News

Futurama may get a reprieve

Futurama

We’ve talked before about Fox’s nasty habit of cancelling quality shows and how it seems finally to have developed a quality filter. Now, there’s nothing harder for a TV executive to do than to say they were wrong. But it seems Fox has learnt its lesson over Futurama and is contemplating bringing the show back after it scored success on DVD.

I’m not a big fan of Futurama but it was still a good show, killed before its prime. Off the top of my head, I can name quite a few shows that also bit the dust in the US before they should have as I’m sure you can. But the interesting aspect of this is that DVDs are now enabling networks to spot recent shows that were good but low-rated because of poor advertising or scheduling. Anyone want to run a sweepstake on what the next show they’ll bring back from the dead will be?

EMAP planning an FHM radio station

While I can see vaguely where Dee Ford, head of EMAP’s radio business, is coming from, the idea of an FHM radio station seems, erm, odd. How many people does she think buy FHM for the articles? And what’s the content going to be like?

FHM DJ: Hi Sarah Dunn from Hollyoaks! Sit down. Love the bikini, by the way. Let me describe it to the listeners at home…

I imagine that Dee Ford is thinking of something only loosely associated with ‘Junior Playboy’ – probably something along the lines of a radio station that plays the kind of music 17-year-old boys without girlfriends like. (You may think I’m stereotyping, but back in the 90s, the ad team at FHM used to pitch the mag to advertisers as “being read by teenage males without much experience of women”. I have no idea if they still do…).

And isn’t there a risk that a mediocre FHM radio station would risk tarnishing the print brand’s great image? Oh, what am I thinking…?

Disclaimer: I do some work for EMAP from time to time. Only for Broadcast though, not for FHM

Commercials

How much did those ‘creatives’ get paid?

McDonalds' ad horror

Do you remember those awful McDonald’s commercials? You know, the ones that tried to convince women that they could enjoy a Sex and the City lifestyle by eating lard-ridden salads with their friends at the ubiquitous, detritus-filled, fast-food chain’s downmarket outlets.

Convincing and just a little bit insulting, weren’t they? You can just imagine Sarah Jessica and company taking their Manolos within 50 feet of a restaurant that considers lettuce both a food and a carpeting alternative. The idea that we’d licked so much paint off lead soldiers during our childhoods that we’d fall for this concept was the truly offensive part.

Anyway, while browsing through Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? (a review of which will be coming soon), I came across the entry “Fast food chains marketing themselves as ‘healthy’ (and feminist)”, which revealed that there was a print campaign to accompany it.

Oh the glory.

Under the headline “You go girls” came the following copy, each word of which is worth £1 million, I reckon, they’re that good:

“Spending time away from the boys is a rare and precious thing. Make the most of it while you can. Take a shopping break, put the bags down and find somewhere fun to eat.

”Yoohoo! – We’re over here.

“Girls, before you know it, you’ll be back home and showing the things you bought to the boys and unless it’s got cars or footballers on it – they won’t care. So have a great day, have a great salad, and sisters? Do it for yourselves.” (sic, sic and thrice sic)

So that’s another crime against humanity to level at McDonald’s. Not content with slowly destroying local cultures everywhere and polluting our digestive tracts, now they want to eliminate every last trace of individuality and soul left in the human race.

In this brave new McDonald’s world, women will be nothing but long-suffering shoppers, grateful for even a lunch in an international greasy-spoon chain to get away from their ogre partners, while all men will be micro-cephalic extinguishers of the female spirit, obsessed with football and cars. As Al Murray chortles a constant soundtrack of “and a dry white wine or fruit-based drink for the ladies” and the last of our brain cells is switched off, the men will be eating McDonald’s hamburgers, while all the women will be daintily picking at McDonald’s salads.

I feel demeaned just knowing this advert ever existed, even without having seen the full text. I imagine reading the full thing is somewhat equivalent to searching the drains after a drugs-house raid.

Still, I’m sure it worked well with focus groups.