ITV exec Adam Crozier on Downton Abbey’s shrinking episodes, and Daybreak axings

by Lynn Connolly

Since Downton Abbey returned to our screens with its second series earlier this year, fans of the show have been infuriated by the number of ad breaks during each episode.

So, in response – and in an attempt to appease viewers – ITV boss Adam Crozier has announced that in series three, each episode will be 60 minutes long, rather than 90.

This, he claims, will mean that viewers won’t feel as though they’re being inundated with ads because there will of course be fewer breaks. More on that in a moment…

Crozier has also been speaking to the Daily Mirror about Daybreak while attending a Broadcasting Press Guild lunch in London recently.

He began by saying that presenting duo, Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, had been “a risk that didn’t pay off”.

He added, “Obviously it hasn’t worked as well as we’d have hoped. But it is important to remember GMTV was on a gradual slide down.

“It was important to take a risk. Of course, that doesn’t always work out…

“The good thing is it has stabilised in the last few months. We stuck with it for a reasonable amount of time, now it is time for a change.

“We have a new editor and he is taking a fresh look. No one has got the job yet.”

Back now to Downton Abbey’s shrinking episodes, Crozier’s rationale for ordering the shorter episodes is that during series two, while the episodes were 90 minutes long, he reckons, “psychologically it probably felt like it was longer”.

Well, I have to take issue with that since the fact is, there were way too many ads crammed in! There was nothing ‘psychological’ about it. ITV were simply capitalizing on the popularity of the show, it’s that simple.

What do you think? Will shortening the episodes make it seem as though there are fewer ad breaks, as Mr Crozier suggests? Or would you rather they remained 90 minutes long and simply, literally, had fewer ad breaks?

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.