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Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 12:53 GMT
Channel 5 heads for 'new direction'
Kirsty Young
Kirsty Young was recently lured back to the station
Channel 5 is re-launching its entertainment programming in an attempt to tackle its "tacky" image.

Two of the TV channel's quiz shows - Jerry Springer's Greed and Melinda Messenger's Fort Boyard - have been cancelled and seven new shows commissioned.

Melinda Messenger
Messenger: no longer fronting quiz show
The station, which will be five years old next month, has been much criticised for its output, which has included a number of explicitly sexual offerings.

In December 2000 the Broadcasting Standards Commission rapped the channel's 12-part X Rated series for trying to push the boundaries of what was acceptable on free-to-air television.

'Change'

Channel 5's new head of entertainment, Andrew Newman, has now dropped the entertainment industry series Exclusive! and the Movie Chart Show, while reality TV game show The Mole will not be re-commissioned.

The station has described the moves as "a significant change in direction".

C5 logo
Channel 5: Criticised for sexual explicitness
Mr Newman has commissioned seven new shows, including two entertainment programmes from independent production giant Endemol, the makers of Big Brother.

There will be also be a new game show, Wonderwall, from 19 Television, the makers of Pop Idol.

Face-lift

A Channel 5 spokesman told BBC New Online: "Andrew Newman has now got a platform at 1900 and 2300 to try out new ideas, and he's got some great production companies working on it."

The face-lift is intended to increase audience share while attracting wealthier viewers - who are seen as more attractive to TV advertisers.

There has already been an improvement in the station's ratings.

The average audience share has risen to 6.7% in February from the 5.5% a year earlier.

See also:

21 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Big film deal for Channel 5
20 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Channel 4 lands Simpsons
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