Friday, June 30, 2006

Insanity Continues: Paula Todd and Studio 2 Axed!

What is going on with Canadian TV? Are the powers that be so enamoured of the idea that we suck so that anything we do well, will eventually have to be terminated in order to prove that idea? Or are the powers that be so drunk with their own egos that any ideas not of their own making have to be turfed. And along with that, they vindictively, cowardly fire successful people so as to assert their territory? I cannot, for the life of me, understand the reasoning behind cancelling Studio 2 and the firings going on.

TVO is an educational station. Studio 2 is on the curriculum of several colleges. Young adults, according to Debbie Travis, are adrift and need educational opportunities just as much as young kids. Studio 2 is a well-researched, lively, analytical program, way more than competently hosted by two intelligent (ah, maybe that's the problem, can't have an intelligent woman at the helm) people.

Paula Todd made Studio 2. The previous female co-host was competent, but it was only after Todd came on that Studio 2 became the must-see program that it is and should remain so.

What is it with tossing really good people from TV that has suddenly infected the Canadian networks. CityTV with Harold Hosein (for shame City) and now Paula Todd with the carrot being tossed her way by allowing her to keep Person 2 Person. The show, quite frankly, will not be as interesting with one host. Steve Paikin is excellent in what he does, but I can't think of one successful long-running (maybe that's the other problem -- Canadian execs don't like longevity) interview show that runs with one host. You need the dynamism of two hosts, with two different interview styles, to make a program pop and hold the viewer.

And I repeat, it was only when Paula Todd came on board that Studio 2 became the highly touted flagship program it is today.

Furthermore, as much as I enjoyed wathcing the Dare to Dream Panel last night, it was a bit disconcerting to see all males, a la of old, around the table. Even on the odd Studio 2 show where there isn't a single female guest, Paula Todd by her very presence lends that sense of understanding that women are just as involved in Canadian life as men.

Have the powers that be collectively lost their minds? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Studio 2 is one of the few ain't broke shows on TV. That's why it is the FLAGSHIP show of TVO.

I'm with cheezwhiz: a grassroots revolt is in order. That will require us to get fired up about it. TVO is counting on the fact that within a day or two, we'll grumble but move our attention elsewhere. Let's prove them wrong!

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Update:

TODAY at 1:00 pm, Steve Paikin will host a live online Q&A on the topic of TVO's new current affairs show. Notice: NOT the fate of Studio 2 or to say good-bye to it.

Log on at tvo.org or leave a message in advance with your question by calling 1-800-613-0513, selecting 1 and then entering extension 2604. (Information from Antonia Zerbisias' blog.)

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Update 2:

Steve Paikin avoided any mention of WHY Paula Todd is no longer co-hosting and is very good at answering tough questions by not answering directly -- he's been paying attention to those wily politicians he usually tries to pin down.

5 comments:

Classic said...
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Classic said...

_As much as I liked Studio Two, I can heartedly accept its cancellation. This past season greatly suffered from over tweaking - unneccessary change for minor changes' sake!
_When I see the overall numbers, I wonder how they broke down. Interestingly, no one has said anything at all about the loss of Allan Gregg's 15-20 minute long final segments. Did he ever once appear onscreen and in-person with the other hosts?
_I still miss TVO's half hour Imprint show.
_Paikin may find himself missing Todd's interest stories and his own sports panel weekend recaps as he goes into a serious politics only show.

talk talk talk said...

I agree with you about Imprint, although I liked some of its segments better than others, and often forgot when it was on.

I still think the biggest mistake they're making is getting rid of Paula Todd, if for no other reason then that a current affairs show flows better, keeps the viewer's attention better with two hosts. You need the different dynamic each host brings to keep the show interesting once it becomes a fixture.

cheezwhiz said...

I think Steve Paikin is top-rate and am glad to hear he will still be on the air. I also loved the Gregg segments - will they go on in any form?

The music segments of Studio 2 were most always BAAAAADDDD.. and Person to Person has become a showcase for Todd to non-too-subtly aim for her guest's tears. I really found these segments to have become pathetic (and yes, i am female - I'm with you on the male dominance issue, but it's a reflection re: guests of gender imbalance in our political system).

In other areas, such as business and the Ottawa panel, I found Todd to be highly competent. She will be missed. I must say, though, I'm more relieved to know Paikin will still have a show and hope it's on about the same time...anyone know the scheduling details? The in-depth panels are what I thrive on, especially 4th REading and Diplomatic Immunity.


BTW, Imprint was great!

talk talk talk said...

I hear it's to be in the same time slot. I also hear Person2Person will be revamped to focus more on citizenship, whatever that means!

I agree with you about gender imbalance, but I think they could put more effort into balancing it better. For example, the Ontario panel on the Power Hour always had one woman (NDP then Conservative) even though there's easily enough former female cabinet ministers to fill two chairs.

I haven't heard anything about Diplomatic Immunity -- definitely a must-see show. We'll probably find out about its fate in the fall.