ITV puts Mitz on lookout for U.S. shows


LONDON -- ITV director of television Simon Shaps has wooed former Channel 4 acquisitions executive Rick Mitz to be the broadcaster's Los Angeles-based senior vp American programming for ITV1 and its three digital channels.

The move, announced Wednesday, will reunite Mitz with ITV director of acquisitions Jay Kandola, who was previously deputy head of acquisitions at Channel 4, as well as with ITV executive chairman Michael Grade, who hired Ritz at Channel 4 when Grade was its chief executive in the 1990s.

During his 13-year tenure as a consultant for Channel 4, Ritz was involved in spotting such shows as "E.R.," "Friends," "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives."

He will be responsible for helping ITV grow its U.S. fare, which has delivered ratings success for its digital networks.

"Acquired programming plays an increasingly important role across ITV's family of channels," Shaps said. "What we have in Rick is not just someone with great contacts but someone who understands the creative workings of Hollywood and knows what makes a quality program."