ITV3 Celebrates a Decade of Great Drama

ITV3 is celebrating its 10th birthday with a weekend of programming featuring episodes from some of the nation’s favourite dramas on the channel.
ITV3 made its debut at 9pm on 1st November 2004 and earned a reputation for screening top quality and much loved dramas, quickly becoming one of the most popular digital channels in the UK.

To mark this special occasion, ten of the most popular ITV3 dramas will be shown over the weekend of 1st and 2nd November and including  Marple, Endeavour, Inspector Morse, Lewis, A Touch of Frost,  Doc Martin, Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders.

Now under the aegis of Angela Jain, ITV's Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, it continues to go from strength to strength. Says Angela: "ITV3 is home of terrific, well crafted and much loved British drama. We have picked ten of the most popular ones to celebrate our tenth anniversary so that our audience may enjoy them again."

"In the last ten years viewers have flocked to the channel to enjoy and appreciate the thrilling pleasures of these wonderful dramas, stories beautifully told."

Since 2008 ITV3 has been the home of the glittering Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards which celebrates the very best of British and international crime thriller fiction and drama. This year’s event is on ITV3 on 27th October. Hosted by Bradley Walsh, the awards are the culmination of the six-week Crime Thriller Club series on ITV3, a studio-based show focused on crime fiction and television with high-profile guests, quizzes, bluffer's guides and peeks behind the scenes of popular dramas.

The most popular ITV3 programme to air over the last decade was Foyle’s War with 1,810,000 viewers (8.2% share) watching the two hour episode, The Hide in March 2013, other high rating dramas include Lewis in July 2012 with 1.61m and a 7.5% share and Midsomer Murders shown this July with 1.56m views (7.1% share). Performances like these have led to ITV3 beating terrestrial channels Five, Channel 4 and BBC2 in the ratings.*

The first programme to be aired on ITV3’s launch night was an episode of the crime thriller Rebus, based on the novels of Ian Rankin and starring John Hannah in the title role.

In 2004 the channel was then the seventh most popular digital channel in the UK and since 2011 it competes with ITV2 to be the number one digital channel and its enduring appeal is underlined by the fact that last year 79 programmes had over a million viewers.

The channel was rebranded in January 2013 in line with the ITV family with beautiful and delicate handcrafted paper cut sculptures representing stories and collected in bell jars.

A total of 30 people from the production company Tundra worked for over four months on creating these idents. The team included paper cutters using scalpels and hours of painstaking concentration to create each ident; illustrators as well as the composition and animation team. Some of the idents took a week to cut and each was from one single piece of paper.

The design team said that if any of the paper creased during the process they would have to start again and create a new sculpture as the creased show up as shadows on film.

See how the sculptures were created

Creative review

*Consolidated individuals week 45 2004 to week 37 2014. Since launch ITV3 has beaten Channel 5 in prime time on 69 days (since 2008, Channel 4 in prime time on 7 days (since 2011) and BBC Two in prime time on 15 days since 2010.