As a result:
Planned CITV channel (due for 2002 start) cancelled.
Several shows (including Zzzap! and Bernard’s Watch) got axed.
More repeats. (“Take over TV” was an experiment, but Zzzap! did not prove successful enough for more repeats as part of the autumn 2002 schedule.)
Janie Grace quit/resigned from CITV soon after CITV’s 20th Birthday Bash in January 2003. Ironically the live birthday programme featured shows, including Zzzap, formerly produced by Grace herself at Meridian or cut from CITV.
Meanwhile, Gullane Entertainment (as part of the Media Merchants purchasing deal) offered Zzzap! among other properties as a prospective programme to international broadcasters, companies and clients at MIPTV 2001. This took place in Paris, France one month after Series 10 was broadcast.
Unfortunately no broadcaster at the event was remotely interested – and Zzzap! was not included at any other events.
Art Attack, on the other hand, was still in production and making a considerable amount of money for Media Merchants, Gullane Entertainment, Scottish TV and Disney. This included a vast array of tie-in merchandise, repeats and international versions constantly in production.
However, like Zzzap!, Art Attack was forced to be broadcast on weekdays in November 2001. Nonetheless Art Attack was still hugely popular, and merchandise by the end of 2001 included (but was not limited to:)
One advantage Art Attack had over Zzzap! was that it was, for the most part, studio based and only featured one presenter. The budget and resources for Art Attack were much more vaster than Zzzap! –in fact, Nigel Pickard (Janie Grace’s replacement as Controller at CITV) invested more time and money into commissioning Art Attack ‘Mini-Makes’ and an Art Attack Christmas Special – the first in six years.
The main series then got a modern ‘overhaul’ in 2004 – with Hit Entertainment and SMG having final say with how the show looked. Of course, the Media Merchants and Neil still ran the show, but creative direction and decision was limited. Consequently, Art Attack had 26 episodes a series by 2005 and 2006.
During production of Series 19 ITV decided to stop production on all new children’s programmes and rely on external, independent or imported material instead. At first, this effected Granada or ITV regional programming My Parents are Aliens and Engie Benjy. By July 2007 this regrettably included every single ITV produced show including Jungle Run, Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids and Art Attack. With no new programmes in production, the Media Merchants closed after 15 years in operation and the rights to Art Attack and all other Media Merchants productions initially went to Hit Entertainment.
In 2010, Disney purchased the rights to the Art Attack brand and existing catalogue from Hit – and produced a new, internationally syndicated version without Neil Buchanan. This was produced in Argentina instead of the UK, and repeats continue regularly on Disney Channels around the world.
The SMG/Media Merchants version repeated constantly on the CITV channel until 2014, but has not been broadcast since.
The only other Media Merchants programme repeated on the CITV channel was Zzzap! in 2006, 2007 and 2009 respectively – all showing series 10 episodes. Zzzap! was due to be shown for the CITV 30th Anniversary celebrations but due to ongoing issues with Hit Entertainment, obtaining the rights was not possible. However since 2013 ITV have successfully regained the rights to Zzzap! again!
October 2018 saw the launch of the Zzzap! website… and after that, who knows what’s going to happen? 😉