television about books… and people actually watch it
So there’s this show on BBC Two that just finished in which the gimmick is that all the people in a small Scottish town are roped in to read the shortlisted titles for the prestigious literary award The Man Booker Prize. And they love this! It’s exciting. And then they offer their commentary on the books, which is insightful and interesting.
All this is broadcast on a major network in primetime.
Imagine an American entertainment executive pitching such an idea:
Let’s give a bunch of literary novels written by authors mostly no one has ever heard of to some folks in rural Wisconsin! You know, farmers and ladies church groups and things! When they’re finished reading — what? of course they’ll all finish their books! — we’ll tape their bookish commentary! And then we’ll air it! On a weekday evening!
He’d be run out of town.
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