Archive for the ‘ITV 2’ Category

Media secretary urges broadcasters to leave scandal behind

Friday, September 14th, 2007

report_james_purnell.jpgMedia secretary James Purnell MP has told broadcasters to move on from the controversies that have dogged the TV industry this year. Purnell, who was speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention, said that TV produced in this country was something to be proud of, and that it was the content that would “win out”.

Purnell urged broadcasters to draw the “right lessons” from recent controversies, commenting that they need to “respect their audience”, who expect a certain standard from UK broadcasting. “You [broadcasters] need to put your house in order, and if you don’t there will be a clamour for Ofcom and the BBC Trust to take further action… I do think people feel let down. But you only get to feel let down if you hold something in high regard in the first place,” he said.

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Coming Soon: Secret Diary of a Call Girl starring Billie Piper

Thursday, September 13th, 2007

secret_diary.jpgWe told you back in March that ITV had rescued the project to bring the story of Belle de Jour to the small screen and now that project is almost upon us. Based on the best-selling, real life diaries of Belle de Jour: The Intimate Adventures of a London Call Girl, this eight-part series – ITV2’s first ever unique drama – provides a no-holds-barred insight into the life of a high class escort. While the real Belle maintains her anonymity, her diaries have been turned into fresh, sexy stories by a team of women writers led by Lucy Prebble.

Producer Chrissy Skinns says: “The Belle of the blog and the books is bright, direct and funny: all in all, a strong portrayal of a contemporary woman. Our Belle is equally intelligent, confident and witty, but probably displays more vulnerability: she is fictional and that is an important distinction to make, particularly as we were keen to preserve the real Belle’s anonymity. So the series is not an adaptation of the book but rather it became an excellent springboard.”

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The Emmys: Who are the hot favourites?

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

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I’m not a betting lady myself (too few pennies to go risking them), but for those of you who like a flutter, the Emmys could be worth a few bob. So if you would like the chance to exercise your superior television knowledge and perhaps make some money, here are some of the odds being offered on the American awards ceremony by Bet365.

Warning: If you lose out and have to hand over your house to debtors, sell your children into slavery and get a job cleaning the poles at a strip club – please don’t blame me. This is only meant as a bit of fun and in no way endorses people to hand their lives over to an all-consuming gambling problem. On the other hand, if you make some serious money taking a punt – just remember who tipped you off, eh?

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ITV reveal ‘content led plan’

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

_41113117_grade_203300.jpgITV has unveiled the details of its business review, which includes a three to five year self-funded, content led plan to restore growth. Eh? The broadcaster wants to double its content revenues to £1.2 billion by 2012, and is aiming for online revenues of £150 million by 2010. This is to be partly achieved by growing ITV.com to become a ‘top ten’ UK commercial entertainment site.

ITV executive chairman Michael Grade said: “By 2012, I want ITV to be widely acknowledged as the UK’s favourite source of free, original entertainment across all popular platforms and devices, not just on television. Reshaped, revitalised and redeployed, ITV’s unrivalled assets will ensure that it is once again a top and bottom line growth business. To achieve this we are implementing a content-led growth plan, built on ITV’s creation and ownership of the UK’s most valuable programmes. Our plan enables us to sustain investment in original programmes and content through self-funding.”

Content led meaning what exactly? Are ITV promising to show decent programmes then? Surely that’s what they’re supposed to be doing anyway?

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E! celebrate their viewers favourite shows with the 2007 Tater Top Awards

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007

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The Emmys are coming later this month, but E! the entertainment channel has already handed out their honours to celebrate the best in today’s TV. The Tater Top Awards are voted for by the public and so are happily absent any nauseating industry back-slapping. The awards being American means that none of our top shows are present, but they do provide an interesting insight into what US audiences enjoy, and when we get most of their best stuff imported anyway – who’s complaining?

