New Rebus drama at centre of ITV3 programme line-up

LONDON - 'Rebus: Mortal Causes', a crime drama starring 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' actor John Hannah, is one of the main attractions in ITV3's first week of broadcast.

The much-awaited new channel from ITV, which goes live on November 1, is aimed at an audience aged 35 years and up and has unveiled the programming line-up for its first week of life.

ITV3, which is expected to be the first of more multichannel launches from the recently merged ITV, is the fourth channel in its existing multichannel portfolio, which already includes ITV1, ITV2 and ITV News.

Repeats of the first series of 'Inspector Morse', 'A Touch of Frost' and 'Prime Suspect' are going to make appearances on the new station. There is also a new drama scheduled called 'Blue Dove', a behind-the-scenes look at the tea-china trade.

Friday night films on the agenda for November include Steve Martin's 'Father of the Bride' and 'Sister Act', featuring Whoopi Goldberg.

ITV3 is the first new station from ITV since the company's two halves -- Carlton Communications and Granada -- merged at the beginning of the year.

Charles Allen, the broadcaster's chief executive, said during this year's annual television festival in Edinburgh that he would launch more new channels from the broadcaster in the coming years to sustain its hold on the market in the growing digital TV landscape.

It is understood the next digital channel launch from the broadcaster could be a collaboration with a children's broadcaster, aimed at a young audience.

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