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Entertainment

BBC Comedy Show to Debut Online 135

Phil John writes "According to BBC News, the second series of "The Mighty Boosh" will be available to stream from the 19th of July, A full week before starting its run on BBC 3. Quoth the Article: 'It is one of a number of pilots that BBC Television will be undertaking over the next few months, exploiting the opportunities that new technologies offer to look at how programmes might be delivered beyond the traditional linear broadcast.'"
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BBC Comedy Show to Debut Online

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  • ...like with the Beethoven symphonies. Just streaming sucks. And what would really rock is an RSS feed for the shows.

    I'm not the biggest fan of the BBC and how they spend public funds, but the way they have leeway to experiment with programming is awesome.
  • Good job BBC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hugsa ( 842630 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {jkramo}> on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:35PM (#13022968) Homepage
    Is it me or is BBC simply the, how can I put this, 'coolest' media corperation on the planet? They already have a massive online presence, they do have podcasts and the list goes on .. and I am not british.

    Anyway, I'm thinking about going to watch BBC Food now.
    • They already have a massive online presence,

      Which is sadly being scaled back as we speak. The cult section is being closed as it provides info that's available elsewhere online.

    • Re:Good job BBC (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Travoltus ( 110240 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:39PM (#13023003) Journal
      It's ironic that a socialist funded network can innovate faster than our great and mighty capitalist free market media can.

      America used to innovate like this before MicroSoft and their gang came along... before the dotcom bust there was a huge sense of "let's throw money into the great evolutionary genesis pit and see which species wins". Now the winners have been declared by the decree of those with the big money, and new technologies are threatened with patent disputes or RIAA/MPAA lawsuits.

      What the heck went wrong? How can we get our free market system working again?
      • Yes, damn you Microsoft for letting our TV shows suck.
        • Re:Good job BBC (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Travoltus ( 110240 )
          ... and their gang... you know, like Time Warner, etc., who all suddenly jumped into the online biz by merging with AOL?

          MicroSoft = 1/2 of MSNBC, also.

          It's hard to do what the BBC is doing in America, unless you have deep pockets to pay for bandwidth costs which are highly overinflated. Which is why we have the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, but they obviously are also lagging way behind the BBC, and they've just barely evaded some big funding cuts (er, cuts in funding increases, that is).
      • It's ironic that a socialist funded network can innovate faster than our great and mighty capitalist free market media can.

        Jesus, that's the stupidest thing I've heard all day; if you want to critize Socialism, it helps to know what Socialism actually is. The BBC is no more socialist than Time Magazine.

        • I'm not dissing socialism or the BBC. I find it ironic that America is falling behind them.
          • Re:Good job BBC (Score:5, Insightful)

            by donnacha ( 161610 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @07:03PM (#13023131) Homepage
            I'm not dissing socialism or the BBC. I find it ironic that America is falling behind them

            Fair enough, I just get a little touchy because the BBC has had a lot of flak recently because it failed to entirely roll over for the government on Iraq and, as revenge, open season has been declared on what is probably the best funding model for quality content and objective reporting ever seen.

            • Best? It's horrendous. A multi-billionaire with a telly in each room of his 90-room mansion pays less than a student household where individuals are on separate tenancy agreements. Not only that, but a fair proportion of the cash collected goes back into bureacracy and enforcing the system.

              I'd much prefer to see the cash come out of the general taxation system. Much fairer, and more efficient, and it would mean fewer court cases too. And less paperwork all round.
              • A multi-billionaire with a telly in each room of his 90-room mansion pays less than a student household

                Who exactly, of the THREE UK based sterling multi-billionaires is "abusing" the TV licence laws the most?

                Duke of Westminster
                Richard Branson
                David Sainsbury

              • Re:Good job BBC (Score:3, Insightful)

                by rokzy ( 687636 )
                I'm a student myself but you're talking bollocks.

                of course the students pay more - you're comparing multiple people to a single person. you can only watch TV once at a time.

                in related news, did you know that all the poor taxi drivers pay more in driving licence fees than all the billionaires with their luxury cars? outrage!
                • of course the students pay more - you're comparing multiple people to a single person. you can only watch TV once at a time.

                  The price is the same though if the person with the mansion has a spouse, seventeen children, all four grandparents and six friends living with them. It's based on household rather than individuals (and "household" is individual rooms if the inhabitants have separate contracts).

                  So in my scenario, the mansion with 29 people pays £126.50, and the house of 4 students (or 4 people
              • I'd much prefer to see the cash come out of the general taxation system. Much fairer, and more efficient, and it would mean fewer court cases too. And less paperwork all round.

