Rejoice: BBC pulls the plug on Holby Blue

Polish this, you hacks

Polish this, you hacks

That’s one down, two to go.

Original article from Media Guardian

(parenthetical vile sarcasm from yours truly)

The police drama will not be recommissioned for a third series following discussions between the BBC and production companies Kudos and Red Planet, can reveal.

(because they realised that you can only polish a turd if you bronze it first and the Licence Fee doesn’t strech that far)

Recently the cop show spin-off has endured disappointing ratings – despite featuring star names such as Footballers’ Wives actress Zoe Lucker.

(“star names”? You’re having a giraffe! D-List nobodies can’t save you.  Nothing short of George Clooney could rescue this televisual toe-jam)

It comes despite an attempt by the BBC to build audiences for Holby Blue.

(by doing what, exactly? Lowering the standards of writing across the rest of the Corporation? Actually, I might be onto something there)

In March a Holby City storyline continued in Holby Blue the following day, in an attempt by producers to lure some of Holby City’s 7 million viewers over to the spin-off.

(wow! That’s so genre-busting and innovative!)

But it did not give the show the hoped-for ratings boost and in May ITV1 cop drama The Bill lengthened its lead over Holby Blue in the 8pm hour, pulling in 5.1 million viewers and a 25% share, compared with Holby Blue’s 2.9 million viewers and a 14% share.

Perhaps even worse for Holby Blue, it was soundly beaten by BBC2’s popular Springwatch, which averaged 3.6 million viewers when the two went head to head.

(We’d all much rather watch Bill Oddie having a nervous breakdown while being innapropriate with Kate Hamble – THAT’s a quality drama)

Holby Blue is a co-production between Spooks producers Kudos and former EastEnders writer Tony Jordan’s company, Red Planet.

The Red Planet Pictures drama executive, Claire Phillips, said: “Holby Blue set new standards for 8pm dramas, in terms of production values, storytelling and casting.

(Yes – it broke records for how low British telly has fallen from grace)

“We are extremely proud of the 20 hours of Holby Blue that we produced but following discussions with the BBC, the decision has been made not to make a third series.

“Red Planet Pictures’ focus is now on developing shows which will live up to those high standards set out on Holby Blue.”

(That can’t be hard.  I’m guessing 20 hours of the Test Card might beat this arse-candy to a BAFTA)

BBC1 has tried, and failed, to create its own long-running police drama to rival The Bill – City Central lasted three series and Mersey Beat was also axed.

(BBC am Fail.  EPIC FAIL!!!)

And breathe….

Can I light the blue touch-paper when they finally blow-up Television Centre? Can I? Please?

I must confess to having a petty animus against the Holby stable.

When I started out in The Business, I worked on Casualty and Holby City.  The crews were, for the most part, lovely people – talented, dedicated, friendly – just like a good crew should be.

Almost as the Yin to the Yang, the Production Office was staffed by the biggest bunch of self aggrandizing twats you could ever have the misfortune to meet.  Even by Production standards, they were mean.  Even by BBC standards, they were talentless.

Holby City was the first show where I fully understood why so many people hate working for the Beeb.  The “them and us” and “don’t you know who I am” bullshit that pervades The Industry is stronger at the Beeb than anywhere else.

There was one producer who was on set as “the ginger witch” (and a few other, less choice terms).   One day, she stormed onto set and tore the arse off my DoP (Darrel Thornton – bloody lovely bloke).  You’ve never seen anything so funny as a Geordie Grip and and a Glaswegian Best-Boy trying to hold each other back from beating the bitch to a pulp with a honka-bonka.   We must have looked like Laurel and Hardy trying to get through a door at the same time.

Her complaint was that we’d been going over, every night that week – it was all about the overtime.

I swear Darrel got a cheer when he told her that we’d be going over that night as well, as she’s just wasted 10 valuable minutes.  Minutes that she had to pay for.   He then did one of the best “good day to you”/”talk to the hand” walk-offs I’ve ever seen.

Like I said… one down, two to go.

I can dream…


~ by mchawk on 6 August, 2008.

One Response to “Rejoice: BBC pulls the plug on Holby Blue”

  1. I have refused to watch casualty and holby city but i loved holby blue and it stinks that its been axed. I mean what the hell is going on at the beeb?

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