australia

How To Kill A TV Show

It looks as though Channel Seven is trying to get one of it’s US drama’s to fail and die a slow death. Maybe they want Viola Davis to come out here and solve the mystery, although there isn’t much to figure out.

A recurring problem is that they refuse to fast track an American show. A majority of the shows we air here from overseas will start in September, but due to that being the season ratings are low in Australia, the networks will hold off on shows and air them in February “after the Tennis”.

This worked fine and well in the pre-internet days. Although over the past ten years people have got smarter. The internet allows us to communicate with the rest of the world, and when people started to realise we were getting the raw end of the deal, piracy started to rise.

Now there is stupid and incredibly stupid. Most times the networks are stupid. Every year they will advertise the hell out of the biggest shows they acquired from the states. Anyone remember that summer where every time you would turn on Channel Seven, they would be showing a ad for Revenge with Coldplay’s “Paradise” blasting through the speaker. Me too.

By the time February rolled around everyone was watching was watching Revenge. When Seven went to air season two the following year, there had been a massive ratings drop. Reason being many of the die hard Revenge fans would of been watching it on their laptops hours after the US in September the year before.

So that was being stupid, now Seven have taken it to a new level, in a bid to be what I’m calling “incredibly stupid”. This years big show Seven wanted everyone to know about was Shona Rhimes’ How To Get Away With Murder. Like always Seven decided it would be a good idea to wait until “after the Tennis”.

After a good four months of ad’s for the show, they finally got around to putting it on February 10th in a 9PM time slot. 9PM isn’t terrible, but 8.30PM is much better, due to a super sized MKR every night that wasn’t going to happen. The 8.30PM vs 9PM is a whole other story, so I’ll get back on track.

Even though the first episode was five months old by that point it still got decent ratings in Australia. Jump forward to around April and the show is put on hold for a month due to Easter. Every year they make the same mistake of stoping the flow of shows for two weeks, due to Easter being a non-ratings period. Can we scrap that idea?

This past week HTGAWM came back on our screens. The first season of Murder was a short on with only fifteen episodes, so by this time the whole first season has finished and is ready to be downloaded for your binge watching pleasures. The 10th episode (out of 15) aired this week at 9.45PM. An even latter start time will not help its case, and since it’s had a month off, many people have forgotten about it, and the ratings were nowhere in comparison to what it managed at the start of the year.

Seven has now decided to make the problem worse. The show is back off again for two weeks, will be replaced by Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. It will return Monday the 1st of June, starting at 10.40PM. What a joke. If you felt not enough viewers tuned in at 9.45PM, why will they sit up an hour latter.

By the time the season final airs in Australia, it will be 18 weeks since it aired in the United States.

This is a constant problem with Australian television. If you are able to find a show that you like that isn’t about building, cooking, weight loss or dating, it’s more than likely that the show will either a) be moved from night to night constantly or b) have a terribly start time.

Okay so I think I just explained how to kill a TV show, was I also able to convince you why illegal downloading is so high in the land down under too?

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This is who is up for the Gold Logie? (And who I would of picked)

Last week the nominees for this years TV Week Logies awards were announced, and like always they were one hot mess.

First of all they were very same old, same old. The five out of the six were nominated for last years Gold. All we did this year was sub in Hamish Blake for Essie Davis.

Looking at the six nominated we have two actors/actress’ (Steve Peacocke and Asher Keddie) and four presenters (Carrie Bickmore, Scott Cam, Hamish Blake, and Andy Lee). I’m all for the top award being a mix of the two but this just felt a bit lop sided. Looking at the nominees for Most Popular Actor and Most Popular Actress, there are so many people that deserve to be recognised for the biggest award.

A major annoyance about the six nominees for Gold is that two of them, Hamish and Scoot, aren’t even nominated for Silver as Most Popular Presenter. How is that so. I always feel that the nominees for Gold should be picked from the fifteen nominees between Presenter, Actor and Actress.

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Boy

“Age is foolish and forgetful when it underestimates youth.”

Does it make anyone uncomfortable seeing a sixty year old interviewing 5 Seconds Of Summer and trying to act young and hip to fit it. Just No!

I understand you are “experienced” in what you do, but there comes a time when you just aren’t suited anymore.

And there is more than one that is holding on. Holding on while they can, while someone with more of grasp on the year 2014 is waiting in the shadows.

