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6 November 2009

View all stories from this issue.

  • 2 Nov, 09

    “There was a certain hysterical undertone.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
  • 3 Nov, '09

    “Could not be taken seriously either as history or biography.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
  • 3DD to take musicians back to their roots for C4

    Channel 4 has commissioned 3DD to produce a new music series that will see artists such as Snoop Dogg and the Stereophonics revisit locations that inspired their work.
  • 4 Nov, ‘09

    “Pretty dreary entertainment.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
  • 4 Nov, '09

    “They all boil down to one exclamatory syllable. Cor!” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
  • 6 Nov, '09

    “A mini Spellbound.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.
  • Absolute Radio to launch 80s station

    Absolute Radio is to ditch Absolute Xtreme and replace with with the more mainstream Absolute 80s, from early December.
  • Amy Winehouse's father to host online chatshow

    Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch is to host a new interview show from the back of his taxi for Living’s online channel Liv, where he will also deliver an alternative Christmas message.
  • Analysis: C4's dark horse chairman

    Terry Burns was the name on everyone’s lips at the RTS event earlier this week, but he was not on the radar as a potential candidate in the run up to his appointment.
  • Ant & Dec family show to take over from Takeaway

    Ant & Dec and ITV1 are lining up a family challenge gameshow as the long-term replacement for Saturday Night Takeaway.
  • Ant and Dec sign £20m ITV deal

    Presenters Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly have signed a two-year golden handcuffs deal with ITV, understood to be worth £20m.
  • BBC Bristol lands first UKTV commission with show for Home

    UKTV has commissioned its firstever show from BBC Bristol, ordering a Nick Knowles-fronted property restoration series for lifestyle channel Home.
  • BBC drive to get iPlayer on TVs boosted by deal with Freesat

    The BBC is set to bring iPlayer to Freesat, with closed beta testing to begin on the platform before the end of the month.
  • BBC launches political iPlayer

    The BBC has launched a political iPlayer-style website, offering live and on-demand coverage of Parliamentary sessions across the UK.
  • BBC safari guide killed by elephant

    The expedition guide for a BBC children’s programme tracing the footsteps of explorer David Livingstone in Africa has died after being charged by an elephant, the corporation said.
  • BBC 'spends £400,000 on consultation'

    The BBC’s regulator spent nearly £400,000 in 10 months on consultations about whether to approve the corporation’s planned internet-enabled television service Project Canvas, according to reports.
  • BBC sports exec heads to college of journalism

    BBC head of sports news James Porter - one of the first senior figures to decline the move to Salford - has secured a new 12-month post in the corporation’s college of journalism.
  • BBC stereo 3D rugby project up for RTS award

    BBC Sport and Can Communicate, along with Inition and Axis, are in the running for an RTS Innovation Award for their stereo 3D satellite broadcast of Rugby Live:Calcutta Cup.
  • BBC1 drama Spooks the competition

    Spooks and The Family both made triumphant returns last night, winning strong audiences for BBC1 and Channel 4 at 9pm.
  • BBC2 amuses with old toys

    The top show of the week was James May’s Toy Stories, scoring 3.5 million/15% on Tuesday at 8pm, and it ought to come as no surprise that it was packed full of men.
  • BBC4 to make MPs expenses drama

    BBC4 is to turn the MPs expenses scandal into a comedy drama directed by Simon Cellan Jones.
  • BDA graphics give ITV News ‘human element’

    Bruce Dunlop & Associates (BDA) has created new graphics and studio sets for ITV News that allows producers to place headline images in real-time into a moving 3D environment.
  • Beata Hegedus, Debmar Mercury

    The managing director of Debmar Mercury International, Beata Hegedus, on her most recent acquisitions, what she is looking for and the challenges ahead.
  • Benidorm has last laugh over Armstrong and Miller

