ITV needs a little more focus

Remember when ITV used to make good programmes? That’s right, it was roughly before the franchise sell-off at the beginning of the 90s. There have been a few good programmes since then, including Cracker and, erm, suggestions anyone? But it’s mostly been rubbish, ever since Thames got sent down the river.

Perhaps it’s the lack of decent ‘creatives’. Perhaps it’s a lack of cash. That’s certainly something to do with it. To be honest, though, I think the problem is simply the quest for ratings: try to be all things to all people and you end up pleasing no one. You’d have thought now they have four channels and they’re not bothering to put on regional programming, really, they might be able to do something about that. But despite a silly rebranding, all they have are two versions of ITV1 and two nostalgia channels, interspersed with good stuff they’ve bought from other people.

But despite plummeting ratings, what are they doing about it? First, buying Friends Reunited at a stupendously stupid price. Now, they’re looking to take a majority stake in TV3, Ireland’s only commercial channel.

You know, if I were them, strapped for cash and my ratings were sliding, I’d be thinking about making better programmes. This hasn’t quite registered at ITV though. Of course, if TV3 is making oodles of cash, taking a majority stake in them would certainly help with the cashflow. But faffing around with Friends Reunited and TV3 is really just a distraction from the important thing, which is making decent programmes.


My XFM long-weekend of horror

My wife was away this weekend. If you recall from my earlier quest for a decent breakfast show, we normally wake up to the sound of Chris Moyles abusing the population, interspersed by clips from John Craven’s Newsround… sorry, Radio 1 news (“Tony Blair is a very important man. He’s the Prime Minister of the country you live in.” Dumbing down? Not a bit of it). But this weekend was going to be different. It was time for weekend XFM.

Continue reading “My XFM long-weekend of horror”


US Sci-Fi Channel does massive U-turn and buys Doctor Who

David Tennant in a kilt

Wouldn’t have mentioned this except for

a) the great way the BBC announced it (sound needed, but you’ll get annoyed after about a minute)

b) the Sci-Fi channel turned down the chance last year because they watched a few episodes and “found the series somewhat lacking and didn’t think it would fit into the network’s schedule”

I’m guessing the change of mind came about since there was a definite pick-up in story quality in the second half of last year’s season, because it’s now a success and because David Tennant is due very soon. Plus how many rubbish B-movies can you fill a schedule with before you start to put off your educated 30+ demographic? Anyone for Mansquito 2? Thought not. Better get some decent shows in instead then, hadn’t you Sci-Fi?