Thursday, 13 October 2011

Have a good week, until next week...

Over 500 channels and in the beginning it was a dummy's head in 20 line vision, we've come a long way with television in 75 years from 4:3 to 16:9 and HD. But what's the part that anyone matters, its whether their show will be on at the same time every week, nay every day in some cases. The schedules have been a key pat of the growth of television if that be cooking with Fanny Craddock, A boxing match from the Empire Baths, Wembley or Jools Holland and Paula Yates giving a kick up the anals of television with The Tube. Looking through the television pages say for a Thursday, taking today (13/10/2011) as an example, ask anyone what's on BBC1 at 7.30pm tonight and they'll say Eastenders, that's no matter if they like the programme or not. Its like an in-built sat-nav really that we can tell without looking at television listings when our favourite programmes are on generally.
"Give it the works... *click*"

Scheduling follows a pattern in which the viewer has the familiarity of knowing, as Michael Grade once put it "The smell of a Sunday Night hit..." Sunday's are the night of the costume drama and the detective, the way of putting the feet up and immersing in a book only in pictures and being acted out in front of you. Something like The Onedin Line or Poldark is like a world of fiction spread out, as such for the ladies a strapping but rough hero who battles the rights and wrongs of his world as his mistresses go about supporting him but with enough pep to hold their own in this world. Even something as Bergerac or Shoestring can be seen in the same vain, action and also nice scenery to look at, the men make the programmes as such to be recognisable through the winter months, such was John Nettles' effect that he was able to spread himself from the programme guaranteeing work in panto, personal appearances and also guest star spots with the likes of Les Dawson on his show. The roaring fire and the warmth plus the knot in the stomach of every youngster of that they have to go to school in the morning, this sets the scene perfectly for the post cake and sandwich tea.

A schedule is like a variety bill and of course most the early protagonists for Independent Television coming from that variety background its little surprise they do read like a variety bill in that sense. The acts underneath such as comedians and speciality acts keeping the audience amused ready for the big star to come on and do their thing at the top of the bill. For instance with Saturday nights, entertainers or comedians have always warmed the audience ready for the big show. But in the past few weeks, the new BBC One controller has changed this by putting an edition of Celebrity Masterchef early on a Saturday night where normally Total Wipeout would be to bring in the punters for Strictly Come Dancing, seemingly it has changed the landscape of what a Saturday schedule should be. But that's nothing new, even back in 1970's Lew Grade thought ITV could better be served by putting entertainment in the World of Sport slot cutting down on its hours that they were broadcasting live sport each and every Saturday. That didn't happen totally until 1985 when the programme was seemingly out of date and eventually along with Wrestling, Darts and other sports that programmes like Mind Your Language, Please Sir! and also The Cuckoo Waltz were repeated saying that they were comedy classics. To the young viewer, this was pleasing to see something I had never seen before such as the same would be said also of Windmill on BBC2 at Sunday lunchtimes.
Stand aside The Bionic Woman... It's the Pneumatic Woman!

People plead for structure in their viewing still, know that something will at the same time each day. BBC1 always starts The One Show after a trip around the regions, how much to some people it might be as mind-numbing but it bring a viewer into the evening. They might not stay with a channel for a whole night now, we are offered the choice of viewing so during in a evening I could watch The Sweeney on ITV4, Inspector Morse on ITV3, Mighty Ships on Quest and Catchphrase on Challenge. We are given free reign on being the scheduler nowadays, but when it comes down to it, we just want to know that a programme will on the same time every week or that a certain type of programme will be on at a time.

Choice? The more we want, the more we are confused... Be thankful to scheduler, at least they've made a decision for you or if that's not your bag. Look out, go for a walk, read a book or perhaps we should go back to the potter's wheel... Then at least we know what the programme would be about then...

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