ITV has announced that studio shows such as Britain’s Got Talent and The Masked Singer will return – but most likely without a live audience.
Daytime chat show Loose Women is also returning to ITV after six weeks off the air. The show will be back on TV screens from May 4th, with social distancing measures in place.
All major filming was halted at ITV – and most of the world – in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, but now the broadcaster’s bosses has said they have “had enough” of entertainment shows broadcast via Zoom and the like.
Speaking at the online Edinburgh TV Festival, Katie Rawcliffe, ITV’s head of entertainment, said: “It looks like we will have to do some shows without audiences. This whole experience has brought out more creativity in people and the best in people, we all have to think a bit harder about how we do things.”
She added: “The live shows we are hoping to do later this year, we are still in stages of planning and are talking about what might be possible. We are very much in pre-production, as are the rest of the shows for the rest of the year […] You rely on the talent a bit harder, and the edits a bit more.”
The channel has already aired an episode of Saturday Night Takeaway without a studio audience – which she said was not ideal, but “worked well”.
Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, also subscribed to the idea that it was time to get back into the studio. “I’ve had enough, well done, good try, they are just not what entertainment really is,” he said. “Audiences are very forgiving at the moment and gives you a lot of leeway but if it’s a big entertainment show, you want it to be a big entertainment show.”