Monday, February 18, 2008

SPEED Drafts A New Quarterback


We always like to use the high school football picture of Steve Byrnes once a season. This time, it actually makes some sense.

SPEED has rolled-out their new This Week in NASCAR series, which replaces the decade-old Inside NEXTEL Cup Racing. While the network decided to keep regular panelists Ken Schrader, Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle, they drafted a brand new quarterback.

Steve Byrnes has stepped-in to handle the hosting duties for this season. The network feels comfortable with Byrnes, who is a veteran NASCAR TV host. SPEED viewers see him on Trackside, NASCAR Live and hosting the practice and qualifying sessions.

This new dynamic is going to be interesting, as Byrnes with his outgoing personality is going to have to mix with the always interesting Michael Waltrip. Just as in any new relationship, they will be some time needed to allow things to settle in.

Greg Biffle has enjoyed his time on this series and toward the end of last season was coming on strong and asserting himself among the other dynamic personalities on the series. Monday night, Biffle picked-up right where he left off.

With no Kenny Schrader on the set and TWIN's new Crew Chief Chad Knaus nowhere to be found, Byrnes was working hard with his two panelists to keep the pace strong.

Waltrip without Schrader is like Martin without Lewis. There was a decided lack of irreverence and fun on the set despite the best efforts of Byrnes. This one show really made a statement about how important Schrader is to this TV series, regardless of his Cup status. Something was missing.

Viewers have seen Michael Waltrip give people the cold shoulder on this series. Certainly, some guest drivers and even hosts have gotten the silent treatment. In this show, Waltrip supplied information and good commentary without all of the antics he has become famous for. That was a mixed blessing.

As the show hit the halfway point, Waltrip began to come alive and get his energy going. With Biffle as his new straight man, things worked well and the information was good. But, they really needed a third panelist.

The producer tried to allow both Waltrip and Biffle to directly follow some recorded features on-camera, but they struggled with this new element. Byrnes is a TV pro, and used to the mechanics of television. This same thing was the secret of Allen Bestwick's success. He handled the "TV stuff" and let the boys play.

The interview with 500 winner Ryan Newman was good, and this new element of the show needs to be expanded. The video screen on the TWIN set was poorly lit, but the fact that this show had a guest, a new host and a new dynamic made up for any small issues.

Byrnes did a solid interview with Newman. Letting Newman recap the final two laps was a good idea. His words were an outstanding first-person description of a very historic moment. Newman told everyone that Tony Stewart came by and congratulated him after the event. When the winner says everything is fine, it really is.

Changing INC over to TWIN was a move that SPEED felt it had to make. Shows rarely last ten years in this changing television landscape. While SPEED hosts other than Steve Byrnes had been suggested by readers for some variety, the show is in good hands.

Once the full compliment of on-camera personalities appear, then it will be fun to watch the personal dynamics between this new cast progress. It was a nice touch to have the SPEED Truck Series broadcasters provide a wrap-up of the Daytona race. Part of this new series is to more effectively use all the NASCAR resources of the network.

On that note, Dave Despain appeared to do what he does best, offer opinions and begin conversations. Free of the shackles of hosting, it was nice to get a different opinion from the veteran Despain, and then to hear the reaction of the panelists. Once Schrader returns, this new show element should get very interesting.

The feature of the week was a re-hash of Wendy Venturini's report on Petty Racing that aired on RaceDay. As the season progresses, hopefully this designated feature slot will be used for something no NASCAR fan has seen before on SPEED.

Waltrip was in full excitement mode by the end of the show, and things ended on a good note for all concerned. As this series continues to develop, it should begin to build a momentum of its own. When Schrader and Chad Knaus return, that momentum may begin building very quickly.

The Daly Planet welcomes comments from readers. Simply click on the COMMENTS button below and follow the easy instructions. The rules for posting are located on the right side of the main page. Thanks again for stopping by.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

I used to love this show, and now SPEED has ruined it. Did folks who used to work for NN get canned and move to SPEED?

Micheal, what's up with the hair? You look like a kindergarten school picture with your mother slicking your hair down! And, with that white T-shirt against that black shirt! Ugh!

The set's too dark. Especially with the dark shirts. Makes everybody quiet, like they're in church.

Where's the third panelist? This is a national show, if they don't care to show up, please replace them with a driver who wants the national exposure. This irked me last year, and it's irking me again this year. And, where's Knaus? So, only half of your panelists show up for the show. If that's all the importance they give to the show, why should we fans invest our time in the show? In case SPEED missed the boat - the show IS Kenny and Micheal. Considering this was the first show of the year, you'd have thought SPEED would want to put their best foot forward and really WOW us..... Apparently not.

Don't like the new format. I want driver's who know the track to tell us what went on during the race and explain the race from their perspective. Not a preview of the next race - I'm going to digress here - why preview Fontana first instead of wrapping up Daytona? Those sound bites had to be from testing - a month ago. It's Monday! The day after your "Super Bowl"! And you start the show with a preview of the next race?! Save that for a Thursday show!

OK, back on track: The interview with Ryan Newman. I couldn't hear much of what he said because the sound of engines drowned him out. If this was a pre-packaged piece, couldn't you guys have figured that out? Don't you have any quality control?

Cheap to show so much stuff we've already seen - Rutledge, Petty moving, I could go on but you get my drift.

