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ITV aspires to new lifestyle

UK terrestrial ITV1 wants lifestyle formats for its 20.00 slot to rival BBC1’s long-running home makeover series DIY SOS.

The channel commissioned UK indie Spun Gold to make gardening series Love Your Garden with Alan Titchmarsh for Friday evenings last year and wants to continue its push into lifestyle programming.

Katy Thorogood, commissioning editor for daytime and factual at ITV, said: “20.00 is an interesting place for us. We’ve done a lot of ‘out and about’ stuff at 19.30 but how do we evolve from that? How does ITV do a lifestyle format? How do we get our DIY SOS?”

Thorogood said that while ITV1 doesn’t have the same public service remit as BBC1, many shows could play on both channels and accessing the broadest possible audience is the key to getting a programme commissioned by her.

She said: “My most overused email expression is ‘Thank you for your very interesting idea but it’s too niche for ITV1.'”

Thorogood added that what the BBC considers a low budget – BBC2 is after shows costing between £80,000 (US$125,400) and £100,000 per hour – would be relatively high for pre-watershed ITV1.

Travel series Cornwall with Caroline Quentin and The Dales have played well on ITV and its has found success by commissioning programmes about the North of England against BBC’s London-set soap EastEnders. ITV looks to commission series in six- or eight-episode blocks.

Thorogood was speaking to delegates at Sheffield Doc/Fest, which ended on Sunday.


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