It often seems like TV network people simply don't 'get it'. With the rise of user generated content by way of YouTube, TikTok, podcasts, and all the many other platforms that have become replacements for traditional media, the one thread that runs through all of them is greater authenticity. Rarely do user generated shows/videos have high production values or a professional sheen to them. And as a result, the hosts often seem more like trusted friends.

Now consider TV where everyone is impossibly good looking, the productions are almost always very slick, and the reality shows are anything but real.

But apparently...the BBC gets it? As the BBC seeks to reinvent its news service, merging its local news operations into BBC World News (ultimately, as a cost-saving measure), the mandate has come down to dress less well on-screen.

Naja Nielsen, BBC News’ Director of Digital, told staff last week that the more rugged “sweaty and dirty” look certain journalists adopt when away from the studio can be more trustworthy.

Nielsen told a wide group of journalists: “It’s a bit like, be as sweaty and dirty as when we’re in the field is actually more trustworthy than if we look like we’ve just stepped out of an awards ceremony or a fine dinner party.”

The call is to ditch the suits and the dresses. A weather presenter was apparently seen wearing a jacket and t-shirt on screen recently. Oh my.

Ultimately, the BBC needs to find that equilibrium between dressing smart enough to present news stories with significant weight, but relaxed enough to not seem phoney-baloney.

The new-look BBC News rolls out April 6.

BBC News Says Presenters Can Relax Formal Dress Code As “Sweaty & Dirty” Look Is More Trustworthy
EXCLUSIVE: BBC News presenters have been told that they can relax their formal dress code in the pursuit of more authentic reporting as the broadcaster seeks to reinvent its 24-hour news channel. N…

How do you say....

It is rare that I am amused or impressed much by anything happening over at The AV Club much anymore - once a great site for reviews and articles, it has been through so many staff losses and editorial shifts that it has lost its value. But, this headline made me chuckle:


Speaking of The AV Club, former AV Club writer Will Harris used to do a great column there called Random Roles where he would run through the filmography of actors with actors and talk about the big and small roles that pepper their career. He has a really great email newsletter now that continues the spirit of the column, That Thing They Did.

In today's email he has gone very niche talking about gritty 1989 NBC serial killer drama UNSUB. I don't know this show at all, but am fascinated enough to check it out. For the article, Harris spoke with series stars Richard Kind and Kent McKord who talk about the moment they realised the show was doomed with the network expecting a very different show than the one they had ordered...

You can read the interview il full at Harris' Substack:

Something Streaming This Way Comes: “UNSUB” (1989)
If you’re a newcomer to this newsletter, let me just take the intro of this piece to underline that the biggest reason I started doing this newsletter is because it provides me with the opportunity to focus on whatever decidedly niche topics strike my fancy. Sometimes they’re topics that I might wel…

Apparently all eight episodes of UNSUB are up on YouTube in good-enough quality to comfortably watch it:

  • Kenneth Lowe has a look back at the original The Fugitive TV series. Read: Paste
  • Aussie pubcaster SBS is moving ahead with Afro-Punk heist drama Swift Street from Magpie Pictures. Read: C21
  • Avatar: The Way of Water is now the third highest-grossing movie of all time. Still waiting for proof anyone is interested in seeing this movie... Read: Variety
  • Jodie Turner-Smith has joined the cast of Sex Education. Read: Radio Times
  • Something I didn't know about Richard Belzer - apparently Henry Winkler (TV's The Fonz) was his cousin. Thanks to ABW reader Brett Debritz for that trivia.
  • CBC is the latest pubcaster to talk about the end of linear broadcast. But unlike the BBC, the Canadians aren't quite as bold as to say it will happen in the next decade. Read: The Globe and Mail

That's the newsletter for today. There has been a lot of talk recently about streaming services slowing output. And it's interesting how many fewer trailers I've had to share of late. Just putting two and two together...