Monthly Archive for November, 2007

Ten HD on the march to multichanneling.

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With just over a fortnight left until the December 16th launch of Ten HD, more details continue to emerge, including some more specifics on the first week of programming, and a new video to compliment the earlier introduction to Ten HD promo.

Unlike the first video, theres no talking (or accents) to worry about, just a cover of Johnny Nash’s I Can See Clearly Now and a concept that visualises for us how much better the world can apparently be in high definition. Again, the very slick production is the work of Jane Eakin and Motion Foundry who it seems will be responsible for the on-air look of the new network.

With Seven HD already on the air, and Ten HD just a few weeks away, its just Nine HD, not due until March next year that will round out Australia’s commercial networks first foray into digital multichanneling.

- Thanks again to Alex from Motion Foundry for the video.

Channel 4 on the idents roller coaster.

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Channel Four’s long running, and very creative series of idents got a new addition recently. This one, taking place on a roller coaster won’t go down as my favorite of the collection, but stays true to the formula and is impeccably produced.

Check out the entire collection here, including special Simpsons and Killers idents.

Drunk on election night: How the ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and Sky opened their coverage.

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Australian’s went to the polls yesterday, and we voted ourselves in a new government. The “Ruddslide” was pretty apparent from early on in the evenings coverage, but the outlook of the incumbent Prime Minister losing his own seat in parliament to a former ABC journalist kept the night pretty interesting.

Of the five free to air networks, Seven, Nine and the ABC offered “non stop” coverage from around 6pm, with SBS and Ten opting to only cover the election through updates and a late bulletin. Sky News also covered the event in full, and I’m pretty sure they haven’t stopped talking about it since.

A very vocal tally room (bloody Canberran’s) no doubt spurred on in part by The Chaser’s presence wasn’t particularly welcome by most broadcasters, but should make for a very good episode next Wednesday of The Chaser Decides.

The ratings for last nights coverage not surprisingly saw the ABC win the night, followed by Seven’s very slick coverage that was actually much better than their own promos would’ve suggested. Channel Ten’s repeat of The Empire Strikes Back came in third beating Channel Nine’s election coverage, which looked and felt like they were broadcasting from the mid nineties.

Update: Get a four minute recap of the whole election night below.

The ABC’s Insiders program compiled a montage of the entire night spanning the various networks coverage, it includes Kerry O’Brien’s ABC/ALP gaffe as mentioned in the comments.

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A new look idents.tv, just a “shift+refresh” away.

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It’s not as drastic a change as I was planning, but idents.tv now looks slightly different! It’s a bit wider, and now has a third column.

If you’re having problems viewing the new design, try holding down shift and pressing refresh in your browser.

The layout had gone unchanged for nearly two years, so hopefully this small freshen up will breathe some new life into the site.

Marge Simpson asks: Can’t anyone just watch the show they’re watching?

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Speaking of Simpson’s Halloween specials I couldn’t resist posting this. In an episode aired a few weeks ago, Marge gets sick of the Fox promos cluttering her screen and asks the very reasonable question ‘can’t anyone just watch the show they’re watching?’.

How to pitch a TV show… By Rod Serling.

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It’s 1959, and a screenwriter named Rod Serling is about to launch a show onto television called The Twilight Zone, it will not only bring veiled social commentary onto an unsuspecting world, but also provide the plots for many a Simpson’s Halloween special. Before any of that though, he has to convince the most important people in the world of television (no, not the audience)… the advertisers that his new show has legs, and that together they can make “product pushing that much easier”.

The first video, is Serling’s pitch that was played before viewings of the pilot episode, the second video is a series of sponsorship billboards “product pushing” everything from cigarettes to shaving cream… I guess not that much has really changed with television, except maybe the cigarettes.

The time is now on Bio.

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Bio. (formerly The Biography Channel) is an Australian subscription television station owned by the A&E Television Network, however the brand is fully licensed to Foxtel who produce, broadcast and program the channel locally.

While the content can be a bit of a mixed bag (Entertainment Tonight.. really?), the network does have some gems in Iconoclasts, Letterman and their live award show coverage.

This 60 second station identifier has always caught my attention whenever it ran, the use of “The Time Is Now” by Moloko in conjunction with the historical images is surprisingly creative and well executed, I guess it shows how much creative mileage you can get out of just some photos and a catchy tune. Continue reading “The time is now on Bio.” »

Public Service Announcement: If the Chaser trespass on your property, you have rights!

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Its almost too exhausting to have to defend, but after the Chaser filmed a sketch involving Today Tonight host Anna Coren at Seven’s studios in Sydney.. “there was a bit of a Mexican stand-off with cameras for about an hour and all these Today Tonight executives went berserk and ran off to the Supreme Court” explained executive producer of the Chaser Julian Morrow.

Long story short Channel Seven have obtained an injunction to prevent the footage being aired on tonights episode of The Chaser’s War on Everything. Today Tonight led with this story tonight (first video) in a piece running for 16 minutes (topping an earlier Chaser story they did for 11 minutes). The story is basically one long interaction between Chas and TT reporter Bryan Seymour where he tries to be as offended as possible by the whole thing, while Chas waits to hear from the ABC’s lawyers and continues to point out the enormous irony of the whole situation.

Whatever comes out of this, the fact is that Today Tonight masquerades as a serious news program while doing nothing more then chipping away at our society and culture with the garbage its broadcasts five nights a week. Its understandable then that a show like Today Tonight, the complete antithesis of the Chaser would be so upset by the success of this amazing satire, that so publicly tears apart the role and significance of tabloid television on a weekly basis.

For more on my admiration of this show check out The Simpson’s War on Everything, or download entire episodes right here.

Update: Read the official response from The Chaser and ABC here.

Update 2: Read the interim injuction granted by the NSW Supreme Court here.

Summer Skins on SBS

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Skins is a British teen drama whose first series was broadcast earlier this year on Channel 4′s hip digital sibling E4 to some of the networks highest ratings. In Australia the show is set to air Mondays at 10pm on SBS over summer.

Having only watched the pilot episode when the show first launched, and breaking my own oft-proselytised rule of at least watching a second episode before giving up on a show, I don’t have much to contribute review wise about the show..

For an actual review of the show though, from someone whose watched it, and almost convinced me to give it another chance, check out Triple J’s film critic’s thoughts about it here. And I tend to agree that ABC2 needs to score some content like this to help build an identity for itself, Peep Show was a good start, but it needs more.

- Much belated thanks for the video Craig.

The blue of Australia, and orange of the Pacific.

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The Australia Network (formerly ABC Asia Pacific) is a free to air satellite television station operated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Its available to over 20 million homes across Asia, the Pacific, and India, and although technically not broadcast in Australia, some of its programming is available on ABC2.

The above video comparison shows the opening sequences of ABC News as broadcast locally, and ABC News Asia Pacific produced for the Australia Network.