Wednesday, September 10, 2008

SPEED Adds Another Non-Racing TV Series

On the heels of Wrecked, the exciting saga of people towing things, SPEED has announced that the network has added another new and original TV series.

This one comes from the producers of Livin' the Low Life with Vida Guerra and Payback, two series destined to live on YouTube for a very long time.

The show is described by SPEED as "a never-ending party...built around the eclectic car customization craze and wrapped in an ear-thumping, designer-driven atmosphere."

The new series will be called Hot Import Nights and will debut in early November. The host will be fashion model and part-time actress Adrienne Janic, who is pictured above. SPEED viewers may remember her from the current SPEED series called Overhaulin'.

This program continues to expand the bi-polar nature of SPEED. It adds to the Monday through Thursday content of the network which now regularly features absolutely no sanctioned motorsports of any kind.

From February through November, SPEED changes into a motorsports channel each Friday through Sunday. While NASCAR dominates, SPEED continues to offer selected motorcycle and motorsports programming as well on those days.

Steve Craddock is the VP of Programming at SPEED and he had this to say about the new series and his pledge to expand the lifestyle programming category. "Hot Import Nights continues to honor that pledge with a nod to the youth movement and tuner culture that continues to gather strength across the country," he said.

Motorsports fans have been wondering if SPEED will expand this lifestyle "pledge" to programming that deals with actual racing. The Humpy Show was a one-time pilot that featured legendary track promoter Humpy Wheeler. Despite the positive fan reaction, there have been no other episodes produced.

Beyond the Wheel was an Emmy Award winning program that took viewers behind the scenes of NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series events. It was abruptly cancelled by SPEED several years ago without explanation.

NASCAR Confidential is a new series for 2008 that takes a look at various aspects of NASCAR from the viewpoint of those involved. From track photographers to an unprecedented look inside Race Control, this series has been a big hit with NASCAR fans.

There are thirty-eight weekends of Sprint Cup Series racing in 2008. Where NASCAR Confidential is concerned, SPEED ordered six episodes.

Veteran fans may have also noticed that The Chase Is On with Steve Byrnes and Carl Edwards is not on the SPEED TV schedule for this season. With no daily NASCAR TV program on SPEED or FoxSportsNet, this Thursday night show served to set-up each race in The Chase as the season headed for Homestead.

Next week, with the first race in The Chase done and the single digit countdown underway, SPEED will have one hour of This Week in NASCAR on Monday night and a replay of the Loudon race at Noon on Thursday. That is the weekday presence of NASCAR on SPEED at the height of the season.

Meanwhile, during the same time period of Monday night through Friday morning, a PINKS episode will air fifteen times and twelve episodes of Wrecked will be on-the-air. What's wrong with this picture?

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Bill H said...


I don't get the issue you have with this. Though personally I don't watch these shows, they are car / motor related so do fit in with the speed theme. In comparision, ESPN the "world wide leader in sports" shows so many exciting sports shows such as spelling bees and world poker.

Though I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, I would not be far off in saying that with Raceday, Trading Paint, Nascar Performance, TWIN, Nascar in a Hurry, Trackside, Truck Series, practices and qualifying for all 3 series, plus re-airs of all the races and major shows during the week, Speed has to be devoting between 25 - 40 hours a week (out of 168 hours) to Nascar only. Thats almost 25% of their on air time.

How much does everyone want from them when they have to pay for every minute of it and since they are not as big as other networks they don't have big advertising dollars?

Bill H

Skip said...

Hot Import Nights has been around for awhile, it's basically tuner cars plus techno music and models. I've seen bits and pieces of it on on-demand video on cable in the past. I think there was even a (bad) video game based on it.

Daly Planet Editor said...


If you don't understand the point I am trying to make about this week and SPEED being a key TV partner for NASCAR, perhaps you could read the column again.

What you are talking about is the NASCAR Media Group shows produced from the track on the weekend.

The growth of this lifestyle programming on SPEED has not contained any connection to the sanctioned racing across this country and the last program was about Tow Trucks.

If you feel that SPEED should be an imitation of A&E or Discovery, that is your right. For those of us who like motorsports, these lifestyle shows have stripped the exposure to many racing series SPEED carried for years.

Everyone has the right to choose, and in the future perhaps SPEED will choose to invest some money in lifestyle programming about real racing in the US.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD- I do believe you are being somewhat too tough on WRECKED. I found it to be far superior to Unique Quips and its like - well at least the parts of the WRECKED shows I saw before I fell asleep watching it.

P.S. I am still looking for that HARDTAILS classic you mentioned some weeks ago, but haven't found it yet.

haus20 said...

