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Old 22-01-2013, 19:35
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 6,475
You're overlooking the depth of the problems ITV drama had though. It wasn't simply an inability to successfully launch new drama it was that the brand went through a years long process of being contaminated by a slew of terrible shows. The reason people speak of revival or renaissance of ITV drama is because most (admittedly not all) of their new drama content is now at least watchable and often times much better than that. With the obvious exception of Eternal Law most of ITV's drama content of the past couple of years has ranged from good to excellent and its from that platform that you can build sustainable and returnable drama.
Obviously it's subjective if you think that ITV's recent drama content 'has ranged from good to excellent' - but viewers clearly don't agree with you. Monroe, Homefront and The Town are three titles that have not only failed to capture significant audiences but also signal that someone at ITV has been taking their eye off the ball and is out of touch with what will engage with its core viewers.

The wider problem ITV's drama has is with its place within the channel as a whole. Both Downton Abbey and Scott & Bailey were launched off the back of Simon Cowell shows - and, to the schedulers' credit, with great success. But ITV has put so much faith in Cowell and the risks of the strategy were all too apparent last autumn.

What the channel needs is to be able to pull off the kind of trick Call The Midwife did last year - an unknown title up against two previously solid ratings bankers and coming out on top. I would love to see it be able to do this - and with something that doesn't just look like a clone of another show. Hopefully the new boss will achieve that - the only question is who that will be ... the person they need is Julie Gardner (ex-BBC Wales, now in the US) - but would they persuade her away from the States?
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