Friday, January 22, 2010

New TV Series Changing NASCAR Landscape

The four day event called the Charlotte Media Tour is now over. Mixed in with the team and NASCAR announcements was a good amount of TV news. Let's talk about the shows and programs that were mentioned to set the tone for 2010.

Michael Waltrip got our attention by confirming that he was the third panelist on Showtime's new Inside NASCAR series. Kyle Petty's name had been put out several weeks ago, but that information proved to be incorrect. Both Showtime and Waltrip clearly loved keeping that secret until Thursday morning.

It will be Chris Myers from Fox Sports hosting the series. Myers has a long track record of hosting studio shows on networks like ESPN and The Tennis Channel. ESPN's Brad Daugherty will also appear on the show. This is a great opportunity for Daugherty to escape the confines of ESPN's structured on-air product and engage in some spirited and opinionated conversation.

The final panelist is SPEED's Randy Pemberton. While perhaps the least well known to some, Pemberton has been connected with the sport for decades. In his previous appearances on SPEED's Tradin' Paint series, Pemberton showed that he is informed, opinionated and not afraid of anyone. Those are good traits to bring to this new series.

Finally, Showtime promises to make the series available online, through cell phone streaming and on cable television Video On Demand services. This will allow those fans who cannot or choose not to subscribe to Showtime to still access the programs. The series begins on Wednesday, February 10 at 10PM ET and runs all season long. We will pass along the streaming and VOD specifics when they are announced.

Over at ESPN, things remain almost the same. NASCAR Now will return on Monday, February 1 with the same three hosts. Allen Bestwick will anchor the Monday hour program, while Mike Massaro and Nicole (Manske) Briscoe will handle the remaining duties. The only change is that due to earlier race start times, the weekend morning edition of the show will move to 9AM ET.

Meanwhile, over at SPEED there were wholesale changes in the TV line-up. Kyle Petty will replace Jimmy Spencer on both the NASCAR RaceDay and Victory Lane programs. Petty will team with Kenny Wallace and John Roberts on both shows. Wendy Venturini and Hermie Sadler also return.

Spencer moves to a Monday night 8:30PM ET timeslot with a still developing thirty minute program titled What's the Deal? Explained to TDP as an issue-oriented talk show, SPEED wants to allow Spencer to voice his sometimes controversial opinions in a different format. More to come on this topic, no doubt.

What's the Deal? will occupy the second half of the hour that used to be filled by This Week in NASCAR. After 14 years, that series has been cancelled. SPEED felt the show had run its course.

Filling the thirty minute slot at 8PM on Mondays will be a recap version of the NASCAR in a Hurry show. This program will essentially be an extended version of "Scanner Chatter." Using video and audio captured by The NASCAR Media Group over the weekend at the races, the show will feature content not seen on the TV coverage and offer the kind of emotional behind the scenes moments NMG is famous for producing. Several existing SPEED announcers will voice the show on a rotating basis.

That makes the new Monday night line-up Race Hub, NASCAR in a Hurry and What's the Deal beginning at 7:30PM. SPEED also has several program concepts in the hopper for later in the season as well as returning the fan favorites on the weekend from NASCAR Performance to Wind Tunnel.

Over the next couple of weeks, the specifics and additional information on these shows will be made available. In the meantime, let's ask for your comments on the pending line-up of studio and news programs on NASCAR TV for 2010.

To give us your opinion, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks as always to you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


Spectricide said...

With all due respect to This Week in NASCAR. The ending is in the name. Tweets and tricks have made anything a week old Passé' The new line up seem worthy and Spencer has been given a platform. Sounds like fun to me. Respected names that people like are spot-lighted. It's all good. Now we just have to find out about the live streams and the VoD costs.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a LETDOWN.

The idea of Kyle Petty on pay cable in a new show that would go new places seemed exciting.

Adding Michael Waltrip to the panel instead seems like moving TWIN to a pay cable outlet but not before neutering it by adding Brad Daughtery.

The way "Inside the NFL" built credibility was by providing honest raw talk. Meanwhile Michael Waltrip says things like "Boy, the racing at Fontana next week is going to be so exciting. That is a great track and the California fans love it." UGH. MORE NASCAR PR FROM THE NASCAR PR MACHINE.

I was super excited about the Showtime show. Now I realize it's TWIN with lesser panelists!

Anonymous said...

Isn't 25 years of Michael Waltrip enough for one lifetime? How anyone could consider him entertaining is beyond me "ZOMG HE CAN PLUG SIX SPONSORS IN ONE SENTENCE!!LOL"

To state the obvious, I will not be watching Showtime's new NASCAR show.

bevo said...