Plot spoiler warning: You might want to look away if you have not yet seen the most recent seasons of any of these shows: Lost, Heroes, Grey’s Anatomy, The Sopranos, The Office, Veronica Mars, The Gilmour Girls, Battlestar Galactica. There are explicit details revealed and we would hate to ruin any future story-lines for you.

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TV and football to tackle obesity

Friday, August 31st, 2007

The European Commission and footballing body UEFA have teamed up to launch an anti-obesity TV campaign – featuring a group of armchair-ridden couch potatoes struggling to play football – that will run during this year’s Champions League coverage. The 30-second ad, “Go on, get out of your armchair”, is scheduled to run 2,023 times during the half-time breaks in each match over the course of the September to May competition. The commercial is expected to reach between 80 million and 100 million viewers during each match week of the Champions League.

Ryan Seacrest to host Emmys, Janeane Garofalo for 24 & why Piers Morgan is hurting

Thursday, August 23rd, 2007

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American Idol referee Ryan Seacrest has been announced as the host of this year’s Emmy Awards. [via Reuters]

Funny lady Janeane Garofalo is going to keep a straight face in the new season of 24. Yes, the bespectacled actress/comedienne will play a government agent on the Sky One action drama. I don’t care if they sign Santa Claus to be in it – just make it better! [via Hollywood Reporter]

Piers Morgan garnered no sympthy from David Hasselhoff, his fellow judge on the US show America’s Got Talent when he revealed he had broken three of his ribs. Why? Because Piers did it falling off his Segway unicycle. The Hoff scoffed: “When I found out how he had his wreck, I said, ‘Come on man, at least I wrecked the Harley [Davidson] on the 405 [freeway], going 60 miles an hour!’ [via Digital Spy]

New superheroes comedy for ITV2

Monday, August 13th, 2007

superheroes.jpgTelly’s gone a bit superheroes mad recently. First and foremost there is, of course, the wonderful Heroes which is currently doing its thing on BBC Two and soon to start a second series over on NBC in the States. Then, as Katie told you recently, there’s to be a new superheroes channel. As if that wasn’t enough, you can become a superhero yourself if you’ve got the spandex for it.

But wait! There’s more! ITV2 have commissioned an entirely new sitcom from Tiger Aspect that will feature the lives of four off-duty superheroes in London to be called No Heroics. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Congestion Charge Man!

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If you only watch one movie next week…

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

groundhog_day.jpgOur lovely Katie has the magic touch. She only has to mention she’s having a bit of a Groundhog Day and lo! There it is. If the phrase hadn’t already been in the popular consciousness (at least in North America) then this iconic movie would have put it there and indeed, it has managed to sway the meaning away from the original towards “one of those days that seems just like all the others” in many people’s minds.

Even if you don’t normally like Bill Murray, it’s worth giving this film a chance. Not only is he on top form here (this may even be the best performance of his whole career) as the self-centred weatherman Phil Connors, forced to relive the same day over and over until he understands the effect his selfishness has on others, but he’s more than ably supported by Harold Ramis in the director’s chair who skilfully manages to bring something new to each repeat of the day.

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Producer spills on mistakes with American Idol 6

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

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The last series of American Idol was a bit of a damp squib. Sanjaya changed his hairstyle and that was about it. Whoops. Entertainment Weekly is reporting that executive producer Nigel Lythgoe (‘nasty’ Nigel to fans of Hear’Say spawning show Popstars – you know who you are) has been speaking out on why he thinks the sixth season failed to take off the way previous ones had.

”We realized we made mistakes on Idol last season,” he said during a press tour for So You Think You Can Dance (his other show.) ”We were so engrossed with the mentors and didn’t really focus on the Melinda Doolittles of the show. We didn’t know them as much as the Kellie Picklers of last season.” Was this lack of coverage of the contestants because the contestants themselves were pretty dull, or was handing over huge chunks of the show the only way to attract top performers? It will make for interesting viewing when the next season airs, though it is quite common for AI to be must-see viewing one season and a bit rubbish the next (think the Ruben vs. Clay finale for Season 2 compared to Fantasia vs. Diana in the third.)

