|Launched||15 October 2006|
|Owned by||Viacom International Media Networks Europe|
|Picture format||576i (SDTV 16:9, 4:3)|
~0.0% (+1) (September 2014 , BARB)
|Formerly called||Five.2 (working title)
Five Life (2006–2008)
|Timeshift service||5* +1|
Channel 132 (+1)
|Sky (UK only)||Channel 176
Channel 190 (+1)
|Astra 2F||10964 H 22000 5/6|
|Virgin Media||Channel 151|
|Smallworld Cable||Channel 145|
|TVCatchup||Watch live (UK only)|
|Virgin TV Anywhere||Watch live (UK only)|
|Sky Go||Watch live
(UK and Ireland only)
5* (pronounced "five star") is a television channel in the United Kingdom owned by Viacom International Media Networks Europe. It is a sister channel of Channel 5 and 5USA. The channel was launched as "Five Life" on 15 October 2006, and was rebranded as "Fiver" on 28 April 2008, and "5*" on 7 March 2011. The channel is available on digital television via Freesat, Freeview, Sky, and Virgin Media. 5* broadcasts between 13:00 and 00:00. It was originally launched by RTL Group (the former owner) as part of their multi-channel strategy, which all other analogue broadcasters, such as ITV plc and Channel 4, had already achieved.
2006–2008: Five Life
The channel was intended to be a female-oriented channel with an emphasis on lifestyle programming. Channel 5 announced that programming on launch would include The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Love My Way, Windfall, Angela's Eyes, and a weekday double-bill of the chat show Trisha Goddard. New episodes of Australian soap opera Home and Away are shown daily, as part of a 'First Look' airing following the show's main broadcast on Channel 5. A weekly omnibus also airs every Sunday. Repeats of popular female-skewing dramas, both nationally and internationally produced, were soon acquired. These included teenage drama Dawson's Creek and axed ITV drama Bad Girls (seasons four through eight) and Footballers' Wives. Following the channel's launch, a time-shift version of the channel was launched in summer 2007.
Five Life relaunched as Fiver in 2008 with a new on and off-air identity. A raft of new programs were added to the schedule, alongside the refreshed look. The channel's target audience was still females. These new programs included Celebrity Rehab, Dirt and re-runs of Sex and the City.
The channel was rebranded as 5* again in 2011, supported by a new logo and branding to underline the fun-loving image of the channel. On 11 April 2011, 5* reduced its broadcast hours to 13:00 to 00:00, replacing the hours withdrawn with more teleshopping. Milkshake! programmes (for children aged 7 and under) were no longer broadcast on this channel because of this reduction, but continue to broadcast on Channel 5. A range of new programming was also added to fit in with the channel's refreshed identity and target audience. These included $#*! My Dad Says, Better with You and Parenthood.
When some of these new programs failed to make much of an impact in the channel's ratings, several were dropped and replaced by new locally produced and acquired programming. These included the American series 8 Simple Rules, 10 Things I Hate About You, Alphas and The Lying Game.
Big Brother: Live from the House, a Big Brother spin-off that aired 60 minutes of live feed following every eviction show, began airing in 2012. This was following parent channel Channel 5's acquisition of the reality series that formerly aired on Channel 4. The ratings were so high for the first-run, that for the 2013 season of Big Brother it was announced 5* would air 120 minutes per day of Big Brother: Live from the House. However, ratings were at a share below that of the channel's average, with just 70,000 watching the first live feeds. Subsequently, the live feeds were shut down and the spin-off show last aired in June 2013.
Continuing the channel's venture into reality based programming, Tallafornia was acquired from Ireland's TV3 and this was soon joined by Bar Rescue, World's Worst Tenants and Top 20 Funniest in 2014.
The current schedule includes a variety of programming, including the aforementioned reality series, as well as the first-run rights to Helix, the second-run rights to American series Falling Skies, Under the Dome and The Walking Dead, and Australian soap operas Home & Away and Neighbours. Popular documentary series shared with Channel 5 air throughout the daytime and primetime hours, such as The Gadget Show. As of 2014, the channel runs a primetime movie every weeknight at 21:00. On the weekends, the latest BAMMA fights are typically broadcast first-run to the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Following Viacom's purchase of 5*'s parent channel Channel 5 in 2014, one of their existing UK channels, VIVA, was to shut down on Freeview and most of its content is to move to 5*. Series such as Catfish: The TV Show and 16 & Pregnant are to commence moving to the channel from 2015, with the VIVA channel to be replaced by the launch of a new channel owned by Viacom named Spike.
