Edinburgh TV Festival: ITV director of programmes Kevin Lygo has spelt out the reasons why he believes The Nightly Show struggled when it launched earlier this year.

Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Lygo said The Nightly Show was an experiment – and one that had a disproportionate amount of attention on it.  “Did it work? Not really.”

“With hindsight, I think a different host every week made it very difficult for the production team. The theory was you build the show, and then slot in these jolly, interesting and fun people week by week, and they can change it a bit and make it their own. What happened of course, in week four on comes a new host and says, ‘I’m not fucking doing that’. And you had to reinvent the show. After their first two nights, they’d find their feet and then it was time to get a new host in.”

Lygo also said the 10pm slot may have been too early for the series and for viewers. “Maybe it was a bit of a shock,” he said.

Lygo did not say if the show would return. “Certainly not at 10  O’clock. The challenge is can it work for us later, that sort of thing. I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, Lygo said he has focused heavily on the broadcasters’ long running shows since taking over last year.

“The thing to do with ITV is to concentrate on the long running shows that have been around for a while. Often they get taken for granted and are not talked about enough.”

He said one of the reasons for appointing head of entertainment Siobhan Greene was so ITV could focus on its  “great big entertainment shows.”

Citing long running series like The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, he said there haven’t been new entertainment shows that have taken the world by storm in almost ten years. He said he believed ITV can keep its entertainment shows going for many years with millions of viewers, as it does with its soaps. 

“We don’t often talk about our shows that have been on for a long time like Corrie, Emerdale or the majority of our daytime output.  These are vitally important for ITV. We have to put lot of resource, and effort and energy into keeping those shows fresh and good. If your bankers start to go down, you really feel it.”

Tim Dams

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