                Australia's ABC is funded in that manner. And any Australian will tell you that its funding in real terms has fallen consisently over the years. So much so that they can on the whole only afford to buy shows from other broadcasters, like err, the BBC.
                • This is the main problem with the ABC: their funding model leaves them at the mercy of the government. The ABC does its best to fight back, but often they have to give in under threats of budget cuts.

                  If anything, this politicises the network much more than the guaranteed revenue stream that the BBC has. The ABC can't be nearly as independent or impartial as the BBC. They have to suck up to their masters.
            • Re:Good job BBC (Score:2, Informative)

              by Beige ( 81376 )
              They are also taking a lot of stick for their online work. Many see the quality of it to be unfair competition to private companies and in conflict with their charter [bbc.co.uk], which is soon up for review [bbccharterreview.org.uk]. Those in the government such as Tory Blair that consider themselves above criticism may present this as proof that the BBC has willfully failed to fulfill its obligations. They could then change the charter to suit their own ends, ruining the BBC in the process. The BBC knows this, but it has to do online work o
      • Re:Good job BBC (Score:2, Interesting)

        by cygnusx ( 193092 ) *
        Don't blame Microsoft-- it'd be less work for them to ship media software without DRM. The problem is that the content cartel (my name for the RIAA/MPAA) are too greedy by half-- they'll stick with the dessicated corpse of Mickey and their old properties until he's no longer cool... it's happening already.

        Honestly, the best thing that could happen to copyright is a patent-style 15-20 year regime. The thing is, forget Microsoft and the tech industry, the entertainment business seem to pretty much have the p
      • It's ironic that a socialist funded network can innovate faster than our great and mighty capitalist free market media can

        Ironic? Er, not really. Irony requires an element of "working against expectations", so it would only be ironic if it was a given fact that 'free market capitalism' was better than 'socialism'. (Both terms in inverted commas since nowhere that I'm aware of actually has free market capitalism, let alone the USA, and the BBC isn't socialist, but nevermind).

        You might take it as a gi

    • Re:Good job BBC (Score:3, Insightful)

      by petermgreen ( 876956 )
      one thing to remember is that the BBC get traffic to most uk internet users extremely cheap because they have direct peering arrangements with major uk isps and are on at least two major london traffic exchange points as well.

      also the bbc are funded by the TV license which is essentially a tax. Afaict the main reason for keeping the TV license seperate from normal taxation is to make it harder for the government to get rid of the bbc (not impossible but much harder than just cutting its budget to almost no
      • Re:Good job BBC (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Sinus0idal ( 546109 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @07:00PM (#13023118)
        I for one, am happy to pay for my TV license in order to avoid advertising on BBC channels and the BBC news website. It is amazing to see the so called 'half hour' simpsons finish in about 20 mins when there are no ads.

        Maybe though the BBC should check the location of the IP address and stick up adverts to all those outside the UK who aren't paying a license though :-)

        Ok, just kidding.
        • Re:Good job BBC (Score:3, Interesting)

          by acb ( 2797 )
          Actually, the BBC is intending to use GeoIP-type technologies to discriminate between British users (who are paid for from license fees) and overseas users (who aren't), in the Creative Archive, which will be available in Britain only. (This is due to a management decision; the people actually working on the project wanted it to be available to everyone, but the powers that be said no.)
          • I hope they add an internation-fee based access.

            More money for the BBC == better Dr Who == Happy brits (me anyway), as long as it goes not get carried away and starts to target over-seas views.
          • That seems silly. There are plenty of people inside the UK who haven't paid a license fee, and no doubt plenty of people outside the UK (travelling businessmen, holidaymakers etc, perhaps even ex-pats) who have paid a license fee.
        • Re:Good job BBC (Score:5, Insightful)

          by donnacha ( 161610 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @07:17PM (#13023202) Homepage
          I for one, am happy to pay for my TV license in order to avoid advertising on BBC channels and the BBC news website. It is amazing to see the so called 'half hour' simpsons finish in about 20 mins when there are no ads.

          Yeah, best 35p a day you'll ever spend, especially as they occasionally hold the government to task on all their spin. Okay, they're pretty timid but nowhere near as unquestioning as the US media.

          Whenever I stay in America I'm shocked by how intrusive the advertising is but Americans seem to have become numb to it. I gather, though, that it's only really the poorest Americans who are subjected to the full onslaught, more affluent Americans subscribe to cable which has less ads and educated Amercians tend to simply watch a great deal less.

          • especially as they occasionally hold the government to task on all their spin.

