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ITV axes 'Heartbeat' and 'The Royal

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Cash-strapped ITV axes family dramas Heartbeat and The Royal

Daily Mail


ITV has axed 1960s drama Heartbeat, it was revealed last night.

It has not commissioned another series after the one currently in production is completed later this year.

The Royal, a spin-off series also set in rural Yorkshire, is also to be culled in a desperate drive to save money.

The Royal Today, the daytime TV spin-off, has already gone.

It comes after the broadcaster last week announced it was halving the output of The Bill to a single episode a week. insiders say they expect many more cutbacks by ITV bosses.

The success of shows like Dancing On Ice and I'm A Celebrity... are also blamed for squeezing traditional drama out of the schedules.

Heartbeat, which has starred actors including Nick Berry and Tricia-Penrose, has been a staple part of cosy Sunday night viewing for nearly two decades.

The series, which first aired in April 1992, used to draw 10million viewers. It now attracts between 4 and 5million, while The Royal gets 4million.

There were suggestions Heartbeat could make a comeback in a couple of years' time. But sources close to the show admit that once ITV has laid off the actors and closed the production offices, it will not return.

The insider said: 'Staff have been kept holding on another series of Heartbeat, but there has been nothing. People on the show have been told at the moment that there is no recommission.'

Another source close to the show said: 'Heartbeat has been there for years. This is a big deal. I would have to say even if ITV was not in trouble, you would have to admit this is a series that is at the tail-end of its career.'

'Its like all the things that Yorkshire TV has been founded on, they are all coming to a close.'

Other stars to have appeared in the show over the years are former Coronation Street actor Nikki Sanderson, Gwen Taylor and Bill Maynard.

ITV has denied suggestions that it is also set to scale back the number of episodes on Emmerdale.

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What the hell is ITV playing at are they that stupid to scale back programmes like this to put on reality shows with celebs in all the time we want drama and good drama thats why they take advertising they will loose a lot of viewers to sky because they will take these projects up to ITV STOP MAKEING REALITY SHOWS GIVE US GOOD DRAMA.

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Definitely agree with you Janice, they should stop making all these "reality" shows & put on proper dramas & axing Heartbeat in favour of these is ridiculous. I can't comment on the others as haven't watched them, but Heartbeat is way better that all the reality tv shows, especially the ones with so called celebs in, which are often celebs that are "b list" at best, & nearly all the celebs that go on them, go on cos their careers are going nowhere so they want some publicity to try & become popular again.

I've watched Heartbeat for years, I remember when Nick Berry was in it, its a great programme, really disappointed with ITV over this

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