Ruby Film & Television has appointed Helen Gregory as its first head of TV in a bid to bring its high-end drama values to the world of returning series.

Gregory produced forthcoming BBC1 drama Case Histories as a freelancer for the indie, but has now joined full time as Ruby looks to expand its slate.

Ruby managing director Paul Trijbits said the indie was pushing into “smart, sexy, long-running series developed with writers from scratch”.

Ruby is best known for its book adaptations, including Toast, Small Island and Tamara Drewe.

Trijbits added that Sky Atlantic’s ambition, and opportunities at other broadcasters such as the BBC, meant Ruby would target top-level writers to create distinctive content for longer runs, more akin to those seen in the US.

Gregory’s appointment also means the company can continue to push its plans for TV series when co-managing director Alison Owen “disappears for months to make a film”.

Gregory, who began her career script-editing on The Bill and has worked at both Channel 4 and World Productions, said the plan was to set the bar high.

“There should be no editorial divide between high-end adaptations and the likes of [Emmy-winning] Temple Grandin and returning TV series,” she said.

The six-part Case Histories, adapted by Ashley Pharoah from Kate Atkinson’s novels - Case Histories, One Good Turn and When Will There Be Good News - will air on BBC1 over three consecutive Sundays/Mondays from mid-June.

Ruby is investigating whether to turn the show into a returning brand and is in talks with Atkinson over creating more stories for the novel’s central character, detective Jackson Brodie, played by Jason Isaacs.