Welcome everyone! I'm Taka, your hermit in this community. I say hermit because I haven't seen a lot of movies or TVs. That will change. I started this thread because back in Anime Vice, I did cultural interviews with individuals around the world. I wanted to promote cultural diversity and awareness. I learned a lot about their outlook on anime in their culture. If you're interested, see Vice Pit: Around the World. I interviewed folks from UK, America, Holland, and Uganda. I wanted to do this with Screened but in a more roundtable discussion format.
I'm from England in the UK.
We mostly watch American imported shows, that's what dominates most of our channels. Our main channels are:
- BBC One - a tax-funded channel that is quite conservative, it features a lot of original dramas and a lot of reality television too such as documentaries, Eurovision, The Voice UK and one of it's most viewed series is Eastenders, a soap. There are no commercials on this channel. It also has a lot of sports coverage.
- BBC Two - similar to BBC One, it has original programmes that are mainly focused on arts, culture and science. Although it does have shows that differ.
- ITV - A lot less restricted than the BBC, it has more reality game shows, soap-operas and original dramas.
- Channel 4 - Some people say its the rogue network. It's quite free in the shows it publishes, the shows tend to be a lot grittier, more outrageous with its comedy programmes and features a lot of original comedy shows.
- Channel 5 - It features soaps imported from Australia like Home and Away and Neighbours as well as original reality shows.
Those are the TV channels that most of the UK watches, I myself, have always preferred American television and it's really annoying that we have to wait longer to get them. :/
@etragedy: Aaah really? - that's pretty cool! I remember when we only had the main 5 channels. Now we have 100's, depending on who provides your television subscription service. With mine, we have way too many channels. Although now, because everyone has to have digital TV, everyone is guaranteed to have "Freeview" where you simply just buy a digital TV box in store and you have a set number channels, about 60+ so people now watch shows outside of the top 5 channels.
Doctor Who is still very popular, but what mostly dominates is reality shows, Strictly Come Dancing (UK's Dancing with the Stars) and X-Factor (although slipping in ratings, it's still very big) are probably the most watched here. And of course the soaps, Eastenders, Coronation Street, Hollyoaks. Everyone seems to watch those, although I really don't like them. & yes, those three shows are still very popular here, so many people watch Sherlock and everyone seems to be talking about Downton Abbey, although I haven't seen either. Also, it should be noted that two of the biggest shows on TV here right now is "Made in Chelsea" and "The Only Way is Essex" - reality series about socialites in their 20's.
Channel 4 (and E4, Channel 4's offshoot aimed at teenage to younger adult viewers) tends to show a lot of U.S. imported shows such as: Glee, 90201, Agents of SHIELD and also created the popular Skins and Misfits.
@takashichea: I'm not familiar with the British dubbed shows! - I used to watch anime online, in either American dub or with subtitles, but most British audiences really do prefer British shows, and so it's understandable that they'd prefer a UK dub. I remember as a young teen/child watching Escaflowne, Naruto, Cardcaptor Sakura and Tenchi Muyo on the kids channels in the American dub, which I loved. But those shows aren't on TV anymore.
@takashichea: The Brits are quite a narrow minded society, I'm one of them so I can say it! - so it's right to say that Anime probably won't even be generally popular here. I remember quite a few years ago there was a great Anime TV channel that I loved, but it didn't last long before it shut down. The dominance is probably football, Brits love soccer/football to death.
It does shock me how different the UK perspective on TV is compared to America and other countries. As a country, you could say British TV is not afraid to be racier and more controversial than US shows, but even though that's the case, it's scared to delve into accepting Anime.
To a good extent, I'm quite oblivious to current trends with movies and TV shows that have come out in recent years. I think I can owe much of that to my binging on anime over the past few years in my spare time, which I had plenty of while I was seeking work while unemployed. This is likely to change sometime in the next year as I'm starting to wind down on my exposure to anime thanks to the increasing difficulty I've had over the past year of finding anything that can get my interest out of the medium.
I live in Austria, which has something like six main-TV-stations (There are more, but mostly unnoticed). The lack of Austrian TV-Stations can be made up by German-TV, which offers much, much more variety.
Sadly most movies/series are german dubbed, the German/Austrian viewership dislikes subtitles in general.
While sometimes German/Austrian movies are shown on TV, most of the series and movies are from the USA.
