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The Big Breakfast
April 21, 2001 5:51 AM   Subscribe

The Big Breakfast used to be the cornerstone of British breakfast television. In recent weeks, however, it's been looking a bit limp, the recent sacking of a host being the least of their worries. And although much of the country are looking elsewhere for their morning TV, the head of the network it's on has come out in support. Perhaps he should be looking to the past.
posted by feelinglistless (3 comments total)

 
In the US it's either NBC's Today, or everyone else. NBC has maintained its dominance through shrewd production decisions (e.g. the first show to go to a street-level glassed-in studio; now several do the same), and carefully managed staff transitions. Anyone who becomes a host has spent some time on the show as a newsreader or segment presenter, and probably several fill-ins while other personalities are on vacation or assignment. As a result every change they make appears to be seamless.

A couple of years ago both CBS and ABC went through rocky multiple revamps, in one case sacking everyone and bringing in a prime-time news team, that failed to accomplish much of anything. The only mis-step recently on NBC's part was the disastrous Later Today, which tried to provide a chatty mid-morning alternative to local or syndicated fare, and that has been replaced after just a few months by an (optional for affiliates) extra hour of the regular Today crew. They managed to bury it quickly and quietly ... and nobody really noticed.

Today has lessons for any programmer anywhere to learn.
posted by dhartung at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2001


I lived in England last year and must say that the Big Breakfast was the best morning show I've ever seen thanks in no small part to Johnny Vaughan. It's sad to see it going through some troubles, but I can't imagine it being worth watching without him.
posted by Rockames at 6:25 PM on April 21, 2001


Very True Rockames - when Chris Evans left the Big Breakfast, it took them a long time to recover and find a talented (but little-known) presenter; that was Vaughan.
I think they'll struggle to find a successor once again - and during this interlude the audience just falls off.
Vaughan's chatty opinions and informal wit were quite amusing in the mornings.
posted by williamtry at 2:14 AM on April 22, 2001


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