Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Paxman Cometh

Wow, Jeremy Paxman really gave the networks the old right hook at his McTaggart Lecture in Edinburgh. This prompted a Newsnight interview with the BBC Director of Vision. Which quite frankly I gave up on after the first few sentences of gibberish apparatchick speak.

Admittedly old Paxo was having a pop at news and current affairs more than drama. But the same holds true in my opinion. The reliance on focus groups, the concentration on the means of production rather than the content. Chasing ratings rather than delivering quality. Here are the weekly average hours watched for the last four July's between BBC1 and Non Terrestial TV

.......BBC1/ Non Terrestial

2007. 5.27 ..........8.31

2006. 5.16........... 7.25

2005. 5.19 ...........6.59

2004. 5.52............ 6.19

Those figures pretty much speak for themselves. A massive percentage rise in in Non terrestial viewing and a decline in Terrestial.

But instead of taking an aggressive stance and delivering the kind of programming that would attract new audiences and stop others leaving in droves, I believe the BBC took on a defensive posture and went all out to simply keep the hard core 5 million or so fans happy with a steady stream of the usual cops docs and legal. Not to mention all the property, cookery, and diy shows.

There is a place for these shows, but if that's all you get? Channel 4 are making noises about ditching Celebrity Big Brother and only having one returning series next year to make way for new programming. Guess what one of the new programmes is. An everyday family have their home festooned with cameras to try to recapture that seminal 70's series, The Family.

Yup that's really new. I despair sometimes.


Anonymous said...

Hello, maybe too late, just wondering if your script-reading service was still open for business?

English Dave said...

Hi anon

I'm busy next week but have a few days the week after. Might be a couple of weeks before I can get back to you?

Good Dog said...

Good old Jana Bennett. She looked like a rabbit in the headlights and just blathered nonsense.

English Dave said...

Yup GD, the trouble is the networks and a good number of prodcos seem to be dominated by the Jana Bennett's of this world. The kind you'd go out of your way to avoid on a staff night out.