Thursday, September 6, 2007

Carl Edwards Spreads His TV Wings on SPEED

The small eleven week The Chase is On series on SPEED continues that network's thrust into building support programming around the NEXTEL Cup Series. Already originating hours of live and taped programs each race weekend, Steve Byrnes and Carl Edwards combine to co-host The Chase is On from SPEED's Charlotte studio.

Edwards has prior experience on this series, and seems to be getting much better at his on-camera presence. This is no small task for someone who is working full time at a profession other than television. Learning the tricks of the trade takes time in TV, just as in racing.

One thing Edwards has on his side is Steve Byrnes. Now firmly established as one of the most popular and versatile TV personalities on the NASCAR scene, Byrnes is very generous when it comes to helping NASCAR drivers work their way through the television landscape.

On Trackside, as well as hosting various practice and qualifying shows, Byrnes clearly sets a casual and relaxed tone. This allows the panelists and guests on SPEED to understand they are working in a comfortable environment. That human dynamic is critical on-camera, and that unblinking eye does not lie when things are awkward or unpleasant.

This series runs through The Chase and includes interviews and news about the points, upcoming races, and general issues of the day. SPEED returned this series to allow a preview show to focus specifically on the issued associated with this recently changed points format.

For hardcore fans, this brings some additional clarification and understanding of exactly what is going on in the next race. Edwards calm and focused demeanor works well in this studio format, and the veteran Byrnes knows just how to handle this young man. The result was fun, informative, and no doubt gave Carl Edwards fans something else to add to the DVR every week.

The next show in this series airs September 13th at 8PM Eastern Daylight Time and features a preview of the New Hampshire event.

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Anonymous said...

Well if we're (me included!) going to continually nitpick about every little thing ESPN gets wrong and continually praise just about every little thing SPEED does it's only fair to rip on SPEED for using a graphic saying Martin Truex, Jr. drives the 01 during his interview.

Also, the graphics listing points standings, etc. were very difficult to read with the black letters on gray backgrounds. Not all of us have 60 inch televisions.

Great show though. SPEED rules. I wish they had more NASCAR programming throughout the week.

Anonymous said...

Carl needs to get rid of his Rusty-like catchphrase of "Absolutely!"

cwebs said...

Yes, Carl is very good on TV. Is there anything this guy can't do? Obviously, he has a future in broadcasting if he ever decides to pursue it as a post-racing career.

I do have to agree with the 2 above comments, though:

The on-screen graphics were awful! The colors didn't help matters, but the font itself was weird too. The letters looked squeezed together and vertically elongated. Very hard to read on my TV (a standard definition Sony WEGA).

Absolutely! Someone absolutely needs to absolutely tell Carl to absolutely cut down absolutely on the use of absolutely!!!