BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: From the web team
« Previous | Main | Next »

Newsnight Review: Is TV doomed?

Sarah McDermott | 10:31 UK time, Thursday, 12 March 2009

That is the question Newsnight Review will try to answer tomorrow night, with a panel of critics and industry insiders.

Doomed is putting it a little strongly, perhaps, but there is no doubting that television is facing a crisis, with funding drying up, and in the wake of all the fakery rows of recent months.

But Review is asking whether the problem is a more fundamental one.

Has television just run out of ideas? Are all the formats derivative? Are all the dramas a bit samey? Is everything just a bit safe and predictable?

Or, do you feel that television is still pushing the boundaries?

We want to know what you think. Was there ever a golden age of TV? If so, when was it? Or are we living through it right now?

Is TV still at the centre of our national conversation, and if not, does that matter?

What is the best and boldest programming around right now?

What was the best TV programme ever made?

And how do you think we will be watching TV in 10 years? Will we be watching it at all?

Let us know by leaving your comments below. And do tune in, or set your VHS, your recordable DVD player or digital recording device for Friday night.

That's if Newsnight Review is not already series linked on your set top box. Or you're not watching from your mobile phone. Or from outer space...


Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I dont know if TV is doomed. Maybe quality TV is though. There is so much choice in channels but so many of them are awful - peddling nothing but repeats and doing the same formats to death.
    It is ironic that even though I have Sky and the extra choice is supposedly brings I stil spend most of my time watching the BBC.
    It isn't fashionable to say this but I'd pay twice and three times the cost of the licence fee to keep the BBC. It is worth every penny.
    You only have to watch programmes such as Natures Great Events to see the quality shine through. Yes there is some rubbish on the BBC but when you line it up against the other options there isn't really much competition.
    TV doesn't have to be doomed, but like everything else you get out what you are willing to put in, more investment needs to go in to get quality programming out.

  • Comment number 3.

    TV and the BBC as a publicly funded anchor are both 'doomed'. Hurrah!

  • Comment number 4.

    The question is probably better put as: Is broadcast doomed? Forget the format, TV or PC, that's a distraction. I use my PC as a TV.
    The critical question is whether there are enough audiences to sustain high cost productions, including drama, news and even Newsnight.
    I think the answer has to be yes. We might like to think of ourselves as individuals who make individual choices but the reality is that we are interested in much the same things as each other. Why would I not be interested in Newsnight in the future, or Champions League football or Mad Men?

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes, it may very well be doomed judging by the unprecedented successful coverage of CRUFTS DOG SHOW by
    Sunset+Vine and shown exclusively on the net. It was superb, far better pictures than those previously shown by the BBC and just two presenters who totally knew their stuff and were such a pleasure to listen to, unlike the babble of one particular BBC presenter.

    It is sad to see the BBC, once the giant of good broadcasting, relegated to trivia and sporting minority events.

  • Comment number 6.

    "The best and boldest programming around right now" is, and always has been, on BBC Radio 4. I very rarely watch television - I am too busy having a life. I can listen to radio in the car.

  • Comment number 7.

    The future of TV is not happening on TV, it's happening on the internet. I have not watched TV for 2 years. It's not just the over polished content of TV vs the anarchic internet but also the on-demand convenience that makes steaming TV / podcasts work better for the pace of my life. Here is some of what I watch:
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 8.

    Sometime in the not too distant future, broadband capacity may be at the point where all video will available almost instantaneously anywhere and that will be the game changer.

    Once I'm able to recieve an entire series of some obscure half remembered Belgian science fiction show from the early 70's from a guy in Seoul who happened to have it lying around on his server at home, downloaded within seconds via a peer to peer network, the idea of channels such as BBC2 will become rather quaint.

    Newsnight works as a live programme given the discussion element, but what if the TV in my living room was RSS enabled, so that every new bit of content created by the Newsnight team came to me as soon as it was published without having to wait until 10.30?

    I honestly think that the current TV distribution and revenue models will go out the window once superfast broadband becomes a reality and the box in my living room gets its content from the Internet.

    How it will exactly pan out is hard to tell - plenty of people will get rich by adapting content to match this reality - but TV is about to change forever.

    Just my tuppence worth.

  • Comment number 9.

    I saw it on BBC news, so how was it ignored?

  • Comment number 10.

    The 'Golden Age' of television for me was when there was far less choice of what to watch, and we had no videos, dvd recorders, freeview, boxes, satellites, etc, etc.

    There are simply too many channels, and too many alternatives nowadays.

    It would be a good thing, in my opinion, if this TV crisis led to a cut back in channels, and we reverted to far fewer options, but what was left improved.

    Other than news and current affairs programmes, I watch little TV, but listen to the radio increasingly.

  • Comment number 11.


    While you chase ratings and awards, and run ever-longer advertisements, yes, doomed is about right. Those who live by 'edgy' output shall die by edgy output.

  • Comment number 12.

    Probably the best TV entertainment programme ever shown, in my view, was so long ago I cannot remember the date. I think I probably watched it on a 9" Pye TV set at my aunt's house (we had not TV at home until I had finished school at 19 - my parents wisely thought I should be spared the distraction! The film was called "The Silent Song". I think it starred Fernandel, the wonderful mime artist. The story concerned monks in a silent order monastery placing bets on horses by lowering betting slips over the monastery wall to a runner who placed the bets for them and delivered any winnings. The whole programme had not a word of dialogue, nor did it have background music thank goodness! The mime was astonishingly meaningful, however. I wish someone would dig it up out of the archives (if it still exists) and give it new showing.

  • Comment number 13.

    TV `used` to be a great provider for home entertainment. But with SKY now having bought 99% of all the programmes worth watching (including sport) I`m now being fed sub-standard programmes by the other broadcasters. The broadcasting stations icons constantly on the screen are also another unwanted, useless Americanised gimmick. I find that I am watching less and less of British TV programmes because they are so predictable in story and overated actors/actresses.
    Even the news presenters can not sit still in their seats and constantly bounce around and dramatise everything they read. I wish to be informed of home and world news by calm and intelligent presenters, not someone who thinks he/she should put over their point of view whilst presenting the news.
    American drama`s I`m afraid have much more to give than the poor British efforts.
    And please, please, please, no more unwanted reality shows, no more x-factor-pop idol kind of programmes, they are just cheap TV and unwanted.

  • Comment number 14.

    "Has television just run out of ideas? Are all the formats derivative? Are all the dramas a bit samey? Is everything just a bit safe and predictable?"

    Will that 'witch' be on again?

  • Comment number 15.

    I think television has definitely taken a dive since the 90s. Prime time schedules are full or reality TV and make over/cookery programs.

    Most drama is pretty unimaginative mainly based around police and hospitals.

    Most of the great television programs like Our Friends in the North, Pennies from Heaven, House of Cards and Edge of Darkness are from the 70s to 90s, with very little managing to meet these standards.

    Comedy is absolutely dire, most intelligent comedy of recent years like Frasier and Seinfeld have had to be imported.