I'm so totally disappointed...... And, I won't even go into Byrnes trying to inject humor. It just didn't work.

This show needs a ton of help. On the plus side, Dave Despain's commentary was spot on - as all his commentaries are. That was the highlight of the show. And, considering he took such a beating from folks last year (not from me, Dave - I love ya) on his performance on INC, it appears we may have thrown out the baby with the bath water.

Newracefan said...

I agree Schrader was missed, he and Mikey are a team. I also would have liked more full panel shots or at least Mikey and the Biff in the same shot. It was fun seeing them talking to each other about California, I felt like I was listening in on their conversation and getting the real story. Hopefully having more panel members will cut down on the video clips but there should be less now that the 100 hrs of Daytona are over. They need to watch the audio, when Steve was interviewing Ryan you could hardly hear him over the cars in the video clip they were playing. Overall the show was decent and I'll cut it some slack since it was the first one.

darbar said...

I also used to like the old show, but this one has me confused. First it's the name "This Week in Nascar". If the name is supposed to indicate the content of the show, why did they spend so much time showing highlights from LAST year's Fontana race? Doesn't make sense to me. I want to see what happened with the last race, not last's year's race.

What I liked about the old show was when they showed highlights of the previous race and the drivers would provide their own perspective. Tonight, they didn't say much about the race, and I miss that. The show also seems disjointed and short of content. Why the need to show clips from Speed's other shows, especially the silly parts? Why the need to rehash the Petty move? Perhaps there's not enough to fill a one hour show?

elena said...

Maybe Chad was not there because he is needed on his day job!

SophiaZ123 said...

Don't care to see Knaus added to this show..enjoy in on NAS Perf.

But sorry to be so blunt, this show STINKS W/O SCHRADER!!

Indeed, he and MIKEY are a team. or ARE the team for this show. I was doing some editing and will have to rewatch the later show if still up.

This show had NO PERSONALITY and indeed, what was with the PREVIEWING of Calif instead of play by play of what happened in, excuse me, the BIGGEST race of THE YEAR??

Mind boggling.

And perhaps it's my NASCAR hangover but enough with Byrnes. I love the guy think he is a nice person but he seem to LEAD the show much moree than Despain EVER tried to do.

I agree with whoever said dumping Dave was perhaps throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water.

We need another *FUN* person on the panel. Heck, I bet Kenny Wallace would've loved to have been there and shown some excitement. He is grateful for EVERYTHING.

This show was VERY DISAPPOINTING and with all the clipped TAPED bits, not even REMOTELY close to what we had with DD and INC.

I am sorry, I just can't be a part of the HATE DESPAIN and MIKEY bandwagon as tonights show was not working for me.

Last week they did NOT mention Schrader being on the show NOR was he mentioned last night so many of us KNEW he'd be MIA.

But I agree, with his HISTORY in the sport, passion for racing and NUMEROUS stories of drivers gone by, I don't care if he ever drives again for NASCAR, he has a SPOT on this show and in the hearts of many.

TWIN was bad tonight. :(

p.s. Mikey's hair was bad but that's the least of our problems with tonights show. It just did not gel.

PLEASE get Kenny, Mikey and Biffle for next week's show or I will NOT be watching. What a damn shame.

SKUNKED again.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe all of you are bashing this show. You asked for changes all year long and once you get them, you complain. I don't think any of you can be happy with any broadcast now.

So what if Schrader missed one show. he is still listed as a regular panelist. he will be back.

This is a new show. Give it some time.

Deborah said...

I had high hopes for the revamped Monday night show but this was a big let-down. There seemed to be more promos for Speed programming than there was insight and discussion from the drivers on the panel! I want to know how the race went for them, I want to hear their opinions on what they think about the race and what's going on in the sport, not the same-old, same-old tired discussions about the COT or a reaction to a taped piece on old news about the Pettys moving from Level Cross. If they really felt it necessary to go that route, how about having Michael tell some stories about the time he spent living with the Pettys?

It's mind-boggling that there was so much time spent reviewing last week's California race before there was discussion about Nascar's biggest race, the Daytona 500 with the drivers who were in it. They barely even explained why Jeff and Clint were upset with each other!

I agree that the personality seemed to have been sucked out of this show. Michael talking in an excited tone of voice isn't personality, it just him trying to keep things from sounding dull. So disappointed in this show tonight.

Deborah said...

Oops, that should have been that it's mind-boggling that they spent so much time on last year's California race, not last week's - if that race had been last week it might have made more sense for them to have spent so much time on it!

Anonymous said...

Deborah said...
It's mind-boggling that there was so much time spent reviewing last week's California race before there was discussion about Nascar's biggest race, the Daytona 500 with the drivers who were in it. They barely even explained why Jeff and Clint were upset with each other!

February 18, 2008 10:15 PM

this show is called This week in NASCAR. This week we will go to Fontana. How do you preview an upcoming race? By analysing the last race at Fontana. They analyzed Daytona, LAST week on TWIN.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I was underwhelmed as well. It may be that it was the first official show of the season and things haven't jelled yet, but in my opinion the format change wasn't necessary for the show.

Most viewers, myself included, don't want another run-of-the-mill review/preview show and that's what TWIN is looking like it's going to be. The beauty of INC (pre-Despain) was it like some buddies casually discussing the past weekend's race and providing their perspective. Yes sometimes it went off on tangents, but how many times does that happen in real-life conversations, and that spontaneity oftentimes created the humor that viewers as a whole expect from this show.

