Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New TV Channel Opens. with Hours of Repeats

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

New TV Channel Opens. with Hours of Repeats

Article excerpt


A TV channel aimed at the over-35s will be launched next week - featuring hours of repeats.

ITV3 is a new [pounds sterling]14million digital service which channel chiefs hope will stem declining audiences and extend ITV's share of the ever-increasing digital market.

Starting on Monday, it will show a mix of classic ITV drama including Prime Suspect and Peak Practice, alongside films and American detective series.

Channel bosses promised the channel, which will be available initially on Freeview, would have an "up-to-date" feel and feature shows from the past five years.

ITV broadcasting chief executive Mick Desmond told Edinburgh Television Festival delegates this summer that ITV3 was not the same as an ITV Gold.

"Gold is archive," he said. "This is one to five years old." But an Evening Standard analysis today reveals the channel's schedule features dozens of shows dating back as far as 20 years.

"Highlights" of the first month include British miniseries Mapp & Lucia, first screened in 1985.

Series one of David Jason's A Touch of Frost - first broadcast in 1992 - will be screened on Tuesday from 9pm, while Jeeves & Wooster, the 1991 series starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, will be shown on Saturdays at 6pm.

Michael Gambon reappears on Tuesdays as detective Inspector Maigret which was broadcast in 1992. And, 15 years on, ITV3 viewers will see repeats of Dennis Waterman's cockney drifter Thomas Gynn in crime comedy Stay Lucky.

Shows including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Peak Practice are repeated throughout the day. An ITV spokeswoman said: "We do want the channel to have a more contemporary feel so we've got US acquisitions that have never been seen on British TV, Hollywood movies, and dramas that as soon as they go out on ITV1 will go out on ITV3."

ITV3 begins at 9pm with the first broadcast of Rebus, starring John Hannah. …

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