Channel 5

Channel 5 is a British commercial television network that launched in 1997, and was the fifth national terrestrial analogue network in the United Kingdom after BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, and Channel 4. It is generally the fifth-placed network in the country in audience share, and has been since its inception.

Channel 5 is a general entertainment channel that shows both internally commissioned programmes such as Fifth Gear, Big Brother & Celebrity Big Brother, The Gadget Show, The Hotel Inspector, Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away! and Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun and foreign programmes. The station has been very successful with imports from the United States in particular, including the CSI franchise, the NCIS franchise, the first 3 series in the Law & Order franchise, Power Rangers, The Mentalist, Body of Proof, Once Upon a Time, Dallas and Under the Dome.

Pre-launch

Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited was licensed by the UK Government in 1995 after a bidding process that started in 1993 and lasted throughout 1994. The difficulty with the project lay in use of television broadcast frequencies that had been allocated to RF outputs from domestic videocassette recorders. To achieve national coverage, large numbers of domestic video recorders (which output at a nearby frequency) had to be retuned or fitted with a filter, at the bidding company’s expense.

Launch

  • Channel_5_1997March 30, 1997: At 6 pm Channel 5 launched with the Spice Girls singing a re-written version of Manfred Mann‘s hit “5-4-3-2-1” as “1-2-3-4-5”. Presenters Tim Vine and Julia Bradbury introduced the nation to the UK’s fifth (sixth including S4C) terrestrial channel with half-an-hour of previews.

Channel 5 Programmes​

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Family Affairs (first broadcast Mar 30, 1997)

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Hospital!, TV movie (Mar 30, 1997)

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The Jack Docherty Show (Mar 30, 1997)

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Milkshake! (1997)

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Wing and a Prayer (Sep 22, 1997)

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Dec 30, 1998)

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Lexx (Jan 3, 1999)

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Martial Law (Mar 1, 1999)

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Doomwatch: Winter Angel (1999)

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Charmed (Jul 12, 1999)
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