I'm not giving up on the show after a couple of episodes, but there's certainly some work to be done.

Deborah said...

Anon at 10:21 - there is no bigger story this week then the running of the 50th anniversary of the Daytona 500. If it's "This Week in Nascar", and the idea it to talk about what's happening currently in the sport,why would they spend so much time analyzing what happened in the past at California anyway? A quick review might be fine as part of a preview of what to expect next weekend, but way too much time was spend in the past for my taste on a show that's supposed to be on current events, and especially since there was a huge event - the Daytona 500 - that just took place the day before.

Anonymous said...

The name of the show is THIS Week in Nascar, not NEXT Week in Nascar. Maybe they need another name change to reflect their content.
I used to enjoy listening to the anecdotes of the participant's on the day after the race, but if this show is going to show a lot of pre-produced bits like they did today, I think I'll give it a miss.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The name of the show is THIS Week in Nascar, not NEXT Week in Nascar.
February 18, 2008 10:54 PM

NASCAR will be in Fontana >>THIS<< week. THIS Sunday. So I think it is appropriate that they cover Fontana, only after over 100 hours of coverage from Daytona.

Anonymous said...

This new show is flat out bad. All they needed to do was remove Despain and add Byrnes. And what's the deal with that weird meditating music they were playing?

SophiaZ123 said...

Last week we cut them some slack for the outdoor "TRACKSIDE" generic look.

We missed the studio.


Well we got our studio and it was must miss tv.

And frankly, I WAS NOT the one screaming for changes last season like many here. I thought Dave did ok and just thought it stank when Schrader missed so many shows ..and it's obvious that will happen again THIS year.

But they could easily get a REGULAR ROTATING 3rd guy that fits in well. Even Vickers got better at the end of the season after starting off with the personality of a water cooler. He would've been better than an empty seat tonight.

How about Labonte? Geez, I don't think it would've been that hard to get somebody to talk about the great race although, it's obvious it was not on the agenda tonight.

It's indeed mind boggling, we did not hear more radio talk of behind the scenes like we have always heard on this show over the many years.


Unless I blacked out in my NASCAR INDUCED PURPLE Haze, I could've sworn it was the DAYTONA 500 race we saw yesterday.

:-)

Anonymous said...

ALL of you said you were tired of Daytona. You said things like "MASCAR overload" and "too much coverage"

Now that SPEED decides to give us a quick break from Dyatona and focus on Fontana, and everyone complains. WHY?

SophiaZ123 said...

Ok, I am SICK of the anons playing the stalking THOUGHT POLICE to the postings here, JD.

Please get that message board up...many good FREE ones!!

Anon
By NASCAR overload, we meant with all the hours of TV rehashing things over the years, and many REPEATED video clips which we enjoyed on the day and in the appropriate moments of remembrance or specially presented TV program.

On Inside cup, we wanted a run down of what the DRIVERS THOUGHT. NOT THE MEDIA.

So just Buzz off and leave us alone who LIKE IT HERE PLEASE. This is normally a VERY NICE COMMUNITY.

Sorry, JD. I can't take it anymore. I have kept on topic but this is getting to be like some spy and judging by the deletes, you are getting punked as well. :(

AcrankySophia

p.s. Just watched Ryan on Letterman...too fast a segment but he did very well. I wish Letterman would not rush through interesting guests but Ryan came off well...had a suit but no tie. :-)

Anonymous said...

SophiaZ123,
I take offence to your comments. For you to come in here and literally take all credibility from all anons comments is rude and unnecessary. Just because I disagree with you, it does not mean my comments are useless. JD, asked for our opinion and just like you do, I give my opinion.

I agree this is a nice community that I like to think I am part of. I have been around here since April. But you have to keep in mind, this site was meant for constructive criticism of Ideas to improve NASCAR TV in 2008. If you disagree with what I say then just say so. Don't just tell me to "buzz off." I think your comment that I should "buzz off" was unnecessary. I have not said anything rude or demeaning to you or anyone else here.

SophiaZ123 said...

ok, watching the repeat...the RARE BITS with Greg and Mikey are good.

It's the endless repeats and cross promotion of other SPEED stuff that does NOT FIT THIS SHOW. Nor is it what we EXPECTED.

we did not want the changes that came a couple years ago with the FIRING of AB. I missed the first 10 minutes of the repeat watching Letterman (I thought the TWIN repeat was 1AM and forgot to set my timer)

You know, if you didn't know better, you would THINK they pre taped the entire show and just dropped Mikey and Greg in as they mentioned who won the Daytona, and the brief interview with Ryan.

The rest was filler and was seen ALL weekend.

I WANT MY MAYPO!!!
Ok, showing my age, but I want my Schrader!

NOTE TO SPEED: Dropped the taped REHASHED JUNK on this show.

Show us live conversation as we have come to enjoy on this show.

Thanks !

p.s. SPEED is showing NATIONWIDE PRACTICE oon Friday...but what about the Qualifying? Interesting. ESPN showing scrabble tournaments instead?

And Biffle's answer to the raising of the age to 21 for Sprint cup was VERY GOOD!!
I liked the email segment. Should have been longer instead of other junk.

After some chocolate cake (home made) and finding out why my SITE has been down all day *major server emergency issues* I am less cranky. :)

Nothing like chocolate cake to soothe the soul.

