While Adam Crozier in his email to the ITV troops yesterday highlighted The Prisoner drama remake as a feather in the network’s cap, perhaps a more significant development will be the launch of ITV’s very first teleshopping programme next month.
Demonstrating yet again the continuing crossover between digital and terrestrial TV channels (they both need cheap programming and new sources of revenue) The Zone, as it will be called, is the first tangible result of Ofcom’s relaxation last year of the rules surrounding teleshopping and gaming on public service television.
A co-production with shopping channel QVC and gaming TV producer NetPlay TV, The Zone will run for two hours every night from midnight in a six-month trial. It will also include a half-hour bingo show and be backed by a substantial multi-media ad campaign.
While there’s no way The Zone will reach X Factor audiences, or indeed trouble the BAFTA judges, its launch could result in a handy new addition to ITV’s programming portfolio, with further teleshopping and gaming channels filling gaps in the night time schedules.
And following Adrian Chiles explosive arrival at GMTV it might well provide some extra work for a few experienced presenters who find themselves unexpectedly available for hire.