Channel 4OD comes to Samsung’s range of Smart TVs

Samsung have added Channel 4’s 4oD catch-up TV service to their range of connected Smart TVs.

Available through Samsung Apps, the company’s Smart TV service portal, 4oD offers thirty days worth of recently-broadcast content from the likes of Channel 4 and More 4, alongside archive content.

Shows like BrassEye and Peep Show are all available to be viewed on demand.

“We’re pleased to be able to extend the availability of 4oD, our successful video on demand service, to Samsung’s Smart TVs as we continue to widen the reach of Channel 4 content onto key platforms,” said Sarah Milton, head of video on demand at Channel 4.

“Smart TV owners will now be able to catch up with recent popular Channel 4 programmes and access many shows from Channel 4’s vast archive spanning 30 years of broadcasting – on demand via their television.”

The app is available to all Samsung Smart TVs released in 2012, or newer.

The announcement follows a similar move by Sky, who also recently added 4oD to their catch-up TV offering.

 

LOVEFiLM to bring Peep Show and Inbetweeners to Instant service thanks to Channel 4 deal

LoveFilm Instant’s catalogue of on-demand streaming titles gets a boost today with the announcement of a new content deal with Channel 4.

The Amazon-owned streaming service will now offer its members access to choice cuts from Channel 4’s 4oD online TV archive, including shows such as Peep Show (right), Father Ted, The Inbetweeners and Friday Night Dinner.

Older shows such as BAFTA award-winning Drop the Dead Donkey, drama Queer As Folk, and all four series of Teachers will also be available.

“Our TV offering has gone from strength to strength and this deal will bring even more iconic British content to the service,” said Jim Buckle, Managing Director at LOVEFiLM. “We’re proud to offer more diverse and exciting instant television programming to our members than any other subscription service.”

The new 4oD content will be housed in a branded collection on the LoveFilm Instant service, and will expand over time to include more Channel 4 TV shows including Shameless and The IT Crowd in their entireties.

“We’re very proud of our rich archive of shows on 4oD and we’re delighted to find another platform for many of them on LOVEFiLM,” Sarah Rose, Director of Commercial & Business Development at Channel 4 added

“Our growing mix of classic comedy, drama and documentary spanning 30 years of broadcasting, complements LOVEFiLM’s already diverse range of great programmes and films.”

Wondering what else is available through LoveFilm Instant? Check out our handy guide to every Netflix and LoveFilm Instant movie or TV show available in the UK now.

Via Tech Digest

Channel 4 goes mad with a week of programmes on mental health

Tonight sees the start of Mad Week on Channel 4, when it shows a series of programmes looking at attitudes to mental health. This being Channel 4, though, the shows are generally celeb-fronted and appear light-hearted.

First up tonight at 10PM, depression-sufferer Ruby Wax follows a number of successful business people as they reveal their illness to employers, family and friends in Ruby Wax’s Mad Confessions.

Then on Tuesday at 10, sand up comic Jon Richardson presents A Little Bit OCD, where he meets numerous OCD sufferers and discovers more about the condition.

Wednesday at 10 brings the World’s Maddest Job Interview, which finds 8 people with serious mental health issues interviewed and assessed by a panel of business experts (including Apprentice job interview hatchet man Claude Littner) to try and see if their condition affects their work ability.

And finally, on Thursday at 10 is Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder: The Big Clear Out. Here, OCD sufferer and extreme hoarder Richard Wallace tries to rid himself of as many of his pointless possessions as possible.

All the programmes sound great, interesting and (worryingly) a little like the sort of thing Chris Morris would have been lampooning a mad TV of the future a few years ago. Here’s hoping the gimmickier-sounding of these shows are handled sensitively.

Sunday Brunch: Lovejoy and Rimmer jump channels, does anyone care?

 

Sadly Channel 4 have bought the programme (most of it, anyway) and a renamed version launches this Sunday at 10AM. Sunday Brunch – as it’s artlessly dubbed – still features Lovejoy and Rimmer but Redkapp has mercifully been jettisoned and it remains to be seen how many (if any) of the other regular contributors survive the jump.

