Now read the text and decide if the statements are true or false. Correct the false statements.
1. The number of TV channels is increasing
2. There are lots of new and unusual programmes
3. TV dramas set in hospitals and police stations have been popular for a long time.
4. All the new shows are the same
5. There are no American TV shows on British television
Cop and Doc!
· Tried and tested
British television has a reputation for the variety and the quality of its programming. However, as the number of television channels increases, and it becomes harder to find an audience for their shows, programme makers are increasingly relying on tried and tested formats. By doing this they know that they have more chance of finding an audience than they would through more innovative or unusual television. A good example of this trend is the focus on television shows about the worlds of medicine and crime prevention.
Thrills and no risk
Shows set in hospitals, police stations and the crime-ridden streets have for many years been popular with viewers. This is not surprising: they deal with issues that are important to us all, such as justice and the meaning of life; they can show us the thrills of a dangerous world without putting us at risk, and they open up the possibility of all sorts of fascinating interpersonal relationships. However, over the last ten years, the number of ‘Cop and Doc’ shows being shown on television has increased dramatically, and now make up a far greater percentage of the total amount of television shown.
This does not mean, however, that all of these shows are the same. Viewers can watch hourly or half-hourly ‘soap operas’ set in hospitals and police stations (Doctors, Casualty, The Bill). There is a wide range of challenging drama about all aspects of the medical and justice worlds (recent examples being Spooks and Bodies). We can even watch comedies which poke fun at the very factors which make these shows so compelling (The Thin Blue Line, The Green Wing)! In addition, the UK along with the rest of the world’s viewing public is lucky enough to be able to watch the very best ‘Cop and Doc’ shows from the United States, giving us another perspective on how drama and comedy can be drawn from these very interesting worlds.
This text originally appeared on the Trend UK website.
Exercise4.Read the descriptions of Reality TV programmes showing in the UK
Which programme would you prefer to watch and why?
Which programmes do you not like? Why?
Have you got any similar programmes in your country?
Do you think they are a good or a bad thing?
Reality TV programmes in one season - 2004.
There are at least 2 of these programmes on every day
I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here: A group of 10 minor celebrities live in the Australian jungle and their adventures and daily tests are broadcast live. Viewers can vote to remove a celebrity and can text their comments during the live show. The person who stays in the jungle longest wins a lot of money. This programme is shown 7 days a week for up to 3 hours.
Fame Academy: A group of wannabe singers are put in a large house in North London for 10 weeks and they prepare songs and sing every week. Viewers at home can vote for the best singers until there is a final programme with 2 finalists. The winner gets a recording contract and wins a year as a pop star. Over 8 million viewers watched the last final.
Shattered: A group of young people live in a house for a week and must stay awake. Each day there are tests to see how well they can function. They must leave the house if they fall asleep. Viewers vote and text their comments every day.
Changing Rooms: 2 couples exchange houses and redecorate a complete room. The programme shows the reaction of each couple when they see their home transformed.
Faking it: A member of the public is chosen to learn a new job and then they must convince a panel of judges that it really is their job. Previous challenges involve someone who cannot cook becoming a top chef in 4 weeks and a motorcycle courier learns the skill of playing polo to pretend he is a professional polo player.
Celebrity Fit Club: A group of overweight celebrities go on a diet together and are filmed every week doing fitness challenges and talking about what they eat.
A Place in the Sun: This show follows people as they buy their holiday home in a hotter climate. There are lots more programmes like this with people starting a new life in another European country.
Relocation Relocation: This show follows people deciding on a new place to live in the UK. They are filmed during the process of changing town and house.
Boss swap: Two Managers change jobs and try to run a different company. The camera follows them as they try to make good working relationships with their new employees.
Club Reps: This series follows the lives and work of holiday representatives working abroad. You see every detail of their private and working lives. It is sometimes very shocking.
Airport: The television cameras film all day and night in an airport for many weeks. Different airport workers are filmed doing their jobs and talking to passengers.
The Salon: The television cameras film all day in a hairdressing salon over a long period of time.
Learner Drivers:This show follows people as they learn to drive. People are filmed while they fight with their driving instructors, test the patience of other motorists and pass or fail their driving exam.
Exercise5. Discussion:People are watching more TV. Interactive TV, digital TV and the Internet mean that people spend more time looking at screens.
Think of two positive effects of having more TV programmes on offer
Think of two negative results for people watching more TV
Is having a TV in your bedroom a bad thing?
Is it possible for people to have too much choice?
Many Reality TV programmes exploit people. Some people are prepared to do anything to win the money. The TV programme Shattered was criticised for putting the contestants in a very dangerous situation. It is dangerous to go without sleep for a long time.
Do you think there should be more control over the types of contests on TV?
Are the people on the show Shattered really being exploited?
Do you have shows in your country which go too far or ask people to do dangerous things?
Are some things too private to show on TV?
Are you happy to see more of these shows?
Reality TV is not the best type of programming on UK TV. There are many excellent dramas, documentaries and comedy programmes. Viewers complain that the good programmes are decreasing and the channels are putting on too many Reality TV programmes.
What do you think of the balance of programmes in your country?
Is there a good mix?
Do some types of programme dominate?
Are there any types of programme you would like to see more of?
Exercise6.Discuss these statements in your groups. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
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