Australian’s are the biggest downloaders in the world, and our media outlets are partially to blame

Pirate Bay was taken down during raids in Sweden this week, but the site has already resurfaced. If new laws are imposed in Australia, it may be taken away from us again, this time for good. Although today Communications Minster Malcolm Turnbull warned journalist’s to not report the reforms as an “internet filter”, that is exactly what it is. Turnbull’s plan is for internet providers to block any site that illegal downloads can be obtained, and that downloaders would be formally warned about any online copyright breaches.

Before I go any further, I want you to know that I understand why P2P (Peer-to-peer) is such a bad thing. In fact I used to be totally against it, for ethical reasons and what not. But over the years I will admit to having used websites like The Pirate Bay, as many other Australian’s have. Lately I have been wondering why so many of us do this, and I realised a major reason why. Australia is getting such a raw deal so often, that many are being driven to download due to no better options. There are many examples of this happening.

This year Australia played a major part in Game of Thrones becoming the most illegally-downloaded show in history. It’s no surprise, due to the fact that the popular drama is only available on a paid Foxtel subscription. After the shows penultimate episode of season three in 2013, all anyone was talking about was the “Red Wedding”, leading to a lot of people who hadn’t seen the show, want to be in on the conversations that were happening every week the day after the show had aired. At that time they were able to watch the first three seasons on dvd. Come to April this year, and the show had a massive increase in a fan base, but anyone who didn’t have Foxtel, had only one other way to see the show, and that was online. People couldn’t even pay to watch the show on iTunes, like they had done during the first three seasons, due to Foxtel wanting the show exclusively with them. The move to make more money, only pushed people, who were happy to pay for episodes on iTunes, to illegally download the show.

Foxtel isn’t the only place where viewers are being treated with contempt. Free to air stations love to tell you how many shows they are fast tracking this year. But only some shows isn’t enough. A major part of the problem is that America, where a lot of the television content that Australian’s consume, runs their TV shows from September/October to May of the year after. In Australia, the networks prefer to have a majority of their best content stacked when we start of our TV season, which is in February. Back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, they could get away with keeping a show to play until Febuary, when it had been playing from September the year before, because nobody knew any better. In this social media age, things have changed, but the practices of TV stations haven’t.

Revenge is a prime example of this. This show is now in its fourth season, and has a decent fan base. But year after year Seven holds onto to it until “after the tennis”. And what do you think has happened. Slowly ratings for the show in Australia has dropped off. Not because people don’t like it anymore, but because they can’t wait five months without potentially seeing a spoiler posted on social media.

Not only do they take forever to show some of my favourite shows, but when they do get around to it, they put it on late at night and are forever changing the time slot, pulling shows whenever they feel like it for something else. Viewers are constantly trying to keep up with networks changing their minds at the last second on the nights line up of shows. Not even EPG’s know whats going on.

So we get it right, television in Australia is a mess, and there is no doubt that it’s a major factor in the large number of downloads. The movie industry is no better. First of all the cost of going to the movies is beyond crazy. Even if you wanted to wait to watch it at home and grab it in the stores, you won’t be doing it cheap. I like to experience movies the best way possible, at the moment that means on Blu-Ray. Even though it’s been reported it cost the same for manufactures to make DVD’s and Blu-Ray’s, every Blu-Ray is around $5 more expensive that DVD’s. If you’re looking to experience the film in 3D in your living room, you will be looking at $50 a film.

Another major problem, just like with TV shows, is movies are still coming to Australian screens months latter. I would really love to know why? When a film in released in the states, it should be shown the next possible Thursday here. Birdman staring Michael Keaton, which already has been getting a lot of Oscar buzz, was released in America mid-October. Australian viewers can pay for an overpriced ticket to see the film on the 15th of January next year. That’s one long wait, if you’re interested in seeing the film. In the mean time you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a torrent online long before January 15th rolls around. That’s not the only film on delay. Disney’s musical-fantasy with an ensemble cast featuring Meryl Streep and Anna Kendrick will be shown in cinemas Christmas Day in America, which made me think it would be a perfect film to see on Boxing Day, but nope, we don’t get to see it until Jan 8th. Yes, that is a shorter break that Birdman, but why not just release it on Boxing Day, a day where many families are going to the movies.

So while downloading instead of paying for things is bad for the industry, the industry needs to take a look at its self first, before they start pointing the finger.

