ITV axes shows, cuts staff

wire specialsITV is preparing to slash prime-time drama, cut stars’ salaries, show more repeats and axe 600 jobs in the biggest wave of cutbacks in the channel’s history.

Executive chairman Michael Grade blamed the ‘short-term horrors’ of the economic downturn for the company’s worst-ever annual results. ITV posted pre-tax losses of £2.73billion. The equivalent of $300 million AU will be slashed from the programming budget by 2011 in the biggest cuts in the broadcaster’s 54-year history.

Amongst confirmed casualties, there will be no new episodes of popular crime drama Wire in the Blood, starring Robson Green. Detective drama A Touch of Frost will finish when star David Jason retires this year.

Police series Heartbeat and its hospital spin-off The Royal will not be re-commissioned.

The Bill has been cut from two episodes a week to one in the UK and moved to a later time slot.

Stalwart soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale which pay their way are likely to survive but will see their budgets shrink and actors paid less.

ITV says it will instead focus on its “light” programs such as X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity.

But the broadcaster will struggle to meet X Factor star Simon Cowell’s current £20million deal when it expires in December. Presenters Ant and Dec have also hinted they may not sign up for an exclusive deal with ITV again when their contract runs out this year.

Source: Courier Mail, Daily Mail

21 Comments:

  1. this is more than likely to happen to 9 in the coming months. and 7 and 10 to a lesser extent. we can probably assume that the sydney 5:30 mag show has been cancelled. the Melbourne one is having more doubts every day. There are now rumous that claudia Karvans spirt has been cancelled or shelved. The footy shows and getaway could very well have big cuts. and we all know about the cuts from 60 minutes.

  2. Interesting that, the industry rumour mill has Billie Piper signed up for a new series for ITV in which she plays the part of a single mum, ah me, life goes on in big time telly

  3. Coronation Street is still going strong…Even here in Australia (on Austar & Foxtel). Its a shame those other shows are going. It wil be back to reading books at night and thats not such a bad thing lol…

  4. John Waller

    “The Bill has jumped the shark and unlikely to be able to be ever taken seriously again.”

    Utter nonsense. The Bill still has a strong and loyal following after 20+ years on TV (me included).

    The Bill is improving as time goes by. The ‘soapie’ years are behind us (thank goodness) and the scripts and storylines are as sharp and topical as ever.

    ITV’s move in cutting it back is a mistake.

  5. Jack, Leave Coronation St alone – its not past its use by date. Only someone who doesn’t watch it would say that. The Bill has jumped the shark and unlikely to be able to be ever taken seriously again. As for Heartbeat well the 60’s only lasted a decade and this show has run for nearly 20 years.

  6. “ITV says it will instead focus on its “light” programs such as X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and I’m a Celebrity.”

    Perhaps instead of looking for talent on Britains Got Talent and X-Factor etc they could just not axe the talent they already have.

  7. Forwarded this article on to a Aussie ex-pat friend in Scotland, who has recently been reporting on the ITV/4/Five troubles on their blog. They will be interested, but it is a sad loss, especially Heartbeat, as it had a decent run in Australia on commercial screens.

  8. Jezza of the city

    At this rate 7,9 & 10 will have to merge to survive.
    ABC and SBS will also have to merge.

    We will be left with 2 FTA channels and loadsa stuff on the internet.

  9. Interesting about Wire in the Blood- i thought Robson Green’s production company produced it? Obviously ITV had a big enough stake though.

    • Yes he does. I spoke to him last year about producing his own work. I would say there is still the possibility of more with this one, with either a new network or international sales. Fingers crossed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.