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    Endeavour

    Endeavour

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    ITV
    A prequel to Inspector Morse, Endeavour was conceived as a one-off drama marking the 25th anniversary of the launch of the original show in 1987. Shaun Evans played the younger Endeavour Morse in a story in which we discovered what shaped the great detective, and where he got his love for crosswords, classical music, real ale and classic cars. Following the success of the film, ITV decided to commission a full series. Endeavour Morse is a Mammoth Screen production for ITV.moreless
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    Wire in the Blood

    Wire in the Blood

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    ITV (ended 2008)
    Welcome to the Wire in the Blood guide at TV.com. Based on characters in the novels by Val McDermid, Wire in the Blood centres around Dr. Tony Hill, a clinical psychologist who is able to tap into his own dark side to get inside the heads of serial killers. Working with vice squad detectives, Hill takes on tough and seemingly impenetrable cases in an attempt to track down the killers before they strike again. Set in the fictional Yorkshire town of Bradfield, the show is a fast-paced and thrilling ride that borders on the surreal, adding an additional measure of intensity.moreless
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    Tiswas

    Tiswas

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    ITV (ended 1982)
    Well, what can one say about the legend that was Tiswas? Saturday morning TV in the UK has never been the same for it, that's for sure. Up until 1974 Saturday morning kids TV tended to be old westerns, cartoons and a US import. Hardly riveting stuff. And then the Midlands ITV company ATV decided to link these offerings together under an umbrella title of 'Today Is Saturday'. What this meant was using two guys in a small studio full of kids, cracking poor jokes and throwing custard pies and baked beans at the aforementioned children before moving on to the film. Doesn't sound much but don't be fooled: From little acorns come mighty oaks. For its second series the name was changed to TISWAS (Today Is Saturday, Watch And Smile). There was a bigger studio, bigger cast, the jokes became sketches and the films began to take second place. More kids were shoved into the studio along with more pies and more water. They loved it. With crazy presenters such as Chris Tarrant and John Gorman the show, in the Midlands, grew from strength to strength. Elsewhere in the country hardly anyone knew - but that would change. ITV's complicated structure (of 15 regional companies who 'swap' their best productions for a national audience) meant that many areas did not see Tiswas for a long time. First Yorkshire and Granada started showing it and then it spread like wildfire. The last to capitulate to the might of Tiswas was London Weekend, who eventually provided the presenter of their show (Saturday Kids), the lovely Sally James as the female element of the programme. Suddenly dads everywhere began to sit up. By 1979 the show was networked nationwide and developed something of a cult following. Apart from the presenters and crew adults were banned from the Tiswas studio unless they agreed to be put in the 'Cage' where they could be duly flanned with pies. The arch villain was the Phantom Flan Flinger, bedecked entirely in black who would flan the presenters, the kids, the camera crew, whoever really (His identity was always a mystery, finally solved this year when it was revealed he was actually a Birmingham taxi driver, a friend of Chris Tarrant). Guests were pop stars and actors who were also mercilessly flanned. Tiswas was nothing but utter chaos and it showed. Sketches became quite risque and it was rumoured that one pop star guest actually lit up a joint live on air. The governing body of ITV, the IBA, became duly concerned about this and the lack of anything educational on the show and ordered some changes to be made. This began to spell the end of Tiswas. It's attraction was that it was not the BBC's staid offering Swap Shop and if kids wanted to be educated on a Saturday morning that was where they could go; if they wanted to chill out then Tiswas was the place. In 1982 Tarrant and fellow presenters Lenny Henry, Bob Carolgees and John Gorman left to do a late evening version of the show called OTT which bombed. James remained, and with the help of Gordon Astley kept Tiswas alive for one more season. Times had changed though and Tiswas was becoming tired. ATV, who had nurtured the show, became a more upmarket Central and they didn't really care for the anarchic Tiswas. In 1983 they axed it. There was still a tremendous loyalty for the show. In 1982 when southern company TVS dropped the final series to show their own output protesters picketed the studios. A campaign was started to make Central change their mind but to no avail. All that remains of Tiswas are memories and dusty tapes. Even its home, the legendary studio 2 is now a car park. Chris Tarrant went on to bigger and better things as presenter of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?', Lenny Henry became a successful comedian and driving force behind the charity Comic Relief and Sally James runs her own business. A brief student revival in the early nineties saw some episodes released on video but that has been it. Tiswas, for children (and adults) of the 70's leaves a warm glow, like a bowl of Ready Brek. Only on Tiswas they would then pour it on you.moreless
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    The Sweeney

