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Launched 11 March 2006
Owned by ITV Digital Channels Ltd
(ITV plc)
Picture format 16:9 SDTV
Audience share 0.3%
(October 2009, BARB)
Freeview Channel 72 (except Wales)
Sky Digital Channel 621
Freesat Channel 602
Virgin Media Channel 734
TalkTalk TV Channel 307
Internet television Home Page

CITV (short for "Children's ITV") is a British children's TV station from ITV Digital Channels Ltd, a division of ITV plc. The channel is aimed at children under 12 years old, broadcasting content from the current CITV library, as well as commissions and acquisitions.[1]

The CITV channel is an extension of the original afternoon children's programming block shown on the ITV channel. First named "Children's ITV", the block launched on 3 January 1983 at 15:30. Some years later (following the launch of "Children's BBC", and its subsequent rebranding to "CBBC"), it adopted the shorthand name "CITV".

The CITV channel currently broadcasts from 06:00 to 18:00, however the channel broadcasts a Teleshopping strand weekday mornings between 06:00 and 06:30. The channel previously timeshared with ITV4 until 5 February 2008, until ITV4 expanded its broadcast hours to become a full 24 hour channel. As a consequence it moved to the Mux space on Freeview originally held by ABC1, however this move meant that viewers in Wales would no longer be able to receive CITV on Freeview. On Freeview in Wales, the off-air caption read as "CITV will no longer be available in Wales from 5 February".

The channel launched on 11 March 2006 at 09:25 on Freeview, Homechoice (now known as TalkTalk TV) and Telewest. It also launched on Sky Digital on 8 May 2006 and NTL on the 6 June. Additionally, the channel is simulcast on GMTV2 (which broadcasts on ITV4, previously ITV2) on weekdays between 06:00 and 09:25.

On 2 November 2009, the channel was relaunched, with a new logo and new branding in Black and Gold to match ITV1 as part of the ITV Corporate look. The channel's preschool strand was given a dramatic overhaul, and given a new name - Mini CITV. Mini CITV is hosted by a group of spacemen-like beings called the Minis, who oversee presentation items on the channel. The strand's logo is similar to the first 'C' in the current CBBC logo.

NTL and Telewest are now both known as Virgin Media.


Leading up to launch

The original launch date of the channel was set for 11 February, but this was pushed back by four weeks as a result of problems "clearing the digital rights to children's programming" and "comprehensive" re-branding[2]. Coincidentally, 11 February was the same date as the launch of the rival CBBC Channel in 2002. Promos for the channel began on 20 February, including an online countdown clock, running to the channel's launch date.

As has become standard for Freeview Channel launches, the channel was allocated an EPG number well before transmission started. Initially, a static 'coming soon' graphic was shown, followed by a preview video loop running from late February 2006 until the launch.[3]


Logo change

It was apparent ever since the first advertisements appeared that the CITV logo had been redesigned to match ITV's new corporate image, even using the same font as the logos for the rest of ITV plc's channels. The logo centres around the large 'C' and is coloured with two distinct palettes depending upon the nature of the programming - there is a cream/beige look for younger children's/preschool programming and red and navy blue 'comic book' scheme for older/schoolchildren's output.


The CITV Channel was launched on 11 March 2006, using the capacity formerly occupied by the ITV News Channel on Freeview. Until February 2008, the CITV Channel timeshared with ITV4. Both the channels replaced the ITV News Channel.


Slogans used during the build-up to the launch of the new channel, and in on-screen continuity since, have included 'It's massive!', 'It's gonna be monster!', and for the preschool strand 'As big as their imagination' - all phrases suggesting the sheer scale of the new channel.


The CITV Channel launched with a full day average of 33,000 viewers and a 2.5% share of the child audience. This put it ahead of its major commercial rivals Cartoon Network (20,000, a 1.5% share), Boomerang (28,000 a 2.1% share) and Nickelodeon (26,000 a 2.0% share). The channel peaked at 16:30 with Bratz gaining 51,000 viewers and a 3.6% share.[4]

The channel took a 0.2% audience share in its first week compared to: CBBC 0.6, Cartoon Network 0.4, Boomerang 0.4% and CBeebies 1.4%.

It's overall ratings share for March 2006 was 0.1%, by April 2006 this had risen to 0.2%, 0.3% followed in May.

