Channel Four seeking to offer audiences better alternatives at weekend

Channel Four is looking at its weekend line-up and is seeking to offer audiences better alternatives to entertainment programmes on BBC One and ITV1.

The weekend ratings are traditionally dominated by the two big channels through entertainment programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, The X Factor and Dancing On Ice. Dramas such as Doctor Who, Merlin, Casualty, Downton Abbey and Scott & Bailey have also commanded big audiences for BBC One and ITV1 – leaving Channel Four trailing behind.

Though so far this year both channels have fared less well on Saturday evenings with flops such as Don’t Scare the Hare and The Marriage Ref perhaps signalling a shift in what audiences want.

Jay Hunt – Channel Four’s new Chief Creative Officer – in an interview with The Guardian has revealed the broadcaster is seeking to offer better alternatives for viewers at the weekend.

“We are spending a lot of time building that right now for the autumn. We are not running up the white flag. The strategy that will emerge as we go forward includes history, science, documentaries and acquired drama.” – Jay Hunt in The Guardian

At the moment Channel Four’s weekend line-up usually consists of acquired programmes such as Camelot, The Pillars of the Earth and Desperate Housewives alongside big films (Lord of the Rings ect) and factual programmes such as the long-running but still popular Time Team.