    The Sweeney

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    ITV (ended 1978)
    Welcome to The Sweeney guide at TV.com. The Sweeney was one of the UK's finest action-drama series of the 1970s and is still talked about today. The Beginning Euston Films, the company behind The Sweeney, was founded as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thames Television in March 1971, to produce filmed drama for the UK with a view to sales abroad. This project began with a series of 90-minute TV films under the Armchair Cinema banner. The intention was to make 13 films, but only six - "The Prison", "Sea Song", "In Sickness and in Health", "Tully", "When Day is Done" and "Regan" - were made. Success… These films, at £85,000 each to make, were considered very expensive at the time, but this was rewarded when most of the films were sold to other countries, with "The Prison" and "Regan" going to 47 countries alone. "Regan" in particular was seen as having the potential to spawn a series, especially after receiving high TV ratings. Work began immediately on 13 one-hour episodes. Most elements of the original film remained, apart from the title, with "Regan" giving way to The Sweeney. "We're the Sweeney, son, and we haven't had any dinner!" The writers brought in to work on The Sweeney were given a series of strict guidelines. Each episode had to run for 48 minutes and 40 seconds, with a three-minute pre-title sequence, or 'teaser' to be followed by the actual opening credits. Each story was to consist of three parts, each running between eight and 19 minutes. As for the characters, Regan would appear in every episode, whilst his sidekick Carter would feature in at least 10 out of the 13 episodes. The scripts had to be centred around three main speaking roles, leaving up to 10 minor speaking parts. Writers had one month to write each script, but at times were pushed so hard to get them done that one episode was completed in three days. Any second drafts were greatly discouraged and third drafts would literally be unheard of. Each episode would take 10 working days to film and every day there would be five minutes of edited screen time. This led to there being a restriction on how many differing locations there could be, so it was limited to ten - one location per day. On Set The 'Flying Squad offices' had its own standing set, which gave an alternative option if the day's filming was affected by bad weather. Ten minutes of any episode was usually set in the offices and this amounted to two days' filming on the set. Exterior night shooting was expensive, due to filming being in the summer, so it was limited to three external night scenes per episode, despite the fact that the real-life Flying Squad operated primarily at night. Each episode would have an eight-and-a half week production schedule. This consisted of two weeks pre-production - for casting, deciding locations and so on; two weeks' shooting, four weeks' picture editing (the first two weeks of which would overlap the shooting), two weeks' sound editing and finally, two days of dubbing. The Sweeney on the Big Screen The great success of the first two series of The Sweeney led to a spin-off feature film. Sweeney! was filmed over the course of five weeks in the spring of 1976 and on location in London. A third and fourth TV series followed, as well as a second feature film, Sweeney 2, in 1978. "Shut It!" The Sweeney ran to 53 episodes across four series. It has since been shown in more than 51 countries and is still regarded by many people as one of British Television's most successful series ever made.moreless
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    DCI Banks

    DCI Banks

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    ITV
    DCI Banks is a detective series based on the award-winning novels by Peter Robinson. A two-part pilot, Aftermath, introduced viewers to the tenacious DCI Alan Banks and his associate, DS Annie Cabbot, as they investigated a serial killer. A second series saw DI Helen Morton introduced as Cabbot's replacement. Each of the two-part stories is adapted from an original DCI Banks novel. DCI Banks is a Left Bank Pictures production for ITV.moreless
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    Soldier Soldier

    Soldier Soldier

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    ITV (ended 1997)
    Welcome to the Soldier Soldier guide at TV.com. Soldier Soldier was a drama series that followed the lives of members of the King's Fusiliers (later the King's Own Fusiliers) regiment. Soldier Soldier was a Central Television production for the ITV network.moreless
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    Danger Mouse

