November 19, 2007

SBS announces Aussie version of Top Gear

Posted in SBS one at 8:26 pm by Give Me The Remote

Very excellent news today with SBS announcing that they will be making a local version of Top Gear. It will be.. wait for it.. ‘uniquely and quintessentially Australian’. Quintessentially is such a long word. So yeah, it’s not just going to replicate the UK version in other words.

Top Gear
Top Gear hosts – Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May

Possible segments?

A race between a Smith St tram and a car? (The tram would have to be given a days head start)

Maybe a weekly segment.. Ford v Holden

Instead of racing Lamborghinis and Ferraris, pit a souped up Hilux against an XR8.

Actually I have been a bit of a fan of the Channel 9 car shows over the years. There’s probably some good stuff there that SBS can steal. Research, whatever.

Jeremy Clarkson

I love Jeremy Clarkson’s quote “I’m delighted that Top Gear is going to Australia. Maybe the first guest could be Jonny Wilkinson.”

Only after Shane Warne appears on your version buddy.


November 18, 2007

Why Australian Idol is bad news for alternative artists

Posted in Network Ten at 1:58 pm by Give Me The Remote

As a fan of independent music, please let me indulge. 

How does an Australian Idol finalist regain their credibility after appearing for weeks on this glorified karaoke machine?

Idol Karaoke

It’s almost a given that once an individual makes the jump to the Idol stage they are no longer a regular singer or musician.. they will forever have Australian Idol winner/loser/finalist at the start of their name. They will have 40 year old women coming to their concerts for years to come and nobody in the industry will forget their version of that song that starts reasonably soft before ending with soaring vocals and tears aplenty.

But fame! There’s the fame. Appearing on television in front of a million viewers every week and umpteen invites to D grade envelope openings alongside Big Brother housemates. Performing for the next 12 months to sellout crowds of screaming girls and their arms-crossed boyfriends and husbands.

But once the whirlwind ride ends (probably with a highest selling single ARIA award under arm) and all memories of their weekly vocal excellence long forgotten there must become a time when the artist begins to tire of the Idol tag. But can they lose it? Probably not. Kelly Clarkson has done well. She’s transformed into a ‘real’ artist now (where television ratings aren’t an indicator of record sales). I’d definitely call her an anomaly.

Recently latest Australian Idol winner Matt Corby has made some comments indicating that he is already unhappy with the ‘fringe benefits’ of beginning his record career through Idol. He’s not happy with the winners song (and neither is Natalie for that matter) and has said “Look, it’s an Idols song — it’s kind of not something I’d choose to release. I’m being diplomatic. This competition has made me look like I’m into pop, but I’m not.”

Jacob Butler & Matt Corby
Alternative Idol contestants – Jacob Butler & Matt Corby

When Sam Simmons interviewed him on the red carpet at the ARIAs for Triple J, Corby stated that he’s already trying to get away from the ‘whole Idol thing’. Simmons replied “Well it’s going to be hard buddy, coz you’re in it.”

It’s not really a wise career move for an independent style performer to appear on Australian Idol. They won’t win. No hope against the Christina Aguilera impersonators. So when their time ends and they’re back on the pub/club circuit trying to be cool again, the local labels will remember the Idol time and it will prove a hindrance.

Let’s be honest now. It shouldn’t. But in the world of independent music, it’s this ‘selling out’ that will hurt their signing chances more than dodgy pitch or a boring chorus.

November 12, 2007

Ford – Backyard Series Cricket

Posted in Advertisements at 1:58 pm by Give Me The Remote

Ford have produced a couple of cheeky cricket advertisements to plug their Backyard Series Cricket promotion. The two advertisements feature current Australian cricketers Matthew Hayden, Michael Clarke, Andrew Symonds and Michael Hussey.

The first spot, entitled ‘Whose Rules?’ begins with Clarke nicking a ball to the fence. Hayden claims that he’s out, automatic wickey, Symonds looks confused and Hussey agrees with Hayden. Hussey says ‘Rules are rules’ and Symonds retorts, ‘oh yeah, whose rules?’ A staring contest follows before Bill Lawry’s head appears out a window saying ‘Hey boys, I think this means war.’

 Ford Backyard Series Cricket

The second spot, ‘One – Zip’ begins with rain pouring down in the backyard. Hussey insists that it’s fine to play, whereas Clarke doesn’t want to play in the wet and Symonds doesn’t want to play because they ‘keep changing the rules all the time.’ After a second sledge from Hayden about him being a ‘pretty boy’, Clarke gets up and says ‘I’m going to Bill’s’ (Lawry). Symonds gets up and follows as the other boys make ‘oooo’ sounds and Hussey says ‘That’s one zip then.’