  • Comment number 16.

    I don't think TV is doomed however I do think it's achieved a point of evolution that could leave some people behind. Since the conception of reality television there's a desire from the viewer to contribute in some way to the programme. It's not just TV shows but also digital games - MMORPGs (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) give an increased level of interactivity and inspire a generation to think of interaction rather than sitting and viewing.

    As such the market for 'sit and view' television is shrinking however 'trash' TV such as reality TV shows and karaoke TV (commonly referred to as 'car crash television') shows continue to increase their market share. This leaves a challenge for the producers - how can we keep the interactivity and improve the quality?

    The person who discovers that solution will be the leader of media innovation for the early part of the 21st century.

  • Comment number 17.

    Multiple choice channels have diluted the quality of programming available because proper budgetary provision for high end production is no longer feasible. When there was only BBC1, 2 and ITV to watch people tuned in in their 20s of millions to enjoy cutting edge output, whereas today's disparate array of channels mean we struggle to muster more than five million viewers for the flagship programmes.

  • Comment number 18.

    Television isn't dead. Nor will it die, in the sense that we shall always have an audio-visual device to entertain us in our homes. I suspect such a device will still be called "television". Broadcasting, as we currently know it, may change beyond recognition. With high-speed data cables and improvements in digital compression, broadcasting in real time might be used for news and current affairs programmes alone. It is possible that in future, the latest episode of something like Coronation Street might be published at a given time and day, and be available for people to watch when they wish thereafter. Perhaps people might subscribe to individual programmes as well as channels.

    However, television is largely a passive medium. After an exhausting day many will just slump down and look for something they want to watch without too much interactivity. "Press the red button" hasn't proved as popular as some broadcasters might have imagined. There will always be a chance for broadcasters or content producers to use serendipity to amuse us.

    Funding and increased competition might be leading to crisis in the current broadcasting market, but I have nod doubt these issues will be overcome, and our grandchildren will still use television in one form or another.

  • Comment number 19.

    Television is great - at best, better than film: eg West Wing, John Adams, plus history, archaeology, and at one time current affairs.

    But it hasn't adapted - tv executives still imagine a world where people sit down passively to watch and can't even change channels to exert a preference.

    The popularity of the iplayer shows how mad this is, yet we still have to jump through hoops to get to watch a whole series.

    Watching on a computer is already a dated concept - the whole means of communication should become properly integrated sooner rather than later, so we can watch what we want, when we want, easily. Then a licence fee might make sense.

  • Comment number 20.

    There will always be demand for programmes of quality that educate and nurture - in the true spirit of the "Arts".
    What we currently have on TV is akin to the Roman Games (as a great empire disintegrated). The entertainment simply titillated, and so required greater and greater levels of outlandish behavior to keep audiences attention.
    We have similarly degenerated the majority of programmes with formulaic content that quickly needs fresh, and increasingly base stimulus.
    Let this go onto the web, where the audiences can participate and contribute. and advertising comes from the wider global audience. Then let "The Arts" remain in a niche TV culture that can be enjoyed by the smaller audience who will gladly pay through the licensing fee - as they always have.
    "Live Theatre" on the box may be part of this new service, bringing together two cultural expressions for mutual benefit.

  • Comment number 21.

    The BBC is awash with Soaps and Junk wheather new or more normally repeated ad nausium.
    The subscripition for BBC reception should be scrapped if only because it is no longer providing value for money.

    ITV shows 24/7 adverts interspaced with snippits of repeats or substandard socalled entertainment. The commercial stations should pay the BBC subscription for any viewer who wishes to be bombarded with neverending junk

  • Comment number 22.

    First I think you need to be clearer on what you mean by TV, (i.e. clearly separate discussion about content and delivery).

    Content is here to stay; the amount of it being created seems to be growing not shrinking. The sheer volume of it means there is more rubbish than ever before but it also means there is more that is great than ever before.
    My taste is for mainly for dramas and I don't remember ever having so many on tv that I want to watch. These are programs I've made a point of watching because I enjoy them from this year (The Shield, Mad Men, Damages, Skins, Dexter, Shameless, Heroes, Lost, Red Riding, Being Human, Pushing Dasies, Lark Rise to Candleford). I don't think - we've ever had it better.

    Linear broadcast channels as a delivery mechanism for content does seem to be under threat. There are so many channels that it is hard pick a way around them and much of the content is available via other means. Established players clearly have more to lose.

    The question around derivative and samey versus boundary pushing can be a bit of a red herrring. Shows like Numbers and House aren't groundbreaking and even have quite a formulatic feel from week to week, but it doesn't make them rubbish, unwatchable or unenjoyable.

    With regards to best and bold programming, I'm not sure any of our tv channels are being all that bold. The two boldest things are probably e4's voice over guy and UKtv renaming all its channels so that they do what they say on the tin; both of those are at the fringes of what programming is about though.

    I think it would be reasonable to ask why our tv channels are commissioning enough quality programs. Channel 4 are the only ones pulling their weight from my point of view.
    ITV seems to make tv programs to sell advertising space, and whilst that is the reality of what their business is - it doesn't lend itself to making the best tv programs.
    The BBC seems to be stuck in some kind of focus group hell, where the question of does the show stick to certain guidelines based on the perceived veiwing segement seems to come above asking "is this any good?"

    I'm pretty sure my children will have more screens in their homes to watch content on than my parents had in theirs.

  • Comment number 23.

    When I started in TV in the 1980s there was a programme called "Did You See?" - a phrase virtually noone asks these days. TV was a proscenium experience - where you could expect a mass response to a single programme - only Big Brother can do that these days, but in those days political interviews had everyone talking. This power made TV very exciting and important. It attracted serious people with serious intentions of using the medium for social change and to enliven the culture and stimulate political debate. It was less professionalised, had more mavericks and idealists.

    The era of Birtism that followed produced some staggeringly dull and worthy TV, as well as gems, but the industry is now dominated by people whose prime motivation is money and that has killed risk taking and originality. There will always be exceptions, but if you fail to make a success of a programme these days (determined by the number of people who watch it), your career suffers, so people play safe and go for populism.

    TV is now a "content supermarket" - and the more fluid, cheap, amorphous and responsive technology of the internet will indeed kill the proscenium experience of Did You See and the box. TV's importance as a gathering point for the nation's "inner conversation" is over - maybe. As the need for a coherent national conversation increases, TV's role might revive. For now its all about individuals trying - and struggling - to make money. Meanwhile the internet is proving a far more effective deliverer of content.

    Til now, market forces have determined success, ratings have driven value. Perhaps in the new dispensation post-recession, we can have a rethink and come up with a post-market model for valuing TV content.

  • Comment number 24.

    I meant to write something about what the knock on effect of their being no linear broadcast channels would be - but it's mainly questions.

    How would content providers get people to watch their latest offerings?

    How would a viewer transition between shows aimed at different demographics - i.e. we'll be likely to have limited exposure to different types of shows.

    Will we end up with the firehouse effect happening to groups of viewers?

  • Comment number 25.