Count me as another one disappointed with the Showtime announcement. Might as well rename it The Michael Waltrip Happy Sunshine Plugathon Hour.

Not going to bother checking it out. It would be great if we could get a legitimate show to look at NASCAR. Check out this week's Real Sports on HBO for the story about concussions and the response by the NFL for an example of actual journalism dealing with sports.

KoHoSo said...

bevo said...

...The Michael Waltrip Happy Sunshine Plugathon Hour.


I am glad that Showtime is going to make Inside NASCAR available to non-subscribers. Unfortunately, as somebody else said earlier, I am extremely underwhelmed with 3/4 of the lineup and not likely to go out of my way to watch it.

On the other hand, I will be now much more likely to try and watch the pre and post-race shows on Speed with the addition of Kyle Petty. While I do not always agree with Kyle and have some reservations after his silence following the infamous newspaper interview involving him along with Spencer and McReynolds, I do feel like he cares, gives honest opinions, and wants to make any broadcast that he is involved with fun to watch as well as informative.

As for NASCAR Now, I was greatly satisfied with it last year. I am glad it is going to continue as is. If accompanied by a better overall race broadcast and more proper support from ESPN, it should only get better.

As for What's the Deal?...nope. Spencer has lost me as a fan. His buffoonery on RaceDay was one thing but his attitude during the last season of TWIN put me off on him for good. That will be a show that I will go out of my way not to watch.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested to see if Kenny Wallace tones it down when he's sitting next to Kyle.

As far as the Showtime effort I don't pay for the channel and this show certainly is no cause to start now.

Donna DeBoer said...

I didn't want to knee jerk a reaction when it was announced, but I find my feelings haven't changed. VERY disappointed Kyle Petty won't be on Showtime's Inside NASCAR. And I seriously question having TWO panelists who are allied team owners!! For quite a while I mostly bit my tongue about Waltrip's plugging of his sponsors on TWIN (I made 2 formal complaints) but I will not be cutting any such slack anymore unless I hear such sponsors have actual signed onto the show (to pay for online/phone access maybe), simply out of fairness to other team owners and sponsors. ONE HINT of deliberate MWR/JTG-D sponsor favoritism on Inside NASCAR, and I will be writing one scathing letter and be gone. I figured it wasn't going to be a problem with just Brad D, but with the addition of MW? I'm already shaking my head.
I also looked fwd to Kyle Petty giving his honest opinion race analysis. I want that from all 4. Now, with MW, Brad D might not step up doing that and just echo MW's recent happy happy joy joy NASCAR shilling.
I love Race Hub, I watch NN, I'll give Jimmy Spencer's show a chance, I like hearing scanners I couldn't monitor so I'll watch that. I usually DVR race pre shows. And Victory Lane of course if one of my drivers wins.

Chris from NY said...

The concept of a show with someone from each network is a good idea... only if it wasn't Showtime.

GinaV24 said...

Ugh! More Waltrip! Well, that seals the deal for me about buying showtime to watch the show. Plus, I'm sorry but Brad brings nothing to the table for me as far as watching. He's just another car owner who has a vested interest in the sport, why do I care what he has to say?

Spencer will be a hard sell for me too. I'm sure we're supposed to believe that this will be less PC than NASCAR usually requires, but his statements in the past have made me pretty angry as a fan (and as a female)and I don't watch TV so I can be mad.

I like that Kyle will be on RaceDay and VL -- now if someone would just put in sock in Kenny Wallace's mouth and make it a one hour show again, I might be able to tolerate it.

50 yr. fan said...

Great swap. We are getting honest
and intelligent Petty and getting
rid of Spencer. It will be easy
to "unplug" him on Monday nights.

I suggest R. Pemberton rethink his
going to Showtime with the rah-rah
boys. Maybe that's what Kyle did.

Anonymous said...

I, too, am looking forward to seeing more of Kyle Petty. I've always enjoyed his commentaries during races as he 'calls' the race - instead of talking about stuff not happening on that track. Hopefully, the commentary this year won't be 'dummied down' since the fad of Nascar seems to be waining.

BlueDuecer said...

I think you people should give the showtime show a few weeks before you complain about Mikey and BD. I mean this is uncensored cable and maybe the panel will open up and speak more loudly about issues, they dont have to dumb it down for some Fox owned channel or be uptight and walk the ESPN company line. I could be wrong but i will give it a shot. Inside the NFL is a fun show and I think this could be too. Man wouldnt it be cool if they used some in car radio on this show, uncensored raw radio chatter. Now that would be cool

Speedcouch said...

Knowing Waltrip will be on the new Showtime series makes me WANT to cancel my subscription to the network to send them a message.

glenc1 said...

great...Spencer will spout one opinion one week and the opposite one the next...pretty much his pattern. There *must* be more informative people out there who deserve a show more than he does. Best moment was watching Brian Vickers call him out that one time...

