It’s interesting to read an article by BBC Controller Kim Shillinglaw looking for something “disruptive” and “anarchic” along the lines of SNL, The Tonight Show etc. The type of programming to go against the grain of the current crop of panel shows and other esoteric light entertainment containing mainly middle class presenters. Something “edgy” and “different” to break the current stale bland schedules. Clearly these guys want something to bring back they youth and make terrestrial television Kool again. Anyone old enough can shout out Def 2
From my experience of keeping my ear to the ground I find the same thing being echoed down the halls of commissioners’ offices. They ask for something different but get the same-old-same-old as it is a safe bet. Sometimes they take the same-old-same-old and try to sell it as a completely different beast. That’s why the same panel shows are commissioned with minor tweaks to the style but sold as bold new formats.
They all seem to have HBO / Lorne Michaels envy and want to find TheNextBigCulturalThing to add to the WaterCoolerTalkingPoint. The problem I see is that the established production companies have a stranglehold on the commissions so the pool for innovation is smaller. If you want something disruptive you need to find the right people who are not corporatized by the standards of television and actually bring in something fresh that reflects society now.
Also do these people know what the term “disruptive” actually means? What they want doesn’t seem like it will disrupt the media ecosystem, especially when it is to be shown at 10pm on BBC 2. Netflix disrupted the business model of waiting each week for the next episode by releasing all 13 parts of House of Cards in one go. That is the term used correctly here. I will let is slide as people love buzzwords like Zeitgeist.
Personally and again this is due to my peculiar taste but the last fresh original anarchic programmes were Nathan Barley and Tramadol Nights. I believe the latter was the last time something so funny and controversial was screened across the airwaves. Granted you can shout out that Toast of London is very funny but I wouldn’t say it’s groundbreaking, just a very funny series.
Commissioners want to discover the next Monty Python and bask in the glory of leaving a televisual legacy and if these people really want to think out of the box they need to talent spot people outside of the safe pool of comics and writers and start developing them. And I don’t mean box ticking. Real risk taking like Lorne does with assembling the writers.
Yes I know the Diversity debate rolls on and people are probably sick to death of hearing about it but compare SNL which has a diverse cast compared to British television. One only has to look at the oft mentioned british exodus to America, look at Armando Ianucci’s, success with his show. The HBO model was to get the talent and leave them alone and have some sort of faith. It worked for them.
As legend has it Only Fools and Horses only starting becoming a ratings grabber after series 3 but nowadays they feel they need to hit the ground running.
Essentially,widen the talent pool and you will be surprised what you will uncover. Be inclusive, not exclusive
The King Kong game show where you attempt to be the ultimate Bez. The main aim is to survive two weeks of touring while taking a large amount of class A drugs.
The contestants will spend 14 days playing at various live venues dancing, shaking the maracas in the evenings and spend the rest of the time scouring the crappiest drug dens and scoring as many illicit drugs as one can ingest.
The winner will be the one who has scored the most drugs, played in the most mediocre way and survived the ordeal.
The judges will be Bez himself, teamed by the speccy pensioner from The Apprentice and Mark E. Smith from The Fall. All seasoned veterans of chemical ingesting and all night partying.
The name of the game is to have fun and stay alive, all interspersed with CGI recreation and pending Channel 4 lawyers decision on hard drugs shown in a post watershed slot.
Dear Mr Corbyn
I write this letter with hands that are crippled with rage.
I do this so you don’t get deflated when the press and institutions stab you not so much in the back but in the front so they can see the fear in your eyes.
You are destined to fail.
There, I said it
As a fellow Labour-ite, I say this as a cautionary tale of how the system works. One which I discovered the hard way as I traipsed around the country selling my ideals.