Tuesday, June 05, 2007

In addition...

One thing you might have noticed about yesterday’s listing of new shows (and, Robin, you’ve convinced me. I’ll give 4400 another go) : apart from Meadowlands, which is a Channel Four/Showtime co-production, they are all American. Where’s the homegrown love? English Dave has written a lot lately, and anecdotally, about how fewer and fewer people seem to be seeking out UK telly to watch. Everyone wants House and CSI, no-one’s interested in Casualty and Holby Blue.

Which is understandable, really. My experience matches English Dave’s, in that very few of my peers are interested in British shows. They all use Bittorrent and buy DVD’s, so they’ve got nothing against the format. They just think the UK programmes and the delivery suck.

Ofcom release a communications market report each summer, and one of the salient facts from last year’s was:

There is...evidence of a significant difference in communications usage patterns between young adults and the general population: for example, 16-24 year olds spend on average 21 minutes more time online per week, send 42 more SMS text messages, but spend over seven hours less time watching television. (My emphasis).

From another section:

At the same time, this age group has embraced online communication activities – our research shows that 70% of internet users aged 16-24 have used social networking websites (compared to 41% of the general population), with over half doing so on a weekly basis. They are also much more likely to contribute content: 37% of 18-24 year olds have posted material online (compared to 14% across all age groups), while close to one in five have their own website or blog (section 3.4.17 discusses this in greater detail).

The drop in listening and viewing hours of young adults is probably also partly explained by their higher ownership of most new technologies than the population as a whole. For example, over half own a games console and / or an MP3 player and they also appear to have a higher propensity to consume in an innovative manner; 38% of young adults view TV over their PCs, compared to only 24% of all individuals (Figure 1.29).

There are more frightening figures on this page.

Anyway, I initially wanted to write about a completely different frightening figure and got completely sidetracked, so forgive me for the awkward segue back to the point.

No British shows in my list, but there is one at least I will be watching. Starting June 16 - Jekyll. This is Stephen Moffat’s modern “sequel” to R.L. Stevenson’s classic chiller, starring James Nesbitt (of the ludicrously inconsistent Murphy’s Law), Gina Bellman (from Moffat’s Coupling), Denis Lawson (Bleak House) and Michelle Ryan (soon to be seen leaping across rainy LA/Vancouver rooftops as The Bionic Woman). With Moffat in control I expect nothing less than sheer brilliance - certainly a better showing than January’s Dracula. A preview is viewable here, brief behind the scenes piece here. You’ll need Realplayer for both.

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