BREAKING: Former ITV drama chief Steve November who oversaw such shows as Downton Abbey and Doc Martin and was at ITV for 16 years before leaving in April in an executive shuffle, has been hired by Lionsgate. It was previously thought the executive might have been on his way to the BBC but it was announced during Lionsgate’s call with Wall Street analysts that he had been hired at the studio. The hire is seen as a coup for Lionsgate as November is widely respected.

November, who is based in London, is now creative director of UK Television for Lionsgate UK and will oversee the growth of the studio’s TV business in the UK. He will report to Lionsgate UK CEO Zygi Kamasa in London and Lionsgate TV Group Chairman Kevin Beggs stateside.

November first joined ITV as part of the commissioning team in 2008 as Head of Drama Series, overseeing a slate that included Foyle’s War and Law & Order:UK. Prior to joining ITV, he produced flagship ITV soaps Emmerdale and Coronation Street. While at ITV, he also oversaw Cold Feet.