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gottago2,903 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London
The only time I really disliked CITV as a kid was when they got into the very irritating habit of having the same schedule every weekday. It meant new series were over after a week and if you hated one show you were stuck with it. Otherwise the presenters were brilliant, I remember running home from school each Friday when Michael Underwood and that black woman whose name escapes me were hosting together. I thought they were brilliant together.
Andrew13,885 posts since 27 Mar 2001
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
The only time I really disliked CITV as a kid was when they got into the very irritating habit of having the same schedule every weekday. It meant new series were over after a week and if you hated one show you were stuck with it.


I think that only happened for a short time, maybe six months?
It was quite daft though, series 3 of My Parents are Aliens in 2001 was 10 episodes and was over and done with in 2 weeks, rather than them being able to push it for 10 weeks.

CITV were trying to compete with kids channels at that time who ran nightly stripped schedules, the difference being they were showing American kids sitcoms with a million episodes already in the can shown on rotation permanently, not the UK practice of having a short run of various programmes.
Mr Kite891 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
I was always more of a CITV kid as well. I started watching things like Telebugs (which no one remembers) and Car With A Heart (which even I barely remember), Mop & Smith too. Pob was disturbing though. Dogtanian was another one I remember playing in the school yard. I found the BBC, on the other hand (considering I was merely 4 or 5 at the time) rather patronising. Blue Peter was like more school and Newsround just looked like... news. Weekends were a different matter. I loved Going Live! and it always trumped whatever ITV were showing. I wasn't as into Live & Kicking. Firstly, I was gutted it had replaced Going Live! but I also didn't take to the characters, like that CGI cat head and, later, Sage & Onion. It still tended to be put on the TV in place of whatever ITV was showing though. I thought Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston improved the show significantly and watched the show faithfully while they were on it. Then, SMTV took over, as just they left Live & Kicking and so, the family started watching ITV on Saturday Mornings. SMTV Live was the last great Saturday morning kids TV show.

As I got older in the 90s, the bias for CITV became less prominent and I got to appreciate things like Newsround. Stuff like the Queens Nose and Demon Headmaster were great for someone in their early teens. Still, I loved the cartoons on CITV. I felt CITV was at its best in the mid-late 90s, content-wise. We had plenty of good quality British animation coming through from Cosgrave Hall; the likes of Phantom Cat and Biker Penguins. Not as classic as Danger Mouse or Count Duckula, which was a few years earlier, but solid offerings, none the less. Fun House, Knightmare, Spatz, Harry's Mad etc added to the offering.

I thought the return to in-vision continuity on CITV in 1998 was a breath of fresh air. The studio looked good, as did the logo, titles and theme, whilst somehow referencing the previous logo. The presenters were fun and seemed to have good chemistry from the off. However, I think this was the beginning of the end, content-wise. Many great shows, including those I mentioned above, ended around then and weren't really replaced. I quite liked the Pokémon anime, it was kind of goofy and endearing but they seemed to rely on it way too much, as well as Digimon which was very similar. The Worst Witch was decent, as was My Parents Were Aliens but before long, the latter seemed to be the only original UK show running and it looked very tired towards the end. I wasn't really at the age anymore to watch such stuff religiously, but I'd turn the TV on, see My Parents Are Aliens and say to myself "Wow, that's still on?".

Theoretically, kids have never had it better in terms of TV content, which several dedicated channels. However, I look at the CITV channel and I'm not sure who really has/had it better.
London Lite10,876 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
Multi-channel television with the likes of TCC, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network in the 90s changed forever how kids watch tv after school.

While it's a fair assessment to say that CBBC was middle class, three of it's major successes were around working class kids, Grange Hill (pre the Liverpool move), Byker Grove and Tracy Beaker.
Steve Williams2,876 posts since 1 Aug 2008
For all the idea ITV were more anarchic, quite a lot of BBC staples moved over to ITV. Johnny Ball simply ported over the old Think of a Number concept as Johny Ball Reveals All, Stu Francis did Crush A Grape which was a straight remake of Crackerjack, John Noakes did a couple of kids shows for ITV in the early eighties after he left Blue Peter, Tery Nutkins did some ITV shows as well and Johnny Morris had signed up for an ITV show but fell ill and died very early in production. So in fact you could argue that in many cases ITV made greater use of old-fashioned concepts and presenters. Crackerjack in particular was extremely old hat when the Beeb dropped it, and Crush a Grape looked really old fashioned on ITV.

