We do love Five here at ATV News, but in recent times some of their classic revivals have well, to be honest, been as good as the ITVplc share price. It was announced this week that their latest come-back attempt will be the awful 1980s series Name That Tune, in a second attempt by the broadcaster to make the old game show a hit. Five had previously aired a version with Jools Holland a decade ago. So with this thrilling news ATV takes a thumbnail look at some other recent “Rubbish Revivals“.
Name That Tune
The new, eight part series which will transmit on Five early next year will be co-produced by GroupM Entertainment and Ant and Dec’s production company Gallowgate, the production company’s first-ever commission for Five. The show originally launched with Tom O’Connor in 1983 and the very basic idea is to provide the title of a popular piece of music from only a few notes played. The show bit the dust in 1987, was revived in 1998 by Five and flopped. Was last featured as a special in Gameshow Marathon on ITV.
The Thames Television classic was revived by Five earlier this year. Minder was created by writer Leon Griffiths and the show was broadcast on ITV from October 1979 to March 1994 remaining a popular comedy drama on the network across its fifteen years. Starring Dennis Waterman and George Cole in the lead roles (although Waterman later quit and was replaced by Gary Webster) the new series didn’t feature any original cast, however a link to the past was through George Cole’s character of Arthur Daily, the new lead Shane Ritchie was to play Archie Daily, Arthur’s nephew. Five announced that they wouldn’t be commissioning a second series from Thames in 2009.
Going For Gold
Another classic game show, this time from the BBC One vintage. First aired from 1987 to 1996 with Henry ‘I can’t understand a word he says’ Kelly. The premise was contestants from across Europe would take part in answering general knowledge questions. No one quite knows why the show lasted so long, it was pretty much a farce from the offset. It was of course funny to watch as foreign contestants battled to understand Kelly’s Irish accent and get a question right. Five revived the show in 2008 with John Suchet, former ITN newsreader – who we could all understand – as host. The show also ditched the European element, with only UK contestants taking part. No wonder it didn’t rate – there was nothing to laugh at.
Crossroads fans will tell you that the show ended in 1988 after 24-years and has never come back such was the disaster of an attempted revival by Carlton Television in 2001. While most will admit the new show was a great new soap, it was nothing like the award-winning, hugely popular original. Producers and ITV were fearful that the new Crossroads would be critically derided like the original, forgetting how popular it had been with the audiences. Instead of making Crossroads, they made an entirely new programme and simply cashed in on the name and brand by using the original theme tune and bringing in three of the original cast – only to get rid of them as quick as possible.
So badly received was ‘Carlton’s Motel’, that it was written off as a bad dream when it finally bit the dust in 2003.
Not the Sky One revivals, but the short-lived BBC Two version with silver fox Michael Aspel. Originally produced by Central Television, the gameshow had proved to be a popular part of the ITV schedules for a decade airing from 1983 onwards. Overseen by popular host Bob Holness the series was aired at teatimes and aimed at teenagers and young adults, with contestants generally coming from colleges or universities. The BBC version was aimed clearly at the elderly and it survived 60 episodes before dying its death.
The Price Is Right
Another former Central Television series that was ruined in recent years by inept producers and clearly brain-dead commissioners. The original, hosted by Leslie Crowther was an 80s sensation offering glamour for an hour on a Saturday night. Okay it edged on tacky too, but that was part of its charm. Yorkshire Television revived it in the 1990s with Bruce Forsyth as master of proceedings and while it wasn’t as glamorous or glitzy, it proved to be a popular weekday gameshow. For some unknown reason in 2006 the show was once again re-launched with comedian Joe Pasquale as host. Now, Joe is great at what he does – but he’s no presenter. His unique – or annoying voice – grates after a while and having to listen to it for 30 minutes became unbearable.
The show also tried to bring back the glamour of the 1980s version, but only succeeded in bringing a cheap and nasty feel to the proceedings, while it aired on ITV it looked like it was made for a cheap satellite network.
Another BBC Two revival that didn’t make the grade. The original Channel 4 series ran from 1982 until 1989 and was basically for most part a chance for viewers to look at Anneka Rice’s bum for virtually an hour while she ran around parts of Britain looking for the treasure after being given directions gained by the contestants in the studio working out answers to bizarre clues. The show later switched to ITV, but Rice left and the bum was never the same. The BBC brought it back in 2002, running for 15 episodes. However none of the original stars were present, bummer.