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The Voice and Titanic show how TV favours deja vu

20 March 2012 9:30 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

This weekend BBC and ITV launch their most expensive projects of the spring. Both shows repeat a recipe for success

When viewers are asked by newspapers or the BBC Trust to define what they would like to see more of on British television, the answer is invariably the same: more originality and less reliance on familiar formats. This instruction is then handed on to commissioners, who will soon be accused of having ignored it. But, if the schedules are accused of lacking this quality, it may be because the concept of originality in television is so complicated.

This weekend, the two main terrestrial networks launch their most expensive and publicised projects of the spring: The Voice (Saturday 7pm) on BBC1 and Titanic (Sunday 9pm) on ITV1. Yet, though brand new, both shows feel already curiously recognisable. The former is a singing contest which is clearly the corporation's latest attempt (after »

- Mark Lawson

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