The Currency Of Ratings

The Currency Of Ratings

This week, Steadfast TV’s Paul Crompton, delves into the┬áblack hole of audience ratings.

You’ll have seen those city workers on the train each morning with their blue suits and pink newspapers. They scour the FT to see if they’ve still got an office to go to. Has the gross domestic product of Portugal gone for another siesta? Has Sterling been sushi’d by the Yen? It’s the same for us TV lot, we’re obsessed with overnight figures too. The main difference is that when city workers screw up, the world caves in. When we screw up… it’s worse… AA Gill slags us off.

It’s said that television is democratic. The viewer votes every night with the remote control, singley affecting our careers as they flit from one channel to another. If your latest programme rates well it puts a spring in your step and gives you a strong bargaining tool for the next commission. The overnight ratings are TV currency.

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Tasters, Fudge and Pick ‘n’ Mix

Tasters, Fudge and Pick 'n' Mix

Channel 4’s Mark Dolan walks the tightrope of pilots and creative turbulence.

I suppose the big challenge this year is to put a positive spin on shrunken budgets and a risk-averse commissioning culture. And the positive spin is this: we are in the era of the office pilot and the taster tape, and it could be a great opportunity for innovation.

Big, fat, expensive pilots are more carefully rationalised now and a channel is far more likely to physically come into the office of a production company and watch a few people in a room work through an idea, and feed through their thoughts thereafter. This is of course preferable for them, compared to the cost and potential egg-on-face caused by bankrolling a lengthy chunk of development and a full pilot.

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