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04/09/2002

ITV abandons children's programming trial

ITV is abandoning a 20-month experiment to "strip" children's programmes across the week.
CITV's controller, Janie Grace, introduced the bold policy to show episodes of hit children's series on consecutive days rather than weeks in January last year.
But after an initial success with hot properties such as the UK-produced drama series, My Parents Are Aliens, the strategy backfired, handing a ratings lead to CBBC.
Ms Grace, who was recruited to head up ITV children's programmes from Nickelodeon, said the next 13-part series of Granada's My Parents Are Aliens will be played on a conventional, weekly basis when it starts on Monday.
Ms Grace said older children wanted variety, and stripping "only works with younger pre-school children".
But she also said she didn't have enough fresh and strong new programming to make stripped schedules work.
Children's television remains in crisis on ITV as it is seen as a luxury by commercial broadcasters - ITV slashed the budgets for UK originated series last year.
(GB)
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