Culture: Television: Channel
Ten Minute Television   (+13, -4)  [vote for, against]
Varied morsels of bite sized entertainment

If I'm at home alone I often eat sitting in front of the television. During this time (assuming I chew before I swallow) I will watch 10-15 minutes of television, sometimes straddling two half-hour programmes.

What I would like to watch is a channel that commissions and screens programmes that are less than ten minutes long (10 minutes including short ad break assuming that this is an ad funded channel).

Other than restrictions imposed by the size of the programme the scheduling would be fairly normal - news every hour or two, in depth news features, music programmes, chart rundowns, cinema reviews, and a twice-daily accelerated version of 'Neighbours'.

You could even bundle each programme as a downloadable video clip and post them on the internet. I'd watch it.
-- st3f, Jul 09 2002

Ad Filler Material http://www.halfbake...20Filler_20Material
Same idea, shorter increments, different intent. [phoenix, Jul 10 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Flip TV
Same idea, variable increments. [phoenix, Jul 10 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

The Ad Gap Channel http://www.halfbake...0Ad_20Gap_20Channel
Similar to the first link above. [phoenix, Jul 10 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

This is the original MTV approach, and look where that got us...

(I recommend reading the newspaper during this time.)
-- DrCurry, Jul 09 2002

st3f: Get a life. Or get a book. But please, please don't advocate any increase in the deplorable proliferation of "sound bite television". It's bad enough as it is. Since most viewers now seem to have the attention span of mayflies, the amount of quality television, especially on scientific and technical topics, has sadly diminished.

I suspect this is what drives people to places like the halfbakery.
-- 8th of 7, Jul 09 2002

Many cartoons (ie looney toons) have several small episodes per show - when I was a student I'd watch one or two between classes sometimes. Kids tv does this all the time, engendering a new species of kid-shaped "mayflies", as 8th points out.
-- Matty, Jul 09 2002

Just because it's bite sized doesn't mean it has to be dumbed down. Imagine ten minute snippetts on 'What is a quark?', 'What led Columbus to cross the Atlantic', 'What's happening to Beagle2 at the moment?', 'Why did Van Goch cut off his ear?', 'What is Francis Bacon's South Kensington studio doing in Dublin?'.

If you show a whole hour of these programmes you'd be looking at possible niche markets. Fill a 10 minute slot and you can show a much wider variety of programming to a general audience.

It would be a struggle with the bean counters to produce good quality programming in this as with any format. Dumbed down sells.
-- st3f, Jul 09 2002

When I was a student I often used to watch the daytime school education programmes, many of which were about that length. Actually managed to learn quite a lot from them too (especially about history and geography), and picked up some songs to make learning fun.

"Use an adjective and make your writing live,
Use an adjective and make your writing live."
-- -alx, Jul 09 2002

I like this. Meal-time TV chez moi tends to be the evening news simply because of the time, and that is, by its nature, a collection of short items, but sod's law ensures that at least half of them are about football or Big Brother. I would watch any of the programmes listed by His Threefness.
-- angel, Jul 09 2002

I find most TV programs are way too long and drawn out. Your typical documentary seems to be 10 minutes of the presenter walking though picturesque locations for every minute of actual facts, and most dramas are excruciatingly padded to fit over-long time slots. A bit of editing never hurt anyone. Except that the programs would probably be significantly more expensive to make, without the padding.
-- pottedstu, Jul 09 2002

Would be a perfect place for the gazillions of high quality, funny/arty animated shorts and experimental films that get made every year and are normally relegated to obscure slots.

I would only recommend that ads be shown between progs, never during.
-- Saveloy, Jul 09 2002

It should be easy enoguh to split american tv shows into three ten minute slots since they are already set out using the three act rule. Mix the shows together, i.e. have sitcom1.1 and then sitcom2.1, then sitcom1.2, etc
-- [ sctld ], Jul 09 2002

Saveloy: Exactly. Programmes would usually be 6-8 minutes long, followed by a short ad break, station ident and trailers/notification of the day's schedule, bringing each slot up to 10 minutes.

[ sctld ]: I envisiaged every programme being a separate entity. The sitcoms would have to be shot with the intention of being split so that you would not lose out on plot by seeing only one half. Once you've done that, they're seperate episodes anyway.
-- st3f, Jul 09 2002

I have found that my ability to pay attention to anything on television has a lot to do with whether I have any other choices. When I'm at home -- a rare event, these days -- there's so much else I might be doing that is more interesting or important, even the best TV doesn't stand a chance. I haven't watched "The West Wing" in ages.

But put me on a direct flight to New York, strapped into one of jetblue's somewhat comfy seats with the little monitors above the tray tables, and everything changes. Not only will I watch something all the way through; I will be riveted.

I actually watched a documentary on airline security while my flight was at cruising altitude. (jetblue simply offers whatever programs are scheduled for broadcast that night; they can't control any unfortunate coincidences of transportation and negative information.) It was amazing -- I learned exactly how vulnerable I was, while sitting in that seat, in that airplane.

