The Nightly Show could be back. According to ITV sources, the much-pilloried evening satire show could return once its initial eight-week run finishes next month.
The series has struggled in the ratings and attracted critical opprobrium but senior ITV sources say that director of programmes Kevin Lygo is prepared to give it another chance.
While no formal decision has yet been made, one option said to be under consideration is bringing it back in September for eight more weeks, according to one source. This would give it a rest over the summer and offer the channel a chance to overhaul the format with “a substantial revamp”.
Another source suggested that the autumn may be too early and that if it does return it will be early next year.
An ITV spokesman declined to comment on the claims but told RadioTimes.com that a decision on The Nightly Show’s future had not yet been made.
“We will make a decision on a recommission once the series is completed,” the spokesman said.
It is unclear whether it will continue with a rotating host or instal a permanent presenter in the chair for the new run if it is re-commissioned. So far the presenting line up has seen weekly duties taken by David Walliams, John Bishop, Davina McCall, Dermot O’Leary and Gordon Ramsay. Bradley Walsh will host next week, with two more guest presenters to follow.
Neither is it clear whether a second run would air at 10pm where it has supplanted the ITV evening news or take up a new berth at 10:30pm.
The audience for the news has dropped considerably since it was moved to the later time of 10:30pm. Supplier ITN is likely to react badly to the return of The Nightly Show, especially if it takes over the 10pm slot again.
“Morale would be sorely affected,” said one ITN journalist. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the news presenters actually walked. We were under the impression that it would finish in three weeks and not come back.”
By mid-March, The Nightly Show was averaging 1.7 million viewers per night, less than the 1.9 million the News at Ten averaged across the month of January.
Last night’s edition of the entertainment series was watched by fewer than a million viewers.
The Nightly Show is at 10pm on ITV, Monday to Friday