August 30, 2007

ABC and SBS to merge?

Posted in ABC1, SBS one at 3:31 pm by Give Me The Remote

So there has been talk again lately about the viability of such a venture which would see the ABC swallow up SBS. Speaking at the National Press Club, SBS managing director Shaun Brown has said that should the station not receive an increase in funding, then future government’s may be tempted to make SBS merely a side service of the ABC.

SBS Managing Director, Shaun Brown
Shaun Brown

“Really, the only rationale for putting SBS inside the ABC would be to achieve commercialisation of the ABC by stealth – a sort of Trojan Horse,” said Mr Brown.


SBS has certainly been in the wars a bit lately thanks to their more ‘commercial’ strategy. A shift in programming and 5 minutes of ads per 30 minutes have seen the network cop criticism from all angles. But what choice do they have? They must remain viable.


It would be a tragedy if the ABC and SBS were to merge. They are complete separate entities and it is their independence from the commercial networks (and each other) that is at the very core of their being.

Election promises? I’m sure the SBS would like some.

Read the full article here..


August 29, 2007

The Mint is stingier than Quizmania

Posted in Nine Network at 3:19 pm by Give Me The Remote

So the other night I had the telly on and saw The Mint for the first time. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s pretty much Quizmania with a new set, new hosts, new graphics and new games. But it’s all the same – they take a call every few minutes to win some silly game. I guess quizmania couldn’t survive in its current format after the departure of the fabulous Nikki Osborne – she’s wasted on The Nation at the moment.

Nikki on Quizmania

But the main change I noticed between the old Quizmania and this new Mint was the distinct decrease in the amount of cash given away. The first game, some counting squares things, last for about half an hour I think when they ended the thing and revealed the answer. The second game was some word thing where there are 4 words, each with a letter missing and the four missing letters make up another word. So there were dozens of possible answers to this game and after just under 2 and a half hours or 10 guesses (okay maybe a few more) they revealed the answer with again no winner. So with 15 minutes left and no money given away all night they had a little $300 gimme game that the first caller answered correctly.

The Mint cast

They also have a jackpot round with about 30 grand up for grabs. To win the big bucks, you have to first win one of the regular games and then crack the 3 digit safe code. As you can easily work out, the odds of this are slims, cracking a 3 digit code has odds of 1/1000 or .001. Although I haven’t actually seen anyone have a crack at it so I’m guessing the odds are considerably lessened if the code remains the same until it goes off.

So that’s The Mint (with Rob ‘Millsy’ Mills nee Hilton et al). Quizmania was better (especially with Nikki) but even that was really a case of the lesser of two evils.

In summation, don’t bother.

August 28, 2007

Ad scheduling in Californication

Posted in Network Ten at 5:42 pm by Give Me The Remote

Thanks to the mounds of press this new Californication show has been receiving, I was intrigued as to see what this show was actually like.

General impressions were that it wasn’t really that bad, although I can definitely understand where the show’s title has come from. I think Mr Duchovny bedroom smells like of 5 different kinds of perfume.

David Duchovny & Natascha McElhone in Californication

But the thing that intrigued me the most about this program, was the obvious fact that channel ten are riding a lot on the success of this program. Ten treated the show very much like a movie in its scheduling of advertisement breaks.

I quickly sketched up a little time chart showing where the ad breaks were located throughout the show. The actual program segments are coloured in red, whilst the ad breaks are the little black wedges (the show had a duration of 40 minutes).

Californication Ad Spread

As you can see, the first three ad breaks were only just over a minute (85, 80 and 75 seconds respectively), whereas the last break went for 4 minutes. Such unevenly thought out ad breaks really shouts out that the network was doing everything it could to keep viewers watching this one.


All’s said and done it didn’t rate terrifically well compared to its rivals (just under a million nationally), however it has been thrust into a difficult timeslot up against City Homicide. 

I wonder if they’ll do the same next week.

August 27, 2007

Police raid Channel 7 after new drug leak

Posted in Seven Network at 4:17 pm by Give Me The Remote

In the cut throat world of journalism, reporters will often go to extreme lengths to break a story and receive the glory associated with this. For this reason, it is not surprising that often ethics don’t really go hand in hand with breaking the stories.

