TV Weekly: ‘ITV will continue to broadcast shows which entertain millions of viewers…’

This week ITV have a tidy up around their business, Big Brother fans upset over never seeing the show repeated and it was a Strictly no for Steph McGovern.

ITV plan restructuring

On Monday ITV announced today that it is to restructure its broadcast business to better reflect and serve the changing viewing habits of the nation. The company will establish a new Media and Entertainment Division with two new business units – Broadcast and On-Demand.

“Our new Media and Entertainment Division will enable ITV to continue to deliver mass, live audiences while investing in the future to create the sort of content and viewing experience that younger, and other harder to reach viewers want. “ – Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO

The Broadcast business will continue to deliver ITV’s main channel offerings which reach millions of viewers. The On-Demand business unit will be the focus of digital product development and growth for ITV. It will grow the online offering by providing new content that appeals to audiences who already do most or all of their viewing on-demand and will serve it to them in whatever way they want to access it.

As well as aligning ITV’s resources and investments clearly to the two main ways of viewing, the restructure will, the company believe, drive improvements in efficiency and reduce cost.

“ITV will continue to broadcast shows which entertain millions of viewers. Most are watched live and that fact together with the scale of these audiences will continue to offer unrivalled opportunities for brands to reach consumers.

“Linear channels will be around and be profitable for many years but we also need an On-Demand business which will increasingly be the focus of our new investments in content and technology and which will be our growth engine attracting younger and more targeted audiences to ITV.” – Carolyn McCall, ITV’s CEO

ITV also plans to reduce its London office space over the coming years.


Hub of Joy

In keeping with the announcement by ITV that they will be investing more in online content the company has also announced that the ITV Hub is to launch two brand new spin off shows which premiere on the platform, offering audiences a wealth of bonus content around two of ITV’s most popular entertainment shows, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here and The Masked Singer.

I’m A Celebrity…The Daily Drop will be hosted by Vick Hope from a virtual studio with the programme offering fans an extra opportunity to delve deeper into the action from camp.

The Masked Singer: Unmasked will be hosted by self proclaimed superfan Will Njobvu, directly after the main show. Unmasked will contain an exclusive first interview with that evening’s unmasked celebrity.

Emmerdale moves to reflect the real world

We’re not sure it’s a real-world for most small Yorkshire villages, but that’s the joy of soap opera, they can do things that bring a sense of the UK to screens in the part of the world they cover.

And bosses at ITV Studios Yorkshire are apparently planning to introduce a new regular black family to reflect the current movement brought about by the BLM and BHM promotions. Although not the first regular family as we’ve already had Jessie Grant and her sons.

Emmerdale Farm as-was turned down Equity’s request in 1974, along with Coronation Street, to bring more ethnic families into their programmes. And little changed, other than bit-parts, for many years after.

The only serial on ITV at that time that did work with Equity to introduce a regular leading black family into a storyline was Birmingham’s Crossroads.

The Jamaica-born Jameson family arrived in 1974 and were part of their own storyline as well as mixing within the other plots. The series had also introduced Cleo Sylvester in the 1960s following racial tensions in Birmingham. Cleo played the adopted daughter of Meg Richardson, the shows leading character played by Noele Gordon

In the late 1970s, again while the other leading serials continued without leading black actors, Crossroads introduced two further characters who would have key storylines over the following years including a racism plot in 1983.

The arrival of EastEnders in 1985 also brought a varied mix of characters and backgrounds to screens.

It’s just taken Yorkshire and the North West in soaps to catch up with the Midlands and London.

Sources: Black In The British Frame (1998) Crossroads Fan Club (2012)

Big Issue

Big Brother is unlikely to be repeated in full it has been suggested. Katy Manley one of the top brass at its production company Initial has spoken about why its unlikely it could ever be fully rescreened.

The comments come following fans of Big Brother suggesting its archive from across Channel 4 and Channel 5 could be put onto streaming services such as Britbox for those who miss the show to relive its past glories.

“It’s a really difficult one for contributor care… People who have signed up for something ten years ago don’t necessarily envisage that their series would be played back out.” – Katy Manley, Initial

Speaking at a recent Royal Television Society panel on reality television she added that the show could maybe in some form have its archive shared in part but they would have to ‘be really careful of people’s privacy.’


