The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ch-ch-ch-ch Changes...

When you're finished changing, you're finished. Benjamin Franklin

Good advice and one of my favourite quotes. Change is inevitable, healthy and if you think you're immune to it, life and opportunity soon passes you by...

To that end, a snapshot of the long promised changes to the show formerly known as 'The Hour' were announced today by CBC. In the press release, George Stroumboulopoulos was quoted as stating 'We're never going to change the core values of the show - in a sense the show is going to be the same'.

What is promised as we flash forward to September 20th, 2010 and the launch of the 7th Season will actually be the launch of George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight - a revamped 'Hour' that features more online content, including an interactive website and a new Youtube Channel. It's more in keeping in how people consume television these days -- seeking content they want, when they want it.

Of course, with change also comes resistance and these changes as well as other details/tweaks to be rolled out in a few weeks are not immune to criticism and discussion and I suspect the name change will be the main topic of debate - in fact, it's already begun. Why change the name of 'The Hour'? You've got recognition there and it's a simple name to remember. Here are a few advantages of the name change:

Kids today can't spell for sh%t. Renaming 'The Hour' George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight represents an opportunity for outreach into our schools. If you can spell Stroumboulopoulos, eventually you might be able to spell words and phrases more complex than LOL, UR, LMAO and BRB. At least, one can only hope...

There can be cross promotion and cost savings in the production process. There is the matter of a program in the States called 'George Lopez Tonight'. I will cop to not knowing the intricacies of television production but hell, dub in 'Strombo' for 'Lopez' and that my friends is value. This suggestion is tailored for the one track mind CBC haters who are convinced that nothing's been right in the world since they took the Beachcombers off the air.
Lastly, with the recent successful legal victory to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in Ontario, there are lots of part time pursuits that the team can take advantage of with this change. Juice up the host and in no time, you can take advantage of interesting and lucrative opportunities. Yes. GSP taking on GST. Okay, maybe not.

In all seriousness, I like the name 'The Hour' but identifying the program directly with the host in the longer term is a smart strategy. The new name will take some getting used to. Like other viewers I have enjoyed the previous incarnation but that doesn't mean that there are things that could perhaps be done better, or at least differently. It's a process and it's the weak that are afraid to try something new. Be bold. Be fearless.

My hope as a viewer and an epic music fan is that the new format allows for more live musical performances, particularly to highlight the variety and depth of talent of Canadian musicians. With the increase in online content of the show and the viral nature of internet content - this can be a win win for both the show on the air and on the web. New theme song perhaps? Time will soon tell.

Good luck to the team as they work to launch a successful season featuring some great Ch-ch-ch-changes.


Trudy said...

Laugh Out Loud, Tracy - it's working already :)

But yeah, maybe some changes next year will be losing the smarmy "Tonight"'s just too Johnny Carson!

Steph A. said...

The Beachcombers...BWHAHAHAHAH...HA


Leanne said...

It's hard to "rebrand" something that's been around for a while. People usually still call it what they are accustomed to calling it no matter what you decide to change the name to. (I've still been known to refer to our Metro grocery store as Miracle Mart even though in between there it was A&P for years.)

The new show name is quite a mouthful and I don't think people are really going to use it...I think you'll hear conversations where people will still call it The Hour.

Anonymous said...

do u see how hot george looks in his new promo shots

Barbara said...

I have seen it shortened to
GS Tonight... I will probably do that.

Philip said...

I read the press release on the CBC website, (boy those readers comments are brutal) I'm still puzzled over the exact changes. So it's going to be a half hour show with 1 interview and a new name (Will it be either an issue interview or a celebrity interview? Will there still be a bio? Will George be pre-taping interviews? Will George be taping interviews at Tiff?)
I'm actually still reeling from last season's changes. I hope it's worth. Personally, I loved the show, but I hate continuous jarring revamps. I hope George knows what he is doing!

Trudy said...

Leanne is right - The Hour was not needing a "re-brand". They should leave it at an hour too :)

I watched a re-run last night, and Mazda had bought air time - so the changes can't be due to sponsorship problems!

CBC is lucky to have George, he's really unique.