Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Bill gets axe

ITV's The Bill is for the chop, I'm sorry to say.

I've never watched it, but that doesn't mean I cannot appreciate its existence just like Last of the Summer Wine and Heartbeat, both of which are going or gone. The fact that such dramas as The Bill are being made adds a certain security in these times of troubled financial instabilities and means that, somewhere, all's well with the world and turning back the clock to happier times needn't rely on science fiction.

But now the reliable world just got a bit smaller.

ITV says the programme has been axed due to low viewer figures, even after a recent re-hash of the viewing time and format. The BBC has recently said that viewer figures aren't important to them but, to be fair, they need to be important to commercial channels that rely on such figures to determine advertising fees for the programmes they interrupt.

What the loss of a weekly drama series such as The Bill means is that there are 50 less opportunities for writers to earn a living. Some of the other blogs and forums are rather scathing of ITV's desire to replace drama with reality TV, but in this case I'll give ITV the chance to do what it says – and that is to create more shorter-run dramas.

Let's hope it follows through.

Guardian article.

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