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BBC sitcom episode count compared to American sitcoms

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Postby Brah » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 9:14 am

PNGMK wrote:I noticed the last season (4) of Louie he ran two episodes back to back - he basically had a UK style season. Much more enjoyable.

Right, so of course excellent things like this do exist, and always have. The problem is in volume, and in syndication. There is a lot more crap that gets broadcast in a lot more places, and this tends to obscure reality for some.

TV is surely the opiate of the masses, and the stuff that makes it overseas and is popular in those places is rarely or never the better stuff that's actually out there.

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Postby curiousgeorge » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 9:41 am

As mentioned, BBC series tend to commence in either September or January and run for the length of a school term or half-term i.e. 12 or 6 weeks. It gives parents a predictable schedule of viewing.

During the summer months the regular programming gets replaced with sports and stuff.

The BBC has quotas in that they must produce various kinds of programs (Serials, Dramas, Documentaries etc) and the majority of their programming at peak periods MUST be original (not repeats). They are also required to stimulate the UK TV industry by awarding a % of contracts to independent production companies.
The reason for the quotas is simple - the BBC main channels (terrestrial TV in the UK, BB1 & BBC2) are funded by the viewer's payment of a TV Licence to the tune of >GBP1Billion p.a. That is why the BBC doesn't have adverts - no slave to advertising revenue, which means they can (must!) cater to minority viewing (signed programs, special-interest programming etc).

Which is why the BBC can take risks and create original programming that most other networks in the world can't - purely because their funding doesn't rely on advertising revenue.

This also has a side effect of unusually long programs compared to their advert-riddled counter parts. Approx 4mins longer in a 30min show and 8 mins longer in a 60min show. That is material that gets cut when aired overseas because they have to cram in the adverts and stick to their nice 30/60min slots.

The quotas are set by the government in exchange for the TV licence revenue. BBC overseas and digital channels are more like their American counterparts.

Also remember that in the UK it is usual for one or two scriptwriters to be responsible for writing a whole series. Whereas in the US, programs like Friends or Frasier are written by whole stables of writers under a (credited) lead writer.

The BBC, like the National Health Service is a British institution that all Brits like to complain about, but we get very defensive if anyone else tries to pick on them, and we wouldn't want to be without them. They are part of the British national identity!

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Postby Sporkin » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:33 am

A pretty good BBC analogy of "The Big Bang Theory" would be "IT Crowd", in place of nerds we have geeks in an IT department in a company with oddball characters. I found it more entertaining by far, compared to the later seasons of TBBT, it could just be that BBC series are so short it doesn't oversaturate the novelty factor.

BedokAmerican wrote:One of my favorite American sitcoms is "Big Bang Theory," which does 22-24 episodes per season. Season 8 starts in September. I haven't watched much British comedy but will sometimes watch BBC news.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:41 am

Brah wrote:How many times has that one been dredged out over the years.....



By old bores who like taking a pop at the Brits? Oh, many, it seems.

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Postby Brah » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 7:13 pm

JR8 wrote:
Brah wrote:How many times has that one been dredged out over the years.....



By old bores who like taking a pop at the Brits? Oh, many, it seems.

Nicely played sir. We must live in parallel but opposing universes. Like an old British sci-fi movie about doppelgangers which I can't remember.

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Postby Max Headroom » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 9:18 pm

Brah wrote:
JR8 wrote:
Brah wrote:How many times has that one been dredged out over the years.....



By old bores who like taking a pop at the Brits? Oh, many, it seems.

Nicely played sir. We must live in parallel but opposing universes. Like an old British sci-fi movie about doppelgangers which I can't remember.



Sounds like an episode of The Avengers. John Steed & Co, not Iron Man & Co.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 18 Jul 2014 9:28 pm

Steed was the epitome of nonchalant class.

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Postby Brah » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 2:21 am

Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) "Doppelgänger" (original title) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064519/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3YmE5yhKxM

Must have seen that 5 times over the years.

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Postby Max Headroom » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 8:51 am

JR8 wrote:Steed was the epitome of nonchalant class.


They shattered the mould.

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:23 pm

Just compare Arrested Development and Community with the rest of the crop of US sitcoms. The two are regarded of some of the smartest comedies but have suffered threats of cancellation.

It's just a matter of what sells.

NB: Arrested Development was eventually picked up by Netflix and Community, after being cancelled by NBC is being picked up by Yahoo.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 12:43 pm

Brah wrote:Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (1969) "Doppelgänger" (original title) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064519/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3YmE5yhKxM
Must have seen that 5 times over the years.


Sometimes really weird '5 times disconnected' type things ... :o

There's you over there, posting on an SG forum, about a film I hadn't heard of, that on opening your IMDB link I find it co-starred a late cousin of my father. Then on the Youtube page there was a link to a website I never knew existed all about his life and work. ... So I expect there's a whole lot more that I'll learn from that as well.

Thx very much :lol: [funny old world :???: ]

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Postby Brah » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 1:47 pm

nakatago wrote:Just compare Arrested Development and Community with the rest of the crop of US sitcoms. The two are regarded of some of the smartest comedies but have suffered threats of cancellation.

It's just a matter of what sells.

NB: Arrested Development was eventually picked up by Netflix and Community, after being cancelled by NBC is being picked up by Yahoo.

Exactly and what sells to the lowest common denominator, which can get pretty low in some places (case in point the Super Saiyan McNuggets 'lady'), and seems to hold a pretty high percent of the demographic.

And there were other, better sitcoms and non-comedy series that got cancelled too early and more dumbed-down ones took their places.

Thing is, the better ones don't travel as well, so people overseas are less likely to know about them.

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Postby nakatago » Sat, 19 Jul 2014 5:05 pm

Brah wrote:
nakatago wrote:Just compare Arrested Development and Community with the rest of the crop of US sitcoms. The two are regarded of some of the smartest comedies but have suffered threats of cancellation.

It's just a matter of what sells.

NB: Arrested Development was eventually picked up by Netflix and Community, after being cancelled by NBC is being picked up by Yahoo.

Exactly and what sells to the lowest common denominator, which can get pretty low in some places (case in point the Super Saiyan McNuggets 'lady'), and seems to hold a pretty high percent of the demographic.


Now you're just mixing your metaphors. :wink:

Brah wrote:And there were other, better sitcoms and non-comedy series that got cancelled too early and more dumbed-down ones took their places.

Thing is, the better ones don't travel as well, so people overseas are less likely to know about them.



Image

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Postby Brah » Sun, 20 Jul 2014 3:58 pm

Max Headroom wrote:
JR8 wrote:Steed was the epitome of nonchalant class.


They shattered the mould.

I remember watching that and the original Saint when they came out and to the States in their b&w glory. Instead of the Avengers it may have been Secret Agent Man....

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Postby Max Headroom » Sun, 20 Jul 2014 8:26 pm

Brah wrote:
Max Headroom wrote:
JR8 wrote:Steed was the epitome of nonchalant class.


They shattered the mould.

I remember watching that and the original Saint when they came out and to the States in their b&w glory. Instead of the Avengers it may have been Secret Agent Man....


Yeah, but more importantly: Purdey :love:


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