Saturday, 12 January 2008

Thank God It's Here

If you hadn't noticed, ITV1 have recently started making a decent name for itself. They've revamped the schedules for the weekends to make them more entertaining. Gone are the dreary game shows and occasional "Celebrity" reality shows, and here are the shows purely made for entertainment value. Saturday nights are finally as entertaining as they were fifteen years ago.

Tonight was the first night of the revamption. Yes, I'm allowed to make up words as I go along. Firstly, Harry Hill's TV Burp returns. It's as excellent as ever. Then I sit through a lovely hour to come up with the conclusion that Primeval is as rubbish as it ever was. Oh well. Can't get them all right.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire churns out the 430th 'Celebrity' episode. I'm a bit disheartened at this, as ITV1 promised they would stop 'Celebrity' versions of game shows. And the fact that this was followed by another 'Celebrity' game show doesn't give me great hope for the future of ITV1.

But sometimes, I can be wrong.

What I forgot was that the channel were finally airing the UK Version of Thank God You're Here. The show, if you haven't seen it, is a brilliant hour of improvisation where four celebrities enter a room in costume and haven't the foggiest about what is going on. Living with a housemate who downloads all the latest American shows, I had already seen the US version of it. Across the pond, our Stateside friends cancelled it after only thirteen episodes. This is a shame, because the show has such great potential. (The previous two sentences can also be used for many other great US shows, mainly Studio 60 and Clone High.)

What I must congratulate ITV on is their brilliant timing to schedule this show. A few months ago, Freeview veiwers were introduced to Dave. And with Dave came endless repeats of Top Gear, but more importantly, repeats of Whose Line is it Anyway. These repeats have made the nation remember how good television was in the early 1990's, and how brilliant improvisation shows are. Not only that, but when the only competition is BBC1's The One and Only, it's definately one of Saturday Night's gems.

Congratulations, ITV1. And, when you finally start airing Pushing Daisies in the next few weeks, you may be one of my favourite channels. Just don't start airing another series of Vernon Kay's Celebrity Family Fortunes, okay? Thank you.


Andrew said...

Apparently, nobody watched it, though. According to Chortle, it fared only slightly better in the ratings than Paul Merton on the other side in a repeat of Have I Got News For You.

You can see why ITV1 make so much drivel - it's hardly worth their effort doing interesting things, is it?

Stephen F said...

That's a bit of a shame. It barely got any advertising though. I only watched it because I had previously seen the Australian and American versions.

Let's hope it doesn't suddenly move to Tuesday nights at 11.30pm.