Thinking more about Sunday Night Telly (TM), particularly in light of some of your comments, it’s clear that it was once, more so than any other, the night that had the most palpable associations with watching TV. More so than Saturday night, when the business of sitting in front of the box would forever be disturbed by social events and comings and goings. No, Sunday night was once the time when the black arts of scheduling were deployed to the full and you happily surrendered yourself to the crystal bucket until you decided/were told to go to bed.
Which leads to this: a TV Cream challenge. Imagine you are Controller of BBC1. How would you schedule Sunday night so as to restore some of that once-pervasive Grade-patented “smell”? What, in other words, is your fantasy Sunday night line-up?
A couple of rules. This isn’t a free-for-all: the BBC department chiefs are supplying you with a fixed roster of shows, with only one gap for a completely new commission. And the slot to fill is 6.30-11.30pm: five hours.
To play with, in alphabetical order, you have:
Contemporary drama series (50 minutes)
News and weather (15 minutes)
Period drama serial (50 minutes)
Personality-led documentary/investigation (40 minutes)
Quiz/panel game (30 minutes)
Sitcom (30 minutes)
Topical chat/talk show (45 minutes)
YOUR CHOICE (40 minutes)
The programme just before 6.30pm is Songs Of Praise, and at 11.30pm there is a Late Film. If possible, please give examples of the kind of sitcom/talk show etc. you want to put in each slot, with presenters where necessary.
Time to spin that schedule wheel…