Saturday, December 09, 2006

Lower Grade

Good luck Michael Grade, for you work for a company I despise, having left a company I truly admire. Now, I do understand commercial TV; programmes are the things that go between the adverts and not the other way around. However, despite its dominant position, ITV has chosen to give up this illusion to chase the dirty dollar.

Channel 4 have shown how to do it by finding a blend of programming that stretches from reputation enforcing niche to populist banal (although programmes on the axis of Sex Tips for What You Eat and How Clean is You Naked Property Ladder are getting a little too much). ITV's programming formula has either been reduced to using desperate (and cheap) celebrities or mildly talented (and free) nobodies for their entertainment schedule or, in the case of their current affairs stuff; being a visual Daily Express by reacting hysterically to everything. The binding factor is always the introduction of audience participation by text message voting.

All of which leaves me with a cold chill to learn that ITV intend to screen a TV event this weekend entitled Extinct. The BBC might tackle the subject by investigating the socioeconomic drivers that are threatening the Northern Spotted Owl. ITV can't afford to lose viewers to the Strictly Come Dancing results programme; so how are they to ensure they get their money in as quickly as possible?

'Text 8556 and add 1 for to make the Hawaiian Monk Seal extinct, 2 for the Eastern Timber Wolf...'.


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