ITV's chief today called for "a new Big Brother" to safeguard the future of British television and warned that the supply of big entertainment shows "is drying up".
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Peter Fincham, ITV’s director of television, told the audience that he believed the success of British TV in finding a slew of big entertainment hits, such as The X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent and Strictly Come Dancing, in the last decade had now created a problem in finding replacement formats.
“These formats all date to a narrow period at the beginning of the last decade and nobody could have predicted they would have the life they have had but I think they have still got a lot of life in them.
“The corollary of that is that it has become a difficult period to launch big new entertainment programmes. Take Big Brother which has found secondary life on (Channel) 5...I’m sure broadcasters the world over would like a new Big Brother but I don’t see any sign of a new Big Brother.”
He announced a new dance entertainment format, Stepping Out, which will feature the partners of celebrities and, he admitted, will have features in common with the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.
Fincham said that The X-Factor still had a long future on ITV, despite press reports that it could be coming to an end. “I think it’s got lots of years to come,” he said.