Intended to be humorous, or has no point about government policy.

Sadly, my petition to the Prime Minister has been rejected by the small-minded bureaucrats at Number 10. They’ll regret their short-sightedness when we all get turned into little cartoon people in 2012.

I include a copy below in the hope that the Olympics Committee may take notice and opt to save us from the upcoming temporal paradox that will otherwise doom our planet.

The campaign starts here!

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to: ‘allow television’s Doctor Who to carry the Olympic Flame in 2012.’

In 2006 it was revealed that an alien entity known as the Isolus – which just wanted to be loved – was going to turn the entire Earth into a picture in the year 2012.

Fortunately this fate was averted by Doctor Who carrying the Olympic Flame. If, however, Doctor Who does not carry the Olympic Flame in 2012, we could be in a whole heap of trouble.

In order to prevent serious and lasting damage to the fabric of time itself, we urge the Prime Minister to allow Doctor Who to carry the Olympic Flame for some part of its final journey.

David Tennant or whoever’s doing the part in 2012.

We don’t much care, really.

Watch that fringe and see how it flutters

I’ve just been up in Edinburgh for the last few days checking out some new plays, most of which were OK and some of which were actually quite good.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all like that. In the course of my sojourn I had what I can only describe as the quintessential Edinburgh Fringe experience.

Picture, if you will, a play performed by people the best of which could charitably be said to have some small acting ability.

The play was composed of vignettes consisting of clichéd characters, speaking in clichés about nothing in particular. The dialogue looked longingly at the promised land of pedestrian, knowing it would never achieve its heights.

There was no plot.

There were eight cast members in the play, and an audience of five. One of who, mercifully, was able to escape while the lights were off during a scene change. Sadly I was on the wrong side of the stage, and couldn’t follow him to freedom.

In the knowledge that one day I may myself have a play performed on stage at the festival I shall refrain from naming the guilty parties, judging not lest I be judged in return.

And there’s no point asking me the name of the play in person. By the time I see you I hope to have succeeded in completely burning it from my memories.

The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

ITV to commission long-running series

Michael Grade announced today that ITV are specifically looking for long running series.

To wit, “series that are on 14, 15, 16 weeks a year, on every year for three, four or five years”.

This is interesting because this is the first ITV move towards the new UK commissioning model of longer-term returning series. This brings it into alignment with cable commissioning in the US – and I’ve posted before about why 13 weeks is a nice number to have financially.

(Interestingly, Bill Cunningham thinks that the six-part model is ripe for revival, as part of a low-cost D2DVD market – take a look at this DMc post and the comments for a quick discussion. But I’m with Jane Featherstone – the path to profit for a UK indie is in TV sales, and six episodes a season just doesn’t cut it.)

Will the new UK standard force a shift to a writers’ room model? At the moment, the showrun shows (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Robin Hood) use a model with a head writer commissioning, creating the overall story arc, and (sometimes) rewriting scripts. The main proponent I’m aware of for this writing style in the US is David Shore.

What we’re not doing yet is breaking stories in the room. And that’s where the heavy lifting goes on in most US shows.

But mainly, the question is this: Will we have a writer in charge of the new breed of shows at ITV?

If so, then this may be the beginning of the end for the old UK model.