FIFTY-SEVEN CHANNELS, Neither Rare Nor Well-Done, forever (Mediocre Grauniad) — The heavily-promoted new series of Mad Men on BBC4 has failed to boost the channel’s ratings, with twenty-four viewers tuning in on Tuesday night, losing out to thirty-six viewers of ITV3’s Ladies of Letters and thirty-three for Sky Three’s reality TV hit I’m The Bottom Of A Barrel, Get Me Out Of Here.
The show was also beaten in the ratings by people’s dogs watching BBC Parliament, a YouTube video of a kitten jumping off a table and a nostalgic DVD of the little white dot fading into the distance you used to get on black-and-white televisions.
Advertisers are leaving in droves, turning down the opportunity to pay 50p for a half-hour infomercial on UKTV Home Shopping 7 and instead giving it to tramps to shout the product’s name at random commuters at bus stops.
TV executives blame BitTorrent downloads and the existence of computers in general for the decline in viewing figures and asked again for a chunk of the BBC license fee and a tax on all Internet connections, to be paid directly to them. And a pony. “Just keep giving us money, we’ll tell you when it’s enough.”
Blue Peter (fifty-eight viewers) will run tomorrow a special on how to make television ratings out of string, cheese, toilet rolls and cat litter. A grown-up will need to handle the scissors.