ITV reveals new winter schedule

ITV has unveiled a richer diet of comedy and a strong drama line-up for the winter, as it gears up to make the most effective use of peak viewing time without News at Ten.

ITV has unveiled a richer diet of comedy and a strong drama line-up

for the winter, as it gears up to make the most effective use of peak

viewing time without News at Ten.



News at Ten itself will be replaced by a 6.30pm bulletin fronted by

Trevor McDonald called The Evening News, and The Nightly News, an 11pm

programme presented by Dermot Murnaghan.



David Liddiment, ITV’s director of programmes, said the winter season

placed more emphasis on comedy and that major initiatives in news and

current affairs had been brought forward since the decision to move the

main evening news.



On the comedy front, Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey come together

again for a new series set in the 80s called Hunting Venus, and Robson

Green stars in a new bitter-sweet romantic comedy called Rhinoceros.

Nostalgia for the 70s is apparent with the That 70s Show from the

creators of Roseanne, and a return of The Grimleys.



Dave King, broadcast director of Carat, said: ’What is



interesting about the new schedule is that ITV is putting greater

emphasis on comedy. The acid test is whether Rhinoceros and Hunting

Venus will deliver the size and quality of audience we are looking

for.’



He added that the winter drama schedule, which has changed significantly

since ITV’s last announcement in September, looked equally strong, with

new series of Kavanagh QC and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. New

productions planned include The Vice, set in the vice unit of the

Metropolitan police, a dramatisation of the struggle by the Lawrence

family to bring their son’s killers to justice, and a new film adapted

from Ruth Rendell’s novel, Lake or Darkness.



Movies include the terrestrial premiere of GoldenEye and The Bridges of

Madison County, while TV’s fascination with docu-soaps continues with

Cop Shop, which follows a group of police officers, and Trauma Team,

which covers the work of an on-site trauma service.



Esther Rantzen joins ITV to front a new campaigning programme, That’s

Esther.



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