Who Killed Saturday Night TV? (2004)

TV Movie   |    |  Documentary


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14 August 2004 | Theo Robertson
| Nostalgia Isn't What It Was
This is very flawed as a documentary though very interesting as a nostalgia piece tracing the history of how Saturday night was the most watched night of television in Britain in the 1970s but ended up becoming the least watched by the 1990s .

It's flawed because it doesn't really come up with a conclusive answer as to why though it does suggest audiences are more sophisticated and have more choice via satellite TV channels . It's also flawed because it does miss out facts like the BBC didn't start it's early evening schedule in the mid 70s with THE GENERATION GAME , it started its schedule with DOCTOR WHO which would often appear in the top ten ratings for that week . Likewise the documentary insinuates WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE has been part of Saturday nights . That may well be the case for the last couple of years but not when the show started in the late 1990s when it was broadcast on 8 consecutive nights every couple of months , then 3 times a night from early autumn to late spring . Oh and how would Saturday NIGHT LIVE with its young trendy alternative comedians rival the early evening light entertainment shows when it's broadcast at 11 pm ?

It's little details like that spoil this documentary but like I said it's a superb nostalgia piece which shows us nostalgia isn't what it was . Anyone remember Little and Large ? That's the comedy duo with the two straight men one of whom was fat while the other one was undernourished . Here we see a clip of them as Laurel and Hardy trying to fix a car in a slapstick way . Crapstick would be a better expression of their pathetic routine . ITV had their own version of a two straight men comedy duo called Cannon and Ball . Laugh ? I thought I'd never start and I didn't , so don't kid yourself about " The good old days " because they often weren't all that good .

There's interesting bits of information amongst the unfunny pratfalls . We see a pilot for BLIND DATE that instead of Cilla Black as presenter has that 1980s camp comedian with the " Oh gone on chase me , chase me " catchphrase , and we learn that the producer of GAME FOR A LAUGH originally tried to sell the format to the BBC who weren't interested

All in all a documentary that will have you saying to yourself " Oh I remember watching that in 1982 - It was crap . Nostalgia isn't what it used to be "

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Release Date:

10 July 2004



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