Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The Bill, Heartbeat, The Royal

The Bill's being cut by 50%.

Heartbeat and The Royal are being wound up.

That's a lot of regular work just gone down the drain. It might not be my work, but there's a whole bunch of writers who would have been writing those shows, earning a living and paying the mortgage. Now, they're going to be looking elsewhere - in the same places I'm looking.

Not good news.


Jason Arnopp said...

Do. I. Not. Like. That.

Piers said...

OTOH, and with Heartbeat and The Royal in mind particularly, might this not result in ITV Drama moving away from its heartland audience, and into places we want to play?

Thus actually increasing the number of places we can sell to?

Paul Campbell said...

Not like you to be contentious, Piers!

Jon Peacey said...

While I have never much liked either of these rather twee programmes (something to do with my demographic I guess) there is something a bit sad about their disappearance. However, there is something more indicative about ITV's general outlook at the moment.

I've been saying that Heartbeat has probably been long past its sell-by-date for years and The Bill lost me as a viewer when it decided to become a soap opera with ever more insane stories with increasingly deranged police.

However, the reports of their demise in the paper indicate that ITV want to develop and concentrate on more 'reality' concepts along the lines of 'I'm A Celebrity'. They're moving from their one heartland to the other. So, I don't think there will be many new opportunities for writers.

Piers said...

Hey, I've got my optimistic hat on today. :)

mark said...

I'm not hugely au fait with Heartbeat or The Royal but I'm a massive fan of The Bill.

The problem is, as we know, drama is expensive and reality television is cheap. The same things happening over here are happening everywhere, particularly in the ever-diminishing US TV market.

But people will always need stories.

Won't they?

Jon Peacey said...

I had an optimistic hat once... but it left me for greener pastures!

Janice Okoh said...

I'm sure in a few years people will be sick of reality. That's what I'm hoping. Didn't we eventually grow sick of public hangings?

It's all cyclical.

Jon Peacey said...

"Didn't we eventually grow sick of public hangings?"
-Sadly not. Hangings ceased to be public because the sheer size of the crowds was causing too many problems in the streets... and caused concerns for public order and possible insurrection.

Even 40 years after the abolition of hanging public support for the death penalty runs at the 70-80% level (if not more). I'm sure many would prefer them televized!