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A question about British TV

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A question about British TV

Old 09-12-03, 11:34 AM
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A question about British TV

I've only seen a handful of british TV (I own the Faulty Towers box set) and they'll only have maybe 15 episodes for the entire series and they will span over a couple of years... so my question is how do they have their tv shows over there... In USA we have, for example, the Simpsons come on every Sun night at 7 how do they do it over there? Also what do they think of American TV show box sets where there's like 20 plus a season?

I actually got to spend a couple of days in London back in 2000 and I rarley watched TV there except a couple of times at night and I mainly saw the news, an episode of Frasier and an episode of King of the Hill. (this was an inn so maybe i wasnt watching regular British TV)
Old 09-12-03, 12:01 PM
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Considering they don't have a sort of commercialized television system like we do, all the budget comes from the tv tax so in that sense I don't think they can really afford to do a 20+ season of episodes on one series as the cash I would assume gets distributed to different projects in a sort of equal balance to keep programing entertaining for all.
Old 09-12-03, 12:09 PM
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I don't know what the rules, and they probably vary from network to network and may have changed over time, but the British series that I enjoy have some things in common.

The Sandbaggers is three seasons, 6 episodes each (there was an extra one in the first season). They run about an hour, if I recall.

The Office, two seasons, 6 episodes each. They are broadcast at 40 minutes including commercials.

Spooks/MI-5, two seasons, the first 6 episodes, but the second is 10. The original versions of these run an hour or a little more, but I've only seen the edited ones on A&E.

I haven't seen the second season of MI-5, but I've seen the rest and they all play more like what we'd call miniseries over here. There are storylines that go through every episode of the whole season as well as some that are introduced and resolved in a given episode.

And six eps is a whole lot cheaper than 22!
Old 09-12-03, 12:22 PM
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I did not know they didnt have a commercialized television system... I just assumed they used commercials like America does

Thanks for the input
Old 09-12-03, 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Considering they don't have a sort of commercialized television system like we do, all the budget comes from the tv tax so in that sense I don't think they can really afford to do a 20+ season of episodes on one series as the cash I would assume gets distributed to different projects in a sort of equal balance to keep programing entertaining for all.
Not entirely true Jack.

BBC is a publicly funded TV Station funded by the Television License. Yes you need to purchase a license to watch television in the UK and Ireland.

Channel 4 and ITV are commercial Channels as is the new channel 5, although that is about 3 years old now.

and then of course you have the Sky Empire.

So there are the quality shows that are 6 episodes in a season, a lot of them are comedys


But they have there share of weekly drama's as well like casualty which started way before ER.

they also have the soaps Eastenders and Coronation Street which are on 3 times a week for a 30 minute episode.
Old 09-12-03, 01:08 PM
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I'd also like to know how often the episodes of these shows air. Do they just show new episodes once a week for six weeks in a row and then people wait 46 weeks for new episodes or do they spread them out, like one new episode every month or two?
Old 09-12-03, 02:06 PM
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Taking the example of the office.

the 1st episode of season 1 aired on
9-jul-2001

Season 2 aired from
the 6th 20-aug-2001
30-sep-2002
to
04-nov-2002

so over a year between season 1 and 2.
Old 09-12-03, 02:18 PM
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I know that Coupling ran as follows:

S1 = 6 eps in Spring 2000
S2 = 9 eps in Autumn 2001
S3 = 7 eps in Autumn 2002

I think S4 in the UK is slated for sometime next year.
Old 09-12-03, 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by DIVX Rulz
I did not know they didnt have a commercialized television system... I just assumed they used commercials like America does

Thanks for the input
Yes we do!

We have 3 types of tv, BBC with 3 channels, which you currently have to pay a liscense of 116 per year for, whether you watch it or not. If you don't pay you can be taken to court and fined up to 1000.
The BBC doesn't show ads, but is funded by everyone with a tv.

Secondly we have terrestrial commericial tv, which includes ITV1 +2, Channel 4 and 5. These show adverts. Each of these is a different company, ITV tries to compete with BBC for the majority audience, Channel 4 & 5 each try for their own niche audience.

We don't pay anything for those.

Then there is cable/sattelite which you also pay for, but which offers a huge number of highly specialised channels. You pay for the channel package which suits you.

Last edited by KayUK; 09-12-03 at 03:14 PM.

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