Programming on the Network and Channel Four
As well as the current After They Were Famous series for ITV and the 100 Greatest franchise for Channel 4, Tyne Tees has enjoyed great network success, especially in Drama and Entertainment.
Drama successes include the widely acclaimed film about the first World Cup starring Dennis Waterman, The World Cup: A Captain’s Tale; two series of Firm Friends starring Madhur Jaffrey, Billie Whitelaw and Michelle Holmes which followed the fortunes of three women running an East-meets-West fast-food business and Finney the story of a man drawn into the battle over his family’s criminal empire, starring David Morrissey and Melanie Hill.
Tyne Tees has become renowned for the television adaptations of several of Catherine Cookson’s best-selling novels which have attracted average audiences of eleven million.
The Black Velvet Gown starring Janet McTeer and Bob Peck was awarded the prestigious International Emmy.
The three latest adaptations have been Colour Blind, Tilly Trotter and Dinner of Herbs.
Entertainment programmes for the Network included The Roxy pop show, game show Chain Letters and ITV’s longest running quiz programme Cross Wits.
Tyne Tees has also made major contributions to ITV’s children’s programmes in the field of drama and entertainment.
The Emmy award-winning drama Supergran and Supergran II; The Ink Thief and Enid Blyton’s popular childrens adventures The Famous Five.
Other programmes include Madabout presented by the inimitable Matthew Kelly featured unusual hobbies, pursuits and even obsessions, Razzmatazz a children’s pop show, and the Essential Guides.
Live Saturday morning shows from Tyne Tees include Ghost Train, Gimme 5 and more recently Mashed. From the religious department came Morning Worship; Life With Johnny, Bible teachings with contemporary story-lines and original songs by Cliff Richard and The Settlers; and Highway with the late Sir Harry Secombe.
Face The Press was originally a regional programme, however when the Duke of Edinburgh appeared in the 1960s it was shown nationally. Three years later the series was given its first full Network showing, receiving an annual place in the Network’s summer schedules making it the first current affairs series to be shown nationally from a regional company.
Paul Gascoigne’s fight back to fitness after his knee injury Gazza: The Fight Back also enjoyed national success and more recently The Catherine Cookson Story was given a Network airing.
Channel Four has commissioned a wide variety of Tyne Tees programmes since it started transmitting in 1982.
One of the biggest successes was The Tube which enjoyed 5 series, plus numerous specials.
A special edition of The Tube was aired on Sky One and Channel 4 as part of the Millennium celebrations.
In contrast Tyne Tees also provided the award-winning Coping series and the widely acclaimed Listening Eye and Sign On series for the Deaf which employed a Deaf researcher, the first in the ITV Network.
More recent programmes for Channel Four have include The Entertainers, Going Underground and The Ship.