Radiation by Fiona Rae

Eating Out

How many complaints do you think the Broadcasting Standards Authority will receive about this week’s episode of Eating Media Lunch? A good solid two? Maybe three? On the other hand, I wonder how many phone calls EML and R18 producer Steve Crow have had from porndogs wanting to get hold of Anal Mana? A good hard 20?

Someone took it seriously, though. Jeez, if that guy in the piupiu is a porn star, I'm a starfish. EML is so the highlight of the week, what with summer programming getting underway and TV One pulling out British dramas starring Robson Green and Gary Kemp (ew!).

Another local show in a state of glorious tumescence is Shortland Street, which is about to send suds exploding all over the screen with the end of the evil Dom. I was under the impression the big bang was this week, that’s the way the promos looked anyway, but we’ll have to wait til next week for the body in the lake and the gas can in the shed. Such fun, and I was getting a bit tired of Maia making the pouty face over her dad’s illness, so I’m glad that’s over. You may already know about Streettalk – go now and vote for who you think will be tied up in the shed.

There was a brief flurry of media about the lack of local drama planned by TVNZ for next year, I hear National Radio’s What’s Going On covered it and Russell did an interesting interview on Mediawatch last week with the chair of NZ On Air, Don Hunn, in which he said that TVNZ was finding less of an appetite by viewers for long-running local series. In other words, they don’t rate. However, it begs the question: If TVNZ wanted mini-series and short drama series instead of 20-parters, why hasn’t it commissioned some?

The Screen Directors Guild and the Writers Guild both issued statements about the lack of drama, but neglected to put them online.

You can see recent funding decisions on the NZ On Air website, if you look back to June, the only grants for drama are for Outrageous Fortune ($5.3m for 13 one-hour eps) and Doves of War (additional funding of $450,000 for six one-hour eps). In both cases the broadcaster is TV3. In June, a production company called Colonial Encounters won $450,000 for a two-hour drama called No. 2, to be screened on TV2. That’s it.

Tone magazine’s December issue has a story about Sky’s PVR, which will be launched next year. It's not online unfortunately, although here’s another from Scoop. The box doubles as a decoder and a PVR, so viewers won’t have to add another item to the rack – unlike, say, a TiVo unit. It’s got 160GB hard disk, and contains two tuners, which seems to imply that you’ll be able to record one digital channel while watching another, or record two at once. If you want to burn DVDs, you’d have to connect a DVD recorder.

There’s another new TV blog in town: feel free to send your conspiracy theories, insider goss, grumps, groans etc to Reinventing TVNZ.

Patricia asks what I thought of Paul Henry on Intrepid Journeys:

I was most disappointed at his obsessing about himself all the time and his seemingly indifferent approach to the local people he encountered. He never gave any real information except complaint with a superior attitude. I have a real objection for this type of programming and promotion of so called ‘celebs’ by tax payers contributions.

I have for the most part, thoroughly enjoyed these programmes and the ‘quirky’ but very respectful approach the other presenters have taken – Peta Mathais the exception!

I think you said it all, Patricia; I got about 10 minutes in, couldn’t stand the whining and quit. And really, if you knew you were going a journey where you needed to climb a mountain, wouldn’t you try to get a little bit fitter before you left? Paul Henry puffing and panting: not pretty.

The Herald is reporting that a decision on the new Holmes show will be announced within two weeks: Susan Wood is the frontrunner and I think she’s been running a reasonably lively show. She’s prone to overdoing it a bit though, her Erebus over-emoting was gagworthy. I can’t point you to the story, because it appears the Herald site has had a redesign and the search facility is gone. Bah.

I caught Colin Farrell on Letterman this week, the guy is a lunatic. The list for next week:
Monday the 29: Actress Natalie Portman; John Mayer
Tuesday Nov 30: Actress Jessica Biel
Wednesday Dec 1: George Clooney; Lance Armstrong
Thursday Dec 2: Guest TBA
Friday Dec 3: Actor Noah Wyle, musical guests Sum 41
Monday Dec 6: Tyra Banks; musical guest Lyle Lovett
Tuesday Dec 7: Racing star Alex Zanardi; comedian Kevin Nealon