Old News is Bad News

Earlier this month I argued that it’s quantity, not quality that seems to be the watchword at the offices of GNW TV Productions, makers of Good News Week. Now TV Tonight has brought us the news that over-extending each episode by an hour isn’t the only way GNW saves on production costs – they film two episodes in one session, saving them money on studio hire and staff fees – at the expense of topicality.

Good News (last) Week

Good News Week‘s habit of filming episodes well in advance bit them in the bum last night after the change in Prime Ministers.

The show was valiant in recording a new introduction with host Paul McDermott in front of a green screen, delivering an introduction with gags on the Rudd-Gillard switcheroo.

The polished host was even spot on with his eye line looking to an audience that really wasn’t there…

They laughed all the way from the edit suite.

But the edits never quite matched up. And a flat green screen is never really a substitute for truly dimensional sets.

Good News Week often films double episodes and plays them across two weeks, including at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. NCIS guest Pauley Perrette recently shot an episode on June 5, but it didn’t air until June 14.

Because that’s the way to make a panel show about the news, isn’t it? Film it days in advance and panic-record a new intro in front of a shonky green screen if something major happens.

Perhaps this explains why every single notable topical show around the world, from The Daily Show, which is written on the day and taped hours before transmission, to BBC shows like Have I Got News For You and The News Quiz, which are recorded the night before transmission, to Clarke & Dawe, which again, is filmed hours before broadcast, are kicking comedic and satirical goals, while Good News Week fills in time each week with a song from one of the panellists.

Now that this is out in the open, it’s time for Good News Week to stop masquerading as a news-based panel show and reveal its true identity – as a crap variety show. And who knows, without the vaguely current affairs-based gags, it might be an entertaining one.

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  • RH says:

    You really have nothing better to do, do you? I can’t believe I’m even dignifying whatever this is with a comment.
    Don’t like it, don’t watch it, and don’t waste your time writing articles on what a hackney show you think it is.

  • *K says:

    If you looked into things before criticising them, you would know that several successful shows in the past by the GNW TV crew have been filmed two episodes at a time. Sure, things are going to happen which the show wont comment on because it was filmed before the event… but if it’s truly important they will make sure to comment on it in the first epsiode taped at the next taping. Or if it’s is really important, they can greenscreen. With the busy schedules of the crew and Claire living in Melbourne, it makes more sense to film two at a time.

  • abre says:

    Two blog man, two blog man, two more blogs about something noone cares about his opinon on than any other moron on the internet.

    I like the show and I’m glad its back, yes, the cross promotion stuff forced on them by the commercial network they’re a part of does ruin the tone, but ultimately it’s still a good show – they have some dud moments, but most shows of this type do.

    Sure they loosely based the show off the UK Have I Got News for You but there’s also a healthy dash of Never Mind the Buzzcocks in there.

    Other than that, they’re amusing people with the work they’re doing – Your blog just makes me think what a sad, bitter and humourless life you must lead.

  • Bean Is A Carrot says:

    There’s a lot of excuses being made for this show, but as a viewer I just want to watch something good. Period. I don’t care about Claire Hooper’s work schedule, or what the network wants them to do – I just want to watch a good show.

    A good show can work around scheduling and network problems, and use them to their advantage – but as a viewer I see no evidence that that’s happened with GNW. It’s just a mess. It doesn’t know anymore whether it’s a satirical news quiz or a variety show.

    And given the current broadcast culture, pre-recorded shows with out-of-date references have no relevance anymore. People want topical stuff – look at the “we got there first” war going on in current affairs. Tacking on something topical at the last minute doesn’t work anymore. Time for either a major re-think, or an end.

  • 13 schoolyards says:

    I’m constantly amazed by people who don’t see the contradiction in slagging off a negative post about a show they like with “don’t like it, don’t watch it” and “noone cares about [your] opinion”.

    As for GNW, it’s major failing for mine is that it doesn’t know what it’s meant to be in 2010. Much like Hey Hey, it’s an old format that’s lost all relevance trading almost entirely on past glories. If it’s topical comedy, make it truly topical. If it’s variety, go flat-out for variety. If it’s “Paul McDermott and Mates”, why not film it en masse like they do Spicks & Specks and save even more money / make more episodes?

    Honestly, I think The Sideshow was a much better show. And that still wasn’t much chop.