Ta to Matt Drzymala for sending us this link from the “excellent” Media Guardian. Paul Jackson, general Important Person in 80s comedy, and Executive Producer of the first three series of Dwarf (which was also made by his production company, PJP, throughout the same period) has turned down running ITV’s operations in America; the big names. This leaves Carlton’s director of programmes, Steve Hewlett, and Carlton America’s chief executive, Stephen Davis, as the leading internal candidates to head ITV plc’s US arm, which will be called Granada America. (Little bit of cut and pasting, there.)
Meanwhile, Jackson himself should finish his secondment to Granada America this coming March; recently he has been in charge of the American version of IACGMOOH for ABC, and a pilot for a US version of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. (Due to shoot this month – in the UK with an American audience, bizzarely.) It is unknown what he plans to do after this; ITV plc will undoubtedly offer him some form of job – whether he takes it or not is another matter.
I was going to put a big rant here about how the whole concept of ITV plc (which will be the eventual name of the company created by the Granada and Carlton merger) is a pile of bollocks, but frankly I can’t be arsed. Suffice to say that getting rid of your unique selling point as a broadcaster (ie. regionality) seems an incredibly stupid thing to do. ITV currently is summed up by their idents – well, I was going to say bland, but crap is nearer the mark. The more the different franchises have merged, the worse the channel has become – I see no reason why this trend should not continue.
We were going to point you towards Paul’s Mr. Flibble interview, but unfortunately when we tried, we got “Windows NT error number 2 occurred.” Windows NT, there. Check it out when it’s fixed, if you haven’t read it – it’s rather interesting.