Sky One is investing increasing amounts in original content, and its Easter blockbuster was one of the best new programmes over the Bank Holiday weekend. Genuine family entertainment was hard to find, but this adaptation of the first in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series provided a visual feast for those who like their Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. David Jason was convincing in the lead role, having already starred in Sky's adaptation of Pratchett's The Hogfather. Good news for fans is that Sky will be bringing a third Discworld novel, Going Postal, to the screen.
Dennis Publishing's new online gadget and technology magazine is definitely worth a read for those interested in games, mobile and the latest computing products. Picking up where the publisher's lads' mag Monkey left off, this is a more sophisticated product for a slightly more upmarket audience. The content is ideal for a web mag (gizmomag.co.uk) and the navigation is straightforward, through areas such as news, features and reviews. The magazine makes good use of video for both editorial and advertising content, and could become a must-read for a wide audience.
THE RETURN OF THE APPRENTICE
It's a shame that The Apprentice is not on commercial TV, but this week's return has been hotly anticipated. This year's mix of contestants looks sure to keep us both horrified and amazed, as the competition and back-stabbing begins. Sir Alan Sugar looks fired-up for this series, claiming some of the challenges are more spectacular than ever. He adds that he'd like a new catchphrase, but is contractually obliged to say: "You're fired." We're glad that's the case.
The US update of Bionic Woman has proved a big hit for lTV2. The former EastEnder Michelle Ryan may not be convincing in the lead role occupied in the 70s original by Lindsay Wagner, but she's certainly helping to pull in a big audience. Early episodes gave ITV2 its highest-ever ratings, with more than two million viewers and in excess of 10 per cent viewing share. At this rate, ITV1 could do worse than move it to Saturday teatime - then it really would be like the old days.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
BBC GETTING FORMULA ONE RIGHTS
We're again enjoying ITV's coverage of the Formula One season, which is sadly set to be its last. The BBC successfully bid for the rights after ITV apparently got cold feet when faced with spending more to secure Champions League football. It's not the BBC's coverage we object to, but the fact that licence payers' money will be spent on something that was covered perfectly well on commercial television for advertisers' benefit. A sad loss of a strong audience demographic for ITV clients, coupled with yet more frittering away of the licence fee.