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Netflix hires UK features director 

Netflix has hired its first exec to be tasked with seeking out published and performed material to turn into shows and movies.

Former Channel 4 and Film 4 exec Fiona Lamptey has joined the SVoD as director of UK features, with a brief to source books, plays and other material as well as to identify emerging British talent.

Lamptey, who spent 13 years at Channel 4 and Film4 , launched talent hub Fruit Tree Media in 2016 to champion underrepresented voices and stories. Last year, she was identified as a future leader in film through Film London’s leadership initiative and sits on the BAFTA film committee and the BAFTA Learning and New Talent Committee.

Lamptey recently wrapped filming a sci-fi miniseries for Film 4 and is producing Debbie Tucker Green’s feature film Ear for Eye.

ITV prepares for more non-linear commissioning 

ITV is preparing to refocus its commissioning to look beyond the linear schedule to capitalise on the increasing appetite for streamed content.

Director of television Kevin Lygo will run two distinct divisions: Media and Entertainment, and Broadcasting. He will work with commissioning editors to order original content for ITV Hub, Hub+ and pan-broadcaster on-demand service Britbox, including spin-off shows, bingeable series and episodes of lengths that do not fit the constraints of the linear schedule.

Sitting within the Media and Entertainment division will be an On-Demand unit dedicated to product development and marketing and run by chief marketing officer Rufus Radcliffe.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said the move, which echoes similar plans within BBC commissioning, reflected her desire to cater for young and hard-to-reach audiences and would enable ITV to capitalise on the acceleration of streamed viewing.

Channel 4 defends Michael Jackson doc follow-up

Channel 4 has defended Leaving Neverland director Dan Reed in the face of Michael Jackson’s companies’ objections to a planned follow-up documentary.

According to Deadline, Reed has been filming in a US court with two of the subjects of his film, who are fighting MJJ Productions and MJJ Ventures over their claims of sexual abuse by Jackson.

The companies have issued subpoenas in a bid to force Reed and his company Amos Pictures to stop filming and to serve up unpublished materials from the film, leading Channel 4 head of news and current affairs Louisa Compton to state: “As much as they may dislike the messages that are being conveyed by these documentaries, we strenuously oppose their efforts to ‘shoot the messenger’.”

Compton added: “The motives of the MJJ companies are further revealed by their attempt to ban Reed from filming in the courtroom and thereby prohibit him from getting footage to report on the proceedings. We oppose these efforts to suppress journalism by preventing Reed from further informing the public about these matters of vital public importance.”

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