This has been a subject I have been meaning to touch on for some time now. And thanks to We Got This Covered, I have the platform to do so.
For those that don’t know, I live in the UK, and thoroughly enjoy the TV that this country produces. However, I have long been a fan of American TV, and I feel that it has produced some of the best TV ever made.
Now, don’t get me wrong, we get a lot of US television shown over here. But it is invariably shown many weeks, if not months after its original US broadcast. Now, call me impatient, but I just hate having to wait for something. And the TV channels over here have a habit of taking huge breaks in the middle of a season, meaning the series runs even further behind.
Couple that with some shows only being shown for a couple of seasons, and then inexplicably dropped, while they still continue in the US, and you will see how the frustration grows.
Let me give you another example. One of my (and my wife’s) favourite recent shows has been the excellent Person of Interest, which recently completed its first season. And it only recently been announced that it will be shown in the UK, sometime later this year. The first episode aired in the US on 22 September 2011, and the UK will not see this episode until probably July, at the earliest.
That’s a wait of almost one year.
This might come across as a bit ungrateful. I mean, it’s not as if I have to pay for the show. It will be broadcast on a free to air channel, and I would be able to see it. But I have no faith that it will be shown in its entirety without some unexplained break right in the middle of the season. Why should I have to wait to enjoy something, when there are other options available?
Another problem exists with shows that are shown on Satellite TV over here. I remember when Mad Men was shown over here on a free channel, but then the rights were sold to a satellite broadcaster. This meant that fans of the show had to pay to get a satellite system installed and then pay a monthly subscription if they wanted to carry on watching. Either that, or they were forced to stop watching it.
Or, they could ‘illegally’ download the show for free, without any annoying adverts too!!
I’m not going to say that downloading television illegally is right, because it isn’t, but I can see how one would feel forced into doing so.
Should you really be made to feel bad about it even if you do download? Most of the top US TV shows are shown on the big free-to-air networks, so US citizens don’t have to pay to watch them. So, is it really that bad if someone in the UK downloads it for free the next morning?
I think TV networks need to get their act together. Why viewers in the UK have to wait almost a year for something to be broadcast over here is beyond a joke. Why the delay?
And the frustration continues over here when, at the end of a season we will hear the words: “and the new series of The Big Bang Theory will be back in the Autumn”. When? Why so vague with your dates? We are just left hanging as to when we get to see the new season.
That’s a big difference in the UK with the way our TV works. We don’t have ‘seasons’. We don’t have a whole load of shows always starting in the Fall. And a lot of our best shows only run for 6-8 episodes per series. Not like US shows which can have 20 or more episodes. There is no reliability as to when our own shows will return, let alone our American favourites.
I just feel that we get a rough deal on this side of the Atlantic. Loads of American TV shows have huge followings, but fans are often left feeling let down by networks.
There is some great TV being made in America, and I want access to it. Is that too much to ask?