More popular outside their region of production

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RobinCarmody
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More popular outside their region of production

Post by RobinCarmody »

Two sorts of programmes fit this description:

1.) The prestige Granada productions (Brideshead, Jewel in Crown, the Jeremy Brett Holmes, Jeeves & Wooster) which played on a very Home Counties and shire-orientated conception of Englishness - which obviously helped them massively abroad - but worked against them in much of the Granada region itself, especially in Manchester and Liverpool where that version of Englishness was and is seen as an active political threat by those who base their socio-political identities around those cities ("People's Republic of Mancunia", "We're Not English, We Are Scouse" &c). These tended to rate better in the south of England.

2.) A lot of the LWT & TVS light-ent shows, especially those hosted by Cilla Black, which tended to rate better from the Central region northwards, much to Greg Dyke's chagrin. Indeed, when Meridian made a similar case to the Network Centre in 1996 to the one TVS had made a decade earlier, one of the programmes they cited as a poor performer in their region was Catchphrase (by then made by Action Time for Carlton) even though it had been originated by their own predecessors.

Rating best *within* their own region and similar ones: Corrie and Emmerdale on the one hand, Wexford and Dalgliesh on the other (though probably not Morse - made by Witzend for Central, which was the region for Oxford but which largely wasn't like that, and the South franchise - into which Oxford would ultimately be moved in the digital, ITV plc era - tends to be more like that area. Of course now Oxford has held out for Labour and the Lib Dems, whereas the former East Midlands coalfield ...)

Taking a political side against its own region of production in the context of the miners' strike (though it was delayed for ages): Knights of God

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by brigham »

Oh Christ!
Here we go again...

wittoner
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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by wittoner »

I don't think you can pigeonhole entire regions as being "like that" or not "like that". Oxford isn't like Oxford if you live in Blackbird Leys.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by brigham »

Oh, believe me, this fellow can!

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

I don't see a problem here. RobinCarmody wrote:
Central, which was the region for Oxford but which largely wasn't like that
"Like that" presumably means "like the version of Oxford portrayed in Inspector Morse". It's true to say that most of the former Central region (including large parts of Oxford) was not like the version of Oxford portrayed in Inspector Morse.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

But was anywhere actually like the realm of Jeeves and Wooster?

The four prestige Granada productions you mention were all based on books, so their popularity would have already been a known quantity. Produced for network transmission, it would have come down to which of the big five wanted to make them (as the others wouldn't have necessarily had the cash), but the audience was the entire country, not their own region.

From the beginning, ITV companies had an eye of selling what they made overseas, they were also concerned with what the advertisers thought, and what the various regulators thought. ATV certainly had been accused of dumbing down, so commissioning something a little more cerebral (Morse) would appease the regulator and, IIRC, it was a co-production with overseas money anyway - it is some while since I last watched the series.

I think you are just shoe-horning facts into your own political theories here.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by fatcat »

Don't think politics came into it, there is nothing to say that Arthur Scargill might not have enjoyed a bit of Brideshead Revisted or Norman Tebbutt On the Buses.

..and you have the glaring example of Coronation Street an instant hit around the country, even amongst an elderly generation in the south who many may not have traveled further north than Watford in those days and northern aspirations were quite foreign to them.

However snobbery was a different matter, there were people who only watched BBC programmes and thought that ITV was brash, crass and vulgar and you get the impression that the kids who watched Blue Peter sat there in their pressed trousers and ties while the kids who watched Magpie sat in their jeans and teeshirts.

The type of family that appeared on Ask the Family you assumed lived in orderly museum style homes and drove shitty grey coloured Morris Minors ...and voted Tory..but that was not the case they lapped up all the Ken Loach plays on their 'superior' BBC.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

The perfect example would be Buckfast Tonic Wine - made at Buckfast Abbey in Devon but largely consumed in the west of Scotland. Unfortunately it's not a TV programme.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by ITMA »

Funny, we loved Jeeves and Wooster and we were in Sheffield. Course, we didn't have electricity or indeed fitted carpets or televisions in those days, so thanks to Thatcher we couldn't actually watch it. But we did enjoy it.

Drivel. My post and the OP.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

I don't think Robin was suggesting that no one in the north of England liked Jeeves & Wooster or Brideshead Revisited, merely that they got better viewing figures in the south. I haven't seen the research myself but I'm quite prepared to take his word for it.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Even if the viewing figures do bear out his assertions, I'm not sure what his argument actually is when they were made for the network and not for their franchise audience.

If it was a regional programme, a sort of "eh, up, where's me whippet" that had a huge following at Channel, but no-one in Granadaland, I'd be more interested, but when something is made for a general audience (and overseas sales), and bringing in advertising revenue, there are greater things in play.

