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gottago2,982 posts since 26 Aug 2004
London London

Thames was bought out by Pearson not even a year after they lost the franchise, not to mention they sold the Chorlton-cum-Hardy studio, previously the home of Cosgrove Hall Productions, to Anglia to form Cosgrove Hall Films, two weeks before Pearson bought them.

Yes, but that's all irrelevant


Thames became Pearson TV and Pearson TV owned a large part of Channel 5. Thus, presumably, as soon as Channel 5 went on air Pearson TV aka Thames and it's other production brands ceasdd to be an indie

I'd be interested to know if that was strictly the case as ITV and BBC productions were very much 'in house' whereas Thames and C5 were very much separate and only shared a parent company. There weren't in the same building or anything. The same situation exists on the continent today where the RTL channels and local Fremantle companies are really separate.
Inspector Sands14,483 posts since 25 Aug 2004

I'd be interested to know if that was strictly the case as ITV and BBC productions were very much 'in house' whereas Thames and C5 were very much separate and only shared a parent company. There weren't in the same building or anything. The same situation exists on the continent today where the RTL channels and local Fremantle companies are really separate.

Yes, as I said whether it applied to common ownership or sister companies.


In the case of Pearson and Channel 5, they were seperate corporately but operationally very close. Pearson's new HQ which replaced Teddington in 1997 was where Channel 5 was broadcast from - it was outsourced to Pearson. Most of their major commissions went to them and their other owner United. The daily talk show, quiz show and soap were all Pearson productions
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 22 February 2020 6:00pm
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Inspector Sands14,483 posts since 25 Aug 2004

The point I was trying to make was that their reign of independence was short lived anyway, the byline "A Pearson Television Company" appeared shortly after the sale was done, on their commissions for the BBC, ITV and C4, LONG before Channel 5 began broadcasting in March 1997.


Pearson's ownership didn't affect their status as Pearson didn't have any broadcasting assets, they were a book and newspaper publisher.

Although thinking about it, presumably owning large shareholdings in UK Gold and UK Living probably prevented them from being an 'indie' at all.
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 22 February 2020 6:02pm
Richard982 posts since 22 Apr 2012
Granada North West Today
The requirement that ITV had to get 25% of its production from indies, could someone like LWT have commissioned a programme for networking on ITV from BBC Worldwide? .....

NOT in those days ....
it is only the current charter allows the BBC to make programmes commissioned
by other broadcasters,
It levels the playing field where itv studios ( and stv for that matter)
made programmes for the BBC.
But the BBC could not make programmes for itv etc... until now..,

Which is true, although there was presumably some clause to allow them to make programmes for UKTV, notably UK Play.

Does anyone know the story about “Elizabeth R”, the documentary about Elizabeth II which was made by the BBC and shown on BBC 1 in the mid-nineties but which was then repeated by ITV some time later? Iirc it was broadcast unchanged, including the closing titles apart from animated “Elizabeth R” stings going in the breaks. I presume it was allowed because it wasn't shown first on ITV.

Incidentally ITV delayed News at Ten to broadcast it, in a time when that didn’t routinely happen.
Inspector Sands14,483 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Was all this the reason LWT set up LWT productions, whose own endboard then preceded the standard LWT endboard for a couple of years?

I think that was part of a license renewal restructuring, around the same time they spun off their facilities into a seperate company, the company that became The London Studios. There was the idea apparently that LWT would become a commissioner and the production business would be sold off, but that idea was ditched


Other ITV companies restructured and span off bits around that time, both Thames and Central launched their studios in Teddington and Nottingham as seperate companies
Steve Williams2,997 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Does anyone know the story about “Elizabeth R”, the documentary about Elizabeth II which was made by the BBC and shown on BBC 1 in the mid-nineties but which was then repeated by ITV some time later? Iirc it was broadcast unchanged, including the closing titles apart from animated “Elizabeth R” stings going in the breaks. I presume it was allowed because it wasn't shown first on ITV.

Incidentally ITV delayed News at Ten to broadcast it, in a time when that didn’t routinely happen.


It actually didn't, it ran 8-9.50 when it was on BBC1 (which did mean delaying the Nine O'Clock News) which meant it happily filled a two hour slot with adverts on ITV. There were a few programmes that did delay News at Ten, 35 Up did in 1991.

Anyway, I think Elizabeth R was very much a special case, because it was considered of considerable national importance and anything like that involving the Royal Family at the highest level wouldn't have any commercial considerations attached. I assume part of the arrangement to make the film was that it would be made available to ITV as well. Of course, ITV always showed a BBC programme every year, the Queen's Speech.

Was all this the reason LWT set up LWT productions, whose own endboard then preceded the standard LWT endboard for a couple of years?


I've said this before, but I think one other reason why they did this is so they could get two flashes of their logo at the end of a programme, this coming around the same time Carlton were also putting "Carlton UK Productions" alongside the copyright date before the endboard.
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