This all started when a bearded, talentless big mouth couldn’t handle a spot of criticism. So instead of flinging a few well-aimed barbs at his critics, he decided to shoot the messenger. What a tough guy.
Let the record show that Kyle deserved the derision. His show contained, among other mind-numbing stupidity, a segment where he felt a guest’s boobs. The ratings didn’t lie. They rarely do. An initial audience of 1.3 million shrunk to a paltry 200,000 within minutes.
Afterwards Twitter went into meltdown canning the show. Enter numerous entertainment reporters and bloggers who duly recorded the Twitter mood. One of them was news.com.au’s Alison Stephenson. Ali is capable of excellent colour writing on her day, but on this occasion, she wrote a completely straight, unremarkable account of the Twitter reaction.
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Nearly a decade ago, Channel Seven programmers were keen to give a stunning Gold Coast girl air-time. Jacqueline Last, nowadays better known as Jackie O, soon proved the point that being photogenic doesn’t mean you’ll be good on TV.
Screen presence, that certain je ne sais quoi, is an indefinable quality that draws the viewer in and makes you keep watching. The weird science of video lens calibration that captures you in a sequence rather than a single shot is a unique beast.
Audiences can smell a dud a mile off. No matter how stunning or controversial someone might be, if they don’t have screen presence the viewer will revolt. As they did in droves, when the initial audience of 1.2 million watching Jackie O and Kyle What’s-his-name’s first TV show diminished to just 200,000 near the end of the show. That, after a 1.4 million lead in. Apparently Channel Seven have short memories.
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It’ll be Moet & Chandon all round at AFL House tonight. In a deal which consolidates its position as Australia’s premier winter sporting code, the AFL has just announced a $1.253 billion dollar TV rights deal from 2012 to 2016. It’s far and away the largest sport rights deal in Australian history.
The five year deal will see Channel Seven televise four games per week. Seven will also retain exclusive rights to the AFL grand final, and pre-season Cup grand final, while Fox Sports will screen all eight weekly games live, including the games shown on Seven.
This is a major return to AFL for the pay TV broadcaster, which has also grabbed the high-rating Brownlow medal night coverage from Seven. Fox will also revive a dedicated AFL channel. Its last such channel, the Fox Footy Channel, turned its toes up after the 2006 grand final.
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Here’s a simple statistic that TV executives are happy you didn’t know. Back in the 1980s the population of Australia was about 14 million. A good TV show would rate about 5 million viewers. Fast forward to 2011. Australia’s population has grown to 20 million and TV execs are dancing on their mini-bars if their show attracts over 1.2 million viewers.
The population has doubled, the viewers have halved. The maths is not good. “Masterchef” peaked last year with over 3.5 million viewers. Proportionally, based on 1980’s viewing habits, Masterchef should have rated nine million viewers.
The velocity of the decline is increasing. For an industry that was once a sizable chunk of the life and breath of Australian culture, the Australian free TV industry is “circling the drain”. That’s cop show talk for dying.
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Did you happen the see the viral video of Channel Nine’s ‘apology’ for using a watermark in its story on Brian McFadden’s aeroplane antics? They said sorry for forcing Channel Seven to blur a significant portion of the images it unflinchingly lifted from Nine.
Funny, wasn’t it? In that sort of immature Funniest Home Videos guy-getting-hit-in-the-groin kind of way. How pathetic. How childish. How fitting.
This is the era we live in. Missed last night’s Masterchef? Don’t worry, you can see it broken down play-by-play on ACA or Today Tonight. Ten may have paid something in the vicinity of $70 million for the rights, but the other networks are showing it for free. Well, except for however much it costs to blur out that annoying bug in the corner.
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As many commenters have been pointing out in Tory’s piece this morning, Julia Gillard put in a shocker on Sunrise this morning. Watch the full 13 minutes above, if you can bear it.
For my money, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey wasn’t great either. His comment to the effect that contractors currently engaged in the BER and the NBN rollout should be immediately redeployed to flood rebuilding was opportunistic in the extreme. And by opportunistic, I mean sneaky. But that was just a taster. According to most observers, the PM was far, far worse.
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9.42 pm. Saturday night update. Three match points to Clijsters. Please ignore everything below. This has been a totally engrossing women’s final… unbearable tension. Hang on. Gotta let the cat in.
So I’m watching an Australian Open mixed doubles battle between four players who are almost as good as suburban A-grade singles players. Then whoosh! Just like that! A pigeon lands on the ledge outside my office window.
And not just any pigeon, but one of those really rare and beautiful grey ones! Awesome! An actual grey pigeon. Wow, what a sight.
But back to the tennis. Things are getting really exciting in a fourth round women’s match between two grunting Russian baseliners when… hang on. Hey, I just noticed we’ve still got our Christmas decorations up at work. Oooh, and what about that gorgeous row of paper dalmation baubles. It must’ve been up six weeks and I swear I just saw it for the first time. Heh-he. Dalmatians.
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This week one and a half million odd people who tuned in watch the NSW fork lift driver Altiyan Childs take the top prize on the X Factor.
Finally Seven got the kind of ratings they had surely been hoping to snag for their big-budget import throughout the season after an overwhelmingly apathetic response from viewers.
As the series limped along, each week it failed to reach the stratospheric numbers the network must have been praying for after shelling out that sort of big bucks.
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“Ben Cousins makes me want to take ice,” was the declaration of one punter into the twitterverse.
Others commented that if coke helped you get a body that ripped, it was time to get snorting.
Cousins said in the introduction of his doco Such is Life that he wanted to “send a powerful message to young people, for that matter all people, about the way drugs affect your life”.
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The response to The Age’s decision to sack Catherine Deveny says a lot about the Australian media and Australian media audiences. In particular, it shows how selective both can be depending on whether they like or dislike the person — and whether it’s a man or woman at the centre of a scandal.
Soon after Deveny’s sacking was announced, some of her supporters in the Twittersphere claimed that she had been a victim of censorship.
It makes Deveny seem heroic, but it’s hard to see this as censorship.In the first place, Deveny wasn’t prevented by The Age from expressing herself. On this occasion at least, they didn’t spike her writings.
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Like a teenage son with busted car or a call centre operator who rings at dinner time, you only hear from Kerry Stokes when he wants something.
Billionaires - real ones, not the fly-by-nighters who appear suddenly on the BRW rich list and disappear just as quickly one year later - are notoriously private people. But years can pass without a significant public performance from Stokes.
Sure, he pops up every six months to deliver another set of opaque accounts from the Seven Network. But you know he only does that much because he has to. (Seven, being a listed company, has a few shareholders other than Stokes himself.)
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