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`So the Big Breakfast formula has failed what will we replace it with?' `Errrr, How about a Big Breakfast style morning show!' `yeah, that'll work'
When The Big Breakfast finally died, channel four ran old episodes of Futurama and I Dream of Genie in the weekday breakfast slot for a while before launching Rise. A group of presenters give news, gossip, opinion and jokes from behind a long desk, with a sports, headlines and weather coming from in front of a large screen.
I must be honest and say that I liked the first style of Rise. It wasn't great but at least it was different after years of channel 4 giving us the Big Breakfast formula endlessly re-cooked with different presenters until it died. It was a little different (although really just stolen from America) and it had a mix of energy yet structure whereas the Big Breakfast drove more off energy with a sort of mob-rule to it. Sadly this didn't really take off so channel 4 kept the brand name (Rise) but changed the formula. Now guess what they changed it to?
Imagine a boardroom of channel 4 execs. The only successful morning show they've really had is The Big Breakfast. Ignoring the fact that it was fresh once but went downhill quickly the execs decided that to simply rehash this same formula would win ratings despite the fact that the same formula had been axed less than a year prior! So in come Iain Lee and the girl from Big Brother 3 to mug around, deliver cr*p jokes and interview guests. The lack of genuine humour and wit is made all the more evident by the Big Breakfast style `posse' of handers on and cameramen etc who all laugh hysterically whenever anything approaching a joke is heard.
The guests are quite amusing. Rise has never manage to get big guests unless they are simply not aware of how many viewers channel 4 gets at 8am on a weekday. So the UK guests will tend to be average pop groups etc while the `bigger' guests will be clearly bemused by the sheer haphazardness of the whole damn affair. It makes for a sorry sight and the method of interviewing the same people again every 20 minutes (the assumption being that the audience is a transient one at that time of the morning) makes for an unintentionally funny thing. As Denis Leary said when being asked the same question for the third time that morning `well, as I said 20 minutes ago ..' the nervous laughter from the presenters was worth watching the show for on that one!
Out of the two formats I not only preferred the formula of the first but also the presenters. Lee was funny once (on the first series of the 11oclock show) but not since then. And his most recent addition as co-presenter (the winner of last years Big Brother) just shows how low the standard has fallen. Regular presenters for segments include a horrid pair of gossip hounds who clearly have wear and, indeed, tear on their faces as they sit and cackle over their exploits on the party circuit several hours before coming on air.
On terrestrial tv BBC1 has the monopoly on the series news. BBC2 is a mix of kids programmes and filler, ITV has the gossip/news formula, channel 5 has even secured an audience with some well chosen American TV shows for kids (Bear in Blue House) but channel 4 has yet to find a niche. Sadly what they have is this awful `youf' programming agenda that simply doesn't work and thus doesn't get an audience. Personally I believe they need to accept that they will have a low audience share at this time and therefore really take a risk and do something different why not, it's not like the audience can get any smaller! But to keep cranking out this sub-Big Breakfast rubbish years after the audience has abandoned it is not only stupid and pointless, it's straight up insulting to the audience.
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