ITV to ditch Dancing on Ice and Jonathan Ross?

Reports suggest that the weekend line-up may face a cull of programmes due to declining ratings over the past year.

Dancing On Ice’s live tour this year has been already ditched due to lack of demand, and following last years ‘revamp’ ratings have dropped below seven million.

The 2012 series saw presenter Holly Willoughby depart for BBC One’s The Voice, she was replaced by unpopular Daybreak host Christine Bleakley who remains on the network by being one of the channel bosses darlings. The show also suffered from the loss of popular judge Jason Gardener who was replaced by a less bitchy Louie Spence.

Despite the return of Gardener and a big investment in promoting the eighth series ratings have failed to reach levels ITV believe the show should be attracting, especially as it isn’t a cheaply produced format.

“There’s been a lot of chatter on set that there will not be a ninth series,” a ‘source’ was quoted as saying today in The Mirror, adding,  “The ­powers that be are unimpressed with viewing figures.”

While figures are down on the once mighty ten million plus it could command, it still performs better than newcomer Splash! which managed just over five million on its Saturday night outing.

The current series of Dancing on Ice is the worst rating in the history of the programme which was launched in 2006 on the back of the success of BBC One’s ballroom ratings banker, Strictly Come Dancing.

“Even when viewing figures ­started to slip a little bit, there was no sense of panic but last year was a cause for concern. The first show launched with a ­respectable 8.4 million, but lost two­ million ­viewers halfway through the ­series.” The insider is quoted in The Mirror.

Meanwhile The Star reports that chat show host Jonathan Ross may also be expecting a P45 from ITV. The Jonathan Ross Show defected from BBC One two years ago, but has failed to live up to its previous form on the beeb. Insiders apparently told the tabloid that a combination of poor ­ratings and a struggle to lure A-list guests to the sofa are behind the decision to allegedly shelve the show after its next series.

“It’s just not pulling in the ratings ITV want for a prime-time Saturday night show.” The source is quoted by The Star.

The series has managed between two and three million viewers in its slot with has been described as woeful. 52-year-old Ross has been fronting chat shows since the late 1980s with early series on Channel 4 and then the nine-year run of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross launching in 2001. However he has been increasingly met with criticism that the shows have become more about him than the guests. The slot vacated by Ross on the BBC was filled by fellow former Channel 4 chat show king Graham Norton, who manages to pull in over four million viewers.

“The ITV show has also failed to bring in big names with an ITV source telling the paper “A lot of A-list stars seem to prefer chatting to Graham Norton or going on Alan Carr’s Chattyman on Channel 4.”

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