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Crossroads - The 2000s

Courtesy of ITV Global Entertainment Ltd

Main image of Crossroads - The 2000s
Central for ITV, tx. 5/3/2001-30/5/2003
320 x 30 min episodes, colour
Series ProducerPeter Rose
Executive ProducerSharon Bloom
 Yvon Grace
ProducersKay Patrick
 Peter Rose

Cast: Jane Rossington (Jill Chance); Tony Adams (Adam Chance); Joanne Farrell/Holly Newman (Sarah-Jane Harvey); Kathy Staff (Doris Luke); Jane Asher (Angel Samson); Anne Charleston (Betty Waddell); Freema Agyeman (Lola Wise); Stuart Milligan (Max Samson)

Show full cast and credits

The former Crossroads motel has been re-established as a hotel under the managership of Jill Harvey. But life among the staff and guests is as eventful as ever.

Show full synopsis

Crossroads owed its revival to Channel 5's successful bid to capture the popular daily Australian soap Home and Away (1989-), which left ITV in need of a replacement. Carlton executive Lord Waheed Ali somewhat improbably seized upon Crossroads as the answer. There was a certain logic to this; when the original series was axed it was still reaching a large audience, and recent attempts to create entirely new soaps such as Albion Market (ITV, 1985-86) and Eldorado (BBC, 1992-93) had been notorious failures. But Carlton soon discovered that Crossroads came with a great deal of baggage, and it would be far from easy to inherit original viewers, while appealing to a new audience with a much younger demographic.

There was incredulity in the media when the return of the series was confirmed, and the jokes about wobbly sets and wooden performances came thick and fast. However, the series' eventual debut in March 2001 received a generally positive critical reaction. The original cast of 28 characters had an emphasis on youth, but also featured familiar actors like Jane Gurnett and characters from the original series such as Jill Harvey, Doris Luke and Adam Chance. But the honeymoon period didn't last; within a few weeks it was rumoured that the show was facing the axe because of poor ratings and, in an apparent confirmation, it was quickly cut from five to four episodes a week.

A combination of bad decisions (such as killing off Jill Harvey), and some unconvincing performances only served to jettison new fans and alienate the old. Although after much agonising by ITV another 240 episodes were ordered, the show's fate was sealed by two decisions. Firstly the renewal was dependent on a radical revamp which would have little continuity with the series to that point, and secondly, the show was taken off the air for four months before the relaunch in January 2003. This was a severe blow; unspectacular ratings were further damaged by the hiatus, and the remaining viewers were bemused when the show returned with a high-camp makeover starring Jane Asher as 'superbitch' Angel Samson.

The show was rapidly cancelled but limped on until May 2003 before ending with the revelation that the whole series had been a dream. For Crossroads fans it was a nightmare, as it surely meant that after such a disastrous comeback, the show was destined never to rise again.

John Williams

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Video Clips
Crossroads (1964-88, 2001-03)
Crossroads - The 1960s
Crossroads - The 1970s
Crossroads - The 1980s