Thursday, October 13, 2011

Updated: Still No "Greenlights" For NASCAR


Updated 10/12/11: There have still been no announcements about any new NASCAR TV programs on any of the NASCAR TV partners for next year.

ESPN might have gotten rid of Hank Williams Jr., but the network just signed an eight year programming deal with the NFL. It adds over 500 hours of new NFL-themed programming annually, some of which is already on the air.

At the same time NASCAR Now, the only NASCAR support program on any of the ESPN networks, was pushed back into a 3PM Eastern timeslot with no re-air.

TNT offers no NASCAR TV programming other than the six races. FOX has nothing on the broadcast side. SPEED's recent new show announcements can be reviewed below. Right now, it's a sad state of affairs for 2012 on the NASCAR TV front.

The original story below was first posted on September 29.


It is the time of the year when TV series are renewed for the following season and new series get the "greenlight" to begin production. SPEED has been chasing a category it describes as "lifestyle programming" for the past several years.

The challenge for SPEED is to develop programming it can use on Monday through Thursday in primetime. This essentially fills-in the gap between the live motorsports-themed programming seen Friday through Sunday.

Originally a mix of cars, boats, airplanes and motorcycles during the network's days as SpeedVision, the new look SPEED is once again in transition and trying to revamp those tough weekend nights. Well, we now have a good glimpse into what viewers will be seeing next season.

Reporter Andrea Morobito of Broadcasting & Cable has just published an exclusive story on that topic. Here is a summary of that information.

SPEED has ordered a trio of new shows as part of its next slate of lifestyle programming including the trivia show Pumped! hosted by comedian Greg Fitzsimmons.

Pumped!, which has been picked up for 20 half-hour episodes, is an ambush-style quiz show set at gas stations where customers will compete for a cash prize by answering automotive and pop culture questions. The series is set to premiere in November.

The channel has also ordered 13 episodes of Hard Parts: South Bronx, a docu-series that follows a business owner and his team as they search for rare auto parts. Another game show, the hour-long Whipped, gives contestants the chance to show off their driving skills on an extreme obstacle course. Both series begin production in October for debuts in the second quarter of 2012.

Along with the new series announcements, SPEED has also picked up an additional 13 episodes of the first season of My Ride Rules. Wednesday night clip show Dumbest Stuff on Wheels has been renewed for a second season, as has Car Warriors and Stuntbusters.

Long-running series Pass Time and the weekend morning block of Stacey David's Gearz, Truck U, Chop Cut Rebuild, Hot Rod TV, Car Crazy, Two Guys Garage and My Classic Car has all been given additional episode orders as well.


SPEED has a Monday through Thursday NASCAR news series called RaceHub and a thirty minute weekly NASCAR clips show called The Ten. RaceHub is produced in-house, while The Ten is produced by an outside company.

Once again this year, none of the greenlighted new series are NASCAR-themed. The days of new NASCAR original series seem to be long gone by. Creative concepts like NASCAR Wives never took off. Reality shows like NBS 24/7, 7 Days and Behind the Headlights are a distant memory.

The ongoing challenge for the NASCAR Media Group is to grow beyond a company that provides at-track TV services and move toward creative programming concepts that can serve the sport in new ways. Those concepts must then find their way to SPEED in a cost-effective package.

Dollars and ownership are two key reasons this slew of "lifestyle programming" gets thrown at the wall every year by SPEED to see what sticks. While the network owns the rights to these program series, anything brought to the table by the NASCAR Media Group is strictly a rental. NASCAR retains the rights to all the footage.

Once again, it's ironic that NASCAR's own footage restrictions affect the partnership with its largest TV partner. Thinking outside the box for new programming concepts that can serve the Monday through Thursday needs of SPEED has so far not been a success for the NASCAR Media Group.

We have suggested a Monday night NASCAR edition of Wind Tunnel, a weekly interactive NASCAR journalist roundtable and a TV simulcast of selected SiriusXM NASCAR programming. None of those concepts has ever seen the light of day.

In the meantime, get ready for more wild and wacky "lifestyle programming" as SPEED continues to target those pesky weeknights with acted docu-series, ambush quiz shows and old YouTube footage of people crashing into things.

We welcome your comments on this topic. To add your opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thanks for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.

44 comments:

Lisa Hogan said...

Hmmm
Once again, I have no interest in the new SPEED lineup.

Nick Doyle said...

It's almost enough to make me yearn for the good old days of the chunky guy in Jersey slathering "bling" all over black Escalades for basketball players on Unique Whips.

OK, not really.

Nick

Jonathan said...

Speed only worth it Thursday-Sunday in my book! Love the fact there replaying both 2010 Dover races tomorrow will get up early for that! I wish Speed would show some more classic Nascar races.. Will NOT watch any of the new shows and I could care less

longtimeracefan said...

