Wednesday, 28 March 2007

It's all in the title

Damn it, I've spoilt the next tv secret by giving it away in the heading. Just like most tv shows do nowadays.

tv secret: it's all in the title

Sorry to repeat myself but there is a format and I'm sticking to it. Ooh, there you go, another one.

tv secret: always stick to the format

No matter what don't vary the format. It's always a mistake, whether it's a primetime quiz show (anyone ever really enjoyed 'celebrity' versions of Millionaire or Weakest Link?) or a bad daytime show where old ladies are encouraged to flog off items of huge sentimental value to hit a pretend financial goal- er, I mean to "get that gazebo in the garden they've always longed for". Yeah, right...

Back to the first one, and the reason I mention it is the tendency of shows to have ridiculously eye-catching titles. Apologies to the kind-of-thought, there is swearing involved. The broadcasters carefully replace the real words with '*'s but I'm not as hypocritical as them.


Are we seeing a pattern here? It's almost as if the F-word is a brand, like Panorama or Dispatches. Personally I don't like anyone telling me to fuck off, whether they're a hirsuite woman, shorter than Tom Cruise or as red-headed as that unfunny arse with the prosthetic chin. Whasssisname. Avid Merrion! Him. I actually gave him his first break on tv. I'm really sorry.

Anyhow, some non-rudey programme names...


And that's just The Licence Player-Funded Lovely And Wholesome Public Service Broadcaster BBC Three. Not forgetting Channel 4's actually-very-good-despite-the-punsome-title TOURETTES DE FRANCE. They (or was it Five) also had the Best Title Ever- THE MAN WHO GAVE BIRTH TO HIS TWIN. I mean, who wouldn't watch that? I did. It wasn't very good.

Here's what the producer who makes these shows would say about titles:-

"Well, with the EPG and listings being so cluttered, we need to stand out from the crowd. It doesn't affect the integrity of the piece at all, just means press and PR and the audience will kinda sit up and take notice, yeh?"


Yes it might get an audience but it's simply not big and not clever. People will tire of THE BOY WITH THE BIGGEST BOLLOCKS IN BRITAIN or THE WOMAN WHO ATE HER CAT eventually. The law of diminishing returns comes into it - what do you do next? (Horrible thought - it's the word 'LIVE' on the end...)

I do have a personal axe to grind - I've come up with the best title ever and have almost flogged it to every broadcaster. It mixes property (hey, everyone loves property shows!) and entrepreneur-ship (hey, everyone likes Dragon's Den and The Apprentice with S'rallen!). Well, I say that. I haven't actually got a format yet, just the title. But if you come up with a format then I'll split it 50:50 with you. Go on.

One word:-


It's a winner...


Anonymous said...

You see, that's the trouble with TV these days - all just a load of idead nicked from the Internet!!!

Ex producer Bazza

Anonymous said...

and bad spelling. Ahem.

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