Category Archives: Channel Nine

News: Sam Newman has crack at Sam Lane for Double Standards… Again!

In what must be one of the most low-key, yet heated rivalries in the AFL, Sam Newman has thrown another barb at Before the Game panelist Samantha Lane.

Channel Ten was successfully sued this week for $85,000 after Nicole Cornes accused Mick Molloy of damaging her character after he implied that she slept with an AFL player.

Sam Newman, obviously still holding a grudge after she wrote a critical piece slamming the Footy Show for their treatment of women, blasted Samantha Lane tonight for not writing a similarly condemnatory piece about her colleague Mick Molloy (she sits next to him on the Ten program).

Of course, this is not the first time Sam Newman, or in fact the Footy Show has accused Samantha of double standards. After she wrote her piece, The Footy Show highlighted how Samantha (who admittedly probably wasn’t responsible for writing the joke) laughed as the Before the Game team mocked at-the-time AFL player Nick Stevens for his apparent weight issues.

Tonight, Sam Newman began by calling Samantha “Sally Lane” and bringing up Mick’s trial verdict, and musing “I though she would probably come out with a piece (condemning Molloy)”.

But then he jokingly mentioned that it “…takes a couple of weeks for her to get outraged”.

He brought up again the fact that she “pasted” them over their actions, finally accusing her of “Selective outrage”, or double standards, given “she works on the same show (as Molloy)”.

He finished by saying “Maybe, Sally, you could actually write something about the show you’re on”.

Its hard to disagree that Samantha could be accused of only criticising opponents, and reserving public judgement on issues that may affect her employment, it’s difficult to start throwing around phrases such as “conflict of interest”.

Why? Because you’d be hard-pressed to find a media identity in the AFL these days who didn’t have some conflict of interest of some sort.

Eddie McGuire, to name but one, is the most obvious example, due to his status as President of the Collingwood Football Club, as well as the host of a Monday to Friday breakfast radio show, where he puts forth opinions, as well as breaks news about other clubs.

However, a more pertinent example would be none other than James Brayshaw. He is the President of the North Melbourne Football Club, but also has a drive-time radio show, calls the football on weekends and also hosts TWO football TV shows.

And though Sam Newman criticized Samantha for “selective” outrage, he could just the same point the same finger at the bloke next to him.

Only a couple of months ago, Sam Newman himself was the subject of a warning from ACMA over some “racist” comments he made about a Malaysian man.

In case you needed reminding, Sam Newman blatantly called the man a “monkey” and said he was “not long out of the forest”.

However, on the night, neither James Brayshaw or Garry Lyon made any attempt to castigate him (on air), let alone silence him- something, many may argue was in their best interests.

However, like Samantha Lane, Brayshaw is very willing to (rightfully) condemn others for similar displays of racism (he criticized a man who racially abused AFL player Majak Daw), only in Brayshaw’s case, he used the forum of his radio show, rather than a regular newspaper column.

Brayshaw would hardly have been expected to criticise Sam Newman in a similar way, so why should Sam be expected? It’s just really double standards on top of double standards- they’re everywhere, and at the end of the day, both parties come off looking a little silly.

While I don’t expect them to stop anytime soon, this fiery exchange could likely be brought to an abrupt end, with Samantha Lane’s Before the Game in great doubt for next year- so maybe The Footy Show will get the unlikely last laugh.

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News: Top Gear Season 17 Coming Soon to Nine

Australian Top Gear fans can rest easy- the show’s seventeenth season, which began just over two weeks ago in the UK, will finally have an airdate in Australia.

Today Nine have begun airing their “The best is still to come” promos, which feature a montage of the second half of the year’s shows, including Underbelly: Razor, Hamish and Andy’s Gap Year, Top Design and Bear Gryll’s Worst Case Scenario.

There is also a mention of new Top Gear, though, which tells us it isn’t far away.

