Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Box Set

It's occured to me recently that I rarely make a point of sitting down and watching a programme when it's scheduled. My favourite programmes that is. I simply can't be bothered waiting a week to see the next episode. I might have died by then. Or gone to the pub or...who knows what.

I think my viewing habits have actually been changed by DVD's. I'd think twice about filling my shelf space up with a dozen videos of a series. But a dinky little DVD? No problem.

And then I can fest out at my leisure. I can binge on Firefly, or House, or Entourage. A banquet instead of a snack.

There are exceptions of course. I like to sit down with my son 0n a Thurday night and watch 'Quite Funny Thursday' on E4. Though it has to be said George Sewel's VO trailers for forthcoming shows can sometimes be the funniest part. Frickin' hilarious.

I don't like messing around recording programmes. I want them there when I want them. Bang! And as a reclusive writer I don't have to be up with the latest shows for water cooler talk.

Take Entourage season 2, currently showing on ITV. I missed a couple of episodes. Saw it was on last night [11.30, get a grip ITV!] I might have made an effort to watch it but what the hell, the DVD is out in February anyway. I can look forward to a rainy day with a box of Pringles and 8 eps of induldgement. And no frigging Ad breaks.

Possibly bad news for ITV who rely on ratings for revenue. But the BBC are lapping up the box set revolution. They turned over 111 million quid last year in DVD sales alone. The Blue Planet? Cost 8 mill to make. They reckon they'll have DVD and TV sell through deals worth 40 million on it. Little Britain and The Office each sold more than a million DVD's. Bearing in mind writers get a minimum of 5.4% of the gross on DVD sales and you can see why Messrs Walliams and Gervais have permenant grins. And good luck to them. DVD's don't sell unless people want to buy 'em.

The biggest world wide earning shows for the BEEB are Hustle, Spooks and Doctor Who. They helped BBC World Wide to an 80 million net profit. That's the best part of a fiver off the licence fee.

Heck if they made even more decent programmes maybe we'd end up getting it for free? I kid, but quality makes money.


wcdixon said...

The only time I did that was with 'Veronica Mars', season 1 and 2. Just couldn't fit it into life schedule but made for a lovely banquet as you say.

English Dave said...

What tends to happen with me Will is that I dip in and out of the shows that aren't 'must see' and get the box sets for the 'must see'. Maybe I'm just not organised enough to arrange snippets of time. I need the big blow out. lol.

Dan said...

I recently bought 'The Perfect Spy' DVD from the BBC archives. An Arthur Hopcraft script so really looking forward to watching that.

(Meanwhile, over at the water cooler)

"Have you been watching 'The State Within'?"

Good Dog said...

Prefer the boxsets because I tend to miss episodes as my schedule doesn't always fit their schedule.

It's not just missing the damn ad breaks that gets my vote but the flipping continuity announcer and the squashed credits. Nothing worse than, after an emotionally draining drama to have some muppet witter on about 'celebrity fat bastard sex-ops'. Or that tool on Channel 4 who pronounces "film" as "filum".

That said, like State of Play when it was first shown, I am enjoying the weekly instalments of The State Within. Only because, working from home, it helps provide an away-from-work routine. And the seven day gap gives me a chance to try and formulate ideas about what is going on.

Apart from that - oh, and Planet Earth - the rest of the schedules can cock off.

Nice to see Sky are trumpeting the new series of Lost just as it goes on haitus in the US until early February, after screening six episodes. Good old Sky. There timing, when it comes to scheduling is always useless.

Good Dog said...
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Good Dog said...

Er... okay, that was interesting. Sorry about that. It kept saying there was a connection error.

Bloody repeats, eh?!

English Dave said...

I'm on it GD!

Maybe I don't read enough newspapers, but was there no hullabaloo when Lost got hijacked by Sky?

English Dave said...

Dan, I'd love to say I'd been watching The State Within. But I haven't.

It's going to be a DVD for me. I missed the first couple and would rather see the whole thing than play catch up.

Good Dog said...

I guess there was some bitching about Lost going to Sky. Probably UK fans bitching from the safety of their little forums. Don't remember seeing much in the press I read.

The numbers were down. Then again, the amount of damn commercial breaks 4 put into each episode of the show, was enough to turn anyone off. It's a prime example of 'wait until DVD', or (cough) find a way to get it yourself.

The State Within is a fine piece of drama. Watching it now, and looking forward to DVD.

English Dave said...

''The State Within is a fine piece of drama. Watching it now, and looking forward to DVD.''

Not watching it now but looking forward to the DVD.

Maybe ITV should look at it's delivery?

Robin Kelly said...

Sky have no choice but to show Lost now due to downloading, all their imports are going to air as soon after the US showing as possible.

Lost had lost half its audience by the second season from its peak but still had good ratings. Why there wasn't as big an outcry was maybe because the demographics of the show are more likely to have access to Sky, because of the downloading (if you're not doing it yourself then you probably know someone who is) and also those waiting until the DVD next year.

But, annoyed as I am at having to wait a whole week for the next episode of a good show, isn't the cliffhangers and the wait and anticipaton an important part of the viewing experience lost with DVD?

English Dave said...

Good points Robin. I guess I just find it really hard to schedule my time that way.

When I'm writing for instance and on a roll I don't want to have to break off. I realise I could record it, but when I'm in writing mode I don't want to have to think about anything else. I'm just not a multi-tasker that way.

The fashion with BBC and Channel 4 seems to be to show the next episode of a series immedietly after on BBC3 or E4 anyway. C4 did this with Lost, Are Sky doing something similar?

Robin Kelly said...

I agree about the difficulty in scheduling. I've been putting off getting Sky+ - which will create your own personal schedule - but I'm going to have to. It is the future, I suppose.

I believe Sky are showing the first two episodes back to back and then it will be the usual repeats across Sky 1 and Sky 2 with multiple episode catch-ups at the weekend. Those without Sky can probably watch it on Sky 3 on Freeview in 18 months.

Best Writer Ever! said...
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