Anonymous said...

I watched a little bit of the show out of curiousity because it's new. I have never been a fan of INC, and this new show didn't seem much better. (Especially without highlights, which were the only reason I sometimes watched if the race was interesting that weekend.)

But what's interesting to me is that when there was news here that the show as is was ending, people wrote some very heartfelt things about it in the comments - they felt like they were losing an old friend, something comfortable. They watched it as relaxing entertainment after a long day. They want information, but they want it delivered in that relaxing tone and environment.

What I'm thinking is maybe SPEED needs to go back to that and please those "core" fans and concentrate more on the rambling, free-form side of it rather than try to make it "NASCAR NOW on SPEED".

You're not going to get me to watch the show every week, quite frankly, no matter how many changes you make. NASCAR should have a variety of shows to appeal to different tastes, and this show is not my taste in any incarnation. (So they need to add more shows!) For me to watch TWIN every week, you'd have to have Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon as the panelists. Not gonna happen, right? So I'm not watching.

So this is one case where they should just give the loyal fans what they want. I don't believe the new format will bring in a huge crush of new viewers.

SophiaZ123 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Want to Talk TV said...

Sophia---

Please stop this exaggeration, distraction and drama from the past two days. Truthfully, you've gotten much worse reactions to your comments at the speedtv.com NASCAR forums in the past because of the nonsensical nature of many of them. You used to post there all the time and then started posting much more frequently here than there when this blog opened for comments. People were a LOT meaner or sarcastic to you at speedtv than here - people here aren't really mean/rude from what I've experienced, they want to talk TV.

Your comfort level is none of my concern as long as no one is being rude to each other. I'm really not impressed with "queen bees" who attempt to control message forums and say things like "leave US alone" and "WE have a nice community here."

I haven't seen any comments directed to you until the Daytona 500 posts where you posted so much, and the post above from an anonymous posted didn't seem directed at anyone. No need to attack like this is speedtv. It isn't. You really need to calm down because it's now getting to the point that when I see your name I want to scroll right through the post, regardless if it might have something of note in them.

And I'll sign a "name". For all the difference it makes. You're still never going to know me, and I've also been here since before these (most awesome) blogs of Mr. Daly allowed comments.

FWIW, I didn't like the TWIN but will let them work out the kinks before I decide if it's a lost cause.

SophiaZ123 said...

Talk TV

I have barely posted at SPEED TV since a mod left to start her own board and sadly then died.

So don't come here picking on me because I have NO IDEA what you are talking about? or who you are? Perhaps the same person that stole a photo of my avatar and just goes around posting THAT in different blank posts????

SPEED TV is a drag now and I am lucky to hunt and find the Robin Miller columns now with their convoluted "upgrade"


WTH?

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jfs-va said...

Something was missing on this show compared to last year, which was the first year I started watching. I enjoyed last year's breakdown of the previous race (accidents, pit stop issues, etc.). I felt like it was just glossed over in this show. I thought Nascar Now did better.

Previewing the next week was fine, but I think that should be last, not first.

Is there a way on here to set an Ignore for certain posters?
I know I know, just skip over their comments. Maybe I should eat some chocolate cake while I ignore them(wink, wink).

SallyB said...

In the many years of watching IWC, the fun part for me was getting the 'inside scoop' on many of the on track incidents that happened during the race from other drivers that had a closeup look at the action. The show Monday night was more of 'just another reacp show' with Mikey sounding like he was OD'd on uppers, and lots of canned video clips. Just like every other recap show. I won't (yet) blame the participants as much as the 'new format'. It seems that Speed has no clue as to what made the show different and fun to begin with. If video clips and previews of the next race are going to be the focus of the 'new' show (like every other mid week Nascar show), I've not got an hour free on monday nght to do something else.

Daly Planet Editor said...

OK folk, keep the comments on the topic at hand please. Email me if there is an issue to solve at editor@thedalyplanet.tv

JD

Truck Series Fan! said...

I also agree that they spent too much time on last night's show talking about last year's California race. I pressume it's to get the fans to the track this coming weekend since I heard they rarely sell out. I missed Schrader he's a big part of the show. Surely Speed could have found another driver to fill his spot. Surely.

Ritchie said...

I actually thought the show wasn't bad. That being said, it wasn't good either, just tolerable. Mr. Schrader on the set probably would have been a good addition, but at least Mr. Waltrip was more composed.

There was one element that I found very troubling, and it is a problem that I see with the FOX/SPEED racing coverage as a whole. Mr. Byrnes commented that Kyle Bush dropped below the yellow line and passed Jeff Burton. He then proceeds to say that Kyle Bush gave the position back. While he is saying this, we are watching video of him clearly not giving the spot back, and we are never shown video of him giving the position back. Mr. Waltrip promptly corrects Mr. Byrnes by saying that Kyle did not give the position back. Mr. Byrnes, in a terse voice, then chastises Mr. Waltrip for questioning NASCAR.

Folks, everyone may be surprised to see that I wrote this, but I was very impressed that Mr. Waltrip would point out this discrepancy. I am also appalled that Mr. Byrnes would treat the viewers of his show like this. Does he think we are fools? We have eyes and we have ears, so we know when something isn't right.

