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It turns out that the only person who could have authorised that Graham Norton animation was the head of BBC1. It also turns out that is was commissioned from Aardman quite some time ago.

Said BBC1 controller came into that job from Channel 5, the other terrestrial station that does this habitually.

I make no further comment but to say if we (and I mean TV viewers in general) let this drop then it will continue to be used on all programmes including drama and sport, and will no doubt make its way onto BBC Scotland, Wales and HD.

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Jay Hunt has never inspired me with confidence as a controller - the misbegotten reinvention of Minder on Channel Five was her doing, commissioned before she left for BBC 1.

The current BBC1 schedules do not inspire me with confidence, either.

Thanks for the link - I hadn't seen that.

You would think the straightforward logic of the fact that the most highly rated of these idiotic reality talent shows - to wit, Britain's Got Talent - has, for the last two weeks, started opposite Over the Rainbow and, given a choice, the sort of people who watch Over the Rainbow have now defected to ITV for the duration, should have been obvious to the idiots at the Beeb even before they saw the ratings figures. And that it is no use yelling at people watching Dr Who that Over the Rainbow is coming next, because the people watching Who who intend to watch Britain's Got Talent will go over to ITV regardless, while the hardcore Who audience will migrate to Confidential and those who just don't like reality talent shows will switch off, particularly if they are infuriated by a Graham Norton animation.

The ratings confirm all this.

The drop remained exactly the same as last week, though ratings for both Dr Who and Over the Rainbow were very slightly up. Of course, Britain's Got Talent was well up on both.

Sometimes I wonder about how people get these jobs when they are so lacking in logic - that that probably isn't taught on media studies courses.

Edited at 2010-04-26 04:54 pm (UTC)

I think William Goldman's Three Laws of Hollywood [*] apply to television too.

[*] 1) Nobody 2) Knows 3) Anything

So because nothing seems particularly to work or not work, everybody just tries the random things they think worked for them or a rival before, like footballers wearing their Lucky Socks for a match.

Yes, but your assumption here is that people plan out their television viewing by looking at the listings - thus people interested in reality talent shows will see that Over the Rainbow clashes with Britain's Got Talent, and will mostly pick the latter. That may be a fair assumption for a portion of the audience, but it's not how television executives assume most of the audience behave. When the article parrot_knight linked to talks about assuming the viewers don't know what's coming next, it actually hits the nail right on the head. This is precisely what is assumed - that most people turn on the television, flick across channels until they find something that catches their interest, stick with it until it's over, and then start the process again. This isn't a wholly unfounded assumption - it's how I behave when I want the television on as background noise. If you assume that's how your audience behaves, then it is vital you take every possible opportunity to remind the viewer what's on next, in the hope that this will catch their interest, and stop them changing channels. Hence the ads over the end of previous programmes.

It's an assumption that I have a lot of problems with, not least that Britain's reputation for excellence in television was not built on assuming that the audience are morons - precisely the opposite, in fact. But it's how these people think.

But the evidence, from the ratings, is that this is not how the audience is reacting. Also, most TVs - and certainly all digital TVs plus those that receive satellite broadcasts - have an onscreen menu of programmes. I suggest that many of these people do what I do - run up the now/next menu or whatever the equivalent is on their set, and choose from that. The IPP is unnecessary because of the new technology.

I didn't see it at the time (I was packing, and I think that episode may have been too scary for me anyway!) but I am shocked that anyone could have had such a lapse in professional judgement to think that it was anything other than a really cretinously stupid idea to break the fourth wall so badly at such a dramatic moment in a show the BBC have invested so much money and PR in.

This is one reason why I don't watch TV any more. I'd rather pay money for the DVDs, in the (usually rare) event that there's something I really want to watch.

The problem is that without primetime audiences to woo there wouldn't be any DVD releases. OTOH, if I believed that anyone was thinking logically about this (which I don't) they could have assumed that since most of the DW audience would be buying the DVD it didn't really matter if they fucked about with the actual broadcast. Especially as no one will be producing an 'Over the Rainbow' DVD - so obviously it's important that viewers are reminded to watch it NOW.

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