Friday, June 15, 2007

ITV1 to focus on 9pm dramas

ITV Chairman, Michael Grade, has said that he wants ITV1 to reclaim its position as a home for quality drama, reports Leigh Holmwood for Media Guardian.
Speaking at the Rights Lab conference, organised by producers' alliance Pact, Mr Grade again reiterated that the time when ITV would copy other broadcasters' ideas was over.

"Priority number one is for ITV1 to regain its ground in 9pm drama," he said.

"[ITV director of drama] Laura Mackie and her team are raising our ambitions in this area so if you think that we're only interested in detective dramas or psychological thrillers, think again," Mr Grade added.

"Mobile, Fallen Angel, Kingdom, the Jane Austen season and Talk to Me have done well for us, but we need more, particularly more returnable series.

"We want the next Life on Mars, the next Spooks and, yes, we're still in the market for the next Morse, the next Foyle's War or the next Doc Martin. Not copies, you understand.
Easier said than done, of course (and Grade himself has said it several times already since he joined ITV).

Meanwhile, as Maggie Brown reports for Media Guardian, long-time head of ITV drama, Nick Elliot, threw his farewell party earlier this week.
He was responsible for 8,000 hours of drama and scores of series while at the Network Centre: Cracker, A Touch of Frost, Midsomer Murders, Cold Feet, Foyle's War, Miss Marple, Prime Suspect, to name but a few - and always tried to mix in the spiky one-offs with the more routine.

The final move at his leaving do was to invite onto the stage with him the ITV drama commissioning team who have taken over. A younger generation, all female bar one lone male, led by Laura Mackie, Sally Haynes and Corinne Hollingsworth.

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