It is readily apparent that FOX/SPEED views NASCAR coverage as entertainment, not journalism. This has been the problem with FOX and SPEED for many years. Last night was just another glaring example of that. Many take offense to my desire for more professionalism on shows such as this, but professionalism matters to the image of NASCAR. When people are allowed to act silly on camera, sometimes it is just a hint of how the rest of the company is run.

Anonymous said...

I really like it when I can come home and relax and get ready for some fun on Monday night. Mikey loosen up the hair, please more conversation, personal stories from the previous race, less video clips, gotta have that 3rd panelist, let Mikey loose, did I say less video clips, Dave Despain had a great question. The show could be interesting, RELAX and just hang out and talk about stuff with just a FEW clips and maybe a live chat with the previous race winner, I think they did that in the past.If Mikey is on, I will continue to watch it, Steve is ok,really glad that Mikey did stand up and disagree with Steve on the yellow line thing, that was enough for me, we all could see what happened, annoyed that Steve did not seem to like it when Mikey did that, but I do not want puppets with strings attached on this show, let them agree and disagree.

Tom said...

It is early yet and I will give this show a couple of more views before it ceases to get taped. I think that overall our expectations are misplaced when it comes to this show. Consider why IWCR was such a great show with AB. Was it really "insightful" race commentary? I don't think so. It was a happy accident of chemistry between AB, a younger, hungrier and less cocky Mickey, and Schrader and straight man Benson. Did I breathlessly tune in every week to hear a recap of the race? No. I tuned in to find out the secrets of AB's hair gel! At that time the show was just plain funny. There was a sense of freedom, probably because no one thought anyone was watching. Once somebody realized people were watching, they were doomed. The idea that this show could be "improved" was the death knell for it. Once AB was gone, the chemistry was not the same and could not be brought back, regardless who hosted. Add the loss of Benson and you have just another highlight show. The old axiom of "if it ain't broke..." clearly applied here. At one time Mikey's hair would have been a funny element of this show. Now, it's just sad. As I said, I will watch for a couple of more weeks and hope for the best, but probably prepare for the worst.

Tom
Inverness, FL

Anonymous said...

I've only watched this Monday night show for eight years, and I must say this is the worst one hands down.

Dave was much better than last nights poor effort! The "rehash" of things we'd already seen on SPEED until they were boring was ridiculous!

One more program like that and I'm done with TWIN!

MBeard, Muskogee, OK

glenc1 said...

We don't really know why Kenny wasn't there, do we? I mean, he could have had other obligations (as he often does.) Imagine that, family or business being more important than a TV show...wow. Anyways, I would agree on it being only 'okay'. I think people dismiss the show too quickly without giving it a change to morph itself into something. I certainly agree they needed another panelist, but they have just come off of what are probably the busiest two weeks of the year and people might not have been so available. I'm willing to give it another shot. But Mike has got to do something with his hair!

I agree on enjoying Despain's commentary, and letting them react to it was good. I would have found last year's California race more relevant if the had been using COT's, which they were not. I just think that will change everything.

Anonymous said...

I actually watched the whole show for the first time in years. The reason was I wanted to see Ryan Newman.I do not have a favorite driver, but people like Ryan who are classy, carry themselves well,and stay true to themselves and don't put on an act, are easy to like. Mone Dutton, by far one of the best writers on the NASCAR scene, once wrote that Ryan was one of the most engaging and funny drivers in the garage. He chooses not to seek attention and be a comedian. He is not the type of driver who does all kinds of out of character things to get attention. I was very happy to see Michael did not revert to his GOOFY antics. That is when I usually change the channel and don't return. I like Ken Schrader a lot, but as you say, if his absence helps keep Waltrip going into his goofy act, maybe KEN should stay away. Actually if it were between KEN and Mike, it wouldn't even be close, Schrader by a mile. Maybe I'll try a truck race, as I stopped watching them because of Michael's behavior.

Thornton, Colorado said...

For those who want Shrader replaced:He actually races about 6 days a week in other series, thus the term "real racer". More than likely he got permission from the folks at Speed to take certain days off. People in the know will attest to the fact that for the last twenty five years, Shrader has raced every kind of race car (almost), and that it will take him away from his "daily" duties. I'm sure the Speed execs know that, that's why they signed him on for another year.Plus, like JD said, "regardless of his Cup situation".
As far as other posters:Relax. At least the show is on for another year. Be thankful for the things you have, not the things you don't.

Anonymous said...

SPEED must be hurting for money after financing their HD conversion. It seems like they spend half of their show time promoting other shows on the network. It's getting really old...

First off - I loved INC last year and didn't see any need for change.

TWIN was horrible last night. I'll still watch it because it's the only show where you know you will get some insight from real drivers, but it is really hard to watch.

I had the same feeling I did last week where I thought the show was about over and they were only 30 minutes into it. A far cry from last year where it was over before you knew it.

Depressing music. Dark set. No energy...

I know they wanted to "change" the show to include more of a preview of the next race so the show would be a transition from the last race to the next race - but going into a Fontana preview right off the bat without hardly mentioning Daytona? Talk about setting an awkward flow for the show. Are these people TV professionals????

Plus - there is absolutely no need to do a video recap of SPEED's coverage of the past couple of weeks in Daytona. Totally out of place.

Once again, I'll still watch but I won't look forward to it all day Monday like I have in the past.

Anonymous said...

I felt bad for Mikey and The Biff because they both did a fantastic job in the small amount of time they were given.

