Tuesday, 24 June 2008

UK and US Television

This weekend, I was watching TV and I caught some of Saturday Kitchen, the main guest was Jerry Springer, it reminded me of an interview he did a couple of years ago. I cant' remember the publication it was in but there was a key point he made in it, which i couldn't disagree with more. He said that UK television was 10 years behind the US, it was when he was bringing his show over to the UK. I think his basis for this is the chat show phenomenon. In the US, chat shows started in the very early 90s, and there are loads of them that are still around today, Riki Lake, Montel, Dr. Phil, Jerry Springer and Oprah Winfrey just to name a few off the top of my head.

In the history of television there have been lots of different era's of fad's like Chat Shows, or Reality TV, while these types of show are still around and fairly popular they do not have the excitement they did when they first came out. Other times a type of show that's been around for a while will boom for a few years. At the moment you can see that in two main areas, first Cookery shows which are very big at the moment, with TV chefs raking in huge amounts of money and ones like Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall getting involved in politics and business and making some considerable changes. Also at the moment Sit-Coms seem to be taking off. With the vacuum left by Friends there's a market of comedy lovers just yearning for a new hit. Comedians are becoming more rock'n'roll than Guns'n'Roses becoming icons in there time.

Basically I don't think it's right for Jerry to say that we're 10 years behind, We just had our Chat Show era a bit later, which is tailing off now, it boomed a couple of years ago with Jeremy Kyle coming on the scene. So we're not behind in TV we just have our fads at different times to the Americans. Currently there seems to be a surge in British Programs being exported to the States, shows like Top Gear, which has a new US version and the Office. I think there is a lot of talent in the British TV industry and it's wrong to put these people down.

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