The relevant industry for my crime drama is obviously television. In Britain there are five terrestrial Channels, which include BBC 1 and 2, Independent Television ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Each of these is an example of an institution in the television industry with their own ethos, programme schedules and style. The television industry began with BBCTV which launched in 1936 to a minority audience and was part of the BBC’s then media monopoly. BBC television was then and still is a Public Service Broadcaster (PSB), the ethos of the BBC is to inform, educate and entertain. It is funded
through a license fee which is basically a broadcast receiving tax which allows its programme scheduling to remain free from commercial interests and ensures that they can be run instead, it is claimed to serve the public interests. This was their policy then and is their policy now, however it is argued isolating themselves from commercial pressures and isolated them from their now “entertainment spoiled” audience and the more ‘consumer’ and culturally diverse Britain today. ITV was launched in 1955 as direct competition for BBCTV, ITV is however funded through commercial revenue were they receive funding for selling airtime to advertisers.
With this money they either make or buy programmes to fit in with their boasting ethos of it being “the biggest” commercial television network in UK broadcasting. ITV suggests it is the most talked about television, making a major contribution to the UK’s culture, economy and communities”. Although they make a fair amount of drama’s such as The Bill, Prime Suspect, etc I believe they are mostly made with only commercial aspects in mind and not a good combination of aesthetic aspects. I believe this would reduce the intake of innovative and somewhat commercially risky projects, this may be due to advertising agencies dictating their programme schedule to fit with their advertising schedule or because they believe risqui?? content could discontinue their role as “biggest” commercial UK network.
When BBC2 was launched it was made up as a mixed-genre channel combining serious factual subjects with comedy and drama to bring challenging, intelligent television to a wide audience. Ambition and innovation are BBC Two’s key values, and the channel aims to create programmes that inspire and excite audiences. This to me would seem as good a choice as any to distribute dramas such as ours, however the BBC
is self-regulatory and does not take risks especially risks which may be morally reprehensible or show deplorable acts of violence, bad language, etc. The terrestrial channel that I believe is the ideal institution for our crime drama is Channel 4 as it is more likely to consider a project like ours as it is more risky. Channel 4 was launched in 1982 and its aim is to provide high quality innovative programming that is experimental, creative and appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society.
This risk taking yet dynamic approach to broadcasting is very appealing to watch for the channels youth audience which ties in to our key audience and the audience I am part of. The majority of its programming comes from independent production companies it is likely that a crime drama of a bitterly realistic and graphic nature such as ours would be approached by this risk taking institution. Channel 4’s ethos is to “Do it first, be controversial, provocative, thought provoking and to inspire change”, this also adds to the appeal of the channel when compared to others its commitment to push the envelope would intrigue potential audiences to watch.
I believe Channel 4 is maybe the only terrestrial channel able to keep and project its identity and reputation as a diverse, innovative and non conformist channel in the digital multi- channel world, simply because it dares to be different and risky and most importantly is in tune with its audience and can keep up and even stay ahead of what its audience wants, however it will have to group its ideas from its core audience and project them across other platforms and genres to create a sustainable presence in competition with multi-channel and satellite super companies such as British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB).
It’s mission as a British institution in television is to prove that a channel with no public funding can keep its public service values to the fore while remaining commercially competitive. It is funded through advertising similarly to ITV, however different to ITV’s focus on profit and network statistics rather than audience feedback.
Channel 4’s focus is on audience entertainment i. e. putting the audiences and their demands first. A large portion of Channel 4’s output is bought shows from America and some of it representative of Britain’s multi-cultural society, so it does have something to appeal to almost all people of Britain, audience feedback from the channels annual review included these quotes:- “They take a gamble, and push for your entertainment, regardless. ” “A while ago you would never have or heard half these programmes.
They’re getting brave at pushing edges a bit further, that Under the knife with Miss Evans- it made my toes curl. ” “The documentaries are near the knuckle… the eating disorder one… the man who chose to die. I don’t want to watch them but I have to. ”
The audience however is very broad as the channels content varies depending on day and time, during weekdays 9 till 5 the output is rarely challenging or innovative in broadcasting terms all the time evident in programmes such as Countdown, Time Team, etc at night the more controversial, entertaining and provocative programmes are aired and would suit a wide age group and people of an independent nature. This channel to me suits our project more as it is a more subversive, provocative and risqui?? in terms of content and aesthetic properties that other channels wouldn’t consider and ultimately our drama is ideal as it also appeals to a wide age group, also as our drama is similar to The Sopranos it is also a strong indication that our text would be ideal for the channel.