Art Attack, the long-running children’s ITV show, has been cancelled after an 18 year run – which could be bad news for Panini UK’s tie-in magazine which has been a staple of the company’s line for a long time.
UK media magazine Broadcast reports the three-time Bafta-winning kids show has been dropped by ITV as fears grow about the long-term future of the CITV channel.
The Neil Buchanan-fronted programme has run for 19 series over 18 years on ITV1 and CITV and is one of several high-profile shows that have not been recommissioned, which include the My Parents are Aliens. Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids and Jungle Run are also understood to to be two more casualties in the latest round of cuts.
The cancellation is the lastest in a string of attacks on ITV’s children’s output and Broadcast reports speculation about the future of the CITV channel (or rather, the lack of a future) is rife. Sources say CITV has not been commissioning new content and that many new shows — such as Kickback Media’s upcoming show Captain Mac — were greenlit at least 18 months ago.
Broadcast has also learnt that ITV executive chairman Michael Grade (yes, the man who cancelled Doctor Who back in the 1980s) told a meeting in April that it did not make commercial sense to invest more money in the channel.
Lew Grade, the man who commissioned Gerry Anderson to make Stingray, Thunderbirds et al, must be turning in his grave.
Many TV professionals are voicing concern at the state of children’s TV in the UK, and ITV isn’t the only TV company guilty of making cuts. The BBC apparently deciding childhood stops at 11 with the cancellation of Byker Grove.