Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A quality newspaper on quality TV

I hate to pick on the same journalist twice in one day but... I'm sorry, I don't know how to finish that sentence.

Today's page A3 has an article about TV One's acquisition of a new season of shows which differ considerably from what we might expect - a collection of trashy, derivative-sounding America sitcoms and awful local reality TV series. The reporter does a really good, honest job of questioning whether this is the right choice for the network to make, given its strong reputation for quality programming and its main demographic, let alone its responsibilities to the TVNZ charter.
The new shows seem aimed at a younger demographic, which seems to leave TV One's older viewers, accustomed to high-quality British drama, out in the cold. It is also questionable whether local copies of overseas shows such as The Apprentice and Masterchef satisfy the demand for serious, quality local programming. Media commentators have questioned the purchase of series such as The Vampire Diaries, which seems to largely ride on the current popularity of Twilight and True Blood.

TVNZ general manager of programming Jane Wilson would not comment on whether these shows met the expectations and responsibilities of New Zealand's oldest television station.
And then I woke up, and it was all a dream.

What the actual article says, of course, is quite different:

It is seen as the more serious terrestrial television channel but TV One is about to be sexed up with a series about a well-endowed man.

Hung is a drama charting the life of a cash-strapped high-school teacher who resorts to prostitution after his house burns down.

It is one of a number of new shows in TVNZ's 2010 schedule.

General manager of programming Jane Wilson said the comedy drama "pushes the boundaries" - something the broadcaster was hoping to achieve with TV One.

"We want to be a little bit edgier and a little less safe."

Cool. All of which, of course, could have been - and probably was - copied verbatim from a TVNZ press release. It then gives helpful synopses of some of the great shows coming to primetime on TVNZ's mainstream channels:
Cougar Town: An American sitcom starring former Friends star Courtney Cox, who plays a recently divorced mother entering a dating scene filled with younger men.

[...] FlashForward: An American science fiction series starring Joseph Fiennes. Based around a future where a mysterious event makes everyone in the world black out. As people gain consciousness, the world starts changing because people know their future.
Shows not coming to primetime on TVNZ's mainstream channels:
Anything that seriously discusses politics, culture or the media.
Sorry, Close Up doesn't count :(


  1. Of course, this is actually the schedule for TV One and TV Two. Well done, reporter.

  2. http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2009/11/herald-clucks-on-spin-cycle.html

  3. The charter was scrapped earlier this year

  4. All the documentaries and current affairs shows worth watching are on TVNZ7 now (plus a news hour sans ads)