Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bums on Seats

It is partly because due to a bug, that is where my bum currently is much of the time, and partly due to the fact I think I made some sense for a change that I'm taking a comment I made in the previous post and using that as the basis for this one.

''Typical UKTV concept - a family/couple/postalworkers/ hairdressers/ have some interpersonal difficulties.

Typical USA concept - A BattleStar/Serial Killer policeman/ mafia family have some interpersonal difficulties. Set against a background of Universal truth. It's in the hook.

Get people watching because of the hook, then keep them hooked with good story telling.

Simple, one would think.''

That was it. Given my normal hyperbole I think that is pretty fair comment by and large. I think UK TV is guilty of thinking it has a captive audience. Demonographers or whatever they call themselves will give execs reams of data about ABC1 viewers at 8pm and the execs will merrily set about continuing to attract that ever shrinking pot.

And lose sight of the fact that it is an ever shrinking pot because nostalgia ain't what it used to be. Most people no longer sit round the telly at night as a matter of course. We have to be drawn there. It is one of a number of different forms of entertainment, of which cable is included as a different form. The best TV from around the world [ok mostly USA] at the click of a button, unless you can't afford it, in which case the marketers aren't very interested in your views on Terrestial TV anyway.

This is a difficult time for UKTV but one of it's own making. Times change. The balance of programming has to change. My belief right now is that there is far too much writer/producer/exec mutual wank festing going on where we end up with a heap of cheapo relationship dramas bereft of any real reason why someone who didn't know said writer/producer/exec would actually sit down and watch it.

Give me a concept I dig. Execute it well. Then I might make an appointment. That's how you get bums on seats.


Jaded and Cynical said...

Simply put, and doubtless correct.

The thing that worries me most is that UK broadcasters are getting left further and further behind, not just in terms of concept and story, but also in terms of technical execution.

They've slid so far down the slippery slope that even if they were presented with a world class script, would they know what to do with it?

English Dave said...

There is an eternal dichotomy between writers and execs in the Uk, Jaded. We tend to have very different agendas.

Execs can't write for shit but they need us. Writers can't get shit on so they need execs.

Execs are on salary. We aren't.