Motel madness axed by ITV
The revived former ATV soap opera is being dropped from the schedules following a disastrous ‘camp revamp’.
Jane Asher (centre) leads the cast of the ill-fated recent rebooted motel-based soap.
“In the commercial interests of the channel we have to take action to improve our performance in the highly-competitive daytime schedule,” – Nigel Pickard, ITV Daytime boss
Crossroads has been axed by ITV, it was confirmed today. After months of speculation new director of programmes Nigel Pickard has put it out of its misery. Despite being relaunched – for a second time – it will be shunted to an earlier time in the day and its final episode will go out in the summer. The cast were told this morning at the headquarters of the soap at the Carlton Production Centre in Nottingham.
The decision comes after ratings slumped to 1.3 million. Pickard explained he has decided to axe Crossroads due to its under performance and the chop will be in the commercial interests of the broadcaster.
Production on the original Crossroads takes place at the ATV Centre in Birmingham in 1973.
Crossroads was brought back to life in March 2001 after a 13-year gap. The first production seemed to prove mildly popular with viewers, reaching 3 million at its peak and its performance was improving in late 2002 when suddenly the series was pulled off air for a ‘camp revamp’. Former Holby City boss Yvon Grace was lured in to give the motel a facelift, taking it from corporate high end hotel to what series stalwart Jane Rossington called ‘a brothel’. Rossington had appeared in the original series from 1964 to 1988 and returned for a three-month stint in 2001.
The original motel soap launched in November 1964 from ATV in Birmingham and at its peak in the mid-1970s pulled in 18 million viewers. The show also won several awards across its first run, although was never popular with critics.
Daniel Landsberger, who runs the Crossroads Fan Club website told TV Plus:
“It’s not exciting. We expected it and we never thought it was going to last. We knew that from the first episode because it was terrible. It was being pitched at the wrong audience and there was never going to be a big audience for it at 5pm. I’m not disappointed at all.”