UPDATE: Gareth Neame, the boss of UK independent TV producer Carnival, will oversee drama, comedy and entertainment at NBC Universal International. Neame is riding high this week. Carnival’s new ITV drama series Downton Abbey premiered last Sunday to rave reviews and attracted 7.7 million viewers plus a 30% audience share. Written by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is Gosford Park redone as a weekly TV show. NBCU acquired Carnival in 2008. It was only Carnival’s being able to draw on NBCU’s backing that tempted ITV into co-investing in the £7 million ($11 millon), 7-part show. I’m told that Neame is ambitious and quite tough. Neame and NBCU International president Michael Edelstein are now looking for three executives to build entertainment, comedy and drama respectively. Given that Neame is a drama guy, it’ll be interesting to see how much autonomy the person under him has. NBCU International appointed Edelstein 4 months ago to build towards non-US revenues of $5 billion through local TV and film production and pay-TV channel expansion. Neame’s appointment comes at a time when rival studio Time Warner is also expanding in the key market, buying Brit TV production company Shed Media for around £100 million ($159 million).
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