Channel 4 continues schedule cull

Long-running shows cut, part of creative renewal

LONDON -- Channel 4 continued its schedule cull Thursday, announcing that it was cutting long-running popular shows "Wife Swap" and "How Clean Is Your House" as part of an ongoing "creative renewal."

The news came as Channel 4 head Julian Bellamy said the network's program budget had fallen by £50 million ($82.7 million) in 2009.

Speaking at the broadcaster's winter schedule launch, Channel 4 head Julian Bellamy said the network was axing the shows because he wanted "new ways to challenge the mainstream."

"The decommission of 'Big Brother' earlier this year has been the catalyst for a process of creative renewal right across Channel 4," Bellamy told reporters.

Bellamy paid tribute to the shows, which he said had been "groundbreaking" programming that had gone on to sell as formats around the world.

But he said he was now looking to find "new ways to challenge the mainstream through entertaining and provocative programs."

Highlights this winter will include an India season, which will showcase the television premier of "Slumdog Millionaire" as well a documentary investigation into the real slum world in factual strand "Dispatches."

TV chef Jamie Oliver travels to a range of exotic destinations including Marrakesh, Athens, Venice and Andalucia to sample the local cookery fare in a new commission "Jamie Does," while style guru Gok Wan returns with another series of "How to Look Good Naked."