The one thing ITV seriously need, and they've failed to come up with, is the kind of long-runing series they used to have like Peak Practice that can run for thirteen weeks a year every year. All of their big shows now seem to be star vehicles so you're inevitably at the whim of the stars as to when you can do them. I've surprised they still appear not to have found anything to replace The Bill. I guess there's Law and Order but that's about it. It can be a bit cynical coming up with these ensemble pieces but if they do it right they have incredible value. I mean Peak Practice went through about a hundred cast changes and was still doing alright when they axed it (though that's not always the case, Soldier Soldier completely died when the big names went).
Yes, between them Soldier Soldier and Peak Practice probably covered the Tuesday slot for at least half the year, and they also had Londons Burning on Sundays for around three months - plus I'm sure some other shows we've long forgotten.
For me it doesn't make sense having shows like Downton Abbey and Mr Selfridge open and close with 90 minute episodes which at little extra cost could easily be expanded to two 60 minute episodes, filling the schedule for an extra couple of weeks.