Agencies praise ITV for mix of young and old autumn viewing

LONDON - Media agency TV directors have hailed ITV1's new autumn schedule a "good balance" between younger-skewing entertainment shows and older-skewing crime drama.

Agencies praise ITV for mix of young and old autumn viewing
Agencies praise ITV for mix of young and old autumn viewing

The first autumn TV season under ITV director of television Peter Fincham, who was appointed in February, will feature variety entertainment in Saturday night prime-time on ITV1 with a series showcasing top music and entertainment stars, For One Night Only. ITV1 is also banking on success with musical drama Britannia High, which will air in October.

Live football coverage will be another staple of the ITV autumn schedule, with Champions League coverage, plus England World Cup qualifiers and live FA Cup games.

PHD broadcast account director Tom Blaza said: "I can see where it is going with the new schedule - it is wholesome family entertainment. I hope it gets some good momentum behind it from the beginning."

The new series of The X Factor, which started its new series on Saturday, is expected to draw big audiences, while Ant and Dec return with series eight of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

Following the this summer's Who Dares Sings!, which initially pulled in audiences of more than four million, incoming dance show Every­body Dance Now will encourage viewers to dance along to routines.

Julian Cooper, MediaVest associate director, broadcast, said: "We have to trust ITV to get it right and we want it to take some risks. It has had some of its best entertainment output in recent years and is trying to get younger audiences while not alienating older viewers. It's a good balance."

Thrillers make up the bulk of ITV's new drama schedule, including Lynda La Plante's Above Suspicion, three-part thriller The Children, starring Kevin Whately, and one-off drama Caught In A Trap, about a woman obsessed with Elvis.

Blaza said advertisers would be keen for ITV to attract affluent older drama viewers, while its upcoming one-off and short series would attract lighter viewers.

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