Monday, April 7, 2008

Backwards "TWIN" A Good Show In Reverse

There are a lot of things that SPEED has sorted out on their new Monday night TV series called This Week In NASCAR. There is one very fundamental thing that they have not.

Steve Byrnes hosted an hour with Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle as the panelists on this week's show. As usual, the conversation at the top of the show was about the big Texas weekend and the many happenings over the past three days.

Regular viewers of the show knew that soon this good conversation would be halted, and it was. For whatever reason, it was time once again to look forward to the next Sprint Cup race before ever starting the review of the one that just took place...yesterday.

No one quite seems to understand what SPEED is trying to accomplish by putting the preview before the review. It certainly is tough to remove the current news and the current highlights and put them on the shelf for thirty minutes. For better or worse, that is exactly what TWIN did again this week.

Once the program got through the Phoenix preview and opened the door to conversation about Texas, things came alive. Waltrip was finally comfortable and outspoken on all kinds of topics, and even began to show his unique sense of humor.

For his part, Biffle was more comfortable on this program than he has been in a long time. The conversation about the COT, the dynamics of tuning the car and the problems the teams have been having was outstanding. Biffle brings a mechanical approach to racing in the same way that Waltrip brings an emotional one.

Steve Byrnes still has to integrate a lot of video and features into this program. Sometimes, they close down a good conversation that is in-progress. While the quality of the edited video is outstanding, this is the reason that the Inside Winston Cup program was once expanded to ninety minutes. Just too much content for an hour.

SPEED took a gamble in starting this franchise over, and TV viewers have watched the changes in this series as it has developed. Suggestions on other changes have included returning Ken Schrader to the panel and having a weekly studio guest.

The one curious item continues to be asking fans to wait thirty minutes to see the panel discuss the recent race weekend. This show was a good example of that, as the panel had a blast talking about Texas. As the series continues to develop, it should be interesting to see how long SPEED can stick with this format.

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Anonymous said...

Hey JD
The intransigence of TWIN about looking to next week and FOX and the "Flagman at the end" issues are symptoms of the FOX and NASCAR brands arrogance.
They do not care about viewers/fans. They think they know better than we. The TWIN show tonight sucked side pipes, and thats a fact. Is it a SPEED production or is it NASCAR Images?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the panel did have a blast talking about last weekend. I thought the comment on the sponsor of the 00 getting TV time this week was interesting. Even though the show is still shown in reverse, it may have been one of the better ones this year.
Kingston, NY

TexasRaceLady said...

Even with the backwards show, I really enjoyed this one.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the show picked up steam after they began talking about Texas, and I believe the Phoenix preview would've been better if it took place after the Texas review. But even in spite of that it was a good show tonight.


Anonymous said...

Has SPEED ever mentioned why they lead off the show with a review of the next race first?


Daly Planet Editor said...

Did you guys catch the Ken Schrader mention by Steve Byrnes at the very end of the show?

I think some comments are sneaking through.


Newracefan said...

Yes I caught the Schrader comment, I still think if Schrader can't be there they should do a where's Waldo thing with Kenny to promote all the local tracks he goes to. Is it possible the Kenny is annoyed at Speed and not participating by his own request??
I also wonder if they have somewhat of an agenda that must be covered related to the next race and therefore doing it first makes sure it happens. This order also makes certain it ends on a fun note although this type A personality has a problem with future/past order.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Next Week in NASCAR be a more accurate name for this show.

Frank in Sebring

Sophia said...

What was said about Ken Schrader, please somebody tell me?? I was busy watching DANCING WTS since the DYSLEXIC director of TWIN must be related to the guy that shots the END of the races on FOX but I digress.

During a commercial break on DWTS, I DID click over in time to wretch over TWO digger mentions and some digger puppet. Are you kidding me? I heard DIGGER was on TWIN last week.

ESPN's version of DRAFTRACKER...sheesh.

anyway, I refuse to watch this show when it's propaganda for the next race AND if you want to hear Mikey you gotta sit thru more baloney than I can handle.

NNow was not on top of it's game but still beats this show.

I totally agree with whoever said SPEED and FOX have the same arrogance issue.

SHEESH...weren't we saying this last summer about ESPN.

Wonder what this means..this a karma deal? (Making us not like FOX/SPEED nonsense?)

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Anonymous said...

.Speed reverse of out shift please, say I can What

Newracefan said...

Driver with most wins/top fives or something along those lines (don't remember exactly) in Phoenix - Kenny Schrader. Mikey he's my favorite driver.

Kyle said...

Beating a dead horse here,but I didn't even bother to TIVO it tonight.

Showing next week first is asinine. If they ever fix that, I will start watching it again.

Anonymous said...

I'm done complaining. The order is backwards and they don't let the panelists talk enough.

I don't mind them promoting the upcoming weekend's SPEED programming (hey - at least they are showing practices this week unlike Martinsville), but the recap of SPEED personalities from the previous weekend (Rutledge, Kenny Wallace, etc.) is so self-indulgent it makes me want to vomit.

