Wednesday, July 04, 2007

A summer dip

TV loses about a third of it's audience in the Summer months. Quite understandable really, who's going to stay in on a gorgeous summer night when a BBQ is beckoning. It's why the movie industry also uses the summer months to release all the arty crap they have on their books and save the blockbusters for February. Yoiks! It's also obviously the reason why the networks keep their real goodies for the cold dark winter months as we huddle round our parrafin heaters searching for escape.

Viewing hours per week peak at around 32 in the Winter and dip to around 22 in the Summer. That is a mighty whack and plays havoc with the commercial networks who rely on advertising revenue - linked to ratings. Maybe they should take a leaf out of the movie industry books? Maybe, rather than buying into a self fulfilling prophecy?

It is also the reason why year round shows like The Bill are so important, as is the networks ceaseless search for long running drama. The Holy Grail. Which is why Holby Blue has been given another chance despite not breaking into the top thirty.

But sometimes I think the BBC forgets it doesn't have the same ratings pressure as the commercial channels. Or rather they have a self imposed ratings pressure to prove who's got the biggest swinging dick. I read a quote by Tony Jordan saying Holby Blue was attempting to push back the boundaries of pre-watershed TV.

All credit to him. A creator should always be willing to go in to bat for his programme. And maybe that is what he is trying to do. But I think he has been saboutaged by the BBC doing what they do best. Hugely underestimating the audience.

The crass sacrificing of Holby City to a Thursday night slot pissed off a lot of Holby City fans. Holby is a non-brand, despite what the marketers might be saying. Very few people watching Holby City care that it is supposed to be a spin-off from Casualty.

I honestly think they would have been much better calling Holby Blue a generic cop name and having nothing to do with Holby. But in a land where the marketers seem to have ascendency over the creatives [pretty much all of showbusiness] I am pissing against the wind here. But hell, that's the writers lot.

Net result though - Holby City loses a million viewers overnight and Holby Blue doesn't appear on the top thirty radar.

The audience is not dumb. I am the fucking audience. You good people who are kind enough to read and post here are the fucking audience. I may not be smart but I can spot a phoney move when I see it. And resent it sufficiently to tune out. As many of you obviously have.

No comments: