Today, Channel 4 announced its decision to no longer air reruns of the popular television show, Friends. Channel 4’s press release put a positive spin on their decision, saying they were proud of the fact they were the British Channel to air the series. The press release admitted time had come to stop showing the series after fifteen years. Channel 4 claims they are taking Friends off air to make room for new features and free up scheduling. Securing the rights of the show seems to have drained resources.
I was a loyal viewer of Channel 4 for many years. If you had an appetite for controversial, edgy programming, it was to be found there. In the last five years, I lost touch with the channel. I thought it was due to my progressing maturity, but following today’s press release, I think differently. Channel Four’s management were lazy running Friends for fifteen years. Ten years of Big Brother is another example of complacence. Long departed are the days of So Graham Norton, Spaced and Street Mate.
Clearly Channel 4 was affected by digital television age, which has done nothing for the quality of programming. Channels such as Dave, UKTV and the likes show nothing more than reruns of Will & Grace, Frasier and America’s Next Top Model. Rather than beat them, Channel 4 joined them. Today’s press release may mark the return of Channel 4 to its previous tendencies to challenge convention, social norms and rules. Here’s watching!