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Crossroads axed shortly after relaunch

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Nigel Pickard, ITV's new director of programmes, has taken the long-expected decision to axe failing soap Crossroads - despite the show having been recommissioned as recently as December.

Pickard said: "Carlton and ITV have worked extremely hard to establish Crossroads but despite the best efforts of all concerned it has attracted disappointing audiences since its return earlier this year.

"This is a tough decision to have to make and I would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work and commitment to the series."

Ratings have plummeted from around three million viewers per episode to around 1.3 million. Carlton had hoped to make the soap "a must-see daytime show," but despite a relaunch the show continued to fail to deliver viewers to the network.

Since it was brought back in 2001, Crossroads failed to find a solid direction on the network, as extensively covered by Digital Spy. The show entered ITV's schedules in March 2001; the first report about a possible axing came only a month later. By August, the show had been cut back to four episodes a week and was moved around in the schedules. New characters were brought in during early 2002, as the soap was once again facing the axe. An attempt to draw in older viewers failed in July 2002, with the soap being placed on hiatus in August ahead of a December relaunch. New characters post-relaunch such as Les Dennis failed to halt the ratings decline, despite a short-lived uptick in viewing figures immediately after the soap went back on the air. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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