To everything there is a season

Friday, August 11, 2006 by

You can tell the listings magazines are aching for the autumn schedule to start. Heat running a big Dragon’s Den spread in the show’s second week, RT asking “One Final Question” to Dara O’Briain to tie-in with – umm – episode two of Turn Back Time, and BBC1′s perfunctory How to Improve Your Memory getting a hefty number of inches across all the weeklies.

Upon reflection, last year wasn’t so bad, but this August, the TV schedules have been utterly barren and the old truism about telly companies putting nothing out over the summer has returned in a big way. The present furore about ITV1′s poor ratings really needs to take into account the fact the channel hasn’t actually put anything on for bloody ages. As everyone seems to know, it’s only new drama, Jane Hall, has been sat on the shelf for a couple of years (a PR first spoke to me about it two jobs prior to the one I’m in now!), otherwise it’s crappy reality shows and reruns ahoy.

But this will all alter, and, in fact, we’re now on the cusp of what has always been excitingly billed “the new season”. Come September, and everything changes with Midsomer MurdersLife Begins (and ends, this is to be the last series) and Wire in the Blood all back to do reliable business for channel three. Ratings woes? Ratings shmoes! ITV1 will be back in business before you know it.

Personally, I’m far more excited about the onset of Celebrity Masterchef. Upgraded to BBC1 at 7pm, it’ll hit the screens on weekdays from September 11, and it’s going to be great. Apparently, Charlie Dimmock really can’t cook. “Standards are high – and the pressure is immense!”


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