Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wednesday TV/Media Notes

All kinds of things are going on in the NASCAR TV world. Here are some notes:

Tuesday afternoon, Charlotte Observer reporter Jim Utter said on Twitter that he heard SPEED had cancelled What's the Deal? with Jimmy Spencer and Ray Dunlap. As you may recall, this program struggled from the start with a bad set, a rough timeslot and a horrible format. Official comments from SPEED should come Wednesday on both the TV series and Spencer's future role with the network.

On Monday, SPEED confirmed that entertainment director Roger Goodman had been brought in to coordinate production of the NASCAR Hall of Fame induction ceremony. David Hill, who is Chairman of the FOX Sports Media Group, made the call. Hill is now actively involved in the decision making at SPEED since his responsibilities were expanded to include SPEED, FoxSportsNet and the FOX regional sports networks nationwide.

This week has featured the duo of Steve Byrnes and Krista Voda co-hosting the NASCAR Race Hub programs on SPEED. These are the network's two top pro's when it comes to studio shows. Last week, Byrnes said on Twitter that he would be hosting a lot more of Race Hub. That's got to be a tall task for a guy who already hosts Trackside and NASCAR Live, as well as Nationwide Series qualifying and practice sessions. Did we happen to mention Byrnes is also a pit reporter for the NASCAR on FOX races? Yikes!

Fast Track to Fame, SPEED's rather unique Monday night talent show, is drawing to a close. The last scheduled episode is June 7. So, the Monday night 8PM Eastern timeslot is apparently going to see some new program offerings in June. Since This Week in NASCAR was cancelled, the email and comments from fans have been steady. There still seems to be a strong desire to have a one-hour Monday evening review show. Bringing something like this back is made even more tempting by the fact that ESPN2's NASCAR Now continues to be a 5PM ET show with a late night re-air.

"The Weekend Starts on Wednesday" was a book recently released by Andrew Giangola. In it he profiles colorful NASCAR fans. ESPN is featuring select fans from this book on the weekend edition of NASCAR Now. This Saturday at 10AM ET, the feature is on a University of South Carolina professor who is an avid mountain climber. He timed his Mt. Everest effort so that he reached the summit on May 24. You might be able to guess his favorite driver and the flag he planted on the mountain top.

Even after a rough outing in Richmond, ESPN is returning Rusty Wallace to the TV booth this Friday night to work with Marty Reid and Andy Petree in Darlington. Rusty is a multi-car Nationwide Series owner who is often put in the position of dealing with on-track issues that involve his team members. His face-off with Kyle Busch during a recent rain delay should have been a sign to ESPN. It's time for Ricky Craven in the TV booth when Dale Jarrett is away.

The trailer for the film Racing Dreams is now available by clicking here. This documentary will be screened at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 18 before being released nationwide. It's a family film with a very good buzz that centers on three youngsters racing go karts.

Wednesday should see updated news from SPEED about talent assignments, new shows and what is next for Monday night. There are also suggestions that major NASCAR sponsor news may break over the next couple of days. Whether that is team, series or race track has not been passed along. It should be interesting.

Whatever happens on Wednesday, we will update this post as well as the TDP Facebook fan page and the TDP Twitter page. We welcome your comments on the topics above. Add your opinion by clicking on the comment button below. Thanks for stopping by!


jon said...

one look at that goofy picture makes me wonder why anyone can honestly say they enjoy anything a waltrip does on tv.

51 yr. fan said...

It would be great to have Craven
on the Nationwide show. Repeat
Rusty hasn't ever had an original thought. I'm glad they are sending
Spencer to the junkyard, but maybe
Jerry Springer could hire him.

Race Hub is still the best weekly
show. I enjoy the cross section of
participants that they provide. I
don't bother to watch the rest of
the Speed "song and dance" shows.

Donna DeBoer said...

