ITV in weekend ratings crisis

Dermot O'Leary

The Marriage Ref host Dermot O'Leary

ITV are reportedly considering axing their three flagship weekend shows following a huge slump in ratings.

ITV face a crisis after its three flagship weekend shows were trounced in the ratings.

'The Marriage Ref' - which sees Dermot O'Leary host while a celebrity panel contemplate the dilemmas of warring couples - has been unable to get more than 10 per cent of viewers for it's Saturday9pm slot, while magic show 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' has lost hundreds of thousands of viewers since it first aired two weeks ago, dropping to 3.3 million from 3.7 million.

Now insiders are predicting 'The Marriage Ref' and 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us' - which is hosted by Jonathan Ross - will be dropped, along with Sunday evening flop show 'Popstar to Operastar', which sees musical stars turning their talents to opera and is hosted by Myleene Klass.

An insider said: "It's a disaster. If big name stars like Dermot, Myleene and Jonathan can't help get these shows big audiences, then you're stuffed."

However, ITV sources insist they are not worried about the programmes, claiming they are still popular with younger audiences.

A spokesperson told The Sun newspaper: "We're pleased that our new entertainment shows meant ITV1 was the most watched channel in peak time among younger viewers on Saturday night."


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