The ITV drama chiefs responsible for bringing Downton Abbey to the network are leaving the estate. Director of drama Laura Mackie and controller of drama Sally Haynes will exit the broadcaster at the end of June to launch their own production company. Steve November, who’s currently head of drama series, will take over as interim acting director of drama. Mackie and Haynes, who worked together at the BBC before moving to ITV in 2006, helped the company boost its period drama fortunes with ratings hit Downton and recently launched Jeremy Piven-starrer Mr Selfridge. Their other credits include Vera, Lost In Austen, DCI Banks, Marchlands and Appropriate Adult. ITV director of television Peter Fincham said today, “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.” November, whose commissioning slate includes Law And Order, Whitechapel and new three-parter Life Of Crime, will oversee drama commissioning with immediate effect.
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