ITV's Crossroads finds Fridays fully booked

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The Independent Online

ITV's troubled soap Crossroads has been cut from five episodes a week to four in a reflection of the strong competition faced by the tale of an everyday West Midlands motel.

ITV's troubled soap Crossroads has been cut from five episodes a week to four in a reflection of the strong competition faced by the tale of an everyday West Midlands motel.

The Friday afternoon edition is to be replaced by a live interactive game show, called The Biggest Game in Town, which will also become a staple of lunchtime viewing, shunting Crossroads to a slightly later time-slot.

An ITV spokeswoman insisted the move was not because Crossroads was failing to win audiences, even though its combined lunchtime and tea-time figure of 3.5 million makes it nowhere near as popular as its predecessor, Home and Away, now on Channel 5.

The revival of Crossroads, 13 years after it was axed following a 23-year run, was one of the last brainchilds of Lord Alli before he left Carlton Television. Despite the disappointing audiences, it has just been re-commissioned for a further four months.

Maureen Duffy, ITV's controller of daytime television, said she was making the changes because the channel needed to increase its afternoon audienceto match its popularity before noon.

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