Category Archives: tv

Upstaged and YouTube teams

Now this is exactly what I want to be seeing. *This* is participative entertainment. Check out BBC’s Upstaged.

Lily Allen’s embeddable widget

Lily Allen has a new chat show coming soon the BBC Three and it is attempting to do things differently in the spirit of Lily’s love of social networking.

The website is going to iterate as the show gets closer, and it has released an embeddable dynamic widget so that social networkers can stick it on their profile pages. This means they will always get the latest videos, and they will be able to vote on which bands should feature on the show each week. There is also a production blog, and of course Lily has her own Myspace presence.

Now, I would love to show it embedded here but for some reason the code won’t let me. It only seems to want to display the terms and conditions. I shall have to figure that one out. But go check it out for yourself.

It follows the philosophy of being where people are, so having takeaway content at its heart is key.

Zimmer rock

Just watched the very end of the Great Granny Chart Invasion on BBC Two. Looked good. Caught the whole My Generation cover and video by The Zimmers. Great stuff. Go grans hehe. Geriatric1927 should do his own video repsonse cover now (on YouTube). Heh.

Found this clip on YouTube – not on the BBC channel – which I think might be semi-official: it links to their myspace anyway.

Just returned to a cold, wet, miserable London after a very nice wekend in the countryside with family. Sister nearly went into labour. Heh. Surrounded by silage and prams. And lots of shopping.

Minisode classics

Liking the idea of these minisodes. Especially of the shows we used to all know and love – the TV that takes you back to when you have just had a bath, and you are in your jammies, and allowed to stay up to watch the programme as a treat. Like Mash – I only have to hear the theme tune, and I am right back there.

Anyway, these could potentially be real fun snacky treats, and could also help give the impression you sound like you know all there is to know about a classic series. How many times have you had those “remember that episode” conversations. Now you could graze them all in the time it takes to make a coffee (with our posh machine anyway). Kinda like that Star Wars redit fans did of the Phantom Menace, the Phantom Edit. Cut out all the crap bits, or stuff you don’t really need, and keep the rest. And even better, btw, is the hint of a recognition here that these edits could officially be done by the fans themselves.

It’s just editing. Our people are really having fun with this. We’re not overthinking the process. You could almost look at this and say a group of college kids put this together.

Second Life and “TV”

So I was going to give a quick Second Life news update, but have been aware for quite some time that this is a futile effort – although the media frenzy around SL has died down somewhat. All the big media wigs are most likely sitting down in important meetings trying to figure out what to do in 3D immersive spaces.

It is much more effective to keep up with the news via something like World of SL or SLCN. While I was on the latter, I stumbled upon this titbit about an in-world “TV” network which has set up to challenge residents to make their own shows.

I think there is indeed a gap in the market for this kind of thing, and the people themselves will make the cream rise to the top, and start gathering around common points and people of interest. I can’t wait for proper shared “TV” playlists. This kind of content is something that I would probably like to watch through Joost. Except, it would have to be an aggregated set of shows – a network – which included machinima programming from all immersive spaces – 2 and 3D. Granted, a lot of shows might be a bit shit, but then so were most podcasts when they started a few years’ ago. But a deal through Joost could be about a premium, best of content offering, as decided by all of us first – around the web.

Anyway, here is what SLCN says about the venture:

In the coming months SLCN will become the, “voice of SL” the group says. The programming will come from residents and encompass all different areas and cultures. It will be a way of showing the real world what SL is and what the people of SL are all about. The idea behind SLCN is to open up the world of television and put it in the hands of everyone within SL.

They add that it means that anyone who has an “idea, a pitch or talent or anyone who thinks they can”, can. Now all I need is some imgination and decent computer.

Goodbye “Play” TV

Good. Those annoying premium “quiz shows” which have, in recent months, plagued my late night TV viewing, have been suspended from UK TV networks after a series of scandals and official probes* – for now.

There is nothing more irritating and more likely to drive people like me to YouTube than these stupid money-spinning shows which squat in prime B-movie, post club slots to pose questions like “What word am I thinking of? Hmmm? Come on, tell me, who’s going to call in??”. And the mugs always do.**

Of course, this does also include voting lines for more mainstream entertainment shows such as Falling Over on Ice and so on, but I am sure they can still make money with normal rate calls and texts – or maybe not. They just have to be a bit more innovative. Those late night “quiz” phone ins are not innovative. Nuh uh. Nope.

