Radiation by Fiona Rae

Suffer the little programmes

Does TVNZ even like its own local programmes? Unless they’re cash cows like DIY Rescue or The Zoo, it seems some shows are only there under sufferance. Mercy Peak? Sorry, we’ve cancelled your show and we’re not going to bother with any advertising for your last 10 eps and, oh, by the way, here’s a reasonably crappy time slot.

The latest casualty is Flipside, the so-called youth news show that’s been steadily building its audience at 6pm, and doing rather a good job of covering the issues. When a One News reporter completely failed to explain what Low Power FM broadcast licences are all about, Flipside interviewed Andrew Dubber about them.

Flipside is to lose its 10.30pm show, Flipside Late, and its 6pm show is being moved to 5pm from Monday the 12th. Rumour has it that it will be replaced altogether, just as it has become established and recognised by the audience. Presumably, it’s a victim of its own success – taking viewers from TV One, maybe, both from the 6 o’clock news and the relentlessly unhip Tonight.

Another local show that’s getting a rough time slot is the new comedy Serial Killers, which will go to air at 9.45pm on Friday nights (starts on the 16th). It’s written by James Griffin, based on his play about behind-the-scenes of a soap opera (he’s a former Shortland Streeter). It works well in the TV format, I hear, with a slight Office vibe.

Are we believing Ian Fraser when he said that “the Charter encourages us to invest in talent and imagination, to take creative risks and to provide a more diverse menu, particularly in prime time”? Not yet.

Regarding the violence on television survey, Andrew comments:

Once again we have hysteria about children’s cartoons. How many of the adult commentators actually watch these? As a parent I try to know what my kids are watching. Sometimes I really enjoy the programme (Spongebob), some I tolerate, and some I discourage. But my decisions are based on time with the kids and participating in what they are doing/watching myself, not because a committee has watched TV for me and the kids. It is not surprising that violent kids TV is bad when associated with “negative clusters”. But is it the TV or lack of attention to the kids?

If we have kids we must take responsibility for them, guide them etc, and not just trust that TV and teachers will raise them for us.

Quite right. Andrew, you are clearly, like me, the perfect parent. Here’s that hysteria you were talking about from the Herald and Sue Kedgley.

This also from Stephen Walker:

I just thought it is was worth noting that children under three years cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality. And since a lot of people seem to use children's videos as well as TV as their default babysitter, prolonged exposure to this stuff (which may be totally innocuous for older kids) for very young children may not be a good idea, and could have long-term effects.

Yes, and aren’t we all feeling really guilty after the story that too much TV for children under two interferes with brain development? Eek. I don’t remember my kids watching that much telly back then. Too busy sleeping and pooping, that sort of thing. But isn’t it freaky that your 2 or 3-year-old thinks that two very large bananas wearing blue-and-white-striped pyjamas could walk around the corner at any moment?

Another point: I do think the networks have to be more circumspect when advertising their murder-as-entertainment shows. A promo for SVU (do they drive SUVs?) played during the news a couple of nights ago. It was a dead guy this time, but it’s usually murdered women, with the voiceover guy excitedly purring “Murder ….” I’m a muter, but even the visuals are nasty.

The Letterman list is in:
Monday 12: Viggo Mortenson and Sting
Tuesday 13: Sara Jessica Parker and Nelly Furtado
Wednesday 14: Billy Crystal and Yankee Alex Rodriguez
Thursday 15: Chris Rock
Friday 16: Senator John McCain and Damien

Lastly, from our Programmes We’d Like to See Here file: MTV’s Pimp My Ride, presented by rapper Xzibit, where dowdy, uncool cars get the ultimate pimp makeover! The site also has a game, The Ride Pimper, that’s a fun five minutes’ worth.

Hey, have a gorgeous and relaxing Easter you guys.