And I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this.
With all of the Doctor Who, Sherlock, Torchwood, and Merlin fans here on Tumblr, it’s quite obvious just how well British television is doing in general, especially with its American fans. When it comes to BBC shows in America, those of the teens-and-twenties demographic seem to be the strongest in enthusiasm, and would probably be strongest in viewers as well if BBC America would finally get the picture. Yes, they’re starting to catch on that showing new Doctor Who episodes on the days that they are premiered in the UK attracts many more viewers. But that is not enough. The channel has so much potential. If only they would realize that.
If you simply take a look at BBC America’s schedule, you’ll see exactly what’s gone wrong. It hasn’t updated its approach to programming since its introduction 1998. According to Wikipedia,
“In the early days, the channel focused on repeats of popular lifestyle shows such as Changing Rooms and Ground Force. BBC America’s head of television programming later stated that it was important for the channel to establish a niche since non-UK viewers found the lifestyle shows appealing.”
But things have since changed. There is a greater demand for general British programming among American audiences. When people turn to BBC America these days, they have the desire to see “The best and the latest of British television in the United States,” as their website publicizes. But instead, they’re bombarded with marathon-after-marathon of Top Gear, which is a bit excessive for even the most devoted Top Gear fan. Thirty-two hours of any show is a bit excessive. And when you really think about it, that time could be better spent showing a greater variety of British television programs. My boyfriend put it perfectly in a letter he wrote directly to the channel:
“Dear BBC America,
Speaking as a British citizen who has an American partner, and who wants them to be able to experience the full range of the BBC’s fantastic output, it truly saddens me that 90% of your schedule is filled with Top Gear.
With shows like Doctor Who, Being Human, Upstairs Downstairs, Just A Minute, Coupling, Red Dwarf, The League Of Gentlemen, Horrible Histories and many more in your archive - to say nothing of Channel 4’s productions, given they show up on your channel too, why must a single show be so… Ubiquitous?
Surely even the most ardent Top Gear fan would struggle to watch the 60+ hours you have on before Friday? I know you have to rely upon ratings more than the BBC does over here, but the BBC is distinguished from its competition by this kind of variety in its shows, the risks it has taken with niche programmes, and I fear it is being poorly represented by the current schedule.”
Seeing how things have changed in the past 14 years since its inception, it really makes no sense that BBC America would keep going on thinking that its niche market should remain the same. There is a greater and growing interest in all sorts of British programming. People don’t need any other reason for watching BBC America now. If BBC America was simply able to catch onto this, I can guarantee they would get significantly higher viewing figures.
They would get all of the people who usually have to turn to downloads found online for their favorite shows. They would get all of the people wanting to see the latest premieres on the days they come out, rather than on Netflix months later. And they would give all of the great British television shows being put out now the chance to compete with American programming. BBC America has a real chance at competing with other popular networks if they simply aspired for more.
If you also agree with this, please like or reblog.
BBC America needs to be shown how many people that think it’s time they changed their game plan. Let’s get them to give the people of America the best and latest of British television they were promised and deserve!