THE CHART SHOW  

 

This highly innovative and influential show was first broadcast at 5.30 pm on the same day and channel as Solid Soul. It utilised an ingenious but in hindsight very simple idea, which was to produce a show without presenters. All the music featured would be from artists’ promotional videos, while on rare occasions concert footage would be shown. Other charts which would not normally see the light of day on television were included, such as the indie (music from independent labels) and the album charts. The rock, dance, and singles charts were shown alternately during the course of a month. Another of the show’s innovations was it’s style of presentation. Computer graphics were superimposed onto the videos once they had begun, which gave the viewers details about the artist concerned, and made it appear that their television set was a VCR. These were produced by a company called Video Visuals, and during the first series they were of a very basic design and wire-frame in nature, but as computer technology progressed they became much more elaborate. Once the show was extended from 45 minutes to an hour long more music could be aired, this also enabled the showing of full length videos whenever exclusive ones were obtained. Such was the case when Michael Jackson’s 7 minute promo for The Way You Make Me Feel was shown during 1988.

A move to Saturday mornings on ITV at the end of the 1980s, meant that there was the potential for even higher ratings, which was indeed the case. But in the early 1990s, the growing proliferation of cable and satellite TV services began to corrode the loyalty of the programme's viewers. In essence, this is what caused the show’s demise; The availability of music videos was no longer it's exclusive domain, as viewers could now tune into dedicated 24 hour music videos whenever they chose to. Ironically a few years later, the show was resurrected as a music channel itself, and is available again in a modernised format. But competitors on the internet such as You Tube, have emerged since it's return, which means that even television music channels now have to compete for viewers.

* Updated 14 September 2017