Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Summer lull...

TV goes quiet in the summer. As in the business and the stuff on the air as well.

Always doubt any new series that starts in the summer.

It's simple and logical that you basically show the rubbish- sorry, more challenging material... during the summer. People are on holiday. The nights are lighter so the viewers aren't sitting in front of the telly, they're.. er, well, you know, doing the garden, singing songs around the piano or BBQing £2 chickens.

And, obviously, all the senior telly people are away so they can burn off their shi- um, more challenging material.. whilst they're not around.

In the States, it used to be even simpler. They didn make or screen any new shows in the summer. US tv commissioned 26 weeks' worth of episodes of everything and simply re-run them all over the summer. Even the 'news magazines' like 60 Minutes.

(Note 26 weeks' worth is actually 22 episodes normally, as there are 8 weeks where they either have stunt scheduling for their 'sweeps' months where ratings are checked, or they have award ceremonies or sports events to fit in, or it's Christmas where totally unlike the UK they just bung on repeats as the advertisers ain't bothered 'cos the shops are shut)

Anyhow, now us Brits have spoilt it for them. We introduced them to cheap reality tv and summer in the US is festooned with all kinds of reality crap. It simply rates a wee bit more than repeats of drama, and can cost less. Big Brother is a very different show in the US (no audience voting for a start) but a regular summer event now. America's Got Talent is a huge hit, as well as our very own Supernanny and Wife Swap. There are two 'sing the lyrics' shows which have done well, and Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? (coming to us via Sky One) which is a proper big hit - pitting brainy kids against dumb adults, a winning format if ever I saw one.

Back to Britain now, and the schedules have been full of typical summer fair. Speaking of fairs (hoho), did anyone see that Great British Village Fair thing that was on BBC One? It was made last summer, a full year old when it hit the screens. Does that imply it wasn't the bestest quality ever, or that it was carefully scheduled to fit with summer weather.

As the Geordie off of Big Brother says - "you decide...", especially when the weather when they filmed the series was hot and sunny and the weather this year was, er, somewhat damper.

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