Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Chart Show: BBC Two’s Comedy Zone


"People are straight away thinking it's going to be a cruel comedy – why? Why do they assume that? It's their prejudice.” – Ricky Gervais promoting Life’s Too Short, The Guardian, 4th November 2011.

Yeah, no huge surprise that we’re not a fan of LIFE’S TOO SHORT, though we really didn’t think the first episode was markedly worse than the debut episode of EXTRAS, and the first series of Extras turned out to be ‘quite good’. Sadly though, Life’s Too Short only got worse and worse from the opener onwards. Meanwhile REV, the lead-in for Gervais latest vehicle is remaining hugely enjoyable, while FRANK SKINNER’S OPINIONATED continues to be a fun if undemanding half-hour.

“But, how are they all doing in the ratings?”, you’ll be asking. Welp, us being us, we’ve looked up the overnight figures for every episode of each, and bunged them into a lovely chart.

And here it is:


So, all three shows have declined from a strong set of opening figures, but while viewing figures for Rev seem to be levelling out, and those for Opinionated are pretty solid, Life’s Too Short is in freefall. If you want a comparison, when BBC Two showed the first series of STEWART LEE’S COMEDY VEHICLE, it attracted a fairly solid million or so viewers, despite being a cult comedian telling long routines about books and stuff, and didn’t even have any Hollywood A-list stars or dwarves vomiting onto their own genitalia or anything.

Still, this does give a reason to keep looking out for Life’s Too Short. Why not have your own office How Low Will The Ratings Get For Life’s Too Short By Episode Seven Sweepstake? We’ve done one, and have plucked out the ticket containing ‘700,000 to 720,000 viewers’. Fingers crossed!


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