More4 or Less?

If you have Freeview turn to channel 13 now! If you have Sky turn to channel 165 (if Rupert lets you). For cable viewers, tap 166 into your ntl box or 142 if you’re with Telewest. What you shall find is a preview for what I believe to be the most exciting television channel to launch since BBC2 forty years ago . More4 from Channel 4, launches on Monday 10th October.

Some faces from More4

More4 is what Channel 4 are calling ‘Adult Entertainment’ - perhaps not a very precise description. I like to think of it more as ‘what television should be’.

It launches with a prime-time slot for the West Wing (why not on Channel 4?), even more Channel 4 News, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (YES!), the UK Premier of Downfall (been wanting to see this movie for a while now) alongside re-runs of other great programmes shown on the parent channel in the last few years (Grand Designs, Bremner Bird & Fortune, Jamie’s School Dinners…).

Basically this is a channel after my own heart - confirmed by what looks like a really well executed identity and presentation package. (I should also mention an increasing consistency here between Channel 4, E4 and now More4 which was missing for a long time. Now all of Channel 4’s output looks like it’s coming from the same place.)


It’s just a shame that this ‘adult’ programming is getting increasingly pushed onto the sidelines in these new multi-channel environments (BBC Four being another example). It would seem that the ‘main’ channels are devoting more and more of their schedules to the soaps, reality TV and proven programme formats (that is to say more of the same).

ITV is the prime suspect in this respect (warning - may contain news) going all out for proven ratings winners, without giving much of the schedule over to other types of programming. Their soon to be unveiled forth channel just seems laughable given the current state of ITV2 and ITV3, and recent 50th anniversary celebrations have only gone to show how unimaginative and bland the network has become.

So while I applaud the launch of More4, I’m not sure I like the direction television is taking. By moving thought provoking, interesting and entertaining shows onto other ‘specialist’ channels further down the EPG, great series and shows are not being given the bigger audiences they deserve.

Is this the beginning of a dubbing down of television or is it perhaps just the start of television becoming an on-demand medium? What do you think?


4 responses so far. Go on, add yours!

 Gravatar#1 On September 27, 2005 10:01 AM, Jon Roobottom said...

dude, it's television, so therefore generally crap anyway. I wonder how many people could cope without a tv for even a short time, say a month?

 Gravatar#2 On September 29, 2005 2:20 PM, Kris said...

Actually thinking about it I think I could quite happily do without TV for a month. As long as I had a small bunny rabbit and a packet of starburst.
(Kris-Photo shoot at 5am this morning now suffering from sleep deprevation)

 Gravatar#3 On October 2, 2005 7:40 PM, Si said...

Without sounding too perverted, I thought the original advert for this "new adult channel from Channel 4" was going to be some sort of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll channel, something that would get my vote to be honest (think Bravo or Men&Motors with taste!) but when I found out it was just going to be E4 for the older and more mature generation, I had mixed feelings.

Great - Four are focussing their energy on a market that is overlooked too much on TV. At the same time, I agree with you Paul. Why should they be creating another channel for "quality" TV when the current state of play on the terrestial channels is ridiculously dumbed down for the Sun-reading generation?

Saturday nights on all 4 (5?) terrestial channels have all cashed in on the reality TV phenomena that, to me, has had its day. These so called "celebs" don't exactly entertain, nor do they educate, but for some reason the goverment are still wondering why the X-generation are binge-drinking! Take a look at evening TV - that could and probably would lead you to substantial amounts of alcohol. Blair - take note...

 Gravatar#4 On November 4, 2005 3:43 AM, Mike Chau said...

I've been deprived from TV for over a year...Hockey is is sooo many chans but nothing to watch...This is a great site!!!

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This entry was written on 27 Sep 2005, 12:15 AM and is filled under .