    Armstrong and Miller’s new sketch show continued to slide against Benidorm, with 3.7m (16.4%) tuning in for the third episode of the comedy duo’s new series on BBC1 last Friday.
  • Berger adds Spain to Warner Bros remit

    Warner Brothers Entertainment’s UK boss Josh Berger will also run the company’s operations in Spain from next month.
  • Biggest brains to answer the big questions

    The Media Festival promises topical debate, says Peter Bazalgette.
  • Blinkx to raise £5m through shares

    Video search company Blinkx plans to raise £5m through new shares to shore up its cash reserves, which have fallen by £13m in the past year.
  • Boost for The Bill but New Tricks nicks more

    BBC1’s old trick of scheduling New Tricks repeats against The Bill paid off again last night winning the coveted 9pm hour - but the ITV1 police drama is narrowing the gap.
  • Burning issues, cold cash

    Campaigning doc-makers must raise finance without losing their soul.
  • C4 exec joins SeeSaw

    Channel 4 exec Matt Rennie is to join Arqiva-owned VOD service SeeSaw as commercial head.
  • C4 promises slew of orders to test shows

    Channel 4 head Julian Bellamy has promised a “wave of commissioning” in the coming weeks to create a surge of new shows for autumn 2010 that could return to replace Big Brother in 2011.
  • C4's Lygo outearns PM five times over

    Channel 4 director of programmes Kevin Lygo earned five times more than the Prime Minister last year, according to newly published figures.
  • Carbon to get inside the mind of the alpha male

    Carbon Media has secured a raft of commissions including an 8 x 60-minute psychology documentary series for Sky 1.
  • Churchill drama storms away with 2.5m

    Winston Churchill drama Into the Storm rode out with 2.5m viewers (9.8%) last night – thundering past the slot average by 600,000.
  • Coastal branch into films

    Coastal Productions, the Robson Green-owned indie behind Place of Execution and Wire in the Blood, is to make its first foray into feature filmswith an adaptation of the children’s book Ways to Live Forever.
  • Cresswell: STV is dragging down the network

    ITV chief operating officer John Cresswell has launched another stinging attack on STV, saying the Scottish subsidiary is “dragging down the whole performance of the ITV network”.
  • CWPro set for major post push

    Computer Warehouse’s CWPro plans to focus more of its efforts on the post-production market after taking on the chattels of fellow dealer 1080 Pro.
  • Dexter: Early Cuts

    US cable broadcaster Showtime has commissioned a series of animated webisodes that sketch in the early lifeof serial killer Dexter.
  • Diverse content nominees

    Watch clips here of the 10 nominations for the Cultural Diversity Network’s excellence in creative output award for diverse content and CAST YOUR VOTE.
  • Diversity awards: Have your say

    Broadcast readers can now vote online and decide two winners in the Cultural Diversity Network Awards, which includes nominations for The Street, Skins and Big Brother.
  • Early start for Stephenson

    BBC drama boss Ben Stephenson’s education has stood him in good stead.
  • FA Cup titles

    New titles for ITV’s coverage of the FA Cup, created by Liquid TV, and designed to be Roy of the Rovers in Gotham City.
  • Feelgood makes web debut with Curb producer

    Comedy specialist Feelgood Fiction has teamed up with an executive producer on HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm for its first foray into web production.
  • Filming Panorama: The Child Protectors

    In the wake of the Baby P scandal, Panorama follows employees in Coventry tasked with identifying “at risk” children to find out if they are being kept safe. Producer/director Emma Loach explains the hurdles that Films of Record had to overcome to make the film.
  • Friends Reunited sale referred to Competition Commission

    ITV has been left “disappointed” after the Office for Fair Trading raised concerns about its sale of Friends Reunited to Brightsolid Group, and referred the deal to the Competition Commission.
  • Gale’s BBC Bristol factual team gets three new execs

    BBC head of Bristol factual Ben Gale has added ballast to his development team with three further appointments.
  • Google’s future dominance of online ads

