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E4 (2001)

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  Summary  

E4 is a channel on British digital television, launched as a pay-TV companion to Channel 4 on 18 January 2001. The "E" stands for entertainment, and the channel is mainly aimed at the lucrative 15–35 age group. Programming includes US imports such as The O.C., Smallville, Veronica Mars, The Cleveland Show, Glee, The Sopranos, Everwood, What About Brian?, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, 90210, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, Scrubs, Rules of Engagement, The Big Bang Theory and formerly Friends. Other programming includes British shows such as Shameless, Hollyoaks, Skins, The Inbetweeners and Misfits. Some of the imports, e.g. Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty are screened on E4 up to one week ahead of their Channel 4 broadcasts. Its most successful broadcast to date was on 11 October 2010 when an episode of The Inbetweeners pulled in over 3.7 million viewers. E4 uses the voiceover of Peter Dickson to advertise its programmes.

  Biography  

On 16 December 2004 Channel 4 announced that the subscription channel would return to digital terrestrial television. From its launch until the closure of ITV Digital it was available as a bonus subscription channel. It became part of the Top Up TV subscription scheme until 27 May 2005, when the channel became available on Freeview, with the potential to increase advertising revenue by attracting a larger audience.

E4 was also available as part of the basic Sky satellite subscription channel package, due to a long term contract with BSkyB it only became free-to-air in 2008. This change happened on 6 May 2008 and the channel joined Freesat alongside with More4.

In May 2005 E4 introduced "First Look", showing episodes of popular programmes such as Come Dine With Me, Hollyoaks and drama series such as Lost and Invasion in advance of transmission on Channel 4.


In October 2005 More4 was launched to complement Channel 4's digital channels. ER and The West Wing subsequently moved from E4 to More4.

E4 launched a Republic of Ireland service in June 2002 which has become the second most popular non-terrestrial channel in Ireland with 1.1% of the audience; Sky1 is the most popular.

Since 2006 E4 has sponsored the E4 UdderBELLY venue at the Edinburgh Fringe and Brighton Festival. The venue took the form of a giant upside cow in the purple colour of E4's logo.

In July 2007 it was announced Channel 4 would be launching E4 Radio, the first of a network of channels to be broadcast on DAB radio. The station was planned for launch in July 2008 and aimed at a similar demographic to its sister television channel, however this launch date was later delayed. In October 2008 Channel 4 announced it was abandoning its plans for digital radio, and thus scrapping the E4 Radio proposal.

On 14 December 2009, a high-definition simulcast of E4 launched on Sky+ HD channel 215. Unlike the standard definition channels from Channel 4, which are free to air, and the free-to-view Channel 4 HD, E4 HD is only available to viewers with Sky's HD Pack subscription. On 1 April 2010, E4 HD was added to Virgin Media.

In October 2011, E4 stopped airing the sitcom Friends, which was one of the channel's most popular programmes. Comedy Central now own the rights to air Friends in the UK and also in HD. Channel 4 had acquired the rights to air the programme from 1996 - 2011, and with E4 from 2004 - 2011 However, a Friends blog continues to appear on the E4 website. The original Friends run was from 1994 - 2004.

 Channel programming


Most watched programmes
The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on E4, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 15 May 2011. The number of viewers does not include repeats or airings on E4+1.

 E4 Music
In August 2005, following the close of that year's Big Brother, E4 introduced the E4 Music programming block. The slot initially ran through much of the morning/daytime schedule, though was later reduced to mornings only, with the amount of scripted comedy and drama screened in daytime increased.

Prior to the launch of E4 Music, E4 was off-air during daytime for much of the year, only going on air in daytime for rolling coverage of reality shows such as Big Brother. The introduction of E4 Music led to E4 broadcasting 24/7 all year round. Initially, E4 Music would take a summer break to allow Big Brother coverage to replace it, but in later years Big Brother coverage was reduced, allowing a cut-down E4 Music to run during the summer.

In 2008, the launch of 4Music as a channel led to questions being asked about the future of E4 Music. However, E4 retained its commitment to music content, stating that E4 Music had been commissioned to run until at least the start of Big Brother in 2009.

At 10am on Thursday 4 June 2009, the day before the launch of the 2009 Big Brother series, E4 Music ceased broadcasting.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "E4 (channel)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.