* Probes by the premium rate watchdog, Icstis. I think I read in the paper at the weekend that the chairman, Sir Alistair Graham, allegedly said he wanted to change its name because it currently sounded too much like a “urinary disease”.

**I do know someone who did win some money. About the amount he paid to get through.

An old favourite

Just rediscovered this sketch of Bush and Blair doing the Weakest Link. I first saw it on telly, on the BBC’s Don’t Watch That Watch This. The ultimate mainstream remix programme for the masses. This problem is it has a really bad title imho. It just does not chime with me when I flick through it on the EPG. Now I have been reminded.

Web 2.0 Heroes

I watched Heoroes * last night for the first time. It is the ultimate Web 2.0-ish TV programme and has been a massive hit. It is supposed to be comic-book-style, and it is.

But I say Web 2.0-ish because it has so many references to web 2 and 3-type cultures and practices. I think I even spotted the two famous Chinese N*Sync YouTubers, the Dormitory Boys, (seen in original video above) in cameo parts singing the same song in a bar, dressed in the same T-shirts. And one of the characters can teleport, just like in Second Life.

There are also symbols and clues dotted throughout the show, according to Wikipedia, for fan cultures to start gossiping about on forums and so on.

There were other things that I can’t remember right now – oh yeah, one of the characters is an internet stripper and another couple video stunts. Digital cultures cut through the whole thing basically.

*The official websites has all sorts of fun stuff on it, such as Hiro’s blog, a wiki…

You Say We Pay scrapped

Just days after posting about the Adam Buxton piss take of Richard & Judy’s quiz You Say We Pay, I find out the competition has been scrapped.

Turns out the quiz was a little bit of a money-spinning con. Callers have been demanding refunds after they found out they were still being allowed to call in to enter the competition even after potential winners had been chosen each day.

This is more bad news for Channel 4 after the Big Brother kerfuffle. The papers (The Mirror) here say that Channel 4 will be investigated – could be trouble. The Mirror also reports that a 62 year old player had raised this on the show’s forums ages ago, but claims she was kicked off and her posts were deleted. If this is true, then that is really quite sinister. Channel 4 claims she had made libellous comments about the presenters and that was why she was banned.

A spokesperson said people should use “proper channels” if they have complaints to make, instead of the forums. I say they don’t get it do they. They should be using the forums to pick up on exactly this kind of thing. It’s called audience partipation.

Buxton does You Say We Pay

I posted this from YouTube a few days ago and forgot it did not work.

So here it is again.

The King and Queen of UK daytime TV, Richard & Judy, had a piece on YouTube last week and had some guests on to talk about it. They had the famous YouTube couple who did Dirty Dancing at their wedding (which I thought was incredibly dull), comedians Dave Gorman and Adam Buxton.

They featured some YouTube funnies, but also some of Adam’s stuff, which I love. I even came across his new BBC series Time Trumpet by watching the material on YouTube first.  He told R&J that YouTube was full of this kind of parodying  (see above – great Buxton remix of their competition*) but R&J weren’t the type to sue over something like this were they. Let’s hope not!

*I once got down to the final for this when I was hungover one day off – they were either going to come to me or another person on the line. They went to the other line.

Ads, DVRs, people and their dogs

This article has some interesting new Nielsen data to show what TV viewers who own DVRs already know – that you don’t always forward through the ads even if you own a DVR.

Indeed, some people actually enjoy ads – my sister loves them. Some of the are completely relevant to me – I am a sucker for new cleaning goods. I don’t shop in supermarkets, so the ads are the only way for me to find out about stuff like that.

Even when I am watching a DVR-ed programme, sometimes I a) forget to forward through them or b) use the ad break as a nautral toilet break/social time/drink-and-snack-making moment.

People are also still quite likely to tune into their fave TV prog at the same time as the rest of the world, which I still think is something a lot of people like to do – it’s that feeling of remote connectedness.

Technology like this lets you have more control over how you use your time – it can help you create breaks to do or experience other stuff.

What I especially like about this article is the dog in the picture (which I shan’t post here). He looks like he is fed up watching the ads and is desperate for his owners to fast forward. Or he has just seen a great ad for the latest dog chow. Or he is desperate for a wee and is urging his parents to take him for one during the ads.