Chris Lilley won a Rose d’Or for his previous show, We Can Be Heroes, and will no doubt garner even greater attention with these new distribution deals. And while various other Australian productions have made their way onto American television, this will certainly be one of the most high profile.
The ABC made some big announcements about its digital future today, including the launch of an iPlayer-esque service called ABC Playback, a for-pay download store, and the groundwork for the long anticipated 24 hour news channel.
And while theres plenty of time to talk about the need for platform agnosticism and critique the interface and branding, the one thing that is entirely clear is that the national broadcaster is leading the way among Australian broadcasters, and further demonstrating its relevance during this digital revolution.
Read all the details here or check out some of the action in the video above.
In April 2006 the BBC ran a competition asking for a new design for the frontpage of their crazy popular website bbc.co.uk. I entered that competition and was one of ten runners up. My design for the site scored me a iPod Nano which I later gave away to a reader. The BBC has finally launched a beta version of the new look front page and its available for the worlds criticism here.
When Top Gear isn’t busy being the most beautifully shot show on television, or keeping us on the edge of our seats, its making us laugh, and this clip from last nights episode falls into that category. In the video, Jeremy takes the worlds smallest production car, the Peel P50 for a test drive through the corridors of the BBC Television Centre in London.
– Thanks for the video Craig.
Fionnuala Sweeney, the host of CNN’s International Correspondents talks to Deputy Director-General of the BBC Mark Byford about the 2800 jobs being cut from the corporation, along with plans to sell of the broadcasters iconic headquarters, Television Centre in London. All the cost cutting is due to a Â£2bn budget shortfall, the outcome of a decision not to increase the license fee as much as had been requested.
In other BBC related news, international visitors to BBC.com will soon be presented with online advertisements for the first time, the rationale being that foreign users of the service don’t pay the license fee that British residents do.
Last night the Seven Network dipped its toe into the world of multichanneling with the soft launch of “Australia’s first new commercial television network in four decades”; Seven HD (or 7HD, or “the second Seven Network”).
The press release for the launch promises a third channel within 15 months, and fills us in with these extra details:
This â€œbreakawayâ€ schedule is the first step â€“ with a complete primetime schedule for the second Channel Seven to be launched in the coming weeks. The â€œlook and feelâ€ and on-air presentation marketing and promotion for the new channel will be unveiled to coincide with the launch of the complete schedule for the second Channel Seven in the coming weeks.
With a third channel on the way in 2009 perhaps they should look to Channel 4 in the UK for multichannel name ideas (e4, More4, Film4 etc). Speaking of British inspirations, this current Seven HD look does have a touch of the BBC HD’s about it.
At the end of season nine of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson questioned the direction of the show, and with 8.6 million people watching the final episode earlier this year, its understandable that a show about cars, with as much drama and direction as Lost, might start wondering what kind of show its meant to be.
Top Gear’s Executive Producer Andy Wilman takes an honest look at series nine of the show, and reflects about the upcoming season in a blog post here. He considers the chase for higher ratings “a false dawn, a night with a hooker when you’re drunk”, and he’s right, ratings are bollocks.
The video is from the first episode of the new season, and shows a preview of some of the stuff you’ll see over the next ten weeks. Among others Wilman proudly touts;
The Botswana road movie, a one hour special, is as spectacular as anything we’ve ever done, Amphibious: The Sequel is better than I could have ever dreamed of, the 24 Hour Race is a proper soap opera.
There is nothing on television that comes close to Top Gear, it is the most unique and engaging hour on television, it transcends whatever genre its considered to exist in, and presents cinematography that rivals that of any movie, along with storylines vastly more compelling then most traditionally scripted stuff on television, its simply brilliant.
From Clarkson’s and Wilman’s comments you can see a self awareness about the future of the show, a future that is clearly being coursed by some incredibly talented hands.
Update: As noted in the comments (thanks Marc) the song used in the video is “No Cars Go” by Arcade Fire, the song in its entirety is simply amazing. Take a listen:
If you haven’t heard already, The Chaser got themselves in a bit of trouble a few days ago, when they made there way through two security checkpoints and got within a block of where the US President was staying, all the while with Chas Licciardello dressed as Osama bin Laden.
You can read all about it here, but the point of this post is to show the coverage it got internationally, on BBC World, and on its journalistic polar opposite.. Fox News.
Update: Chris Taylor talks about the incident on Triple J (thanks Jaymo).
Update: The Chaser have released some footage, watch it after the jump..
Update: Read what the producer has to say about this episode here.
Top Gear is back! A special race episode from Canada to the North Pole goes to air in the UK on Wednesday night. And while its probably going to take a lot to top the insanity of the American road trip episode I can’t wait to see what they get up to racing each other to the top of the world.
In other Top Gear news, another American version has been scrapped for now.
– Thanks for the video Graham.