Sunday, March 23, 2008
"NASCAR Confidential" Brings Down The House
The debut of the new program series from the NASCAR Media Group filled a void that fans had been asking SPEED Channel to fix for several years.
Few things can be better than Ken Squier as the first voice fans heard on NASCAR Confidential. Squier set-up the debut as a slice-of-life program following several different and diverse personalities on the Daytona 500 weekend.
For the past several years, the official TV production arm of NASCAR was called NASCAR Images. Originally a joint venture with Fox, the company is now part of a broader organization called the NASCAR Media Group and is totally owned by NASCAR.
The organization is diverse, and provides everything from on-site TV production services to NASCAR home videos. One other thing the company provides is outstanding post-produced TV series. Several networks have provided the outlets for this type of product, but things have been a bit slow over the last several years.
ESPN has almost no room for additional long-form NASCAR programming like NASCAR Confidential. They have added a ton of NASCAR content with races and a daily news show called NASCAR Now. The burden of carrying additional NASCAR content like this really falls to SPEED.
With 24 hours dedicated to motorsports, SPEED has been focusing their NASCAR efforts on programming that originates from the track. Ironically, it is the NASCAR Media Group that produces all those shows seen on SPEED from Raceday to Victory Lane. Finally, SPEED has decided to add this new six episode series.
“SPEED knows how devoted NASCAR fans are and how much they want every tidbit of information and insight they can get their hands on,” said Steve Craddock, SPEED Senior VP of Programming. “NASCAR Confidential will give viewers a different take on the behind-the-scenes workings in NASCAR. It will bring NASCAR to the fans in more depth and detail than they’ve ever had before.”
In this first program, cameras followed T. Taylor Warren, the photographer who has chronicled in photos every Daytona 500. Also, DeLana Harvick, wife of 2007 Daytona 500 winner Kevin Harvick and Jay Howard, president of JHE, the company in charge of pre-race entertainment were featured. Finally, both Ryan Newman and Michael Waltrip showed-up as drivers with unique perspectives going into this event.
The stories of each of the participants were told in slices and were weaved together quite well. The pace was fast and this series was different than the single-theme programs we have seen from NMG in the past. It was refreshing to once again be able to see behind-the-scenes in a realistic way the sport that contains so many diverse human interest stories.
Perhaps, you could tell us what you thought of this pilot episode. The show will re-air on Monday in the TWIN timeslot at 8PM Eastern Time on SPEED if you missed the original airing. Maybe SPEED could be persuaded to continue this series beyond the original six episodes ordered so far.
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