ITC slams old-fashioned TV content

The ITC has hit out at broadcasters for replicating past TV entertainment successes instead of commissioning original formats, in its annual report.

The ITC is particularly concerned about comedy, noting that there were only four new home-grown comedy series in 2001: High Stakes, Sam's Game and 2DTV on ITV, and The Armando Ianucci Show on Channel 4.

The light entertainment output was also knocked for being dominated by reality shows. Channel 5 was singled out because claims in its Statement of Intent that it was "becoming the channel for unearthing (entertainment) talent

were not backed up.

But ITV was commended for trying new formats, including Slap Bang with Ant and Dec and Oblivious.

Elsewhere, the ITC praised the news organisations at ITN, GMTV and Sky for their response to the 11 September terrorist attacks. Sky News was applauded for giving the most comprehensive coverage, which, the report noted, was "a reminder that high quality does not come solely from those channels that are committed to this by their licence".

The ITC upheld wholly or in part 1,228 complaints relating to 40 programmes last year, with Brass Eye being the most complained-about show.

The number of complaints about ads was almost the same as in 2000, with 7,554 about 917 ads. Complaints about 135 were upheld. Free-serve, PC World and Hewlett Packard were among those with the most complaints.

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