This whole style of programming is embarassing.

These people make big bucks to do this stuff and this is all we get!

Pitiful.

Adam Wood said...

I think SPEED needs to take a page from the NFL here. On NFL Network Tuesday night you get to see the most exciting game from the previous Sunday. Combine the top moments from all 3 NASCAR Touring Series, IndyCar and maybe even F1 and you'll have a show for Tuesday night, maybe Wednesday and Thursday too.

Anonymous said...

I like your suggestion. They would be watched far more than the ones now that are just stupid. I would watch your suggestions especially the roundtable and sirus ones. Wish they would listen to you and ratings would go up. Ls

Bobby said...

The only non-racing show that seems to appeal on Speed is the US version of GT Academy, a game opera (as Steve Beverly calls it) for Gran Turismo fans. GT Academy in a strange way reminds me of (gasp!) the old Roush "Racer X" -- for road racing or even iRacing games.

The goal is to take real life gamers, give them a shot at racing real cars, and give the winner a fully-funded Nissan drive with winners of European versions of the show at the Dubai 24 Hours GT race in January (a race Michael Waltrip has run).

I do miss the old days of Pinks All Out, in a way, because that weekend warrior racing.

GT Academy? Of course, take your super gamer and give them a shot at a professional ride. But the reality shows? No.

MRM4 said...

What is wrong with showing other racing series and other types of racing a night or two through the week? I never think to tune in to SPEED through the week because I know this other crap is going to be on.

Zetona said...

I long for a few years back when you could tune into SPEED during the week and have a chance of seeing some racing that hadn't been shown live over the weekend. I bet they could get some good ratings with weeknight showings of BTCC or the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.

Roland said...

Wow Im so thrilled by that lineup....NOT. When are they going to figure out there is not enough young car enthusiasts out there to get into these incredibly stupid shows. Car Warriors is back? Why? I dont even need to see the ratings to tell you nobody watched it. And the commercials for it every 5 seconds got real annoying real fast.

Hey Speed, just give up. Use the weekday nights to show series you wont show on the weekends. I remember 2 Wheel Tuesday. Show all your AMA stuff there instead of wee hours of Sunday morning. I remember when they showed the Hooters Pro Cup on wednesday nights. I used to watch that every week it was awesome.

Heres an idea, pick a night and have a "race of the week" type deal. Go to a local short track, dirt or pavement, and show the race. Show the modifieds at Bowman Gray, show some UARA and ASA Late model races. Show some WOO dirt late model or sprint car races. Those sanctioning bodies would have no problem moving a race to a week night if it meant national TV coverage.

Speed, there are no car enthusiasts left, but there are a ton of racing enthusiasts that have nothing to watch monday through thursday. Capitalize on it before its too late.

GinaV24 said...

Sorry, no interest in any of these shows for me.

glenc1 said...

no appeal for me either...it's obvious the demographic they're going for. The shows they renewed are 'gearhead' shows, except for Pass time. So clearly there are 'car guys' out there still watching. Well, that and they have ready built sponsors because of the relation of the products to the programming (ie, gearheads buy car stuff...)

but as for the new stuff? If that demographic exists for this network, and they find it, I guess they'll prove they know what they're doing, whether I like it or not (kinda the same with ESPN/Sportnation). The quality of the programming is irrelevent if enough people watch (hence the success of ABC's "Wipeout"). Would I like to see the programming you mention? Sure. But they did *try* some of that already (reporter shows), and then axed it. I guess what I'm thinking is, I'm not sure which way it goes--either there really are not enough of us out here to support good programming, or Speed by not trying more NASCAR related things contributes to said people turning it off.

Jon said...

Really, these stupid shows exist in place of racing for the same reason ABC is replacing its soap operas with crap reality shows: MONEY.

Reality/game shows are MUCH CHEAPER to produce than paying for talent, producers, camera people, and transportation to cover *actual* events.

Anonymous said...

I actually liked "Unique Whips" a lot. I got pretty caught up in "Wrecked" as well (I tried not to, but I let is suck me in.) Both shows were good in my book, but not sure Speed was the platform for them.

I am one of the ones that only watches Speed on the weekends. No good content during the week with all that is on other networks to peak my interest.

Anonymous said...

Today's my birthday (66) and I enjoyed Unique Whips. The Speed Channel filled my needs ten years ago between my interest in Nascar and owning a fast car and a 104 mph go-fast boat. This garbage is unwatchable. Just one person's opinion....

KoHoSo said...

I try to put myself back in the mindset I had when I was of the age when my eyeballs were far more precious to TV channels and think if I would have watched this stuff. Maybe, maybe I would have given the obstacle course show a chance but that's about it.

