ITV hopes to appeal to viewers and advertisers with refreshed weekend schedule

ITV is courting viewers and advertisers with a new-look ITV1 schedule. The broadcaster is hoping to replicate the success of its refreshed Saturday night line-up across the weekend with changes to its Sunday night line-up.

The changes include moving Dancing on Ice to Sunday evening but removing Coronation Street and Emmerdale. It will also see the News at Ten reintroduced from Monday January 14.

The new look schedule comes as broadcaster ramps up its efforts to reduce revenue losses. It has reported losses of 4% to £1.36bn in 2007, which equals its losses in 2006. The terrestrial channel is expected to trade in-line with the overall television advertising market in 2008.

Coronation Street will broadcast a second episode on Friday nights and Emmerdale will also keep the same number of weekly episodes, which ITV says will help fans “catch up with their favourite soaps over fewer nights”.

ITV director of television Simon Shaps says the changes aim to make the weekends “feel special” and to build on the channel’s reputation as the “home of Saturday night television”.

The broadcaster has also promised more 60-minute dramas at 9pm and more investment in programming for post 10.30pm.

The revitalised schedule will be supported by a heavyweight off-air advertising campaign, which has already launched week. The work, which is the first to be created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, focuses on shows including Primeval and “soap within a soap” Moving Wallpaper/Echo Beach.


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