OTT returns…

Thursday, May 26, 2011 by · Comments Off 

OTT: The book

OTT: The book

…in book form.

Yep, after all-but pledging over a year ago in our comments section that he would produce a paper compendium of the best of the website, Mark Jones from Broken TV has now done precisely that.

Priced £16.99, Off The Telly: The Best Bits of the British TV Website, 1999-2009 is available here.

It weighs in at over 300,000 words and 678 pages. Any profits from this endeavour will go to British Alzheimer’s charities.

In the meantime, website TV Cream is running a competition until June 3, 2011, where you can win a special version of the book. See here for more details.


Thursday, January 14, 2010 by · 32 Comments 

The end

The end

With the recent technical difficulties and all (still not resolved at the time of writing, but our webhosts have now fallen silent, so who knows?) I’ve been prompted to make a decision about this site’s future, or lack of.

As of today – and fast on the back of Ian’s excellent and final chart of the decade - there will be no more updates on However, it will remain online, as is, until its HTML rusts into pixel dust… or someone pulls the plug. I will, though, be switching off the comments in due course.

The thing is, the recent technical kerfuffle really brought it home to me that I no longer have the time or the appetite to keep this thing running. When it looked like it might be wiped off the web altogether I actually felt – well – a fair bit of relief.

In addition, I  also firmly believe OTT’s time has passed. We’ve done 10 years of this and it was lots of fun, right? Read more

’09 in (quite a few) lines

Saturday, January 2, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Si's matters

Si's matters

And here we are, at the end of the usual seasonal flurry of updates on OTT. As ever, we’re bowing out for now with our review of the last 12 months of television.

It was the year in which The X Factor notched up its best ever ratings, Torchwood turned into a critically acclaimed BBC1 ratings blockbuster, C4 struggled to produce any memorable comedy, Not Going Out and Primeval were both axed… and then recommissioned, Chris Tarrant yet again failed to nail it with a Millionaire successor, and Richard and Judy got off  the TV sofa, possibly for good.

So, 2009. Here’s how we saw it »


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

Christmas… logged!

Friday, January 1, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Was it "the best Christmas ever?"

Was it "the best Christmas ever?"

As ever, OTT has written-up this year’s Christmas telly, for our big and bulky Festive Television section.

Obviously, with nine out of the 10 most watched Yuletide shows, BBC1 was yet again the ratings victor with strong showings in particular for EastEnders, The Royle Family and Doctor Who.

But how did the big day play out across all the terrestrial channels?

Read the feature »

[Oh, and OTT's review of the year follows shortly...]

OTT fatal error!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

Wondering why – yet again – OTT is fast heading down the gurgler? Read more

2010 visionaries

Monday, December 7, 2009 by · Comments Off 

The decade of Big Brother

The decade of Big Brother

As 2009 winds down, like everyone else, OTT is indulging in a spot of house-keeping and tidying up the last decade of television.

So, we’ve assembled our list of the shows we feel have been the most influential in shaping the last 10 years of telly. They’re not necessarily the very best the noughties have had to offer, or the most popular. But, as we hopefully justify, all have left a mark on the TV landscape.

Which, from our selection was “a messy flop, but of a kind with which the BBC flirted shamelessly for the rest of the decade”?

What series ushered in a suite of similarly themed programmes, pretty much most of which ended up being cancelled by C4 as it sought to reinforce its public service remit at the decade’s end?

And can you name the pivotal reality show which featured a crunch sequence from a Travelodge Hotel conference room?

For those answers, Read the feature »

The magic’s back again

Thursday, December 3, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The BBC has announced Merlin has been recommissioned for a third series. Read more

Collinson Street

Thursday, November 26, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

ITV has announced former Doctor Who producer Phil Collinson is to become producer on Coronation Street. Read more

2009 – How was it for you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

Your starter for 2010...

Your starter for 2010...

Alongside planned end-of-the-decade business, OTT is hunkering down once again to prepare its review of the year’s television.

And, as always, we’d really like your contribution. Jack Kibble-White will be putting together the finished piece (and to see previous years, click here) so please email him your comments, essays, paeans and poison pen letters to him by Tuesday December 15 (erm, 2009).

Jack’s address is

Psycho 2

Friday, November 20, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Psychoville is to return, according to a press release from the BBC. Read more

Be screening you

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel

Ian McKellen and Jim Caviezel

ITV1 launched its remake of The Prisoner to British press last night at the Odeon West End in London’s Leicester Square, screening the first two episodes to journalists.

Written by Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise to Candleford, Out of the Blue) and co-produced with America’s AMC, it’s a worthwhile undertaking indeed, despite the huge expectation the project provokes. In an era when US TV is big on puzzles and ellipitical plotting, The Prisoner fits in very well indeed. And what it really has in its favour is this version is a series, with a finite run (six episodes) and a definite end. So there’s no fear of a plot in flux, as showrunners consider the possibility of further seasons. We will get answers. Read more

Now Three is Five

Sunday, November 1, 2009 by · Comments Off 

ITV's digital portfolio

ITV's digital portfolio

So it’s happy fifth birthday, today, to ITV3. And a tip of the hat to ITV4 which is also celebrating – four years of service.

By way of a tribute, one-man OTT-updating machine Dominic Small returns with a history of ITV’s digital strategy. From ONDigital, to ITV2, there have certainly been ups and downs. As Dominic reminds us, the network’s nascent dabbles in the digital market weren’t very successful…

“ITV regional operators did dip their toes into the satellite pool quite early on, with mixed results. Many of the ITV franchisees of the time worked together to launch a new UK-based satellite channel with Europe-wide broadcast, though this pioneering venture – Superchannel – was not as successful as had been hoped and later ended up in the hands of an Italian firm, and subsequently the American broadcaster NBC, who dumped much of the UK content for US-produced output.”

For more, Read the feature »

A surfeit of H20

Friday, October 30, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

River carnage forever!

River carnage forever!

Something new. That’s what you can expect from ‘The Waters of Mars’, which was screened to journalists this morning at London’s Soho Hotel.

To describe it as “dark” isn’t terribly helpful, but this is probably as hopeless (in the sense of lack of optimism) Doctor Who has ever been. Screening over, and in the Q&A with Russell T Davies and David Tennant, one person was moved to ask if they still considered the show suitable for children.

Read more

Fools rushes in

Monday, October 5, 2009 by · 4 Comments 

The BBC has announced Inbetweeners star James Buckley has been cast as the young Del Trotter. Read more

Back from extinction

Tuesday, September 29, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

ITV1 has just announced axed show Primeval has been recommissioned for a further two series. Read more

Sladen with goodness

Saturday, September 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Sarah Jane and friends

Sarah Jane and friends

So what links The Sarah Jane Adventures to The One Show? Answer below.

As Dave Golder’s already reported on the SFX website, last night saw the press launch for series three of the excellent Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The opener, ‘Prisoner of the Judoon’, is most notable for Elisabeth Sladen’s truly brilliant, and slightly bonkers, performance as an evil Sarah Jane. It’s a two-parter packed with thrills and gags, although, as Dave points out in his piece, the Chandra parents do come across as superfluous to the action… but they are nicely played. Read more

Ashes edges to the end

Thursday, September 24, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

The final series of Ashes to Ashes has commenced filming in Bermondsey, South London. Read more

Brooker’s game

Wednesday, September 9, 2009 by · 4 Comments 

Endemol has released details about Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe. Read more

Derren’s number is up

Monday, September 7, 2009 by · 23 Comments 

Derren Brown is to predict Wednesday’s National Lottery numbers… live. Read more

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