Lots of insight, humor, and energy from both of them. Too bad they were so limited by all of the preproduced features and SPEED promos.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments are unbelievable.

People demanded DD's head on a platter, He doesn't fit, He hates NASCAR, etc, etc,

People complained that INC was just another highlight show.

Why are Mikey and Kenny on the show? They can't even make the races. How can someone talk about the race when they weren't in it?

People, I believe Ray Evernham said it best on Dave Moody's show on Sirius, I takes two minutes to screw everything up, it takes six months to fix it.

Same applies here.

Give them time, They're going to dissect this show over the next several weeks and figure out what worked and what didn't.

Did anyone really believe that they were going to nail this show right out of the box?

I didn't.

Dave in Milwaukee.

Lisa Hogan said...

I started watching; but, couldn't stick with it. I recorded the show and will consume later in small bites.

I wanted a new host for INC, one that didn't think they were the star. I don't enjoy Mr. Despain.

Schrader is always the star to me. Whether he is in a race or not, Schrader can watch a clip and tell a lot more from it than any of us.

Girls, don't let the cranky-pants get to you. Sophia, you always make me smile. :)

Speedcouch said...

IMHO, this show seems like it's more of on infomerical for the next race. I had to change the channel after about 30 minutes of it as I did not need more DW after listening to him for the last 10 days.

Geez said...

I loved the old show and watched it from day one. When Dave Dispain came on board, it suffered some.

The old show with AB will never be back and comparing this new version to the old one is a moot point. I think the old show just happened. The right mix of people and format. You can't manufacture that, it was the right chemistry and it's gone, never to return.

As far as looking at the next race versus a review of the last race, I want to see both. They said this show will be as much about what's next as a review of the last race and I'm fine with that.

Monday's show looked like first day jitters to me. It also proved that Kenny is a huge part of this show. Oh, and I didn't even notice Mikey's hair, why would I. :)

We will see how things go when Kenny's back, and I'm sure they will be tweaking the show for while. Just don't expect the old show because your not going to get it. I'll keep watching and see what develops.

Anonymous said...

The show last night was a disappointment. I had really enjoyed the show last week, but last night had w-a-y too much canned footage that didn't even appear to be introduced for discussion. All three of the participants are potentially great, but please cut the canned footage.

SophiaZ123 said...

As far as the lighting, I thought everybody looked good. I thought Biffle looked really handsome (not that that matters) but thought, did he lose weight, is it the lighting...it was the lighting.

Mikey's hair looked like Helmet head (don't think he rides a bike, not sure) or maybe he got out of the shower, slicked back his hair with gel and forgot to comb it out? I remember when Mikey's hair got long last year and everybody commented. I think it is it's own entity myself!

On the rewatch when I could give full attention, the boys DID come to life the brief part they spoke and I still love Biff's answer to why they should raise the age limit to 21 (to make stars in the Truck and Nationwide Series before they get to the Cup Series)

Oh, and that odd music was not 'meditational music'..just odd 'where is that synthesized music from" music. I have meditational stuff and it is relaxing.

That stuff they played as bumper music was a little scary but I will take it over Aerosmith. :-)

Let's hope TWIN and everybody is over their THREE DAY JUNKET of NASCAR hangover next week. It was a long week for everybody it appears.
;-)

Anonymous said...

I usually agree with the viewpoints in your blog, but I couldn't make it half way through this show last night. I thought the interactions between everyone was contrived and the content of the show was uninteresting.

For all the quirks and miscues by Despain last year, it was still hands down one of the best hours on TV. The out-of-control style mad it entertaining and the dynamic between Mikey and Kenny made for an enjoyable hour - you didn't know what was coming next. The dry style of Greg Biffle was a great addition too.

I like Steve as a reporter, but i just don't enjoy his television shows. I can't watch trackside anymore and the Chase Is On is brutal.

I have to agree with some other comments. I want to hear about the last race from a driver's perpective. Speed kills the upcoming race preview with the endless hours of NASCAR live and Race Day each week, so the last thing we need is more preview for the upcoming week.

I'll hold out for Knaus to show up and hope they get things fixed, but I'm real close to giving up on this new replacement for such a classic.

haus20 said...

My biggest complaint...where was the HD? Why roll out a HD channel and then roll out a brand new show in standard def?

Also, I do agree with the others that were surprised with the immediate move to preview California without first reviewing Daytona.

I think that Monday's Nascar Now was better than Speed's TWIN.

boyd said...

What a disappointment.
I can home and opened a nice cold beverage and sat down to try and watch NN on ESPN. What a pleasant surprise. It almost had the feel IWC.
Then I knew that I would really enjoy TWIN, since it was IWC reincarnated. Uh, no.
It seemed to be disjointed from the start. Dark set? Telling me about next weeks race?
I had to check and see if I had turned back to an ESPN show.
I couldn't make it through the whole hour and bailed about 20 minutes in. Of which about 10 were promos and commercials.
I don't know if I will be back.

KoHoSo said...

I realize that this is a new format and that it might take time for it to gel. However, after the first two episodes, I would make this one point.

The thing that has made this show great is the commentary by the drivers. All of the cuts to the video highlights that the panel can't talk over totally defeats the purpose of making this a must-watch show for NASCAR fans.

