It’s been reported today that the always comical statistic of 69% of people want live voting to alter storylines in shows.
Now, a cynic might point out that Diffusion PR, the people that commissioned this study, have BT on their roster. The same BT who recently ran a choose-your-ending ad campaign. But far be it from me to cast such nasturtiums.
There’s no more sure fire way to bland-up your show than by giving the public a choice in the matter. Not only will you end up with lowest common denominator outcomes (I present to you Joe McElderry, Rachel Rice, that one that won that thing.. you know, whassisface, yeah, with the total lack of distinguishing features… yeah?) but to say that we, a bunch of drooling telly watching eedjits, know better than the writers is just arrogant.
Last year, during the quite brilliant, Torchwood: Children of Earth, lots of writers (some that weren’t even involved with the show) came under a huge amount of flack for killing off one of the main characters. I loved the character, a lot of people did, and killing him off was brutal, but worked brilliantly as a plot development.
If you think you can write the stories better than Steven Moffat , Graham Linehan, James Moran et al, then for goodness sake send it in to the BBC and don’t hope over 50% of viewers agree with you so it’ll turn out ok in a vote.
And if you’re writing to please more than 50% of your viewers – give up, you’re doing it wrong.