The news of a new music TV show arriving on BBC1 this autumn has been warmly received by the biz, and no wonder. At a time when achieving crossover has never been harder, any new primetime TV platform is like finding a free bar in the middle of the desert.
But it’s important that the BBC holds its nerve on what the show is there to do. They’ve made a clever move getting Fulwell 73 – the team behind Carpool Karaoke – to produce the show, because they understand that music TV is about much more than just TV viewers these days.
James Corden’s Late Late Show is an impressive production and a ratings hit but, more than anything, it has sensational buzz. Carpool and various other strands have given LLS a life way beyond its live TV audience, and an importance that could never be measured by BARB or Nielsen.
The furore over BBC presenters’ pay reminds us that some people will never miss a chance to attack the corporation. With any new music show unlikely to rival Poldark in the ratings, there will no doubt be some of that to come. But how the new show connects won’t just be measured in overnights. Its success rate will also be seen in viral YouTube views and follow-up Spotify streams, in magazine articles and tweets about the artists who make landmark appearances or fall flat on their faces.
So the biz should do everything in its power to deliver the talent the new show needs to make it a regular fixture, rather than a six-week dalliance. But it should also cut the BBC enough slack to experiment and find a winning formula before anyone starts digging out those Top Of The Flops headlines.