It won’t be seen for the next two weeks but my tip is TUESDAY JULY 19 at 8:30, given Sea Patrol has its final ever episode airing the week before at July 12, it will leave a hole in the schedule.

The other possibility is Thursday July 21, given its human body series has its finale the previous week, however Nine seems set on airing docos in that slot.

Season Seventeen episode one features a tribute to the E-type Jag, among other things. It is one of six episodes for the season.

News: Top Gear Season 17 Episode 4 Details

From TVRage, we have the latest synopsis for the seventeenth season of Top Gear. Quite significantly, Rowan Atkinson will be making his first appearance on the show (presumably he will be promoting his latest flick Johnny English Reborn).

“The presenters manage to finally find a good use for caravans after they try to make train travel cost less, faster and more interesting. Rowan Atkinson is the celebrity behind the wheel of the Reasonably Priced Car this week. Jeremy gets the chance to test drive the Jaguar XKR-S and the updated Nissan GT-R to compare the two cars.”

News: Can of Worms Ep1 Guests + Set Revealed!

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Before its premiere tomorrow night on Ten at 8:30pm, the Can of Worms set has been revealed. Here it is thanks to Can of Worms audience member @thatcarlaK… Go ahead and follow her!

And it seems to have clarified a few points of interest as to its format;

Firstly, it will not be a typical “panel show”, in the way that, well, there isn’t a panel as such. So, it won’t look like a “7PM project” or a “Gruen Transfer”.

In fact, it more resembles a talk-show set, with the clear delineation of “host” (Dicko) and guests.

But the look can also imply a lot about the show’s format. The separation of host and guests could suggest that Dicko will not take as active a role in the debate at hand than first thought. Though one would think (and hope) he will still do more than throw a question at the guests and watch it bounce around.

There’s also a board to the left of the picture- but I can’t discern its purpose yet. Some things are better left as a surprise though.

But that’s enough speculation for the moment- the set looks fairly dynamic but not too overpowering (see: The White Room), and it at least looks different to everything else we’ve seen on the box this year.

It has also been confirmed that there will be a Twitter-stream running during the show – one of my pet hates- you know, it’s just so bloody predictable for a show these days; a show can be “modern” and “hip” without having reams of tweets broadcast on TV.

It would actually be more interesting if the show just relied on the personalities they’re paying to provide the entertainment.

They need to stop cheapening the experience of watching a TV show. By seemingly breaking down the wall between TV land and viewer, it not only ruins the mystique, but also criminally gives viewers the perception that their views matter to the celebrities, when really it’s just being used as a vehicle to make the show seem more engaging.

Now, in this case, I’m looking at Dancing with the Stars and Q and A, so I am holding out hope that “Worms” changes my opinion on this.

In other words, will Dicko and co. read out tweets that even slightly criticise the opinions of the guests, or take a drastically different viewpoint?

If this doesn’t happen, I hope it doesn’t appear again to be blantantly tokenistic.

In other news Dan Ilic, a presenter on the show has tweeted: “Met @Jason_Akermanis tonight.. great bloke… you’ll love him in @canofwormstv tomorrow night on @channelten”, confirming that colourful AFL personality Jason Akermanis will appear on the first edition of the show, along with Meshel Laurie.

I can’t help but feel nervous about Akermanis’ appearance on the show tomorrow. I know he has a (well-deserved) reputation as a shit-stirrer, but for many, he has it for all the wrong reasons.

He is often seen as an old media troll of sorts, with opinions spouting forth from his mouth (mostly about AFL football) with often very little justification, proof and whatever else you need to form a decent opinion.

Yes, he might be a nice guy, but one often gets the feeling he says things because he knows the media will pick up on it- yes, who would have thought people do that?

And though he may be “nice”, he’s not exactly well-liked. Let’s face it, to say he’s left two AFL clubs in acrimonious circumstances would be an understatement.