    There’s little doubt that Google is on a path to dominate the market for online video advertising. The events of recent weeks, including a deal to show Channel 4 programmes on YouTube and Google’s announcement of a new auction-based video ad platform, simply advance a strategy that’s firmly in place. The question is how will Google do so, what does it mean for other players in this arena, and what, if anything, can one do about it, writes Michael Comish.
  • Gordon Ramsay to co-pro MasterChef US

    MasterChef is finally heading to the States - featuring Gordon Ramsay.
  • Granada TV begins digital switch

    Granada TV in north-west England is spearheading the digital switchover, with analogue BBC2 being the first to go, followed later by BBC1, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five.
  • Hollyoaks producer named EastEnders EP

    EastEnders executive producer Diederick Santer will step down in February to be replaced by former Hollyoaks producer Bryan Kirkwood.
  • Home signs up BB1’s Craig for web guides

    Big Brother housemate-turned property developer Craig Phillips is to front the first standalone web commissions for UKTV-owned channel Home.
  • How a meetings marathon leads to new relationships

    Last week’s Screenwriters’ Festival saw the biggest turnout of leading TV and film commissioners and producers ever among its 520 delegates.
  • Imageworks and The Foundry forge development alliance

    Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) and The Foundry will work together to develop the next generation of compositing software after the Soho company acquired SPI’s 2D and 3D lighting package Katana.
  • Imagine line-up revealed

    The BBC has unveiled the artists that will be explored in the forthcoming series of flagship culture programme Imagine.
  • Indie classification rules may change

    More television production companies will be classified as independent producers under new proposals from the Culture Secretary.
  • Is Ashley Highfield correct to say that the BBC should charge for the iPlayer?

    24% said Yes / 76% said No
  • ITV predicts ad stability

    ITV is set to record its first advertising revenue increase for nearly two years this December, signalling the worst could be over for the commercial broadcaster.
  • James Newton, Universal Networks Int'

    James Newton reveals the biggest lie he’s ever told, his hidden talent and who he’d put in Room 101.
  • Jane Rogerson and Clare Laycock, UKTV

    Rebranding UKTV Style was an opportunity for Home’s channel head and her director of factual to make their mark with a slew of stylish commissions.
  • Jason Horton to head BBC South

    The BBC has hired Jason Horton as its new head of BBC South, replacing Mike Hapgood who retires at the end of the year.
  • Keep Your Enemies Close titles

    Titles for a kids gameshow created by Shucks and based on the work of Saul Bass.
  • Lamb switches 6Music slots

    BBC 6Music DJ George Lamb is to swap his weekday show for a new weekend slot and will be replaced by Lauren Laverne, as part of a station reshuffle.
  • Liza Marshall quits as head of C4 drama

    Channel 4 head of drama Liza Marshall is the latest senior exec to quit the broadcaster for a job in the indie sector following the recent departure of head of comedy and entertai
  • Lord Burns confirmed as C4 chairman

    Lord Burns will take over as Channel 4 chairman from Luke Johnson on 27 January after Ofcom confirmed his appointment.
  • Lord Burns set to be named C4 chair

    Ofcom is poised to make economist Lord Terry Burns Channel 4’s new chairman in a surprise appointment.
  • Mainstreaming diversity nominees

    Watch clips here of the 10 nominations for the Cultural Diversity Network’s excellence in creative output award for making diversity more mainstream nominees and CAST YOUR VOTE.
  • Malone changes tune for BBC schools show

    The Choir presenter Gareth Malone is to turn from music to education in a TwentyTwenty Television series for BBC2.
  • Marshall to grow Scott Free in UK

    Outgoing Channel 4 head of drama Liza Marshall plans to work with “key UK talent” as part of her new employer Scott Free’s strategy to produce major dramas for British broadcasters.
  • Miranda / Is it Better to be Mixed Race? / Sell Me the Answer

