'The Smoke' Not Returning for a Second Series - Jamie Bamber News — LiveJournal
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'The Smoke' Not Returning for a Second Series
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zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
I hear what you're saying but if I'm honest the LAST venue I'd want to see pick up the show is ITV. ;) Too many bad memories of scheduling nightmares and lack of information from LOUK's run! I will admit they are in a much different place now having since had big hits like Downton Abbey and Broadchurch and they seem to be committed to better dramas too, but I'd still be interested in other options. (Also though they are fine with some degree of adult situations and language, I feel like they would have to cut back on the stronger content of The Smoke quite a bit if it were picked up by ITV.)

This is the key thing we should probably address if we're talking about any theoretical rescue by another channel: The budget. I would bet heavily on the notion that The Smoke's budget - in particular the fire sequences - are why Sky balked, coupled with them possibly having unrealistic expectations about viewing figures. And the scale and intensity of the production's fires is something that was SO heavily touted before and during the show's run, it's probably something that Kudos were hoping to be able to continue if the show moved forward. But honestly? It's about the characters, dammit. The fire sequences WERE dazzling, and the staging of Kev's accident in the first episode in particular was utterly nerve-wracking and spectacular. But if it's a choice between losing the show entirely or finding a way to scale back the infernos? The show was SO SO much more than the production values. I would happily watch The Smoke with more, longer character-driven set pieces and less Blackwall Tunnel explosions. The soul of the show is those characters.

Edited at 2014-04-27 04:53 pm (UTC)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 27th, 2014 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
As I mentioned on Twitter I know a lot goes into these decisions and, I agree, I think cost was a big factor if not the deciding factor. It also makes me think about the DVDs and how different music was used/scenes were cut because, we assume, music rights were not secured for the DVD release. Which is a cost cutting measure. So, perhaps they were looking at the expense of the show and not quite getting the ratings they wanted?

Sky1 also has purchased a lot of foreign/US television productions and seem to only recently trying to go more in-house (or in-country). Which means more expense and potentially more risk. I mean, if a show is a hit in the US it's likely to do well for them too. But I think it's shortsighted for them to bail on a show, with some buzz, with potential to grow, after only one series. If after another eight episodes (perhaps scaled down episodes) they decided not to move forward, I'd get it. But imagine if ABC had decided to cancel 'Scandal', which was on the bubble, after it's short first season?
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 28th, 2014 02:47 am (UTC) (Link Me)
In hindsight, the lack of music clearances on the DVDs makes more sense if from the get-go, every available penny was alotted to the scale of the production during principal photography.

With a show like Scandal on an American network, I do wonder if their good relationship with Shonda Rhimes helped them decide to see if they could grow the show into a hit. Sky's relationship here seems to be with Kudos, not necessarily with the showrunner, and LK is much more well known for her stage work at this point than TV.

I'd love to know what their 7-day looked like vs. live, too. I saw many people tweeting that they caught up with the show 3-4 eps at a time over the course of the run. Those are the people who would tune in for a second series in a heartbeat. Bet those numbers are well over the 40K who signed the Ripper Street petition.

asta77 From: asta77 Date: April 29th, 2014 03:18 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Are UK networks looking at live +3 and +7 as US networks increasingly are? I even saw the other day that Comcast provided networks with on demand viewing numbers for the past year, a first. Which means my delayed viewing of some shows may finally be making a difference. :) So, while some bubble shows are being saved in the US due to +3 and +7, I wonder if that is having an affect yet in the UK.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 29th, 2014 04:10 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I get the feeling that perhaps it isn't having the effect it should in the UK, at least not yet. Which is a dreadful shame as it's clear that a lot of people are still catching up with The Smoke; people were tweeting about it TODAY, even. If justifying the budget of the show with ad revenue was indeed as big an issue as we suspect it was, then DVR figures may not help as most of those people are FFwding the ads. (Here's where I go back to "then scale back the budget!" ;) )

To be honest, though, I'm perpetually confused as to how much difference +3 and +7 is making nowadays even here, and I feel like it's a complete case by case basis. There was that big article EW posted online about how Orphan Black's DVR numbers are massive, yet just after the S2 premiere Jordan Gavaris was tweeting pleading with people to watch the show live. So, which is it? (I really wish the networks would be fucking sensible and take into account basic human behavior. Case in point, Orphan Black: Your show airs on a Saturday night. A LOT of people go out on Saturday nights, it makes total sense that you'd have higher than usual DVR numbers!)
anteros_lmc From: anteros_lmc Date: April 27th, 2014 08:41 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
Well hell, that's a damn shame. The cast must be gutted after hanging on till the eleventh hour.

Have to agree with you about the cost and the set pieces. Impressive though they were, particularly the first fire, they really were secondary to the character development. After all, one of the strongest episodes was the famous bottle episode which was filmed entirely within the station.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: April 27th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC) (Link Me)
After all, one of the strongest episodes was the famous bottle episode which was filmed entirely within the station.

Agreed! Episodes 4 through 6 were my favorites. And the shouts on 4 & 5 were some of the less explodey ones for lack of a better term. ;)
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