    Three years ago I got fed up with all the commercials and tabloid news on TV that I stopped watching 90% of the time.

    Now I select what I want to read on the internet.

    It seems that all the media are Barbara Walters clones,and one forgets what they are watching after all the commercials are aired over and over and over again.

    The news is so biased and slanted and pro establishment. The bussiness news is all garbage. The weather is the only reliable news.

    Forget the programs, the reality shows are all scripted,and shock. History channel is rewriting history,Discovery channel has some good content and some very bad.

    Public TV spends 60% of its time begging for money.
    That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Most, if not all, of my favourite programmes of recent years have been from the US - The Wire, Generation Kill, Dexter, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Mad Men, The West Wing, Brotherhood, and the early ER. These are all drama series; I have no interest in light entertainment (apart from HIGNFY), makeover slush, property porn, soaps, reality tv, or sport. The US makes the best drama, in that it creates a world I want to enter and fills it with great writing, acting, and production standards. British tv, even when it is good, which is increasingly rare, has short runs, or never-ending runs of pap such as the output of the Holby stable. C4's Red Riding was not overly burdened with sense or cohesion in the first episode; perhaps it will improve. ITV has done little of note since Prime Suspect & Cracker. British tv is in a sorry state.

  • Comment number 27.

    The seems to be less drama now. What happened to "Play for today" and the plays of Dennis Potter or his equivalent?
    The comedy is puerile for the most part. What happened to the likes of "Dad's Army", "The Good Life" and "Yes, Minister"?
    What happened to the orchestral concerts on BBC4?
    On a positive note, the documentaries of David Attenborough and others are excellent.

  • Comment number 28.

    I think the 1960s was the golden age of TV. People in my generation, who were small children in the 60s, reminisce constantly about thprogrammess like Johnny Morris, Crackerjack, Blue Peter. They were an integral part of British society life.
    Nowadays, I don't think TV has the same pull because there is so much competition from other media. TV generally is going to have to find ways of keeping customers. My view is that the news and magazine programmes are the BBC's biggest strengths, and these may be able to retain an audience who watch and then chat to their friends and neighbours about what they have seen. TV has to be part of our community and society to retain its place.

  • Comment number 29.

    I've been watching TV since the 1950s, and feel that there's probably a similar ratio of great programmes, to good programmes, to rubbish than there was then. There are wonderful shows around for those who take the time to get to know them, and while there's an ABC1 market these shows will always be made. There are others that the media tell us are classic but actually are derivative: The Wire for instance seems to appeal largely to people who've never seen a cop show before, and certainly haven't seen Hill Street Blues or The Shield; Mad Men has such a great title sequence, the resulting show becomes very disappointing. However, I do find the presentation of much modern TV very inhuman and insulting: shouty promos; enthusiastic regional presenters talking over the end credits, which are often shoved into a small box at the corner of the screen so I can't see who was in the show; trailers repeated ad nauseam, often several times in ad breaks within the same programme; the assumption that I've started watching a documentary halfway through so the entire thing has to be explained to me again after each ad break; programmes routinely starting earlier than billed. All this shows worrying assumptions about the public that weren't there in previous television eras, and because of such attitudes I find myself watching less and less TV and more DVD box sets, and surfing the internet.

  • Comment number 30.

    You know, the one with the white hanky/flag on her left shoulder/arm (when interview by JP). She appear on Review frequently.

    She's very 'edgy'. Sure sign of a 'witch'.

  • Comment number 31.

    TV doomed...great! Listen to BBC radio then get outside, take a hike and see the real world.

  • Comment number 32.

    I agree with mr_andy_c's comment above. The best programming was between 1970 and 1990. Outside this range, there are a few notable shows not, as I said, just a few.

    During that period, emphasis was put on quality of script and performance. Before, TV was still learning. After, TV got arrogant and lost its focus. It just chases ratings and revenue now. Pumping out dumbed down, lowest common denominator junk for the masses in order to gain numbers.

    Yep, TV is on its way out unless it drastically improves.

  • Comment number 33.

    Swearing, violence, drugs, sex, assorted depravity, all dumbed down to a level that suits a moronic sub-class in our society.

    I no longer have a television and listen to Radio 4 - much better.

  • Comment number 34.

    You could have the people who do all the sparkly graphics build a stake in teh studio. When she gets all animated/a bit too wordy, the presenter could grab her attention and point over to the stake!

  • Comment number 35.

    First of all define Television, once this is done, then you can decide whether TV is doomed! The BBC has a programming budget coutesy of the license fee which allows it to blow the competition out of the water and this more than anything else could hasten the end of advertiser supported TV as we know it. Why? ITV/Channel 4/five and the myriad of smaller channels will struggle to pay their transmission/uplink/programming/operating costs unless advertising/teleshopping revenue improves substantialy and this is unlikely to happen within the next 18/24 months. Advertisers are discovering that outside flagship programmes such as Coronation Street, they are able to reach their audiences online as efficiently as on TV and every £ lost to TV will become more difficult to regain. The subscription channels will thrive comparatively well so that should give BSkyB/Virgin some hope. On top of all this, the government in their infinite wisdom have decided not to permit product placement which will hamper producers of all genres and those that survive will do so using in Kipling's words "infinite resource and sagacity". So is TV doomed? No it isn't, but it will take some effort to ensure that it survives as we know it!!

  • Comment number 36.

    YEP, DOOMED .......

    Doomed? 'Fraid so.

    Certainly - and very soon - in respect of the old-fashioned broadcast business model still operated by the commercial terrestrial and cable companies.

    Universal, high-speed broadband will see to that within the next 18 months. ITV will have gone bust before that anyway.

    Equally certainly, although it will take a little longer for the corpse to stop twitching, in respect of the BBC. As this is a government operation largely run by technologically-challenged jobsworths, no doubt this will stagger on with vast sums taxpayer's licence money for a bit longer.

    The only bit of the BBC that is worth preserving is Radio 4. This is genuinely unique and very high quality. It's what the BBC was set up for in the first place. It should be cherished.

    Along with the NHS, the police, the armed forces, the public schools and Oxbridge, it is one of the few remaining bastions of England's soul. Curiously, there is no licence charge for listening to radio.

    The BBC employs around 30,000 (yep, 30,000. Can you believe it?) and clings to the odd notion that viewers will continue to pay the 140 quid-a-year licence fee when the same amount of money will buy them a computer and unlimited access to any and all material - whenever they want to watch it!

    Hilariously, there is even talk of increasing the licence fee - and SHARING it with ITV. Pardon?

    This is a horse that will not run.

    It's not as if the BBC TV actually produces very much of its own stuff - apart from the odd costume drama. This is made obvious by the proprietary offerings on it's Internet catch-up service - mostly rubbish soaps, kidddies' stuff and standard news and current affairs items.

    Cheerio Auntie.

    But don't worry. There's no need for you to do anything. We'll do it for you. We'll just stop paying the licence fee and watch anything we want - free from any censorship - on the net, to where Radio 4 is already moving as fast as it can.

