E4 (channel)

E4 (channel)

Infobox TV channel
name = E4
logofile = E4.svg
logosize = 80px
logoalt = E4 logo
launch = 18 January, 2001
share = 1.5% (0.6% for E4+1)
share as of = July 2008
share source = [http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/monthreports.cfm?report=monthgmulti BARB]
owner = Channel 4 Television Corporation
country = flagicon|UKUnited Kingdom
flagicon|Ireland Ireland
picture format = 16:9/4:3, 576i (SDTV)
timeshift names = E4+1
sister names = Channel 4, More4, Film4, 4Music
web = [http://www.e4.com www.e4.com]
terr serv 1 = Freeview
terr chan 1 = Channel 29
Channel 30 (+1)
sat serv 1 = Freesat
sat chan 1 = Channel 122
Channel 123 (+1)
sat serv 2 = Sky Digital
sat chan 2 = Channel 136
Channel 137 (+1)
sat serv 3 = Astra 2D
sat chan 3 = 10729V 22000 5/6
cable serv 1 = Virgin Media
cable chan 1 = Channel 144
Channel 145 (+1)
cable serv 2 = UPC Ireland
cable chan 2 = Channel 112
Channel 113 (+1)
adsl serv 1 = Tiscali TV
adsl chan 1 = Channel 14

E4 is a digital television channel in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, launched as a pay-TV companion to Channel 4 on 18 January 2001. The "E" stands for "entertainment", and the channel is mainly aimed at the lucrative 15 - 35 age group. Programming includes US imports such as "Friends", "ER", "The O.C.", "Smallville", "The Sopranos", "What About Brian?", "Desperate Housewives", "Gilmore Girls", "One Tree Hill", "Scrubs", and British dramas such as "Shameless", "Hollyoaks", "Skins" and "Nearly Famous". Some of the imports, e.g. "The O.C.", "Ugly Betty" and "Desperate Housewives", are screened on E4 up to one week ahead of their Channel 4 broadcasts.

When the "Big Brother" reality show is being transmitted E4 devotes much of its schedule to live coverage from inside the "Big Brother" house; interactive features that give access to additional camera angles have also been transmitted. The channel also allows "Big Brother" voting options and "Big Brother" repeats. "Big Brother" coverage is among the highest-rating programming on the channel, and comes at a time when most of the year's American imports have ended.

On 16 December 2004, Channel 4 announced that the subscription channel would launch on digital terrestrial television. It was a part of the Top Up TV subscription scheme until 27 May 2005, when the channel became available on Freeview, with the potential to increase advertising revenue by attracting a larger audience.

E4 was also available as part of the basic Sky Digital satellite subscription channel package, due to a long term contract with BSkyB due to expire in 2008. However, on 6 May 2008 the channel went Free-to-Air along with more4 as part of the launch of Freesat.

In May 2005 E4 introduced "First Look", showing episodes of popular programmes such as "Hollyoaks" and drama series such as "Lost" and "Invasion" in advance of transmission on Channel 4.

In August 2005 E4 became a 24-hour channel with the introduction of E4 Music. It transmits from 6 a.m. (7am on E4+1) unless Big Brother or other reality shows are in progress.

In October 2005 More4 was launched to complement Channel 4's digital channels. "The West Wing" has since been moved exclusively to More4.

E4 launched a Republic of Ireland service in June 2002 which has become the second most popular non-terrestrial channel in Ireland with 1.1% of the audience; Sky1 is the most popular. [http://www.medialive.ie/Television/chshare.html] .

Since 2006 E4 has sponsored the E4 UdderBELLY venue (part of Underbelly) at the Edinburgh Fringe and Brighton Festival. The venue took the form of a giant upside cow in the purple colour of E4's logo.

In July 2007 it was announced Channel 4 would be launching E4 Radio, the first of a network of channels to be broadcast on DAB radio .The station will be launched in July 2008 and will be aimed at a similar demographic to its sister television channel. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6276076.stm BBC NEWS | Business | E4 Radio to be first new network ] ]


E4 has become somewhat notorious for its strange promotion campaigns, narrated by the infamous ‘voice of E4’, the late Patrick Allen. Since Allen's death in 2006, the similar voice of Peter Dickson has been used. Trailers often make use of dry humour and phrases which, at first, do not appear to make any sense. Past examples include:
* “Big shiny films in your dinky little home!”
* “Second chance Sunday — not just a bunch of repeats, honest.”

Programme trailers sometimes have the narrator repeating things that characters have said, such as, in a trailer for "Ugly Betty" that includes one character asking Betty "Why are you crying in the bathroom?", the narrator immediately asks "Why "is" Betty crying in the bathroom?!". And on another occasion he says "Oh No! Kerry Katona must be double booked." commenting on a cameo by Victoria Beckham. Sometimes the narrator appears to interact with the characters of the programme, especially notable in recent trailers for "Miss Match" and "What About Brian".

Films are usually gently ridiculed in their promotion, such as with the voice of E4 telling viewers they "probably will" guess the ending of "She's All That" and naming actress Kim Cattrall as "That slaggy one from "Sex and the City" when advertising an old film she was in. There is also quite heavy use of British words which have generally fallen out of circulation, such as ‘ruddy’ and ‘gaff’.

Occasionally, the E4 narrator narrates for trailers which will show on More4, ending with him being caught off guard that he's narrating for a "different" channel.

E4's continuity sends up the channel's "Friends"-reliant schedule - while in the past, announcements would generally be the same for example "Now it's time to relax with Friends", more recently the announcers have been more inventive with phrases such as "....after an episode of Friends we've shown so many times the tape's gone a bit wobbly" before a Series 1 episode which indeed had a distorted soundtrack. The "Next" DOG which runs towards the end of programmes on the channel parodies the schedule with phrases such as "Next: The One with Jennifer Aniston". Another example of using "Friends" to get ratings was via promotion for the sitcom "The Class"; the show was continuously billed as being from one of the creators of "Friends", David Crane. When a late schedule change meant an edition of "Big Brother's Big Mouth" was moved to Channel 4 in a bid to up ratings, the E4 announcer, Dominic O'Shea said: "Instead, well, I dunno, we'll probably just show another Friends or something." There have only been a handful of days since the creation of E4 when Friends hasn't been shown, after the previous day's editions, the continuity announcers have been heard to say things like, 'Hell must have frozen over because there's no Friends on tomorrow.'

On one occasion when a playout-error caused part of an episode of "Desperate Housewives" to be repeated, the announcer said, "I know we repeat ourselves a lot on E4 but that was of course a technical fault. Hopefully we'll have it fixed by the time it's repeated on Sunday," [http://forum.digitalspy.co.uk/board/showpost.php?p=8153306&postcount=28] playing on the fact that many of E4's imported American drama programmes are shown at least twice for each episode.


External links

* [http://www.e4.com/ E4.com] official site

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