Carlton Television arrived on London screens in 1993. Unlike its predecessor Thames, the company was set up as a publisher/broadcaster, rather than a large-scale producer, in order to keep down overheads. Heads of Department for comedy, drama, entertainment and factual bought in shows for the ITV network, from independent companies like Watchmaker, Talkback, Tiger Aspect and Hatrick. Later the company took over rival ITV franchisees such as Central and Meridian, acquiring large scale properties like Inspector Morse, Peak Practice and the ITC/Rank Collections. By 2002 the company had grown to encompass almost half the ITV Network, the other half owned by Granada. The two companies merged in 2003 to form a single ITV.

The Carlton TV logo was set using the famous 1920s font 'Gill Sans' and there were four identities seen during ten years on air.