The BBC for 2019 should order Chris Chibnall to write a Christmas Day episode once again. We now know the reason he decided to push it to New Year's Day was that there would be at least one new Doctor Who episode in 2019, with the next series not due to air until early 2020.
"Ordering" writers to make programmes for specific slots and days is hardly an effective way to encourage creativity. I don't know why they had to ensure there was an episode in 2019, if it doesn't appear for a calendar year, so what? Episodes should appear when they're good and ready, rather than rushing them on screen just so they're there. Otherwise you end up with something like the Royal Flush episode of Only Fools at Christmas 1986 where John Sullivan didn't really have time to write it because he was doing Just Good Friends so they churned it out incredibly quickly and it was awful.
I don't know why there has to be X number of episodes of Who a year, no other show is made like that. The episodes of Luther this Christmas are the first since 2015 - and if anything there is more anticipation and excitement because it's been a while. Sherlock is another example. The argument seems to be that kids lose interest in Who when it's not on but surely they just watch the old ones over and over again? They certainly do that with the Harry Potter films and the like.
Mrs Brown's Boys as a sitcom has well and truly been drained dry of all new material. It is now in the process of going through the motions. Brendan thankfully decided not to do anymore series, and just as well, sticking to Christmas specials helps to keep what new material he has. The new material he does have does not amount to much.
Does anyone know how his "For Facts Sake" did? I never watched it, but heard from people it was poor.
It was an enormous flop, I think it went under a million at one point - and it was in primetime, not after the news. A spin-off too far, really, and it reminds me a bit of Broadcast looking at the stuff Nick Berry was doing when he was on a golden handcuffs deal with ITV, which hadn't been very successful, and concluding "perhaps people only like that face under a helmet". Seemingly people only like Brendan O'Carroll in a dress.
As for the specials, you could argue that confining it to specials could be to the show's detriment. On my old stomping ground of Offthetelly my friend made an interesting point about the final few years of Only Fools and Horses, specifically the 2002 special, in that because there was now only one a year, it got to the stage where every episode needed to feature Mickey Pearce, Denzil and the like, regardless of their relevance to the plot, which made the episodes all too bloated as they all had to do their bits of business. Whereas if they'd done a full series, there'd be less requirement for everyone to be in every episode and so the episodes wouldn't have to shoehorn in characters for the sake of it.
The same may be the case with Mrs Brown - because they only do two a year they need to have all the cast in it regardless of whether they have any new jokes or plots to do with them, plus it always has to have the bits with the tree and so forth, and inspiration can start to run dry quicker than if you'd just done a proper series which can do anything.