            And when there is no spin to hold them to account for they just make shit up [brokennewz.com].
          • The BBC plays an important role in British (and dare I say world) society. If I was British I'd gladly pay the money. I wish we had a similar funding strategy here in Australia for the ABC. We need a body capable of and willing to take on large powers like governments and corporations. Commercial networks have failed us in that regard.
          • Advertising in America is not only intrusive, it's pervasive. Whether watching broadcast TV/radio (esp. radio, you rarely hear more than one song without some bubble-head breaking in babbling ad-speak), paying $50 for cable/satellite, browsing the Web, even newspapers, American advertising is like an obnoxious kid with a big bag of popcorn flavored jelly beans who jumps in everyone's face with, "LOOKIT I GOT! BELLY BEANS! WAT SOME? HUH HUH HUH ...".

            Thanks, but no; if I want something popcorn-tasting I'll
          • Actually, the "poorest" Americans aren't even subject to TV adverts usually because they don't own one (when you're homeless, TV's usually not a priority...) and even the poorest households usually find a way to have cable - whether it's legit and they let other bills go or they have a "hot box" (an illegal cable hook-up). The American who are subject to the most advertising are those who venture out onto the Internet.....
          • The US had many very "rural" areas where the only outside connection (aside from satellite TV) was the telephone that sat atop a pole outside (green acres joke). Those areas didn't get much in the way of TV reception but could usually rely on their being a PBS signal that would usually be watchable. PBS was "free" of adverts and actually showed a great deal of BBC shows. Dr. Who, Keeping up appearances, Faulty Towers, Are you being served, and many other great shows were aired on PBS. The way PBS got t
          • cable which has less ads

            How 1980's.

            -
      • That's true. Other commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada have broadcasting agencies modelled on the BBC, though don't always have the license fee. In Australia, for example, the ABC (of no relation to the Disney-owned US network of the same name) is 100% government-funded, which allows the government to put pressure on it every time the party in power disagrees with its reporting. The result has been a timid, self-censoring network that's next to useless for critical reporting.

        I'll bet that T
    • They're trying to be too cool. Their best programming often gets the least hype.

      They were commited to providing their entire archives online, but this hasn't happened. DVD sales are obviously too lucretive.
    • Actually, the BBC is engaged in a highly secret conspiracy orchestrated by 10 Downing Street and the British Crown to standardise spelling and pronunciation around the British English, putting to an end over than 20 years of American English domination in the global media, in the most un-American way ever conceivable: by giving stuff freely via Internet.

      Want proof? If you go abroad, take a look at CNN International. It uses British English as an attempt to present theirselves as a neutral news outlet, in a

  • Interesting (Score:5, Funny)

    by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:35PM (#13022969)
    "The Mighty Boosh, eh?" Odd that they'd base a new show around the current American President.
  • Excellent Comedy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by donnacha ( 161610 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:36PM (#13022976) Homepage
    The first season was really innovative and genuinely funny, a good example (along with Brass Eye, Spaced, Peep Show, Nathan Barley etc) of the best wave of British comedy since the Monty Python/Fawlty Towers era.
    • Great list, however, i'd have to say the genius series "The Office" deserves more than an "etc" mention...
      To those who haven't seen it: purchase series 1&2 DVDs, and do not forget the Christmas special! Especially, if you've only seen the American version!
      • Great list, however, i'd have to say the genius series "The Office" deserves more than an "etc" mention...

        Actually, yeah, The Office should be in there and probably a couple more I can't think of. I suspect that The Office was temporarily erazed from my memory because I recently downloaded a couple of episodes of the rather unfortunate American version.

    • Nathan Barley? Have you gone insane?
      • Stupid-funny, that. It's not great television by any stretch though. I did enjoy the series, but it doesn't approach previous BBC comedies in staying power. It was too gimmicky.

        • And there's also the fact that it wasn't a BBC comedy at all, and in fact went out on Channel 4...
          • And since we're on the subject of error-correcting, Brass Eye was broadcast eight years ago, so I don't think it counts as a "new wave of British comedy". Although it was very, very good.
            • Brass Eye Special: 4 years ago.

              The special wasn't quite as good as the series though.
            • Broadcasted 8 years ago, I heard about 4 weeks ago, downloaded it 3 weeks ago, finished watching the last episode 2 weeks ago. I love the internet. There's no chance whatsoever I would have even heard about it without the net.

