ITV has secured its first broadcast sponsorship in the 10pm slot previously filled by News at Ten after signing up Scottish Amicable for its new “thirtysomething” drama series, “Wonderful You”.
The first episode will be aired on Tuesday March 9 in the first week of the new-look peaktime schedule when one news bulletin will run at 6.30pm and another is scheduled for 11pm.
Tim Brady, director of sponsorship at ITV sales house TSMS, which brokered the deal on behalf of ITV franchisee Meridian, says: “Scottish Amicable’s decision to sponsor this 10pm drama demonstrates the confidence clients are putting in the new scheduling arrangements.”
Advertisers are often reluctant to sponsor a brand new series, preferring to wait until it has established itself, but Brady says: “This shows the belief in this programme.”
“Wonderful You” stars Greg Wise, who appeared with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson in the film Sense & Sensibility. It has been described as a “sexy, modern drama series about a group of north London friends coping with life at 30”.
Brady says there has been a “huge amount” of interest in sponsoring the programme, which he ascribes in part to the precedent set by the recent success of another hour-long ITV comedy drama, called “Cold Feet”.
The deal was negotiated by Lisa Christodoulou at TSMS and Scottish Amicable’s sponsorship agent Connexus. Creative work is being handled by Smarts of Edinburgh.