Category Archives: news

Escaping From Planet Earth

Ben Elton's new TV show sucked pony kidneysThe ratings for last night’s Live From Planet Earth debut on Channel 9 tell a sad tale of a program that had viewers fleeing from their sets to avoid any stray contagion that may come through the screen and infect them with whatever it was that made anybody think putting this on TV in the first place was a good idea.

Over 40% of viewers had switched off by the end of the show. Melbourne, which had the highest starting numbers over all, also had the largest evacuation with almost 45% of viewers fleeing to safety.

This graph shows all 5 major cities and the ratings for Channel 9 in the four quarter-hours from 9:30 to 10:30.
See that downward trend? That’s not a good sign for the show.

If you know anybody who enjoyed Live from Planet Earth, or if you’re one of those people, please let us know.

3D Television in a World First

Channel 9 announced this morning that they will be airing the State of Origin series in 3D.

That will make it the first time a sports program has ever been broadcast in 3D anywhere in the world.

That’s all well and good but, as the old meditative saying goes: If sport is broadcast in a medium but nobody has the technology to watch it, is it really broadcast at all?

3D sports has the potential to be amazing but we still haven’t heard anybody say they actually want 3D television.

Still, a world first is a world first and it’s a long time since Australia has been first with anything in the world of television.

From the media release:

All three Harvey Norman State of Origin matches between NSW and Queensland – beginning with game one at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, on May 26 – will employ the latest enhancements and technology in 3D production.

Nine CEO, David Gyngell, said the project was an enormous undertaking achieved through a collaborative effort with Gerry Harvey of long-term rugby league partner Harvey Norman, with the support of David Gallop, the NRL and the ARL, together with vital assistance from the Federal Government through Communications Minister Stephen Conroy.

“It’s early days of course because the technology is still developing, and its availability to consumers right now is limited. But 3D is about to arrive with a bang across the world, and the Nine Network and Harvey Norman want to pioneer the revolution in Australia,” Mr Gyngell said.

Stay tuned as we try to bring you more information about 3D TV in Australia but, in the meantime, what do you think?

Old news we meant to cover – April 2010

Here are some news items we meant to cover on the show over the last couple of weeks but ran out of time.

Happy reading, people.

Lost: The Orchestral Experience

lostliveconcert.pngIn what is possibly the coolest, geekiest, most meta-television experience ever invented*, Michael Giacchino, Oscar® winner and Lost music composer, will conduct an orchestra performing music from Lost in a live event in Los Angeles this May.

This event speaks to all aspects of my nerdihood. Are you in LA? Are you planning to go along? Please, let us know in the comments. We want to speak to you.

LOST LIVE: The Final Celebration – May 13 @ UCLA

*noted hyperbole

So remember how it wasn’t that long ago we announced the death of the live studio audience sitcom? Sure, we had an axe to grind. All that fake-sounding laughter is a comedy purist’s nightmare.

Still, no sooner had we chosen the coffin and bought a beautiful wreath for the occasion than Chuck Lorre came along with Two and a Half Men. Then How I Met Your Mother became really popular. Then Lorre returned the volley with Big Bang Theory.

The single camera or non-‘laffer’ comedies are still the ones that get the most attention from us but that doesn’t change the fact that people still enjoy the old-school studio audience comedies.

The networks in the US, trailing the zeitgeist, yet again, are now throwing everything they have at the half-hour comedy.

It’s all explained in a great article in last week’s New York Times.

People like Mr. Lorre are particularly in demand this spring, amid a renaissance of sorts for the network TV sitcom, which not too long ago was pronounced terminally ill. On studio lots, where dozens of new shows are being fretted about and fought over ahead of the networks’ scheduling decisions in May, the number of sitcoms in development has spiked. “I think we’re on the cusp of a bull market for comedy,” said Kevin Reilly, Fox’s entertainment chief, whose No. 1 priority for the fall is adding more live-action comedies to his schedule.

6 Degrees of Sepa-‘Rage’

whitestripes.jpgLong running and still excellent ABC music video programme, Rage, is conducting a really interesting competition that’s totally piqued my interest.

Firstly, the prize allows the winner to programme an hour of Rage. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. Really. Programming Rage, in my mind, means that somebody has, in someway, made it.

The following information comes from the media release:

On Saturday night April 10, every video played on rage will be connected to the one before it – the bands will have shared the stage, their members, the same songs or even their DNA. How is Vanilla Ice connected to Massive Attack? What do Jack White and Jay-Z have in common?

An incomplete playlist will be published on April 2 on a week before the special, with every sixth clip missing and replaced by a clue. For a chance to pick the playlist for an hour of rage viewers will be asked to decipher the clues, figure out as many of the missing videos as they can and submit their answers – along with their ultimate killer rage playlist.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday April 9.

You can find out more about the competition on the Rage website.

When will your analogue signal go?

Further to our discussion last week about useless statistics and whether or not people are aware of when the analogue signal in their area will be switched off.

Here’s a map that tells you non-specific information. Click on it and see for yourself.


If you navigate through it, you’ll see that there’s a definite date for Mildura and NONE for anywhere else.

SBSTWO launches tonight

SBSTWO launches tonight. In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the promo they’ve been running:

At least they’re not lying about what it’s going to be. More of the same. How does a television network that is already supposed to be fulfilling a special need, provide more specialised content?
Considering the recent criticism of SBS’s new direction, perhaps SBSTWO will be the channel we all expected SBS 1 to be.

IceTV wins its battle with the Nine Network

In a ruling this morning, the High Court of Australia found in favour of IceTV in its appeal over a decision that said the EPG provider was involved in copyright infringement.

The Nine Network originally alleged that IceTV was reproducing a literary work when it published a version of the programming schedule for the network. Since then the case has been playing court tennis with decisions and appeals, a lot of waiting and potentially the chance that Goliath would indeed crush David under a giant sandal.

In a brief interview via Twitter, IceTV said that this decision could possibly open up the market to new players in the EPG space but pointed out that “EPGs are still copyrightable. [The] High Court Ruling didn’t change that.”

The Court’s conclusion was brief: “Any reproduction of the time and title information in the IceGuide was not a reproduction of a substantial part of any of the Weekly Schedules (or the Nine Database).” IceTV were awarded costs.

Read the High Court’s judgement to get into the nitty gritty of the decision.

Get your very own Silver Logie

You’ve only got about 30 minutes left to own your very own Silver Logie for Best Actress in 1974.

It’s up for auction and currently will only set you back a little over $2,000.

Come on, that has to be worth it.

The Logie was awarded to Bunney Brooke for her role as Flo in Number 96. Bunney died in 2001, aged 81.