Again I want to say that I do not expect any TV channel to cater solely to my desires. I think we all agree that any media outlet should be allowed to make money as it pleases. I only lament that doing everything on the cheap with "lifestyle" programming" seems to be the only "concept" those running these channels can come up with, all while our cable and satellite bills do nothing but increase with less value returned in programming.

AncientRacer said...

Hmmm ... "Hard Parts: South Bronx" ?

That about a Chop Shop? Ta know, "Chop, Cut, Re-Sell"?

(my word verification is "skint". How appropriate. ;)

Don said...

Who owns all of the old footage/ BC Wide World of Sports, CBS, early ESPN? Sure would like to see that during the week.

I'd accept any European racing as well. Could be yesterday or ten years old. I've never seen it before and it's racing.

This is revenue for the titleholders that they aren't getting now, they should welcome any income and license whatever they have.

Reality shows? No.

FloridaMatt said...

Well, I liked Wrecked, although the narration writing occasionally tried to create drama. But that list of renewals and new shows -- blech.

Both swamp buggy and lawn mower racing probably wouldn't cost more to produce than this junk.

JD, would you happen to know how the ratings for Top Gear USA compared to Speed's reality series?

Garry said...

Reality shows cater to the LOWEST common denominator anyway. The "Pull my finger" crowd with the I.Q of a throw rug, are the ones that like "Dumbest stuff on wheels". God forbid, intelligence would reign supreme these days. I think I'll try watching paint dry....

The Mad Man said...

Guess I won't be watching much Speed TV except maybe for the Truck Series races, Aussie V-8 Super Series, and F-1.

Zetona said...

Slightly off-topic, but FOX announced that DW will be joined by little brother Mikey in the Hollywood Hotel next season.

Bill said...

No one has yet mentioned "The Car Show"? Yes, I love that show, except now it's only 30 min, but they did get rid of John Salley after only a handful of episodes, making me wonder why he was on there in the first place.

Carolla upsets some folks, but not me, at least not yet. His humor hits and misses, but sometimes I'm rolling on the floor. It's just "The Man Show" without Kimmel and some fast cars lying around.

The sketches are stupid, and some are downright sexist, but they've been able to drag in some real automotive and racing icons as guests (Ol' 5-Time was their first guest!)

And it sure beats anything else on SPEED, save for the NASCAR coverage, and is far better than History's awful version of Top Gear. They call Rutledge "The Expert" or some kinda thing! Right. Before his SPEED days, he was flipping burgers in Charlotte somewhere.

And someone asked how those two shows fared against one another, ratings-wise? Well, it's apples and oranges, as the History Channel is usually on the lowest tier of any cable lineup, hence it has the largest amount of possible viewers, while SPEED is "deep cable" as Carolla puts it.

diane said...

Makes you long for the days of SpeedTV when you could watch all types of racing.

Adrian said...

I guess they forgot what made them. Remember late models at St Augustine Fl. Hooters cup and the old ASA. F-1 is about all I can look forward to since the aussies have decided to have their first us broadcast be tainted with dumbass darell and his side kick. I guess they thought we are not smart enough to understand the accent of the normal guys that call their races, so they'll put in the guys that everyone on these websites are sick of and embarrased for. Wind tunnell is the ultimate nascar "spin machine" disquised as a fan call-in show. Each week Dave takes up to as many as 3 to 5 phone calls from his pick of fans in a 1 hour show. All you have to do is look at which cars (die cast) are on his desk or the shelves and guess what = it's the same cars the tv focused on that weekend. I love how speed shows us the practice for the race. They talk about one of the cars that is usually on Dave's desk and show that car slowing down,coming off the track, going into the garage, sitting on jack stands, and then a shot of the driver loooking at a monitor. Then they do it again for another car. Sometimes they even put the practice speed or time on the crawler (if the right cars are where they want them ) then they go to commercial and repeat this for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. What a joke. Anyone ever had a reply to an e-mail from anyone at Speed ?

Sally said...

Well, I know now that I won't have to worry about watching Speed except for their Nascar coverage.

Dot said...

JD, you could've just reran the story from last year regarding SPEED's new shows. Those weren't popular at TDP either and again, no nascar shows. No greenlights from SPEED but, someone at FOX greenlit Michael Waltrip for the H'wood Hotel. Thought of the Planeteers and you JD when I read that. ;)

jerry said...

Fitz is funny but in all the times I've heard him (howard stern show) he's never mentioned a love of cars or motorsport.

Mr. Daly had a fine idea in his post. NASCAR radio on the boob tube. Cheap to produce, even cheaper than reality garbage. Other networks are already trending that away.

time for NASCAR to launch it's own network. Use Sirius NASCAR radio to fill in the dead holes of programming. Even archive footage for off seasons. Etc, etc, etc.

