BBC Three’s scheduling: real genius

I really don’t understand the scheduling on BBC Three (so-called because three is the number of good programmes on the channel). On the one hand, they fill their schedules to the brim with repeats, and repeats of repeats. I can understand this because BBC Three has a low budget.

It also fills its pre-watershed (and increasingly its post-watershed) hours with terrible programmes with that woman telling parents how to do their job. I can also understand this, because BBC Three’s target audience likes lots of swearing, and you can’t say “fuck” before the watershed, unless you’re a six year old kid, in which case you get thrown into a room on your own by a woman who is being given instructions through an earpiece.

So when BBC Three gets new comedy programmes coming in, why do they broadcast them at such weird hours. The BBC Three repeat is of course Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. It is to BBC Three what Friends is to Channel 4, Only Fools and Horses is to BBC One and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is to BBC Two. People never get tired of watching them apparently.

The new series of Two Pints is being trailed quite extensively, with extra emphasis on the newness of it all (no doubt they’ll slap a ‘BRAND NEW’ DOG all over it, because that is what you have to do if you endlessly repeat the same programme over and over again). We can assume that the new series Two Pints is the biggest thing for BBC Three since series 2 of Little Britain (Two Pints is a bit like Little Britain, except none of the other channels want it).

So what high-profile time are they putting it on at? Sunday at 10pm. Nobody watches television at that time. That’s why BBC One put Panorama there; it’s why ITV1 put The South Bank Show there; it’s why BBC Two have put every single duff comedy they have ever had there.

I don’t suppose it matters much, given that it will be repeated for ever and ever until the next series comes along in a year or so. But BBC Three is a serial offender. Series 2 of The Mighty Boosh — which is easily the best comedy programme of the past few years; just about the only good thing BBC Three has — was shown at 11pm. Tumbleweed-o-rama. Even when it comes to repeating programmes, BBC Three’s behaviour puzzles me. Monkey Dust, the only other decent programme on the channel, was hardly ever repeated.

Next week sees another new progamme coming to BBC Three — Matt Berry’s and Rich Fulcher’s new programme, Snuff Box. Not only is this being shoved in at 11pm, The Mighty Boosh actors’ sketch show is clashing with repeat run of The Mighty Boosh on BBC Two. It must take real genius to schedule these programmes to clash.

As for Snuff Box itself, it might turn out to be rubbish. There is a clip here which is quite amusing although nothing special — I did laugh at the ‘parking lot’ bit though (only because I could predict the lyrics though I think)! It could be half an hour of pure whimsy (not unlike The Boosh then!), which could be good, or not. I’ll watch with interest.

9 comments

  1. BBC Three has the potential of being a really good channel – the basic premis is really good in theory, unfortunatly they haven’t managed to put that theory into practice.

    Although if you look at the BBC Commissioning page for BBC THREE you will find that they have a number of big ideas that could work out well.

    I’ve watched Two Pints… on the BBC THREE website (something they like to do a lot) and it may well turn out to be a fairly good series.

  2. Yeah. I should point out that I actually quite like Two Pints (in a kind of ‘if it’s on, I’ll watch it’ way), in case my post suggested otherwise!

  3. I know exactly what you mean. The thing I can’t figure out is how the BBC haven’t figured out that it’s scheduling is pretty moronic. Not only, as you noted yourself, did ‘Snuff Box ‘ clash with The Boosh, they were both aired at silly o’clock.
    Then you have the advertising campaigns for the shows it commisions. Some new shows hardly receive any space on the BBC’s own channels unless it happens to be ‘Two Pints…’ or Little Britain which, like all sketch shows, heavily relies on the same characters and becomes boringly repetetive.
    Sort it out Beeb. With the programmes you’ve got at your disposal and the amount of hours you’ve got in a week it shouldn’t really be that hard.

  4. scheduling the mighty against snuff was clearly a gesture to give snuff a cult audience, for those who want to be hip to the pulse of what’s happening RIGHT NOW in comedy.

    Sadly snuff isn’t it .

    2 episodes in and i haven’t spotted a joke yet. it’s jam lite, usual bbc 3 unfunny vanity project, very self indulgent played. imagine if the bbc in an attempt to be cutting edge just threw money at any comedy show that could pitch itself as the new big thing and didn’t have a decent gag between them oh that’s already happened a lot recently

  5. snuff box so far so poor so very very poor-why

    the boring and unimaginative constant swearing, if your show is on late because you swear, you should at least use expletives inventively and for a reason. snuff box doesn’t need f… every five minutes it needs some c…t winking jokes.

    dr wee surely you won’t be fooled by this self indulgent, repeatitive,jam wannabe just because of it’s a victoriana meets derek clive style which all other netters and nutters think is the 2nd coming and i know is a quarter pint of w*nk

  6. Are you people stark raving mad??

    Snuff box is THE funniest show to appear for a very, very long time.
    You never know from one moment to the next if the characters will say something damn funny, burst into song or turn vulgar. Its fantastic – from the great sounding intro, to the fantastic twist they add to the end song each episode.

    I pray that a second series of this show is comissioned straight away and the first released on DVD asap. Hell, id even like to buy a cd of the theme songs.

    Also, id like to say that two pints is the most boring, obvious peice of crap ive seen since they tried to remake Married with children in the uk staring Russ Abbot.

  7. I have to say I agree with jamin, I actually fell upon this page through looking for snuffbox related items. *smiles*.

    The show is very surreal and often you can’t tell whats gonna happen next. The two guys who act it all out contrast brilliantly and their running jokes have me laughing every time.

  8. what song was played at the end of the episode of two pints of lager last night (23.6.07) ?