Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Fewer, bigger, better could be best

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2008-06-01 Televisual.jpg

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Up front

One Saturday last June, my mother and sister were first through the doors at Kent's premiere shopping mecca, Bluewater. This in itself is not exceptional: my family are excellent shoppers and poor queuers, hence the alacrity. They were, consequently, easy prey for Lee McQueen of The Apprentice who charmed his way into their wallets with his flattery of my nephew (an undoubtedly gorgeous child); plonked him in the arms of a David Beckham-a-like and extracted a fiver from my sister in exchange for a mug. The mug never appeared; a refund was given (no TV fraud. Hurrah!) and no one thought anything of it until my nephew's photogenic qualities were broadcast to the nation a couple of weeks ago.

The first thing that struck me when my mother rang with that age-old cry of "we're on the telly!" was that it was a year ago. Twelve whole months —at the least — to make a reality show. The rewards, of course, are in the ratings but also the excitement the show still generates, even among the cynical.

Plenty of reality formats will buy in the numbers. The Apprentice is the only one still standing that brings credibility too (though I'm not sure its status as a business programme bears much scrutiny).

The only other series in British telly to do both is Doctor Who. I met an expert in 1V ratings and recommendations last week who said it's the only series from which you can't predict other preferences. By averaging out and taking viewers habits and favourites into account, they can predict what else fans of Holby City, Britain's Got Talent and Ultimate Force (yes, someone's watching it) will like. The breadth and diversity of Doctor Who's appeal makes it impossible to model the average Doctor Who fan — strangely, because I'm sure we've all got him in our heads right now.

It begs the question, as those two shows continue to dominate tabloids, broadsheets, traditional TV ratings and iPlayer rankings alike, to wonder whether the BBC's strategy of focusing its (reduced) funds on fewer, bigger shows is paying off. Looks like it.

Janine Gibson is editor In chief of the MediaGuardian

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Gibson, Janine (June 2008). Fewer, bigger, better could be best. Televisual p. 11.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Gibson, Janine. "Fewer, bigger, better could be best." Televisual [add city] June 2008, 11. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Gibson, Janine. "Fewer, bigger, better could be best." Televisual, edition, sec., June 2008
  • Turabian: Gibson, Janine. "Fewer, bigger, better could be best." Televisual, June 2008, section, 11 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Fewer, bigger, better could be best | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Fewer,_bigger,_better_could_be_best | work=Televisual | pages=11 | date=June 2008 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 November 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Fewer, bigger, better could be best | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Fewer,_bigger,_better_could_be_best | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=27 November 2020}}</ref>