Thursday, September 16, 2010

Daybreak is Broken

Coronation Street's Ken Barlow will reportedly be 'left shocked' when he catches his son's fiancée in bed with her ex-husband. The Sun reports that Leanne and Nick are to be caught together, leaving Leanne's wedding to Peter in doubt. 'Leanne is wracked with guilt over the affair,' a 'source' allegedly told the paper. 'She loves Peter, she loves his son Simon and they've been through a lot together - but Nick was her first love and she never got over that.' Nick and Leanne will apparently grow closer when he hires her as the manager of his new bar, The Joinery. The insider continued: 'Ken knows Peter is no angel, but blood is thicker than water and his loyalty is to Peter. He's worried for his son and for little Simon. Leanne regrets her affair with Nick, but there is a chance if Ken doesn't blab, Nick will.'

Outlaw star former President Jimmy Smits has insisted that the upcoming NBC legal drama is not a typical procedural. The actor told TV Guide that viewers will relate to the show's characters as the first season continues. He said: 'When audiences know who those characters are, they want to see how those characters are going to react in a particular situation, and we want to go along with the ride in terms of what they do.' He added that the series will deal with the personal issues that affect his character, Cyrus Garza. 'In the pilot, [his father] passes away and there's a guilt factor there,' he said. 'They were both on a politically different end of the spectrum, and he starts to question where he's coming from.' Smits explained that he had enjoyed playing the conservative Supreme Court justice. 'It's fun to get into the head and mindset of somebody who's not as liberal-minded as I am,' he said. 'A year and a half ago, I was working on Dexter and there's no way I agree with that character's methodology of how he deals with life on a daily basis. But you find a way [to play it] and make it fun.'

The knives are really out for Daybreak. In a spectacularly vicious article in the Daily Scum Mail, they have a multitude of quotes from someone whom the paper describes as 'one fretful minion.' He, they claim, told the paper: 'We were warned in advance that if this doesn't work out, then they won't hesitate to wield the axe. Our jobs are on the line here. The only people with any kind of security are Adrian and Christine.' The article goes on to describe 'a baptism of fire,' for the show which 'pinned all of its hopes on the golden coupling' of Chiles and the curiously orange Bleakley. Daybreak is, they note, the brainchild of ITV's Director of Television Peter Fincham, Chiles's great mate, who also conceived The ONE Show when he was controller of BBC1. Seventeen years after GMTV replaced TV:am, the decision was made to 'freshen it up.' The day-to-day task of carrying out this job 'is in the hands of its editor Ian Rumsey,' whose direct, no-nonsense style has not been an unqualified hit with his staff. 'That would be the understatement of the year,' the veteran - if still anonymous - crew member told them: 'Rumsey came in like a riot cop in full armour, and a very happy workplace turned into an environment of fear and loathing. Nobody was saying GMTV didn't need freshening up; but this wasn't constructive, it was demolition. And the legacy of that is a total mess. When the initial ratings came out, most of the backroom staff didn't know whether to laugh or cry. It was great to see the top brass realising that they're not so special after all. But if Daybreak flops, we're out of a job. The atmosphere is incredibly tense.' In the run-up to the launch, the Scum Mail claims, Rumsey issued a nineteen-page document dictating the programme's mission statement. As well as issuing orders on everything from what to wear to when to laugh, he took the opportunity to lambast GMTV as 'lazy,' 'cheesy' and 'crap.' Which, to be fair to him, it was.

And, still on the subject of the Scum Mail, their piece yesterday on Jay Hunt leaving the BBC featured one very curious aspect. They list Hunt's five highs and five lows during her tenure and, in the lows, include 'losing presenting duo Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley to ITV.' Two points here. Firstly, if Daybreak really is the disaster that many of the press are suggesting - and, it's early days yet but, hell, it might be - then that looks like a rather astute piece of business on the part of Ms Hunt and the BBC to me. But secondly, and far more importantly, did I imagine all of those vast column inches the Scum Mail, and others, spent criticising the BBC for 'wasting licence fee payers money' in offering both, and especially Bleakley, increasingly large pay rises to stay with them? You can't have it both ways, Scum.

