ITV importing U.S. fare for fall


LONDON -- 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.

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

Under head of acquisitions Jay Kandola and director of programs Simon Shaps, Britain's leading commercial broadcaster, has been looking to acquire a major U.S. acquisition for primetime for some time, following the success of such shows as "Desperate Housewives" and "Ugly Betty" on terrestrial nets here. Last year, Kandola picked up the J.J. Abrams project "Six Degrees," but it is unlikely to air on ITV1 here after being canceled.

Hopes for the supernatural drama "Pushing 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, who won early fame in the coming-of-age drama "This Life." "Swingtown" also will air on ITV3.

Kandola said the shows were "the perfect fit" for ITV's family of channels and "epitomize a fresh and unique style of programming from some of the most innovative producers and credible stars in American broadcasting."