ITV's new hitmakers

Kevin Lygo’s new job is possibly the biggest in British television – and certainly the most exposed. ITV’s incoming Director of Television must, together with his freshly minted team of commissioning chiefs, arrest a decline in audience that saw the main channel’s viewing share halve between 2000 and 2015.

Downton Abbey is gone, The X Factor is on the wane, and ITV hasn’t launched a breakout hit since Broadchurch in 2013. The company’s share price, which peaked at over 280p last July, fell close to 200p recently.

Broadchurch announces cast of final series

The pair will be joined by new cast members Sarah Parish (Atlantis), Charlie Higson (The Fast Show) Georgina Campbell (Murdered By My Boyfriend), Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street) and Mark Bazeley (Home Fires).

Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan will also return as Beth and Mark Latimer alongside Arthur Darvill as vicar Paul Coates, Carolyn Pickles as newspaper editor Maggie Radcliffe and Adam Wilson as Ellie’s son Tom.

Olivia Colman to star in new Channel 4 comedy

Olivia Coleman, Julian Barratt, Broadchurch, Mighty Boosh

Flowers comes from BAFTA-nominated writer and actor Will Sharpe (Black Pond).

The show follows dysfunctional family The Flowers, as they struggle against their often self-inflicted misfortune.

Children’s author Maurice (Julian Barratt, The Might Boosh) and his wife Deborah (Colman) are unhappily married, and yet still to divorce.

Life is not easy for the Flowers family. Deborah becomes convinced that Maurice is having a homosexual affair with his illustrator, Shun.

Emily Watson to star in new thriller Apple Tree Yard

Emily, Watson, BAFTA, 2007

The actor will play Yvonne Carmichael, a contented, conventional suburban woman, married with two children and entirely happy with her life.

However a chance encounter with a charismatic and impulsive stranger, played by Ben Chaplin (Cinderella, Mad Dogs) leads to a passionate affair which brings her world crashing down.

As Carmichael struggles to keep her home life and career unaffected by her affair, the fantasy soon overcomes her, bringing about a life-changing act of violence and a Crown Court trial.

Bake Off rises to the top of 2015's most watched shows

Nadiya Hussain, Mary Berry, Bake Off, Paul Hollywood, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc

Over half of the top 40 TV shows of 2015 aired on BBC One, according to research compiled by the Press Association from the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (Barb).

Despite an increase in viewers over the year, Channel 4 does not make the list, as BBC One fills 27 spots, and ITV takes the remaining 13 places. 

Strictly Come Dancing appeared 13 times in the list, making it the most consistently viewed show so far this year.

Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman stars as Queen Victoria in ITV's new drama

In a drama series first, ITV's Victoria will focus on the life of the Queen, played by Jenna Coleman.

It's being produced by the broadcaster's recent acquisition Mammoth Screen, makers of BBC One's Poldark

“This epic series is a chance to see the Victorian age through the eyes of the Queen herself for the first time," ITV's Director of Drama, Steve November, told the RTS.

Jed Mercurio: the Drama Doctor


Jed Mercurio doesn't make it easy for himself. His current show, Sky 1's Critical, is a 13-part drama set in a state-of-the-art trauma centre. Every week, it focuses on a different and gruesome medical emergency while also telling the intertwined personal stories of its large cast. Oh, and it's told in real time, too.

"I always think that everything is achievable," he says, when I ask if he deliberately set the challenge of making this series as hard as possible for himself.