ITV removes historic quirk in major schedule overhaul



The new year will usher in a major change for ITV's breakfast and daytime service, with Good Morning Britain and This Morning being extended and a quirky legacy of the old ITV system being abandoned.

ITV has confirmed that from Monday 6th January 2020, Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid will be extended to fill a three hour slot from 6am.

Lorraine will follow for an hour at 9am, before This Morning takes over at 10am with a new earlier start time, extending its on-air time by 30 minutes.

At 12:30pm, Loose Women will follow, as now.

The changes confirm months of tabloid speculation over the future of ITV daytime, after the Jeremy Kyle Show, which used to be broadcast at 9:25am, was pulled after a guest committed suicide, leaving a hole in the schedule.

Extra staff will be provided to support the teams producing Good Morning Britain and This Morning. The move means ITV will now show a continuous seven and a half hour block of magazine programmes from Television Centre in West London.

With the schedule change, a legacy of the old ITV system will be removed, which saw ITV's breakfast service always ending at 9:25am due to how the Channel 3 network is licensed by Ofcom.

In the 1980s, TV-am was contracted to broadcast a breakfast service on the ITV network, initially until 9:15, then 9:25am. In  January 1993, GMTV took over the breakfast licence, handing over to regional ITV stations at 9:25am. Following consolidation of the ITV network, which has led to ITV plc taking over the ITV Breakfast licence, and every other regional licence except Central and Northern Scotland, the days of the 9:25am split have been numbered, with Lorraine set to become the first regular weekday programme to span the divide.

Details of how ITV and STV (the holder of the last two Channel 3 licences not controlled by ITV)  will handle the divide haven't been disclosed, but as it stands, for viewers in Central and Northern Scotland, the first 25 minutes of Lorraine will broadcast as part of the ITV Breakfast licence, with the remaining 35 minutes via STV. Viewers may notice a change in on-screen logo and logos/promos during ad breaks, switching from ITV to STV after 9:25am.

ITV and STV have recently worked closely over breakfast time coverage of the Rugby World Cup. Where live matches took place before 9:25am, STV took over the airtime, with the Saturday afternoon movie airtime being taken back by ITV, leading to ITV branding and on-screen logo appearing on STV during September and October.