It was first broadcast in 1998, and originally consisted of teletext pages from the ITV regional teletext services, with interstitial teletext-based animations (in a similar style to the former 4-Tel On View, and was produced by Intelfax). For a short time after, the screens were produced using Scala InfoChannel, although the automated nature of the playout system was prone to errors; on more than one occasion, InfoChannel crashed, leaving viewers looking at a Windows error message. More advanced playout systems are now used to generate the service.
Nightscreen has, in the past, been criticised for highlighting programmes which had already aired, and for some careless typing and spelling errors but now regularly avoids doing this. As well as providing focus on upcoming programmes, films and TV listings, it also offers some news from the world of entertainment. In the past it also viewed sports news and even on some occasions offered cooking tips and recipes.
The programme is currently produced by Gower Creative Communications.
ITV Nightscreen could also be considered a direct descendant of a programme simply titled Freescreen, which was made and screened by Meridian Broadcasting in its early years. The Meridian version mixed the teletext pages with local news stories and short videos made and sent in by viewers.
In the 90s, Nightscreen would take up most of the early morning schedule, often starting at 2.00am or 3.00am and finishing before the ITV Morning News at 5.30am.
In December 2005, three months before the now defunct ITV Play began transmitting, a quiz show entitled Quizmania began broadcasting in the early hours on ITV. Subsequent programmes that followed were The Mint, Make Your Play and Glitterball. This resulted in Nightscreen being pushed back to just a half hour service between 5.00am and 5.30am.
In 2008, largely as a result of widespread scandal surrounding phone-ins, ITV Play was permanently axed, since when Nightscreen now regularly runs from 3.30am or just after, although the service begins earlier in Scotland on STV, due to the station broadcasting a different schedule to the rest of the ITV Network.
No Doubt Kuni Is Just Brilliant; HHHHH Corporations. Thriller, Starring Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti. (T) Game OF THE WEEK Premiership Rugby Union from the 14th Round of (T) 1.25 the Store. Home Shopping. 2.55 Monk (T)(R) 3.40 ITV Nightscreen 5.05 the Jeremy Kyle (T)(R) 1.15 (2005) Starring Coming (T)(R) 5.25 NI NO KUNI: THE WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH (Ps3)
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