I am assuming that they are doing this not only to change things up in general, but to continue the theory begun with Dave Despain as host to try to reel in Waltrip (and, occasionally, Schrader). I still believe that it's the wrong thing to do.

Sure, some will never watch because of Mikey. But, for everybody else, it's letting him, Schrader, and a good #3 panelist go off on their tangents that made the show entertaining. If Speed doesn't tone down the amount of prepackaged cutaways, this will be far worse for the show than what we endured through almost every episode last year.

Anonymous said...

I use to religiously make sure that I was home from work by 8pm so that I could watch INC. All I can say is...my boss will be very happy with my overtime. Awful show. Just awful.

Southprose said...

Someone wrote:

"Sure, some will never watch because of Mikey. But, for everybody else, it's letting him, Schrader, and a good #3 panelist go off on their tangents that made the show entertaining. If Speed doesn't tone down the amount of prepackaged cutaways, this will be far worse for the show than what we endured through almost every episode last year."

Couldn't have said it better.

Let's see what happens when Schrader returns, but it looks like we'll see less & less of what we all used to tune in for and more & more of FOX promo.

Yuck.

Anonymous said...

Somebody please tell me why you would show highlights of last year's California race before you show highlights of THIS YEAR'S LAST RACE? Is Brainless Brian running this show?
You're missing a panel member on the first show of the year? WOW! That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard of!
Mikey, Please get a NEW hair stylist, please!

Andrew S. said...

Boooooooorrrriiiinnnnggggggggg. But I am willing to give it a few more weeks.

And bring back the old theme!!

Dan said...

I realize that TWIN is working out the kinks in a somewhat new format and was down a couple of panelists, but I wasn't real impressed by this week's show. I felt the show was very disjointed as it jumped between topics. I thought the recap of the 500 was lacking and would have liked to have had more than just Mears' crash, the final restart, the pass for the lead and the finish. The constant replaying of the pass for the lead and the finish at seemingly random places throughout the show got really old. Finally, while I'm generally OK with MW, it seemed like he was yelling all the time and that his level of excitement on this show almost felt like it was forced . While I will certainly give this "new" show some time to settle in, I think TWIN has a long way to go before it becomes must see TV like INC was.

Anonymous said...

Where was Kenny, anyway? At the dirt track? Yep, the show was definitely dull without him and Mikey going off on their tangents that make me laugh so hard I have to pause during my workout. (I workout while watching the show)

Overall, I liked the show quite well and will watch it regularly.

stricklinfan82 said...

I didn't really like the new show format. Starting the show with 25 minutes of a California preview just seemed very boring to me. There's only so much you can analyze when previewing a race that is 6 days away. I guess there was some decent information about how the new CoT performed there in testing and how it might perform in its first appearance at the track, but other than that it was pretty dull. The weekend's forcast, talking about "hauling the mail at 200mph going into turn 1", highlights of last year's Cup race, and videos of crashes from years gone by there did not peak my interest at all. When we get back to tracks like Bristol and Martinsville where there was no testing and there is nothing new about the CoT racing there, or go back to tracks like California and Atlanta for a second time with the CoT, it's going to get even worse trying to preview the race for 25 minutes.

Once they actually started reviewing the previous week's race there was very little substance. A couple quick out-of-order highlights of crashes from the Daytona 500, one Truck highlight and then the video of the final turn of the Truck race, and no mention at all of the Nationwide race just didn't do the previous week's races any justice.

Then there was a brief video of the Petty Enterpises move that took place a while ago just seemed out of place in the program.

Finally, I just had to laugh at Michael Waltrip's statement that NASCAR has good control over these point swaps and that they only let legitimate team purchases take place. So we're supposed to believe that Michael Waltrip actually purchased 1/3 of Penske's inventory when he "bought" the 77 team in 2006, that he bought all of Cal Wells's Chevy equipment for his new Toyota team and David Reutimann last year, that Morgan-McClure and James Finch "purchased each other's teams" after Mike Wallace earned 160 points in the Daytona 500 last year, and that Germain's purchase of Yates' Ford Nationwide team and Rusty Wallace's purchase of half of Ed Rensi's Ford Nationwide team were legitimate team purchases?

I'm sorry Michael, but we all know what's going on with these point purchases so there's no need to hide the fact that these aren't legitimate team purchases. Rusty Wallace admitted on the air Saturday that what he did was buy points from Ed Rensi so it's not like it's a secret. Just be straight-up with the fans and tell the truth, please.

In summary I definitely enjoyed the show a lot more when it was more of a review show. The preview format with limited highlights just doesn't give the panelists and Steve Brynes enough of an opportunity to "have fun", which is what so many fans wanted to see come back to this Monday night program this year.

Reedsgran said...

I want the old format back. This is just another NASCAR show. I want to hear about the prior day's race from the drivers who were there -- all the stuff we didn't see or hear. I want their reaction to what was going on.

Anonymous said...

I was so excited anticipating watching TWIN for the first time last night. What a letdown!

I could barely hear Ryan talking over the roar of the engines on the replay of the last lap. Why couldn't they pot down the volume on the video (or get rid of it totally) so we could hear what the guest was saying?

There will be plenty of time to preview the Cali-snooze-for-snooze-ia race later in the week. If you MUST mention it, wait until the end of the show. Don't lead off with it for Pete's sake!

I'll give it a couple more weeks to improve. Hopefully TPTB will be reading our opinions.

