I'm back! Massive hiatus from my CBBC article but finally the second of my artciles on British childrens TV is here. This time, instead of CBBC, I'm looking at CITV (Children's Independent TeleVision). Back then, like with the BBC, there was no dedicated channel to it like there is now, so it took the morning and afternoon slot on weekdays, alongside other shows such as the news. That CITV didn't become a seperate channel until about 2 or 3 years ago is incredible. So, in no particular order:

There was a programme on saturday mornings, that was the forerunner of SM:TV (saturday morning tv), which was basically a more modern version of live and kicking (hosted roughly the same time on the bbc- see my other article)- live game show and cartoons, plus interviews with celebrities. I can't remember the name of the predecessor to SMTV, but all i remember of it is that it had Animaniacs. I love Animaniacs!!! Enough said really. According to wikipedia, it was more popular than live and kicking... and Ant and Dec were presenters on the show!!! Blimey, I'm struggling to remember that! After SM:TV, alongside Toonattik(explained underneath) there was also Saturday Showdown. I never watched this; if I did I don't remember it.

Cartoons on CITV tended to be taken from America, much like CBBC. For example, I remember Garfield in the afternoons at one point, and obviously Animaniacs. However, Rupert the Bear was a prominent British cartoon here, although I don't remember much of it, as was Paddington Bear (we love our cuddly abandoned bears over here, especially if they're left on Paddington station and come from Peru). There was also Rosie and Jim! 2 puppets on a narrowboat that just sang. Even though I was about 4 when this came on, it was very addictive. There was also Toonattik. This was actually quite good for a saturday morning, given that its main selling point was just the cartoons, when SM:TV finally ran out of steam.


As CITV showed so many US cartoons that i can't remember properly to give my own analysis, heres a small (and incomplete) list of them:

Teenage mutant ninja turtles

Transformers; the beast wars
Ok, i lie. I do remember this quite well. Such an awesome show that unfortunately didn't gain much popularity and only had one series over here.

Power Rangers
There are so many remakes that I'm not going to start on this! They aired the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers to begin with and they didn't stop broadcasting the newer editions.

Biker Mice From Mars

Doug

Earthworm Jim
and a load of others I can't remember.
Except for... The Racoons! No; they weren't on CITV, surely? Again, my memory is poor on that one. But, there was something i loved at primary school; Recess! This show had a wicked theme tune that got stuck into my head. Couldn't stop trying to whistle it. And the show lasted for more than one series which is always nice.


Note that they weren't all broadcast at the same time!

There were a lot of newer shows, such as Bratz, that were coming around to CITV just as I lost interest in it. Why, then, it must be asked, did I stick with CBBC, or to the point, why do I remember CBBC better than CITV? In one sentence; Dick and Dom in da Bungalow! It was just that much better than anything else on at the time (see my previous article to see why it was that good).

I will say something ITV did manage to do something right though. Gladiators and Ice Warriors and Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, along with Escape from were all aired on after dinner, and designed for prime time audiences, not specifically kids. But, I watched them. My mates watched them. And we loved them. I should add that Ant and Dec (2 presenters) are huge in Britain- they might as well be living gods in their own right. They actually started their careers as teenage actors on CBBC on Byker Grove (set in their native Newcastle)! Talk about irony...There was also gladiators, which was similar to the american version, but easier so far as I can tell. Nonetheless, this was what i worshipped(first picture). A remake of it a few years ago was definitely a mistake(picture 2);
picture 1:

Ewww... look at the awful spandex they wear now...it was just so, well, retro back then.
picture 2:

Well there we are. I must confess that I remember CBBC better than CITV, but thats my opinion and there will be a lot of people who are against me on that one. Of course it wasn't just CBBC and CITV, but lack of digital TV (and Channel 4 and Five didn't really appeal to me (yeah, we're really not original in our channel names)) meant i was stuck with them. And you know what? I wouldn't have traded it for digital back then. CITV really struggled most of the time against CBBC to haul in the audiences and suffered numerous cutbacks (apparently). Such a shame, since ITV was the BBC's main competitor before the digital age, with MTV and Sky and others now taking on the other two in Britain.