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BBC Boldly Determines to "Air Good Shows"
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LONDON, England - The BBC is to re-invent itself with a shift of emphasis away from worn-out programming that simply fills the void and towards more quality programming, director-general Mark Thompson says. "Today's viewer has essentially 'caught on', if you will, and is no longer willing to simply abide third-rate programming," Thompson frankly admitted, "We've had a few reasonably good ideas on the shelf for some time now, it seems we'll have to dust them off and see what we can make fly."

"The BBC finds a comfortable, rich fishing hole, then they simply fish it to death."
-- Marley Quid, television critic
In his first major public speech since becoming director-general in June, Mr Thompson pledged a new commitment to "par, or even slightly under par" programming. "We're not trying to promise a return to the heady days of 'Black Adder' or 'AbFab'," he allowed, "But I am fully committed to bringing the standards of programming available to the average Briton to a level that is head and shoulders above any available to an American or a Canadian." Critics were quick to jump on this, pointing out that American programming is invariably a watered-down version of what the English were watching last year. Responded Thompson, "This is true, and it follows that our neighbors across the pond will enjoy a backwash of quality in the years to come. When the harbor's water rises, all the boats are elevated, as it were."

"There's plenty of good, quality programming already on the air-waves, but over the next decade if we want to stand out and succeed, we have to raise our sights and raise our game," Mr. Thompson told an audience of industry executives at the Edinburgh Television Festival, "Or to make it more clear, some of that quality programming must appear on our channels."

"The BBC tends to get a bit stuck in place," said television critic Marley Quid, of the Londoner, "They find a comfortable, rich fishing hole, then they simply fish it to death. When finally it seems that one would be more profited to sit on the telly and watch the sofa, that's when the lads start putting their heads together again. If we're about to embark on another such grand adventure, then I for one will not complain."

Thompson did not reveal any details of the BBC's revitalization plan, nor mention a timeframe in which changes could be expected. "Let me just say," he offered enigmatically, "Before you know you're seeing them, the new shows will already take you by the heart and refuse to release!"
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