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Richard Charles Skryngestone
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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Richard Charles Skryngestone »

I was under the impression that the original poster was merely asking which ITV programmes had a larger viewership in an ITV region other than the one where it was actually produced.

The South vs North, and Titled BBC viewers vs Whippet-owning ITV viewers comments that followed don't logically follow on from that original question.

However, as some people have stated, many ITV programmes were intentionally made with thoughts of overseas sales.

(Maybe there should be a separate thread about the perception that the BBC was Southern and Posh, whereas ITV was Northern and Working-Class?)
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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:36 pm
Even if the viewing figures do bear out his assertions, I'm not sure what his argument actually is when they were made for the network and not for their franchise audience.

If it was a regional programme, a sort of "eh, up, where's me whippet" that had a huge following at Channel, but no-one in Granadaland, I'd be more interested, but when something is made for a general audience (and overseas sales), and bringing in advertising revenue, there are greater things in play.
I take your point, but I think there's an interesting asymmetry here. Can you imagine Thames or LWT making a drama series for the network set in the north of England? I certainly can't think of one offhand.

(There's a rare and telling example from comedy though: the pilot episode of In Loving Memory was made by Thames in 1969, but there wasn't a full series until ten years later when YTV took it up - in the process moving Oldshaw from Lancashire to Yorkshire!)
Richard Charles Skryngestone wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 5:10 am
I was under the impression that the original poster was merely asking which ITV programmes had a larger viewership in an ITV region other than the one where it was actually produced.
Yes, and it's a perfectly legitimate question, irrespective of any political or other considerations. Even when making programmes for the network I'd have imagined that the big ITV companies would have been concerned about how they'd play in their home region. It can't be a coincidence that Granada decided to locate Coronation Street in Manchester rather than London.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by doubleM »

Yorkshire Television forged a very strong regional identity in much of their programming (in part originally in defining themselves as separate from Granada and Tyne Tees post the 1968 franchise changes). The local programmes were generally strong and stretched well beyond local news magazine shows (arts, politics, sport etc.). They branded a lot of shows 'Calendar ....' (after the nightly news magazine show) even to the extent of 'Calendar Countdown' which is how 'Countdown'' (pre Channel 4 began).

Particularly noticeable is their early drama output. For their first decade or so on air - 1968-77 - nearly all their networked drama series output was set in the region (one-offs and plays proved more variable). E.g.'Castle Haven', 'Parkin's Patch', 'South Riding', 'Gazette/Hadleigh', 'Justice', 'The Main Chance', 'Emmerdale Farm', for children 'The Flaxton Boys', "Follyfoot', 'Tom Gratton's War' ... later on the settings became more geographically widespread but the 'Yorkshire region' still formed a sizeable part of the mix ... 'The Beiderbecke' serials. 'A Bit of a Do', 'Heartbeat' etc.

Then you can add the sitcoms ... and it's a high proportion of the fictional programming with the franchisees regional setting - resulting in programmes nevertheless proving popular across the network.

I guess part of this is a naturally strong identity for the areas that made up the YTV franchise, more so than some others that spanned areas within the regions with contrasting local identities and allegiances.
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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

The examples that were originally given weren't made for the region, they just happened to be made by a regional franchise, and were based on books. They would have been purely commercial decisions (although I suspect there was also an eye on awards). I think there is a big distinction between simply being made by a regional production company and being made by a regional productions company for their audience. With Wodehouse, it could have been any Stately Home, any village fete, or any race course anywhere in the country, with only The Drones being a London Club. One series was set in the States (with Senate House, University of London used as the quintessential NY skyscraper).

Bill Brand was a Thames production and although set around Westminster, was about an MP for a constituency in Lancashire. Oddly, Born and Bred was another set in a fictional Lancashire village, Ormston, made by Thames. I think that if you delve deep enough, you will find examples across most companies, but it will be the big hitter programmes like Corrie and Emmerdale that obviously spring to mind first, and neither of which were expected to run and run - Corrie being commissioned for 13 instalments and Emmerdale a 3 month afternoon serial. Emmerdale was referred to as ITVs Archer's, and The Archers started on the Midland Home Service before being picked up by network later on so, like I was saying about book adaptations, was as known a quantity as it could be. Soaps are different beasts as they are ever changing, adapt and stay relevant, rather than have a definite start, end and story.

What neither Corrie or Emmerdale were, were programmes made specifically for the franchise area that happened to leak to other areas as filler, or network and proved to be a big hit there rather than in the area served by the production company. Both started with network transmission. ATVs Crossroads, from what I recall, was regionally bland. There were accents, but it wasn't the gritty North of Corrie, nor rural farming, but Lew was adept at making TV for mass consumption (in the UK and overseas), and the ITC catalogue is proof positive that he knew what he was doing.