    I just hope that the John Humphrys, Melvyn Bragg and Jeremy Paxman deal goes through with Virgin Media. Incidentally, chaps, the Richard Branson "face-to-face" idea is a no-no.

    Universal, high speed broadband will see to that within the next two or three years

  • Comment number 37.

    I can remember the Royal Wedding, when we first had a TV; with a huge magnifying screen in front it....... Richard Dimbleby reading in quiet, hushed tones in perfect English!

    Making me feel the announcers today, who have such strong accents, scream out at the audience, seem unable to speak in sentences; have failed to keep any standards up!

    The 50's and 60's TV was 'The Golden Age ' for me, you knew you could rely on Aunty Beeb - never! Great educational programmes for all the family! Bob Hope and Tommy Cooper humour, did not have to resort to cheap gags at others expense!

    Serials were worth staying in for, the only dramas that make me feel the same today:- Merlin, can't wait for it to come back; and like half the educated country 'Lark Rise To Candleford' and the only reality show was David Attenburgh showing us wildlife we would never see's celeb culture, seems to be for under 30's, with no interests in life beyond who dates whom in the jungle....I wish you'd just leave them there!

    Your up against Discovery, Eden, and all the cable channels, presumably not paid for by our licence fee, that has been abused for years...

    News today, it comes from yahoo with my emails, or alerts from The Scotsman ot The Times en route to a daily dose of Suduko; the dear old Beeb will have to take stock, and get some older, experienced, end-user friendly, programmers, and presenters back to cope!
    ......They haven't yet and the shoddy shows show this!!!

    bring back the sense to common-sense, get rid of the politically correct, no compassion, youngsters; and show the world what you can really do! Please!

    Anne Jeanette Walker [Personal details removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 38.

    There are many current economic factors which are self-evident in their likely effects.
    It's my belief, cynic that I am, that a great deal of material has been subjected to a dumbing down process and possibly a fixation on viewing statistics. I suppose the multitudes are given to 'eating cake', as suggested by an unlamented French monarch !

    At the same time, there is transparent - and irritating - evidence of simplistic, formulaic programs. I am prepared to offer examples; but I shall not do so unless invited to !

    Technologies fall over each other at a real rate of knots; and there's many a potentially impressive discussion elements in programs are hampered by such a strict adherence to time limits as to strike a note of rudeness.

    I suspect also that many talent-searching programs are falling over themselves to emulate the catapulting into instant (short-lived ?) fame of people who haven't 'trodden the boards'.

    One final grumble - Why must announcers, correspondents and others insist on calling each other by name so frequently in the course of reports ?


  • Comment number 39.

    JOLLY NEW RADIO 4 (#36)

    I am just recovering from Quentin Cooper's banal, juvenile 'Play-Away' presentation of cutting edge (edgy?) science, on Radio 4, with puns and breathy sniggers at sad jokes.

    Now I can enjoy PM in the knowledge that the newsletter is (today) asking if I mixed red and white wine last night, and goes on to remind me to send 'a sentence' (any sentence) to ipm. Oh heady heights of Broadcasting Nouveau!

    Are we listening to the same Radio 4?

  • Comment number 40.

    TV? Oh you mean the endless repeats, "how much is this tat worth", "how can I improve my house", "how much money is in this box"and "i'm a dancing celebrity, get me off this ice"?

    The golden age of TV ended with the arrival of dozens of digital TV channels all broadcasting the same rubbish.

    Sports and movies are ruined by advertisements and 30 minute news segments half-way through.

    Documentaries have been dumbed down to tabloid standards, for the most part. Quality science reporting in the mainstream media is long dead, except where provided by the Open University or CERN.

    The only remaining quality TV is Newsnight (mostly thanks to Paxman) and Top Gear (again thanks to the presenters).

  • Comment number 41.

    I`ve already given my opinion on this topic, but having read through other peoples posts on here, it seems that the majority of them are of one thought.
    That TV, really is, on it`s way out!

  • Comment number 42.

    Reality shows, soaps and and repeats seems to be all that TV has to offer these days. On digital we have all these channels that just show the same things over and over.

    I do have the television on for background noise but watch very little really as is is SO BORING!

  • Comment number 43.

    I used to watch TV at least to get the news but now BBC TV News seems to be adverts for TV programmes either BBC or other channels. This is NOT news!

    Now we get a lot of speculation and opinions of various correspondents and experts again this is NOT news!

    If TV has no reliable, independent news and no entertainment then yes it is doomed!

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    christilling (#43) "wrote:
    I used to watch TV at least to get the news but now BBC TV News seems to be adverts for TV programmes either BBC or other channels. This is NOT news!

    Now we get a lot of speculation and opinions of various correspondents and experts again this is NOT news!"

    True, but they won't listen. They have time to fill these days and there isn't enough truth/fact to fill the slot.

    I'm not sure that many know the difference anymore anyay. The days of striving to accurately report what happens appear to have long gone in favour of broadcasting perspectives on, opinions about, or how people feel about, what happens.

    It's a licence to fabricate in my view.

    (Jane Hill appeared to have four eyebrows today. Is that normal/newsworthy?)

  • Comment number 47.

    Yes, Broadcasting as we know it has had its day.

    The brightest young things now work in IT or develop Computer Games.

    I wonder just how many BBC Execs have an Xbox, PS3 or Wii in their homes let alone ever turned one on and played Halo, Call of Duty, or Quake?

    I would love to see some of the senior BBC politically correct Execs locked in a room and forced to play Duke Nuke'em! What a sight that would be!

  • Comment number 48.

    TV is a device for the mass hypnosis of the population to make them subserviant to the will of a tiny elite who wish to create a global dictatorship (New world order).

    It's an idiot box designed to do peoples thinking for them.
    The sooner people switch off the better.

  • Comment number 49.

    We have recently put our television into long-term storage. I am much more comfortable using BBC online instead. Whilst mostly text, I also select clips from watch / listen again. I am in control. Why should I allow broadcasters to control my schedule?

  • Comment number 50.

    I grew up in France only knowing French TV, with its litany of dubbed American series and elitist “cultural” program with a Trotskist flavour. When I moved to England I then realise what quality television, and in particular the BBC can be.
    Today, although the BBC, but other too, notably Channel 4, have produce TV programs to still a very high standard in my modest opinion, programs such as “Life on Mars”, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea”, “Red Ridding”, but also TV coverage of the Six nations which is done in the fairest way, as rugby should (much more than what they do in France…) or BBC News. The list is long.
    There is the other side of television, which forces me to do something else instead, like writing this blog... Increasingly, I feel excluded from the prime time TV programs. I feel that there is far too many “family” programs that in fact are targeted at the average housewife. (Speaking marketing terminology – not gender)
    Every evening there is plethora of cookery program (I am a keen cock and much rather cock than watch them), house make-over, grand design, house buying, how-to-be-an-instant-celebrity-without-knowing-how-to-sing/dance/skate/act, how to look good naked/fat/slim/stupid, how to be an expert dog/children psychologist. Since we have Freeview we sometime 4 or 5 instance of the same program (or type) of programme running at the same time (not mentioning the +1) such cops-in-their-fast-car-outrunning-the-baddies-fly-on-the-wall.
    Earlier this yearI had to suffer yet another run of the same program, Master-Chef, it was good the first time, but it is always the same lines, the same comments, the same drama etc… even Top Gear: who Jeremy will have to insult this time to draw the audience… it is getting increasingly predictable, average, dull, without ambition, just cheap programming that allow the aforementioned targeted audience to switch on and collapse on the sofa.
    In summary: sometime there is brilliance, but most of the time it is getting duller to the point as to switch off.


