A Childs Life: Not So Priceless (<$4,000,000)

There was just an Amber Alert posted. For those unfamiliar with the term, whenever a child goes missing, an alert is posted in as many forms of media as possible to get as many people as possible to realize that a child has been abducted and to help if they know or have seen anything. The alert was posted but before the text of the message could scroll, the network (CityTV) removed the ticker so as to avoid obscuring the lottery commercial that began airing. As it happens they removed the alert from the screen just as it was about to give a description of the suspect.

Lottery jackpot: $4,000,000
TV Commercial: $10,000
A child’s life: ?

Too bad the standard jackpot wasn’t still only $2,000,000, they might have run the full alert if it was.

“The (Unfair) Cut”

Last night I saw a couple of minutes from end of an episode of “The Cut”. This is a new reality show where a bunch of people vie to be a new designer for Tommy Hilfiger.

Apparently, the episode involved two groups of people performing a task where the losing team would have someone leave the show. The task they were to perform was to restore a place to its their former glory as accurately as possible for the night (or weekend or whatever). One group had to do the Cotton Club while the other had to do Studio 54. Tommy then judged the two locations to determine which one is more like it was back in its heyday to decide the winner (or more accurately, the loser).

Not surprisingly the group that redid Studio 54 was the losing team. Why is it not surprising? Because. Here are the facts:

  1. 1) Tommy has personally been to Studio 54 back in the 70’s
  2. 2) Tommy has NOT personally been to The Cotton Club back in the 30’s
  3. 3) None of the contestants on either team have been to either club back in its day
  4. 4) Tommy’s mental image of what The Cotton Club should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  5. 5) Tommy’s mental image of what Studio 54 should look like is based on his own memories of actually being there
  6. 6) Group “1”‘s mental images of what The Cotton Club should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  7. 7) Group “2”‘s mental images of what Studio 54 should look like is based on pictures, movies, other’s descriptions, etc.
  8. 8) The Cotton Club is really old, so there are only so many pictures, movies, people, etc. to describe it
  9. 9) Studio 54 is not that old, so there are still lots of different, varying sources of pictures, movies, people, etc. to describe it.

If you read the facts in order and have even half a brain—or at least a corpus callosotomy—then you can figure out that this was quite an unfair challenge.

Group “1” and Tommy both had to resort to pictures, movies, other people, etc. to get an image of what The Cotton Club should have looked like. Moreover, they probably used the SAME pictures, movies, and people since there are not that many still around from way back in the 30’s. On the other hand, Group “2” had to pick some of the many, many pictures, movies, and people to get an image of Studio 54 (it was only 30 years ago), while Tommy already had a predefined mental image that was much more accurate than the group’s because he was there in person.

Not fair, then again this is “reality” tv and the real world is anything BUT fair.

Canwest’s Stupidity Knows No Bounds

While I’m on the topic of Canwest’s stupidity I might as well as bring up another beef I have with them.

Like I said previously, Canwest owns multiple channels. They seem to think that this gives them an added benefit for profit but in the wrong way. The best way to demonstrate is to give an example and here’s as good an example as any:

A show—let’s say the Everybody Loves Raymond—normally airs on Global on Monday’s at 9:00pm. About a month ago ELR aired their SERIES FINALE, but did it air on the right channel at the right time? No. What did Canwest do? They took the finale of a 9 year old show and moved it to both a different channel AND time-slot. They put the finale on CH at 10:00pm so that they could air some reality show.

They have committed many other similar offences like always moving Friends from 8:00pm on Thursdays to 7:30pm so that they can air Survivor at eight; moving random episodes of Frasier and other shows to CH; and so on.

Not only is moving a venerable show detestable—especially when it’s to make room for crap—but they also don’t seem to understand that viewers have such things as VCRs and PVRs and such that they need to program in advance. People do not like to have to keep changing the programs to keep up with a networks greed, they want to “set it and forget it”.

Canwest is not the only moron in this arena either, it seems pretty much all Canadian networks are run by idiots. CTV recently moved the LOST SEASON FINALE from it’s normal time-slot to ANOTHER DAY! Instead of airing the finale on Wednesday, they aired it to Thursday so that they could air American Idol on Wednesday. Do they not realize that not only is LOST a massive ratings hit but that forcing people to watch it a day late would aggravate people to no end? Thankfully there are affiliates of American networks so we could still watch it on Wednesday on ABC (without simulcasting) so Canadians did not have to stand around the water-cooler the next day not being able to discuss it with those who have satellite.

(In this one case it was actually a good thing that CTV did such a stupid thing because had they aired it, we would have seen Canadian commercials simulcast and would have missed the American commercial informing us that Good Morning America would air a deleted scene the next day)

Canwest Does Not Understand Specialty Channels

Canwest owns several channels in Canada including Global, CH, and Prime. Unfortunately everything they touch turns to crap.

This complaint is about how they don’t seem to understand the concept of specialty channels. Prime is the Canadian counterpart to DejaView, airing classic shows from a long time ago. Canwest however thinks that a second channel is a video “bit bucket” or “junk drawer”, a place to store extra stuff. Besides airing old shows on Prime, they also air reruns of current shows (as recent as just 3 days ago). For example they will air an episode of some show (often reality shows) on Global during the regular time-slot, then show the episode again on Prime on the weekend. This may be fine for viewers of those shows who missed an episode, but it is ridiculous for the people who actually pay the extra money for the specialty channel and get which airs current shows instead of the classic shows they expected.