So how is the dust settling after the big ITV schedule changes?
There have been no significant cosmetic changes to the ITV Evening News. Judging the content just now is difficult – the second half of the programme is mostly made up of other important stories which would otherwise be squeezed out by the Ukraine crisis.
The only major change to the format is that the weather presenter is now in the studio and so can interact with the main presenter. This is new for ITV News but is common practice in the regions and at the BBC.
Until the resolution of the Ukraine crisis – or at least the point in the crisis when it turns into a normal major running story – it is unfair to really judge the new format. For now, it is essentially no different to a bulletin which has been extended in light of events.
What we can do though is look at the ratings.
Ratings are holding up for the whole hour so far. The second half-hour is getting lower ratings than Emmerdale got in the slot but the changes are likely to boost ITV’s peak time ratings overall and streamline the schedule.
Judging the soap performance is easier.
Emmerdale is beating EastEnders in the overnights by a country mile. Obviously the BBC will want to make sure EastEnders recovers through the iPlayer and BBC Three repeats. But is this situation really sustainable?
The BBC News at Six and the regional bulletins still win the 6pm hour well. But The One Show has only seen a slight rise in ratings and is being beaten by a news bulletin.
With EastEnders not doing at all well in the overnights, is it time for BBC One to start contemplating strategic decisions too?
PICTURED: EastEnders promotion. COPYRIGHT: BBC.