Other than that it's a very good show.

Anonymous said...

S tried watching the show last night, but found about 5 minutes in, I wasn't interested. Having only 3 people gives Michael even more time to sound over stimulated and annoying. I gave up and switched channels, and don't plan to try watching again. I give up.

Ritchie said...

The show is still too agenda driven. Even without the videos (which actually are the best parts of the show), there is nothing to be gained from watching it. They sit there between videos and gush about how wonderful everything is. It has basically become a NASCAR/SPEED/Michael Waltrip Racing infomercial. Between the gushing moments, they take an opportunity to detract from the individuals who disagree with their point of view. I simply don't understand how this type of show can be considered quality programing.

BTW, I propose a new drinking game. Everytime Mr. Waltrip says, "I've never seen a boring race", everyone take a shot of your favorite beverage.

Unknown said...

I was glad to see Biffle but the short amount of time for actual discussion just robs the show of its energy.

Unknown said...

This is just speculation, but I think the reason they preview the upcoming race first is to stop the show from becoming dated. They could then run the show anytime during the week, up to and including before they start practice on Friday and the information would still be fresh.

That aside I don't like the format. I would love a show where they break it up into 3 parts and do a segment on each series, with panelists from that series.

JD, on a different note. Who owns the race broadcast? After it is over do the broadcasters (FOX, ESPN, TNT, SPEED) own the broadcast, or do they own the rights to it for a period of time and then the rights revert back to Nascar? If Speed wanted to replay a race from last year or a few years ago, do they have to go to the original broadcaster or to Nascar for the rights, film?

Is it the same for hilites from a race, does Speed (or any other network) have to pay "by the minute" for what they air to the original broadcaster, or do they get this from Nascar?


Anonymous said...

Great show, it included, information, humor, and discussion. I loved it when Biff tapped Mikey for his turn to talk, hmmm bump stops, I have heard many ask to get rid of those, not just Waltrip. This was one of the best shows so far, and even though Mikey finished 31st and the 44 had engine trouble keeping him out of the top 35, he still came in with a smiling face same goes for the Biff with his rare poor finish.

Anonymous said...

I never understood the re-focus of this show and quit watching. It used to be must-see TV for me when the focus was to review the last weekend's race from the panel's perspective. I would even go ahead and change channels when it was time for the quick preview for next week at the very end of the show. There are SO MANY pre-race shows before the actual races next weekend, that a show on Monday night focused on next week's race doesn't really make sense. On Mondays, I am still processing the race from Sunday and any issues/hot topics, etc... I am not already looking to next week. Once Friday comes around and qualifying + practice are on TV, then I get excited about that weekend's races. Between all of the practice shows, qualifying, and the pre-race shows on ESPN, Speed and the Network, that is plenty to get me ready for the weekend race. There is no reason to watch a preview that was run about 6 days prior... On Monday, I want a full hour re-cap of (all of) the races from the driver panel perspective and maybe some features and/or interviews that may make sense. (Sounds suspiciously like an old format!) Until then, I am spending my Monday nights with Tony and Matt getting their re-cap of the weekend on Tony Stewart Live!

Anonymous said...

I believe Speed needs to tweak this show and show the race first! PULLLLEAAASE. And I found it funny that Mikey kept on poking Greg when he had a comment to make. If they don't have Schrader on there then get a hot-seat guest too. Other than that, I think last night's show was one of the better ones.

Anonymous said...

I gave up on this show after the 2nd show this season. After 10+ years of never missing IWCR and even going back to it after they dumped Allen and JB, they finally drove me away completely with the revamping of the format.

NASCAR Now's Monday show is an excellent substitute!

Daly Planet Editor said...

bill h,

Like almost all professional sports, ultimately the footage is archived, owned and distributed by the sanctioning body's TV company.

PGA Tour Productions is in St. Augustine, FL. NBA Entertainment is in Secaucus, NJ. We all know about NFL Films.

Late last year, NASCAR rolled their TV company called NASCAR Images into a new all-inclusive structure that would deal with anything media related.

The new company is called The NASCAR Media Group, and is run by a nice guy named Paul Brooks. They are still getting themselves organized, and will ultimately move into the office building attached to the new NASCAR Hall of Fame complex in Charlotte, NC.

That location will house all the race and other footage as well as providing a full-service TV and new media production and distribution facility.


Anonymous said...

I thought this was the best show of the season. Finally Michael was set loose and allowed to be himself - they even referred to Michael's "antics" in the open to the show. Greg seemed a lot more comfortable too and he and Michael both seemed to be enjoying themselves. I felt a lot more of their personalities came through last night. The show was a lot more fun to watch last night than in the past when it's sometimes seemed very scripted and forced.

However, I join the chorus of continued complaints about so much time being spent at the top of the show about the upcoming race.

Anonymous said...