Yes, put on controversial people, by all means, but in the first episode of a show to put on a notorious AFL loud-mouth… It just seems slightly risky…
(And this is a show that touches on issues mostly unrelated to the AFL, remember.)

But then again, having him in a debate situation would force him to extrapolate on his usual flamethrower-opinion soundbites, and if anyone can bring the best out of “Aker” it’s Denton and co.

Monday night’s ep will also feature George McEncroe and Craig Reucassel, two exceptional guests, if I do say so myself.

So bring on Monday night!

News: Top Gear Season 17 Episode 2 and 3 Guests, Challenges, Reviews

Source: BBC

After Episode 1 of Season 17 featured Alice Cooper in the “Reasonably Priced Car”, as well as a tribute to the Jaguar E-Type and reviews of the Marauder, BMW 1 Series M Coupe and Mini John Cooper Works WRC, the hijinks for episodes 2 and 3 have been revealed.

Episode 2 will be an Italy special of sorts, with the gang travelling to Italy. Jeremy Clarkson will be in the Citroen DS3 Racing, Richard Hammond will be in the Fiat 500C Abarth and James May will be in the Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup. According to the summary, “they navigate their way round baffling Italian towns and take part in a scavenger hunt.” Ross Noble will be in the “Reasonably Priced Car”

Episode 3 will feature Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond finding second-hand bargains for the price of Britain’s cheapest brand new car, the Nissan Pixo. James May will test the Range Rover Evoque and chauffeur a megastar through Las Vegas. Other cars to be reviewed are the McLaren MP4-12C, and its rival Ferrari 458. Sebastian Vettel will be the special guest.

Channel Nine is still yet to announce an Australian airdate.

Opinion: Can Nine Reclaim Some Glory?

Channel Nine is currently undergoing a resurgence of sorts, after a very lacklustre start to the year.

After heavily promoting the fourth series of The Block in its new 7PM timeslot, it has proven a decent new alternative in its first week on air.

Of course, its strong first week figures will be slightly inflated due to the massive publicity push, but it has arguably begun to turn around Nine’s fortunes.

And let’s face it, any old show that can pull half-decent figures for Nine (we’re talking over a million) will be more than welcome on its schedule, as its first half of the year has certainly been one to forget for the network.

After starting the year touting itself as the “Home of Comedy” it put forth its first offering in the form of Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth. And we all know how that one ended:

Low ratings combined with the worst critical reception to a show in recent memory made for a genuine, out-and-out stinker of a show.

Faced with failure, Nine felt it had no choice but to flog the hell out of its imports in Two and a Half Men and Top Gear, two programs that had done very well for the network in 2010.

However, repeating these “hit shows” ad nauseam led to viewer fatigue, and pretty soon they began turning off in droves.

Today, Top Gear is nowhere to be seen on Nine’s main channel, with Two and a Half Men pushed late into the night. You can find it now at 10:30PM on a Tuesday night.

Continue reading after the jump…

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Between the Lines Review: A Nice Surprise, but can it Join the Ranks of “Specks”, GNW, TAYG?

I was pleasantly surprised by Nine’s latest foray into the panel/quiz show formula. Ten has its pop culture quiz show in Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation, its news quiz show in Good News Week. ABC has its music quiz show in Spicks and Specks and its sports quiz show in The Trophy Room. So how does this stack up?

Well, first off Eddie McGuire as host : he did the job just fine, there was never any question of that. As always, it always comes down to whether you are a fan of his or not, or rather, if you can tolerate him or not. But whether you like him or not, he knows when to let the guests crack their jokes or tell their stories, and when to keep the show moving (though it was not live).
But at the end of the day, even if you don’t like Eddie, he doesn’t dominate the show, so it would be tolerable at worst.

The two team captains were Mick Molloy and Ryan Fitzgerald, who were both quite funny. Molloy came with a few succinct one-liners that he’s used to delivering on Before the Game while Fitzgerald was quite good at responding to situations and making jokes up on the spot.