Television Critics Association of LA hand out their top prizes

Monday, July 23rd, 2007

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Heroes mania (like Beatles mania but with super powers rather than mop-top hairstyles) has officially hit Britain with the show to debut on terrestrial TV this Wednesday. And as if to further entice viewers to tune in, the show has been named programme of the year by the Television Critics Association in LA.

Elsewhere prizes went to The Sopranos (surprise, surprise) for best drama as well as a special heritage award. The Office: An American Workplace picked up best comedy while Friday Night Lights (hidden away on ITV2) scooped the gong for outstanding new show. Top actor accolades went to Alec Baldwin (30 Rockcoming soon to Five) for comedy and Michael C Hall (Dexter) for drama, while Kyle XY was named the best children’s show. Veteran Mary Tyler Moore received a lifetime achievement award while Planet Earth topped the news and information category, as well as earning the prize for movies, mini-series and specials. Well done everyone!

Does your TV ever tell you the truth?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2007

tv%20fish%20tank.jpgIs TV the biggest lie producing machine in history? Of course it is. That’s what it’s there for. TV never reflected reality by virtue of the fact that is was all a bit too real. We can all recall a great TV fib… spaghetti trees, fake haunted houses with a mock spooked Sarah Green… but now, things have changed. Once, TV was unabashed about the lies it told. We could trust that any lies were for our benefit and required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. TV has taken away the trust and taken a sinister turn.

It seems that, at the moment, you can’t move for TV scandals. Some are more worrying than others. Some sneaky editing has left The Queen looking like a pilchard, more editing suite fun left us under the impression that Gordon Ramsay is quite the fisherman.These to me are old fashioned lies. Editing something quite dull into something slightly less dull. However, apart from the creative edit, TV shows have been lying to us whilst dipping a hand into our pockets.

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Shaps badly refutes “copycat” claims

Friday, July 13th, 2007

shaps.jpgDo you remember me telling you about the BBC slagging ITV for copying all their shows? Well, ITV director of telly, Simon Shaps, has hit back at these accusations. Mr Shaps’ (known as Mr Doesn’t Really Have A Leg To Stand On) defended Tycoon (Dragon’s Den/The Apprentice), Grease Is The Word (How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria and Any Dream Will Do) and Trinny and Susannah Undress (er… Trinny and Susannah) by prattling on about how hard it is to have an idea.

Shaps said: “We stand by the programmes we commission. They feel original pieces of television and I’m confident that they are.” He then joked “We’re definitely not doing our version of Castaway.” (Celebrity Love Island). Shappers continued that it’s almost impossible to find a completely original “holy grail” idea in television, adding: “There are no new shows under the sun.”

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ITV2 picks up Bionic Woman

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

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DS reports that ITV2 has picked up Bionic Woman and Gossip Girl from this year’s LA screenings.

Bionic Woman, starring ex-Enders Michelle Ryan, has already gotten a bit of kicking by US critics, but, because of the nationality of its star, should prompt some decent interest in the show on these shores. ITV2 hasn’t stopped there either – it has bought Gossip Girl (from the creators of The OC, and extended deals for both Supernatural and Entourage for further seasons. Is ITV2 the new Sky One?

ITV accused of being “copycats” by the BBC

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

markthompson.jpgThe BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has launched a scathing (but seemingly justified) attack against arch rivals ITV, accusing shows like Tycoon and Grease is the Word of being copycats of successful corporation shows. Something I mentioned t’other week no less. BBC? Bleedin’ copycats.

Mr Thompson, speaking at the launch of the BBC 2007 annual report today, attacked the “copycatting” policy of rivals, which he said was flattering but showed that the BBC was leading the way in programming. He singled out ITV1 business reality show Tycoon, which he said was “very like The Apprentice and there’s possibly a bit of Dragons Den in there”.

Mr Thompson also highlighted other ITV1 formats such as reality talent format Grease is the Word and Trinny and Susannah Undress, which “feels quite a lot like What Not To Wear”, before adding “you see very rapid copycatting.”

