ITV's director of programmes David Liddiment has promised a "golden era" for drama on the network, while admitting it was becoming harder to beat the BBC in the ratings, as the corporation becomes more and more commercial.
Speaking at the launch of ITV's winter schedule this week, he said: "It's no surprise that the BBC is doing so well. It has more money to spend, arts programmes have been marginalized and a fourth episode of EastEnders has been introduced.
"We have a very strong line-up for Winter 2002, in a £240m
The drama highlights will include The Forsyte Saga, with Ioan Grufudd, Damian Lewis and Rupert Graves.
Bloody Sunday stars James Nesbitt as a civil rights activist and Tim Piggot Smith as the Commander of Land Forces in Northern Ireland.
Classic drama includes Kinglsey Amis' Lucky Jim, starring Stephen Tompkinson, Robert Hardy and Keeley Hawes.
ITV1 goes back in time with two rock and pop specials entitled The Way They Were and 80s Mania featuring pop stars past and present.
Fay Ripley stars in I Saw You, a romantic comedy from the team behind Cold Feet.
Meanwhile, ITV has denied its new quiz show Shafted has been axed, even though after just three weeks it has been removed from the schedule.
Robert Kilroy-Silk's first stab at a TV quiz show pulled in fewer than six million viewers in its last two weeks on air.
ITV's director of programmes David Liddiment says Shafted has been pulled for a "temporary' period".
He said: "ITV was always going to pause Shafted before Christmas, all we have done is pull it out of the schedule one week early.
"We wanted to provide better support to Cold Feet and so Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is now going to be put in the slot previously occupied by Shafted.
"It will be back for a run sometime in the New Year."