The Creeping Terror
Another death knell is sounded for early hours TV programming as the Quiz Call channel gets its own weekly slot on Five.
Viewers still watching Five after last Saturday's showing of Eyes Wide Shut might've had something of a nasty surprise, especially those expecting the scheduled repeat of Law And Order. Instead, anyone still awake in the wee hours of Sunday morning would have found themselves greeted with the unnerving sight of another "Participation TV" channel insinuating its way onto terrestrial airtime. This time, it's the Channel 4-owned Quiz Call which has chosen to set-up shop on its rival's turf.
This is nothing new, of course. Anyone reading this will no doubt be aware of ITV1's recent abandonment of its early morning scheduling in favour of a daily four hours of Quizmania, and latterly, The Mint. Quiz Call is currently only running once a week, but I can't help thinking this sets a very worrying precedent. Just the fact that two terrestrial channels are prepared to run this kind of programming should surely be a cause for concern.
After all, what does it say about the level of quality control on the commercial channels that they're happy to run with four hours of utterly worthless dreck just to bring a few extra pounds in?
God help me, but I do miss the bizarre hotchpotch of programming you used to find during the post-midnight hours on ITV. No-budget sketch-shows, failed soap-operas, cancelled US imports(all for some reason featuring Eric Close). Okay, you could argue that it's no great loss if you never have to see Shoot The Writers again. But call me a fool if I still can't help getting a little misty-eyed over the fact that all those shows have now disappeared into the ether for good. Perhaps just because the alternative is so grim, but there you go. I mean, surely Dare To Believe wasn't that bad?