C4 discloses its agenda for autumn

Channel 4 this week launched what it claims is its strongest autumn schedule to date, with new investment in late night and daytime programming as well as new drama.

Alan Bleasdale’s six-parter Jake’s Progress will be the channel’s flagship drama for the season. Channel 4 is also planning to put out a teenage soap from Brookside creator Phil Redmond, which will run in the 6.30pm slot.

Following hot on the heels of Red Light Zone and Dyke TV will come Tribe Zone, a celebration of youth sub-culture from around the world.

Other youth shows include the return of Passengers.

A replacement for The Word is expected to be confirmed in November with the launch of the winter schedule, says trade marketing manager Peter Franklin.

“Our strategy is to continue investing in weaker parts of the schedule and to experiment,” says Channel 4 director of advertising, sales and marketing Stewart Butterfield.

Improvements to daytime output are also on the agenda with the launch of a quiz show, Think Tank, commissioned for the 4pm slot. A new 5pm magazine programme will take over from Oprah when it moves to Sky in October.

Butterfield confirms the channel’s autumn marketing campaign will break in mid-September to promote Jake’s Progress and other series, including the teenage soap.

The BBC has launched a 168m autumn season of programmes, including a 26-part documentary series, People’s Century, a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Rowan Atkinson’s first new BBC sitcom since Blackadder.

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