Ford Backyard Series Cricket

If you’ve been watching the cricket then I’m sure you’ve already seen these two advertisements a gazillion times. I think I’m sick of them already. Here they are:

The ads are plugging this fancy website thingamy where you can do lots of fun stuff or something.. check it.. here.

Nine releases information about The Chopping Block

Posted in Nine Network at 1:38 pm by Give Me The Remote

Production has begun on a new reality television series set in the restaurant business area. ‘The Chopping Block’ is being created by David Barbour and Julian Cress, the folks who gave us such offerings as The Block, Celebrity Overhaul and Celebrity Circus. It will be hosted by Catriona Rowntree (Getaway) and chef Matt Moran (a former judge on Seven’s My Restaurant Rules).

Producers David Barbour and Julian Cress
Producers David Barbour and Julian Cress

The series is being shot both in Melbourne and Sydney where two restaurants will compete each week for a $20 000 cash prize. The restaurants will first receive a review by a secret critic, before being then given $5 000 to overhaul their eatery in 3 days under the guidance of Moran. The businesses will then be scrutinised again and the restaurant who has made the most improvement will get the big ones.

The concept actually sounds quite interesting. I’m liking the fact that we’ll be seeing new restaurants every week – the latter weeks of My Restaurant Rules and The Block start to become a bit boring when it’s just same old, same old. I also believe that Matt Moran is a really good television personality and Nine have been very smart in picking him up.

Celebrity Chef - Matt Moran
Celebrity Chef – Matt Moran

The show will air in 2008.


November 11, 2007

Erin McNaught to join Neighbours

Posted in Network Ten at 9:04 pm by Give Me The Remote

Erin McNaught, former Australian representative for the Miss Universe pageant, has signed a lease to move into Ramsay St.

You may remember that McNaught was a controversial contestant in the Miss Universe after it was discovered that she had posed topless for lads magazine ‘Zoo Weekly’. She was still allowed to compete in the contest, however she earned the (very creative) nickname of Erin ‘McNaughty’.

Erin McNaught

She has since gone on to host the late night channel 10 geek show ‘Cyber Shack’ where she smiles lots and talks about gadgets.

.. and no, of course this post wasn’t just an excuse to post a picture of the very um.. nicely proportioned Miss McNaught.

November 9, 2007

ABC boycotting AFI Awards

Posted in ABC1 at 8:56 am by Give Me The Remote

The ABC will not be attending the AFI Awards in December, and will therefore not funding the attendance of any nominee from the network.

AFI Award
AFI  Award

This comes as a result of the AFI moving some categories from its televised Awards Dinner on December 6 to the more low key Industry Awards the day before. ABC isn’t happy with this because it believes that it will split up some of its programming teams, with the ABC deciding which members of the team will be invited to attend the dinner and who will have to watch it elsewhere on a large screen.

Awards that the ABC are not happy are being moved include: Best Comedy Series, Best Light Entertainment, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, Best Children’s Drama, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, and Outstanding Performance in a Television Comedy.


ABC shows nominated this year include: The Chaser’s War On Everything, The New Inventors, The Sideshow, Spicks & Specks and The Bastard Boys.

Press release:

“We have not taken this decision lightly. The AFI has removed a number of major television awards from the broadcast night. Some categories remain part of the Award Dinner, while others have been moved to the Industry Awards, effectively splitting up some program teams.

“The AFI alone has selected those they believe are the highest-profile faces to attend the broadcast, while other members of the team do not receive an invite to the dinner/broadcast. Instead they are invited to view the telecast on a large screen elsewhere.

“As we all know, making television is a team effort, and ABC TV cannot support this move which favours some over others. We have spoken with the AFI to see if there is any way they will address our concerns, and they have advised us that changes can’t be made. Therefore, ABC TV Management has decided, with regret, that we are unable to support this year’s AFI Awards.”

Source: The Spy Report

November 8, 2007

The Sideshow axed

Posted in ABC1 at 4:47 pm by Give Me The Remote

The ABC have decided that ‘The Sideshow’ will not be back in 2008. The program, a sort of cabaret style light entertainment extravaganza hasn’t pulled the numbers required by the ABC. In its original timeslot at 7:30pm on Saturday nights it pulled 615000 nationally and then 410000 at its 8:30 slot (which is not too bad up against Saturday night AFL).

