Shows that will not die: why not?

Misery without end

Some shows go on seemingly forever: Doctor Who‘s a good example, as is The Sky At Night. Sometimes there’s a good reason: the quality of the show, interesting scripts, the fact it’s a soap opera and so on.

Then there are some shows that go on forever where it’s really hard to understand why. In the US, there’s Law and Order, which has been going on for the best part of 20 years now. Then there’s New Tricks in the UK, as well as Heartbeat and I’m sure Last of the Summer Wine is still out there somewhere. Why?

The obvious answer is ratings. The shows still get plenty of viewers. The question again though is why? Why do people watch these shows?

Suggestions on a postcard to the usual address. Or you could save yourself a stamp and a tree by leaving a comment.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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