SusanB said...

I agree with everybody that said the show should have started off with a recap of the Daytona weekend and that the California preview should have been at the end of the show. The show did not seem to run as smoothly as INC. I think Brynes is a great addition and that it will take a little bit to get used to this new format. Over all not a bad show but I am hoping it gets better as the season continues.

JHD said...

I agree with Dan's comments.

This was very disjointed. I think they're trying too hard to be all things to all people, and it's not working.

I think the format of this show works best when they discuss/dissect the previous weekend's races. It was one of a kind and it worked well, personality conflicts aside. Otherwise this show becomes another version of NASCAR Live, NASCAR Now, etc, and I don't want to see that.

Anonymous said...

I think Jeff Hammond or Krista Voda would have been better choices to host this particular show.

Anonymous said...

Dear Speed Execs:
Here is today's TV 101 lesson.

1) When one of your stars is not present, IMMEDIATELY TELL THE AUDIENCE WHY HE'S NOT THERE, AND ASSURE THEM HE'LL BE BACK NEXT WEEK.

2)You are coming off of the 'Super Bowl' of NASCAR. YOU DON'T OPEN THE SHOW(AFTER IGNORING THE MISSING STAR) BY TALKING ABOUT NEXT WEEK'S RACE IN CALIFORNIA!

3) FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, USE A LIGHT METER OR YOUR SCOPES TO CHECK THAT VIDEO LEVELS ARE AT 100!

4) WHEN YOU HAVE A FORMULA THAT WORKS, I.E. TALENT, SHOW TITLE, OPENING, MUSIC THEME, FORMAT, THEN YOU STAY WITH IT AND DON'T CHANGE IT FOR CHANGE SAKE!!! Honestly, "This week in NASCAR"? Why not Raceday? Sporstcenter? SPortsdesk? Cna you come up with something more trite?

PammH said...

I was on Nascar overload, so I didn't watch this show until today. I agree w/some of the posters-at the moment, it's trying to be everything to everyone...can't do that, guys, you have to make your own signature. Too much pre-taped & already shown items, imo. Been there, done that in numerous other shows. Let the guys THERE shine, but it was handicapped w/Kenny not being there from the start. It may find it's way-they are started from stratch. I will give them a chance for a month or so.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what all of you are talking about when you complain about lighting. I have been in TV and I saw know problem. maybe it was the new colors on the set that threw all of you of.

And in regard to the changes, ALL OF YOU wanted them last year!!! I don't know why we see so many complaints now. give the new show some time. Good TV cannot be manufactured and takes time to get right.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I have been in TV and I saw know problem.
February 19, 2008 8:41 PM

I sure you know what I meant, but to clarify I meant "NO" problem.

Steve L. said...

The drab music set a weird mood for the beginning of the show. And MW's fake enthusiasm was a little over the top. It's hard to 'act' excited in a natural way.

The show seemed to drag on and on and at one point I thought it should be about over, to find out it was only half way through. I thought it would never end!

I'm so tired of people defending NASCAR when it's obvious we see it for ourselves. (Kyle Busch's out of bounds move) Like someone else said, we're not stupid.

I'm sure they'll tweek around with the show and get it to be smoother. Hopefully next week will be better, it can't get much worse. Or can it?

SophiaZ123 said...

I loved the lighting! Everybody looked good and it looked like a late night show which is fine with me.

The set looked good to me..I could see the faces and eyes and stuff.

Now if we could just see LIVE DISCUSSION and Kenny (or a good fill-in after Kenny S's absence is EXPLAINED)

I hope this isn't going to be a 'surprise panel' of the week, each week. And two guys are not enough. And we were led to believe it would be the familiar faces of INC.

But I personally loved the lighting...I thought it set a nice mood. :)

SophiaZ123 said...
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Coffee said...

Watching as a (local)racer first and a fan second, my opinions don't usually mesh with other fans.
I like it when they horse around and show their personalities and yes I missed Schrader--but he went racing so (I feel)he's forgiven!
I enjoy SPEED programming and wish they wouldn't try so hard to put "real news" into the program, because Daytona is over--time for California.
I don't intend to be mean. "It's just racin' man" as Mikey says, "time to move on" (to the next race).
I like the same thing about TWIN as I do most of the prerace stuff. If one wants 'hard news' I feel they should go somewhere else. This is what the drivers seem to enjoy, and I do too.

Coffee said...
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Andrew S. said...

I've been told that Ken is riding his Suzuki motorcycle from Daytona to Fontana. And yes, I thought it was odd that Byrnes didn't say why Ken wasn't there.

SophiaZ123 said...

Thanks for the explanation about Schrader.

I read on another site about the new TWEAKS of TWIN show. Well, if the tweaks mean 'pretaped junk', I think that will mean the end of that show which is mighty sad.

I thought we were going to see a show that was still 90 percent CONVERSATION.

Just what NASCAR NEEDS, another bunch of stuff to help SPEED promote SPEED.

depressing. :(

Tracy said...

Count me in the Hugely Disappointed crowd. What gives with all the sound bites we'd heard over and over already on regular Speed programming? This was boring, mundane, and a complete waste of time. Biffle and Waltrip barely got to say anything with Byrnes holding the reins and jerking on the bits in their mouths like a guy trying to make sure the race got lost.

Nascar Now improves, Speed blows it big time with TWIN.