. The series also will window on general entertainment digital channel ITV2.

Likewise, "Swingtown" features Jack Davenport, an Englishman who won early fame on BBC coming-of-age drama "This Life."

Kandola said the shows "epitomize a fresh and unique style of programming from some of the most innovative producers and credible stars in American broadcasting."
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