Friday, March 12, 2010

Fellowes attacks TV's 'cult of youth'

Another complaint about TV execs being obsessed with the youth audience, this time from Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes speaking at an event run by Broadcast magazine.
Fellowes said that TV, like much of culture in general, was run by the children of the 1960s who got swept up in the “cult of youth and “want to think they’re still young at heart”.

“One of the agreeable things about TV is that it is for an older, more adult audience,” he said. “With a lot of TV commissioners, you hear them thinking about a youth audience, but very few of them watch TV in the traditional way. I can’t tell you the number of discussion I’ve had about this mythical youth audience. It fascinates me that very few TV executives seem to feel empowered to embrace the older audience.”


  1. Christopher Neame5:49 pm

    How right Julian Fellowes is - simple really when you think about it...

  2. Anonymous6:25 pm

    These 'Tristrams' live with heads buried in the sand! Youth doesn't watch TV, Youth surfs the internet!
    Maurice Jordan

  3. Anonymous8:11 am

    I couldn't disagree more. Julian Fellows sounds like a bitter Writer who's been lucky enough to find success, he feels, too late in life. I work with 21 year olds and they definitely watch TV and, talking to them, you can see how it has defined and shaped their lives so far – despite the fact they are the first generation to grow up with the internet.

    Looking across the BBC 1 and 2's output for yesterday evening, I see Masterchef, Eastenders, Jonathan Ross, The National Lottery Draw, Eggheads, Antiques Road Trip, Gardener's World, Mastercrafts with Monty Don, Newsnight, Newsnight Review... *pauses to laugh* Where is the 'cult of youth' in all that? You have to work hard to find face under forty in any of these shows! The only exception is the The Bubble – high concept, low budget, generic comedy panel show stranded between Mastercrafts and Newsnight! And don't give me BBC3. While 3 was showing Top Gear (YOUNGEST presenter, 41), Eastenders (again), American import Family Guy and reruns of Two Pints of Lager, BBC 4 had a new series of Sacred Music plus repeats of the Blues Britannia series – which, frankly, as a thirtysomething who wasn't even BORN when most of the featured artists were working, appeals to me more than anything else that was on TV last night.

    As for the poor teenage viewers... Well, BBC Switch is about to get the chop so, once again, we find nothing on the BBC and precious little British television content elsewhere aimed directly at youths aged between 12 and 18. The argument is that 12 year olds watch adult programmes (and they do watch Desperate Housewives, The Wire, Skins, Misfits [thank goodness for Channel 4] etc. – things which get a 15 or an 18 certificate when they are released on DVD Are you comfortable with that?). But, since the BBC is supposed to create programmes for everyone, this attitude seems ridiculous – like saying no programmes need to be made for anyone over 50 because they will watch anything aimed at a younger audience.

    I can understand someone getting irritated by the number of 'kidults' working in TV but I don't think that's any reason to attack the wish to engage with our young people – an audience now totally cut out of public service broadcasting.

    Davey Moore

  4. Anonymous5:53 pm

    I think the point he is trying to make is that producers like the characters in drama to be young and sexy. Who wants to see mature love? It would be nice to see women of a certain age represented better on the box, then as the crusty old mother or the sobbing wife.(apart from soap - er continuing drama) Next to the tweenies they are the next poorly represented group on tv.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.