The Kirstine Layfield show

My apologies to any of my regular readers who may have been looking for free pizza in Simcoe park today. If any was there, I didn’t see it.

Plenty of croissants inside though. Nothing illustrated the current divide better than the CMG tent out in the rain with the soggy cookies, and the multiscreen Kirstine Layfield show inside.

Did anyone else go to this?

The message was pretty clear: they need some hits. Anything.

Preferably 3 of them. Maybe 5 if you could spare, guv’nor.

And CBC-TV is open for business and ideas at cbc.ca/programideas/ (site not finished yet) and they are working hard to streamline their decision-making process and they have the Powerpoints to prove it.

God forgive me, but I want to believe them.

So does Mark Starowicz. Looking very out of place, but easily the most compelling speaker of the day, he was the only one to even slightly acknowledge the trouble brewing just barely under the surface. As he noted, the last time he was speaking to a crowd that large, it was during the lockout and he was railing against CBC management.

Mark bridges a lot of gaps. Between union and management, between the CBC of old and the CBC of new, between radio and TV, between popular programming and programming that is still ‘good.’

Yes, he said, let’s do a few to please Alice.

And the rest of the time we can do what we like.

17 comments:

  1. Anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 4:31 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What goes around comes around.

  2. anonymous
    Posted January 1, 2010 at 4:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Yes…left her family for G, and renewed his low-rated show. From what I understand, she thought it was going to be a couple thing and G saw it as yet another conquest…one that could help keep him on TV.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 1, 2010 at 11:43 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      Maybe the show is low-rated because people don’t want to watch a philanderer…right, Tiger?

      • Allan
        Posted January 2, 2010 at 12:26 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

        No. It’s low rated because it’s crap.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 2, 2010 at 1:52 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

          How could a nightly celebration of America’s junk pop culture hosted by a hyperactive little fat dude sitting on the edge of his chair be crap?

          DOne thing that I always notice with George that I noticed again last night on The Hour’s “New Years Eve Special starring Hulk Hogan”, was in the interview with Al Gore : George asked a question of Al “When you were living in the White House”

          • Anonymous
            Posted January 2, 2010 at 12:47 pm | #

            Maybe American tax payers should pay for the CBC as well since U.S. celebrities benefit so much from the Mother Corp.

  3. Erin
    Posted December 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Sorry people for being off topic. But I really want to respond to: “If I were George…I’d be banging Kirstine.”

    I got news for ya’al. George is banging Kirstine and has been doing it for quite a while now. Why do you think Kirstine went from Layfield to Stewart!

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:17 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      So that’s how George keeps his job. Finally, clarity! Thanks.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 31, 2009 at 5:49 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      there’s a lot to say about kirstine stewart. seeing as i knew her, i’d definitely like to pipe up some comments. i’m probably going to bash myself for ever saying this; because i dont like to insult people. But she’s a sorry excuse for a human being for choosing her job and another man over her family. I feel so sorry for them and she could use a good reality check.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 2:59 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Interesting quote from a CBC interview with Steven Johnson, the author of Everything Bad Is Good For You: How Todays Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter:

    Q: The title seems to refute the conventional wisdom that all mass media needs to be dumb.

    A: In the 70s, television became this mass thing, where 99 per cent of the homes had a TV. It got pretty dumb: Happy Days, Joanie Loves Chachi, Starsky and Hutch all terrible television. Programmers were trying to capture the attention of the most people but not offend them in any way. A programmer at NBC at the time called this the theory of least objectionable programming. That was the goal. When youre in a mass medium, you tend to go for lowest common denominator.

    But I disagree with the assumption that people will always opt for the least challenging thing, that people are innately slackers when it comes to media. If that were true, the history of video game programming would produce games that were ever more simple to complete. But in fact, the opposite has happened. Games are more challenging than theyve ever been. Because people enjoy being challenged.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 11:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    From The New Yorker, May 22, 06

    The late Brandon Tartikoff, who turned around NBCs entertainment division during the eighties, with shows like Miami Vice, The Cosby Show, Cheers, and L.A. Law, used to say, All hits are flukes. NBC not only didnt anticipate that Earl would be big, Carter notes; it went out of its way to scotch the show. When the pilot fared extremely well in focus-group testing, the network, in disbelief, sent it back to be tested again and againfive times in all. None of this sits well with Carters penchant for great-man narratives. As Carter himself observes at one point, The plain truth was that no matter how much they spent on script development, which stars they signed to multimillion-dollar deals, how many notes they gave on story beats and character arcs, hits most often arrived on a network executives doorstep by chance, by whim, by blind, stupid luck.

  6. Johnny Happypants
    Posted May 24, 2006 at 4:49 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    “Wouldn’t it be wiser to simply try to make a few interesting and intelligent shows – they could own that brand.”

    Hey ya radical freak…Why don’t you join Slawko at the Film Centre. Or get a job teaching at Harvard Business School.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted May 19, 2006 at 10:25 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    Previous poster said`:
    “They clearly believe they will “know a hit” when they see one.“

    Yeah judt like “ Corner Gas“ that was turned down and later picked up by CTV.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted May 19, 2006 at 3:21 am | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    What television exec. doesn’t want “hits”? Unfortunately making “hits” isn’t a science, it’s mostly art (with a healthy measure of accident and voodoo). Announcing the miraculous appearance of “hits” in a powerpoint presentation isn’t going to make them happen. Understanding the elusive and unpredictable nature of “hits” the Americans pilot hundreds of shows for every one that stays on the air. CBC just doesn’t have the resources to do this and so are going to rely on the wisdom of a gaggle of career bureaucats, most of whom have ever, themselves, made a film or television program. They clearly believe they will “know a hit” when they see one.

    Wouldn’t it be wiser to simply try to make a few interesting and intelligent shows – they could own that brand.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 8, 2009 at 11:15 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

      “Hits” take courage. The CBC runs on fear. Mission impossible.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted May 18, 2006 at 9:43 pm | # | Reply to this masterpiece

    I attended the session (food could have been better..it was no pizza!).
    I really want to believe Kirstine, and think she is the one to save English television. Her team assembled wasn’t quite as compelling, didn’t seem as they are buying into it 100% and I think that will be the key for KL, to get all on board. Not an easy task.


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