    Danger Mouse

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    ITV (ended 1992)
    Danger Mouse is about a cartoon mouse being a secret agent and living in a mailbox in London, England. This show originally broadcast in England/UK only until the fledgling network, Nickelodeon, picked it up and ran with it.moreless
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    Britain's Got Talent

    Britain's Got Talent

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    ITV
    The search for the next big variety act in the UK is on with ITV's Britain's Got Talent. Popular comedians and hosts Ant & Dec join the judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams on this highly anticipated show that will culminate in not only a big cash prize of £250,000 (previously £100,000 and £500,000) for the winning act, but also a starring slot performing in The Royal Variety Performance.moreless
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    Prime Suspect

    Prime Suspect

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    ITV (ended 2006)
    Welcome to the Prime Suspect guide at TV.com. This is a long-running occasional detective drama series starring Helen Mirren as DCI (later Detective Superintendent) Jane Tennison, based on stories by Linda La Plante. The show has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic.moreless
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    Mind Your Language

    Mind Your Language

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    ITV (ended 1986)
    Barry Evans stars as Teacher Jeremy Brown who is attempting to teach English to a class of mixed nationality students. The first series had 13 episodes and was shown from December 1977 to March 1978. The second series had only 8 episodes and was shown from October 1978 to November 1978. The third series of 8 episodes was shown from October 1979 to December 1979. Seven years later in 1986 an independently produced fourth series of 13 episodes of Mind Your Language was shown.moreless
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    Sharpe

    Sharpe

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    ITV (ended 2008)
    Welcome to the Sharpe guide at TV.com.

    This is a spectacular drama about the career of a British soldier during the Napoleonic Wars. In the first episode, Rifleman Richard Sharpe saves the life of the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Talavera and is commissioned from the ranks. In later episodes, Sharpe battles his way across Spain and France, defeating French spies and generals, and womanizing along the way. The original series, based on the Sharpe novels by Bernard Cornwell, ended with the Battle of Waterloo. Two further stories were made, in which Sharpe is called out of retirement and sent to India.

    The traditional song, Over the Hills and Far Away, is heard at the end of most episodes, as performed by John Tams, who played the part of Rifleman Hagman.moreless
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    Danger Man

    Danger Man

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    ITV (ended 1968)
    The Danger Man is back! One of the most popular characters ever introduced to television screens, the original Danger Man swept the world, bringing international fame to the talented and good-looking star, Patrick McGoohan. Danger Man is now produced as one-hour programs, with vivid new stories which take Special Security Agent John Drake into even more tensely dramatic adventures in every part of the globe. He is a man who jousts with danger, a man who takes calculated risks, a man dedicated to his ideals. He respects his adversaries, and he respects the beautiful women who came into his life. Big-name stars support Patrick McGoohan throughout the series, and the producer is once again Ralph Smart, the man who created and devised Danger Man. All the episodes are directed by leading motion pictures directors who are masters of their craft. Excitement and suspense are the keynotes of stories which live up to the title. The emphasis is on Danger.moreless
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    Ready Steady Go!

    Ready Steady Go!

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    ITV (ended 1966)
    Welcome to the Ready Steady Go! guide at tv.com.
    Ready Steady Go! was produced by Associated-Rediffusion, which had the ITV franchise in the London region. (The company was renamed "Rediffusion" in 1964.) Ready Steady Go! began as a local, London show. But by early 1964, it was carried on the entire ITV network.
    Initially, the RSG! guests mimed to their records. By late 1964, some of the guests were performing live. The series switched to all live performances in April 1965 and was temporarily re-titled Ready Steady Goes Live!.
    Note: Thanks to everyone who's helped on this guide, including
    Kevin Mulrennan.moreless
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    Mr. Bean

    Mr. Bean

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    ITV (ended 1995)
    Mr. Bean is a comedy show about a man whose whole life is one funny situation after another. He hardly talks, but words are not needed. Everything he does is funny. From playing golf, going to the dentist, and going to church. Mr. Bean is a grown man, but he acts like a child. He has a stuffed bear named Teddy that he carries around with him all the time. This show is full of laugh after laugh!moreless
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    King Arthur's Disasters