  • Comment number 51.

    'Drama' is now mostly crime or medical and the preoccupation with violence and death which may be a result of the much more competitive society - death, after all is the only respite in such a set-up. Potter, Priestley, Wilde, Ibsen, Pinter and other more recent playwrights commented on values or were witty. They also had a great deal less intrusive background noise and were on BBC and ITV. Even Countryfile is as polluted by silly noise and everything classed as 'entertainment' is turned into a cheap and shiny childish clutter. Humour used to be about human nature and its behaviour and now tries to be about 'now' and often personal
    The simple truth is that competition, as Mrs Thatcher said about the number of examination boards, drives down standards. Clearly, the number of hours of broadcasting available for up to 4 channels that closed down at midnight or so is a different animal from who knows how many channels broadcasting round the clock. There's something enlivening about being challenged by a programme or a book and not feeling every effort has been made to engage someone of limited intelligence. It isn't possible to interest or please everyone at all times but were it possible it would be very wearing.

  • Comment number 52.

    I don't watch a lot of TV but I sincerely hope it isn't doomed.

    I can't channel-flick / zap on a computer - necessary when ads or other production annoyances encroach on my viewing.

  • Comment number 53.

    TV is so dumbed down these days it isn't worth watching.

    The BBC is little more than a left wing propaganda channel / opiate for the chav classes...


  • Comment number 54.

    TV is permanant fact of life. Only now it will truly have to be multicultural. There is now a black man in the White House and Black, Brown, Yellow and Red faces now have to be shown in feature roles. TV has to drop the White Only look. The Defacto Segregation of TV programing and hiring of talent is what is killing its market share.

    The scene of the world has changed and TV programing must do likewise.

  • Comment number 55.

    TV isn't doomed. If anything there's a new dawn in quality television but it's time British broadcasters took note of American programmes, particularly HBOs output - truly cinematic pieces of art.

    Bravo to the Beeb for purchasing the rights to The Wire. It would be so easy to say 'Well we missed that one' seeing as the show has now finished but they've back tracked and will introduce a whole new audience to the show. Channel 4 should be ashamed of the way they lacked proper support for The Sopranos, as should the Beeb with Seinfeld.

    What's important is that British broadcasters don't just try to copy American hits though. Fair enough Dr Who has a history, but things like Being Human and Demons are hot on the bandwagon, and are a bad version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    Someone needs to have a word with the controllers about the absolute dross sitcoms that are doing the rounds of BBC 1 - Green Green Grass, After You've Gone? This is the same corporation that have given us The Office, Mighty Boosh and Gavin and Stacey in recent years. Sort it out. And have more faith in the Flight of the Conchords - it deserves better than BBC4 - not to slate that channel as its very good, but there is a mainstream audience for that show.

    That's on the the non-fiction, drama route though. Factually we porduce arguably some of the best television in the world - no, not the rubbish reality, BBC3 rubbish, but documentries.

  • Comment number 56.

    In the short term (with advertising revenue falling) I can see comercial TV going the way of most of the Satelite TV stations - showing endlessly repeated programmes.

    With the licence fees, the BBC should be able to continue funding quality productions.

    We are in an "information age," with the internet providing 99% of that information!

    I think this has reduced our interest in a lot of factual type of programmes on TV.

    Perhaps our interest lies mostly in the "soaps" and other drama productions. I see these as being very much like reading a good fictional novel. It's a form of "escapism" from the realities of life. We can become totally absorbed in a good drama, or in the continuing and evolving storylines of our favourite "soap" drama.

    I do think the "golden" age of TV (which in my opinion was in the early to late sixties) is indeed well and truly over. We are in a more cynical age, where nothing surprises us anymore.

    I do think TV definately has an important place in our lives. It is an irreplaceable form of enjoyable entertainment.

  • Comment number 57.

    Television is still a topic of conversation at work. Without exception, though, it is television drama that inspires conversation and debate. Game shows and reality shows have their place, but in the years to come we will all be able to "broadcast" via the internet. That's the death-knell for reality TV.

    The only real "future-proof" part of television is high-quality drama - the stuff folk actually talk about. It's the most expensive to produce, but it will keep in working when other formats have been forgotten.

  • Comment number 58.

    I don't believe TV is doomed but much too much reality TV for me I am in the US and love the UK and Aust shows much more than most of ours UK show are consistently well written nearly every time in the US we get well written programs they cancel them quite quickly I guess quality cost too much for their taste . Case in point life on mars already canceled .
    The US producers should take cue from other countries maybe they could learn something

  • Comment number 59.

    A lot of BBC bashing going on here - as far as I'm concerned they make the best TV (with the possible exception of C4 - which is publicly owned too) and the best radio, and that goes internationally too

    I think we're approaching a new era for entertainment - television (and film and music), are all facing a challenge from the internet and it may be that the net has to be implemented if production companies want to keep making their shows - lets face it the tv companies are simply concerned because they will lose out, no-one will listen to their news or watch their shows, and they won't get paid rom advertising - something else has to fill that void - that is the way of the world

    however, we still have a way to go before it completely replaces the idiot box in the centre of the living room - generations need to pass

    the great thing about the beeb is that it can move much more easily into the internet because it's not reliant on advertising and can just make content and adapt to the format

  • Comment number 60.

    54 - marygrav

    what whites' only channel are you watching? Almost every show fills itself up with an overly representative cast of ethnic minorities, I for one hate the tokenism of it

    Now if you're talking about behind the scenes..

  • Comment number 61.

    I gave up television years ago when the programing became mainly soaps, which as I worked away from home at sea meant that the majority meant nothing. The rest was mainly drivel such as chat shows where the media interviesw the media nad football personalities with no conversation or personality.

    The few occasions that I am in the same room as a televiaion my opinion as to the content is confirmed and I much prefer a book. Television in the present form is dead and the only thing that needs to be done is to convince the cadavar to be buried.

  • Comment number 62.

    The key to the BBC's demise is their 24 hour "Breaking News" obsession.

    Why are we subjected [should we pick the channel in the first place] to bland presenters desperately padding out non-event stories that would be better served by hourly summaries and the intervals in between showing perhaps a potters wheel and manipulated clay.

    Anything other than the present configuration.
    Also less left wing bias would help.

  • Comment number 63.

    To me, TV seems to be dumbing down. I'm not sure if that's a reflection of a more dumbed down population or whether TV executives merely think the population's dumbed down.