              "To ensure the anonymity of the 15-year-olds we replaced each of them with three 5-year-olds. None of them had ever used drugs."
      • Nathan Barley was well jackson. A lot of people didn't like it because they thought it was a comedy, when in fact it was a documentary. It's a hell of a lot funnier if you've actually met some of those media wankers, although I must admit I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't more like NB in TV Go Home.
    • I suppose someone who liked The Mighty Boosh would like Nathan Barley... personally I found them both mediocre. Peep Show wasn't that great, either.

      15 Stories High, on the other hand, was genius. "Blue Rat: All the Power of a Rat, in a Can".
    • Please, elaborate a little. Because if it was as good as Little Britain, I'd gladly poke my eyes out with a sharp stick to avoid watching it.
  • Mighty Boosh (Score:2, Informative)

    The Mighty Boosh is a fantastic show. I think you should all watch it and revel in its comical genious!
    • It's very weird for me to see "The Mighty Boosh" mentioned here. Rich Fulcher lives near me and now I have to figure out how to explain Slashdot to him... worlds are colliding here, people!
  • by RickPartin ( 892479 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:38PM (#13022990) Homepage
    This just in. Reports are comming in that the BBC has just went completely bankrupt after letting people download a TV show for free.
    • ahem (Score:1, Redundant)

      This just in: Parent poster has no clue what he is talking about.
      • it's you that doesn't know what he is talking about. it's the RIAA/MPAA/Entertainment Industry's view that if they give entertainment away for free that they can't survive. This proves the opposite. the parent poster was trying to be funny.
        • by mlk ( 18543 )
          Not attempting to defent the RIAA/MPAA, but they have to sell stuff to live, the BBC just taxes the British public, plus it'll most like use the BBC Broadband [bbc.co.uk] thingy, which I understand only aviable to tax payers.

          So not really free then.
          • Not attempting to defent the RIAA/MPAA, but they have to sell stuff to live

            I wouldn't deny anybody the right to earn a living, but those guys would be more honest if they just stuck a shotgun in your face and demanded all your money. What happened to just being reasonable? Greed is what happens when you just see art as a product, and the product ceases to be art. All the BBC want is a contribution for their trouble, they're not trying to be a mega rich supercompany. Also don't forget the BBC is a UK based

  • Kind of a step down from ol' Ludwig van...
  • It seems that the BBC is more and more in the press recently, pushing innovation in tech and approaches to broadcasting, I for one as a brit paying my bit for the bbc am very glad to see my money being used in a way that I would like to see it being put to use. Certainly the bbc are not the first to offer their shows over the web (i'm thinking in particular of Battlestar galactica in particular as an example of this new phenomenon) but it's excellent to see them embracing it. Also even more importantly The
  • The Mighty Bush... Sounds like horror to me. Oh, wait a minute, maybe it is British humor. Will the Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil muppets be making an appearance?
  • Hmm BBC 3 is hardly comedy central. I hope they don't think because it worked for Dr Who it will work for anything. Dr Who worked because it was actually good, so everyone told their friends to watch it. If this comedy is as crap as everything else on BBC 3 then surely everyone will just tell their friends not to watch it. I hope I'm wrong though.
  • Just wait for iMP! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    So those of you that don't know, the BBC are getting ready for the second trial of it's p2p programme download service - http://www.bbc.co.uk/imp/ [bbc.co.uk] Places on the trial still up for grabs!
  • i do hope it will play in mplayer on xine, i dont really see the point in them locking down the format when we have already paid for the program as the bloody annoying "adverts" keep telling us it is a damn funny show and though i recon they are probably just trying to increase its profile it does signal a new direction in brodcasting
  • Nice (Score:4, Funny)

    by jb.hl.com ( 782137 ) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Saturday July 09, 2005 @06:55PM (#13023087) Homepage Journal
    This just helps cement my positive opinions of the BBC...I'm not usually very patriotic, but the BBC makes me want to start running around singing Rule Britannia at the top of my voice and hitting Welshmen with Union Jacks.
    • This just helps cement my positive opinions of the BBC...I'm not usually very patriotic, but the BBC makes me want to start running around singing Rule Britannia at the top of my voice and hitting Welshmen with Union Jacks.

      Um... it's probably worth pointing out that Wales is actually in the Union.