But what is even ethical? It’s a blurry line. It’s complicated. It changes. Society changes. People change. It’s all about judgement.

One area that’s currently being pushed by the television networks is the drug confidentiality code of the AFL. I have now seen and read countless debates in various media about this issue.


Channel 7 has recently been in a little bit of strife for its naming of an AFL player that Brisbane Lions player Jason Akermanis had suspected of taking a banned drug.

Jason Akermanis

You’d think that perhaps after the furore this created that they would maybe just hold off a bit next time and try to respect the AFL’s code. As debateable as the effectiveness of the AFL’s drugs code is, it is still slander to make allegations that could ruin players’ reputations.

So it’s interesting to note that the police have become involved in the recent 7 exclusive about a Melbourne based AFL club’s alleged drug use. Police today have raided the network’s Docklands office and seized medical documents relating to this story as part of investigations that this information may have been stolen.

Channel Seven

Such breaking news journalism can produce substantial rewards but of course it can also be very risky business.

It’ll be interesting to see how this one develops.

August 23, 2007

Eddie shafts Ed (and Livinia)

Posted in Nine Network at 2:46 pm by Give Me The Remote

So Mr McGuire and his people have spoken and they’ve decided that Temptation will be replaced with Who Wants To Be A Millionaire for 5 nights a week.

This is terrible news.. instead of 50 questions a night we’re going to get 5! I don’t know if I could stand it – the tension kills me (in other words it will bore me to death).

7pm without Livinia and Chelsea (and Ed and Scotty as well) will be somewhat hollow. The 6:25 weather bulletin will have to do for now for my Livinia fix.

Livinia Nixon

I very much hope that Temptation returns sooner rather than later.

August 22, 2007

Thank you ABC2 – Red Dwarf repeats!

Posted in ABC2 at 5:46 pm by Give Me The Remote

It’s been a little while now, but thanks to ABC2 .. repeats of Red Dwarf!

Red Dwarf

Red Dwarf, for those who have forgotten, was the comedy science fiction series that lasted for 8 series over a 10 year period. The program is about a crew of about 4 who inhabit a mining ship 3 million years in the future from now.

Red Dwarf Cast

The first episode titled ‘The End’ – of course – aired last night (21/08/07) and will be repeated this Sunday at 6:30pm. The show will then screen Tuesdays at 8pm and Sundays at 6:30pm every week on the ABCs digital channel.

Yes I know that the series has been out on VHS and DVD for ages and its probably reasonably cheap but there’s just something a little bit magic about watching a series on TV again, sort of takes you back to the first time you saw it. Dr Who fans would know what I mean after the ABC last year decided to show millions of the episodes of that seemingly neverending franchise.

Red Dwarf Logo

Anyway kids, 8pm Tuesdays or 6:30pm Sundays ABC2, be there – you don’t want to make Mr Flibble cross now do you?

August 21, 2007

Is Thank God You’re Here really 1.87m good?

Posted in Network Ten at 3:41 pm by Give Me The Remote

In other news Channel 10 had the number 1 program last week (12/08/07 – 18/0807) with Thank God You’re Here, reaching out to 1.87 million Aussie telly watchers. 1.87 million!!

Thank God You’re Here

It bewilders me how this program has become so popular. The format is ever so basic and undergraduate, and it is often a train wreck (read: boring). Yes I can see that some of the fun and charm of the program is watching contestants some of the slower witted ‘celebrities’ almost die on stage. I can also see that at times some of the celebs can produce some moments of comedy silver.

The show isn’t terrible.. by no means is it terrible. But it’s not 1.87 million good. You probably heard all the press last year about how they’ve sold the concept to a few countries. The United States aired the first two episodes of its own version in early April and 7 episodes (and moved timeslot) later the program was cancelled Surprising? Not really.

Maybe this says more about the standard of Australian programs than anything else. Our comedy series (some are quite good) are lucky to last out a season (unless they’re on ABC) yet put a celebrity on a reality program (let’s call it comedy) and its a ratings smash.

Speaking of comedy ratings smashes – Kath & Kim will be this weeks #1 program. I’m not a massive fan of this program.. but I’m willing to accept the merits in the writing of this program and the performances by the now ‘all star’ Aussie cast.