    King Arthur's Disasters

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    ITV (ended 2006)
    King Arthur's Disasters follows the insane adventures of King Arthur (voiced by Rik Mayall) on his various quests to satisfy Princess Guinevere's (voiced by Morwenna Banks) need for exotic presents, in the vain hope that she will finally agree to marry him. King Arthur's enthusiasm is as limitless as the quests are futile and with his doddery magician, Merlin (voiced by Matt Lucas), he must confront the likes of cunning pigs, pink knights, blood thirsty squirrels and the inevitable Robin Hood (voiced by Phil Cornwell) and his not so merry men and women. Characters King Arthur - The legendary King of England, is here, but not how we may have first perceived him. King Arthur is constantly trying to meet the needs of the love of his life, Guinevere, hoping that she'll give him her hand in marriage. Unfortunately he is accident prone, but still occasionally manages to outwit and foes who cross his path. Merlin - Merlin is Arthur's trusted friend and a loyal servant, he is the King's magician. His wisdom, however, is often hidden behind his delightfully mad persona. Princess Guinevere - Guinevere knows exactly what to do when there's something she wants: get King Arthur, to get it for her. She knows that he'd do practically anything for her and often exploits this to get the weird and exotic gifts she desires. Sir Launcelot - Launcelot is a narcissistic, debonair knight with a refined, aristocratic voice that oozes charm. But below his polished, confident veneer sits the beating heart of an embittered man who believes he is the true king of England and spends his time plotting the King's grisly demise. Robin Hood - Robin lives in the woods with his merry men and woman, he knows everything there is to know about the animals that live there and the sounds. He also loves to sing the well known song about himself, but very often struggles to get past the first line as nature very often interferes with it.moreless
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    Broadchurch

    Broadchurch

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    ITV
    David Tennant and Olivia Colman lead the cast in this powerful new detective series. A small community in Dorset is rocked by the death of local boy Danny Latimer and DI Alec Hardy (Tennant) is drafted in to head up the investigation instead of local officer DS Ellie Miller (Colman).
    As the investigation proceeds, the lives of the locals - from the Latimer family, to priest Paul Coates and mysterious Susan Wright are explored as they deal with the life changing events.moreless
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    Cold Feet

    Cold Feet

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    ITV (ended 2003)
    Cold Feet is about three couples. Adam Williams (Systems Analyst; James Nesbit) and Rachel Bradley (Helen Baxendale) start the series about a year and six or so weeks into their relationship. The pilot shows this couple coming together. Jenny (Fay Ripley) and Pete Gifford (John Thomson) are a married couple that start the series with the birth of their first child. Karen (Hermione Norris) and David Marsden (Robert Bathurst) are another married couple, and when the series starts they already have a child, and are thinking of having another. The three couples end up friends after going through the "friends of friends" process. Jenny, Pete and Adam are friends, and Adam's relationship with Rachel pulls Karen (Rachel's friend) and David (Karen's husband) into the friends relationship.moreless
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    A Touch of Frost

    A Touch of Frost

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    ITV (ended 2010)
    Welcome to the A Touch of Frost guide at TV.com. Detective Inspector Jack Frost is a disorganised DI for the Denton Police Force and will do anything to see that justice is done, even if he has to break the rules.moreless
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    Law & Order: UK

    Law & Order: UK

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    ITV (ended 2014)
    The longest-running crime series in U.S. television history has made its way across the pond for a UK reworking. Series creator Dick Wolf has given Law & Order a makeover-for fans in the UK. Law & Order: UK sets out to retain the grittiness of the original series, but be uniquely British. The show commenced broadcast in 2009 and is not to be confused with the 1978 crime drama Law and Order.moreless
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    The Avengers

    The Avengers

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    ITV (ended 1969)
    "Always keep your bowler on in time of stress, and watch out for diabolical masterminds." [Mrs Peel] The Avengers is one of the most popular and beloved television series of all time. Its outrageous blend of wit and style and its unique mix of the fantasy and spy genres, coupled with the marvellous characters of John Steed and Emma Peel make it one of television's great classics. (Plot summaries are authorised by Paul Cornell, Martin Day & Keith Topping, authors of 'The Avengers Dossier' Copyright: Virgin Books, London: 1998)moreless
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