ITV to produce first masthead TV show with OK! magazine

ITV is to air its first masthead programme with a daytime series based on Northern & Shell’s celebrity gossip magazine, OK!

ITV is to air its first masthead programme with a daytime series

based on Northern & Shell’s celebrity gossip magazine, OK!



OK! and its rival, Hello! were both considered for a series and a pilot

was commissioned for each brand. However, OK!’s content was thought to

be more appropriate to ITV’s audience.



OK TV! will be broadcast later this year by Carlton.



Dianne Nelmes, controller of ITV’s daytime schedule, said: ’This is a

very exciting venture, which will bring a fresh and glamorous magazine

format to television. OK! is hugely popular with readers and we hope we

can build on that brand with a stylish celebrity magazine.’



Richard Desmond, Northern & Shell’s chairman, confirmed that a celebrity

would present the programme, but he refused to reveal who it would

be.



He said: ’This will allow ITV viewers to see our beautiful weddings,

at-homes, parties and fashion in moving picture. It can’t do us any

harm. OK! magazine is a huge investment.’



OK TV! is Northern & Shell’s second venture into broadcasting with the

OK! brand, following the launch last year of OK! to Talk on Talk

Radio.



Despite the relaxation in the rules on masthead terrestrial TV

programming by the Independent Television Commission a year ago, initial

interest in such programming has been muted as both broadcasters and

publishers questioned its benefits.



Last year, the National Magazine Company axed its partnership with

Granada Sky Broadcasting, which is part owned by Granada, after failing

to win an ITV slot for its title, Good Housekeeping. GSkyB had been

showing programmes based on both GH and its stablemate, Zest.