Boxcutters Summer Edition 2: Rob Brearley

Executive Producer of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, Rob Brearley, joins us in our second interview session for the Summer. He talks to us about quiz shows, dealing with 10 year olds and building a career in television.

Tell us what you think about our Summer Series.


  1. David Boxcutter says:

    Slightly off-topic:

    One of the best feed readers for Mac, NetNewsWire is now free of cost. It did cost US$30 before. Good news for people looking for an iTunes alternative for the Boxcutters feed. I like how it synchronises feeds across the ‘net, so you can use it at work and at home.

    They have also made their equivalent reader for Windows, FeedDemon free, but I have no idea how it compares to their Mac product.

    Even more off-topic:

    For those Mac users not yet aware of it, the annual Macheist software sale is now on. The price is pretty damn good, cheaper than some of the individual apps.

    * Note: the above link is not an affiliate link, and I’m not associated with the company.

    I’m just mentioning this in case it is useful to someone, and I was really happy with last year’s bundle. I’m not associated with the company, and I hate spamming with affiliate links. But if you do plan to buy the bundle and want to give me a bonus app, just ask me for a link.

    We now return to your regularly-scheduled Boxcutters.

  2. Need a bit of help here. iTunes is b0rked. It won’t connect to the server (so I can’t get podcasts at the moment). Is there an alternative to iTunes which handles podcast and podcast feed updates (and will sync to the ipod) ??

  3. @fourthof5
    There’s this list on Yahoo that might help. I know a lot of people use Songbird but I’ve never been able to get it to work properly.

    @David Boxcutter
    That seems a lot like spam and/or Brett baiting. Why not, before you bring up something off topic, discuss something on topic to help encourage discussion on the blog?

  4. David Boxcutter says:

    That seems a lot like spam and/or Brett baiting. Why not, before you bring up something off topic, discuss something on topic to help encourage discussion on the blog?

    How is it Brett baiting? Is it forbidden to mention anything Mac-related?

    He was the one saying people should ditch iTunes – I was just pointing out that some good alternatives have become available. Lo and behold, fourthof5 comes asking about alternatives. The ones I posted would be perfect (they sync to iTunes).

    I just don’t get the Brett thing. Why is it OK for him to rant about Apple and iTunes (with frequent inaccuracies, and a great deal of hostility) – but it’s wrong for me to post practical, helpful advice on software – in a calm and reasoned manner?

    I even responded to the problems Brett was having with actual solutions – which he ignored, and then called me a troll for simply responding to his points. I just don’t get it. Why is help and accurate info looked down on, but Brett’s tantrums are overlooked?

    As for the Macheist thing – yes, I can see how it looks like spam. That’s why I made the disclaimer and didn’t post an affiliate link. There are potentially many Boxcutters readers who don’t know about it, but could get a lot of use out of the software. It would be unfortunate if they missed the sale and had to pay a lot more (this is just a one-off thing). It was just a helpful hint.

    If that was spam, then surely the link to the TiVo site also classifies as spam – or the earlier link to IceTV?

    Now, on-topic:

    With is “Are You Smarter than a Grade Fiver” any less grammatically correct than “Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader”? They are both grammatically incorrect. It should be “Are You Smarter than a Person in the Fifth Grade”.

    Sorry I didn’t have anything to say before. I just don’t have much to say about this episode. But I was excited about the free newsreaders thing, and thought it would be useful to Boxcutters. It is an RSS feed, after all.

  5. Daniel D Boxcutter says:

    Ok, I’d just like to say thank you to the Boxcutters for bringing us this interview with Rob Brearley. It was great to be offered these glimpses into his background with Roving and the behind-the-scenes workings of producing a game show.

    Your interviews are consistently of a high quality but this one just had that something extra. I feel like I’ve really been given some insight into the light entertainment side of the industry in a similar way that interviews with Jimbo offer the news correspondent side.

    I look forward to you taking him up on his offer and bringing him back again. Oh, and I think this format for the summer break was inspired guys.

    That is all.

  6. Haven’t heard this ep yet and looking forward to it, but just couldn’t help weighing in on the grammar conversation (perhaps there should be links to specific threads on the LHS for Tech stuff and Grammar stuff? Just a thought…)

    It is accepted that persons who are associated with an activity can be referred to as [thing]er – eg: builder, teacher. There is nothing grammatically wrong with saying “fifth grader” or “grade fiver” in and of itself, but “grade fiver” feels clunky. Be glad that they at least used a question mark.

    I shall return. I agree with Daniel – this series of interviews is a great idea and a good opportunity for you guys to have a break.

  7. I rate this episode 5+5=11.

    I also agree with Daniel and catbrain. Great interview.

  8. paddy red says:

    excellent podcast as usual boxcutters, very insightful and interesting

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