As for comedy, It Sticks out Half a Mile was a radio sequel to Dad's Army, but the BBC didn't pursue it on TV past a pilot, but Yorkshire picked it up for a series, High and Dry. I think it says more about the staff of Yorkshire TV Light Ent at the time though (wasn't the head ex-BBC?). I'd certainly be interested in any regional breakdown of popularity for Granada series like Wheeltappers or, to a lesser extent, The Comedians. There was certainly a divide between North and South with comedy circuits. Max Miller was unlikely to be received in the same way north of Watford, but Norman Evans 'Over The Garden Wall' tradition was continued by Les Dawson with Cissie and Ada.
The South vs North, and Titled BBC viewers vs Whippet-owning ITV viewers comments that followed don't logically follow on from that original question.
My point with this was that Whippet owners were more likely to find a programme about Whippets appealing than those that had no idea what a Whippet was and if a regional programme was made with a regional dialect it would reduce the potential audience to those who could understand and relate to it. Perhaps I should have used 'Cor blimey, guv, strike a light' having a huge following in Border rather than at Thames. Of course, The Sweeney (Sweeney Todd) used Cockney rhyming slang to describe a particular department of the Met Police (Flying Squad), but I don't think that reduced its popularity.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Sun Mar 08, 2020 12:52 pm
if a regional programme was made with a regional dialect it would reduce the potential audience to those who could understand and relate to it.
That never stopped Fred Trueman on the Indoor League! (But that's an isolated case.)
Perhaps I should have used 'Cor blimey, guv, strike a light' having a huge following in Border rather than at Thames.
Well, Thames clearly thought that shows like Minder were suitable for the network, even though I've heard anecdotally that Scottish viewers in particular are put off by excessive use of Cockney accents. There does seem to be a certain amount of London-centricity in all this.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by brigham »

In a nutshell, 'It's amazing how many Regional ITV programmes became popular across the whole Network'.
Simple, and without the bigotry.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

brigham wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:37 am
In a nutshell, 'It's amazing how many Regional ITV programmes became popular across the whole Network'.
Simple, and without the bigotry.
And subtly wrong. Just because a programme was made by a regional company (it had to be made by someone and ITV was a collection of regions) doesn't mean it was a 'regional' programme.

TISWAS was an example of a regional programme that was slowly taken up by the network. This from Wikipedia:

It was originally produced as a Midlands regional programme by ATV, and was first broadcast live on 5 January 1974. The then federal structure of ITV, with its independent regional companies, meant that not all of these stations broadcast the show when it became available for networked transmission. Over time most ITV regions chose to broadcast it, with Granada Television and Southern Television being among the last to pick up the show, in 1979. Tyne Tees and Ulster eventually decided to take Tiswas for its final series in 1981. The smallest broadcaster in the network, Channel Television, did not carry the programme.

This fits your description and I'm sure there were others, but none spring to mind. Suggestions?

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

brigham wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:37 am
In a nutshell, 'It's amazing how many Regional ITV programmes became popular across the whole Network'.
Simple, and without the bigotry.
Sorry, what bigotry? I don't believe I've said anything bigoted in this thread, nor has anyone else's contribution struck me as bigoted.
stearn wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:47 am
And subtly wrong. Just because a programme was made by a regional company (it had to be made by someone and ITV was a collection of regions) doesn't mean it was a 'regional' programme.

TISWAS was an example of a regional programme that was slowly taken up by the network. [...]
This fits your description and I'm sure there were others, but none spring to mind. Suggestions?
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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Juswuh »

Crossroads was on for years before it was shown all across ITV.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Brock wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:41 am
Sale of the Century?
Yes. Looking at Wikipedia it seems the first series was Anglia only. For some reason I thought that was one of the handful of Anglia produced programmes that was networked from the start.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Juswuh wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:04 pm
Crossroads was on for years before it was shown all across ITV.
There were catch up editions with narration over someone knitting to bring the transmission into line. BigCentreTV broadcast Crossroads while they were on the air.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

stearn wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:08 pm
There were catch up editions with narration over someone knitting to bring the transmission into line.
Wasn't that a mysterious character called "Mrs Jones", whose face was never seen? I'd completely forgotten about her.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by brigham »

Brock wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:41 am
brigham wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:37 am
In a nutshell, 'It's amazing how many Regional ITV programmes became popular across the whole Network'.
Simple, and without the bigotry.
Sorry, what bigotry? I don't believe I've said anything bigoted in this thread, nor has anyone else's contribution struck me as bigoted.