    What I'm talking about is the huge influx of reality TV programmes.

    Do people really want to watch all these? I find it incredible that they do but either the viewing figures demonstrate that people do indeed want to see these things or there simply isn't anything better to compete with them, which would be a sad state of affairs.

    Viewing figures don't tell the whole story because there needs to be valid competition to challenge them. If there's dross on all channels it would be dangerous to assume that the programme with the best viewing figures is what people want - it may just be the least worst option.

    The BBC does better than most. They can manage to produce quality dramas (although not enough of them) and they do tend to run interesting science and nature programmes.

    C5 seems to have the best of the American imports but I can rarely find anything worth watching on C4 or the ITV channels.

    And what happened to Children's TV? In my day we had kids programmes on BBC and ITV from about 6AM to Midday on a Saturday and from about 4PM to 6PM every weekday evening. During school holidays we'd have kids TV in the mornings too.

    Is there just no demand for the Swap Shop/Tiswas sort of thing anymore? Or the Grange Hill/Magpie/Kids Drama/Animal Magic sort of programmes?

    I'm aware Blue Peter still survives but only just it seems. It used to occupy the 5PM prime-time slot for 3 or 4 days a week but that's now turned over to Weakest Link.

    Have kids viewing desires really changed that much?

    It is probably natural for people to get a bit sentimental about things in 'their day' and assume they were better but I'm sure there *was* more interesting stuff to watch in my day!

  • Comment number 64.

    My general impression is that on most nights there is nothing on television that I want to watch.

    However the iPlayer makes up for this. It offers viewer choice (watch what you want when you want) and control (quit if bored, repeat if interested).

    So I think that an extension of this idea should be seen as the future. Indeed, viewer choice and control should be seen as an opportunity to make more high-quality, intellectually demanding programmes.

  • Comment number 65.

    Unless the standards are raised, there are fewer repeats and fewer channels diluting the available revenue pot then yes TV is doomed in its current form.

    It is strange how there appeared to be so much more variety and fresh programming when we only had 5 channels. Now I have approximately 150 and cannot find anything worth watching that I have not seen several times before.

  • Comment number 66.

    Too many channels, not enough quality entertainment. For those programmes I do want to see I grab them from torrents and have a 5TB SAN with all my favourite programmes on there, we can watch what we want, when we want. Oh and we're usually a week ahead of you poor UK people.

    The TV is dead and has been to me for a long time.

  • Comment number 67.

    1) The BBC will never report anything that could be taken as "critical of islam".

    2) BBC television as a publicly-funded institution has a few more years at the most: it lost the plot years ago and now just caters to the lowest possible elements of society.

  • Comment number 68.

    I feel TV is going through a transition at the moment. Too many channels are diluting good programmes and thus there are too many things we've seen before.

    I've had a Freeview recorder for almost 2 years, and have not missed the mulitude of Sky channels I used to have. Quanitity does not necessarily equate to quality. There are many good shows on BBC3 and 4, plus ITV2-4.

    Regarding HDef, until after 2012, when it'll be free to all on terrestrial tv; its a waste of money to pay for the Sky HD channels. Those who are paying, have been conned because there is little point in paying to see mediocre shows 4 times clearer!

  • Comment number 69.

    My main complaint watching TV, or indeed delving into the printed media, is that you could never guess from it that we live in a wholly capitalist society, from which the majority of problems in our world are created, or exacerbated by its very existence.

    Like Mrs Thatcher who believed society didn't exist, TV seems fixated on the individualist view of society turning out drama, news, comedy, and factual programs that never seem to notice the capitalist world we live in and the inherent conflict of interest between all the workers of the world and the minority of wealth owners.

    There is little programming that involves'the people' as participants in their own right with a voice, with questions, or indeed with answers as opposed to being just passive viewers. (Question Time doesn't count - scripted questions to elicit prepared responses.)

    One of the best programs I saw (a while ago, unsurprisingly) involved 6th form pupils interviewing politicians of the day. They asked questions and demanded answers (they had certainly done their homework) in a way that I have never seen any political interviewer achieve. Sadly the program didn't last long - I suspect because MPs knew they coudn't use the usual flannel and avoided the program.

    I am probably being unrealistic about TV - at the end of the day its role is probably to be the circuses part of bread and circuses. And Media Moguls - well they are hardly likely to encourage programs that might question their own privileged position and that of similar fellow travellers in the capitalist gravy train.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    I tend to agree with the idea that TV quality is slipping. As I've got older I find myself listening more to Radio 4 and watching documentaries or news programmes. I also don't seem to want to watch TV as much as there is so much else to do. The BBC iplayer is superb for watching something at your convenience without having to fiddle with DVD recorders etc.
    But I do find the depth of news on most channels lacking. Channel 4 seems to buck this trend. They seem to have less frivolity on there 7pm news channel compared to ITV1 or the BBC TV channels.
    Even my kids who are in their twenties complain they think TV is rubbish. Must be a nightmare for the advertisers!!!!

  • Comment number 72.

    As soon as a sufficient proportion of women get involved in something, it decays and dies. TV is the latest casualty. Next time you switch it on, just consider the ads, the reality shows, the soaps, etc,. They are all female centred. That's why TV is dying. Women cannot think outside of themselves.

  • Comment number 73.

    HughDP @ #63
    Programs aimed at Children have been hived off into their own channels (CBBC and CBeebies from the BBC).
    There are more programs for children than there has ever been - don't know if they're any good mind (I've only seen MI High and The Sarah Jane Chronicles).

    I think a few of us seem to have just been defeated by the volume of content, and just can't be bothered to wade through it.
    Back in the Golden Age (3 channels broadcasting 16 hours of content each a day - that's about right, right?) that was a much easier challenge.

    There seems to be a belief that tv should abide by "If you have nothing to say then say nothing". Unfortunately TV's "say nothing" is not shutting up but talking rubbish.

  • Comment number 74.

    BEST OF TV IS STILL THE BBC. A citizen only funded TV/radio broadcasting company is still the UK's citizens immediate and democratic voice and a way of:

    complaining to the BBC (free and easy)

    niche culture
    popular culture
    free and open political discussion
    open forums
    all comedy
    all consumer platforms
    any subject basically that stimulates open and free debate on: government, commerce, religions, world leaders, media giants, any country, any charity or any organisation that contributes to, or takes from society and need to be accountable with no autocratic clampdown on citizens who they rely on to exist.

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    No wonder there is so much depression and violence in the UK. From time to time I will leave the TV on whilst in another room only to have to rush back in and switch it off when Eastenders, Coronation Street or some other soap comes on.

    I simply cannot believe the shouting, the anger and the depressed 'natures' that are depicted several times a day in virtually all British soap operas and increasingly many of the medical and dectective dramas. It just ain't healthy, you would not invite such depressed, angry shouting people into your home so why do invite them in via your television? I wonder what affect playing such parts day in day out has on the actors also?