    Tim Sealey and Mike Reilly on rookie comedy, ‘science’ and bartering.
  • Moyles quiz moves to Friday nights

    Channel 4 is promoting Chris Moyles’ Quiz Night to Friday nights when the show returns next year.
  • MPs criticise More4 over Crufts

    A cross-party group of MPs has criticised More4 for picking up next year’s Crufts in a report prompted by BBC1 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed.
  • New look News at Ten adds 100,000

    ITV’s new look News at Ten piled on an extra 100,000 viewers compared with last Monday, but couldn’t topple the might of BBC News.
  • Nick Fraser, Storyville

    BBC4’s Storyville editor Nick Fraser has a reputation for being unrelentingly highbrow - so why does he want the series to be funnier? He reveals all to Katherine Rushton.
  • Peace, Gildersleeve lined up to replace Grade

    Carphone Warehouse boss John Gildersleeve and chairman of Standard Chartered John Peace have emerged as front-runners for the ITV chairman job, sparking rumours that the broadcaster’s search may finally be nearing its end.
  • Percy pleads to protect BBC

    Award winning documentary maker Norma Percy launched a passionate plea to the government last night, urging politicians to protect the BBC and its licence fee.
  • Percy wins two gongs at Grierson Awards

    Veteran film-maker Norma Percy claimed gongs for both best documentary series and the coveted trustees’ prize at the 2009 Grierson Awards last night [2 November].
  • Peter Andre trounces C4 and BBC2

    Reality star and singer Peter Andre stirred up a huge audience for ITV2 last night, overtaking Channel 4 and BBC2 in the process.
  • Plater to pen ITV1 war drama

    Bafta award-winning writer Alan Plater, who first made his name scripting Z Cars, is set to pen a new one-off period drama for ITV1.
  • PM questions Ross' salary

    Prime Minister Gordon Brown has questioned the salaries paid to BBC stars like Jonathan Ross, but said entrepreneurs like Simon Cowell “deserved” their money.
  • Radio 4 deserves Rajar success

    Without market forces, station’s output is distinctive and high quality.
  • Ramsay loses half his F-ing viewers

    Gordon Ramsay’s F Word returned to Channel 4 with 1.8m viewers at 9pm last night – just over half the audience for the finale of last year’s run.
  • Record-breaking X Factor peaks with 15.8m

    The X Factor smashed another ratings record last night with a peak of 15.8m tuning in to ITV1 to see Rachel Adedeji lose out in the final sing off to Welsh crooner Lloyd Daniels.
  • Red unveils Epic-X spec

    Red Digital Cinema has revealed further details about its planned new digital stills and motion cameras (DSMC) but has stopped short of providing actual shipping dates. 
  • Renault to launch Sky TV channel

    Car maker Renault will launch its own channel on Sky TV by the end of the year, company chiefs have revealed.
  • Robinson on Rajar

    Radio 4’s stellar performance in the Rajar audience figures for the third quarter of 2009 has dominated the headlines but more significantly points to some fundamental shifts in UK listener behaviour, writes Paul Robinson.
  • Robinson to front BBC2 series on wills

    Sir Gerry Robinson will help people write their wills and divide up their estates in a Talkback Thames series for BBC2.
  • RTS honour Bennett-Jones and Holloway

    Tiger Aspect chairman Peter Bennett-Jones and TalkbackThames head of entertainment Richard Holloway both received fellowships at a Royal Television Society event last night.
  • Sequence lines up Soho base and seeks investor

    Post-production house Sequence Post is close to securing a central Soho location for its new headquarters and is planning to offer an equity stake in the company to investors.
  • Shine recruits Nam and Stott for new positions

    Shine Group has hired former Five head of rights Steve Nam and former ITV Global Entertainment marketing chief Caroline Stott to fill two new roles.
  • Sir Trevor to front Back2back’s troops message show for ITV1

    Sir Trevor McDonald will send Christmas messages to soldiers in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in a one-hour special for ITV1.
  • SIS LIVE to build Coral TV facility

