Why is R4 doing so many short (4 episode) seasons?

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DanBC

  • Monday 5th October 2015, 8:43pm
  • CHELTENHAM, United Kingdom
  • 2 posts

I've noticed that Radio Four is doing a lot of short seasons of 4 episodes each. There's a bunch of stuff that I was listening to, just getting used to the characters and situations, and bamn it's finished, let's hope it gets renewed.

so: If this a new thing, and why? Or is it something they've always done and I just never noticed?

The churn is good because it gets so many news things onto radio. But they probably need to make radio iPlayer searching easier and better.

(I did try to search for this! I have no idea what words to use. Here's the only thread I found. https://www.comedy.co.uk/forums/thread/17748#P622125 )

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TheBlueNun

  • Tuesday 6th October 2015, 8:22am
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,541 posts
Quote: DanBC @ 5th October 2015, 8:43 PM BST I've noticed that Radio Four is doing a lot of short seasons of 4 episodes each. There's a bunch of stuff that I was listening to, just getting used to the characters and situations, and bamn it's finished, let's hope it gets renewed.

so: If this a new thing, and why? Or is it something they've always done and I just never noticed?

The churn is good because it gets so many news things onto radio. But they probably need to make radio iPlayer searching easier and better.

(I did try to search for this! I have no idea what words to use. Here's the only thread I found. https://www.comedy.co.uk/forums/thread/17748#P622125 )

I'm guessing that your comment about churn is entirely correct. There is also the concept of seemingly copying BBC4, which I've often thought to be R4's televisual twin? I quite like the new and improved BBC iPlayer though, especially the download facility. I find some gems on there though, such as a Radio Solent programme about One Foot In The Grave.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Tuesday 6th October 2015, 12:02pm [Edited]
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,394 posts

There aren't enough good shows. If you are Bleak Expectations or Cabin Pressure you probably deserve a long series. If you aren't, you don't. Where this leaves something like Ed Reardon's Week, I'm not sure.

It seems that length of TV series are getting shorter. Shameless had about 12 episodes, but No Offence only had about six.

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Alexei Q

  • Thursday 8th October 2015, 12:26pm
  • England
  • 92 posts

Yep, I've been enjoying Reluctant Persuaders. I looked on the website to see when episode 5 was playing to find there isn't one. Shame as it's one of the very few new R4 sitcoms in recent years that's funny

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TonyT

  • Friday 30th October 2015, 10:21pm
  • Barnsley, England
  • 149 posts

I've seen this a number of times and it always appeared to be on series one. I'd presumed the good stuff that got a second series got 6 episodes going forward.

Examples being "Tom Wrigglesworths Hang Ups" and "It's a Fair Cop".

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misfit

  • Monday 2nd November 2015, 7:10pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 45 posts

I agree there are a number of these but I also think there is a lot of quality at the moment. I have been listening to the new Andrew Lawrence sitcom There Is No Escape and seeing his live show I did not think he had this in him and also the very new Lucy Beaumont's To Hull And Back as a few old gags but also some very funny lines and when you draft in Maureen Lipman it is a winner.

Someone has already mentioned Reluctant Persuaders.

Although not sitcom I have also been enjoying Robert Newman and this may not be for all but I also like Shedtown. I think Tony Pitts is an underrated writer. It is gentle comedy. Also on Sunday eves a month or so back they managed to bring back Absolutely which I enjoyed too.

Quote: TonyT @ 30th October 2015, 10:21 PM GMT I've seen this a number of times and it always appeared to be on series one. I'd presumed the good stuff that got a second series got 6 episodes going forward.

Examples being "Tom Wrigglesworths Hang Ups" and "It's a Fair Cop".

I enjoyed both of these too.

Quote: Paul Wimsett @ 6th October 2015, 12:02 PM BST There aren't enough good shows. If you are Bleak Expectations or Cabin Pressure you probably deserve a long series. If you aren't, you don't. Where this leaves something like Ed Reardon's Week, I'm not sure.

It seems that length of TV series are getting shorter. Shameless had about 12 episodes, but No Offence only had about six.

They tried Bleak Expectations on the TV but it just did not work as well.

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italophile

  • Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 7:32am
  • Italy
  • 214 posts

I tried There Is No Escape again. It's just so one-note. Still, nice to hear Graham Fellows outside his John Shuttleworth persona.

I really like To Hull And Back. She achieves a lovely balance between silly, very funny, and sad and touching.

Bleak Expectations was always going to be a massive challenge in its TV form, even if they claimed it wasn't BE in TV form. It was, in style anyway. The original is/was perfect radio material because it let the listeners' imaginations run riot. TV can be so much more literal, something they didn't overcome, especially with its sluggish, conventional direction. What sang on the radio became a dirge on the screen.

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Tony Cowards

  • Tuesday 3rd November 2015, 10:21am
  • Wiltshire, England
  • 1,762 posts
Quote: italophile @ 3rd November 2015, 7:32 AM GMT I tried There Is No Escape again. It's just so one-note. Still, nice to hear Graham Fellows outside his John Shuttleworth persona.

I thought it was brave of them to try to remake "Hancock's Half Hour".

;)