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Louis Walsh back on X Factor

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

LouisWalsh.gifIf you’re like me, you couldn’t care less what happens on X Factor. The talentless factory conveyor belt of pap fails to light your pop candle year after year after long suffering year. If you’re nothing like me at all (very likely) then you’ll be thrilled to bit to find that Louis Walsh is returning to The X Factor and rising out of the ashes like a phoenix. Or something.

The 54-year-old Irishman lost his place on the judging panel in March, but has been reinstated after Brian Friedman (Walsh’s replacement) asked Simon Cowell to change his role on the show. Walsh pledged not to hold a grudge, saying: “In spite of all the bantering, I have continued to have a good working relationship with Simon, ITV and the show’s producers and I am thrilled to be asked back on the show.”

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TV Review – Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty, ITV2, Thursday, 12.55am

Thursday, June 7th, 2007

shannon_doherty.jpgRemember Shannen Doherty from Beverley Hills 90210? She was the dark haired one who ended up being a complete nightmare and no-one wanted to work with her ever. In my hometown, she’d be known as someone who ‘likes the smell of her own farts’, someone who believes their own hype. As a result, we’ve not seen her on our boxes for a while.

Now she’s back and shunted off in a strange programme in the graveyard slot. It’s hardly a comeback is it? Anyways, what does Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty (ITV2, very late, Thursdays) entail? Is it a long queue of Shannen’s crumpets all turning up and dumping her at once? That would make for strange TV wouldn’t it? Of course, it’s nothing to do with Shannen’s relationships, rather, Shannen’s penchant for sticking her oar in and acting sassy.

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If you only watch one movie next week…

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

shaun_of_the_dead.jpgIt’s a great week for horror on the TV this coming week, and for comedy horror in particular, but for me from the available mix there is only one choice. For horror fans Shaun of the Dead contains so many off-the-wall references to other giants of the genre that for once it deserves the epithet “laugh a minute” and even for those who are not so familiar with bygone horror movies, the laughs drip from this movie like green slime from the burst eye of a zombie.

Winner of a slew of minor awards (2005 Saturn Award for Best Horror Film, the Bram Stoker *and* British Independent Film Awards for Best Screenplay, the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, etc) this is a great film for dimming the lights, lighting the candles, and laughing your socks off.

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TV Review: American Idol Final, ITV2, Friday 25 May, 8.30pm

Friday, May 25th, 2007

jordin.jpgTime for me to be smug again, I’m afraid (what’s new, I hear you ask). Not only did I predict the third place AND the second place correctly, but of course that makes it obvious I got the winner right too. Not a particularly significant feat you might think, given the final three we were looking at back then, but remember until recently it looked like Melinda Doolittle was a shoo-in for the top spot.

Idol pulled out all the stops tonight, and also pulled out four of the five previous winners in a three hour show (final and results combined) that, as usual, was about twice as long as it should have been and also featured a host of geriatrics that have about as much relevance to American Idol as if they’d wheeled Stephen Hawking onto the stage. Don’t get me wrong, I know these people have contributed greatly to music for the past umpteen decades but please, don’t they know when to stop? I really didn’t know if the audience were applauding their singing or the fact that they’d managed to get all the way to the end and were still standing.

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TV Review: American Idol, ITV2, Friday 11 May, 8.30pm

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

lakisha.jpgThe final three of American Idol 2007 were revealed tonight and can I say without sounding smug that I got it right? No, I guess not. OK, you’ll just have to put up with smug. But even though I correctly predicted the line-up for next week’s show, the past few weeks have seen a radical shift in who I think will end up the eventual winner. This year the field has been polarised more strongly than in any previous year. The bad contestants have been really bad, but the good ones have been simply stunning. What’s more some who started out looking excellent have plateaued early, whereas others who began just good have gone from strength to strength.

Click over for a recap on the finals so far, and my guess as to what happens next.

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