Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Decline of the UK's Channel 4

Until I read this news item at imdb.com, I had no idea about its financial and creative decline. You mean this was the channel that was responsible for (the British) Big Brother?

It's a shame. Back in '88 when I was in the UK for six months, Channel 4 was one of only four options on the TV dial; it was also the lowest budgeted and least watched, but I loved it. It always had stuff that was different and interesting. Even then it showed goofy stuff like Sumo wrestling, American Football (which, even when popular, was more like a cartoon than a sport to most Brits), and "Lost in Space", but there was precious little goofiness (as opposed to mediocre and boring) stuff on any television.

Seems to me the problem was that C4 eventually thought goofy was the way to go. The greatness of Channel 4 wasn't that it was willing to show silly stuff. It was it's willingness to do what no one else was doing. And nowadays, who doesn't do goofy?


At 1/21/09, 5:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's in trouble and no one cares. There are now 5 'terrestrial channels', but now that most people have Sky, there's nothing special about Channel 4 (except it's flagship Big Brother series, no longer the hit it used to be). What really bothers me is that there's no real variety in the hundreds of channels now offered. Can't anyone put on a channel that only shows pre-1960's movies, for instance?


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