Okay, I'm looking at the original drama [non soap] schedules for the next few days.
BBC - The Chase, Silent Witness
ITV - Where The Heart Is , Poirot.
2, 4 and 5 - Nada
Silent Witness that's it
Holby, Sorted and a drama documentary about an attempt to kidnap Princess Anne in 1974.
Jesus H Christ!
With the best will in the world no way can I get anywhere near raising much enthusiasm to abandon my jigsaw puzzle and sit in front of the TV for those. Well, maybe Silent Witness. Maybe.
Now I appreciate there is an audience for these shows. The low concept 'comfort zone' type television. And they shopuld definitely play a part in the scheduling. But where is the counter-programming? Where is the 'must see' TV?
I know I bang on about this and I know it sounds hypocritical as I make my living writing for some of these 'comfort zone' programmes. I'm a script whore. What can I say?
Sometimes I get the feeling that Nero is fiddling while Rome burns. Much touted 'Sorted' actually WENT DOWN in the ratings for week ended 30th July. From a mediocre 4.2 million to a dismal 3.8 million. The same as Jane Hall. And yet I heard a BBC exec claiming that Sorted was possible Bafta material. What planet are they on?
Don't they realise the times they are a changing? The days when you could stick the test card on and guarantee 4 million viewers has long gone. You have to give the audience a REASON for watching, and middle of the road comfort zone TV isn't going to give the Execs the ratings figures they so crave. Would you go and see a movie you thought was probably 'meh'? Of course you wouldn't. Equally you are unlikely to watch a TV programme if nothing about it strikes you in any way as having a degree of originality. A grabbiness? A something to hook you in? We know that - 'They' don't seem to get it.
There is some good news though. ITV are currently looking at pitches from some of the country's best writers for................a day time soap.
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