ITV has announced that studio shows like Britain’s Got Talent and The Masked Singer are to return, possibly without a live audience.
All major filming ground to a halt last month in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.
But now the station’s bosses have said they have “had enough” of entertainment shows broadcast via Zoom, and other video conferencing platforms.
“It looks like we will have to do some shows without audiences,” they said.
Katie Rawcliffe, ITV’s head of entertainment, said: “This whole experience has brought out more creativity in people and the best in people.
“We all have to think a bit harder about how we do things.”
Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, which is being held online this year, Rawcliffe revealed other big live shows The Voice will also have to “rely on the talent a bit harder, and the edits a bit more”.
The audition episodes of Britain’s Got Talent were filmed before the coronavirus crisis, and then the live shows were pushed back to later in the year.
The channel has already aired an episode of Saturday Night Takeaway without a studio audience – which she said was not ideal but “worked well”.
Cameras were set up in the homes of ITV presenters, such as Ant and Dec, Lorraine Kelly and the Loose Women gang, to help them to broadcast during lockdown.
However, Kevin Lygo, director of television at ITV, said it was time to get them back into the studio.
“I’ve had enough, well done, good try, they are just not what entertainment really is,” he said.
“Audiences are very forgiving at the moment and gives you a lot of leeway but if it’s a big entertainment show, you want it to be a big entertainment show,” he went on.
Popular soaps like Coronation Street and Emmerdale could return to screens, with older cast members absent and actors six feet apart, Lygo explained.
However, he confirmed the upcoming summer series of ITV2’s Love Island – which usually sees young singles couple up in Mallorca in July – is in doubt.
He also spoke about the return of daytime panel talk show Loose Women, which returns to screens on Monday after six weeks off air.
Three women, instead of all the panellists, will be in the studio, with one joining via video link when the show returns.
He said that they had explored filming it via video links and that “it just didn’t really work”.