Hosted by the very talented (and sometimes annoying – but that some of his charm) Paul McDermott, ‘The Sideshow’ was basically a collection of comedy bits, circus and burlesque acts, and musical numbers. Regulars on the show included: The Umbilical Brothers, Tripod, Claire Hooper and Flacco.

Claire Hooper and Paul McDermott on The Sideshow

It has been a really fun, quality show that has suffered due to shocking timeslots. Its ideal demographic would definitely have been the younger 18-49 group, probably the section of the public most likely to not be at home watching television on Saturday night. I guess it feels like a Saturday night show (light entertainmenty) but it’s not a kids show and so therefore can’t be chucked in the 7:30 slot. Plus, take a look at the Saturday night lineup – New Tricks (crime/drama), The Bill (crime/drama) then look at Wednesday – Spicks and Specks (music), The Chaser (comedy), The Librarians (comedy) and At the Movies (arts).

The ABC persisted for many years with medium to poor figures for the Chaser until a decent timeslot saw it regularly be the top rating program of the night. Granted Chaser was a much cheaper show to produce, but the lesson is still the same.. give a decent show a decent timeslot.

The Sideshow

I guess I’m just flogging a dead horse now, but it really is a shame because The Sideshow had a lot of great acts. I taped the program most weeks and watched some of the stuff over multiple times. A quick search of ‘The Sideshow’ in YouTube will result in many videos that viewers have deemed fit to put on the net.

There’s 4 episodes left. Make sure you see at least one! Sideshow whooah oooo ooh (thats the theme tune often sung at the end).

Shelley Craft leaves The Great Outdoors

Posted in Seven Network at 10:07 am by Give Me The Remote

Channel Seven have issued a statement confirming the departure of Shelley Craft from the Great Outdoors. She has been a reporter on the travel show since 2001 following stints on Saturday Disney, Perfect Match, Guinness World Records and various sporting event telecasts.

Shelley Craft
Shelley Craft

“Reporting for The Great Outdoors is a dream job but it’s also hard work. I’ve given it six wonderful years and now and feel I’ve achieved everything I could within the role. I’m incredibly proud of the stories that I’ve done but now I’m looking forward to a change, some new challenges and seeing the world in my own time.”

I can’t really say that this is bad news. No, it’s not that I don’t like her – in fact it’s quite the opposite. I reckon she’s great. She has a really nice, warm personality and lights up the screen on every television show where she appears. I’m hoping that her departure from the Great Outdoors might mean that she will be given roles on some half-decent shows that I might actually bother to watch. One can dream.

November 7, 2007

Contestant loses Temptation on name pronunciation

Posted in Nine Network at 6:50 pm by Give Me The Remote

Okay, so perhaps make up your own minds on this one. But I reckon it was pretty tough on the carry over champ. I think his name was David but not sure.

I’ve forgotten the question, but the answer was Maria Callas and the champ pronounced her last name ‘Callay’. The judges ruled it incorrect and he ended up losing by 1 point. He wasn’t happy about it either.. straight after the game finished you could see him speaking his mind to the contestant next to him (the winner).

Maria Callas
The lady in question.. Maria Callas

I guess the judges decision is final… and had they given it to him it could have been seen as unfair on the lady who won. It’s a tough one..

Ten’s ‘rapid cuts’ (subliminal ads) go unpunished

Posted in Network Ten at 3:36 pm by Give Me The Remote

How’s this for ridiculous. Channel 10 aren’t going to get in trouble by ACMA over their ARIA award subliminal advertising because nobody has laid an official complaint.

ARIAs 2007

Check out this media watch report for background:

Channel 10 reckons that ‘rapid cuts’ are often used in music presentations. “Claims that our ARIA’s nominations packages included subliminal or near-subliminal advertising are incorrect,” said Margaret Fearn, a spokesperson for Ten.

So here’s the big question.. does subliminal advertising work?

Heaps of people will tell you that it’s brainwashing and really devious. Others will tell you that it doesn’t work and that it’s a ridiculous concept. Tests haven’t really been totally conclusive on this one. But they have been conclusive enough to make this sort of thing illegal (since 1958 in fact).

Absolut subliminal
Can you see the ‘hidden’ message?

Personally I’m not a big believer in the effectiveness of subliminality. If I were in advertising I would much prefer to use an approach that is a bit more obvious. Just the regular product placement works better than flicking something up that your eyes may or may not have caught.

Anyway, regardless of this, I think it’s really quite funny that ten are going to get away with it just because nobody has complained.


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