Slaves to our screens

Posted by Laura

Did you watch Big Brother last night? Whether the answer is yes or no, chances are you probably know at least a few of the contestants’ names and it’s likely you’ll be vaguely aware of the current furore surrounding Channel 4’s decision to allow evicted housemates back on to the show, with one having a chance to win the competition.

Stories about the backlash have featured on our site over the past 24 hours, and have proved to be highly popular with you, our users. They have attracted a swell of comments from Big Brother viewers; many of them very articulate arguments against what they see as the show’s producers cheating the audience by changing the rules at the last minute.

Whereas on the one hand it’s easy to look on such a vehement backlash prompted by something seemingly so trivial with a rueful shake of the head and a well-placed “tsk!” at the viewing public for not galvanising such strength of opinion in the face of erring politicians and global injustices, I can’t help but have a little pride in the fans for not being the reality TV dupes that many programme-makers now assume they are.

Big Brother’s attempt to spice up the show and boost ratings has, for some, gone against all that’s good and proper about sportsmanship in this country. Objectors see the Big Brother evictees’ return as being to reality TV what a ref’s badly-called penalty is to a World Cup final. Cheating the viewers, who, as many point out in our BB backlash piece, paid good money to see the back of their most loathed attention-seekers, is just not cricket in the realms of TV.

But viewers’ disdain doesn’t end here. They are voting with their remotes against other easy-viewing fodder – and it looks like ITV has borne the brunt of it. With more than a few flops in recent times, plus the departure of its chief executive today, the channel is suffering falling revenues and is struggling to keep up with competitors. Could this mean that the reality TV bubble is about to burst and the halcyon days of variety on the box are returning? Read the report on the current homepage to get the lowdown on the channel’s fortunes.

A TV show is but a blink of an eye to the world of screen; the world of the small flat screen attached to your computer, that is. One of our top stories today reveals that the average UK broadband user spends 50 days a year online.  So perhaps TV’s loss is the web’s gain. All that needs to happen now is to harness the potential of TV on the internet so the latest news, entertainment and music videos can be watched online. Oh, hang on, we’ve already done that for you right here. Who needs TV anyway?

Want to have your say about news stories we’re featuring or you think we should be featuring? Mail us at All feedback is most welcome!

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