Earlier this afternoon ITV Controller Peter Fincham took part in a controller session at the Edinburgh International Television Festival where he discussed the state of ITV at the moment and THAT Cold Feet drama.
The ratings are down for the ITV main channel, that's a fact, and this is something Fincham acknowledged "It's lovely when your ratings are up but we live in a very competitive world, a very changing world. With that will come rises and falls. of course we like share to grow, of course we want to do well. it is slightly disclocated as ITV as a business which is doing fantastically well."
He went on to make the point that "...an absolute cornerstone of our schedules are the soaps, Emmerdale and Coronation Street have seen their figures going up and up. Only last night, both soaps were up on last year, and we have a fantastic autumn season coming up with the Rugby World Cup, I'm A Celebrity, The X Factor and the final series of Downton Abbey, and an exciting 2016 ahead."
Moving on to entertainment, Fincham commented that "The shows that are doing well are having an incredible life span that none of us could have predicted, such as I'm A Celebrity and The X Factor. Britain's Got Talent was up 2% this year compared to 2014" and described this year's series of The X Factor as the "most different series since the first year."
He admitted that at the start of the year, ITV "...tried entertainment formats like Get Your Act Together and Stars In Their Eyes, that audiences just didn't come to. Some did work however, You're Back In The Room and Ninja Warrior UK both found audiences straight away."
Speaking about the comparisons between Ninja Warrior UK and other shows, Fincham admitted that "to a degree, it did reinvent Gladiators, but in a way it filled the gap left by Total Wipeout.
He was then asked whether or not he missed Dancing On Ice, to which he didn't really answer the question but explained the decision to end the show was due to a decline in ratings, and the fact that "Torvill and Dean didn't want to continue. Did we want to do it without them? No. So this felt like the right time to end the show."
Peter was very confident about what he describes a "Rich slate of new drama" appealing that he's never seen such range. He admits that he needs to be "...very careful not to say about any drama that "This could be the next Downton Abbey", actually I'm prepared to say that every new drama will be the next Downton."
We were then shown clips from Jekyll and Hyde, a family action adventure drama, pre-watershed, an area we haven't been in for a while and Unforgetten which Peter described as "quintessential ITV drama with great depth" and hopes that it will really have people hooked.
He then ended by addressing a few rumours, starting with Cold Feet. On Tuesday the press were full of stories that Cold Feet would be returning, however sadly Fincham said "Bringing back Cold Feet is something I read about it the press. Never say never, but no plans. We're focussed on new programmes."
And finally, there have been many rumours that ITV are set to poach The Voice UK from BBC One, to which he responded "The Voice UK is on the BBC and contracted to the BBC so that's all I'm saying on that."