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Martin2013

Move from ITV to Channel 5

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I know this is going back a while but at the time when H&A  transferred over to Channel 5, what were your thoughts on the move?

Obviously it wasn't good that the show ended up being off the air for over a year but do you think in the longer run UK viewers actually benefitted?  For example I'm guessing if it had remained on ITV a good number of the storylines would have been edited due to their content being deemed unsuitable so do you think it was worth the wait to see the episodes uncut?

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I think the move to Channel 5 was damaging to ratings and to H&A's profile, but in the long run, it has been a better outcome for the series in the UK.

Certainly the almost daily censorship stopped, the closing credits were re-instated too, which was a positive move. Due to the timing of the move, within a few months of it being on Channel 5, there had been a huge cast turnover and it felt like a totally different show (not saying that was either a good or bad thing).

If the series had stayed on ITV, I wonder how it would be doing now. Given the River Boys antics of the past few years and the general increase in crime and adult storylines, I can see a scenario where an episode would have to be dropped every few weeks! But then would H&A have gone down the whole crime and violence route anyway if ITV were still buying it?

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I think in the long run it certainly was better for the reasons stated above - the break really did damage things a bit, but it was unavoidable thanks to ITV.

ITV's director of programming openly despised the show, yet was still furious to eventually lose it (hence why he activated the year-long break clause, and banned all H&A stars from appearing on ITV chat shows). John Holmes said at the time that when he was trying to negotiate a new contract with ITV, they were very tardy and didn't really take much interest - they bid low and wouldn't budge. It was only when Channel 5 got involved with a better offer that ITV started panicking and the phone started ringing, but by that time it was too late. Given ITV's attitude towards it, I really do think it needed to move.

However, since Channel 5 acquired Neighbours, I do feel they've lost interest in H&A a bit.

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Has ITV (or the UK government statutory body responsible for the censorship guidelines there) ever been sued for the damages arising out of the mess they made of Home And Away to UK viewers for so long?

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^ Nope, The Fricking Butchers! 

At least C5 aren't as scissor happy or at least weren't. And H&A 20yrs ago was a wee bit tamer than the current product.

C5 know H&A still has an audience even though ratings have tumbled (blame that on catchup, timeshift and demand).

ITV treated the show appallingly from 1996-2000, when it was still pretty popular. Sure  they gave it the Omnibus on ITV2 but when they began dropping episodes, that's when it got annoying. Bet that director wasn't complaining too hard when the show was at its apex (1993-96) and the ratings were in the 12m range and everyone talked about it in the playground, the classroom and the office.

And ITV these days is all hit-and-miss game shows and Jeremy Bleeding Kyle whose show was fine for about 5 years but ugh...Enough.

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