As more new technology becomes popular and TV stations struggle to get as large audiences as before, what we see is more convergence. This is where TV shows don't just broadcast a programme on TV but involve us by using mobile phones, internet sites, radio and newspapers. All the media together provides us with an entertaining experience and makes more money for the production companies to help pay for the production costs.
With only one out of only three channels broadcasting (ITV on strike and BBC2 out of action) on a stormy evening, Mike Leighs Abigail’s Party was watched by 16 million people
iPlayer and hard disc recorders like Sky Plus have affected 'watercooler TV', which is the term used to describe TV shows that are so popular that everyone talks about them the next day around the watercooler (or in the playground at breaktime!). They have also affected 'event TV', shows that become an event in themselves. Everyone tunes in together, it is talked about on radio and in the papers. Examples of this are Big Brother or Pop Idol finals or the Doctor Who Christmas specials. You can't watch it a few days later as you'll have found out what happened. Before video recorders were common soap operas and one-off shows like the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special shows were also examples of event TV because if you missed the show you couldn’t watch it on repeat or on video.
A TV show like Strictly Come Dancing will have 'news' stories in newspapers, be gossiped about on radio shows and daytime TV chat shows, and there will be a website for official news and information. The website may also let you watch live (such as with Big Brother) or let you download 'goodies' like video clips or wallpaper for your computer. Chances are you can also access it on your mobile phone to get specially produced content for your phone that you can share with your friends by bluetooth. This is all to encourage you to watch the show regularly, form attachments with participants and to spend money voting for them (using your TV remote, phone or computer).