Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Short Seasons

I remember years ago being a fan of the BBC sitcom, ’Allo ’Allo. It was so popular, the Americans wanted it but, and this is the point, they didn't want TV series in anything less than 26 episodes.

So the BBC flogged the US all 4 series of ’Allo ’Allo bundled together as one US-sized "season" and then pulled out all the stops by going in for a mammoth 26-episode fifth series.

But, 20 years on, the norm is still 4, 6, 8, sometimes 10 episodes for a UK television series.

Is this a case of inadequate funding or simply not allowing the viewers to overindulge?

What has brought this to mind is a comment I read on Imdb written by a US fan of Kingdom. This person said that it was "a nice alternative to most American network television". After tasting the likes of... no, I'd better not fall into the trap of slaughtering the staple US TV diet; that would not be professional. Slap wrist and all that. I do, however, sympathise with this person.

But a viewer from Canada said: "What I can't understand is every television show that is shown in the UK only has about 6 episodes to them and it takes such a long time to produce them. My only guess to such little production rate is they're too busy with tea time than work time."

What a cheek! No, kind Canadian person, we make "shows" in such small numbers because we put so much care into them and, as my current wife says, "You can't have too many sweets at once; they make you sick."

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