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Central Independent Television
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Central Independent Television

Central TV logo, early 1990s

Central Independent Television, or to give it its familiar name, Central Television, is a British Independent Television company that took over from ATV in 1982. Despite a new logo and on-air image, the company was a continuation of ATV in many respects, having originally applied for the franchise as ATV Midlands Limited - the IBA forced it to change its name (and move its headquarters to the Midlands from London where ATV had previously held a franchise) to reflect more fully its Midlands base.

When Central launched, its region was subdivided into two (one for the West Midlands (with studios in Birmingham and one for the East Midlands (with studios in Nottingham)) to counter criticisms that former franchise-holder ATV was too West Midlands-centric. There are few differences between the subregions, but each has their own news programme (Central News for the West and Central News East for the East). This led to the BBC also producing two news programmes (Midlands Today for the West and East Midlands Today for the East). Later on, Central added a South Midlands region (based in Oxford and producing Central News South), bur the BBC did not follow suit for many years, until an Oxford opt-out of BBC South Today was launched in 2003.

In 1993 the company was bought by Carlton Television and in 1999 changed its on-air name to Carlton (Central Region). In 2002, it became ITV1 Carlton (Central England) on-air, though the registered company name remains Central Independent Television Limited. With the merger of Carlton and Granada on 2 February 2004, the brand name has reverted to ITV1 Central. Central Independent Television is now owned by ITV plc, the company created from the merger of Granada Television and Carlton Television.

In February 2004, Central announced plans to close and sell its Nottingham base, Central Studios. The company would maintain a newsroom in the city, but production of Central News East would move to Central's other studio base in Birmingham.

Notable programmes made by Central include Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (series 1 and 2), Sharpe, Spitting Image, Cadfael, Inspector Morse and the children's series Press Gang.

There is (or was) also an Australian commercial station called Central Independent Television, but the two companies are not affiliated.

British television | Channels | ITV

Scotland: Grampian, Scottish Television, Border | North and Northwest: ABC, Granada
Northeast: Tyne Tees | Yorkshire: Yorkshire | Northern Ireland: UTV | Wales: TWW, WWN, HTV
Midlands: ATV, Central | East: Anglia | London: Rediffusion, ATV, Thames, LWT, Carlton
South: Southern, TVS, Meridian | Southwest: Westward, TSW, Westcountry | Channel Islands: CTV

Breakfast: TV-am, GMTV | Teletext: ORACLE, Teletext Ltd | News: ITN

ITA | IBA | ITC | Ofcom
ITV plc | ITV1 | ITV2 | ITV News Channel | ITV Digital