Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Did RI:SE Fall So Low?; Scene&Heard with Ratings Sinking to 100,000, the Relaunch Has Failed So Far to Save Channel 4's Breakfast Show

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Why Did RI:SE Fall So Low?; Scene&Heard with Ratings Sinking to 100,000, the Relaunch Has Failed So Far to Save Channel 4's Breakfast Show

Article excerpt

Byline: VERONICA LEE

IT'S the ultimate humiliation. A bright, shiny revamp of a television slot once known for its innovative and daring content is beaten in the ratings by, of all things, a Noddy cartoon. Such was the fate of RI:SE on Channel 4 when just 100,000 people tuned in to one episode last week, while four times as many were watching the funnies on Five. Second week into the relaunch and RI:SE is still struggling to get an audience worth counting.

What a contrast to its predecessor, The Big Breakfast, which, in its heyday, had two million viewers, many of whom would rather be late for work than miss presenter Chris Evans's latest antics. At its best, The Big Breakfast was must-see television, whereas already RI:SE looks like the bastard offspring of so much that has gone before.

But the fate of The Big Breakfast was sealed following the events of 11 September, when it was left looking childish and woefully out of step with the new world in comparison with the BBC's extensive coverage and analysis of events, and GMTV describing in fascinating detail what celebrities made of it all.

Channel 4 wisely pulled the plug on it last March and commissioned Princess Productions (in a coproduction with Sky) to come up with a new show.

But doubts were first mooted when the u12 million programme was launched in April with presenters including Kirsty Gallacher, Mark Durden-Smith and Edith Bowman.

Critics slated it, arguing that its mix of celebrity chat, sport and entertainment news, zany comedy and blinkblink presentation style was not enough to secure a niche in the overcrowded breakfast market.

By December, RI:SE was struggling to hold on to 200,000, a woeful figure for mainstream TV - GMTV attracts 1.8 million viewers - and three presenters were axed. But while cosmetic changes - the location, the set, some segments - have been made, the ethos of keepy-uppy TV remains and RI:SE is continuing to struggle.

So what's gone wrong? …

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