Harries calls net 'unwatchable,' ignored by auds

One of ITV’s top creatives, responsible for tentpole shows like Helen Mirren starrer “Prime Suspect” and “Cracker,” has accused colleagues of “deep complacency” and “arrogance.”

Andy Harries, controller of drama, comedy and films for ITV Prods., suggested that ITV flagship web ITV1 was “unwatchable” and ignored by upscale auds.

He was speaking to British newspaper the Guardian following the resignation of ITV chief exec Charles Allen this month.

“It is clear that ITV has lost its way,” he said. “The key to it is that it has lost its focus on programming … I’m not angry, I’m disappointed that the channel is not as good as it should be.”

He said that Allen was “well intentioned, but the difficulty was the business became more important than the channels.”

Accusing ITV’s old commissioning team of lacking direction, with too much drama aimed at older women, he went on: “Every broadcaster makes mistakes. But in the past five years, ITV’s compound mistakes have added up.

“I don’t think our drama is big enough, or must-watch enough. We’ve had too many series, and we have lacked conviction.

“There’s been a deep complacency, combined with arrogance. ITV has been caught napping big time.”

Harries produced “The Queen,” which will bow at the Venice Film Festival. Pic, 50% funded by ITV, is helmed by Stephen Frears and distributed by Miramax. It stars Mirren as Elizabeth II attempting to make sense of the public’s reaction to Princess Diana’s death.

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