Must Be The Music judge Sharleen Spiteri has claimed that The X Factor 'fucked up' by using Auto-Tune on some of its acts. The Texas singer didn't think that the technical effects used on the rival reality show were a big issue, however. Come on darling, make yer mind up. if you want to be controversial and boost your own show at the expense of another, you can't go half way then chicken out! 'That was the first time I had heard about [Auto-Tune] being used on a TV programme,' she said. 'So they used it. They fucked up. I don't think it's a big issue really. Do you know what, it happened and that's it.' Her co-star Rascal suggested that none of the acts on Must Be The Music require Auto-Tune on their performances, arguing that they are real artists who have been working at their craft. 'These people aren't the sort of people who wake up one morning and decide that they want to become famous and the biggest singer in the world,' he said. 'These people have been doing it for a number of years and have been working at their craft. They know exactly what they're doing and what they're about. There's no need for Auto-Tune or any of that. They know exactly what they need to do.' Rascal also welcomed any comparisons between MBTM and The X Factor, adding: 'I'd rather be compared to them than not compared to them. If you're not compared it means that there is no comparison. And the people who are seeing our show are saying that we are better.'

BBC2 has reportedly ordered a second series of Rev. The comedy, which was broadcast earlier this year, stars Tom Hollander and Olivia Colman and focuses on a vicar working in an inner-city church. Although its ratings were 'solid-but-unspectacular' the series won much critical praise, especially from within the church itself, for its sympathetic, yet witty, portrayal of modern religious worship. Deadline claims that the BBC has decided to film further episodes. Meanwhile, some US cable channels are said to be thinking about producing an American remake of the show. Filming for the second series is expected to begin next summer and the episodes will reportedly appear on BBC2 towards the end of 2011.

Jamie Hector has reportedly signed up for a guest role in Lie To Me. The former star of The Wire will appear in the show's upcoming third season premiere, The Hollywood Reporter says. Kelli Williams, who plays Gillian Foster, explained: 'We have a huge bank heist [in] the first episode back. We also have a gang episode and a wonderful actress, Monique Curnen, has joined us on sort of a recurring basis, who could maybe be a crooked cop, helper.' Williams also confirmed that Tricia Helfer will appear on the show, saying: 'She's lovely. Of course I watched Battlestar and thought that she would be much like Six, but she's really laid back. She's not a Cylon and I'm really happy about that!'

Ofcom is investigating illusionist Derren Brown's latest show over a scene which showed a man in a strait jacket, chained to a rail track. The Channel 4 programme, Hero at Thirty Thousand Feet, followed a volunteer with an 'unconfident character' as Brown built up his courage, enabling him to take on a series of personal challenges. The scene in question saw him escaping from an oncoming train in the scene. Ofcom received eleven complaints from viewers about the safety of the stunt. The media regulator is investigating the show, broadcast on Wednesday 8 September, to see if it breaches broadcasting regulations. It will consider whether the scene 'condones or glamorises violent, dangerous or seriously antisocial behaviour and is likely to encourage others to copy such behaviour' or breaches 'generally accepted standards' in broadcasting. The programme culminated in the subject, Matt Galley, facing 'a life-changing decision of whether to take control of a Boeing 737 packed with passengers, which he believes is about to fall out of the sky.' In reality, he was moved from a real-life aeroplane to a flight simulator after being put under hypnosis by the illusionist. A spokesman for Channel 4 said: 'The railway track challenge was one of many confidence-building experiences within the show which prepared Matt for the finale. For all the experiences, the programme-makers have procedures in place to ensure the contestant's welfare was protected. We would never recommend that viewers recreate any of the events in the programme.'

Bones lead David Boreanaz will direct two episodes of the show's upcoming sixth season. A FOX representative told that the actor will most likely direct episodes ten and sixteen. He previously directed both the fourth season episode The Bones That Foam and, last year, the show's one hundredth episode The Parts in the Sum of the Whole. Boreneaz admitted earlier this year that combining acting and directing 'can be a bit of a headache.' He and his co-star Emily Deschanel also serve as producers on the crime drama.

Sky is reportedly shutting down Bravo and Channel One as part of a major shakeup of the Living TV Group. According to media reports, Sky has decided to focus all of its attention on the Living TV channel portfolio and game show network Challenge. The satellite broadcaster yesterday completed its one hundred and sixty million quid acquisition of the Living TV Group, previously Virgin Media Television, after the Office Of Fair Trading cleared the deal. Sky is understood to have opted to scrap long-running cable channel Bravo because it serves a similar demographic to Sky1, but without the same audience reach or prestige. The firm has decided to retain Living TV because it gives a vital foothold in a female market after Sky shut down the Sky Real Lives channels last month. Living TV's programming budget will be increased by twenty five per cent to enable the broadcaster to build on its recent successes, including a two-year deal with Katie Price. Sophie Turner Laing, Sky's managing director of entertainment, news and broadcast operations, said: 'Content is at the heart of Sky's strategy. Living is already one of the best pay-TV channels around and is obviously a great fit with our existing channels like Sky1. There is so much potential for further development and we intend to increase on-screen investment in Living by around a quarter as part of our expanded channel portfolio. This is a big part of our plans to bring customers great content from channel brands that really cut through.' Channel One, which was rebranded from Virgin1 in August, was deemed to be too similar to Sky3, which is already available on the Freeview platform. Sky intends to 'redeploy' Channel One's programming to its other channels and move Challenge to its slot on Freeview.

