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ITV2 was launched in 1998 as a free-to-air channel with varied entertaining content targeting the younger audience in the age brackets 16 to 34. The channel broadcasts some original content but it is mainly known for its assortment of imported American dramas and shows.
Although its main content was expected to be entertaining, at the beginning of its on-air presence the channel provided some mix genre programming, including news bulletins, interviews, talk shows on current affairs, etc., with professional input from ITV newsroom staff.
ITV2’s entertaining content can sometimes be controversial and raw, and for this reason the channel’s programming was once called ‘a pub that’s on fire.’
ITV2 has its HD branch that was first provided on a subscription basis but in 2022 became free-to-access. The programming made specifically for the ITV2 HD channel includes shows like The Xtra Factor and Britain’s Got More Talent.
In 2021, the channel launched its first true-crime series Social Media Murders, the documentary in which various criminal cases with obligatory involvement of social media are investigated. The series has featured several seasons so far.
The most popular show on the channel is Love Island that was first aired in the mid-2000s as Celebrity Love Island. The initial format failed, but the show was rebooted in 2015 without celebrities involved and became the most watched ITV2 show of 2019. In 2022, the new season of the hot show broke its own record and garnered 273 million streams, becoming the most watched show of the whole ITV plc. network that owns ITV2.
The channel had several rounds of rebranding when new idents were styled to look youthful and fun. In 2000s the channel got a set of idents that played with the number two and green color as a reference to youthfulness and freshness: ‘two’ was reimagined as ‘too’ in the names like Too Hot, Too Cold, Too Expensive, etc., the images depicted some ‘cool’ activities or concepts, and each ident had a different shade of green.
To keep the audience constantly intrigued and entertained, the channel tests new show formats regularly and buys successful franchises. If a show has a potential but failed in the initial format, it can be reinvented and rebooted like Love Island or The Big Brother.
Although ITV2 does not mind some controversy and a bit of juicy scandal, it has some basic ethical guidelines. The popular comedy show Dapper Laughs was axed after a scandal and the public outcry regarding some of the content.
The channel broadcasts the repeats of shows and dramas that proved to be highly successful on the flagship ITV channel. That’s why the eager audience can watch Coronation Street and Emmerdale on ITV2 as well.
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