In August 2006, the channel became the most popular commercial kids channel between 06:00 and 18:00.[5]


Programming between 06:00 and 09:25 is controlled by GMTV, who, having rebranded the vast majority of their GMTV1 and 2 children's output as CITV, now use the space to simulcast their Wakey! Wakey!, Toonattik and Action Stations! strands from GMTV1 at weekends and GMTV2 on weekdays.[6] ITV takes over at 09:25, controlling the rest of the day's programming. When it first launched, GMTV used to sell all the airtime for the channel, making it the first ITV plc-owned channel not to be sold by the in-house sales team. Airtime sales have now been taken back in-house by ITV[7].

ITV's output for the new channel includes many well-established shows from the long-running afternoon slot on ITV, for example My Parents Are Aliens, Grizzly Tales For Gruesome Kids, Jungle Run, Art Attack, and others, as well as several new programmes produced especially for the channel, such as Bratz, Louie, Paz, Animal Spies!, My Life as a Popat and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. On weekdays, the channel broadcasts mainly preschool programming in the day (except during the school holidays), and programmes for schoolchildren in the late afternoon and early evening to cater for the available audience.

The CITV Channel aired the last 3 weeks of Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown exclusively on Saturday mornings before the show ended on Saturday 1 July 2006. The channel had previously simulcast the show with ITV before spin-off show Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown: Extra aired at 11:30 exclusive to the channel. The show would be replaced by the all-animation block Toon Base

As the channel is simulcast on the ITV Network, some programmes on the channel are sourced from different networks: Avatar: The Legend of Aang, SpongeBob SquarePants (and others) are produced by and airs on Nickelodeon. GMTV's morning output on the channel is largely produced by Disney.

The CITV Channel had brought some programmes back that had not been on CITV for a few years including ZZZap!, Rupert Bear, Harry and the Wrinklies, Sir Gadabout: The Worst Knight in the Land, Big Meg Little Meg, Wolves, Witches and Giants, Sooty Heights, the 1998/99 series of The Wombles and The Adventures of Paddington Bear. Sir Gadabout was shown on the channel part of its 'Easter Surprise!', soon after it was shown throughout most of the summer holidays that year.

On 2 November 2009, the channel re-launched with a new look and to make it easier for viewers to recognise different slots during school term time. The pre-school slot re-named as 'Mini CITV' running from 9.25am to 3.15pm and currently airs throughout the school term every weekday and is not shown during school holidays.

Programme Blocks

Weekdays (School-Term)

Year 6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-3pm 3pm-6pm 6pm-6am
2006-2009 Wakey Wakey Action Stations CITV Off air
2009–Present The Fluffy Club MINI CITV
See note 1
See note 2

Note 1: Repeats of the previous day are shown between 9.25am and 12pm
Note 2: The first programme is still officially Mini CITV programming although it uses the main CITV branding

Weekdays (School-Holidays)

Year 6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
2006-2009 Wakey Wakey Action Stations CITV Off air
2009–Present The Fluffy Club


Year 6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
2006-2009 Wakey Wakey Toonatik CITV Off air
2009–Present Fluffy Club Toonatik

Special blocks

Toon Base

Toon Base is a weekend morning block featuring only animated programming from 09:25, which replaced Holly and Stephen's Saturday Showdown. The schedule contains Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fast Forward, Planet Sketch, Horrid Henry, Supernormal, Bratz and Atomic Betty .

From 8 February 2008 the strand broadcasted until 12:00, adding Atomic Betty and Four Eyes! into the schedule.

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-12.00pm 12.00pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik Toon Base CITV Off air

Get Stuck In!

Get Stuck In! is an hour timeslot on Saturday and Sunday mornings on the CITV Channel. The slot was not seen during the weekends of November 2009 as they were filled by back to back episodes of Horrid Henry all day from 9.25am to 6.00pm. Get Stuck In! was also shown on Friday afternoon on CITV on the ITV Network in 2006. However, since there is now no afternoon programming on ITV1. It returned for the Half Term Holidays between the 15 and 19 February 2010, and aired for 2 Hours between 12.00 and 14.00

Programmes Shown as Part of Get Stuck In!:

Programmes Previously Show on Get Stuck In!:

NOTE: How2 has not been repeated on CITV since the axe of it in 2006.

Previous Schedule

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-10.25am 10.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik Get Stuck In! CITV Off air

Current Schedule

6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-12pm 12pm-2pm 2pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Action Stations CITV Get Stuck In! CITV Off air


Chooseday on Tuesdays is where viewers vote on what episode of a show they would like to see. The winning episode is broadcast at 12:00 and 16:00.

