Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Dramatic news

The BBC must have figured this was a good day to bury bad news. By having its director general give a keynote speech on the future of the broadcaster, it must have thought it could squeeze in Grandstand’s cancellation under the flurry of headlines Mark Thompson was sure to generate.

No such luck. The axing of the long-running all day sports bonanza was front and centre all day long, despite being lesser than many of the changes proposed by Mr Thompson.

Now, nevermind that a soundtrack three generations have grown up with will soon be no more, what concerns me is this, from Thompson’s speech:

So what should we do?

  • in drama, we need to build fewer titles with longer runs, more impact, more emotion - and make more brave calls like Bleak House and Dr Who;

  • we need to think of mobile and other ways of using new media from the very start of the creative process - like the Dr Who Tardisodes;

  • we must cherish and where necessary invest in the titles that bind us emotionally to the broadest audiences - EastEnders, Casualty, Holby · we need more drama landmarks and signature pieces on Radio 4;

  • across TV and radio, the nurturing and support of outstanding writers is a key to success

  • Also, ITV seem to be getting the message that no-one is watching the absolute toss it chooses to fill its 9pm slot with, even if it did require a very public mauling from Jimmy McGovern to help get the point across. Apparently:

    The channel wants more stylish pieces that look better and are faster and will compete better.

    and have approached the likes of Kudos, among others, to pitch for them.

    Looks like we could be seeing both the end of the six-pack, and the flabby feature length event. Normally, this would be great news, but it comes just after the return of Sharpe, which, I have to admit, I was quite in the mood for.

    Category: Movies and TV


    1. "and have approached the likes of Kudos, among others, to pitch for them."

      Does that include the likes of me?

      Think british tv could handle my brand of pulpyness? (or is that pulpishness?)

      Or are they not that desperate(yet)?


    2. All suggestions would be welcomed at this stage. And I have no doubt you could liven things up on ITV1 no end!

      Still, I thought ITV4 was the station that wanted to be "Britain's HBO." It's not going to get there by buying shows from TNT, it'll have to start making its own. That's where mad pulp bastardry comes in.

    3. Sounds like a college course of study:

      "I received my degree in mad pulp bastardry at Oxford. Of course, I minored in mad gentically-altered animal husbandry. I wanted to find a job after I graduated in case I couldn't find a bastard appointment right away."

    4. Go for it Bill, a nation of bored ITV avoiders will thank you for it. McGovern's right, 9pm on ITV has been a no-go area for some time now...

    5. I was all for the ITV move to the 90-minute peaktime drama slot when it happened because I thought it was a great opportunity for selling feature-length work... but as a viewer I'm finding it sucks. Quality apart, it's like every single meal now has to be a massive steak plus trimmings.