As you’ve probably seen by now, ITV has decided not to show the second episode of the imported drama, Pushing Daisies, as they only allocated eight weeks in which to show the nine-episode series.
According to the news report linked above, ITV claim that the decision was due to the US Writers’ Strike, which meant that only nine episodes (as opposed to the usual 22 or so in a standard US season) were made.
Could they possibly insult their audience’s intelligence on any more levels if they tried?
Leaving aside the arguable idea that you can cheerfully drop a chapter in a series and it have no effect at all (especially given the increased serialisation in US TV shows in recent years), the first episode of Pushing Daisies did really well for ITV when it was shown last Saturday (beaten only by Casualty on BBC1, I think). As it’s fair to say that ITV have struggled to maintain an audience on Saturday nights in recent years due to the success of the revitalised Doctor Who and the ongoing draw of Casualty, you’d think they might be pleased about actually getting some eyeballs. Apparently not.
But the fact that ITV are attributing it to the Writers’ Strike is just nonsense – if the strike hadn’t gone ahead, there would have been 22 episodes for them to schedule, as opposed to nine, which would surely have been worse? Nine into eight almost goes, but 22 into eight? Duh. And, you know, given that they’ve been playing trailers for the series for about a month with the tagline ‘coming soon’ (to the extent that I kind of lost interest, after initial curiosity), could they not have started showing it a week earlier? Or maybe they should have a double-episode ‘finale’ – obviously, they might be reluctant to forego an episode of the not-at-all-padded-out-at-an-hour-long ‘All Star Mr And Mrs’, but I’m sure they could figure something out.
It’s frankly bewildering that ITV would shoot themselves in the ratings foot like this, and then compound it with a statement that is so utterly implausible. Such obvious idiocy reminds me of the old Monty Python line “I’d like to be in programme planning, but unfortunately, I’ve got a degree”…