Katie Rawcliffe, what Ent shows ITV is looking for


In an interview with Televisual, Katie Rawcliffe, the Head of Entertainment Commissioning at ITV, discusses what's currently successful for the channel and reveals what she is hoping to find in the future. Look out for the full report in the upcoming Summer issue of the magazine, available next week.

On Saturday nights, we really shine with our content that attracts a large audience. A great example of this is Britain's Got Talent, which has become incredibly popular and is currently the top entertainment series of 2024, with an average of 7.1 million viewers including repeats. The premiere episode even reached up to 8 million viewers and is still growing. The live viewing numbers are impressive, and even those who miss the show can join in on the conversations on social media, which drives engagement and catch-up viewing. So far, our social content has garnered over 660 million video views.

ITV has been very successful on Saturday nights this year, winning 15 out of 21 weeks. Their entertainment shows have reached 85% of the population, which equals over 54 million viewers. They have also seen a 10% increase in streams on ITVX, with a total of 166 million streams. Additionally, 25 shows from five different titles – BGT, Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, The Masked Singer, Wheel of Fortune, and The 1% Club – have all had over 5 million viewers.

Saturdays have a unique quality that sets them apart from the rest of the week. It's ingrained in us to gather together with family members of all ages to watch shows at the same time. Some people think this tradition won't last forever, especially as how we watch TV has changed drastically. But then a show like Gladiators or BGT comes back on, and we're reminded that Saturdays are still important for appointment viewing. Streaming services are still trying to figure out how to replicate that special Saturday feeling.

We are constantly searching for the next popular show to air on Saturday nights. People are eagerly anticipating the next big success. The show doesn't necessarily have to be filmed in a studio, but it must be able to attract a large audience, have new ideas, be heartwarming, funny, and have high-quality production values to compete with programs like BGT, The Masked Singer, and The Voice. We have a good amount of funds set aside for show development and are willing to invest in ideas that catch our interest.

To create an exciting Saturday night lineup, popular shows like Catchphrase are a big draw with over 3 million viewers tuning in regularly. Other game shows like Limitless Win, Wheel of Fortune, and The 1% Club have also been successful, with each series outperforming the last in terms of viewership. Deal or No Deal, which started as an afternoon show, has also seen success with celebrity specials and online streaming reaching 7 million views. In With A Shout returned with a strong audience of over 2 million, setting a solid foundation for the rest of the evening.

We are excited for some upcoming new releases, including Password featuring Daisy May Cooper, Alan Carr, and Stephen Mangan, as well as 99 to Beat.

We are actively searching for new concepts in both reality TV and entertainment. We are particularly interested in Saturday night programming, as well as series or events. Our show, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, has been very successful and was the highest rated entertainment program on any network last year.

We just revealed our latest project, SHARK! Celebrity Infested Waters, created by Plimsoll Productions. This exciting venture comes as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jaws. In this show, celebrities will face their biggest fear - sharks, all while in the stunning backdrop of the Bahamas. The challenges these stars will encounter will provide multiple gripping stories to share. We also aim to highlight the important role sharks play in our ecosystem and food chain. Collaborating with Plimsoll, known for their expertise in natural history, promises a unique and captivating viewing experience for our audience.

Another interesting project we have mentioned before is the show Genius Game by Remarkable Entertainment, hosted by David Tennant. It is a new reality game show where players selected for their intelligence and social skills will compete in challenges to win a cash prize. The games test their mental abilities and require strategic thinking to outsmart their opponents. The show does not take place in a typical studio setting, but still offers excitement and drama.

We will always have space for special one-time events like our updated Audience With brand with Adele and Kylie, which attracted a large number of viewers and younger audiences. We are always looking for must-see one-time events, including those featuring big talent, which don't always have to be music-related.

Check out the complete article in the latest issue of Televisual to learn more from the top decision-makers at the BBC and Channel 4.

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