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.