      Also, just for the sake of clarity, BBC Wales has been responsible for many important elements of the BBC's success including the one that's probably most familiar to slashdotters: the recent Doctor Who se

  • Personally I thought this show worked better on the radio, where I didn't get distracted by extremely low budget. Are British people just used to this sort of production value? No, I'm not being a troll -- I do think it's a very innovative series, but the TV version just didn't hold my interest. It seems like a lot more shows that come from the UK have much lower production values than we're used to seeing in the US. Anyone have any insights as to why there's such a difference?
    • by jonathan_ingram ( 30440 ) on Saturday July 09, 2005 @07:40PM (#13023297) Homepage
      You're right -- TV series in the UK tend to be lower budget than US shows. You can explain most of this just by noting that the UK is a much smaller market than the US (population of 60 million vs. 260 million), and that the UK's much more likely to buy US programming for the main channels than the US is to buy UK programming. We also have a much smaller number of channels. Ignoring the minor satellite channels, only have four networks: the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Five. The main satellite network, Sky, are responsible for a small amount of original content, but almost all the material they show are US imports. Less competition means less need to spend millions of pounds on a show to differentiate it from its competitors. On the other hand, the smaller number of networks means that they tend to stick with shows, even if the first few episodes aren't particularly popular. It's very rare to see the sort of mid-season show cancellation common in the US.

      So, you have to realise that the TV landscape in the UK is very different from that in the US. TV is also not the be-all and end-all in the UK: thanks to the BBC we have a flourishing radio network, which commissions new drama, comedy, and quizzes. Many popular TV shows are adaptations of shows which first appeared on radio.

      We also traditionally have much shorter series lengths: it's quite typical for a series to only have 6 programmes long, or 12/13 for a longer run, compared to the 22/24 episodes in a typical season of a US show. There are several reasons for this, one of which is that in the UK TV shows are typically written by a very small number of people, compared to the committee-based script writing common in the US.

      • TV series in the UK tend to be lower budget than US shows.

        All countries' TV programming is lower budget than US shows. I no longer bother to subscribe (digital) to the big 3 American networks, it's 95% crap. One might think that cost per episode equates to quality, but it doesn't.
    • by Spad ( 470073 ) <slashdot&spad,co,uk> on Saturday July 09, 2005 @08:00PM (#13023390) Homepage
      Production Values are something that are often over-valued - similar to Graphics in games.

      Take Red Dwarf, for example - a successful Sci-Fi comedy. It started on a very low budget, but it didn't matter, because the scripts were excellent. In fact, it actually went downhill after they started adding fancy CGI because part of the appeal was its "low budgetness".

      If the story is good, you don't need a $2 million an episode budget to tell it - people will watch it for the story.
      • Your Red Dwarf example is very well chosen, but you don't even land the killer blow ;-)

        Having upgraded their budget for later series, they went back and "digitally remastered" the early series for the DVD release - replaced the cheesy model FX shots with CGI equivalents, and so on.

        The fans complained, and now the early series you buy on DVD (or see repeated on TV) are back to the original, "charmingly shabby" versions.

    • Are British people just used to this sort of production value?

      I suppose so. I prefer to think of it as valuing content over gloss; I honestly can't see how doubling the Mighty Boosh's budget would have made it any funnier. Anyway, the beeb's not shy about spending [bbc.co.uk] cash [bbc.co.uk] on programmes that actually require it, so we get to see expensive shows too.
    • The style of the humour was such that the radio was always going to 'look' better than the TV, regardless of how much was spent on it - things can be described which can never be created.
  • Sounds like this makes perfect sense after success of the Dr. Who 'Leak'.
  • Good start but how about some classics:
    - Faulty Towers
    - Mind Your Language
    - Black Adder
    and others.

    And of course Monty Python. I doubt that'll happen anytime soon one can hope.
  • 'the mighty bush' (aka our USA president)
  • Apple has shown that a company and the artists can make some dough at this.

    The net can serve as a distribution channel, with DRM and the Beeb, or any one else for that matter, can make some dough from this DIRECTLY without having to rely on the availability of some commercial channel who might be willing (for some dough) to carry their shows.

    Actually, look for for production companies to test market their shows directly to the internet to figure out if there is any demand.

    Who needs some expensive theatre
  • Quality! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Martz ( 861209 )

    The Mighty Boosh is a hilarious, quality TV series. It's slightly off the wall, but it's good to see comedy cover new ground rather than reinvent the old gags.

    I'm also proud that the BBC is going to trial the streaming shows, they seem to have been heavily investing in multicast routing with the ISPs to enable delivery. More details about it here: http://support.bbc.co.uk/multicast/ [bbc.co.uk]

    If anything, you need to watch it to see just how good Vinces' hair is!

  • i think (read: imho) they're just picking up on the popularity of battlestar galactica with "the online community" before it aired on sci-fi channel at primetime. (i think it was sky-one before that).

    cool way to get a bunch of geeks to check out something (boosh) they may not have bothered with otherwise.

    my 0.02 euro.

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