Carlton is revamping its ITV daytime soap Crossroads in a bid to shed its 'sexy' image
Carlton is revamping its ITV daytime soap Crossroads in a bid to shed its 'sexy' image and appeal to older viewers, writes Steve Aston.Carlton controller of drama and co-productions Jonathan Powell said that the production team would now change the age emphasis of the cast for the next run of 240 programmes, which was given the green light last week in spite of the soap's modest ratings performance. 'It's slightly too young at the moment. The middle-ranking age group needs to be solidified,' he said.Half of the show's characters - around 10 - will not return. However, changes are unlikely to see any cast members sacked as production of the soap ended in March and contracts have since expired (Broadcast 2.5.2002).The new recruits will be chosen by the show's newly appointed executive producer Yvon Grace.Powell added that the four day a week soap, which is expected to be dropped from its lunchtime slot and moved up to five days a week at tea time, was likely to focus on weekly story strands rather than longer-running plots.ITV controller of daytime Liam Hamilton is believed to have recommissioned the soap on the proviso that changes were made.Crossroads and Granada's soap Night and Day were ordered to plug the gap left by Channel 5's acquisition of Home and Away in March 2000, which had a youth bias. Night and Day has flopped in daytime and has been relegated to a late-night slot.Trade Talk, page 12.