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Steve Williams3,013 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I think that actually was a case of ITV turning it down and the BBC taking it on. I believe Steve has talked about this before on here.


Yes, ITV did turn it down, and it ended up on BBC1 - as did the spin-offs from the USA and Russia. Granada also made 7 Up 2000 for BBC1, but that was commissioned by the BBC and continued on there. Actually there should be another instalment of that next year, not that anyone remembers it's still going.

In Will Wyatt's book about being director of BBC Television he talks about Richard Dunn from Thames visiting him in 1991, before the franchise results were announced, and asking if the Beeb might be interested in a few of their shows like This Is Your Life and The Bill, so that if the worst happened they'd know they had a few options open for their formats and didn't have to put all their eggs in one basket. Of course, they did end up going for the former, but not the latter.

The other Caroline Aherne show that Granada made for the Beeb was Mrs Merton and Malcolm, which only appeared a few months after the first series of The Royle Family in early 1999. At the time this was considered the safer bet, being shown on primetime BBC1 and a more conventional sitcom, compared to the Royles on late night BBC2, but it turned out to be the most enormous flop critically and commercially, with thousands of complaints about its portrayal of, it appeared, a man with learning difficulties, though they always said that was never the intention. Would be interesting to see that again, actually, it was never repeated but the Royle Family was such a huge hit - it got a very quick repeat run - that it didn't really matter in the end.

Clearly at the time Aherne had made her name on the Beeb but liked working with the team at Granada and so continued to make her shows through them. It's the same with Jimmy McGovern, for many years most of his shows have been on the Beeb but they've pretty much all been produced by Granada/ITV Studios because he knows and likes the people there. It's just like any other production company.

It's easy to forget how quickly Mrs Merton took off, the first series was at 11.15 on BBC2, but it caught on via word of mouth with the second series in primetime and then the third promoted to BBC1. It probably went on at least two series too long, though, the decline seemingly setting in when they did the show from Las Vegas which was a bit of a disaster, I remember reading they'd commissioned three shows but one was so bad it couldn't be shown and was hastily replaced by a documentary following all the audience around Vegas.
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Night Thoughts gave kudos
TIGHazard712 posts since 3 Jan 2014
Tyne Tees Look North (North East)
I think that actually was a case of ITV turning it down and the BBC taking it on. I believe Steve has talked about this before on here.


Yes, ITV did turn it down, and it ended up on BBC1 - as did the spin-offs from the USA and Russia. Granada also made 7 Up 2000 for BBC1, but that was commissioned by the BBC and continued on there. Actually there should be another instalment of that next year, not that anyone remembers it's still going.



Speaking of which, it's supposed to be the conclusion of Child of Our Time this year, isn't it?
Steve Williams3,013 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Speaking of which, it's supposed to be the conclusion of Child of Our Time this year, isn't it?


Should be, I think they have announced it'll be on soon as well.

I know the suggestion was that the Beeb were getting fed up of it because its appearances have been sporadic in recent years, though obviously the change from, say, 14 to 15 isn't quite as seismic as the change from 4 to 5, so there probably hasn't been the need to check in on them quite so often.
Whataday10,655 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
I remember reading they'd commissioned three shows but one was so bad it couldn't be shown and was hastily replaced by a documentary following all the audience around Vegas.


Not quite. Caroline lost her voice during the first taping which is the main reason the episode was canned (although it's true to say it wasn't great).
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Night Thoughts and Steve Williams gave kudos
james-20016,047 posts since 13 Sep 2015
Central (East) East Midlands Today
I think that actually was a case of ITV turning it down and the BBC taking it on. I believe Steve has talked about this before on here.


Yes, ITV did turn it down, and it ended up on BBC1 - as did the spin-offs from the USA and Russia. Granada also made 7 Up 2000 for BBC1, but that was commissioned by the BBC and continued on there. Actually there should be another instalment of that next year, not that anyone remembers it's still going.



Speaking of which, it's supposed to be the conclusion of Child of Our Time this year, isn't it?


Did anyone remember that was even still going? They seemed to give up on it after a few years.
ToasterMan (previously BeanosOnToast) 168 posts since 17 Feb 2016
Granada North West Today
Also worth mentioning that Granada was one of the founders of BSB in 1986, and provided programming for its five channel service that launched four years later after numerous delay, until, of course, BSB merged with Sky to create BSkyB in November.
*
They even threatened to sell their programming to satellite had they lost the Channel 3 North West franchise in 1991, which, of course, didn't happen.

But six years later, Granada did it anyway, as they and BSkyB formed Granada Sky Broadcasting Limited (now ITV Digital Channels Limited) to create four channels dedicated to Granada's ever-expanding film and TV archive, until BSkyB sold it's stake in the venture to the rechristened ITV plc in 2004, (although Men and Motors survived until April Fools Day 2010).
Last edited by ToasterMan on 20 February 2020 10:03pm - 3 times in total
Steve Williams3,013 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Did anyone remember that was even still going? They seemed to give up on it after a few years.


As I said two posts above yours, it's still running, and it's easy to work out why they'd be checking in on the families more frequently in the early years because kids change so much so quickly. Not so much in their teens.
Spencer (previously Spencer For Hire) 6,112 posts since 13 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)

The other Caroline Aherne show that Granada made for the Beeb was Mrs Merton and Malcolm, which only appeared a few months after the first series of The Royle Family in early 1999. At the time this was considered the safer bet, being shown on primetime BBC1 and a more conventional sitcom, compared to the Royles on late night BBC2, but it turned out to be the most enormous flop critically and commercially, with thousands of complaints about its portrayal of, it appeared, a man with learning difficulties, though they always said that was never the intention. Would be interesting to see that again, actually, it was never repeated but the Royle Family was such a huge hit - it got a very quick repeat run - that it didn't really matter in the end.


I’ve got the DVD of Mrs Merton & Malcolm, bought on the basis that I love Caroline Aherne, and ‘it can’t have been that bad’. To be fair, there are some amusing lines, but overall it was pretty poor, especially in comparison to the Mrs Merton show itself.

I never considered that Malcolm was supposed to have learning difficulties. I just saw him as an over-mothered wet lettuce, but I suppose I can see how some may have thought that.

It’s available for under a fiver on Amazon if you’re interested.
RR267 posts since 4 Jan 2003
The definition of independent producer as far as the quota was concerned did not include another broadcaster, or an independent company that either owned, or was owned 25% or more by a broadcaster.
robertclark1251,508 posts since 13 Jan 2009
STV Central Reporting Scotland
Many thanks for clearing that up. Granada was ok for the BBC quota because, although it was a broadcaster, it broadcast on another channel, and not the BBC, wheras if Granada made something for STV, that would not be regarded as an independent production, as both companies broadcast on channel 3.