U.K.'s ITV Names Steve November Director of Drama

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The veteran executive is taking over, as current drama head Laura Mackie -- who brought "Downton Abbey" to the company -- will launch an indie production firm.

LONDON - U.K. TV networks company ITV has named Steve November its permanent director of drama.

With Laura Mackie set to leave the post midyear to launch a company, November has been serving as the firm's acting drama chief since Mackie's announcement in January. Late on Tuesday, the company confirmed him as its permanent drama head.

Mackie and Sally Haynes, ITV controller of drama commissioning, will open their own independent production company. They brought in the hit costume drama Downton Abbey, which has been one of ITV's biggest ratings hits.

A 13-year ITV veteran, November has been head of continuing drama since 2008, overseeing such shows as Whitechapel and Foyle's War. He also worked as a producer on the company's long-running soap opera Coronation Street.

Said ITV director of television Peter Fincham: "Steve will be a brilliant director of drama. He has a fantastic eye for a storyline and a keen awareness of what makes ITV drama audiences tick."

Added November, "We have an incredibly strong production community in the U.K., and I am looking forward to working with them to continue the success of our drama output."

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