I don't necessarily have a problem with the lifestyle shows, but I don't like SPEED sacrificing real racing action at the expense of it. I am disappointed that Speed didn't even make an attempt to go after the IRL TV contract.

I would love for Speed to be THE RACING CHANNEL as in if its racing it is found on Speed.

I know this may be wishful thinking, but even though Fox has football, Fox / Speed / FX could put together a package to cover a complete year of Nascar racing coverage. That would be great for Speed to have so much that they could relegate the lifestyle programming to a Speed 2 channel.

Daly Planet Editor said...

You can still find Texas Hardtails on the Internet. Just Google it a bit and Rick is still there selling bikes and serving beers.

Vince said...

Lifestyle programming and reality programming = lazy programmers that haven't had an original idea in their lifetime.

Anonymous said...

I also wish that SPEED would show more racing and less reality. Now I'm a reality junkie but I'm not into what they show. Which is funny because I love my OCC boyz any day of the week...but am not into Unique Whips. But I did watch the epis w/Happy & Smoke.

I did give Wrecked a chance but I didn't love it...I see it's on OnDemand if I choose to watch it.

Yes I did notice "The Chase is On" not listed...I have it SP so was saddened that it wasn't listed and hoped that I was too early and it was a TBA listing but nothing :(. I really liked that show :(.

darbar said...

Please tell me this isn't going to be another T&A show. With the picture of the show's "host", one gets the idea that this is going to be nothing more than NOPI and their bikini babes.

I know that the tuner generation is hot, like the show Car Wars with Master Flex on ESPN, but does Speed really think that those who turn into that show will find theirs?

Anonymous said...

Richard, Texas Hardtails is available for download on iTunes.

glenc1 said...

I always forgot to tape 'Chase' but the few times I did see it, I thought it was good. Too bad it's not back. It's unfortunate that SPEED can't broadcast more Camping World East or NASCAR West series races...or other local series. And maybe bikes, I'm not really into motorcycles, but at least it would be racing.

I just have to put in a plug for '101 Cars You Must Drive''s in reruns now after TWIN. But it's funny and instead of 'reality' it's more documentary, which I love. I've learned all sorts of stuff about car manufacturers, some of it racing related (the Superbird, for one). For that matter, more documentary shows ABOUT racing would be good (from the 'Back in the Day' type to more 'telling a story' type historical shows. I don't think it would cost a lot, and it sure would beat Pinks being on so often.

To be honest, I never watch the 'fixing up cars' shows or the auctions. Just not my thing....but I'm guessing the ratings are okay.

Dot said...


I totally agree with you about the programming on SPEED. I remember when they would show repeats of the races during the week among other things. Being a 51 yr old hag, those auto T&A shows do nothing for me. I guess they aren't interested in my demographic. Oh to be 18-34 yrs old again....

If NASCAR really wants to please its fans, why don't they start their own channel? Put it on the upper tier of cable to make a little money. I bought the upper tier to get SPEED mainly for TWIN. I'd even give up a movie channel block to buy NASCAR TV.

Not knowing anything about TV, how much would it cost to run those great old time races? They already own them, don't they? New shows like Humpy's and Race to the Chase would be instant money makers, imo.

Newracefan said...

I was wondering where the Chase show on Speed was, dumped like many of the weekday Nascar shows from Speed. Thank goodness we still have TWIN. I am sure there is a market for this new show (not with me) but how about more Nascar Confidential and The Humpy Show (I liked his video piece on TWIN). I can't slam Speed too bad they still do the best coverage of practice, qualifying, and pre race coverage there is.

Sophia said...

This house would cancel SPEED if not for F1, Wind Tunnel, Speed Report, N Performance, TWIN and the times SPEED does Friday qualifying. :)

But it would be nice if they offered more racing Mon through Thursday for all motorsports. The "fake reality" shows are cheap McTv. I hate them all. Documentary stuff i NASCAR 360..and the great shows SPEED CANCELED.

If SPEED were on basic cable, this would not be an issue. We do not pay for MOVIE channels but had to go digital and the second tier to get SPEED. We get about 7 or so other stations with it.

Still, it's a drag. My brother in Seattle had SPEED on COMCAST basic where he lived. Odd how different channels are lined up.

We are still hacked counties around us have Versus but ours and PART of another city, do NOT!?!? TW makes no sense and 'are evaluating it's money making potential.'

But I would never tell folks I watch SPEED Channel due to the T&A junk during the week. That bikini show was just sleazy. Then again, I did not enjoy the NASCAR show that was a 30 minute deal showing Mayfields wife and Buffy shopping all week long.

But I feel bad for folks that had SPEEDVISION.

SPEED channel has missed the boat, jumped the shark and any other term you might want to use, as far as a 7 day a week outfit.

