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Fiver Life

RELAUNCH! Fiver, formerly Five Life, all day

You'd be forgiven for not realising that Five Life was relaunching itself today. as, *cough* Fiver. We watch Five every day (well Neighbours anyway) and we haven't seen any trails whatsoever for the relaunch of its non-Five US offshoot channel. We're not exactly calling this the most successful rebranding/relaunching in history.

We assume the Fiver branding took something from the lead of UKTVG2's successful rebranding as Dave. But that channel succeeded less on the basis of its name and more because it had a very good promotional strategy. This channel? Notsomuch. (Interestingly, the 'brand consultants' behind the rebranding are called Dave. Coincidence?)

So what IS this Fiver business anyway? Well, the limited material we have seen on the Five website suggests that it's the network's answer to BBC Three, E4, and, er, ITV2. In other words, the younger, hipper, edgier channel of the Five family. In reality? It's Five Life under another, stupider name, with fewer episodes of House Doctor, How to be a Property Developer and the like, which is silly, because, other than Neighbours evening episodes, those were the only things we ever watched on Five Life.

Its relaunch kicks off with what it hopes will be two 'big hitters': the second series of Dirt and new show Celebrity Rehab. We really liked Dirt when series one started out. But then it got a bit floundering, we forgot it was on sometimes, and our relationship gradually drifted apart. At least they promoted series one. Again, not one trailer have we seen for this second series (and we still don't understand why this isn't shown on Five US). Celebrity Rehab is a fly-on-the-wall docusoap/reality thingy set in, well, rehab. We don't know who features in this, other than perpetual reality star, Brigitte Nielsen.

The problem with 'Fiver' as a relaunched 'yoof' brand is it lacks its own identity. It has nothing that is the equivalent of The Mighty Boosh, Gavin and Stacey, Skins or even Fat Men Can't Hunt. We know E4 doesn't have that many of its 'own' shows, either, but it at least gives more 'first-looks', not just of the imports, but of the home grown comedy and drama, too. It's worrying when the new networks biggest relaunch shows are those that would seem to be more at home on Five US and ITV2 respectively.

We want to give this channel a chance: after all, if nothing else, it shows lots of Home and Away and Neighbours, which keeps us happy, but so far: must try harder. Better programming and better promotion are needed if the channel is going to be 'a contender'. Let's hope they have something up their sleeves...

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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