Why Don't You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead? This was the full programme title of BBC children’s series Why Don’t You? - a mischievous mix of hobbies, handicrafts, days out and general televisual tomfoolery, designed to help us fill the endless school summer holidays during the Seventies and Eighties.
2020欧洲杯网站That slogan has been popping my mind regularly in recent times because right now, we can’t go out and do something less boring instead. Indeed, we risk arrest or becoming a public health menace if we try. Hence it’s no huge surprise that we're all watching a lot more TV at the moment.
2020欧洲杯网站Terrestrial ratings are up. Streaming subscriptions are surging, with Netflix now worth more than ExxonMobil. Catch-up services and DVD boxsets are bigger business than ever. BBC iPlayer had the busiest day in its history last month. Even “watchalongs” - where everybody starts the same programme or film at the same time, often tweeting or blogging along to it live - are becoming increasingly popular as we seek communal experiences while still in lockdown.
2020欧洲杯网站Stats show that households are watching more broadcast TV than they have for years, excluding Christmas. The average number of hours has jumped from 21 to 25 per week since lockdown began. The BBC says we're 44 per cent more linear TV compared with this time last year. The jump is even higher among younger viewers - notoriously tricky for broadcasters to attract in the age of streaming - who are watching 67 per cent more. But what are we watching really? What are the sleeper hits and guilty pleasures of the Great Isolation?
Well, if social media buzz is to be believed, Netflix true-crime freakshow Tiger King has been the cult hit of the coronavirus crisis. With the streaming service’s viewing figures remaining murky at best, though, I suspect it’s a small but very vocal minority who are glued to the stranger-than-fiction story of big cat-crazed convict Joe Exotic.
The latest series of Ricky Gervais' After Life, Brooklyn 99, Better Call Saul and Ozark are also proving popular among Netflix subscribers. New streaming service Disney+ accidentally launched at the ideal time and its flagship show The Mandalorian has been getting Star Wars fans all a-flutter.
It’s boom time for the big mainstream broadcasters, too. On BBC One, The Repair Shop is getting bumper numbers of 6.7m, while dramas The Nest and Normal People have found devoted followings. BBC Two has struck a chord with escapist contest Race Across The World and cerebral one University Challenge.
Over on ITV, "Coughing Major2020欧洲杯网站" drama Quiz became genuine "event TV", Britain’s Got Talent had its biggest launch for three years and the studio audience-free episode of Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway was its most-watched ever. Channel 4 is enjoying blockbuster figures too, with Gogglebox's ratings increasing every week during lockdown and sitcom Friday Night Dinner hitting new highs.
2020欧洲杯网站Meanwhile, Joe Wicks’ workouts are nearly breaking the internet. Many other viewers are immersing themselves in old episodes of Dad’s Army or, in the absence of any British professional sport, rewatching classic matches or becoming strangely fanatical about the Belarus Premier League.
Our craving for shared moments saw millions tune into telethons One World and The Big Night In, while the weekly Clap For Carers has been broadcast on BBC One, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 for the past four Thursdays - something unheard of in British television.
Finally, in these times of uncertainty, information has become the most valuable currency of all. Nightly news bulletins are now drawing in 10m viewers, while the daily government briefings are attracting double or even treble that.
So are you discovering new shows or rewatching old favourites? Are you wrapping yourself up in cosy comfort viewing or drawn to dystopian horrors? Are you watching more news than ever or avoiding it? Addicted to Netflix or rediscovering terrestrial? Downloading films instead of going to the cinema? Cheering yourself up with comedy or escaping into sci-fi or fantasy worlds?
Please use the comments section as a place to chat to each other about what you're watching and share it with your fellow commenters. We’re fascinated to find out, and I'll join the comments section at 12 noon today (Weds May 6).
Perhaps we can’t go out and do something less boring instead - but we can at least watch the good stuff and do so together. See you on the sofa.