Sorry if I've inadvertently offended.
The bigotry I was referring to lies entirely within the original post, and is wholly typical of that poster's narrow and limited world view.
I am aware that he has 'issues', but I feel that if he is prepared to express his views in public (here and elsewhere), then he deserves the courtesy of a reply, just the same as anyone else.
Regretfully, I have in the past been guilty of ignoring him.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

brigham wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:39 am
Brock wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:41 am
Sorry, what bigotry? I don't believe I've said anything bigoted in this thread, nor has anyone else's contribution struck me as bigoted.
Sorry if I've inadvertently offended.
The bigotry I was referring to lies entirely within the original post, and is wholly typical of that poster's narrow and limited world view.
Two points:

(1) You gave no indication that your post was a response to the original post. Your response came directly after mine and did not quote from any other post, so I naturally assumed that it was a comment on my post. How was I supposed to guess otherwise?

(2) I have re-read Robin's original post and I cannot see any statement in it that I would describe as "bigoted". He stated that certain programmes were more popular outside their region of production, which is presumably a statement of fact. He also gave his own socio-political analysis of the reasons why, which you may or may not agree with. He did not, as far as I can see, suggest that Northerners are all stupid or ignorant, or anything like that. On what statement do you base your accusation of bigotry?
I am aware that he has 'issues', but I feel that if he is prepared to express his views in public (here and elsewhere), then he deserves the courtesy of a reply, just the same as anyone else.
And he's had one. In fact he's had lots of replies. This thread is 25 posts long now, and I think it's quite an interesting one.

What is your point exactly?

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

brigham wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:39 am
Regretfully, I have in the past been guilty of ignoring him.
No you haven't. You did exactly the same thing here - responding to a perfectly reasonable post by RobinCarmody with a completely unhelpful heckle. I for one did not appreciate it.

If you have some sort of personal issue with Robin then I suggest you take it up with him privately rather than disrupting the message boards in this fashion.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Pointing out someone is back, isn't exactly unhelpful, nor can I see how it might have offended anyone.

Robin does have issues, and whilst this shouldn't make any difference to those posting here, his tendency to take a perfectly rational observation/question and hijack it to shoe-horn into his hobby-horse politics can be rather wearing. I'm perfectly happy to ignore the political aspects and look at the posts on their own merits, others can simply be put off entirely.

If I have any gripe, it is the hit-and-run nature of posts like these, and that can be from anyone - what facebook likes to call conversation starters. In Robin's case, I have to guiltily admit that it is probably for the best that he does't follow them up with pages upon pages of additional political justification as wider interest in the thread is almost certain to be lost.

I am a little biased as I've met Robin at a Kaleidoscope event where he tried to occupy the same physical space as me, a most unpleasant experience, and one quantum mechanically impossible: The Pauli exclusion principle is the quantum mechanical principle which states that two or more identical fermions cannot occupy the same quantum state within a quantum system simultaneously.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Brock wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:41 am
(1) You gave no indication that your post was a response to the original post. Your response came directly after mine and did not quote from any other post, so I naturally assumed that it was a comment on my post. How was I supposed to guess otherwise?
Odd, as I thought it directed at me because of my (intentional) crude stereotyping of regions, but thought best not to put my head above the parapet to get shot at further.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by Brock »

Well I've never met Robin in person, so I can't comment on that aspect. I do remember the old forum when he sometimes used to go off on political rants (which didn't especially bother me), but as far as I can see he's never done so on this forum, and in fact posts relatively rarely nowadays. I thought his opening post was interesting and well-argued, and it's given rise to a stimulating discussion, so where's the problem?

On the other hand, brigham has made four posts to this thread, three of which have contributed nothing of substance (the other was a response to me), and one of which has been misinterpreted by at least two of us as a direct personal criticism. I'm far more bothered about his behaviour than Robin's.

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Re: More popular outside their region of production

Post by stearn »

Brock wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:57 am
I'm far more bothered about his behaviour than Robin's.
With respect, that is the moderators job. And to be fair, Brigham only put into words what others may be thinking (certainly, I'm guilty there). Robin has form, not just here, but, just like I wouldn't ban Robin or remove/edit his posts unless they contravened the board rules, I don't see any reason to moderate Brigham's posts either. This is a grown up forum for grown up people, and my rule of thumb is, if you would say something to someone in person, then it is fine to put it into print. If you are likely to get punched for saying it, then you might want to exercise some caution in what you write.

For the record, I didn't see any bigotry in the original post.

Getting back to the plot, it would appear that there were actually very few regional programmes (made by a region with their own audience primarily in mind) that then filtered out, as we have only come up with a handful. Thinking of programmes that had a flavour that reflected the region they were made, that were made for network consumption, that weren't exactly a success, Albion Market immediately sprang to mind. I remember the promotion of the series on Thames, oddly one of the few series I can actually remember being promoted, and must have seen some of it, but Wikipedia (again) says it ran to 100 episodes before being pulled. Anglia's Weavers Green (I think it was networked) only lasted half that, but I don't recall reading anything to suggest that was a failure.

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