Tonight’s TV… in 1991 

18 October 2014

Indy - TV listings

Granada on whiteThe Independent, then still a broadsheet, gives us a run down of the programmes for 18 October 1991. Things worth noting include:

  • Channel 4 as a whole. The channel was close to being at the top of its game (it would reach that point when it started showing Friends a few years later) hitting squarely on a young, affluent middle-class audience.
  • BBC-2 still has a point to it. The current drifting, lifeless channel has hit on a winning formula – aiming programmes firmly at babyboomers (and, where possible, their hip teenage children watching along with them).
  • BBC-1 is drifting at this time, not knowing quite what it should be doing. The gentle mix of creaking comedy and drama was getting viewers through inertia rather than pulling them in by force.
  • ITV is distracted. They’ve been getting ready for the franchise auction and are showing solid, uninspired programming.
  • The on-coming storm: Sky and BSB have merged, ending the crippling fight that was destroying both of them. Sky One was still showing cheap crap and/or old crap, but the combined movie services now had a couple of watchable films each night rather than the straight-to-video awfulness of a year before. With American television about to enter a new golden age, Sky is well placed to start giving the terrestrial channels a run for their money… although not for another four or five years.

You Say

3 responses to this article

Christian Bews 19 October 2014 at 11:32 pm

I do recall watching ‘thunderbirds’ that day as all of BBC2’s schedule were all running about 12 or 13 minutes late. I think it’s because of the overrun of the golf on ‘sport on friday’,switched over at 6pm it was still ‘top gear’ & ‘thunderbirds’ weren’t go till 6.12pm. the episode was called ‘the univited’ & it was the 2nd highest-rated episode on BBC2’s first run of the series after ‘trapped in the sky’,so BBC2 closed at 2.30am

Joanne Gray 3 October 2015 at 7:42 pm

Was John Little really allowed to get away with those comments (clearly his inner monologue springing a leak)? I’ve been sacked for far less. He obviously thinks doing the day’s telly schedules is beneath him, but he’s well and truly spat his dummy out there. And I’m known for my sarcastic sense of humour, but I also have a sense of professionalism and pride in my work, whatever that may be.

Victor Field 23 January 2016 at 10:37 pm

I see Central was showing “This Is America, Charlie Brown” (miniseries – yes, an animated miniseries – with the round-headed kid and pals having a look at various historical moments Stateside) in the 5.10 slot – is this the only time the “Peanuts” gang weren’t shown on the BBC?

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