DoctorVee had yet another interesting post, the last non-F1 post about television – specifically the new channels that are popping up and leaving every couple of days.
ABC1 has left and in its place we have DAVE (UKTVG2) and Virgin1 (FTN on steroids). The point Duncan made was that, although its nice to have these new high profile channels – why are they much of the same.
Dave is basically BBC TWO 2 – or what BBC THREE should really be – the best of the best BBC blokes content. It has everything from Top Gear to QI with a bit of Question of Sport (unfortunately) and Who’s line is it anyway.
UKTVG2 was by far one of my most favourite digital channels and Dave is an extension of that – apart from Question of Bollocks the channel is as good if not better than before.
But it IS just a repeats channel – it shows things that have been on before – I personally love this as I enjoy watching my favourite shows again – but it isn’t contributing to the British Media Industry in terms of new productions and commissions.
So Virgin1 – new channel from a major company, the owner of the UKs main Cable Television network and other major TV channels showing US imports (Living, Bravo) and part owner of the UKTV Channels (including Dave).
I had high hopes that a Channel with that calibre and with such a British Brand behind it – might contribute to British production levels – but no.
It’s full of American imports – its a Sky One clone – it’s basically what Sky Two would be with a bigger budget and more of an independent emphasis (not just a throw off channel for Sky One).
Which brings me to Sky One – I don’t expect much from Sky – it’s a multinational company that has always positioned itself as the place for big American shows – but they could do better.
They are making an effort but the UK shows they commission tend to be in the realm of reality television – which isn’t really contributing to the whole – drama/comedy/creative production industry is it.
I don’t expect anything to be done – we have the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for commissioning and spending on original British drama, comedy and scripted shows – but it doesn’t change the fact that it would be good for Britain if channels broadcasting in Britain spent money on British talent and productions.
Sky have done it before – things like Mile High and Time Gentlemen Please have both come from Sky One originally – why can’t that carry on – why can’t it happen all the time.
If Sky or Virgin spent some of the money they would have given to American production companies on new British productions – say four big shows a season – then that would make the world of difference.
Of all the British networks there seems to be no more than about 8 or 9 shows per season (autumn, winter, summer, spring) that are worth their salt.
We’re a creative nation – we should be doing better than this.