Americans love their old TV shows. Nostalgic channels that show nothing but all-day classic shows have long been a problem there.
Thanks to the partnership, a series that ended its original run decades ago can enjoy an infinite afterlife.
Chances are, at any given hour of any day, an episode of I love Lucy, Bonanza, Dragnet or some other favorite old favorite that’s airing on one channel or another in America.
It’s always been a very different story in Ireland and the UK. Most shows are shown once and then deposited in vaults to collect dust – or worse, wiped clean so that expensive videotape can be used to record other content.
I don’t know what the situation is in RTÉ, but a large portion of BBC output from the 50s and 60s – including all but the first episode of Nigel Kneale Quatermass serial – has been lost, most likely forever.
At the time, broadcasters were oblivious to the cultural importance of what they were creating, but TV nostalgia is finally here in this part of the world. An important moment.
Much of this is due to Talking Pictures TV, a channel that I have brilliantly written about many times.
A mix of old movies – black and white photos, big sets, ’70s favorites – and 60s and 70s TV series like Maigret, The Saint, Van Der Valk, Public Eye, Secret Army and External limits proved a winner with viewers of all ages.
TPTV has nearly 63,000 followers on Twitter, sells DVDs by mail, hosts conferences and mini festivals, and has branched out into streaming with its free-to-air TPTV Encore service. Not bad for a channel running from a family home.
And it is no longer the only one in the field. BBC4, due to close in the next few years as budget cuts forced the BBC to freeze its Conservative government revenge funding, has had to become an archival broadcaster, relying solely on old programmes. .
What’s remarkable in this cloud is that a whole new generation of viewers have been able to watch some classic BBC drama every Wednesday, including Cathy returns home, episodes from the anthology Second City Firsts, a controversial time Oranges are not the only fruit and the magnificence of Alan Bleasdale The boys from The Blackstuff.
Still appearing in this slot is what is arguably the greatest BBC series ever made: Peter Flannery’s nine-part epic Our friends in the North.
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Tracing the lives of four friends in Newcastle from 1964 to 1995, the film provided groundbreaking roles for future James Bond Daniel Craig, Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston, Gina McKee and future Mark Strong.
Sky Arts is also acutely aware of the value of nostalgia. It is currently showing the daily double bills of The story of the unexpected and Alfred Hitchcock Gifts – a great way to capture the early performances of the actors who would become the biggest movie stars of the 70s.
But there is a distinct difference between raiding the archives and scraping the bottom of the bin. Which brings us to RTÉ’s confusing weekend scheduling decisions.
RTÉ1’s main mid-evening deal last Saturday is The best home movies of Mike Murphy, a two-year-old Murphy’s collection of hidden camera skits from his ’70s shows.
On Sunday, it is Killinaskully, feels like it’s been on repeat display for the past two years. If RTÉ is going to step back into the past, there must be something better to repeat.
RTÉ Player carries some of the best series of national television, including comedies The road to freedom and Side story. Not everyone in the country has a reliable fast broadband connection, so why not offer them again on television?
RTÉ has made a number of excellent TV series over the years, alone or in partnership with other broadcasters. Remember Roddy Doyle’s Familyor Mark O’Halloran and Lenny Abrahamson Prosperity?
If there is a permission issue that prevents them from being displayed again, surely there are suitable alternatives? Anything would be better than seeing Gay Byrne tell a Murphy in disguise to perform the twelfth.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/nostalgia-tv-can-be-done-well-but-rte-scrapes-the-barrel-with-mike-murphy-and-killinaskully-41854165.html TV Nostalgia could be done well but RTÉ breaks the box with Mike Murphy and Killinaskully