E4 (TV channel)

E4 is a British free-to-air television channel owned and operated by Channel Four Television Corporation. The "E" stands for entertainment, and the channel is primarily aimed at the 16–34 age group. Programming includes US imports such as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Goldbergs, The O.C., Smallville, Veronica Mars, Everwood, What About Brian, Desperate Housewives, How I Met Your Mother, 90210, Gotham, Celebrity Gogglebox USA, The Big Bang Theory, RuPaul's Drag Race, 2 Broke Girls, Scream Queens, Wife Swap USA, Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn and previously Friends (now on Comedy Central and Channel 5). Other programming includes Australian import Married at First Sight Australia, homegrown British shows such as Skins, Misfits, The Inbetweeners, Shameless, Fonejacker, Hollyoaks, Coach Trip, Celebs Go Dating, Made in Chelsea, Taskmaster (formerly on Dave) and repeats of The Great British Bake Off.

E4 logo 2018.svg
CountryUnited Kingdom
Broadcast areaUnited Kingdom and Ireland
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to 16:9 576i for the SDTV feed)
Timeshift serviceE4 +1
OwnerChannel Four Television Corporation
Sister channelsChannel 4
The Box
Box Hits
Launched18 January 2001
FreeviewChannel 13
Channel 29 (+1)
Virgin MediaChannel 106
Channel 145 (HD)
Channel 146 (+1)
Virgin Media Ireland (Horizon and older boxes)Channel 112
Channel 113 (+1)
Channel 162 (HD)
Virgin Media Ireland (TV 360)Channel 112 (HD)
Channel 512 (+1)
Channel 712
Channel 164/181
WightFibreChannel 12
Channel 13 (+1)
FreesatChannel 122
Channel 123 (+1)
Sky (UK)Channel 135 (SD/HD)
Channel 235 (+1)
Channel 830 (SD)
Sky (Ireland)Channel 136
Channel 236 (+1)
Channel 345 (HD)
Astra 2E10714 H 22000 5/6
10936 V 22000 5/6 (+1)
Channel arbitrary
Eir VisionChannel 216
Channel 217 (+1)
Streaming media
All 4Watch live
FilmOnWatch live
Sky GoWatch live (UK and Ireland only)

The most successful broadcast of this channel to date was on 11 October 2010 when an episode of The Inbetweeners pulled in over 3.7 million viewers. [1]


E4 logo used from 18 January 2001 to 26 September 2018

E4 launched as a pay television companion to Channel 4 on 18 January 2001. On 16 December 2004, Channel 4 announced that the subscription channel would become a free-to-air television channel by launching on the digital terrestrial television system.

E4 launched a Republic of Ireland service in June 2002, which has become the second most popular non-terrestrial channel in Ireland with 1.1% of the audience; Sky One is the most popular.[2]

On 14 July 2003, E4 launched a timeshift service, E4 +1. E4 +1 is a 1 hour timeshift.[3]

In August 2005, following the close of that year's Big Brother, E4 introduced the E4 Music programming block. The slot initially ran through much of the morning/daytime schedule, though was later reduced to mornings only, with the amount of scripted comedy and drama screened in daytime increased. Prior to the launch of E4 Music, E4 was off-air during daytime for much of the year, only going on air in daytime for rolling coverage of reality series such as Big Brother. In 2008, the launch of 4Music as a channel led to questions being asked about the future of E4 Music. However, E4 retained its commitment to music content, stating that E4 Music had been commissioned to run until at least the start of Big Brother in 2009.[4] At 10 am on Thursday 4 June 2009, the day before the launch of the 2009 Big Brother series, E4 Music ceased broadcasting.

In July 2007, it was announced Channel 4 would be launching E4 Radio, the first of a network of channels to be broadcast on DAB radio. The station was planned for launch in July 2008 and aimed at a similar demographic to its television channel,[5] however this launch date was later delayed. In October 2008, Channel 4 announced it was abandoning its plans for digital radio, and thus scrapping the E4 Radio proposal.

On 14 December 2009, a high-definition simulcast of E4 launched on Sky+ HD channel 215, it was later added to Virgin Media on 1 April 2010.[6][7]

On 31 October 2013, E4 premiered a refreshed look as part of the channel's rebranding. This coincided with the debut of the seventh series of The Big Bang Theory, as well as the debut of original comedy Drifters.[8]

On 27 September 2018, E4 was rebranded with a logo and identity, marking the first major rebrand since its launch in 2001.[9] On 14 January 2019, it was announced that Channel 4 had partnered up with the American programming block Adult Swim, to air Adult Swim shows.[10]


Most watched programmesEdit

The following is a list of the ten most watched shows on E4, based on Live +7 data supplied by BARB up to 11 November 2018.[1] The number of viewers does not include repeats or airings on E4+1.

Rank Series Episode Viewers Date
1 The Inbetweeners 3.05 – "Home Alone" 3,721,000 11 October 2010
2 3.06 – "The Camping Trip" 3,704,000 18 October 2010
3 3.04 – "The Trip to Warwick" 3,619,000 4 October 2010
4 3.03 – "Will's Dilemma" 3,572,000 27 September 2010
5 3.01 – "The Fashion Show" 3,456,000 13 September 2010
6 3.02 – "The Gig and the Girlfriend" 3,336,000 20 September 2010
7 The Big Bang Theory 6.01 – "The Date Night Variable" 2,803,000 15 November 2012
8 9.05 – "The Perspiration Implementation" 2,728,000 26 November 2015
9 9.12 – "The Sales Call Sublimination" 2,688,000 24 March 2016
10 12.04 – "The Tam Turbulence" 2,661,500 8 November 2018

Big Brother coverageEdit

Between 2001 and 2010 when the reality series Big Brother (and Celebrity Big Brother) were being transmitted on Channel 4, E4 devoted much of its schedule to live coverage from inside the Big Brother house; interactive features that gave access to additional camera angles have also been transmitted.[11] The channel also had Big Brother voting options, Big Brother spin-off shows such as Big Brother Live, Big Brother's Little Brother, Big Brother's Big Mouth, Diary Room Uncut and Big Brother highlights repeats.[12] In June 2020, to mark the 20th anniversary of Big Brother's inception, E4 aired select episodes from both the civilian and celebrity programmes, in a series titled Big Brother: Best Shows Ever. Hosted by Davina McCall and Rylan Clark-Neal, the first episode of the series received one million viewers.[13]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b BARB, via [1]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 October 2006. Retrieved 17 August 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ {{cite we|url=https://www.digitalspy.com/tech/satellite/a11276/e4-timeshift-plans-july-14-launch/%7Ctitle=E4 +1 launch, on 14 July 2003|access-date=2021-08-22|url-status=dead
  4. ^ "Q&A: Neil McCallum, Head of 4Music". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  5. ^ "BBC NEWS - Business - E4 Radio to be first new network". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
  6. ^ "High Definition Gloriousness". E4. Archived from the original on 13 December 2009. Retrieved 7 December 2009.
  7. ^ "E4 HD to launch on Sky". British Sky Broadcasting. 9 December 2009.
  8. ^ Alex Fletcher (30 October 2013). "E4 gets first channel refresh in 6 years: First ident pictures, videos". Digital Spy.
  9. ^ "Channel 4 airs 'eclectic, unpredictable' rebrand across all of its channels". The Drum. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Rick and Morty comes to E4 for the first time this evening". JOE.CO.UK. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  11. ^ "Big Brother proves bore on E4". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Channel 4 to Launch E4 on Freeview". Channel 4. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  13. ^ "Four-screen dashboard". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 22 June 2020.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit