am going to carry out a TV channel research on who is being targeted on
a specific TV channel and analyse the content in terms of the TV
documentaries being aired.
As I carried out some research in TV channels and found out that
Channel 4 (http://www.channel4.com) is the most suitable channel for
my documentary to be broadcasted.
I will be comparing Channel 4’s documentary schedules with other
programmes that the documentaries are up against on the same day at the
same time in the schedule. For example, BBC1, ITV1 and ITV2. This is
because they are the major channels and everybody has them on their TV.
Channel 4’s remit is to innovate and appeal to everyone
– different cultures, nationalities, religious persuasions,
physical and mental abilities, sexual orientation, races
and ages. We see this everyday through the scope of
films, documentaries, dramas and entertainment
programmes Channel 4 transmit on air.
Channel 4 is suitable for our documentary because our documentary is
about social networking. We are targeting at teenagers and young adults
across the United Kingdom regardless of their nationalities, religious
backgrounds, sexual orientation or races. Another reason Channel 4 is
suitable for our documentary is because that Channel 4 looks at
Britishness by exploring the rich diversity of cultures and lifestyles in
Britain today. The fact that Channel 4 is only targeting at one specific
country makes it more suitable for our documentary.
I am going to look at Channel 4’s TV schedule over fortnightly period
and identify documentary types and times being targeted.
I will be highlighting docudramas in yellow, institutional documentaries
in green, social documentaries in pink, wildlife documentaries in red and
others in blue.
The Daredevils is a series of sixty minutes social documentaries happening every
Monday evening on Channel 4 at 9pm. The use of word in its title such as ‘Dare’ and
‘Devils’ attracts audience especially those young adults / teenagers. It is scheduled for
9pm as the time is suitable for mostly everybody in the country and therefore the
review rate would be higher than if the documentary is scheduled at other times.
The only channel 4 documentary taking place on 5th October 2009 is the daredevils
therefore we can identify that there isn’t many documentaries happening on Monday
evening and the only one being broadcasted is targeted at mainly young adults/
Other programmes the documentaries are up against on the Monday on the other
channels in the schedule are the part 1 of the drama Blue Murder on ITV1; TV Series
Hell’s Kitchen USA on ITV2 and TV drama Criminal Justice on BBC1, etc.
True stories: The Glass House is a social documentary on 4More at 10pm on 6th
October 2009. The Glass House is a 2 hours documentary and being repeated again at
1am on 7th October 2009. The word ‘True’ in the title attracts audience and creates an
illusion of truth telling. The Glass House tells a shocking true story about another
society and it is targeted at those people who would like to know more about another
culture, possibly professionals such as teachers; parents and teenagers.
The only documentary happening on the Tuesday is the social documentary: The
The documentary is up against News and Weather at Ten on ITV 1, an action thriller
film Passenger 57 on ITV2 and News and Weather on BBC1.
The Secret Millionaire is a 60 minutes social documentary about an IT tycoon
Dominic List leaves his luxury lifestyle behind to go undercover in Peckham. It is
played on Channel 4 at 9pm on Wednesday 7th October 2009. The word ‘secret’ is an
eye-catching word and the fact that the documentary is filming millionaires attracts
audience and the target audience for this documentary should be everybody.
When Boris Met Dave is a docu-drama that lasts for 95minutes at 9pm and being
repeated again at 00.40am. It looks at how their time at Eton and Oxford influenced
Tory leader David Cameron and his contemporary Boris Johnson, the mayor of
Above are the only two documentaries happening on the Wednesday night 7th
October. One happening to be a social documentary and the other one is a docu-
drama. They are both being scheduled at 9pm and other programmes they are up
against at the same time are BBC1 TV series Crime and Justice, ITV1 Awards
Evening and 1TV2 sensational drama Trinity.
First part of a social documentary about a boy called Alex and his passion for music is
being broadcast on Channel 4 at 9pm on Thursday.
The documentary is educational therefore it is targeted at teenagers and being
scheduled for 9pm. The word ‘passion’ suggests that he had to overcome problems in
order to achieve what he has got now.
Second part of the A Boy Called Alex is being broadcasted on Channel 4 More
straight after the first part is being played on Channel 4. This episode goes into details
about the passion for music Alex has but this time it isn’t targeted at teenagers, I think
it is targeted at parents more and it is more of an entertainment documentary than
educational like the previous.
On Thursday 8th October 2009 Channel 4 broadcasted two episodes of social
documentaries. Both of the documentaries are focused on a boy called Alex. They are
real life stories that have educational meanings to them.
The programmes are up against TV Series and News & Weather on ITV1, ITV2 and
There is not any documentaries being broadcasted on a Friday night, this is mainly
due to the fact it is a weekend and people are more interested in a comedy than a
The only documentary being broadcasted on Saturday night is the docudrama When
Boris Met Dave. It is a docudrama therefore its main purpose is to entertain audience.
It is the same episode as being broadcasted on the 7th October 2009. The reason for
this is to fill up space in time and give audience a chance to catch up on missing
programmes. It entertains audience by featuring famous politicians.
It is up against News and Weathers in other TV Channels such as ITV1, ITV2 and
The wildlife documentary (science, nature) is being broadcasted on the Sunday at
7pm on Channel 4. This is the first wildlife documentary being broadcasted in this
week and it is scheduled earlier than other documentaries. This is because that this
episode is targeted at a different group of audience.
It is up against TV Comedy Show Harry Hill’s TV Burp on ITV1 and Country File on
First institutional documentary of the week. It is scheduled at 10pm and it’s 70
minutes long. Normally documentaries are scheduled at 9pm however this
institutional documentary is scheduled for 10pm, which means that they are targeting
at a different audience group such as the adults and elders.
Other programmes this institutional documentary is up against at the same time:
A profile documentary on ITV1:
News & Weather and Comedy show on BBC1:
Historical/ Social documentary on Channel 4 at 8pm. It looks at the anarchist attack
on Victorian London and today’s radicalism, examining how feelings of oppression
and persecution can lead to extremism. The documentary is an hour long and is
followed up by another social documentary at 9pm. It is targeted at those people who
are interested in history and most of them are elder people.
Followed up by another social documentary at 9pm on Channel 4 ‘The Human
Spider’. This is an entertaining documentary aiming to explore people’s special
feature. It is targeted at everybody but mainly who are interested would be teenagers
and young adults.
Other programmes these documentaries are up against are the Life Challenge on BB1
and Blue Murder on ITV1 as well as Hell’s Kitchen USA mentioned earlier.
A social/institutional documentary on Channel 4 about the police force reveals the
challenges faced by frontline police officers. It is a social documentary as it entertains
audience from an unusual incident however it is also an institutional documentary as
it explores different life of institutions.
At 10pm on Channel 4More is the wildlife documentary (nature/ science) examine
honeybees. It is scheduled at 10pm, as it is not mainly targeted at teens. People who
usually watch TV at 10 pm are usually the parents or adults. Therefore this
documentary is targeted at adults to explore the effects caused by honeybees.
Two documentaries are being broadcasted on the Tuesday night. One happens to be a
social/ institutional documentary and another one is a wildlife documentary.
Other programmes these documentaries are up against are Ten News on BBC1 and:
Joan Does Glamour on ITV1
Jack Osbourne: Adrenaline Junkie on ITV2
Another episode of social documentary The Secret Millionaire is being broadcasted
on Channel 4 and 9pm. It is targeted at the same audience as it is being scheduled at
the same time as the last episode.
Social documentary Last Party At The Palace is broadcasted at 10pm on Channel 4
More. The story of the last debutantes’ season in 1958 and the women who were
shaped by it. Plus, a look at the revival of the debutante season in the new millennium
and how it compares. Again this documentary isn’t targeted at teenagers/ young adults
as it is scheduled for 10pm and most people who watch TV at this time would be the
Two episodes of documentaries are scheduled for Wednesday 14th October 2009.
Both of them happen to be social documentaries. And the use of social documentaries
are designed to get the audience involved and make them think about different life of
society whilst being entertained.
Other programmes these documentaries are up against are the BBC News at Ten and
Sci-fi film The Matrix Reloaded on ITV2.
A social documentary at 9pm on Channel 4 looks at what pubs really mean to British
people. The film- maker takes a 3,000-mile pub crawl to some of Britain’s Red Lions.
Provides a timely snapshot of our drinking habits. This social documentary is aimed
at mostly everyone in Britain. The reason for being scheduled at 9pm is probably that
teens/ young adults therefore can watch it, too. The name of the documentary is
simple and short. It doesn’t tell the audience what it is about straightaway therefore it
gets the audience more involved and makes them want to know what is happening.
The social/institutional documentary The Force is being repeated again at channel 4 at
1am. The reason for this could be to fill up in time where there is nothing else could
be scheduled for that time line as well as to give audience a chance to catch up.
The social documentary Embarrassing Bodies talks about how a medical team helps
people overcome their fears about their bodies. It is scheduled at 9pm to fit in with
everybody’s timeline. The name Embarrassing Bodies are designed to attract
audience. The short name is designed easier for the public to remember.
The only social documentary being broadcasted on Channel 4 More at 11pm. The title
reveals its content and makes audience want to watch it and get to know what
happened to the girl. The phrase ‘Sex Tourist’ is an eye-catching phrase that attracts
audience. The purpose of this documentary is to reveal a true story and explore life in
different culture. The reason for being scheduled at 11pm is probably because it is
restricted in age issue; children under 12 may not be allowed to watch.
Social documentary Building Of The Year is being scheduled for 8pm on Saturday
17th October 2009. The reason for being scheduled for 8pm is probably because it
makes it easier for everyone to watch. The documentary is also a profile documentary,
which introduces one of the best buildings of the year. The title ‘Building Of The
Year’ attracts audience, as the audience would like to find out what sort of building
would deserve to be the best.
An episode of David Blaine’s magic tricks at 9pm. Blaine tries to balance on a 2 ft
wide freestanding pillar, 100 feet above the streets of New York for 35 hours with no
food, water, sleep neither safety nets. It is scheduled for 9pm as the introduction of
the documentary sounds very interesting. For more people to be able to watch it
therefore it is scheduled for 9pm. The reason why it is scheduled before David
Blaine’s Street Magic is because that obviously freestanding is more challenging than
street magic and if the freestanding is approved by the audience then more people
would want to find out what happens in the street magic.
The 10pm show ‘David Blaine’s Street Magic’ is a social/entertainment documentary,
too. It records incidents happened while presenting a magic show on street. The word
‘street’ creates a sense of truth telling, which makes the audience think that there
might be unexpected incidents happening. The word ‘Street’ also suggests that David
Blaine interacts with the public face to face, which means that his magic tricks must
be very excellent.
Historical documentary Time Team is scheduled for 9pm on Channel 4 More. The
reason why it is being broadcasted on Channel 4 More but Channel 4 is because that
the David Blaine’s magic shows are more entertaining on a Saturday and there is a
greater possibility of people watching magic shows than historical documentaries.
However the word ‘Buried’ is an eye-catching word in the title and the name ‘Blitz’
gives the audience a clue of what is happening in the documentary. The documentary
is being repeated on the same channel again at 11.40pm to fill up programmes in time.
The title of this documentary attracts audience as we all know that the Titanic has
sank but the use of word ‘The Unsinkable Titanic’ makes the audience want to find
out more about it. The reason for being broadcasted at 10pm is because that the target
audience for this documentary would possibly be those adults or elders and not the
teens. However this documentary is being repeated again at 00.45am to fill up
programmes in time.
The only documentary being broadcasted on Channel 4 More on Sunday is the social
documentary about an oversized mother. This documentary is scheduled for 10pm as
it relaxes people after a tiring family day out. People normally watch it for
entertainment before go to bed for another busy week. It is scheduled for 10pm as it is
not so important such as the educational documentaries and the main purpose of this
documentary is to entertain audience. The use of words in the title such as ‘Half Ton’
Other programme this documentary may have up against is the BBC Weekend News
at Ten on BBC1 and Lee Hall: The South Bank Show on ITV1.
From analysing a fortnightly period of Channel 4’s TV programmes list I have come
to a conclusion that Channel Four does roughly five to seven documentaries a week
(excluding Channel 4 More. Approximately 15 documentaries including Channel 4
More) and most of them are social documentaries targeting at young adults and
teenagers, sometimes parents. The airtime devoted to social documentaries for the
week overall on Channel 4 only is seven and a half hours (450minutes). In total of
documentaries being devoted on both Channel 4 and Channel 4 More is 21 hours
(1260 minutes) from 7pm – 1am that means Channel Four and Channel Four More
have 98 hours in total in one week from 7pm – 1am and documentaries take up 21
hours, which is 21.4% of their total programming time from 7pm – 1am in a week.
BBC 1 only devote s 5 hours on average per week to documentaries between 7pm –
1am Monday to Sunday which is 76.2% less than how much Channel 4 devotes to
documentaries. Therefore I believe that Channel 4 is more suitable than any other TV
Channels to broadcast my documentary.
Looking into details on TV Schedules I have found out that social documentary is
normally broadcasted at 9pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday. Mostly Thursday as
people like to relax on Friday by watching some comedies or films. By looking at the
TV Schedule list I have found out that most documentaries are scheduled between TV
Shows and Dramas as TV shows normally happens around 8pm and dramas are
normally being broadcasted at 10pm or 11pm. Therefore I should schedule my
documentary on a Thursday at 9pm.
By looking at TV programming lists I have found conventions to broadcast a
documentary such as the time and day of the week. I have confirmed the TV Channel
for broadcasting my documentary is Channel 4; my target audience is teenagers/
young adults and the date and time for my social documentary being broadcasted: