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Is this the best they can do for young viewers?

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1974-05-02 Stage and Television Today.jpg

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MANY things are shown on television which either would not have been shown or would have been much better had

there been more time and money available: shortcomings are what people in the media must live with if the job is to be done and in time. In the field of children's programmes the resources are small compared, say. to those for the major peak-time areas of drama and light entertainment but the audience is none the less very demanding and complex. The BBC and increasingly ITV have shown a good share of enterprise and open-mindedness in the pursuit of new ambitious ideas for children of all ages. With so much effort being made to think of comprehensive programming for children it is unfortunate when programmes are shown blatantly out of place in children's schedules.

Such a programme is the BBC-1 repeat on Mondays at 5.15 of the American series Bewitched which is sandwiched between Blue Peter and Magic Roundabout. two of the BBC's constant successes. The Bewitched programme, about an advertising executive with a wife and mother-in-law problem, has of course been known to early evening adult audiences for some years. Like many American comedies it was initially well done although not one of their best. Whatever its merits for adult audiences it cannot be judged as suitable for the time it is placed. If anyone at the BBC can point out, for example, the suitability of Monday's episode for children of any age under say fourteen, we shall be pleased to hear from them. One is left with the conclusion that head of department Monica Sims had no choice. Clearly she and the people who work for her cannot find such a programme acceptable in its present context and its presence is an insult to their thinking and their own work.

Children have been encouraged to be viewers of habit but as such can get poor service. At the weekend in the early evening there is little to be seen by the younger ones and doubtless there are many young children watching programmes, BBC-1's Dr Who for example, which are not suitable. It is a pity that they (and other children) also have to be saddled in their own time during the week with programmes such as Bewitched which were made for adults or with repeats of series, as ITV provides, in which the dialogue must be beyond them (perhaps the IBA would like to listen to some of these repeats and think of them in context before passing companies' schedules). No one can ignore, or hope to escape. the disease of rising costs but we hope that such a placing in children's programmes as the BBC has made is a one-off and is not the forerunner of BBC children's department being foisted with anything considered suitable in order to spread its own budget out thinner nor is it part of some misguided competition between the BBC and ITV for this slot.

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  • APA 6th ed.: (1974-05-02). Is this the best they can do for young viewers?. The Stage and Television Today p. 12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: "Is this the best they can do for young viewers?." The Stage and Television Today [add city] 1974-05-02, 12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: "Is this the best they can do for young viewers?." The Stage and Television Today, edition, sec., 1974-05-02
  • Turabian: "Is this the best they can do for young viewers?." The Stage and Television Today, 1974-05-02, section, 12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Is this the best they can do for young viewers? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Is_this_the_best_they_can_do_for_young_viewers%3F | work=The Stage and Television Today | pages=12 | date=1974-05-02 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 December 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Is this the best they can do for young viewers? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Is_this_the_best_they_can_do_for_young_viewers%3F | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=1 December 2020}}</ref>