28 December 2012 2:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The biggest concern for the medium is the lack of a fresh format or genre to replace the talent and endurance competitions that have dominated the past decade

As recently as October, it seemed easy to predict two major themes of pieces looking back at the television of 2012. One subject would be a triumphant 12 months for the BBC – as acclaimed Olympic coverage coincided with the post-phone-hacking and mid-Leveson crushing of its ancient rival, Rupert Murdoch – and the other would be the clear superiority of Homeland to UK and even Scandinavian drama.

In the final quarter of the year though, both arguments startlingly reversed. The ITV documentary Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile has a strong claim to be the most publicly influential TV programme since the 1966 drama-doc Cathy Come Home triggered new attitudes towards the homeless. In this case, the effect was even more seismic, although less positive: more »

- Mark Lawson

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