Letter: More TV is worse
We first learnt that it doesn't in the 1970s, with the introduction of multi-screen cinemas. "Oh good," we thought, "six screens to choose from, so we outside London will get the Woody Allen films as well." Try seeing The Castle or The Spanish Prisoner this week outside London - it's Armageddon or Lost in Space at two screens each for the third week running.
The same applies to television. The more channels there are, the more alike the programming, because they all want to make shows that are cheap and massively popular (rather than moderately successful). There are entire nights now in which peak time is wall-to-wall soaps, docu-soaps or formula sitcoms starring ex-soap actors.
And Peter Bazalgette (Podium, 31 August) wants to pretend that it is all somehow very democratic that we "the people" are at long last having our say and should be freed from the "snooty regulation" of regulatory institutions. In support of this he argues that we do not sell enough of our programmes overseas, so they cannot be very good.
Sales are not an indicator of quality, but of cost. Good-quality television costs money to make, unlike the talk show trash which exploits the vulnerability of ordinary people. If we must go down this road, let us at least be honest about it - what drives the programme makers is the need for profit, delivering fragmented audiences to hungry advertisers at minimum cost.
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele unveiled
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Cilla, ITV - TV review: No wonder Cilla's chuffed with this story of her life – even the Beatles take a back seat
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke