Been a long time since I’ve seen the latenight commercials for the Ronco Inside the Shell Electric Egg Scrambler, Ron Popeil’s Pocket Fisherman or the Ginsu knives that could cut a metal can in half and still be sharp enough to slice a tomato to perfection. We’ve all seen the music compilation CD’s or DVD’s by that classic group, The Original Artists.
Finally, after endless years of infomercials, all advertising things you don’t really need, something for the ultimate Downton Abbey fan, as compiled by Mr. Carson, the butler. You know Carson. He’s in charge of the pantry, wine cellar and dining room, and the male staff report to him. Carson has worked at Downton Abbey since he was a boy. He is also endlessly nostalgic for the way things were. so, what better qualifies him to bring you A Very Carson Christmas. Seen on last week’s Friday with Jonathan Ross program, this will quickly become THE Christmas CD in the coming year. Remember, only 360 days until Christmas 2012.
After you order, remember that series 2 of Downton Abbey premieres as part of the PBS Masterpiece series on Sunday, January 8, 2012. Cheers.
With the States in the final days until the premiere of the second series of Downton Abbey on PBS’ Masterpiece and the UK only days removed from the Christmas Day conclusion of series 2 on ITV, it seems only fitting that the BBC has begun to fight back against those in the post-Downton Abbey era that think there’s a new sheriff in town when it comes to quality drama both with ITV (Downton Abbey) and Sky Atlantic which bring the likes of American drama imports such as The Wire, Boardwalk Empire and Mad Men across the pond.
With that, Ben Stephenson,controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, commented recently that, “…It’s about fighting back against any perception that we don’t make the best drama in the world.” The recent announcement of Birdsong, which stars Clemence Poesy (Harry Potter) and Eddie Redmayne in the two-part television adaptation of Sebastian Faulks’ 1993 novel, will attempt do just that. “Birdsong will be a signal of intent in terms of the scope and ambition of BBC One drama”, added Stephenson.
Given the strong critical-acclaim and high audience numbers in the UK this past week for the BBC production of Great Expectations and the announcement of Birdsong for 2012 broadcast, the BBC is primed and ready to reclaim their place as creators of the best drama in the world. PBS Masterpiece viewers be alerted that Great Expectations will air beginning April 1, 2012 and Birdsong is tentatively scheduled for an April 22, 2012 premiere.
This just in from Geek Alerts: Gadgets for Geeks. Doctor Who visited Oz? I know. Had no idea. I guess the good thing to come out of all of this is that Dorothy won’t have to worry about a guilty conscience over killing a witch any longer. Finally, the When Worlds Collide: Doctor Who Meets Wizard of Oz T-Shirt reveals what we have known for some time. The Doctor beat her to it.
The ultimate ‘mash-uhp’
I know. I know. It’s a term that is supposed to be reserved for music, web applications or videos that combines clips from several different sources. But, in this case, I think it’s perfect. This is the geekism at its finest. Still can’t find a Christmas gift for the hard to buy for geek in the family? Not to worry. Mike Jacobsen has designed the ultimate geek mashup for fans of both series over at Neatoshop. Be the first on your block to get one. All the cool kids will have one….
Downton Abbey may very well be the darling of the 2011 television season on both sides of the pond, but the critically-acclaimed, viewer mega-hit from ITV couldn’t quite muster the audience on Christmas Day, finishing in fourth place against the perennial Christmas ratings winners, Eastenders (BBC), Coronation Street (ITV) and Doctor Who (BBC). Some immediately pointed to the excessive number of commercials in the two-hour special, which was set over Christmas and New Year in 1919 and 1920 as the reason for the decline.
For longer than I can remember, telly on Christmas Day in the UK has been probably the most important day of the year in the minds of both broadcasters and viewers. It’s the day where traditional juggernauts film Christmas-themed episodes, ,Viewing figures were down across the board this year from 2010 totals. Tradition seemed to win out this year as both the BBC with an AbFab return and ITV with Downton Abbey fell short in overall numbers as compared to long-running soaps (Eastenders, Coronation Street) and The Queen’s annual Christmas message. While the numbers for DA were well below the November conclusion of series 2, ITV did record its best viewing figures since 2004 while the BBC secured 7 of the top 10 slots on Christmas Day.
FYI, viewers in the States, as usual, won’t have to worry about those pesky adverts as both series 2 AND the Christmas special will air uninterrupted and commercial-free beginning Sunday, January 8, 2012 on PBS. Cheers.
2011 Christmas Day viewing figures
EastEnders – BBC One – 9.9 million
Coronation Street – ITV – 9.0 million
Doctor Who – BBC One – 8.9 million
Downton Abbey – ITV – 8.1 million
Queen’s Speech – BBC One and ITV – 8.2 million (combined)
Strictly Come Dancing – BBC One – 7.5 million
Absolutely Fabulous – BBC One – 7.4 million
The Gruffalo’s Child – BBC One – 6.5 million
Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow – BBC One – 6.4 million
Emmerdale – ITV – 6.2 million
Source: BARB overnight figures, based on 15-minute peaks and average viewers over entire shows
Doing a bit of Sherlock work on and around the Internets, post-Downton Abbey Christmas special, post-Doctor Who Christmas genius and post-Eastenders Christmas, one realizes that time does not stop for Boxing Day.
Telly fans in the UK have now set their sights on the 1 January premiere of the Steven Moffat, Mark Gatiss brilliant second season of Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. But there is much more to look forward to in 2012 on both sides of the pond and some 2011 fun stuff to already look back on while we collectively wait for 1 January. Before we hit the ‘empty cache’ button, here are some bits and bobs we found over the last couple of days….
Helen Mirren – the 12th Doctor?
What could possibly be the next step for an Oscar-winning actress who has been a Mossad agent, a retired CIA operative, a DCI, The Queen and, the voice of Deep Thought in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy? The first female Doctor, of course. Helen Mirren would love to be the next Doctor Who according to a recent interview in the Daily Star. While it was announced recently that Amy and Rory would be leaving, MIrren has her sights on becoming the first female Traveling Time Lord and not merely ‘his’ companion. Now that we know it’s possible, I’m all for it. You?
Red Dwarf X report from Shepperton
With two shows down and four to go, all reports from those that have been in attendance point to RDX being is the funniest since 1993. Thankfully, for those unlucky enough to not be in attendance either of the past two weeks, the official Red Dwarf site offers this report – with pictures – of the first live studio audience recording in thirteen years. The consensus after the initial filming? Based on this first episode, Red Dwarf X is a series, …refreshed and revitalised, looking with trademark sharpness and depth to the future as much as to the past.
Dalek Christmas Tree
Sean Fallon over at MSNBC’s Gadgetbox went on a worldwide search recently, to find the nerdiest Christmas tree on the planet. While the one with ties to ‘the Doctor’ didn’t win the nerdiest title, it did crack the top-10. I’m ok that the Darth Vader tree, but having a bit of trouble with the thought that both Super Mario and Facebook finished ahead of our love-em or hate-em Daleks. Really?