Sunday, November 11, 2007
Randy Pemberton Makes "Tradin' Paint" A Blast
The Tradin' Paint series on SPEED has been a success story for the network this season. Suggestions are flying that this dynamic show may return as a full one hour program in 2008.
The episode of Tradin' Paint at Phoenix was critical to sending this program into the final weekend at Homestead on a high note. This show features John Roberts hosting, with Kyle Petty as the regular "driver" representative on the panel. Every week, SPEED selects a different "media guest" to sit-in with Roberts and Petty.
This weekend SPEED stepped-back and made a very good selection. TV veteran Randy Pemberton has been working hard to re-build his media career after a hiatus, and he was given an opportunity by SPEED to work on various programs this season. That led to Pemberton's big break of getting a chance to anchor a channel on DirecTV's Hot Pass coverage. The reviews of his work have been fantastic.
Now, as the season winds-down, Permberton's veteran perspective was just the right touch for this program. Over the season, Petty has been very upset with the media guests many times who have ranged from AP Reporter Jenna Fryer to the always controversial Mike Mulhern of the Winston-Salem Journal. One constant on the show has been the steam coming out of Petty's ears when dealing with "the media."
One of Petty's chief concerns is the truthfulness and the validation of items that are being reported. Over-and-over again, reporters were put on the spot by Petty about their stories. In turn, the reporters then wound-up baiting Petty on various hot-button issues until he simply got so angry that all discussion ceased.
This time, Petty got to stare across the SPEED Stage at someone who is his age, from a racing family, and speaks in the same clear and concise terms that he does. The combination worked. Pemberton kept the discussion lively by simply making his own points and putting forward his own views. The debate was good because both Permberton and Petty were making their views clear without animosity.
Several topics were covered at lightning speed, and they ranged from the Championship race to new tires to the good old COT. It was very clear that these three men were a compliment to each other, including John Roberts who finally got to relax and listen, instead of refereeing a brawl.
After the failure of Pit Bulls to find a center for impartial debate, this season of Tradin' Paint has laid the groundwork for another attempt at a larger discussion.
John Roberts and Kyle Petty really clicked right out of the box this season, after SPEED replaced Michael Waltrip on the series. The addition of Pemberton brings another experienced NASCAR TV veteran who has views to state without an axe to grind.
Simply by keeping those three, and adding a rotating "non-TV" media member to the panel, it would be very easy to fill forty minutes with good NASCAR conversation and opinions. In many ways, it was the perceived Petty vs. the media situation that threw several of the shows off-track this season. Simply by adding Pemberton, and keeping the media member, it would allow more than just two voices to offer opinions.
The bonus for SPEED would be the ability to replay this hour on Monday night after Inside NEXTEL Cup , should that struggling program series return. It would allow SPEED to manufacture, at little cost, a quality hour that would finally give NASCAR fans the type of opininated discussion sorely lacking on TV this year.
Let's hope that SPEED puts together a dynamic Tradin' Paint episode for Homestead, and sends this TV series into the off-season with a good plan for an expanding future.
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