ITV has denied that it has plans to bring back News at Ten with Trevor MacDonald – but why not? The positive critical and audience reception for the BBC’s retro drama Life On Mars has proved that there is a huge demand for nostaligia broadcasting. But it has to have a fashionable twist. So alongside the veteran Trevor we’re going to need some hip 21st Century broadcasting dude. Could Krishnan Guru Murthy be the Sam Tyler to Trevor’s Gene Hunt? But seriously folks, it does show how
even Michael Grade’s ITV, desperate as it is for ratings success, recognises that flagship news bulletins are not the solution to mainstream broadcasting’s woes. The ITV Early Evening News has done a fantastic job at reviving the idea of popular mainstream newscasting. Hence the cluster of RTS awards for its maker, ITN, at last month’s RTS. But in a multi-platform, multi-channel age the role for news within a broadcaster’s protfolio has changed. Of course, the big news bulletins remain vital corner-stones for any TV brand. Just try to imagine the BBC without them and suddenly BBC 1, at least, looks largely pointless. But with so many access points on the internet and elsewhere to news the bulletin is less crucial to people’s lives. TV news is now not about the big bulletins, it is about doing your journalism everywhere you can. So like Sam Tyler in Life In Mars, it has to learn to time travel, but to the future, not the past.