Chilling experience.
-- 1percent, Jul 09 2002

This is kind of like Mad TV or Saturday Night Live, lots of short sketches. I like it.
-- oddsonsardines, Jul 10 2002

Somewhat baked; I've seen 5 or 10-minute shorts used to fill out the time after a movie on premium cable (where they can't pad it out with more commercials).
-- bookworm, Jul 10 2002

UnaBubba: Wait a while. There will be. <Sigh>
-- 8th of 7, Jul 10 2002

TV shows already divide up their programs into Acts and things like that, so what this could actually do is lengthen the amount of time spent on some topics.

Anyway, a large part of most info programs is embellishing the drama to get you to stay over the commercial break. It seems like it's more monetarily sound to make longer programs and tease people over the break. But in this way perhaps people would be driven to hang on for what's next... there's a time, place, and channel for everything.
-- polartomato, Jul 10 2002

I think this calls for a different level of television programme. I agree totally with [pottedstu] on the over-padded and under-intellectual state of the documentary programmes we see at the moment. I remember when 'Horizon' used to actually tell you things - the ones I've seen recently are drivel. What I'd like is a documentary which was pitched at a level where (1) about 10% of it was beyond me and (2) where there was more information presented on-screen through captions etc. than I could actually take in. Point 2 could probably be acheived by editing the typical 45 minute programme down to [st3f]'s 10 minutes without losing anything important. Point 1 will take a leap of faith from TV producers that they are allowed to asssume intelligence among their audience.
-- hippo, Jul 10 2002

//'What is a quark?', 'What led Columbus to cross the Atlantic', 'What's happening to Beagle2 at the moment?', 'Why did Van Goch cut off his ear?', 'What is Francis Bacon's South Kensington studio doing in Dublin?'.//

You just need to eat after midnight, Threef. Every one of these sounds like BBC2 BiteSize programming from the Learning Zone. And of course you might also catch the Shooting Gallery on Channel Four, if you were more in the mood for fiction.

//I remember when 'Horizon' used to actually tell you things - the ones I've seen recently are drivel.//

I quite agree, hippo. Equinox started the trend with all its "Big Terrible Things That May Destroy The Planet", and Horizon seems to have gone down the same road. I mean, magma plumes are interesting but give us a bit more credit; some of us are actually interested in non-catastrophic science.

Sudden thought: One ten minute programme I _don't_ want to see while eating is that BBC2 Hollywood Science thing with Robert Llewelyn where they test out the scientific plausibility of movie scenes. The "Could Cool Hand Luke really eat fifty boiled eggs in an hour?" episode is the one I have in mind.
-- Guy Fox, Jul 10 2002

Well could he? Or did it take more than an hour?
-- Aurora, Jul 11 2002

Please- suggest this idea to the Osbournes producer.. They're hilarious...for about 10 minutes. Problem solved!
-- Mr Burns, Jul 11 2002

Having snaffled 16 Hard boiled eggs in 5 minutes once Guy Fox (dont ask long story!) I sympathise... it aint pleasant.....
-- The_Englishman_Abroad, Jul 11 2002

[bliss] - I live in San Francisco. We're barely on the same continent as the rest of California, let alone in the same state. Want proof?

~~~Just stuck my head out the office window. Our pleasant gale-force fog arrived from the Pacific at its usual afternoon hour, today. It's about 63 degrees Fahrenheit out there. And those squiggly things at the start and end of this paragraph are what used to be my hairdo. ~~~

Hmmm ... a pestilence of spiders ... isn't that one of the seven signs of the Apocalypse? Or have I just been paying inordinately close attention to news stories about troops converging on Iraq, strange lights in the sky at night, and Anna Kournikova making it to the Wimbledon semifinals?
-- 1percent, Jul 12 2002

[Aurora]: The science bloke gave the scene a plausibility rating of 2 or 3 out of 10, didn't think anyone could do it without throwing up. Hell, the presenters themselves were nearly throwing up just from the smell when they opened up the 2-litre peptin-and-acid-and-egg-filled bag-thing they were using as a substitute 'stomach'. By a weird coincidence, that very episode was repeated last night (but not at tea-time, thankfully).
-- Guy Fox, Jul 12 2002

//Salt Lake City, Utah....because of the incredible heat, the city has been taken over, (slight exageration, but that's allowed, it's the news), by spiders//

I'll vouch for that. Whilst reading this, a baby spider dropped down to about 3 centimeter/res in front of my face on his web. Scared the hell out of me.
-- AfroAssault, Aug 24 2002

'Todays Sun highlites' (From the sun channel idea) could be one of your 10 min programs.

People with TIVO might actually be able to record the 10 min spots and put them together into a show they really want to watch.
-- GeorgeF, Jun 11 2004

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