BBC and Getty to better reflect diverse audiences with project

The BBC and Getty Images are partnering to create and curate a library of imagery and video of children and families to better reflect diverse audiences from all corners of the UK.

It may be, just an idea, to provide more content for the majority of people who still fork out for the telly tax, the over 50s… remember them? Homes Under The Hammer, Doctors and Rip off Britain doth not make it right.


Shriveled Monty

The Fully Monty is returning to ITV this festive season and promise to be bolder and ballsier than ever before as this time the celebrities will perform their routines on ice, in a winter wonderland spectacular – without a thermal in sight.

The class of 2020 will be led by Ashley Banjo and Coleen Nolan, joining forces once again to put them through their paces for the biggest and most daring show yet, all to raise awareness of cancers in intimate areas of the body and the crucial importance of early self-checks to help save lives.

Stepping up to reveal all on ice this year are Woman’s Hour legend Dame Jenni Murray, actress Linda Lusardi, Love Island’s Shaunghna Phillips, actress Hayley Tamaddon and This Morning’s Dr Zoe.

While baring all for the boys will be rugby star Gareth Thomas, actor Jamie Lomas, singer Jake Quickenden, jockey Bob Champion, Diversity’s Perri Kiehly and Love Island’s Chris Hughes. All have stories to tell about how cancer has touched the lives of themselves or those closest to them.


Strictly a No

Steph McGovern, whose Channel 4 show is as popular as Rolf Harris in a daycare centre, spoke this week of how she turned down BBC One’s Strictly Come Dancing due to commitments to her Steph’s Packed Lunch series.

The show only gets a ratings boost when viewers turn on in readiness for Countdown. So while now she could be all sequins, Elstree Studios glamour and high ratings, she’s sat in a sparse old pub with the smell of a canal wafting in.


Beeb’s Game

The BBC can confirm that it has secured the exclusive rights to broadcast the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games. The major multi-sport event, which will be held in Birmingham for the first time, will be the 18th consecutive Games to be broadcast by the BBC.

Taking place across Birmingham and the West Midlands from 28 July to 8 August, the BBC will deliver extensive coverage of the Games across all platforms, providing audiences across the UK with a 24/7 service of live-action, highlights, news and more. In addition, the stories of the Commonwealth and communities all over the UK, will be told and celebrated across the BBC throughout this incredible summer of sport.

This announcement comes on the day that Birmingham 2022 unveiled the Games’ medal event programme, confirming that the competition will be the first major multi-sport event in history to award more medals to women than men.

In addition, Birmingham 2022 will host the largest-ever integrated para-sport programme, as well as a record number of mixed events including diving, swimming relays and para-athletics relays.

“In a year when many major sport events have been postponed, this is welcome news for the BBC. We are delighted to be broadcasting the Commonwealth Games.”– Tim Davie, Director-General of the BBC


History Lesson

For a channel that indulges itself in ‘history’, you’d think someone may have spotted this before transmission considering how many Natzi documentaries they broadcast…

Sky History has had to pull a seemingly harmless programme on woodwork following some apparent ‘dubious tatoos’ on one of the participants.

The Chop has been just that while an investigation is taken into how neo-Nazi inkings could have made it onto air. The alleged offending tats were on a participant called Darren.

“While we further investigate the nature, and meaning, of Darren’s tattoos, we have removed the video featuring him from our social media pages. We will not be broadcasting any episodes of The Chop: Britain’s Top Woodworker until we have concluded that investigation.” – Sky History statement

The channel recently rebranded in the UK as Sky History, it was previously known as simply ‘History’.


‘Ender the Road

EastEnders confirmed two team members tested positive for coronavirus. Later in the week it was reported that a First Assistant Director was sacked after attending the BBC Elstree Studios with coronavirus symptoms and keeping it quiet during his shifts on the soap.

In other EastEnders news this week Habiba Ahmed departed the show on-screen on October 22nd. The character played by Rukku Nahar was seen departing the Square following a row with her sister Iqra.


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