The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Friday, June 16, 2006

The Panel Weighs In

CBC Reveals Fall Lineup
Where were you when you heard? Relaxing from the comfort of your living room sofa, or did a friend pass along the info over dinner? Or were you like me, scrolling the interweb on your lunch break, and as the phrase 'late night talk show' flashes before your eyes, you spill your drink down the front of your shirt. I hope you weren't the latter. However you found out, I'm curious to find out your thoughts on The Hour going live, and making the shift to a "more late night talk show," more details in the article above, and on The Hour's main page.
This news shouldn't be shocking. The Hour's live shows this season have been met with great success, so it should seem like a natural progression making the move to a live studio audience, right? Then why do I feel like I've been cheated somehow? Maybe it's because so few shows on TV these days don't have a audience, which gives The Hour (in my opinion) another edge, its own edge, if you will. So there's a part of me fears it will become watered-down, not soft and mushy, but rubber-like, in an effort to reach everyone. Yet, at the same time I know that it won't. I've trusted George and Co. this long, I know that they won't do something that leads them completely blind down the rabbit hole. Either way you look at it, it's amazing that a program can elicit such debate. The Hour may be moving 'houses' but I have a feeling the contents will remain intact.
When I read the Fall announcement I was scared, mostly the part about The Hour. It's going to be a talk show? No, no, no! Like which one? Letterman? Stewart? Colbert? Tout le monde en parle (on Radio-Canada, by the way this one is a really good one, I don't like the host but it's really good)? Kimmel? Leno? None of those?
But hold on, since day one, The Hour has been brilliant so, we have to give them a chance. We don't know, it could be the coolest thing you ever saw, or it could be the worst thing that could have happen to The Hour. But I think that the show will be great, George is a good host, yes, but he's even better when he's doing interviews so what are we going to lose? If the producers are able to keep the informative touch (i.e. Set Up, Bio and others things like that) as well as showing both sides of a story it could be good, and please keep the edgy attitude.
But (sorry, I'm trying to make up my mind, I'm saying to myself that it's going to be good, but it gives me a hard time) what about mile-a-minute, Canada, the news and the closer, is it going to stay? If they can keep those segments and have awesome interviews with good guests (I don't want to see stupid people and I don't think that's going to happen), I think it could be good and I hope it will.
Now, about the studio audience, I think it can be good too, but I'm not so sure about this point. It's obvious that George loves when he has a studio audience and the show is different. And going to a live taping is so much fun, that I can't blame them for this one.
If they can keep the "The Hour style", I think that it could be great.
We'll see in Fall!
The Hour, hosted by George Stroumboulopoulos, has been added to the main network at 11 p.m. and will be developed into more of a late-night talk show with a studio audience. It remains on Newsworld at 8 p.m.

Late night talk show?? Your scaring me here. The Hour to us is like a personal friend. When our friend tells us they are planning renovation on their place, we want to know more about their plans. Will we still feel as welcome in the new place. I will try to be trusting of the creative team that produces The Hour. My fear is that the 'talk show' part might take away from what makes The Hour a very smart informative news show. Please see our latest post by hilary and the comments that follow. The audience for The Hour does not require entertainment by celebrities. (Well good music and musicians sure...) But we value most and expect to be engaged on the issues and the news and the culture of Canada and the world as it affects us.My fear is, as a talk show, that it would get intellectually watered down. Tell me that won't happen. I shall just have trust in the producers of The Hour. They have done brilliant things with The Hour so far. The CBC main channel exposure will allow them to do more. Just don't call it a talk show...

Barbara W.
I have to confess to being highly ignorant of most tv talk shows. I've seen The Daily Show a few times and that's about it, so I'm not entirely sure how I feel about the announcement that The Hour would develop into a late night talk show format with a studio audience this fall. I really have no basis for comparison.
I know that some of the others in this group have expressed concerns about the use of the term "late-night talk show" and what that would imply in terms of the news content of the show. I have to chose to trust that the folks at The Hour realise that their treatment of the news is a major strength of the show and that it will not be watered down. In fact, there could be potential for emphasis on even more indepth analysis of stories.
You must admit that, as interesting as Mile a Minute and the other brief news clips on the Hour are, they are generally all news that we have read in the paper or seen on the internet. And they are brief. The new format could allow for George and his league to really get their teeth into a story and make it their own.
I think I'm pumped!
Barbara B.
Well, a talk show....that would be an interesting twist. In my opinion, if it is not transformed into something like Oprah or Jay Leno-Jon Stewart kind, it would be okay. I trust George to orchestrate the new "talk show" facet into something similar to what he has succeeded in doing to the news/current events show in the present manifestation of "The Hour".

My main source of news and current events IS "The Hour", so if the global issues/events/news/discussions/varied perspectives part is not neglected or totally omitted, it would work for me .

I really like their decision to broadcast it on the regular CBC channel, as it would give access to a wider audience (I was deprived for a long time before I got cable television subscription).

All in all, I think I am excited about this, tad wary, but excited. And I agree with Barb B., maybe "talk show" would not be a great term to describe the changes to this show.

