TV Home Forum

Big Ends

or '101 ways to close down a channel' (March 2021)

This site closed in March 2021 and is now a read-only archive
Carlton Cinema, the last Carlton channel closed down in March 31, 2003:
That whole "Portakabin TV" song is quite clearly an in joke with the Southern staff which would have meant little to most viewers who weren't in on it, another reason it was embarrasing that it got broadcast.

Reminds me a bit of OFI Sunday which was just one big laugh between Chris Evans and his mates which viewers weren't in on.
Steve in Pudsey
Somewhere, I have the last hour or so of Shop!, the Liverpool based shopping channel run by Granada and Littlewoods, on VHS. ISTR it being Debi Jones and various crew/production membes on the studio floor reminiscing while trying to flog a few last products, followed by a VT montage followed by a caption explaining that the channel had closed but Littlewoods would fulfill any remaining orders/deal with returns etc.
Neil Jones Founding member
Of course shopping channel wise it must be documented the Sit-Up channels were yanked off the air, exact broadcast circumstances unknown when the company went under in 2014. I don't know what happened to the tat produce that was sold at the time they closed, and any returns, I presume whoever handled all that for Sit-Up continued it?
DE88 and plymouthbloke1974 gave kudos
Mateus Honrado
ABC1 closed September 26th 2007, the channel only lasted three years:

Believe the stream was later reused for Playhouse Disney.

I miss ABC1. It's a shame that it's Disney's only attempt at a DTT TV channel in the UK.

Here's the continuity of Bravo's last week as well as the last moments of the channel as it officially shut down on New Year's Day 2011.
ABC1 was becoming very repetitive towards its end though
Neil Jones Founding member
Kunst posted:
ABC1 was becoming very repetitive towards its end though

Towards its end? It was always repetitive, it was almost like Disney won the slot and then just didn't know what to do with it. As you might expect the programming was full of archive Disney content (Touchstone, Buena Vista etc) that probably cost them nothing to "buy" since they made it in the first place. It was unique in a couple of ways though - they had a daytime, an evening and a nighttime presentation package for a start, the different advert placement compared to the norm and if they really wanted to they could pull some stops out presentation-wise as you'll see in the first four and a half minutes here especially for Valentine's Day, Easter and what I presume was Christmas:

The night-time package they used is not in the video (I've never found it online), but the first daytime package was the orange and green you see here, evening was IIRC all green and night-time was a light shade of blue with a beautiful theme. The later revision (as seen in the closedown video above) was the same all day every day unfortunately.
It was , but I think it went particularly downhill in 2006.

That was a time when even the other Disney channels were being treated badly, with many repeats, dropped shows and a very minimal presentation with no idents, which is weird for a UK channel
Neil Jones Founding member
I suspect Disney were holding out for a 24hr Freeview slot for ABC1. I think one became available but they didn't win it, and so it was a daytime only channel on Freeview but 24hrs on other platforms. Even the website they had was hastily cobbled together (I recall they said they could only use "official" copy for the website, although the problem with that was it was already out of date in some areas. Home Improvement was an obvious example - the programme originally ran 1991-1998 and the copy for that that ABC1's website used was written IIRC for the third season at the time. A straight copy and paste would knock ten years off the principle cast and imply Earl Hindman was alive and kicking (he actually died in 2003)).

On a related note I notice the Tool Time segment from Home Improvement has effectively been rehashed in new packaging as Assembly Required, looking like a mash-up between Mythbusters and Tool Time.
DE88, gottago and Kunst gave kudos

Wow, that brings back a lot of memories. I used to watch this for hours and hours after secondary school. The same dreadful American sitcoms repeated ad infinitum every weekday! They had some awful shows that had only lasted one season but still they would repeat the full series over and over again. I remember their first big show that they were really trying to push was Commander in Chief (which I think they'd only got because no one else wanted to buy it) but because of their restricted Freeview slot it could only be seen at 5pm in my household. That was when Freeview channels were going for silly money so it's not surprising that they could never secure an all day one.

IIRC the first year of broadcast was completely commercial free for some reason. Though they still did their awful break structure when they had one break after the opening credits and one just before the credits. When they did eventually start showing ads they had the same three commercials on a loop over and over again, I distinctly remember one for the Canary Islands. A bit of an odd channel at times but I loved it.
Hatton Cross
That whole "Portakabin TV" song is quite clearly an in joke with the Southern staff which would have meant little to most viewers who weren't in on it, another reason it was embarrasing that it got broadcast.

Embarrasing, nasty and flawed in it's target.

It's not that Stilgoe needed the money to do that the time - but you wonder what his motives were. The narrative - which fits in with the Southern Television management line - was that TVS must be blamed at every opportunity for Southern's demise, when all along as we know they were the 'innocent bystander' as it was a decision made by the IBA.

And the "just as soon as we know where Maidstone is" is pure laughter free irony, as the land that Vinters Park was built on, was brought by Southern - so had they retained the franchise/licence, they would have ended up there just like TVS did.
DE88, james-2001 and what gave kudos
It must have been very difficult for many of the staff present who were going to be working for TVS as well.
Southern should have had an idea what the IBA wanted to hear on their franchise application, after all they had seen TWW lose theirs 12 years earlier, so it wasn't a given that the incumbent would just have it reawarded.
DE88, Hatton Cross and james-2001 gave kudos

Newer posts