Friday, July 06, 2007

Will the last viewer to leave please turn off the TV

So ITV has lost 5.4% of it's year on year audience in the first half of 2007. That doesn't sound a lot but it is brown pants time for the execs.

I can fully understand the decrease in viewers. Sure they've had some hits like X Factor and UK Has Talent or whatever it's called. But in the drama field? Can you think of any remotely stand out ITV series? Primeval maybe? Any of those 9pm one and two parters have any more resonance than a fart in a hurricane?

Where are the 'Life On Mars' and the Spooks and Hustles? The State of Plays and The State Within's? As for comedy, do they actually have a comedy department?

One of ITV's problems stems from the fact that producers have no idea what they are looking for. Network Centre held a meeting a few months back to try to give some indication. But producers and agents I have spoken to left the meeting more confused than before. The net result is ITV becomes the last port of call when pitching projects.

Blue Murder replaced the ailing Tycoon but faired little better with a miserable 2.4 million at 9pm. I think it deserves better figures than that but the 9pm ITV slot has become a ghost town with viewers and that is very hard to turn round.

Soap and Reality is what ITV is surviving on at the moment. The danger is it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.


wcmartell said...


My Monday and Tuesday are free. I'll post something over on Done Deal.

- Bill

English Dave said...

For anyone who doesn't know Bill he is one of the most savvy people in the biz. And a top bloke who freely dispenses knowledge like water. A writers writer.

If I were looking for good advice I'd be glued to Done Deal over the next few days. If you can make a meet over a pint on Monday or Tuesday then do so. Because you will have good company and good sense.

Dave Anderson said...

I could well be Bill's biggest British fan! His Script Secrets is the first site I visit every morning when I fire up my Mac. It's the best screenwriting course in the business, and it's free! I would advise anyone wishing to learn about the art and craft of screenwriting to study and print off his articles. Apply Bill's advices, and you'll be writing better scripts than you ever thought possible. If you're reading this, many, many thanks, Bill. I don't know anyone who's so generous with his time and skills to would-be writers.

English Dave said...

Fuck's sake Dave, he's not a saint. lol But he is a top bloke and someone you should all have the pleasure of knowing if you can.

Good Dog said...

Ah, I hope it's Monday because I'm filming in Birmingham on Tuesday. Nice.

Just dipping back to your question about "stand out" ITV series... You know, the only thing I can think off, that didn't originate in the 1990s like Prime Suspect or even Cold Feet is Foyle's War - which I like for the incidental information about life during wartime that is fed into the storylines.

Primeval... I'm too old for that kind of stuff.

It's almost like the 9pm slot has a hex upon it.

There was a time where every damn drama ITV put on at that time failed. Usually the multi-part stories that ended up with the final half stuck in a late night slot on some other day.

English Dave said...

GD here ia an example of the rank stupidity you encounter on a day to day basis. I pitched a true story of a heroic Church of Scotland minister in occupied France and was told .. we can't do it because it's period and we already have Foyle's War.

Holds head in hands and sobs.

Good Dog said...

The thing is, I interviewed Anthony Horowitz some years back and had a brief chat with Jill as well while she made me a coffee.

Trying to get them made is a bloody nightmare. One thing that annoyed them was that almost all the period locations kept getting knocked down between each season.

That said, what is it with ITV? So they already have one wartime drama, that's it? I guess it means don't go pitching a science fiction show because they already have Primeval.

There have been a whole lot of amnesia dramas on ITV over the years. Maybe the suits just forgot about those?

English Dave said...

There have been a whole lot of amnesia dramas on ITV over the years. Maybe the suits just forgot about those?

As did nearly everyone else. I recall they had two in the same week. But I forget what they were about.