And you only have to look the Magpie DVD from Network to offset that middle class/working class chestnut. Jenny Hanley must be one of the poshest kids presenters ever, and the only regional accent on Magpie was Dougie Rae, which was posh Edinburgh. While Blue Peter had John Noakes and Peter Purves.

For what it's worth, and this is from an eighties perspective, I always preferred CBBC to Children's ITV, because Children's ITV changed stuff around too much. I was happy with the cosy Broom Cupboard presentation and the CBBC family of presenters, whereas ITV went through presenters and formats at a rate of knots. Between 1987 and 1990, for example, while CBBC had Andy Crane, CITV had four different presenters and three different looks.
Mr Kite891 posts since 15 Aug 2007
Granada North West Today
While it's a fair assessment to say that CBBC was middle class, three of it's major successes were around working class kids, Grange Hill (pre the Liverpool move), Byker Grove and Tracy Beaker.


Never liked the first two and was too old to really appreciate the latter, though my youngest sister did watch it. I don't think it's as simple as how working class the protagonists were or what accent they had. I don't recall that figuring much in my consciousness when determining whether I liked a programme or not.
Last edited by Mr Kite on 15 March 2015 4:33pm
Neil Jones5,644 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Tracey Beaker's the format that keeps on giving. Ran for four years, repeated endlessly, spun off twice...

Quote:
As I got older in the 90s, the bias for CITV became less prominent and I got to appreciate things like Newsround. Stuff like the Queens Nose and Demon Headmaster were great for someone in their early teens. Still, I loved the cartoons on CITV. I felt CITV was at its best in the mid-late 90s, content-wise. We had plenty of good quality British animation coming through from Cosgrave Hall; the likes of Phantom Cat and Biker Penguins. Not as classic as Danger Mouse or Count Duckula, which was a few years earlier, but solid offerings, none the less. Fun House, Knightmare, Spatz, Harry's Mad etc added to the offering.


CITV of the 1990s was quite varied and mostly live-action and I think that was the key to it. These days 90% of the output is animated and any live action tends to be either archive or an older import.

Looking at tomorrow's schedule, the only live-action I can see on the CITV Channel is Sooty, Dino Dan (which itself is an Canadian import and dates from 2009) and House of Anubis, which is quite grown-up actually for a Nickelodeon programme.) Surprisingly, MPAA isn't present which hardly ever a day goes by without it cropping up.

Plus, of course, lots of mid 1990s CITV (and CBBC come to that) was brand new programming made in the UK. That is sadly lost particularly from the CITV side. CBBC has always made UK based childrens programming and they still do, some of it is quite good. I was particularly taken with Raven, for example.

Quote:
I thought the return to in-vision continuity on CITV in 1998 was a breath of fresh air. The studio looked good, as did the logo, titles and theme, whilst somehow referencing the previous logo. The presenters were fun and seemed to have good chemistry from the off. However, I think this was the beginning of the end, content-wise. Many great shows, including those I mentioned above, ended around then and weren't really replaced.


Budget cuts are to blame here. By the end of 2003 the budget for CITV was less than a third of that for CBBC. MPAA ran for eight years, was relaunched in its final year and died. The first seven series, great, excellent, one of the best shows made. Series 8? Oh dear.

Quote:
Theoretically, kids have never had it better in terms of TV content, which several dedicated channels. However, I look at the CITV channel and I'm not sure who really has/had it better.


More does not necessarily equal better.
Nickelodeon UK makes nothing itself anymore, it did back in the late 1990s but now follows the lead in all aspects (branding, stings, trends and programming) of its American cousin with the odd bit of Nick at Nite thrown in.
The rest of the Viacom channels all show imports.
PopGirl lives off the archive of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
Disney Channel (and XD and Junior) also live off their American counterparts for their programming, except for Disney Junior which has quite successfully relaunched Art Attack.