Sunday, August 20, 2006

TV HELL

Okay, I'm looking at the original drama [non soap] schedules for the next few days.

Tonight

BBC - The Chase, Silent Witness

ITV - Where The Heart Is , Poirot.

2, 4 and 5 - Nada

Monday

Silent Witness that's it

Tuesday

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.

Deep Joy.

5 comments:

David Bishop said...

Don't wish to depress you any further, but... the Silent Witness two-parter is a repeat.

English Dave said...

lol David

Good job I never watched it then!

Robin Kelly said...

6 millon viewers was declared the new 12 in our multi-channel world, I'm sure execs will just declare 3 million to be the new 6 and keep on fiddling rather than dealing with the problem.

Bodies was great counter-programming for those who didn't like Casualty as was Outlaws for those who would rather stick hot needles in their eyes than watch New Street Law but they were cancelled for 'low ratings.'

English Dave said...

I know.Robin, I loved Bodies and Outlaws.

It ticks me off that despite abysmal ratings New Street Law got a second series thanks to a back street deal with GF Newman.

Lucy said...

Silent Witness used to be good - now it's all over the place with questionable character motivations and clunky structure and generally dull stories - FOR ME! (before anyone starts)

The Street was great generally. Haven't seen anything really good for a while. The problem? They're not hiring me! Obviously I can sort out the entire problem for every channel by becoming the next script whore and writing EVERYTHING for lots of money. So there! ; )