In the Spring, after over six months of speculation in the tabloid press, ITV announced that it had commissioned a new entertainment series 'Starstruck' - billed as the the new Stars In Their Eyes.
Starstruck will see ordinary members of the public with an exceptional talent team up to transform into some of the world’s biggest music icons. The series sees four teams of three battle each week to win the votes of judging panel and virtual audience for a place in the final and the chance of winning a £50,000.
The judging panel is actress Sheridan Smith, Queen frontman Adam Lambert, comedian Jason Manford and musical theatre star Beverley Knight, with Olly Murs hosting the series.
At the time of announcement, it was widely believed that the series would air in the Summer of 2021, maybe early Autumn before Strictly got going. However, ITV have so far remained silent on where and when the series will appear.
The series started recording in April 2021. During the recordings it was repeatedly suggested by off-screen and on-screen talent that the series would air later in 2021. Given that it was recording in April, had obviously been in the works for a while, and was filmed under covid protocols - including social distancing, screens and a virtual voting audience - it was not a unfair thing to presume.
Olly Murs and Adam Lambert were even introduced to present an award at the BRITs as two of the stars from "ITV's new series Starstruck"... again, it was a sign at the time that Starstruck was, at least, coming soon.
Summer came and went, with nothing but mediocre gameshows on ITV, and the same has continued into the Autumn, and looks set to continue until Christmas.
In August, ITV previewed Starstruck at the Edinburgh Television Festival by showing attendees a clip from the series. Though no explicit date was given then, it was advertised as 'coming soon' and talked about as though it was to air this Autumn. Some of the show's talent - including Adam Lambert - have appeared on several chat shows since and when questioned, seemed clueless as to when the show would air.
ITV have told TV Zone that airing Starstruck in 2022 was always the plan. ITV declined to comment on further scheduling decisions.
This obviously raises the question of where the seven-part series can fit given The Voice, The Masked Singer, Britain's Got Talent, Saturday Night Takeaway and Ant & Dec's Limitless Win are all due to air in the first half of next year.
ITV's Saturday night schedule continues to be dominated by gameshows, with the likes of The Cube, Catchphrase, Beat The Chasers, Rolling In It, The Void and Paul O'Grady's Saturday Night Line Up. That's not all - there's Moneyball, Sitting On A Fortune and The 1% Club coming soon! (Gary Lineker revealed that Sitting On A Fortune is to air on Sunday nights later this year).
Starstruck airs next year on ITV and ITV Hub (maybe, maybe not). More information will be revealed in due course.