    SIS LIVE has been commissioned to design and build a new production facility that will be used to produce content for the in-shop television service Coral TV.
  • STV sues ITV for £35m but Taggart will return

    STV has launched its own legal action for £35m against ITV and has declared it will bring back Taggart, regardless of whether the commercial broadcaster commissions a new series.
  • SumCreative completes Jinx effects

    SumCreative has provided more than 200 visual effects shots for the new CBBC sitcom Jinx which started this week.
  • Syfy in US transfer

    BBC3 supernatural comedy-drama Being Human is to get an American makeover after Syfy greenlit a 13-part remake from RDF Media USA.
  • Tasty figures for Come Dine With Me

    A giant is lurking in the digital world but it’s easy to dismiss it as a mere trifle. You would be wrong to do so, though, for the only thing trifling about it is the one served as pudding on More4.
  • Technology and facilities news in brief 6 November 2009

    Technology and facilities news in brief from Broadcast magazine dated 6 November featuring BBC Studios and Post, Aimimage, Th1ng, Sky and Bright Space.
  • The Family

    Full post on a fly-on-the-wall documentary following an Indian family through the most dramatic months oftheir lives.
  • The Family / Dollhouse

    Robin Parker and Chris Curtis give their verdict on the latest shows.
  • The Queen in 3D

    Stereoscopic 3D footage from the 1953 coronation restored by Can Communicate for Channel 4’s 3D week and a special screening at the BFI.
  • The Queen, Channel 4

    Despite a documentary-sized budget, careful use of archive footage means the profile of a 50-year royal reign has grand scale, says series producer Marion Milne.
  • The X Factor: Winning result on all fronts

    Shifting The X Factor results show to Sunday night has upped ad revenue, media coverage and audiences, as well as changing ideas of what ITV1 has to offer.
  • Tony Blair and Dolly Parton to discuss faith on BBC1

    Fern Britton is to interview Dolly Parton and Tony Blair about their faith in a new BBC1 series this Christmas – one of the first commissions from its new religion chief Aaqil Ahmed.
  • Top-heavy BBC needed staff cuts, insiders say

    The BBC’s move to axe more than 100 senior managers has sparked outrage among staff - largely over the fact there were so many in the first place.
  • Tranter turns to Pharoah and Graham

    Jane Tranter has turned to Ashley Pharoah and Matthew Graham to try to kickstart BBC Worldwide Productions’ US drama ambitions.
  • TV premium-rate rules tightened

    Rules governing the use of premium-rate telephone services on television and radio are being revised and strengthened by Ofcom’s Broadcasting Code.
  • UK broadcasters win slew of AIB global awards

    The UK dominated this year’s AIB Awards with Channel 4 and BBC News documentaries beating stiff competition from around the world.
  • Viz upgrade for Sky News

    Sky News will upgrade its Viz Engine to version three as part of the launch plans for Sky News HD.
  • Wall to Wall cleans up with raft of BBC deals

    Wall to Wall has won 40 hours of BBC commissions, thought to be worth around £18m, including a six-part series about the cleaning of a National Trust property.
  • Wells back at ITV1 with Titchmarsh walks series

    Former ITV Studios executives Mark Wells and Glen Middelham have secured the first commission from their old employer for their new indie Rain, teaming up with Spun Gold to produce a country walks series with Alan Titchmarsh.
  • X Factor down 1.3m but scares off Strictly

    Halloween delivered a minor fright for The X Factor, with nearly 1.3m fewer viewers tuning in for Saturday’s live performance show, but it was still able to scare off Strictly Come Dancing.
  • X Factor still holds top spot

    ITV’s talent show is set to be season’s hottest hit while Life and dramas are BBC’s winter warmers.
  • Zig Zag and September make shock-docs for US

    Zig Zag Productions and September Films have kept up their good international form by winning two shock-doc orders in the US.