Today’s Broadcast is full of little nuggets of news. Kudos has been given the green light by the BBC to make a second season of Life on Mars. Meanwhile, Dick and Dom have been ushered out of da Bungalow. And surprise, surprise, ITV’s rubbish rebranding hasn’t done anything to stop a ratings slump.
First, Life on Mars. Interesting. We’re on episode six of eight at the moment. That means episode eight is almost certainly in the can. Short of a prompt re-edit, that means the ending is already fixed. What kind of ending, given the show’s plotline, would work for both non-renewal and renewal? Probably quite a disappointing one. Unless Sam wakes up out of his coma and then gets into another car accident at the start of the next season, we’ve got to assume he stays where he is. Does that mean he’s not actually in a coma, but in Hell, doomed to think forever that he’s in a coma? Perhaps Phil Glenister is Satan, having a laugh and a Watney’s Red Barrel at the same time. Nevertheless, I’m hoping they’re going to pull something interesting out the bag for episode eight.
Dick and Dom. Never watched it/them. It all looked very silly, but not quite silly enough for my tastes. Plus Saturday mornings? I don’t think so. Anyway, what is the BBC replacing it with? The Mighty Truck of Stuff, in which Reggie Yates goes around the country giving out gifts from a van. My God. How BBC can you get? Nevertheless, this is amazing. This is almost like one of Philip K Dick’s visions from VALIS. We have, re-enacted before our eyes, the great Multi-Coloured Swap Shop (middle class show for nice kids) v Tiswas (anarchic show for kids with personalities) war again, but this time on the same channel. Staggering.
As for ITV’s ratings slump, ITV4 is struggling to get 100,000 viewers some nights. Ratings for the combined ITV digital output are down 4% from last year, 3.1% if you include Men & Motors, with ratings on ITV1 down 7%. I pointed out, not so long ago, that the problem might be rubbish programmes, rather than branding. I feel vindicated.