X Factor finalist Lucie Jones has posed in her underwear for a new Wonderbra advertising campaign. The nineteen-year-old singer, who reached the final twelve on the 2009 series of the ITV talent show, is the new face of Wonderbra's Full Effect bra promotion. Jones's pictures feature her wearing a twenty eight pound lingerie outfit which claims to boost a cleavage by two cup sizes. Speaking about her new modelling role, the Welsh singer said: 'Because of X Factor my career was given a real life and it has enabled me to experience so many amazing things. Now I'm really excited that thanks to Wonderbra I can give other girls that same boost.' Jones admitted when she signed up with agency Select Model Management that the one area of her body she was not happy with was her chest. 'I want big boobs,' she said.

Jim 'You Know Nothing' Rosenthal - you know, him that's a deadringer for the vampire off Sesame Street - has been confirmed as the new face of Channel Five football. The veteran broadcaster will take over the role on Thursday September 18, when he will anchor coverage of Liverpool versus Steaua Bucharest. He will succeed another annoying plonker, Colin Murray, who himself replaced Adrian Chiles on BBC2's Match Of The Day 2 in the summer. Speaking about his new role, Rosenthal said: 'I've covered many different sports throughout my career, but football has always been my first love. It's tremendous to be back covering the game at the highest level. Five has an innovative and inclusive approach to its coverage, which really excites me. With Liverpool and Manchester City in the tournament, alongside some of the biggest names in European football, such as Juventus, [the Europa League] promises to be a thrilling campaign.' Channel Five's head of sport Robert Charles continued: 'Throughout his career Jim has pretty much done and seen it all.' No he hasn't. He's stood open-mouthed at the sidelines whilst others, with more presentational talent have done and seen it all. 'His presence will bring great experience, authority and wit to football on Five. I'm delighted we've been able to secure the services of such a respected and much loved broadcaster.' In other words, 'we tried for Motty but he wouldn't come.' Rosenthal's broadcasting career has included covering eight World Cup Finals, Formula One on ITV for nine years and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. He also won the Royal Television Sports Presenter of the Year title in 1997 and 1999. Though, no one knows why. Channel Five has first live match choice in each round of the Europa League and exclusive rights to the final.

The head of the Togolese Football Federation has confirmed that the team which played a match against Bahrain last week was 'completely fake.' Chairman Seiyi Memene told the Associated Press that the FTF did not know the players who competed in the friendly game at Bahrain's National Stadium in Riffa. Memene said: 'We cannot send our players to play friendly matches abroad without the approval of FIFA. The players that took part in the friendly match against Bahrain were completely fake. We have not sent any team of footballers to Bahrain. The players are not known to us.' Chief of staff at Togo's sports ministry, Nabine Gnonh, confirmed that investigations had been launched and added: 'We don't have precise information at this point. We haven't received the list of the players who played this match and we still have to check if they were members of the national team.' The Bahrain Football Association also launched an inquiry into the match at the weekend after it was suggested that it was sold to the country by 'a fake footballer's agent.' Speaking to the Gulf Daily News, a BFA spokesman appeared to reject the claim, while noting that 'everything seemed to be in order until after the game.' Bahrain national team head coach, Josef Hickersberger, told the GDN that the poor performance of the Togo side was 'a a wasted opportunity' ahead of the West Asian Football Federation Championship, which starts on 24 September. 'Togo did not play their best team; for sure none of their professional players were there, I know some of them and didn't see any of them,' he said. 'They were not fit enough to play ninety minutes; the match was very boring, and basically it was not good for us because we wanted to get information about the strength of our team, especially playing with many of our professionals.' The publication went on to report that a letter listed a twenty-member Togo team, including each player's passport number and date of birth. However, a completely different list of eighteen players was provided by a team official a few minutes before the start of the match. Bahrain easily won the match 3-0.