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BBC America

Post 1


My sanity is saved! I upgraded to digital cable, and now I can get BBC America.

The single worst thing about moving to the USA was having to make do with US TV. In the UK, I could watch two channels and get a good selection of quality TV shows, including comedy that's actually funny. In the USA there are about the same number of good shows, but they're spread over fifty channels and the TV companies keep changing the schedules.

BBC America

Post 2

Tom Collins (tomthedog)

I too wish that I had BBC America on my cable system, and I'm with you on the irritating schedule changes. But... I have to reject the notion that British TV is unquestionably superior. I'm sure we don't get enough of the stuff in America to be truly representational, but from what I've seen, for every Monty Python there are ten Are You Being Served's stinking up the airwaves. For every PG Wodehouse adaptation there are ten Absolutely Fabulous's, which, I'm sorry, is just god-awful!

American TV's got a lot of garbage, definitely more than the good -- but don't try to tell me the BBC is any different. And don't deny it, you import as much American TV as we import British TV.

And why is it that every British comedy ever involves at least one man dressing up as a woman? NOT FUNNY!

BBC America

Post 3


I didn't say British TV was superior. I said there were exactly the same number of good shows, but that they tended to be clustered on a smaller number of high quality channels, and easier to find.

I watch almost exactly the same shows here as I did in the UK. I just have to spend five times as much money and a lot more effort to watch them.

BBC America

Post 4

Tom Collins (tomthedog)

You're right on that. You have to buy HBO to get The Sopranos, which has to be the best thing American TV has to offer right now. Then there's Space Ghost Coast to Coast on the Cartoon Network, Strangers With Candy on Comedy Central... at least there's The Simpsons and The West Wing on basic TV. I have no idea of the channel set-up in England. What are there, three, four channels?

So what is it you're getting on BBC America that I'm missing?

BBC America

Post 5


These days, UK TV has five analog off-air channels, about 20 digital off-air channels, and 50 or more channels if you get cable or satellite.

The thing is, the two BBC channels plus Channel 4, all available off-air, tend to generate the best UK shows (and movies), and also seek out the best US shows. HBO stuff often made its way to BBC2 or C4, for example. The X-Files and The Simpsons were picked up by the BBC.

BBC America, contrary to the name, is a selection of UK TV from all channels, not just the BBC. It's very strong on comedy -- The Fast Show (retitled Brilliant! for some reason), Blackadder, Harry Enfield, French & Saunders, Father Ted, Bottom, and also newer shows like The League of Gentlemen (just picked up by Comedy Central, but they're a series behind), Goodness Gracious Me, Hippies, and Big Train.

It also carries BBC World News, which makes CNN look like UPN. I'm not sure how much great drama they've been showing; they're currently showing Gormenghast, which bombed in the UK but I quite liked (at least as far as episode 1)... Gormenghast is due to hit PBS late this year.

You can browse the schedules at

BBC America

Post 6

Tom Collins (tomthedog)

Thanks, now I REALLY want to get BBC America. League of Gentlemen looks very interesting so at least I can see that, and Gormenghast I've heard of, that sounds like something I'd really like. I'll tell you, though, one thing that beats American TV hands down is the fact that you CAN show something from HBO uncensored on the normal broadcast channels.

BBC America

Post 7


Being an American, I'm used to American television. In fact, I'm so used to it that I haven't turned my TV on in oh....let's see.. It's been over a month since I moved into my new apartment, and the thing isn't even plugged in yet.Goodness knows how long it sat idle at the old place...

BBC America

Post 8

Courtney Patron Saint of Social Embarassment

I agree with Talene I hate T.V. The only thing I watch are hockey games.

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