Jas B

Upon everyone's reaction to the shift in the way The Hour will be aired come fall, I've really got to say... have some faith!

I know the whole idea of change can be rather daunting, and we're all accustomed to the way the show ran, but sometimes change is for the better, and I think, being the dedicated fans that we are, we need to give the people behind the scenes some credit.

I'm always the first in line to be pessimistic and critical, I'm always there to raise my hand and say "wait a minute, this doesn't make any sense!", but this time around, I'm not so willing to jump on the This Sucks Bandwagon. I'm actually looking forward to the new changes being made to the show. As we've witnessed before when the show was taped live on the road, George does a fantastic job of incorporating the audience into the show without being too "Leno" about it, and he really does feed off of everyone's emotions and reactions, as we've all seen during his interviews. His attentiveness and focus on the people around him may very well turn the "talk show" idea into something we'll all be very into. The keyword here is faith, folks. Have some faith in George and everyone at The Hour, they would never steer us wrong.


When I heard the news (or actually, read it on, I wasn't too worried. Like many before in this post have said, I have faith in 'The Hour'.

But at the same time, I was concerned at the fact that they used the words "late night talk show", because when I hear those words, I think 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' or 'David Letterman'. I don't think of an awesome news show, and I definitely don't think of George Stroumboulopoulos.
But I guess that is part of George's charm... he could basically pull off anything, because the man's got major talent.
So I guess it's the wording that scares me with that.

I was kind of disappointed at the fact that they'll have a studio audience... I think it's three things:
1) First the selfish one. I think that I think it will make my experience of going to a taping a little less meaningful,
2) Like Barbara B said, it will make the show less intellectual, and
3) It will make the show less personal. It's like watching M*A*S*H with and without a laugh track. I'm afraid a studio audience will turn into The Hour's version of a laugh track. I think that'd be awkward.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the announcement... I guess they're all negative... but, then again, I'm the kind of person who dislikes change. I guess I'll have to listen to that CBC commercial (the one that I always talk along with) that says "nothing stays the same".
I'm sure it will be fine (that's what I keep telling myself)!



Anonymous said...

Alright, nobody wants to comment, so I'll throw my two cents in. It seems to me that CBC knows what a good thing they have in George, and The Hour, and I can't see them messing things up too badly. I am assuming they are calling it a talk show because they'll have an audience and there will be talking. I've also heard that George has turned down some good gigs in the States so that he can stay in Canada, and I can't see the CBC risking losing George and The Hour by changing a good thing too much. We'll wait and see, I'm hoping for the best.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You've got to keep the faith, Lauren. You are right, of course, the CBC would be shooting themselves in the foot if they attempted to dumb-down a show like The Hour. It already has a loyal, informed audience and the brass are well aware of that.

I'm joining you in assuming that this change will be for the forces of Good and that the show will only improve with the new format in the fall.

Barbara said...

I noticed something while doing research after this post was posted. There was a reference to The Hour as a "talk show" before it aired on Newsworld in it's first season.

hilary m. said...

I'm not sure what to think of this whole "late night talk show" thing. I guess it's a mixed bag. I think it would be cool if they took a risk, maybe tried something new. It wouldn't do any harm. But like I said in my guest post, the Hour is unique, and I don't want it wittled down into a genre. If it takes its own twist on that theme, maybe some good will be done.

Barbara said...

Hilary there is one great thing we are overlooking about this whole thing. We can go to Toronto anytime and see the show live on a regular basis. Maybe I will move to Toronto. This adds weight to my moving to Toronto debate I am having with myself. LOL. I hope they still do the road show with more city stops though. Not everyone can get to Toronto with ease.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hilary, I would be really shocked if, come fall, we were to see George sitting behind a desk with a guest in a sit-chair, a la Johnny Carsen. I'm chosing to believe that the show will, as you put it, put its unique twist on the genre. These are smart, imaginative people behind this; I doubt they will try to reinvent the wheel.

Barbara W, I really hope road shows are still in the picture. I, for one, do not have the budget for trips to Toronto.

Lenny said...

It's funny how George said on his radio show that it's not a talk show. It's basically the same format for the past "2 seasons."
I've been hoping if they had a "weekend edition" of The Hour on the main network. I mean basically the "best of" from past week's program. Somehow they have one on Sunday. I hope it is the "best of" :)

mellowlee said...

I can't wait to see how it turns out. I am a little nervous, *biting my freakin fingernails* but like a few of you have already said, they know what they're doing: And no matter what, George will be superb! Great site btw. Thanks for stopping by my site earlier :) Mel

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Lenny, that's nice to hear that there won't be a huge format change. As long as there's no desk!
A best of show on weekends could be interesting, although essentially, I would think that the Hour website fills that role pretty nicely.

Mellowlee, I think you are right - maintaining George as the host is probably the single most important factor in the show's appeal. They can play with the format a bit without any detriment as long as the delivery is still the off-beat sassiness we have come to expect.

Evelyne said...

You're right Barbara, the most important thing is to keep George as the host of The Hour... and moving to the main networks is pretty cool! I'm sure that we'll love The Hour next fall!