8am GMT

Channel 4 shifts Brothers and Sisters to E4

Brothers and Sisters - season one
Brothers and Sisters: failed to sparkle in the ratings despite an all-star cast. Photograph: Channel 4

The second series of Channel 4's US drama Brothers and Sisters is to be shunted to digital channel E4 following disappointing ratings for its first run.

Channel Five is also set to consign its American comedy 30 Rock to one of its digital channels after its first series failed to perform in the ratings.

Brothers and Sisters, a family drama that boasts an all-star cast including Sally Field, Rachel Griffiths, Rob Lowe and Matthew Rhys, pulled in between 700,000 and 1 million viewers in its Wednesday 10pm slot when it aired from September last year.

This was below the ratings for other US dramas such as Ugly Betty, Desperate Housewives and new show Dirty Sexy Money on Channel 4.

Brothers and Sisters' second series will air on E4 from Sunday and then be repeated at a later point on Channel 4. The first run premiered on Channel 4 with episodes also airing on E4.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman confirmed the move, but denied it was down to poor ratings, saying there was not enough space on the main channel for the series as its old slot is being taken by Desperate Housewives.

"It had a core audience but we haven't got room to play it on Channel 4 at the moment," she added.

The Emmy award-winning 30 Rock, which is set behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live-style sketch show and stars Alex Baldwin and Tina Fey, has been a hit with critics in both the UK and the US, but not with viewers.

30 Rock's first series was gradually shunted back in the schedules on Five and ended with 200,000 viewers in an 11.45pm slot last month.

The second series is expected to air on either Five US or Fiver - the newly renamed Five Life - later this year with a repeat on the main channel, although a spokesman said no decision had yet been made.

In another scheduling change, Channel 4's daytime hit show Come Dine with Me is to be promoted to peak time.

The series, which features five people battling to be the best dinner party host, is currently stripped across the week in half-hour episodes but will be turned into a weekly one-hour show airing on Thursdays at 8pm when it returns next month.

The show, which won the Royal Television Society award for best daytime show last week, will launch with a celebrity special on April 10.

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