The Guardian reports that series cancellations and budget cuts at ITV are renewing fears about the precarious state of the UK TV Biz.
Having sent the dinosaurs back to extinction earlier in the week, ITV decided to banish the vampires on Friday, cancelling the Saturday evening show Demons only days after Primeval got the axe. A budgetary ice-age seems to be sweeping through UK television – raising fears about British broadcasting’s delicate eco-stystem.
The cuts are not a problem confined to commercial channels. The morning before Demons’ fate was confirmed, the BBC instructed all six of its television networks to find record efficiency savings of 7.5% – over the next five years the channels will lose £1bn from their budgets. And matters are little better at Channel 4. In March, head of programming Julian Bellamy said the broadcaster would like to commission more drama, but there was no money in the budget with which to do so.
[…]Despite ITV performing well in drama this year – it has broadcast the five highest-rating new dramas, Whitechapel, Above Suspicion, Unforgiven, Law & Order: UK and, ironically, Demons – rating success is clearly no longer a measure of survival at the broadcaster. But if ITV is getting rid of relative successes, what will it have left?
There is some good news. ITV renewed LEWIS for a fourth season, which comes as a relief, since early reports were that the hit series was doomed for financial reasons.