'Viewers want clearer TV credits'

 
An example of how TV credits can be made smaller TV credits are often made smaller to allow promotion for another programme

Actors should be given clearer and more prominent TV credits, according to a survey carried out by an acting union.

Equity said it commissioned a survey, following complaints from viewers about fast-rolling and shrunken credits.

More than 10,000 people responded, with 88% saying they were "annoyed" when squeezed credits were hard to read.

Equity's Christine Payne said unreadable TV credits at the end of a programme showed a "lack of respect" to the actors.

Popular dramas including Sherlock, Poirot, Great Expectations, Boardwalk Empire and Downton Abbey were among the programmes that participants singled out for sometimes displaying illegible credits.

The results also suggested that more than half of the people who participated in the poll, would like to see credits available online as well as on TV.

Start Quote

We're always mindful of how and when we squeeze credits”

End Quote BBC spokeswoman

"While the viewers who took part in this survey may be a tiny fraction of the millions of UK citizens who watch TV every day, there is very little comfort for broadcasters in their responses," Ms Payne said.

The BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas said: "This isn't a statistically representative survey, but it shows that people who are most interested in TV programmes feel strongly about this issue."

Equity have campaigned since 2004 to give more prominence to actors and their TV credits, but broadcasters are yet to introduce any changes.

The union said it planned to write to all the major channels again, in a bid to get them to implement changes.

A BBC statement said: "We're always mindful of how and when we squeeze credits, and will only do so if we believe there is a benefit to the audience.

"Our research shows that viewers respond well to this method of informing our audiences about our programmes when navigating between channels."

An ITV spokesman said it designs its "standard credits to ensure that they are legible for viewers".

"We very rarely receive complaints that they are unreadable or scrolled too quickly," he said.

 

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  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 31.

    Very disrepectful, Let the credits run properly. We've all gone digital in one form or another so we know what's on next because that's what your EPG is for!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 30.

    It’s not only the shrinking of the credits that I object to, but also the content. I do like to know who the actors were, sometimes the producer and director BUT I have no interest in who the “hairdresser” was: who the “best boy” is or what the “gaffer’s” name was. Also I don’t need to know the name of the deputy-sub-assistant-second-unit- co-executive-director is.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 29.

    There is nothing worst than watching Merlin or Doctor Who and the programme finishes on a climax. Your left doing a sofa dance to the theme tune, cause your hero wins the day. Only then it's spoilt by some announcer telling you what's on next and then later on. Quit it please and leave me to do my sofa dance in peace. Save it for after the credits, it kills the ambience of an ending.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 28.

    It's not only insulting to everyone involved in making a programme, it's pretty damned stupid of the broadcaster to show credits on screen then make them so small no one can read them - I mean, why bother showing them at all? And as for those damned 'what's next/later' things popping up *before the programme has finished* Don't get me started..! Grrr...

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 27.

    I DVR everything and always skip the credits - opening and closing. That's not to say I'm not interested but I always look them up on IMDB. What I would find more useful than the scrolling credits is a smart tag that I can scan with my phone that would take me to the credits online.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 26.

    @ Some Lingering Fog

    "Why? Who reads the credits?"

    Judging from the responses, you're obviously in the minority, which kind of makes your comment redundant doesn't it?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 25.

    From April this year the digital switchover will be complete. EVERY television will have, at the very least, a 'Now and Next' button. There is NO need for credits to be squashed or for an announcer to tell us what's coming next. If we want to know we can press a button on our remotes.

    Leave the credits full screen. Leave the theme tune uninterrupted. Stop treating us like idiots.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 24.

    Squeezing credits is a waste of time and the BBC always bangs on about its 'research' as an excuse. I would really like to see the sample size and results from this 'research'. I just cannot believe that any TV viewer these days does not already know what is on next on all channels. TV guides, EPGs etc - people will have their evening of TV planned. How many extra viewers does this bring in?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 23.

    The lack of respect shown to cast and crew as well as to the viewer by crushing the credits and by talking over the closing music is a constant irritation to me.

    The long term history of ignoring the complaints about this and other intrusions on the whole viewing experience is an unfortunate demonstration of an auntie knows best attitude that is far too prevalent.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 22.

    I couldn't agree more. I just watched Sherlock for the first time (I live in the US) and the credits were half an inch high and whizzed by without giving the viewer a chance to read them. Without IMDB I wouldn't have a clue.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 21.

    The POV messageboards have one of the longest complaining threads in the history of online BBC perhaps, on this subject.
    It's given short shrift and lipservice at best by the POV programme and the "heads" of various BBC channels and departments any time it is addressed.
    Do not expect a change of position
    I forgot to post a link
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbpointsofview/NF1951574?thread=643514&skip=0

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 20.

    The POV messageboards have one of the longest complaining threads in the history of online BBC perhaps, on this subject.
    It's given short shrift and lipservice at best by the POV programme and the "heads" of various BBC channels and departments any time it is addressed.
    Do not expect a change of position

    THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT OF THE BBC SEEMS TO HOLD FIVE ACES

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 19.

    This is just another example of our media copying the USA. Over there they shrink the credits and roll them fast so they can squeeze in more commercials and make more money. They don't care about the shows they make - it's all just about pulling in more advertising revenue.
    This is why we need to make sure the Tories and the FIBerals don't privatise the BBC.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 18.

    Credits are useful - those with an interest can check out the names of actors and technicians whose work they respect and have enjoyed and those not interested can go to the loo or get a drink. It' s quite nice to decompress between programmes. For crying out loud, what's the rush?

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 17.

    Be nice to hear the ending themes clearly without a continuity announcer prattling on too. Many shows and films pay a lot of money for some really quite evocative pieces. They are often as much a part of the whole experience as the acting and drama. Lets respect that too. I want my money's worth please, and that includes closing musics. No credits crunching, and no prattling idiocy on what's next.

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 16.

    Who reads the credits?
    I do quite often. I want to know who did what. The TV companies are fooling themselves if they think that the majority of viewers are happy with the squeezing and current presentation.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 15.

    It is SO frustrating when credits are curtailed. Perhaps info about upcoming shows could be on the top 1/4 of the screen horizontally not obscuring credits - if they really need to be there at all. Many of us want to see the names of the actors, the music played, and even sometimes where things were filmed.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 14.

    There are times I would like to see which piece of music was played or where the film was made but with the credits going a mile a minute or credits so small you need a magnifying glass to read them I give up

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 13.

    Cutting the credits is bad, and not something that should really happen. However if anyone really wants to see them, most programmes have a full cast and crew list available to see on the IMDB website, not ideal but better than nothing

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 12.

    It's rank stupidity on the part of broadcasters to reduce the credits to 1/4 screen or less for the first 30 seconds or so that they run, thus obliterating the names of performance artists, and then enlarging the credits again just in time for us to see who made the coffees for the programme producers.

 

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