The comedians were Peter Berner and Ed Kavalee, and they were predictably brilliant, however, I couldn’t help feeling a pang of nostalgia and excitement for the two shows these two were/are involved in (The Einstein Factor and The Joy of Sets).

The stars Lauren Burns and James Tomkins didn’t really have a lot to offer except for a couple of amusing anecdotes, but I guess you need them on there given it is a sports show. And having 6 comedians on a show can sometimes be too chaotic.

So it’s really no different to most panel-type shows- it will live and die by the quality of its guests. For example, I would watch if people like Ed Kavalee were on, but not if someone like Ruby Rose were on.

Also, speaking of female guests, many have remarked that there is not a strong female presence, which opens it up to a barrage of criticism. Here’s a suggestion for another female guest- Mieke Buchan. She is also on Eddie’s Triple M breakfast show, and has good chemistry with him. Also, and most importantly, she knows her sport- she is also associated with Channel Nine as she does voiceovers for the AFL Footy Show.

And speaking of chaos, if you stack it up against GNW, Eddie keeps his show under control. Which isn’t to say that the chaos doesn’t work for GNW.

It is also a bit more structured than Talkin Bout Your Generation, as that show requires a looser format to allow Shaun Micallef room to weave his magic, the elaborate games to play out and allow the guests to have some good ol’ fashioned fun.

However, it is not as structured as Spicks and Specks. It does borrow heavily from its games such as the “pick a subject” questions, and the “true or false” anecdotes. However, I for one couldn’t care less. If a show is good, I don’t care if it borrows elements from other shows. After all, we’re all friends here….

There was, however, one part I disliked was the segment in which the contestants had to pick the “real” Gary Cosier. It isn’t really the fault of the comedians, as they are there to make jokes, but they proceeded to take potshots at the five “Garys” based on their physical appearance. It only served to demonstrate the sort of blokey ribbing with more than a hint of nastiness that would cause many to switch off. For example, Molloy kicked it off by saying one of the “Garys” “is clearly on day release”. Ed Kavalee’s were less malicious, saying one looked like he wants to “go (him)”, while another looked like “Con the Fruiterer”. Molloy, though, finished by saying one looked like he was born in “1896”. On the other side, Berner said “Get two Kerry Bousteads and tape them together” to get one of the “Kerry Bousteads” in the line-up.

I just hope five women aren’t put up next week or else it could get very ugly…

So in the end, it turned out to be a decent show. Not exactly a rip-snorter, but it has the capacity to turn out some decent laughs every week. However, it all comes down to the ratings tomorrow…

101 Ways to Kill a TV Show: The Nine Way

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Right now, Channel Nine is currently in the middle of a full frontal military assault.

It’s called Operation Big Bang.

It involves bombarding viewers with as many Big Bang Theory episodes as possible.

And why? You may ask, surely too much of a good thing is, well, too much… But that isn’t the same way programming execs think.

Especially ones at Channel Nine.

You see, Nine are a desperate network. A network desperate to reclaim their number one title off Seven. They don’t have a massive stable of popular shows like Seven do. Seven have their Border Security type shows, which always pull decent ratings, they have a dominant news element- Today Tonight and Sunrise almost always beat their Channel Nine counterparts nationally; they have a hit Australian drama in Packed to the Rafters, and a promising show in Winners and Losers, they also have solid year-round staple shows such as Better Homes and Gardens.

In comparison, Nine has Underbelly, and the closest things it has to a staple show are 60 Minutes (which is usually trounced whenever a show like Dancing With the Star or MasterChef is up against it) and Australia’s Funniest Home Videos (which is given a good run for its money in Melbourne when it is up against Before the Game).

Yes, Nine is struggling, still. So, you might say, who could blame it for scheduling excessive amounts of hit shows? I’m certainly not, but if they want to extract any sort of longevity out of their popular shows, they need to adopt a different method.

