Each week millions of people work out at gyms, walk dogs, and do the dishes with earbuds in and podcasts blaring away. Some of the shows being listened to are just repurposed radio shows, while others are dedicated shows produced exclusively for online distribution. The ones that work the best are those with a compelling concept and hosts/producers that back that up each instalment with great content.
Just like with radio. And…just like with TV.
The following are five shows that are perfectly good in their current form, but would also work VERY well as TV series.
What’s It About? This is a US magazine-style radio show that provides its listeners with everything they need to function at the next dinner party they attend. It’s filled with segments about arcane news stories, novelty cocktail recipes, interviews with artists (actors, singers, film makers, and the like), etiquette segments, and music.
How Would It Function As TV? Well, you stage it as a dinner party, silly. It’s the ultimate hipster live variety show with hosts and guests casually drinking cocktails while engaging in the same types of segments that make the radio show such an entertaining show to listen to each week.
What’s It About? Hosted by Sydney comedian Dan Ilic, A Rational Fear is an unflinching examination of the political and corporate lies and spin produced to keep every day Australians in line. While that sounds like communist and extremist nonsense, this is actually a funny panel comedy show that tries to get to a truth: Politicians and corporations don’t have our best interests at heart and we shouldn’t be mistaken for thinking they do or should. Is that cynical?
How Would It Function As TV? Every year there are multiple TV series that seek to serve as satirical take-downs of those in charge. But none of them really ever quite hit the mark. Dan Ilic has hit upon a formula that actually works. It’s simplicity comes down to the way that the show embraces the idea of the Speakers Corner. Every episode has its panelists offer a lengthy monologue about what’s on their mind. It’s simple, raw, and honest. Are people willing to watch a monologue on a TV screen for that long? Considering that most people are staring at their second screen phone as they watch TV, perhaps there’s never been a better time to find out.
Which isn’t to say that some witty Hungry Beast-style infographics between monologues wouldn’t hurt.
What’s It about? Produced and hosted by Australian technology reporter/commentator/fancy boy Stilgherrian, The 9PM Edict is a semi-fortnightly thoughtful examination of political news and events.Right-wing talkback nonsense can make for aggravating, yet thoroughly entertaining radio in a way that a left-wing radio show never can. Similarly, right-wing satirical comedy doesn’t work very well. The 9PM Edict doesn’t really take a side. Instead, Stilgherrian is angered by everyone. It functions as a no-bullshit centrist examination of what is taking place around us. It’s fair, balanced, and brutally honest. Ankles of Australia beware.
How Would It Function As TV? Stilgherrian is a bona fide living national treasure. That said, he does not have a face or temperament that was born for television. And that’s what would be so refreshing about seeing him on the TV screen. In some ways he’s the real life embodiment of Howard Beale from the film Network. Stilgherrian is mad as hell and he isn’t going to take it anymore. One wouldn’t imagine he’d be ranting and raving into the TV, it’s not that sort of angry. Rather, it’s rational and polite, but highly aggrieved. Just put the man behind a desk each night with some daily segments. Opinion and common sense will drive people to the show. He’d be like Sky News’ Paul Murray, only far less punchable.
What’s It About? Hosted by Katrina Longworth, You Must Remember This is a look at forgotten aspects of Hollywood. The lives and loves of the most notable stars, but offering a glimpse into the real life worlds of these people. Stars of yesteryear are presented as actual people and not mere myths and legends. Noteworthy episodes include The Many Loves of Howard Hughes, and an examination into what went wrong in producing the forgotten Frank Sinatra sci-fi concept album Frank Sinatra In Outer Space.
How Would It Function As TV? First let us acknowledge that this show functions perfectly as a radio show. It’s like a lost treasure one stumbles across on AM radio in the wee hours of the night that you’d never forget. Only weekly. But it could also be television. There are so many TMZ-like shows that seek to take down celebrities, building them up as objects that are only there to be destroyed. You Must Remember This treats its subjects as real people with flaws and heartbreaking incidents in their lives. A documentary-style show with interviews and re-enactments would be deeply compelling and perfect for our celebrity-obsessed culture.
You’re right. This is shameless.
What’s It About? Each week host Dan Barrett and his regular panelists Simon Band and Dennis Dugandzic take to the microphone to talk about television. Up first is an analysis of the TV news of the week, followed by a longer Feature discussion about something to do with television, then they top it off every week by discussing the one thing they’ve loved or hated on TV that week.
How Would It Function As TV? It wouldn’t. Not quite. But, I have some ideas on how to translate it. Come at me television people.