I have to admit I have no idea why I've been DVRing "What's the Deal". Maybe just to see who Jimmy thinks should get The Cryin Towel LOL! Gonna need it himself!
I've had absolutely NO interest in the talent show whatsoever. Waste of a prime time hour IMO. I have been DVR watching select Racing Chef & Sounds of NASCAR, some have been interesting, like this week coming up is the Mother's Day ed of Chef, and I'll watch that.
I've got no problem with Byrnes heavy workload. He is ok on the Hub, as is Krista. But I've been liking the other rotating hosts as well. This is still a good show, with emphasis on plenty of guests.
Maybe its purely mischievous on my part, but I want to retain Rusty for NNS tv *because* of the others giving him grief when stuff happens, since he's a car owner. Noone ribs Brad D like they do Rusty, and I love it. The faceoff with Kyle Busch was just priceless I still have it on DVR. OK, ok it has nothing to do with a proper race broadcast. I think PxP is great, and I'd like Randy back too. ESPN has NNS nailed right now, loving it.
PS I'm still looking for any comment by Rusty about Brad K inheriting his Blue Deuce :)

Anonymous said...

His Blue Deuce my butt.Last time I checked that was the Captains Blue Deuce.Rusty is long gone from that scene.

batchief said...

Race Hub to me is "shades of Totally Nascar," especially when Steve and Krista do the show together.

GinaV24 said...

Speed's not doing too well with this new programming scheme are they? I know that I've watched each show once just to see and found none of it to be worth my time, not even to record.

IMO Rusty should be out of the booth. I enjoyed Craven when he worked the Nationwide race and I'd rather have him there instead of Rusty and/or Brad.

I'll have to look up that book you referenced. It looks interesting. I'm sure it's a heckuva lot better than the silly talent show hosted by Mikey.

Bring back a beyond the wheel or something like that on Monday's. Nascar Now has really taken Speed to the woodshed on it, once they figured out WHO they needed to host.

Donna DeBoer said...

I was being major mighty facetious LOL!!!

Anonymous said...

I've watched many episodes of Spencer's show. Ray Dunlap never seemed to be a good fit with Jimmy. It was just too choppy. I appreciated Spencer's candor. I love the Monday version of Nascar Now and do not miss Twin. Craven would be a great replacement for Rusty. Kyle wasn't the least bit nasty when he slapped Rusty around for some of the comments Rusty made. We just can't seem to rid ourselves of the Waltrips and Wallaces's. I make exceptions for Mike and his daughter. Mike Wallace must have been adopted! Lol.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know what has happened to marty smith of espn? havent seen a blog from him since the harvick-edwards dust up.

Ken said...

I hadn't heard of a confrontation between Rusty and Kyle. Anybody got a link to a posting or vid of this? Thanks!

Daly Planet Editor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daly Planet Editor said...


During the rain delay, Kyle Busch was a guest in the infield pit studio. In the studio were Nicole Briscoe, Brad Daugherty and Rusty.

Earlier, Rusty had gone off on Kyle and his alleged "brake check" of the field that caused a Nationwide Series wreck the week prior.

When TV came back, Kyle was in the infield studio. Nicole and Brad handled the interview. Rusty never said a word. No footage was shown of the incident.

Before Kyle left, he offered one of his team members to Rusty to help hang bodies over at his shop. Kyle said he heard Rusty needed more help in that area.

This was a slam at Steven and his continuing on-track incidents. It was clear Kyle had been watching the show earlier and was ripped.

It was also clear Rusty had been told to keep his mouth shut by the producer. Nicole never brought it up and Kyle departed.

How is that for network TV taking one in the shorts? ESPN should have put Kyle next to Rusty, showed the footage and let them go at it. Never happened.


Anonymous said...

JD: On the Kyle/ Rusty incident you are correct. It seems now everybody is to sensitive, to politically correct , to damn much of everything. It is ruining television,Nascar and the nation in general. Let people be people and work out their differences. If they can not talk it out let them knock it out !!!

GinaV24 said...

LOL -- JD, I'm not a big fan of Kyle or Rusty, but man, I would have paid to see that fight, it would have been fun. Honestly, I thought it was a great comeback by Kyle and Rusty deserved it.

Anon 11:15 -- based on observations of Rusty and Kenny, Mike Wallace got all the brains in the family for sure and Chrissy thank goodness seems to follow in her Dad's footsteps. I like watching her race and hope that she gets good sponsorship and can keep moving forward in her career.

Anonymous said...

Didn't I read somewhere that NASCAR Smarts is on the way out with Spencer and FTTF. With Rutledge leaving for Top Gear I could see that happening. There are few others that need to go as well. When will SPEED realize us fans don't want to see this ridiculous dumbed down shows.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Let's straighten a couple of things out. Rutledge doing Top Gear for History Channel will not affect his SPEED gig.

