Following a level of hype that would have put your average Harry Potter publicity drive to shame, 10 o’Clock Live hit our screens last night. After the show’s election fore-runner was well-received during the summer, C4 decided to roll out their big guns once again for a topical comedy show in 2011, and this was the first of 10 weekly outings.
Whether they needed so many big guns to occupy such a small studio was a point of some debate on Twitter. Jimmy Carr and Charlie Brooker did their thing without incident (Brooker’s predictable but delicious poke at Sarah Palin was a highlight) while David Mitchell grilled some banker and a member of the Coalition government with competency. Amid all this Lauren Laverne found herself a little underused, but what the online community was most concerned about was the fact that C4 had been ramming this show down the television watching public’s throats for a couple of weeks and the recent clipping of The Daily Show (the American format that 10 o’Clock live is trying ape) down to just one episode a week.
In the cold light of day the amount of hype that surrounded this debut did seem a little mystifying. Such publicity is usually a requisite for other formats, but C4 seemed to fall into the same trap that did for them a couple of months ago when they launched Seven Days. Unlike that experiment, 10 o’Clock Live should comfortably recover from this initial backlash (which seems to have been over-hyped in a similar way to the show itself), but execs should have realised the importance of letting a show of this nature find it’s feet and more importantly – it’s chemistry – naturally. Essentially, given the players involved, this series should be too good to fail but they do need to do sort out the tempo.