 

Apparently the programme will still feature cooking, interviews and clips but presumably it will now also require ad breaks, which means it goes from being dull to being dull with added dull bits. Maybe the channel hop will rejuvenate the show and bring a bit more zip and zing to proceedings but, more likely, the law of diminishing returns will exact itself and the show will peter out again fairly soon.

 

 

If Ricky Gervais’s new sitcom is so good why won’t Channel 4 commission a series?

The pilot features Gervais as Derek, a care home worker described as ‘a tender, innocent man whose love for his job and the people he cares for shines through. He’s 49 years old and loves animals, Rolf Harris, Jesus, Deal or No Deal, Million Pound Drop and Britain’s Got Talent – but his main hobby is autograph hunting’. The show also features Karl Pilkington, in his first acting role, and (reportedly) Sean Connery.

So, with Gervais’s sitcom history and a big name cast, this would seem to be a significant opportunity for Channel 4 to score a sure-fire hit – why are they dragging their feet in only making a pilot? In a statement the channel say: ‘Channel 4 is very excited to be working with Ricky Gervais on this new project and it’s wrong to say we have rejected a series. The pilot will be on TV in April and then there’ll be further discussions about the potential for a full series.’

However, after the critical disaster of Gervais’s last sitcom ‘Life’s Too Short’ and (relatively) poor audience figures it would appear either that Channel 4 have slightly cold feet about what would be a major series for them or that Gervais himself wants feedback before he commits to another less-than-popular project.

You get chance to decide for yourselves as the pilot airs on Channel 4 in next month.

 

Homeland: Is it dynamite or dull?

Homeland – for those of you who have series-linked the first few episodes and are still prevaricating about watching it – is the story of an American soldier (Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody) who has returned to the US from imprisonment in Iraq and the counter-terrorism CIA officer Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison) charged with his post-kidnap care. The big question is whether or not Brody has been brain-washed by his Al-Qaeda captors and is actually a double agent intent on destroying America from the inside. The show has won many awards in the US, where it also received a very positive critical response. It was bought by Channel 4 in the UK after bosses saw the first few episodes and were convinced of the show’s quality.

Many viewers, though, are less sure of the series with many on social networks saying that episodes 2 and 3 were a little lacklustre and others threatening to quit the show if the plot doesn’t coalesce soon. Some have compared it to desert island show Lost which won a massive initial audience but kept viewers tagged along for so many series that it ‘lost’ all credibility – frustrating more than it entertained. UK audience figures for Homeland have been steady, at around 2 million per episode, so it would seem that (for the time being at least) most are gripped enough to stay with it.

Advance word from the US is that episode 7 is a ‘watershed’ and it was then that reception of the show became 100% positive – so, will you be sticking with it?

Deal Or No Deal ‘Involves no skill’ – Did anyone believe it does?

But did anyone really ever believe that being on the show demanded any skill? Only the competitors (who have to live together cult-style for a week and so have cabin fever) and the studio audience (who are locked in a room with Noel Edmonds for hours on end and therefore inevitably traumatised) seem to think that randomly picking numbers and choosing to stick or twist is the work of a strategic genius. Surely the viewing public are sensible enough to spot an elaborate guessing game when they see one?

If the Gambling Commission do decide (after 7 years on air) that the whole shebang is against the law it could have consequences for other shows like Red or Black, which is also just a guessing game.

Peter Bazalgette, the owner of show creator Endemol, defended the programme by saying: ‘It would be very strange if the UK suddenly decided you couldn’t have Deal or No Deal on air.’ Not as strange, Pete, as the resurgence in Edmonds’ career that Deal Or No Deal provided. Proof, if it were needed, that we live in a strange world indeed.

 

The Secret Policeman’s Ball’s Greatest Hits

Tonight Channel 4 shows the 50th Anniversary Secret Policeman’s Ball, recorded at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The show features the likes of Russell Brand, Jimmy Carr, Noel Fielding, Micky Flanagan, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart and Jack Whitehall, but can it stand up to some the great ball’s of the past?

Here are a few clips from yester-balls to help you decide:

 

Rowan Atkinson gives a masterful performance by simply reading the register.

 

 

Natalie Imbruglia shows she’s a game gal when she encounters a mime.

 

 

Classic slapstick Monty Python.

