I love Harlan Ellison

He’s great. Make him your Mayor.

The changing face of kids’ TV

Hot on today’s/yesterday’s news that Grange Hill is going to be revamped (free registration required) to focus on younger kids and return to the original comic strip titles and theme tune, I thought I’d focus a little on the misery of old age.

As you may – or may not – know, I’ve got one of those door stops aka Apple TVs that sits connected to my now somewhat senile television and serves up, among other things, all manner of goodies from Bastard, my Mac-based PVR.

I say “among other things” because it also has an Internet connection that allows it to stream YouTube videos directly to the TV as well.

Initially, I thought this was about as useful as a Marxist analysis of Katie and Peter Unleashed. But it’s actually turning out to be quite fun, now that YouTube is slowly digitising all its old vids into an Apple TV-compatible format – assuming you can get over having to use one of those old arcade game-style on-screen keyboards to type out “prestidigitation” or whatever you happen to be looking for. Much better than crouching over a computer typing stuff into a web browser anyway. And some of the vids are almost crystal clear.

Being of a certain age, once I’d got over the excitement of the “Will it Blend?” guy, immediately started looking for clips from old kids’ TV shows.

Tell you what – not only have times change, everything was a lot more sinister then.

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Friday’s “just realised Broadcast’s RSS feed has changed location” news

Doctor Who



British TV


Thursday’s “people find soft porn interesting” surprise news

Doctor Who

  • Pipes’ Secret Diary of a Call Girl gets a second series and US networks are interested


British TV


Worrying new trend imported from the US

There’s a worrying new trend I’ve just started to notice. Its perpetrator is Channel 4.

As we all know, in the US, TV seasons tend to run from August/September through to May/June (give or take a month depending on which network the show’s on, the show, whether it’s a summer season show, etc). Now, with 22-24 episodes per season, that’s still not enough to allow for new episodes every week. Sometimes, as with Lost and Daybreak, US networks will simply insert a new show into the time slot and then carry on with the old show.

But most of the time, they’ll simply put on an old episode of the same show – hence the pressing need for gruff narrators to preface trailers with “next week on an all-new Woof the Sheepdog” or whatever, so that viewers know when a new episode rather than a re-run is going to be on.

This plays havoc with the ratings and annoys fans. But it doesn’t seem to be stopping Channel 4 from trying it out for themselves.

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