Daily Star Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

GIRL­FRIENDS has been axed af­ter just one se­ries, Hot TV can re­veal.

Ex­ecs at ITV have pulled the plug af­ter a string of se­cret meet­ings over its fu­ture.

The net­work’s head of drama Polly Hill took the de­ci­sion de­spite it be­ing a rat­ings hit.

ITV last night con­firmed it won’t re­turn.

A spokes­woman said: “Polly and the writer Kay Mel­lor dis­cussed a recom­mis­sion but de­cided to ex­plore new projects and ideas.”

The news comes just days af­ter Girl­friends bagged a nom­i­na­tion for this year’s Na­tional Tele­vi­sion Awards.

But even that wasn’t enough to con­vince ITV bosses to change their minds.

The spokes­woman added: “We are in­cred­i­bly proud of Girl­friends and are thrilled that it has been short­listed in the New Drama cat­e­gory at this year’s NTAs.”

Girl­friends fol­lowed the chaotic lives of three pals who were bat­tling di­vorce, mur­der en­quiries, fam­ily se­crets and sex­ism.

The cast list boasted big names in­clud­ing Mi­randa Richardson, Zoe Wana­maker, Phyl­lis Lo­gan and Matthew Lewis.

And it was watched by more than six mil­lion view­ers.

But Girl­friends had mixed re­views from the crit­ics.

Writer Kay is fa­mous for cre­at­ing a string of hit dra­mas in­clud­ing In The Club, Fat

Friends and The Syn­di­cate. But a spokes­woman for her pro­duc­tion com­pany Rollem has in­sisted she didn’t want to make an­other se­ries of Girl­friends.

They said: “There are cur­rently no plans for a sec­ond se­ries while Kay fo­cuses on other projects and main­tains her com­mit­ment to men­tor­ing brand-new writ­ers.” Last month, I told how the BBC had axed Age Be­fore Beauty af­ter just one se­ries.

A TV in­sider said: “It’s a tough time for TV dra­mas. If a show doesn’t make an im­pact early on then it is likely to get canned. “With stream­ing ser­vices of­fer­ing view­ers so much choice, there is a lot of com­pe­ti­tion.”

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