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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
ITV swiftly axes primetime show
A scene from It's Now Or Never
A 25-year-old man proposed to his girlfriend in the opening episode
ITV has pulled Philip Schofield's It's Now or Never show from the Saturday night schedule after just one week.

The show's debut, in which a member of the public proposed to his partner by singing Take That's A Million Love Songs, only attracted 1.7m viewers.

"The second show has not yet been rescheduled," said an ITV spokeswoman.

ITV has struggled in the ratings this summer, with low audiences for Love Island, and viewers preferring BBC coverage of the World Cup final.

BBC One had an average audience of 11.2 million for Italy's victory over France, while ITV could only attract 2.4 million.

Love Island contestants Leo Ihenacho, Lee Otway and Shane Lynch
Love Island is losing in the ratings to Big Brother
On the day of the final, ITV1's share of the audience fell to 9.1%, the lowest ever figure for the channel.

Love Island is being watched by about two million viewers a night, roughly half the audience of Channel 4's Big Brother.

Young audiences

Research by the Broadcasters Audience Research Board (Barb) also shows that Channel 4 is attracting more 16-34-year-olds than ITV during peak viewing hours for the first time.

By contrast, ITV had almost double Channel 4's share of that age group in 2001, according to Broadcast magazine.

Channel 4's youth-orientated digital channels, such as E4, are partly responsible for the rise.

ITV is occasionally forced to take decisions like this to protect the schedule
ITV Spokeswoman
The 16-34 age group is particularly important to advertisers, who are keen to reach a young audience with disposable income.

Last Saturday's edition of It's Now Or Never was up against the Lottery Draw on BBC One, which attracted 5.5 million viewers, and comedy film Carry On Henry on BBC Two, which was seen by 1.7 million.

It suffers the same fate as reality programmes Fat Families and The Real Good Life, which were both dropped after two episodes last summer.

"As a commercial broadcaster ITV is occasionally forced to take decisions like this to protect the schedule as a whole and the programme in question," said an ITV spokeswoman.




SEE ALSO
Low ratings for ITV's Love Island
11 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
Final shoot-out sees ratings soar
10 Jul 06 |  Entertainment
New ITV channel as profits rise
08 Mar 06 |  Business
ITV1 suffers worst Saturday share
15 May 06 |  Entertainment
ITV shows axed as ratings plummet
09 Jun 05 |  Entertainment

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