6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-12pm 12.00pm-1pm 1pm-4pm 4pm-5pm 5pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Action Stations CITV Chooseday CITV Chooseday CITV Off air

Marathon Weekends

Marathon weekends were when the CITV Channel showed 2 hours of one particular show. Previous blocks include: Bratz, Horrid Henry and Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids.

Marathon weekends were broadcast weekends between 09:25 and 11:25. They were shown in the Summer holidays in 2007 and the last time they did them was early January 2008, which was soon replaced with the return of Toonbase.

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-11.25pm 11.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik Marathon Weekend CITV Off air

Totally Henry

Totally Henry featured 34 back-to-back episodes of Horrid Henry, broadcast on 5 May 2008 between 9:25 and closedown at 18:00.

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik Totally Henry Off air

Horrid Henry's Power Hour

Horrid Henry's Power Hour is an hour of Horrid Henry, broadcast weekdays between 15:30 and 16:30. This slot was broadcast between 2007 & 2008. It returned on 2 January 2010, this time being broadcast on weekends between 14:00 and 15:00.

Previous schedule

6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-3.30pm 3.30pm-4.30pm 4.30pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Action Stations CITV Horrid Henry's Power Hour CITV Off air

Current schedule

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-2pm 2pm-3pm 3pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Fluffy Club Toonatik CITV Horrid Henry's Power Hour CITV Off air

The Battle for The Beaster Egg

The Battle for The Beaster Egg was the main theme of the Easters holidays on CITV in 2009 where Chicks & Rabbits would go head to head to win over the Beaster Egg (a giant chocolate egg).

No Boys/No Girls Allowed

No Boys/No Girls Allowed was a slot used on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 2:30 to 6:00 throughout the summer holidays of 2009. Saturdays it would be 'No Girls Allowed' where they show programmes mainly that boys would watch such as Horrid Henry and My Goldfish is Evil. And on Sundays it would be 'No Boys Allowed' where they would show programmes mainly watched by girls such as Bratz, Atomic Betty and Britannia High.


6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-2.30pm 2.30pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik CITV No Girls Allowed Off air


6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-2.30pm 2.30pm-6pm 6pm-6am
Wakey Wakey Toonatik CITV No Boys Allowed Off air

Big Horrid Weekends

Big Horrid Weekends is currently broadcasted between 09:25 and the normal closedown time at 18:00 on weekends as of November 2009. It shows episodes of Horrid Henry back-to-back during that time, sometimes even uninterrupted by breaks.

6am-7.15am 7.15am-7.25am 7.25am-9.25am 9.25am-6pm 6pm-6am
Fluffy Club Toonatik Big Horrid Weekends Off air

Mini Christmas

Mini Christmas was broadcast between 9.25am-3.15pm from the 14 December to the 18 December 2009. It showed Christmas or Winter themed episodes.

6am-6.30am 6.30am-9.25am 9.25am-3.15pm 3.15pm-6pm 6pm-6am
The Fluffy Club Action Stations MINI Christmas CITV Off air

Purple Hand Gang Takeover

From February 15 to February 19 2010 the Purple Hand Gang took over CITV. Horrid Henry had taken over the continuity announcements alongside the regular voiceover.

Share A Story Week

From March 1st-7th 2010 CITV is celebrating World Book Day with Share A Story Week, with two new episodes of Horrid Henry. There is a competition in which children aged 5-12 have to write their own story. 8 winning entries will be selected, and the winners will spend a day at CITV. The closing date for entries is 9th April.

What a Month!

CITV's entertainment news strand that aired everyday on the channel. It was originally called What a Week! when the CITV Channel was launched, then in the summer of 2007 it was re-named to What a Summer! and finally What a Month from January 2008.

What a Month covered new movies, songs, and videogames, with brief clips and sometimes behind-the-scenes interviews. Occasionally they mention CITV programmes too. This slot was eventually axed by the time of CITV's relaunch in late-2009.

Web launch

CITV counted down to the launch of the new service on their website, complete with a caption showing the Freeview number (75) underneath it. Since the launch, the website has been revamped to tie in with CITV's new logo and colour scheme.

The "Flea Mail" feature encourages viewers participation on the website and on air. The four Fleas are: Marcus Wingspan, Travel Bug, Flea Man, and Big Bow.

Online Streaming

It was revealed in the CITV newsletter released on Friday 29 August, that the CITV Channel would be broadcasting simultaneously on the CITV website. The channel is now broadcasting online between 06:25 and 18:00, (without broadcasting the programming from GMTV between 06:00 & 09:25). This can been seen on the homepage of the website.

See also


External links


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