 

 

Tim Minchin stands up for his race.

 

 

Peter Cook plays E.L. Wisty and bores the pants off John Cleese.

 

 

Russell Brand in typically reserved form.

 

 

Considered by many to be the Secret Policeman’s Ball’s greatest ever sketch (but unfathomable to anyone under 40), the judge sums up in the Jeremy Thorpe murder case.

Mountford and Hewer’s Countdown reunion: Who else should team back up?

With new Countdown host Nick Hewer set to shoot a week of shows next week with former Apprentice counterpart Margaret Mountford in dictionary corner, we thought we’d take the opportunity to look back at some of TV’s most popular double acts and see if there’s any chance of them getting back together for one last job.

Newman & Baddiel

Who? – 1990’s ‘Comedy is the new rock n roll’ arena filling pairing. Started on the Mary Whitehouse Experience, ended up arguing about dressing room size.

Chances of a reunion? – Apparently they still don’t get on, so not great.

Fry & Laurie

Who? – Cambridge educated brain box pairing who made several critically successful series in the 80’s and 90’s. Since gone onto become (respectively) the Greatest Living Englishman and a massive worldwide TV star in a show hardly watched in the UK.

Chances of a reunion? – They’re still best mates (Fry is godfather to Laurie’s kids) so you never know.

Adrian Chiles & Christine Bleakley

Who? – ITV’s one-time breakfast golden couple were poached form the Beeb in a mind-bogglingly expensive deal only to find themselves kicked off their flagship show after only a few months of bad ratings. Not been seen together in public since.

Chances of a reunion? – Do they need it? Chiles is doing his footie and chat show, Bleakley is presenting Dancing On Ice with serial co-presenter Pip Schofield. Can’t see them teaming up again soon.

French & Saunders

Who? – Comic Strip alumni who have had innumerable sketch show and sitcom successes.

Chances of a reunion? – Virtually guaranteed, just wait until next Xmas.

Reeves & Mortimer

Who? – Surrealist mirth mongers recently dropped by the BBC for still unexplained reasons.

Chances of a reunion? – Vic and Bob are the best of friends and neither has flourished in solo projects. Expect more daftness from them soon.

Noel Fielding & Julian Barratt

Who? – Mighty Boosh team who haven’t worked together since the last series ended 5 years ago.

Chances of a reunion? – Fielding’s recent Luxury Comedy show sunk during its first episode and Barratt has only taken a few acting roles of late. Might be high time for them to get back to booshing.

Steptoe and Son

Who? – Odd couple father and son rag-and-bone men who both died many years ago.

Chances of a reunion? – Slim at best.

 

W****r wins Countdown conundrum

A Countdown contestant prompted guffaws among Countdown’s mostly elderly crowd when he used the word “w***er” to win a round. IT consultant Mark Murphy left new host Nick Hewer red-faced when he submitted the slang word for someone who masturbates after being presented with the letters R,A,E,P,K,W,A, E, N.

Nick quickly asked competitor Nick Evans for his word – Weakener – which was then rejected because he had mistakenly used an extra E. So Hewer turned to dictionary corner and quipped: “Where does Mark stand on this?”, prompting words expert Susie Dent to reply: “He stands absolutely fine, it’s in the dictionary.”

A Channel 4 spokesperson said they tried not to cause any offense in the afternoon slot by bleeping out the profanity and not having Rachel Riley present it after the round as is normally done.

They said: A Channel 4 spokesman said: “The word was bleeped out and not shown on the board to ensure the programme is suitable for its daytime audience.”

The Oxford English Dictionary gives the definition of the word as: “British vulgar slang. A contemptible person (used as a generalised term of abuse).”

It is not the first time the word has been submitted as an answer on the show. Two contestants both submitted “w***ers” as their answer in a 1981 episode, while it featured again in 2008.

In 2003, dictionary corner guest also offered it as an alternative to the answers given by contestants.

She joked: “I wouldn’t have thought it was in the dictionary but it is in there and we all know what it means so I think we better move on.”

In November 2010, Channel 4 ordered a round to be filmed again after a contestant tried to submit the word “s**tface”. And in December 2010 a contestant submitted ‘Large Baps’ – see here.