Channel 4 is axing long-running popular factual shows Wife Swap and How Clean is Your House? as part of the ongoing "creative renewal" of its programming lineup following the cancellation of Big Brother.
The head of Channel 4, Julian Bellamy, said Wife Swap and How Clean is Your House? had been "huge hits", but that his focus was now on "finding the next generation of groundbreaking shows". Both shows have already appeared on Channel 4 for the last time and will not return in 2010.
Today's announcement follows Channel 4's decision to axe Big Brother, which will air for the last time next year.
Bellamy said Channel 4's annual programme budget had fallen by another £50m in 2009, taking the total reduction to £150m over the past three years.
"The decommission of Big Brother earlier this year has been the catalyst for a process of creative renewal right across Channel 4," he said.
"When Wife Swap launched, it was a truly groundbreaking programme which heralded an era of new factual formats right across television. It was challenging, impactful and connected with a large mainstream audience. I am now looking to find new ways to challenge the mainstream through entertaining and provocative programmes."
Bellamy said both programmes remained profitable and said it was a "creative decision on our part to make space for new ideas".
Bellamy said it had been a difficult year in which some "pretty tough decisions" had been made. But he added that Channel 4's overall audience - across its entire portfolio of channels - was "almost flat year on year, which is pretty impressive".
The decision to drop Wife Swap and How Clean Is Your House? was part of the broadcaster's "creative reinvention project", he said. He added that he wanted shows that were "intelligent, provocative, audacious and ambitious".
On Big Brother, which will come to an end next year, he added: "Both Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother will go out with a bang. We are playing our cards close to our chest. Rest assured it will be a memorable exit."
Wife Swap, made by the independent producer RDF Media, arrived on Channel 4 in January 2003 and was an instant hit, attracting nearly 6 million viewers before the end of its first series. At the time, only Big Brother and Jamie's Kitchen were getting bigger audiences for Channel 4.
The spin-off series Celebrity Wife Swap followed in November 2003, featuring the late Jade Goody and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? cheat Charles Ingram, and was also a huge hit for Channel 4, bringing in 6 million viewers.
Wife Swap attracted criticism that its format, in which two women from very different backgrounds swapped families, represented the worst form of "car crash" TV, pandering to the audience's voyeuristic tendancies.
However, it was a ratings winner for Channel 4 for several years and RDF successfully adapted the format for the US broadcaster ABC.
More recently, Wife Swap's ratings have dipped on Channel 4, with the last series earlier this year attracting around 2 million viewers.
Wife Swap marked the beginning of a boom in similar so-called "formatted documentary" shows, including How Clean Is Your House?, on Channel 4 and other broadcasters.
How Clean Is Your House?, starring the cleaning experts Kim Woodburn and Aggie MacKenzie and made by Talkback Thames, was another instant hit for Channel 4, launching in May 2003 with more than 4 million viewers.
The audience for show's final Channel 4 series earlier this year had dipped to around 1.5 million.
Grant Mansfield, the group director, factual, entertainment and comedy at Wife Swap producer RDF Media, said: "Wife Swap has enjoyed a long and successful run in the UK on Channel 4 and we've known for many months that it was unlikely to be commissioned for a further series.
"We're grateful for the channel's support during the seven years the show has been in production. It's been great fun making the show. Of course we are disappointed Wife Swap will not be continuing on Channel 4, but internationally the brand goes from strength to strength with a weekly prime-time slot on the ABC Network in America and the format now sold to more than 70 countries."
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