ITV has ordered 50 x 30-minute episodes of The Royal Today from ITV Productions, which beat off competition from around a dozen indies selected to pitch for the commission. It's a spin-off from the Sunday night favourite but set in the present day.
ITV director of factual and daytime Alison Sharman said she wanted to "restore the great ITV tradition of delivering quality afternoon drama".
She said: "The Royal is a prestigious brand for ITV1 and The Royal Today will give our daytime audience something of real quality."
The Royal Today will be executive produced by Keith Richardson and Ken Horn and will go out later this year across weekdays.
It was Sharman who successfully launched daytime drama Doctors and The Afternoon Play when she was at the BBC. Incidentally, Channel 4 tried it with The Courtroom a couple of years ago but the restrictive format doomed it to failure.
50 x 30 is a lot of hours and so this is perhaps a time to start polishing your daytime TV spec or thinking about writing one.
(Source: Chris Curtis, Broadcast)