Graham agrees that the revolution won’t be televised …
In 1989, UK TV viewers experienced a revolution — satellite channels broke the wired TV monopoly. US viewers have been used to a wider variety for years. But now some of the best shows around — Westworld, Stranger Things, Transparent — are on media channels new to everyone. And if you’re watching them, you’ve had to change the way you watch.
Across the board, much of the creative energy now seems to be in fee-paying TV. If the quality of Amazon Originals is depressing for those opposed to the company, then opponents of Rupert Murdoch must find themselves torn by the confirmation this year that his UK television interests (soon to be under his sole control if the government agrees the 21st Century Fox takeover of part-owned Sky) now have an artistic strength to match their economic clout.
Sky, which in the past often led its programming with products (football, cricket, Mad Men, The Simpsons) expensively nicked from terrestrial channels, now regularly has original content that traditional networks would envy. A particular source of strength is its investment in the HBO dramas that show on Sky Atlantic, such as The Night Of, The Young Pope and Westworld (all new this year) and the continuing Game of Thrones.
John, meanwhile sees a silver lining …
… The fact that Jeremy Clarkson will no longer be pushed down my throat by the BBC and that I now have to actually go find him to listen to his misogynistic, banal, claptrap is the most positive thing to have happened in 2016.
And as for Rupert finally getting his dirty mitts on Sky – how soon we forget.