Anonymous said...

I love these gripes. I'm sure if SPEED, ESPN or any other channel could justify more NASCAR (or any other racing series really) programming with ratings, I am sure they would put it on.

But guess what? They don't. Simple as that.

I love NASCAR and wish there was more of it on TV, but if the ratings don't justify showing it, then it simply doesn't matter how many awards certain shows got (If you remember, one of my all-time favorite shows Sports Night also was critically acclaimed but could not get ratings to save it's life).

I don't want to come off sounding rude or anything JD, but c'mon, this rant is getting a litle old every time SPEED puts on a new show. If we could all unite to get ratings for NASCAR shows, they will put them on. But obviously they don't get them and shows like these do (Not that I'm tuning in, just saying ...)

bevo said...

The bottom line for this kind of programming is very simple. It's cheap to produce.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:00AM,

You are perfectly entitled to your opinion.

SPEED has embraced entertainment instead of sports and sooner or later, the two are going to clash.

Other than TWIN, SPEED is completely an entertainment network like A&E or Discovery during the week. They are imitating what they see making money elsewhere.

The reason the network is named SPEED is because it was supposed to emcompass the competition and personalities across the country involved in all forms of racing.

During the week, this network is nothing more than A&E2. To simply assume that "if" they could make money from racing they would assumes that there is currently anyone in the SPEED programming development group with motorsports experience.


glenc1 said...

They used to show more racing, correct? I mean, I never studied the patterns, but it seems like there used to be more than there is now. That would go to the idea that they tried it and didn't get the ratings they would have liked--otherwise it would still be so, no? I'm just saying if they've 'been there and done that', they feel they've already tried. On the other hand, if that isn't the case--if they had the right people promoting the right shows, would they then get better ratings? It's all about always is.

Anonymous said...

Again if any of you had Speedvision (what Speed was before) you'd truly miss what it used to be about. They had boat races, aircraft shows, old races, etc. It was great.

Heck even two years or so ago they used to show Victory by Design during the mid week. Really great shows. Now my remote doesn't go to Speed Monday thru Thursday at all. It's a useless space and honestly I can't see very many people watching Livin the Low Life. This new show is going to be the same old stuff.

Anonymous said...

I don't watch SPEED on weeknights. (Except those shows that include race-related coverage.)

SPEED's decision to show this pseudo-reality (really, thinly-veiled infomercials) and T&A stuff is pandering, and it makes as much sense as a certain "Worldwide Leader in Sports" network that also airs poker tournaments.

On weeknights, this network isn't about "SPEED" anymore.

Dmo said...

Pardon me for sounding "conspiracy theory"-ish, but I really think the decision making entities at SPEED do not like NASCAR at all. Years back, the F1 and CART crowd complained to high-heaven about SPEED carrying any and all NASCAR programming. But, those pre-race and post-race shows generated solid, consistent ratings (not to imply that open-wheel didn't, just that there is more audience available for NASCAR). I sometimes think that NASCAR programming on SPEED gets the step-child treatment.

If NASCAR were to ramp-up NMG's production and operational capabilities, a cable channel could be created. By design, it would not infringe on NASCAR's current TV partners, both in race coverage and in pre and post-race programming. The costs would be something just-shy of exhorbitant, but making that channel available to the cable companies for minimal per-subscriber cost would almost assure mass distribution. Heck, all they would need to do to go global is strike a deal with Hammerhead to air everything they create... :-)

ESPN has many, valid reasons for not airing more NASCAR-created programming - SPEED on the other hand doesn't. It's time to cut SPEED out of the equation IMO.

Anonymous said...

@glen--agreed about '101 Cars' I was worried at first but it is a really good show. Very informative.

Yes when I first started watching SPEED it was still in the transition mode but you could leave your TV on it all week and find something fun to watch. That's how I fell in love with the Rally boyz while waiting for TN to come on.

@sophia--when I was in Cali, I had SPEED on both analog and digital like I do here. However, my friends a few hours away in the Bay Area could only get it on digital. Same cable company--Comcast.

Geez said...

101 Cars is a great show. never miss it. I watched wreaked once, that was it. The rest of them I've never seen.

I don't mind the "reality" shows. I just don't watch them. I do think they could better serve the race fan by not rerunning them so much and give us more thing's like Racing Across America.

Anonymous said...
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alex said...

Wrecked, Pinks, Truck U, Chop Cut Rebuilt, Unique Whips, Pink, Pass Time, Pinks-All Out, Hot Rod TV.

That's just over the next 12 hours.

If they want to add more shows, they can just throw it in the 5-7am Paid Programming slot for all I care.

They need to have SPEED for actual racing, and throw all that other crap on a new channel called "CARS".

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