Tracey Beaker's the format that keeps on giving. Ran for four years, repeated endlessly, spun off twice...
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.
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.
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.