Independent’s & Equity’s TV-Scape Woes

Just when nearly everyone had forgotten about the Nortongate scandal, The Independent gave its opinion today on irrelevant advertising during the credits of the BBC’s and competing networks’ programmes.

Graham Norton apologised, the BBC apologised...Mentioning both the Doctor’s interrupted “Trap” speech by an animated Irish “comedian” and the distracting commentated credits that followed Rory’s wipe from history, writer Nick Hasted criticises the BBC’s evident desperate measures to keep viewers hooked on its channels for ratings purposes:

“Luckily, the BBC was ready to teach [viewers of Rory's death scene] that life moves on as, the second the credits rolled, the show shrank into a spare corner of the screen as the Eurovision Song Contest was breathlessly promoted. The jolt was like waking from a dream. When the announcer eventually finished, it was hard to remember what you had been unexpectedly made to feel early on a Saturday evening, at such effort from the programme-makers.”

The acting union known as Equity is apparently attempting to conjure a solution to this catastrophe of networks clutching to viewers by means of advertising through a campaign known as Stop the Credits Crunch.  It seems that not all hope is lost, as, according to Equity, the union held a “productive” meeting with the BBC last week.

“The broadcasters tell us that the changeover from one programme to another is where they struggle to keep audiences, and that they have to have advertisements for upcoming programmes flashing as soon as the previous programme has finished – and even while the drama is continuing. We are concerned with the integrity of the artistic product, and what that holds for it.”

The article also implies that the road of TV advertising in Great Britain may be the same one the United States took decades ago.  You think Graham Norton over a The Time of Angels climax is bad – next time you’re vacationing in America, switch over to BBC America and while Doctor Who is on.  Try to endure all the commercial breaks, banners, and immortal watermarks displaying air times for the next episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares while you watch repeats of David Tennant’s farewell. 

The Pandorica has opened for American television; erased from existence are the days when a network took an interest in the artistic significance of an episode of anything.  Cross your fingers and pray that the cracks don’t form in the walls of the BBC headquarters as well.

The Independent’s take on the situation can be read here.



Patrick Riley

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Patrick has just been murdered and is currently seated on the edge of a lawn chair wondering when this Missy person will stop demanding his autograph. He probably can't tweet from the grave, but you should follow him anyway @10PatrickRiley.


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