I know this show is eventually get it right and return to the original Inside ------ cup format that I have watched and loved for 12 years unfortunately I will never know because I will have stopped watching this disjointed pig of a program

Steve L. said...

I removed TWIN from my TiVo to-do list after I watched the first few minutes of the show when they went directly to the preview of next weeks race.

I've tried to watch, but like everything else this year, no one seems to care about what the fans want to see.

Goodbye TWIN......

Ziggy said...

Geeezz, think anyone over at NASCAR Images, FOX or SPEED reads this blog ???? All of us are beatin our heads against the splitter for nothing but thank god we can vent. This show is unique - name another that starts assbackwards !

Sophia said...

There is no doubt THIS is what the producer and SB wants. Last night while watching my soap, I clicked over at midnight viewing to see the comments "How great the race was." I know Mikey, who I love 'has never seen a boring race.' But he and SB gushing how great Texas was made me sick. Even ALL the other NASCAR talk shows talk of lack of ability to pass.

I see the Carl Edwards video Kool Aid (that all drivers like to whine)has spread to the SPeed monday night show. However I did not immediately hear Biffle give his input and turned back to my show.

JUST FOR THE RECORD, FOLKS, even with DAVE DESPAIN hosted INC, I often watched the monday show TWICE as it was funny.

And I love how DD got blasted for being so 'scripted' and I am reading everywhere else, Byrnes is even worse at that.

So, those of us not watching or taping this show are not missing fun because they are not allowed to have fun.

Also the first half of the show IS LUDICROUS and ASSININE. That is the NUMBER ONE complaint I am reading and number two, way too many videos rehashed. Just like we all griped about the first few episodes.

And Schrader is sadly missing. Even with his return, I would NOT watch this show until they show it in proper order.

MY GOSH. How frustrating...I let go of the old INC show but this new one is just such a TURN OFF due to the 3 minutes of chit chat of Sunday's race and then, 'more of yesterday's race later, but first' REMOTES CLICKING OFF.

Actually, they should say butt first since the show is backwards. Sorry for the pun but I could not stop myself.

Not funny though. Sigh

Anonymous said...

Bring back the "Hot Seat". Heck, bring back the show (and cast, including the dumpster pickup) of ten years ago!

Anonymous said...

JD. I know this is not the place for this comment. I know you cover TV, but will you be talking about the lawsuit MRN and PRN have filed against eachother to broadcast the races at NHMS.

Anonymous said...

SPEED, take a good look at all of the above comments. We all can not be wrong.
Kingston, NY

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:53PM,

Since it does not impact the TV coverage, it will probably be followed on and during the legal battle.

This is only the tip of the iceberg in the battle over control of the audio broadcast of the races. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes with XM and Sirius.

As I wrote in an article last season, the push toward what is called "convergence" is at the core of this issue.

We are the last generation that will consider having one instrument as a phone, another as a TV, yet another as a laptop and finally one more as a radio.

Kids today want everything on demand in one machine that can accomplish all the tasks listed above.

Ultimately, that is going to change the old style "TV and radio" rights structure of NASCAR as we know it.

Should be an interesting couple of months.


Anonymous said...

TWIN still comes across as 'flat'. Byrnes and Waltrip can defend the COT all they want,but the car is a PIG! Ten cars on the lead lap at a wide,mile and a half track?? Biffle said half the cars were undrivable. A Drivers Union would fix the Goodyear and COT problems quick!

Dan said...

Once, when the topic of IWC/INC/TWiN was discussed on this blog, there would be a flood of comments. I always took the sheer number of comments as a sign of how popular the show was. Now it seems like the numbers are shrinking each week. Like many others here, I've removed TWiN from my DVR's to do list since the program no longer provides what I consider to be unique and entertaining content. I'm wondering if the dwindling number of comments we're seeing each week is an indication that TWiN is loosing viewers.

Karen said...

To me, this is what the DVR is for. Skipped through the next race stuff and stopped on last weekend's coverage and watched that only. Shame. I used to love INC, but no more.

Anonymous said...

It stinks, period.

Sophia said...


I think if TWIN is losing viewers it's because their UNIQUE showing of the show backwards is a MAJOR TURN OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE MIKEY but can't stomach the first 30 minutes of the "NEXT RACE" followed by wasted video filler instead of real conversation.


Sophia said...

P.S. If SPEED would put the show from REVERSE to drive, AND can the video junk,, and return to live conversation, it might have a chance.

Anonymous said...

As they say on one of my favorite shows and mentioned on someone's post - HOW HARD CAN IT BE????? To move the past weekend's race first in the broadcast and upcoming race near the end of the show???? What is wrong with Speed I don't care about last year's race. Period! That's my final comment on this topic!

Anonymous said...

There is one good thing that can be said about this show. At least with this show you get more racing action with all the videos that you get from the network broadcast of "commercials interrupted by a race".

Waltrip has never seen a boring race because he's never watched one on TV. In person they're never boring but with so many interruptions it severely disrupts the flow of the actual race.