Friday, 3 August 2007

The agony and ecstasy of tv

New post, new font. It's a bit clearer, that's all*

I've just been sent a link to a website that's made me howl with pain. But in a good way. Sort of.

It's not that well implemented but basically the idea is to compress old hour-long shows to five minutes, to fit with today's tiny attention spans. It's quite funny, although the shows they've used are rubbish. I find it hard to believe they've actually bought rights or cleared anything, more that they think cutting up ancient Yankish shitcom Who's The Boss is post-ironic modernism or sommit.

My howl is because I've been trying for ages to flog a tv channel entirely based on short programme length. 2minuteTV, to be precise, a channel where everything is... I'm sure you're ahead of me.

I've been trying for five years and even won a Broadcast magazine-sponsored competition for best new idea with it. I've spoken to funders who got very excited and then... well, then they weren't any more.

The idea's got a few things in it that are unique, and just in case anyone reading this has a couple of million squid they want to bung my way I won't spill all the beans. Needless to say it's v cheap to make, v varied to watch and v carefully thought through to work financially and creatively.

I'll give you three of the ideas in it:-

  • There's a spoof drama series called Avenue Road which works in two minute slots as it consists of a "previously on Avenue Road..." recap and a "next time on Avenue Road..." trailer. And nothing else.
  • There's a list in the corner showing what's up next, what you're watching and what you've just missed. The latter is the bestest invention as it means if you've just missed something you like, you're more likely to think good of the channel. It's like if the Tube had an indicator saying a train left a minute ago you would feel better about waiting seven minutes for the next one. Probably.
  • Any channel with Sherlock Homeless on it is surely a winner.

Now I know Al Gore's currentTV does 'pods' of 5-9 minutes' length, and mixes current affairs with sports and cartoons and the like, but it's, er, all somewhat worthy and that. 2MinuteTV is anything but worthy.

The Minisode network and Mr Gore's channel made me howl because it kinda sorta proves the idea works - but those channels are so not what mine is about. There's a full business plan, channel line up and oodles of catchily-named promogrammes if anyone's interested. And a slogan. I like them.

2MINUTETV. You're never more than 2MINUTES away from something else. Not necessarily something better but definitely something else.

Bit long perhaps?

*Trebuchet is a lovely font but Verdana is clearer really, important on small screens. As I found out trying to read websites on my little handheld PC. Hence the change, fontfans.

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