I grew up in one of the original TV markets in the U.S. A lot of early broadcasters got their start in my city. Originally there were 3 networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) and two UHF stations, one of which was the first PBS (public) station in the U.S. Originally all were black and white, but when I was still a toddler most stations went to color and we got our first color TV set. About a decade later we got cable television in the area. It was controlled by a switcher box connected to the TV by a cord (no wireless remote control). This was the early day of cable TV and channels like MTV and HBO were new. Much of the cable badwidth was not used - there were a lot of empty slots and the technology was underutilized. Even back then there was the ability for interactive TV through the box (up to five 'choices') but I only remember ever seeing one interactive TV show and it only lasted a couple episodes.
As part of the cable monopoly's deal with the city they had to provide public access to the airwaves. That is where, as a teenager I first learned television lighting, camera work and studio directing as well as field camera operation. I took the classes to help a friend's dad produce a TV show about real estate investment. That began my long career in film and television.
Though I have mostly worked in TV, my true love has always been movies. Today I live in a rural part of North America with no movie theater, and we still do not have digital cable in this area. We do have old fashioned analog cable TV and I have a Blu-Ray player with an Internet connection. Mostly I just watch movies on DVD or through streaming services like Netflix.
Ironically when I was a kid growing up in the midwestern U.S., there were only 5 channels yet people spent hours watching TV every day. Now we have access to hundreds of channels and most people I know, including myself spend relatively few hours each week watching over-the-air TV.
Currently I am doing research on International media, so this thread is very interesting to me. Especially the responses byand .
@CherryBomb: Last time I was in London was about 25 years ago. There was only one BBC channel (or maybe two). And it seemed like almost nobody watched TV. I'm guessing there's pretty much hundreds of channels by now?
I'm also curious what shows are most popular. Back then in the U.S.A. we only got 'Doctor Who' late at night in reruns, and I loved that show. But given how long-running the show was, I was surprised when I went to England how many people didn't watch it, or hadn't even heard of it. It wasn't until I went into Forbidden Planet (science fiction bookstore) that I actually found people who watched it. At the time 'EastEnders' was all the rage. I hated that show, but I think there was probably some cultural divide.
The most popular BBC programs in the U.S.A. in recent years seem to have been 'Doctor Who', 'Downton Abbey' and 'Sherlock'. Are/were these as popular there?
I live in Florida, in the US. When I was really young we had basic cable before downgrading to just the big networks (NBC, ABC, local channels, ect.) around my high school years.
When I got to college, some cable channels were included and I've kept cable ever since.
It's almost always the basic package and almost always for only a handful of channels and not much else. Being able to watch baseball in the summer and football in the fall are two big reasons I haven't unplugged completely and transitioned to Netflix and Amazon Instant only. It also provides good background noise, which is 90% of the reason I ever have my TV on.
For awhile there was only one choice as a cable provider. Eventually companies like Verizon, Comcast, and others moved in.
To be honest, I don't really know. I mainly buy the DVDs.
I used to lived in the rural districts of Battambang miles away from the capital city which had more access to TV. I had Charter during middle school for a year. That was when I first accessed anime from Tech TV and the International channel (now known as AZN channel). The International Channel was interesting because I got to learn more about countries like Singapore. We chose Charter because it had the Khmer channel. Somehow, Charter cut off our cable. Dad refuses to buy any cable provider because of how Charter treated our neighborhood which was predominantly Hispanic and southeast Asian demographic. When I was in college and moved to a better neighborhood, family got Verizon Fios because it had access to the Khmer channel. This channel was better because it stream news and TV from the old home country.
Before my interviews (UK part 1 and 2), I used to think that anime was hot in the UK just like the America. When I did my interviews, I was surprised how the anime market in the UK was niche and small. Supreme Marvel shared that foot ball was all the rage in Liver Pool. He said that anime would not reach main stream potential just like the states. Nowadays, anime became more niche and more accessible on the internet. TV doesn't help promote anime.
Didn't mean to delve into anime. I just couldn't think of any other questions. E tragedy is a better interviewer. I'm such a TV noob. I'm pretty fascinated by the UK and their culture. It's becoming a melting pot (culturally diverse) or it already became a melting pot.
Thanks guys for sharing your stories! I enjoy reading them. I hope everyone enjoys sharing their stories. This will make Screened more diverse and tight knit.