    Am I alone in finding the Attenborough documentaries increasingly repetitive? Yes, the wildlife camerawork is stunning but there are only so many times I can watch mammals, reptiles, fish, etc, fight, mate, eat and die to an Attenborough voice-over. Can't we have a different slant on wildlife documentaries for once? Or is Attenborough like the Queen Mum - beyond criticism?

    Does the BBC make TV for the People or does the BBC make TV for the programme-makers? Is the aim of the BBC nowadays merely to keep a priviledged 'elite' in cushy, very well-paying jobs? Perhaps it has always been that way? Can the same be asked of ITV, Channels 4 and 5?

  • Comment number 77.

    May I suggest it’s not the future of television that is at stake but the future of some of the people who run it, giving way to ‘spiders’ and the ‘spiders’ themselves. Just look at David Dimbleby’s tie he wore last night.
    My name, in fact, is Monika and I do ice-skating at Queen’s Ice Rink. Now, Queen’s former press secretary, David Hoare, was hovering around me weaving his spider web. Not to mention some others trying to brainwash me into watching this or that programme.
    It’s not a threat, just a simple request for the media (and other authorities) to come clean before you regain at least some of my confidence.
    Otherwise, forget it. My ultimate goal is the truth.
    Personally, I can easily do without ‘the box’.
    I imagine Shakespeare is laughing his head off in his grave.

  • Comment number 78.

    just posted and also JUST DUMPED A MAN right now, who admitted to only listening to BBC radio and watching BBC on his computer to save money on his TV license. TV license is an oxymoron when you consider everything the BBC offers via: World Service, Education, Open University, help lines, documentaries consumer affairs, investigations and NO ADVERTS, NO INTERRUPTIONS! I'm so cross at the lack of knowledge about what the BBC do, and even more cross at the BBC for not promoting it's importance to us all ... it's not all about TV! AAAARGH!!

  • Comment number 79.

    Reports of TV's death have been greatly...etc

    Yes there is a lot of safe samey TV around, and some of the big name BBC programmes are frankly embarassing when viewed alongside the US shows they emulate (yes, I'm talking of Spooks, Casualty, Waking The Dead) but there is plenty of high quality new TV around, and huge choice allowing the viewer to see older TV.

    When TV no longer offers shows like Mad Men, Attenborough documentaries, fresh BBC3 comedy, Channel4 gems like Shameless and virtually everything on the wonderful BBC4, then it really is dead.

    Not yet though.

  • Comment number 80.

    TV is not doomed - Commercial TV is, which is good news from the blooming awful rubbish they push out.

  • Comment number 81.

    The wage bill gonna have to come right down for starters if any plan is worked on in its survival. Jeremy Paxman for example would have to take a huge cut in his salary...i would imagine a yearly income down to about £30-£50k though if he can manage another programme such as 'The victorians in pictures' he would be due a bonus as that was rather very good. The BBC has proven it can still produce good TV such as 'Lark rise to candleford' but in between all that is a lot of garbage - from all channels - and hopefully one day we can see cut backs, less celebrity and more quality.

  • Comment number 82.

    Watching TV in 10yrs? Delivery of TV (visual) is less important than the CONTENT of delivery.

    Internet delivery of COMMERCIAL (visual) channels is totally about walking across advertising manure to get to pure milk without your wellies and protective clothing and you pay anyway with no redress or open and easy complaint about the 'cow****' you pay electricity for?

    BBC TV/radio, education, information, complaints and contributions are welcomed and are paid for by you and me. No adverts, no spam, no scams, nothing but what you want without worrying about an advertiser blocking your concerns.

  • Comment number 83.

    MY THANKS YOU TO BBC NEWSNIGHT . This post proves my point that mine, and your publicly-owned BBC posts are, easily and simply enabled all my several posts on my concerns today on this subject are on this BBC site. That's my point ... citizen-funded public broadcasting is crucial and too rare globally for UK to take for granted. Commercial sites/channels/media giants are allegedly,not open, nor have time or interest to such discussions?

  • Comment number 84.

    Let's face it. The viewing audience available to television in general hasn't gone up enough, and the revenue available hasn't really changed in real terms. What has changed is the sheer number of television hours transmitted per week and, to fill this, programmes have to exist.

    Before the onslaught of satellite, you had a limited number of channels which commanded much of the audience available. By increasing the number of channels, the numbers have been diluted. This has been further affected by the number of disaffected people that have turned to other forms of entertainment, especially internet driven technologies.

    Television companies don't do themselves any favours either, with increasing interruptions and distractions which not all viewers want; for example a lot of the "interactive features" that are loudly touted by so many are an unwanted feature for some people. Indeed, the way some channels conduct themselves, it seems that they are more interested in hooking viewers in for something coming up later on than actually letting them enjoy the show they are currently supposed to be watching! Other tricks such as varying the volume for adverts, advertising over programmes and so forth, not to mention that damn red button, can aggravate some users to the point where they just switch off.

    With the onset of "digital" television, which appears to promise even more of this behaviour, I am often less inclined to switch on my set or, if I do, I'll watch something recorded from years ago when such problems didn't exist.

  • Comment number 85.

    In the US several Broadcasters have axed shows only for the show's Producers to carry on making the programmes and putting them straight to the DVD market - shows such as Stargate, Futurama and Family Guy are but 3 examples.

    Broadcasters hate this as it takes away something they love more than money - power.

    I have come across so many Execs in UK TV who have not known a great idea right before their eyes or who have cancelled excellent shows simply out of ego and wanting to show 'their power' - and they have got away with it in the past.

    Those days are rapidly disappearing.

    On a slightly different note - it is increasingly worrying in Wales that the Welsh Language Broadcaster is making loud sounds wishing to take-over ITV's English language Welsh News output. I fear that the English-speaking Welsh majority will suffer further in Broadcasting terms if this is allowed to happen.

    The 90% of Welsh people who speak only English deserve to have a Broadcaster staffed and run by English-speaking Welsh.

    The Cultural Apatheid that exists in Welsh Broadcasting needs to end.

  • Comment number 86.

    multi-channel strategy has clearly encouraged the Beeb to dumb down BBC One and punt anything niche or more intelligent on to BBC 4 - which is a shame. Some real winners in recent months - like Moses Jones and Wallander - but these stand out rather than being the norm.

    Its also clear that there are some shocking orthodoxies around - programme makers seem to think we are all educationally challenged with the attention span of a gnat. Their remodelling of Doctor Who to get more ratings tells you everything you need to know about what is now considered fashionable and "accessible" for families - no long words, loads of weeping and paper thin plotting. Chuck in a few celebrities and there you go

  • Comment number 87.

    The golden age of TV is right now.

    There has never been more choice, originality, better quality (albeit spread thinly), production value and ever more convenience in viewing.

    To those that hark back to a rose-tinted TV past - you can tune into various channels that satisfy that demand. Clearly the tiny audience share would indicate that even the best of these programmes doesn't attract that much attention. Indeed there have been some great TV moments from yesteryear, but there has been much more forgettable dross that seems so amateur by modern standards.

