Saturday, January 2, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

As 2009 wraps up, and the “best of the noughties” appraisals get under way, what, if anything, from the decade’s final 12 months will be brought into focus?  Incredibly it seems, 2009 was the year of Simon Cowell, who having been involved in talent shows for most of the last 10 years, still has something left to keep him at the top of the TV hierarchy.  Will his luck run out in 2010, or is Cowell’s renewed dominance merely a sign that 2009 has been a year in which very little has truly emerged on the small screen to create the kind of impact his shows muster? Read more


Thursday, January 1, 2009 by · 9 Comments 

When TV pundits of the future look back at 2008 (a process that is sure to start in earnest in just over 12 months time as we begin the second decade of the 21st century), what will they make of the year just gone?  2008 brought us Rock Rivals, The One and Only, The Invisibles, Harley Street and The Duchess in Hull - five utterly forgettable series destined for curiosity status almost straight away.  Yet wasn’t this too the year of Lark Rise to Candleford and a resurgent The X-Factor?  Viewed in the context of the decade as a whole how will 2008 fare? Will it be seen as a significant year or 12 months that slipped through the cracks of television’s wider historical development? Read more


Tuesday, January 1, 2008 by · Comments Off 

So how do you begin looking back on a year in which television went completely evil?

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Monday, January 1, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

Advancing years take away from us what we have inherited and give us what we have earned. Our relationship with television is a forever-burning example of this; the longer we feel we’ve hung around pouring our time and energy into watching it, the more we feel not merely blessed but actually owed an increasingly rarefied quality of enjoyment in return. Read more


Sunday, January 1, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Too much of anything is bad for you, as Stephen Fry once thundered, because that’s precisely what too much means: a quantity which is excessive. Too much water would be bad for you, because it would be too much. Fact. Read more


Saturday, January 1, 2005 by · Comments Off 

A hefty dose of press coverage levelling the charge that British television had slumped into crisis saw out 2004, with frenzied headlines, thick black borders and doom-laden think pieces a-plenty. But had things really become that bad? Had we been wrong to enjoy most of what we watched on telly the past 12 months? Read more


Thursday, January 1, 2004 by · Comments Off 

On 21 April 2003, 16.7 million people tuned in to watch the makers of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire spend a couple of hours of primetime television outlining their role in one of the most notorious instances of rigging a quiz show in recent memory. Read more


Wednesday, January 1, 2003 by · Comments Off 

It’s the fourth time out for OTT’s annual review of the year’s television, and the fourth time we’ve started proceedings by considering Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Read more


Tuesday, January 1, 2002 by · Comments Off 

Another 12 months on, and still Who Wants to be a Millionaire is one of ITV’s biggest successes. Read more


Monday, January 1, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Not quite yet a Christmas tradition up there with The Snowman or The Great Escape (was this ever actually shown on Christmas Day?), the Review of the Year is our excuse to reflect upon 12 months of telly, attempting to identify the trends, assess the programmes and distil that which was “in fact the strongest link” from that which was merely “My Arse!” (yes – that was still a popular catchphrase in 2000). Read more


Saturday, January 1, 2000 by · Comments Off 

It is customary at this time of year to reflect on what has come before. Please don’t expect OTT to be any different. Read more