TV can give a bad head job

April 17, 2008

The position of television programmer is not generally spoken of with any degree of desire. There’s no reality show offering it as a prize and little kids don’t ever use it as a dress up character. And no wonder. Who would want a position that’s a cross between an Idol Judge (NEXT!), an insurance assessor (zero risk = a well-loved host + a popular format that hit in foreign country) and a D-grade celebrity (you’re here with who?)?

Surely the least wanted job right now is network head at Channel 9. If it wasn’t for popping in a tape of Gordon Ramsay whenever possible, there’d be very little keeping 9 in the ratings war. There may be a slight sigh of relief since Canal Road broke the magic million last night, but it’s early days and one hour a week cannot revive an entire network.

Last week the programmers of the world spent the week in Cannes for MIP TV, the little sister of MIPCOM, which is considered the high point of the TV junket calendar. 13,000 delegates gathered – imagine all the handshaking and bad suits hitting the French Riviera. Deals were done, decisions made, backs were slapped. Unfortunately, still smarting from Monster House, Power of Ten, and the local version of Moment of Truth , Ch 9 went shopping. It’s a pity that two major purchases they made – royal drama The Palace and reality series Ladette to Lady – have already been axed in their local territory. Ouch.

One of the toughest things about holding the top network job is that your work is constantly under the scrutiny of the nation and can be severely impacted by the general public, the lawmakers and several governing bodies. Consider the fallout for Underbelly. Or the amazing story that came out of Venezuala last week where the country’s tv authorities dropped The Simpsons from morning TV after judging the cartoon as unsuitable for children and replaced it with the very wholesome Baywatch.

When things start going wrong people get desperate. Last time a network was in this much trouble was when Ch 7 commissioned Temptation Island. Oh yeah, here we go again.

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2 Responses to “TV can give a bad head job”

  1. themolk Says:

    BRING IT ON! 😉

    It’s a nasty job that no-one woud want. Not even me, and I’m all for horrible, self-soul-destroying jobs when it comes to television.

    Canal Road wasn’t that’d crash hot – I predict it won’t hang around. It’ll get replaced with “Ramsay’s Palace Kitchen Ladettes” or something. Poor Channel 9 – they don’t even have the AFL to lean on now…

  2. Mon Says:

    baywatch! of course… there’s your 7pm solution for channel ten.


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