    No doubt in years to come, people will be harking back to the current day and selectively recalling the best broadcasting around right now.

  • Comment number 88.

    Read the TV programs on any given day and what do you find,apart from dumb down soaps nothing but repeats.
    TV is finished as far as I am concerned if it carries on like this for much longer.
    No wonder folk prefer games or surfing the internet.
    Regretfully,the BBC has copied the commercial stations,fighting for viewer numbers and has become so frightened of the PC brigade that decent Dramas and proper debate no longer exists.The same goes for sport,when did we last see a good angling program?yet angling is one,if not the.biggest sports in the UK.

  • Comment number 89.

    The rash of competitive TV programmes is enough to convince me that TV is at least moribund. The BBC suffers from its own charter when it comes to making "edgy" programmes, because it cannot be seen to be anything but impartial. So, we have drippy "investigations" on puerile things like Watchdog, instead of biting, hard-hitting tele-journalism exposing the many, many corrupt organisations we have in the UK.

  • Comment number 90.

    Generally I think the BBC offer a pretty good to very good service, but somehow the quality of UK programs in general is just not what it used to be. As a sci-fi fan I can quickly pick out a few bad offenders - the new Dr Who, or 'Hyperspace' especially the first series. (and thats pretty much the whole SF output the BBC have these days) The real trouble is that the BBC just don't have the technical people they used to, they don't have the quality producers or the writers - and writing is the biggest problem. And someone needs to tell them that computers do not naturally make good special effects - instead they tend to look awful and cheap. The new Dr Who is more like a Bananaman episode - in its scripts to.

    Having said that all the above there is still a source of quality television entertainment in the world today. Across the illegal internet, through Sky, and on DVD come the Americans. To see what modern quality broadcasting looks like they merely have to look at shows like Lost, Dexter, True Blood, Battle Star Galactica, etc etc etc.

    What I am saying is that finding - and keeping quality technical people is key. The BBC of the 70's and 80's was known for quality drama programs throughout the world. The BBC desperately needs to find that quality again. BBC News and documentaries are still usually of very high quality but in many other areas generations of mismanagement have wrought disaster.

    BTW : in Science Fiction productions having people with good and deep scientific background is critical. You can just see the level of technical knowledge behind the old Dr Who or Blake's Seven, loads of amazing technical bits everywhere - the new Dr Who has little or no real science behind it at all. (they spent years getting the technical things as right as they could in the Star Wars series - or look at Star Trek TNG a benchmark that we can really measure other SF and all TV production by.)

  • Comment number 91.

    We need more of "Dickingson's Real Deal" and other such programmes. I am certain that this is the way forward.

  • Comment number 92.

    TV, for a long time now, has lost the plot on quality viewing.

    The BBC in particular, ought to be setting the benchmark in responsible, quality programs, not pushing the boundaries in infantile, risque' rubbish, and paying obscene salaries to continue its downward spiral.

    Far too much violence and swearing. Loud distracting background music and embarrassingly weak and pathetic sit-coms are a big turn off. I am no prude, I have worked in heavy industry all my life.

    Too many repeats on too many channels. Fewer channels, more quality please.

    As for ITV, the barmy advertisements ensure a no-go area for me!!

    My viewing time is very selective and minimal in recent years.

    Maybe all the good scriptwriters work for NuLabour?

  • Comment number 93.

    I haven't got a TV and do not miss it one bit there are so many repeats and reality TV programes that it is not worth paying £140 to have one. What is good to watch soon comes out on DVD to be watched as and when I like .

  • Comment number 94.

    TV production is too elitist when it needn`t be.There`s a wealth of acting talent outside TV,an enormous amount of cheap hi quality equipment about-It should be possible to make programs very cheaply-For hundreds of channels to be viable,high salaries have to disappear in exchange for more jobs and job security.Quality will be hard to find,but with technological advances happening seemingly daily,it`s inevitable that one day it will be possible to make Star Wars in a back garden- Old fashioned TV ways will have to be dumped to make way for an Internet approach where everyone can be a producer. The future is very bright-It will just be harder to relate to other people when they talk about what they saw last night on TV.

  • Comment number 95.

    We used to have the entire TV watching nation focused on 4 channels.
    That's everyone watching TV on either 2 funded channels or the entire nation on 2 advertising channels.
    Now the same advertising revenue is spread very thinly across a hundred channels.
    Is it any wonder ITV and channel 4 now have to resort to phone in game shows and reruns of friends.
    Choice in this case has not given better viewing.
    The BBC on the other hand has simply dropped the ball and jstarted pumping out some of the worst Tv imaginable.
    Just spend some of out license fee's on some good TV.

  • Comment number 96.

    Other TV organisations may be doomed but the BBC will be around for a very long time especially if it continues to play at the level of convergence. The BBC is an authoritative voice and a very respected gatekeeper in the media world. When it comes to news, media users including other media organisations especially in the developing world trust the BBC TV and Radio more than any other medium in the world. If BBC misrepresents you, you are in a big trouble for the report will be believed at least while you battle for a retraction. The assumption is that the BBC cannot be wrong. The brand is a strong one. Truly, what we are looking for is increasing available on other formats but credibility built over decades of good broadcasting will make BBC remain a leader in media business.

  • Comment number 97.

    British TV is doomed. Whenever the beeb make a series, they produce maybe 6 or 8 episodes. Hardly enough time to get to know the characters - let alone develop an engaging plot. Compare that with american drama - which is where the future lies. You get 20+ episodes, even for the first series.

    So far as news reporting goes, I sometimes despair with the vast amount of foreign news coverage, when there are meaningful and relevant incidents happening in the UK. The difference is that the foreign stories have nice, juicy pictures, which don't need any editing, analysis or commentary, whereas for the BBC to report UK stories, they'd have to go out and find them, film them, investigate, edit and do some good old-fashioned reporting -- far too much trouble, when what they really want is audience figures, rather than news coverage.

  • Comment number 98.

    At 7:43, AndOneHundred-esque wrote:
    > ITV and channel 4 now have to resort to phone in game shows and reruns of friends

    And how many times have BBC repeated "Dad's Army" in the past 40 years?
    Given that they have a guaranteed income, set far into the future and don't have to bother with the idea of giving people what they want, you've got to ask why they keep going "head-to-head" with the independent channels. They shouldn't be competing against them (although the word "compete" is wrong, when you have the backing of a huge state subsidy), they should be filling the gaps that the commercial stations leave empty - not providing more of the same.

  • Comment number 99.




  • Comment number 100.

    when i was at college our tutor told us that when a trevor griffiths play was being transmitted about the aristocracy in the brewery buisness showing the truth about the aristocracy. brideshead revisited was hurriedly put on the other channel everybody tuned into brideshead total rubbish because of the hype. i feel this is still going on as more and more rubbish is hyped up on the tv and the gems that occasionally emurge from the screen you only come across them by chance. p.s. no wonder kids are growing up psychologically damaged with all the violent horror that graces our screens, im considering giving up watching tv.


Page 1 of 2

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.