And its not as of they haven’t had the chance to learn from their mistakes;

Year of the Ramsay

Back before MasterChef became popular in Australia, there was one AngryChef that took Australia by storm. His name was Gordon Ramsay. In 2008, after Nine had been scheduling episodes of his “Kitchen Nightmares” UK series without much fanfare, it noticed that it was receiving a bit of attention. Before long, it was receiving pretty good ratings, and also had half of Australian radio talk about it.
Nine, sniffing some ratings blood in the water, went in for the kill, and before long had scheduled three hour long Ramsay episodes a week. And luckily for Nine, there was plenty of Ramsay in the tank (he was, by that time, very successful in the UK). Every week from then on, viewers received, from Tuesday to Thursday, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen and The F Word. Of the three, Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares remained the most popular. At one stage, he was even interviewed on 60 Minutes.

However, after many weeks of F-bombs, abusive rants and a bit of trouble with ACMA (which may or may not have been related) viewers grew tired of the foul language… Or just Ramsay’s whole “act”, and began switching off.

Eventually, Ramsay was removed from the schedule altogether (though there is the occasional Nightmare on Tuesday nights, possibly in the hope that Ramsay-fever ignites again?).

And as all shows like this follow a pattern, the death knell finally sounded after Gordon Ramsay appeared on A Current Affair in 2009 and was interviewed by Tracey Grimshaw. He subsequently likened her to a pig at a cooking demonstration. He then received a barrage of criticism, which only served to expose him as a bully (for the few who hadn’t realised it yet).

Two and a Half Thousand Men

Channel Nine had acquired Two and a Half Men many years ago, however it was not until 2009 that it started airing episodes by the dozen- well, ten episodes a week. This included the Monday-Friday 7PM slot, where it really gave Home and Away a scare after its 2008 dominance; new episodes in various timeslots; “Adults Only” episodes and repeats aplenty on GO!. However in the latter half of 2010, ratings began to wane, for no particular reason. Well, no reason apparent to Nine execs. It was simply because viewers were sick of it.

Then came 2011. The year of Charlie Sheen, for all the wrong reasons. Without wanting to go into all of the detail (You can go to any other site right now and read about it – ANY other site).

It may have been a combination of Nine’s oversaturation with the world covering Sheen’s “antics” mercilessly that led to it’s demise, but it was a long time coming.

The prophecy once again was fulfilled, with the death knell being Sheen getting the chop from the sitcom.

Nine bizarrely attempted to revive the flagging show’s ratings by advertising the show by playing up how insane Sheen apparently is. They have recently advertised a new episode as being possibly Sheen’s last ever episode (it was the last one filmed before the meltdown and insults thrown at the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre). They were signs of a desperate network, on the brink of losing a former powerhouse.

And the proof that it is dead (or close to it) is no more evident than the fact that its position in the primetime-heading 7PM slot has been stripped from it, to be replaced by The Big Bang Theory.

Top Gear-mania

Top Gear used to be cool. It used to be a little show on SBS that only a few people seemed to know about (even though it was attracting upwards of 600k viewers regularly).

Which was why Nine was so bloody happy with themselves after yanking Top Gear off SBS in 2010, that they decided to play it to death.

And why wouldn’t they, with early figures for Top Gear attracting very healthy figures. However, they started plugging holes all over the schedule with repeat after repeat- initially to great success. At its peak, Nine was airing 1 episode on Sunday on GO!, 1 episode on Tuesday on Nine, 1 on Thursday on GO! and another on Fridays on Nine.

But now, in 2011, somewhat amusingly, now that they finally have been able to show new episodes, absolutely no one has been interested (no one in TV terms = around 600k).

The death knell hasn’t sounded as yet, but it’s coming.

Basically, the lesson is, Nine, don’t make the same mistake with The Big Bang Theory, a show which still has the respect of viewers.

However, Operation BB is already well underway, so brace yourselves.

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