Right now, SPEED loves NASCAR Smarts and has begun repeating the show more than ever before.

Althought Jim Utter reported that Spencer's current show is over, there is no indication from SPEED that Spencer will be leaving the network.

Fast Track to Fame ends it's first run on June 7th. FOX and SPEED can always crank it up again and let it run all season long.

As of 1:30PM ET on Wednesday, silence from SPEED on these issues.


sbaker17 said...

I'd like to amend your quote regarding Rusty Wallace from:

"It's time for Ricky Craven in the TV booth when Dale Jarrett is away."


It's time for ANYONE BUT RUSTY in the TV booth when Dale Jarrett is away.

Anonymous said...

Like most, I can't watch anything that involves a Waltrip. I plan my viewing around the shows they are NOT on.

Richard in N.C. said...

As someone who never enjoys public speaking, I am convinced that it is harder to speak on TV (especially without a script) than it looks. I have to give DW and Miley credit for the ease with which they talk on TV - even though they often have difficulty not talking.

Word verification = beviant?

Anonymous said...

Please listen to Jon, Anon 4:29, myself and a growing list of us, FOX, Speed. I agree and cannot stand to watch anything with the Waltrips. Jon you are right, one look at that goofy picture rubs me the wrong way. I suppose David Hill will stick with them even as the ship is beginning to sink because the fans are tired of them.Craven continues to impress me with his thoughtful and incisive manner. He is definitely under utilized at ESPN.

Chris from NY said...

Good to see that "Fast Track" is nearing the end of the road. I hope they don't do another season. All it is is a bunch of wasted talent that could have been on "American Idol" or "America's Got Talent".

"Racing Dreams" seems good, but is this a limited release or a full release? Do you think they'll show that where I live (Staten Island)? Then again, we have little access to racetracks, few people care about racing up here, and the closest thing to blocking someone on the backstretch is cutting someone off just so you could save 2 minutes on your way to the New Jersey Turnpike.

BTW, I think this "Top Gear" is going to bomb compared to BBC America's prime time show. Full-time Rutledge is in our future, and I don't like that.

Vicky D said...

JD, on Nascar Now tonight we see Clint Bowyer and there's the same footage of him going back to his hometown and showing us his name tag from when he worked in the body shop, his old race cars and him telling us about flipping one of the cars. I think that was on months and months ago we need new stuff. And then on Hub Bowyer's cc is on. I wonder if that was planned ahead maybe Clint needs some more sponsorships.

Sophia said...

I thought Steve B was gonna be on Hub tonight. See he was not deleted off the DVR.
A show cannot get a good flow or personality of it's own with constant rotating "hosts du jour" imo. (But in all fairness, SB has to be over worked.) The odd set still annoys me as well. I like ORDER & quiet on shows thus not a fan of the Trackside shows due to fan noise!?

Still, Monday night shows for the most part don't interest me, but I did watch one with Max Papis the other night ONLY cause he tweeted it was on! :-)

I caught NH two nights with Steve & Krista but that show could do with ONE host.

But honestly, nobody cares WHAT FANS WANT or the camera work would have been improved in racing telecasts by now, right?

And the CLULESS SUITS at SPEED would not have canceled "TWIN".

The direction of SPEED in recent years is one Shark Jump after another. :-(

Miss Beyond the Wheel & other good shows. When Kenny S was on the Monday night show IWC/TWIN, Good chemistry was consistent each week on that show!! I'd rather hear KS insight, history of stories over ANY new fangled "young gun" on that show. Then again, with all the stifling of drivers, etc with PC codes and whatever the "agenda" is of NASCAR/Suits/France family, I no longer know what to make of the NASCAR sport.

I do know friends who've tried to watch in recent weeks and asked me "What's up with the camera work? Jumping around all the time? That doesn't happen watching a football game or NBA game?"

I've no clue how to answer that question because we've wondered the same thing.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see that picture on a milk carton

Allison said...

Richmond was just a terrible race. Not sure if anyone in TV could have made it worth the electrons.

Anonymous said...

On a related note: On Sirius 128 this week, Tradin' Paint host Rick Benjamin has been off this week. Replaced by Mark Garrow. It's been like night and day. Garrow is very vibrant, caller friendly and has a much better suited attitude to this call in show. Benjamin is condescending, short tempered and needs to move on.