Yet on reading her recent interviews Jay Hunt is against having too many fixed points in her Channel Four schedule like Big Brother or a soap, allowing her to be more flexiable with programming ideas. In not having too many fixed slots she indicated she felt able to be more creative with what happened in the evening schedule. It will be interesting and encouraging to see if her tactics could get the channel's ratings to rise in the next year and increase its share.
It's the same problem ITV had with so many dramas earlier in the autumn - they wheeled out loads of them in a short space of time to decreasing returns. The big 4 can't guarantee a particularly large audience these days. Viewers don't have to try something on one of those channels and they won't necessarily be aware of promotion if they're being bombarded with different new series all the time. If nothing catches their eye on the EPG they'll go and watch repeats of comfortable brands on Dave or E4. So you end up heading towards a situation where the only way C4 can get an audience is to have a show with a wacky title that stands out on the EPG.
I don't think it should be the same shows in all the slots like Corrie or The One Show. But there should be a framework in place with shows paired up that might actually keep an audience for more than an hour. Whereby people can get an idea of what to expect in the slot so as when one series finishes, they'll probably come back to C4 the next week in the same slot to watch something new but similar. It might also give some structure to their commissioning and force them to push ahead in drama or entertainment.
I don't agree with theme nights. You have to balance it out so your audiences are attracted to more than one type of programme (e.g. Sunday night - Gameshow, US Drama, Comedy).
It's not theme nights as such - all the 8pm hours would keep their lifestyle programming as usual. The comedy block works for E4 and every US network aspires to have one. It's more effective than having them dotted all over the place. Ideally Channel 4 want to hold onto the 9pm audience into the 10pm hour instead of them going over to the news or just switching off. Providing compatible programming would work towards this. I think across the week they should be casting a wide net but not trying to hit every audience in one night. You can't please all of the people all of the time!