The launch of Five Life was at the time ranked as the worst received multichannel launch for a terrestrial broadcaster, only managing to achieve a primetime share of 0.21%. Following the channel's relaunch as Fiver in 2008, the all-day share for the channel has been between 0.5–0.6%. The highest rated series airing on the channel are Home & Away, Neighbours and the weeknight showings of primetime movies. The highest rating for the channel is held by Big Brother: Live from the House, when it received just over one million viewers and an audience share of over five percent in 2013.
- Access (2011–present)
- American Idol (2013–present)
- BAMMA (2013–present)
- Helix (2014–present)
- Bar Rescue (2014–present)
- World's Worst Tenants (2014–present)
- Top 20 Funniest (2014–present)
- Home and Away (2006–present)
- Malcolm in the Middle (2006–present)
- Neighbours (2009–present)
- The Walking Dead (2012–present)
- The Gilmore Girls (2013–present)
- Under the Dome (2013–present)
- Falling Skies (2013–present)
- Angela's Eyes (2006)
- The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2006–2007)
- Love My Way (2006–2007)
- Sofia's Diary (2006)
- The Trisha Goddard Show (2006–2010)
- Windfall (2006)
- Trust Me - I'm a Beauty Therapist (2006)
- Dawson's Creek (2006–2009)
- Bad Girls (2007–2009)
- Footballers' Wives (2007–2008)
- Step It Up and Dance (2007)
- Chuck (2007–2009)
- Fifth Gear (2007–2010)
- Stylista (2007–2008)
- Make Me a Supermodel Extra (2007–2008)
- Colin and Justin's How Not to Decorate (2007)
- Milkshake! (2007–2011)
- Gay, Straight or Taken? (2008)
- Nice House, Shame About the Garden! (2008–2010)
- Ocean Force (2008–2010)
- Celebrity Rehab (2009)
- Joey (2009)
- Big Love (2009)
- Farmer Wants a Wife (2009–2010)
- Minder (2009)
- Dirt (2009–2011)
- Sex and the City (2009–2013)
- Almost Live from Studio Five (2009)
- Out of the Blue (2009–2010)
- Rich Bride, Poor Bride (2009)
- Vets in Action (2009–2011)
- The Wright Stuff (2009–2011)
- Better With You (2010)
- Parenthood (2010–2011)
- $#*! My Dad Says (2010–2011)
- 8 Simple Rules (2011)
- Archer (2011–2014)
- 10 Things I Hate About You (2011)
- Alphas (2011–2012)
- Californication (2011–2012)
- The Lying Game (2012–2013)
- Big Brother: Live from the House (2013)
- Big Brother's Bit on the Side (2013)
- Celebrity Big Brother: Live from the House (2013)
- Tallafornia (2014)
- ^1 Several documentary series shared with Channel 5 air on 5*. However, the titles that come to 5* change too sporadically to pinpoint what specifically airs first-run or second-run to the channel.
- 5* Channel 5.
- "five autumn highlights 2006". Five. Archived from the original on 7 December 2006. Retrieved 12 October 2006.
- "October launch date for Five's digital channels". Media Week. Retrieved 12 October 2006.
- Joanne Oatts (5 July 2007). "Five launches +1 services". Digital Spy.
- Sweney, Mark (6 April 2008). "Five Life to relaunch as Fiver". London: Media Guardian. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- "Fiver rebrands as 5*, acquires new shows". Digital Spy. 3 February 2011.
- Munn, Patrick (26 April 2013). "'The Lying Game' Makes The Jump Back To 5*". TVWise. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
- Sperling, Daniel (14 May 2013). "Big Brother 2013 to have nightly live feed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Darvill, Josh (15 June 2013). "Big Brother 2013: 70,000 watch first live streaming on 5*". Telly Mix. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Nissim, Mayer (26 June 2013). "Big Brother live feed axed by Channel 5". Digital Spy. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- Plunkett, John (27 September 2012). "Channel 5 to show American Idol". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Eames, Tom (17 January 2014). "Channel 5 to launch catch-up channel +24". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- "Slow start for Five Life". Digital Spy. 17 October 2006. Retrieved 9 November 2007.