Just glad he's off the other shows, and Kyle will bring a different tone to it, hopefully, as anon 8:19 said, tone him down a bit.

I wasn't planning on watching I/N anyways, but with Waltrip on, that would pretty much make up my mind (against watching.)

Anonymous said...

Well, thanks to today's announcement, I'll be saving an hour a week not watching another Mikey Me Me Me show only on...Showtime!

Anonymous said...

Having "Inside NASCAR" on Showtime VOD does not make it available to non-subscribers. On my cable system, I have to be a subscriber to Showtime to get Showtime VOD.

Anonymous said...

How many fans remember the originial TWIN? Often duplicated but never equalled. Networks don't ever get it. Fans want to ask guests what is on their minds, not the "experts." Dale Sr. held the record with over 12,000 call attempts in one hour program. Best question: "Dale... what's your favorite ice cream?" Answer: "Banana!" One the guys with the "ties" would never have asked. Problem with all televised sports: too may on-air talking heads. God bless the mute button. Sent live from the beach in Barbados. NASCAR been very good to me.

Anonymous said...

"The confines of ESPN'S structured on air product". You can never write a column without a backhanded slap at ESPN. You just never quit. I like the ESPN style as opposed to the dopey DW, FOX, SPEED foolishness.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ESPN's Monday version of "NASCAR Now" and the infield studio pre-race isn't "structured" to you?

What planet have you been living on?


Vicky D said...

I think KP being added on Raceday & VL will make me start watching again. I wonder if they'll have Nascar Smarts on Speed also?

Anonymous said...

JD...I don't think anon said it wasn't structured...just saying...unless you edited the comment.

He/she said they *liked* it that way, as do I, though not necessarily better (just different). As for you having a personal agenda, I didn't agree with that. You calls 'em like you sees 'em.

Anonymous said...

I have no interest in the new program on Showtime and absolutely no interest in listening to Kyle Petty on any show.

Newracefan said...

I think KP will a breath of fresh air on RaceDay and may help keep Kenny from going over the edge, which is a good thing. KP is not afraid of calling out Nascar and others but does it without the crassness (is that even a word) of Jimmy.

To be honest I would have prefered Larry Mac to stay on VL I liked having the crew chief perspective, he can ask an indepth question that the winning crew chief is more likely to answer in the excitement of the win that they'll keep to themselves if asked later, I saw him get things out of Chad last year (not a lot but some) that he avoided answering later. Larry Mac watches a race from a different perspective than a driver and I liked getting both.

As far as Jimmy's show, I'm thinking it will be like watching the accident by the side of the road you can't help but look. Will I keep looking, that depends on how bad the accident is.

Scanner chatter is always a good thing but it would be nice to have someone other than the announcers talk about it unless they are going to make some calls a head of time to get us the inside scoop. A big concern for me is that if it's just a repeat of the same scanner chatter on NN like TWIN had then what's the point.

I really can't say much about Inside Nascar since I will not be seeing it except for what is online for free. Mikey isn't a problem for me but this show doesn't have the foil required to balance it (Chad) and since Brad can go over the top too. Oh my! and if it's the goofball Chris Myers, look out. Randy could be the only voice of reason there and that won't be enough.

Anonymous said...

I was not going to be watching Inside Nascar on Showtime; but when it looked like Kyle Petty would be on the show, I regretted that I wouldn't hear his views. When he disappeared and Michael Waltrip was added, there is no reason for me to watch it. MW is the television equivalent of a poison pill to me. I consciously avoid all programming where he is doing his broadcaster, rude child, sponsor plugger, NASCAR shill persona.

Pay TV? Showtime would have to pay ME to get me to watch this disaster.

Anonymous said...

Look forward to Kyle being on RD & VL! I like him & he'll be a great addition. Although I wish he'd be on the Showtime show :(. I like Randy so hope his 2 cents plays out well.

Tony B. said...

I'm another who won't waste my time watching Showtime, the cast is just horrible, starting with that know-nothing Chris Meyers, the only one worth watching would be Randy Pemberton, and I won't be watching the always aggravating Spencer. I guess that's why we have a remote control. Tony b.

Richard in N.C. said...

I wonder whether Mikey was a last minute replacement for Kyle after Kyle agreed to be on SPEED's pre- and post-race shows? Also I have not seen anything on whether Kyle will be on just one or both pre-race shows when TNT does the Cup races.

Anonymous said...

For me, i'm just glad i won't ever have to watch Spencer again...that guy makes me scream. I saw him at the airport once and he's just as annoying off camera as he is on. Now i can watch RD again and not get pissed off!!