Buschseries61 said...

I'd even take other racing series and divisions besides NASCAR. USAR is struggling for a decent tv package, half the ARCA races have no tv coverage, fans are in demand for more racing, SPEED is struggling to fill weekday programming. Hello? Racing divisions are something SPEED can offer on weekdays that nobody else can. (except Versus to it's audience of 15.) You can watch all these garbage game shows and generic reality shows on every other cable channel.

Mike in Pittsburgh said...

I am a car guy so I watch some of this stuff.The car show was better before they neutered it to 30 minutes,I used to watch car warriors because I'm a Jimmy Shine fan but quit when they got caught rigging it. My ride rules is the worst thing with a car since they brought back knight rider. I can't believe that got renewed and we can't get the dirt ARCA races, Pikes Peak, swampbuggies or one new local track race during the week.

This is still better than the old TNN There was absolutely nothing to watch during the week on that channel even though I would watch it pretty much all weekend.

sue said...

JD After reading these comments with most folks not happy with Fox's announcement of Mikey joining the Hollywood Hotel do you think this is the response Fox thought they'd get?

Bobby said...

I've read "Whipped," and it sounds much like a gymkhana, a Japanese form of motorsport around obstacle courses and wild driving. Gymkhana is a more extreme form of autocross, and they are SCCA-sanctioned in the United States, as anything sanctioned by JAF in Japan goes with an SCCA sanction in the States.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Sue,

Most TV folks know sometimes they have to take a leap of faith and that certainly describes this.

So much is soooo wrong, yet these two paired effectively on several broadcasts earlier this season.

It's a big move any way you slice it!

JD

Anonymous said...

Race Hub could be very good during the week but now they are screwing that up with far too much Spencer.JD you say the Waltrips paired up effectivly this season.Anyone we hear who saw them say they were a disaster and that even one Waltrip is one too many.

Vince said...

I don't have cable, so I don't get Speed. But this so called lifestyle programming is a joke and makes me happy that I don't waste my money on cable. If this kind of programming is what the 18-34 male demographic wants to watch, we are in trouble. I thought Patti Wheeler was in charge of programming at Speed. But I guess I was wrong. It sounds like some 19 year old intern is in charge of programming. I feel sorry for all of you that spend your hard earned dollars on cable and Speed. You shouldn't have to watch this kind of crap for the money you're paying.

Anonymous said...

Bring back SPEEDVISION!!! It had the variety that made it special.

Anonymous said...

Race Hub has been a complete bore this week. If you didn't watch it, you missed nothing. I have no use for the other garbage on Speed.

Anonymous said...

Mark these words!!
David Hill has just pulling the strings in what is now a long-standing pattern of mandating idiotic programming changes and putting his management puppets in place to execute those plans......then, when it all inevitably fails, he'll march in and announce he's fixing the mess that all these incompetent people have made.
Watch your back, Ms Wheeler

Andy D said...

At the very least, they could take all those tech demonstrations that they run during the race and put them on a show during the week. It's demeaning to explain how the sport works every week while a race is in progress. If people are curious let them get that information else here and leave the races to us.

OSBORNK said...

I think the lack of NASCAR programing is a reflection of the fading of the bloom on NASCAR's rose. I live near the Bristol, Tn track and my local TV programing originates from the Bristol area. We have no professional or big time college sports in the area so NASCAR racing is the only game in town. The local newspapers and TV stations used to provide extensive coverage of all things NASCAR and there was something about NASCAR racing in the paper and on TV nearly every day. They would have reporters living in motor homes during race week with live reports on every newscast and special programs during the week. The newspaper had special sections devoted entirely to the upcoming race.

In the last few years, NASCAR only gets occasional coverage to the extent that it would be hard to keep up without the internet. The coverage during the week of the race gets more coverage than normal and the newspaper has a few special pages regarding covering race events.

Not again said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonathan said...

The number 2 sport in the country and Speed kicks us to the curb, same w ESPN wtf???? I dont get it Nascar needs to step in and remind Speed if it wasnt for Nascar there would be no SPEED!!! THANK YOU

unreal

Anonymous said...

I have NO interest in these non-NASCAR SPEED shows. BUT here's the thing. I certainly don't want any more "reality" NASCAR shows, nor expose, nor fiction, nor clip shows. I think the challenge now is to come up with something that is compelling and NOT FAKE. That suggests more "behind the scenes" stuff. But honestly I've more than enough of that, too.

I would prefer SPEED ran more LIVE races from diverse racing series. But the eternal question: where's the profit in it?

kparadise3 said...

I just want to see the race. I have no interest in a 4 hour pre-race show. Just show the racing.