Jardine considers link between the economy and ‘comfort TV’

THE economic recession appears to increase the appetite of TV viewers for re-runs of old favourites – according to a column in today’s Scotsman newspaper.

And the recent best example of such ‘comfort TV’ – writes Christine Jardine – was the return of US drama, Dallas – back on British TV screens for the first time in two decades.

Says Jardine: “Twenty-one years after JR flashed his last evil grin out of the screen he was back. Almost three million viewers – a record for [its broadcaster] Channel 5 and double its average audience – tuned in to see him.

“I admit I was one of them… Here was an old friend from younger, less expensive, more carefree days and it was good to see him again.”

She had begun by arguing: “There’s been a trend on television recently that you might have noticed. Arguably it began with the new version of Doctor Who, then Upstairs, Downstairs and carried on through the revamped Mr and Mrs, Surprise Surprise and reached new heights with the return of Dallas.

“It may even be responsible for the re-runs of Cheers on ITV4 every night of the week.

“The reason for the re-emergence of all these old favourites? It’s the economy, stupid. To be more precise, the recession.”