Apropos of my last blog I've just come across this great post in Jim Henshaw's http://the-legion-of-decency.blogspot.com/
Listen to the Bill Hick's rant. It's a hoot. Then read the post. Cutting and incisive.
And it kind of ties in with my 'Least Attentive Viewer' post. Because to marketing men [because they know no better] making a programme accessable to the least attentive viewer means a bigger audience so bigger bucks.
From the quality of programming at the networks, especially ITV of late I suspect the bigwigs are more about marketing than programming. Not realising that you can't polish a turd.
Perhaps Michael Grade will make a difference. He's a TV man through and through. I don't think, like the previous head of ITV, he'll be bleating about a loss in advertising revenue [which is linked to ratings by a formula]. Ratings are going down because you are making crap, dummy! Where's your next job mate? Manager of Charlton Athletic? Captain of the Titanic?
I'm sure Michael Grade will do a hell of a better job but if he is going to turn ITV around he needs to give a clear signal to network centre, prodcos and writers what kind of programming he is actually looking for.
I posted before about what they recently said they were looking for. Ground breaking talked about drama. Apart from the obvious 'isn't everyone', does anyone know what the hell that is? I mean really? Big budget? Low budget? Genres? Target audience? I could write about a man with a talking testicle. Or that thing with Martin Clunes about a testicle with a talking man. Same difference. But at least my talking testicle might get a laugh in between the mournful dirges, pointless stories, boring premises, and overwrought melodrama that the networks seem to be filling our screens with. And make no mistake. It is their fault. They give the signals to the prodcos and the prodcos respond and commission accordingly.
People having difficulties conceiving children? So what? A gang of postmen at a sorting office have a few problems? So what? A female bus driver has love life difficulties? So what? And on and on and on.
They talk about getting the 16-35 age group back to TV. Here's a few clues for you network bods and marketing men -
Keep soap in soap operas. If that age group wants to see soap they'll make an appointment at that time. Outside of that appointment they are not interested.
If you want that age group to commit to something, then give them something they want to commit to. Don't just throw shit at the wall and hope some of it sticks.
Make them want to watch with high concept ideas well trailed [high concept is not a dirty word by the way] and then deliver on the promise.
It ain't rocket science.
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