ITV’s new morning schedule starts on 6th January 2020 but will it mean changes to on-screen presentation?
The main change concerns the scheduling of Lorraine and This Morning. Lorraine will run from 9am to 10am, straddling the old 9.25am junction – the legacy of the days when breakfast TV was entirely separate from the rest of ITV. This Morning has been extended to start half an hour earlier.
But is a more subtle change in prospect too?
All ITV’s morning programmes are sister programmes now – they are all produced at Television Centre by sister production teams and normally broadcast live.
ITV wants to build on the fact the whole schedule is live – and the relationship between the programmes – to make the whole package seamless.
But what could this mean in practice? Will Lorraine hand straight to Philip and Holly? Will they in turn hand straight to Loose Women? If so might idents be dropped up until the lunchtime news?
There have been various attempts over the years to bunch daytime programmes together – going right back to the early days of mid-morning broadcasting.
Between 1987 and 1989, BBC One used distinctive promotion slides for its daytime output although the clock and globe remained.
In 1990, BBC One’s morning schedule was overhauled – Open Air and the long-forgotten Daytime Live (effectively Pebble Mill at One in all but name with different presenters) had been blown out the water by ITV and were axed.
In their place came Daytime UK – a four-hour umbrella holding together various programmes. Some were live, and came from Manchester or Pebble Mill, and had similar titles, signature tunes and graphics. Others were just normal daytime shows like Kilroy, quiz shows and Children’s BBC.
Linking them from what was effectively an improvised in-vision continuity studio at Pebble Mill was Judi Spiers – formerly of Daytime Live, but also a Westward and TSW announcing legend. The normal BBC One announcer was not heard for 4 hours.
There were high hopes but it was a disaster. Ratings didn’t improve, the Gulf War led to the concept being diluted by news coverage and a few months later normal presentation was back.
A year later, another BBC daytime revamp brought the new look schedule together. It was branded as The Morning on BBC 1 and was initially hosted by Ross King. Later the links were performed out-of-vision.
Yet another revamp of a failing BBC daytime schedule followed in 1996 – at that point normal pres returned, although over the years there have been various efforts to use branded menus and stings to give the morning schedule some extra character.
Over on ITV though, there were never any special presentation efforts – different companies did their own things initially – apart from one brief but dramatic effort in the mid-2000s.
In 2005 – after years of effort to build ITV 1 as a brand – the schedule was rebranded as ITV Day. In effect it was a channel within a channel. It didn’t last long though and was dropped in a major corporate revamp a year later.
So are changes in store on 6th January? Will building on the relationships between programmes which already work closely squeeze pres out?
PICTURED: ITV Day ident (2005). SUPPLIED BY: Online. COPYRIGHT: ITV plc.