August 18, 2007

Some things never change…

Posted in Advertisements at 3:12 pm by Give Me The Remote

This advertisement for Heinz Baked Beanz is just a little bit wrong, but it gives me a good laugh everytime that I see it.

It’s based upon the recurring worldwide Heinz slogan that ‘Some things never change’ that has been used in a number of ads thus far.

So these two random guys are in a supermarket aisle when one recognises the other. It turns out that the guy on the left, or ‘Christine’ used to go to the same high school as guy on the right ‘Ryan’.

Heinz Baked Beanz 1

Ryan then has a flash back to his high school days with Christine, who was perhaps a little different looking back then (more like you’d expect a ‘Christine’ to look like?).

Heinz Baked Beanz 2

Cut back to a shocked Ryan who, struggling for words, says ‘I see you still like your baked beanz.’ Christine replies, wait for it.. ‘Some things never change eh?’

Heinz Baked Beanz 3

Look, you’re just going to have to watch it to get the full effect. I definitely recommend that you do:

August 16, 2007

WIN TV gives Channel 9 some headaches

Posted in Nine Network at 8:14 pm by Give Me The Remote

Interesting developments today with WIN Television dumping Kerri-Anne’s morning program in favour of its own regional chat program called ‘Susie’.

Mornings with Kerri-Anne  Susie

This is not good news for 9 who have sold advertorials on KAK’s show to businesses on the understanding that the show is broadcast all over the country.

WIN TV will also replace the last half hour of the Today show, ‘Fresh’, and the morning news with ‘Ellen’ and a local kids show ‘The Music Shop’. Antiques Roadshow had also recently been replaced with The Brady Bunch.

It is understood that there are discrepancies between the amount of WIN’s gross advertising revenue that they are prepared to hand over to 9.



This doesn’t help Mornings with Kerri-Anne at all, who were already in trouble after losing serious numbers to 7’s new morning program. Her days may be numbered…

If worse comes to worst with WIN and 9 relations, WIN could actually source its own programs and be run totally independently of 9. However, this wouldn’t be a good outcome for either WIN or 9 – it’s definitely in the interest of both parties to sort this one out.

August 15, 2007

The effects of the internet

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:12 pm by Give Me The Remote

At least the internet is good for something.

Well it’s good for lots of things, but this things is an out-and-out good thing, not a bad thing wrapped in good things clothes. It’s good for the consumer anyway, although probably makes the local networks just that little bit more nervious.

Okay so you’ve got this far and you’re thinking what am i talking about? Well you know how in the past we’ve had to put up with receiving American (and British) television shows anywhere between 6 months and 2 years after they’ve screened in the US. Well this is generally because the local networks here want to see how they fare over a whole season (or two) before opening up their wallets. So we get used to being at least 6 months behind American TV (and everything else sometimes it seems).

Enter internet. Anyone remember trying to avoid hearing the result of Survivor and you get on the net and there it is splashed across everywhere ‘Richard Hatch wins Survivor’ or somebody spoiling the ending to Seinfeld etc etc. This is has been extremely irritating for a little while now. Thanks but no thanks Mr. Internet!

Richard Hatch wins Survivor

Well it’s taken a while but we’re finally seeing some faster internet down here, which also means we’re seeing more streaming content, which means we have access to television over the net – although not quite totally legally yet. But the networks don’t like this and so what do we get? American programs down here within days of them being broadcast in the states. House, Heroes, Prison Break will follow the trend of the OC and the current Survivor and will be seen almost at the same time as our North American cousins.


So what does this mean for Aussie viewers? Less chance of seeing endings of our fave programs spoilt on the internet and less waiting time from seeing the programs on ET and actually airing on our screens.

What does this mean for networks? They’re going to have to take a little bit more of a risk with US programs and cop it on the chin when some flop.

What do I predict? We’re going to get some really good late night viewing. A few of these new American programs eg Life, Californication, will undoubtedly flop and the networks will end up screening them just before (or after) Letterman. Torchwood, The Office anyone?

The Office

Set your alarm clocks kids, you’re gonna need them.

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