STV to make quiz show as advertising gathers pace

Stand up comedian Susan Calman will front show. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Stand up comedian Susan Calman will front show. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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STV has added to the growing pipeline of work in its production arm after securing the commission to make a new quiz show to be aired in Scotland and Ireland.

The programme, called The Lie, comes on the heels of other recent commissions including a second series of Catchphrase for ITV and one-off documentary, Pothole Britain, for Channel 5. STV Productions has also been recognised for its work in other genres, with programmes shortlisted in the features and current affairs categories of the Scottish Bafta awards earlier this week.

The latest piece of work was announced in conjunction with a third-quarter trading update from STV, in which the Glasgow-based group confirmed continued growth in advertising revenues from its primary broadcasting activities. Digital operations are also performing strongly, it added.

The Lie will be filmed in Dublin and co-produced by STV, Irish commercial broadcaster TV3 and GroupM Entertainment, which has partnered with STV on a number of projects since the two first came together in 2012 to make psychological thriller The Poison Tree.

The quiz show will feature two teams of contestants competing for a cash prize by identifying the one lie from a list of otherwise true statements. Ten episodes will be made for TV3 and six will be aired in Scotland, with the latter fronted by comedian Susan Calman.

STV chief executive Rob Woodward said the commission for The Lie demonstrated the group’s growing credentials in entertainment programming, a key feature in the company’s quest to expand its revenues from activities other than broadcasting.

Director of content Alan Clements said the project would build upon other entertainment programming from STV Productions such as Catchphrase, and the second series of Fake Reaction, due to air on ITV2 next year.

“It is fantastic to be bringing this new format to peak time audiences on STV and TV3,” Clements said. “This is the first opportunity we have had to work with TV3 and we are looking forward to filming starting in Ireland before the end of the year.”

Turning to the group financial figures for the three months to the end of October, Woodward said trading remained in line with forecasts.

National advertising revenues were up 6 per cent during the third quarter, and are expected to remain ahead of the market through November with a rise of about 5 per cent.

Regional airtime revenues, meanwhile, were 4 per cent higher during the third quarter, and are expected to be 5 per cent up through to the end of November.

STV’s digital business is expected to show growth of 21 per cent through to the end of this month.

“We remain on track to achieve our growth targets in 2013 and continue to make strong progress in delivery of our strategy to grow non-broadcast earnings,” Woodward said.