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Bringer Of Funerals 10th March 2013 11:35 AM

Is USA TV Far Superior To UK TV?
I now believe that the standard of tv in America is better than the tv shows in Britian, Americans have superb drama/cops/thriller shows like CSI/Miami/New York, Dexter, The Wire, The Shield, Dexter, NCIS, good comedy shows like Two & Half Men, King Of Queens, Scrubs etc, we have The Street(superb), New Tricks(ok), this is programmes on this week, sruggle to think of anything else,and we struggle to make any good new comedy shows, I might be wrong we still make good costume series Cranford etc, would be interested in your views.

Zann 10th March 2013 01:21 PM

They have their fair share of shit too, endless adverts peddling drugs with lightning fast alarming disclaimers and no BBC.

pedromonkey 10th March 2013 03:22 PM

The U.S have the budgets to make big shows, look at shows like LOST, 24, Supernatural, Smallville, Mad Men, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad..etc. The U.K does not have those kind of budgets but we do have fantastic writers. If you look at some of the shows that CH4 have given us in the last few years, UTOPIA, BLACK MIRROR and Dead Set (the latter two from the same writer) and stuff from Sky like Hit & Miss, they are well written shows but do suffer from lower budgets. unfortunately the BBC and ITV still cater to the older generation with shows like the god awful New Tricks, Downton Abby and however many other cop shows/period drama's that they make. the average length for a single season of a network show is 23 episodes at 42 minutes per episode, the average length for a U.K show is 6-13 episodes and they average 60 minutes per episodes, when you look at the shows that try to emulate the style of U.S TV they tend to look cheap, Primeval and Doctor Who, which although they are quite popular, they are essentially kids shows, dinos and aliens. I would say that the U.S is superior in the amount of shows that they have but the U.K is superior in the writing.

Does this make sense?

Andra Jai 10th March 2013 03:31 PM

When they get it right there are some excellent shows such as walking dead, game of thrones and prison break being some of my favorites, however you only have to compare our life on mars series with their so called remake of it to see that sometimes they can also get it very wrong.

That being said do the US viewers have to suffer as much cheap reality bs that we have to endure here?

Slippery Jack 10th March 2013 03:34 PM


Originally Posted by sam tyler (Post 326845)
That being said do the US viewers have to suffer as much cheap reality bs that we have to endure here?

From the bits I see on Charlie Brooker's shows, it's much, much worse :eek: . . .

platostotal 10th March 2013 05:29 PM

Public tv in the States is close to the style of bbc, but the constant add breaks(one wit called American sports coverage "commercials interupted by small segments of sport") would drive me to radio, of wich we brits win hands down.

Bringer Of Funerals 2nd April 2013 08:05 PM

I also think US TV is better to a degree because it has more money thrown at it but t6he shows seem to be cancelled more then UK shows

Nemesis 2nd April 2013 08:57 PM

No - for the most part, I actually don't think US tv is better. It's certainly different and the US can do certain genres better than the UK e.g action and Sc-fi due to budget. But I think that the US networks with their 24 episode per season structure and five + season arc always tend to spoil it. The story must serve the schedules when it should be the other way around. What may have been terrific in its first season is usually spent by the end - for instance, 24 was a pale shadow of itself by its last season and I don't know that many who thought Lost delivered on the promise it had when it began. The Wire and The Shield are exceptions but I find it hard to finish them and I still cannot; to be honest the one US show I found to be consistently good was Babylon 5.

I am grateful to HBO for Game of Thrones though - that's something the BBC and ITV could never accomplish with their budgets.

As to our shows, I think that we've got some gems - Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes (admittedly, it ended better than it started), Cracker (last couple of episodes are perhaps not the best), Morse and Lewis etc. Waking the Dead had some bumpy mid-seasons, but I thought it ended strongly. I'm also pro New Tricks - it had a terrific pilot and a very good first season.

I think the big question to ask though is why we're not as good as we used to be. There's tons of gems from the 60s and 70s that puts modern tv, both US and UK, to shame: The Prisoner, Sandbaggers, Thriller, Tales of the Unexpected, The Sweeney, Callan etc. Even the late 70s and 80s had productions that could not be rivalled - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and House of Cards.

Demdike@Cult Labs 2nd April 2013 09:16 PM

An interesting subject this.

I think the UK's problem is the lack of money to make new shows. Itv are having troubles due to lack of advertising revenues so nearly always go for the cheap option, be it horrible talent(less) shows or Downton Abbey style shows where the sets are already built with our wonderful history.

The BBC seems to try more giving us Doctor Who, Merlin, Being Human, Atlantis, but are limited again by finance.

I was reading recently that The Mill who did the sfx for Doctor Who and other shows are shutting down their UK operations because of lack of projects in the near future. Unfortunately special effects cost money to look convincing, so again if you want drama then costume, detective shows etc are always cheaper.

As others have said we have great writers in this country and thats why Doctor Who always beats its US competition in the HUGO awards.

Prince_Vajda 2nd April 2013 09:24 PM

All I know is that German TV sucks. :coolblue:

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