Survivor Seasons 1-8 Thoughts

Over the past six months I have been re-watching the first eight seasons of Survivor. Many consider these seasons to be part of the glory days, when the show was at its peek of popularity. I wanted to put some thoughts together about certain aspects of the show, and its evolution, so here it is.

BORNEO
The Pagong tribe was a mess from the start. All over the place. Even though Gretchen was a great leader, she didn’t have much of a team to lead. B.B. wouldn’t listen to anyone. Ramona was sick, or just wouldn’t eat the food, and couldn’t do much. Gervase thought he could win the whole game by playing cards with people. Jenna was crazy, and Colleen and Greg were always going off on island dating adventures. No wonder they messed up the merge vote.

People may complain about Borneo from a production point of view, but the challenges were good for a show with a summer budget in the first year of the millennium. Yeah, simple, but at least it wasn’t swimming for puzzle pieces every week. And some of these challenges set the basis for what the show would become over the next four years.

Dr. Sean was smarter than you think. The alphabet strategy meant that he would vote for all of the Pagong tribe, before having to write a former Tagi’s name down.

What if moment: Pagong don’t lose the Immunity before merge, and goes in 6-4.

Player that should return: Richard

AUSTRALIA
This is still to this day on the shows best casts. Even the first two to go, Debb and Kel, were memorable.

It only made me hate the Kucha’s more whenever they brought up how they would of been in power if Mike didn’t fall into the fire, but there was a 50-50 chance Ogakor might of won, and I sense Mike would of been voted out anyway if it had to come to it.

Can we all take a moment to think about the moment Colby dumped Jerri on her ass in the reward challenge. And can we just remember how funny the guy was. All they say is five immunities in a row, or how he had a great bod(as Jerri put it), but he was always cracking me up. Hersey bar. Ha!

What if moment: Kimmi didn’t reveal Jeff got a vote at their first tribal.

Players that should return: Jeff and Alicia.

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What to do with a problem like Network Ten?

It’s unfortunate that Network Ten has now become a bit of a joke, after many years of not only coming behind Seven and Nine, but also falling behind the non-commercial ABC. I don’t know how they got to this point, but nothing is working for them. Year after year, they announce a fresh new line up in November, all ready for the new year, only to have thrown in the towel by Easter, which is seen as the closing point on the first quarter of the year. Thinking about it now, Network Ten are similar to the Melbourne F.C, in the way all hope is lost by round five.

More times than not, Channel Ten put out some quality programs. Emphases on the some. What it comes down to is a damaged brand. When people started thinking of Ten, they see them as the kind of people that are putting out The Shire, Being Lara Bingle, I Will Survive, Everybody Dance Now and the deadfall revival of Young Talent Time. We could switch, the nation’s most watched show, My Kitchen Rules over to Ten and it would do poorly there, because at the moment nobody is wanting anything to do with Ten. What I suggest is a full on face lift. Ten need to bring in the bulldozers in and completely start again. Looking at the ratings from the past four days, there is no other way to get out of the hole they have dug.

Starting with Sunday, where Ten had one of their worst days on record with its primary share of 6.2%, but with a bleak line up, what did they expect. Even Eyewitness News is their saving grace, but that couldn’t pull any higher than 500,000, which even for Ten’s standards is very bad. Taking on reality heavyweights (MRK and The Block) was Kung Fu Panda 2, as in recent weeks a movie has replaced the struggling SYTYCD. But this new move didn’t work out, as the kids flick faired even worse that SYTYCD. Elementary also failed but it had little chance when its competitors were Fat Tony & Co and Downton Abbey. Have You Being Paying Attention was a low point for the nights line up with the shows numbers coming in under 200,000. How that show is still on the air confuses me greatly.

The next night didn’t go any better with The Bold and the Beautiful doing better than Aussie drama Secrets and Lies. And even Vikings on SBS was close to beating Ten in a prime time slot. Tuesday and Wednesday was the same. With The Project, Eyewitness News, and Puberty Blues showing the only glimmer of hope.

The Biggest Loser has had its day, and if anyone down at Network Ten has a brain, it will never be seen again. I fear Masterchef will see the same fate as its network reality counterpart in the national ratings. Shows like The Good Wife, Bondi Vet, and NCIS have little appeal to the masses. I know it’s no good for me to say clear out basically their entire programing schedule with nothing to replace it, but they really do need to start afresh.