ITV has announced that, after over sixty years of trials, it is on the verge of finding the point from which it is impossible to dumb down programmes any further.
Televisual scientists at the network revealed the news at a jubilant press conference. ‘We’ve been plumbing the depths since we were launched in 1955, drilling down and down into what we originally thought were infinite levels of TV stupidity,” said the project leader, director of television Peter Fincham. ‘But now we believe we have finally identified the smallest possible unit of intelligence, making it impossible to dumb down any more.
Explaining the research, Fincham revealed that daytime broadcasts such as Jeremy Kyle or Loose Women have been found to contain absolute zero intellectual nourishment, about the same as looking at a carrot or parsnip for several hours. But newer shows like The Only Way is Essex or Made in Chelsea actually contain negative levels of intelligence – roughly equivalent to a dog chasing its own tail, or a monkey hurling faeces at its own reflection.
‘The whole point of our lowest-common-denominator initiative is to stretch the denominator as low as possible, and hopefully include barnyard animals,’ Fincham added. ‘We’re racking our brains to make the stupidest possible program imaginable, like a reality show where Ant and Dec adopt a walrus, or a version of Splash where celebrities take a dump from a diving board while Gillian McKeith judges it before it goes out for the public vote, but something much stupider than that. You know, like Sex Box Live, or Newsnight. Come on, think, man, think!’