My adult version of Saturday morning cartoons is HGTV. Property Brothers, Disaster DIY, Yard Crashers, anything with Mike Holmes. Based on these shows, here’s what I know:
Absolutely no one wants a LESS open floor plan with more walls. Wonder when builders will get a clue.
Everyone entertains CONSTANTLY. I don’t know how they have time to work, sleep or do anything else given how much they claim to entertain. Probably explains why we haven’t been back to the moon and don’t have a cure for cancer yet.
Women under 40 think stuff is “A-MA-ZING.” ”Oh my God, that is so A-MA-ZING.” “I can’t believe how A-MA-ZING this is.” “A thesaurus? That would be A-MA-ZING!”
Italian people like food and have large, close-knit families. Who knew?
Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances? Popular, apparently.
All men who try to do things themselves are complete idiots. All their fathers-in-law know this instinctively. All their wives are hectoring nags.
All couples who remodel homes are honey badgers who want more than they can afford and accept no accountability for their own decisions.
If I see Ahmet from Yard Crashers at Home Depot, I”m running up to him, attaching myself to his leg and refusing to let go.
Unfortunately, Ahmet seems to gravitate toward pretty ladies.
If Ahmet comes up with a plan that DOESN’T include multicolored glass beads, I’ll fall over dead of shock.
Why don’t I have an outdoor TV or water feature? Everyone else seems to.
Mike Holmes is Contractor Jesus.
Nobody builds anything right.
My house is badly under-insulated.
Canadians make good home improvement shows, but they talk funny.
America needs a true progressive TV network that operates outside the media-industrial complex, with a focus on young, high-information liberals and independents. That’s Al Gore and Joel Hyatt’s vision for Current TV, and it’s a compelling and powerful idea. But let’s face it, the Olbermann fiasco has been a big blow to Current. After Air America’s flame-out, I don’t want another liberal media property to fail. So what does Current need to do?
Go all-in on social media-TV integration – The viewers should be co-hosts of every single show. Every one of your hosts should be engaging with them, re-tweeting, re-pinning, sharing and shouting out their content and ideas on-air.
Elevate social media stars and make them TV stars – You need new faces. More attitude, more social-media savvy. You’re in trouble; everything needs to be on the table.
Start over in the morning – MSNBC’s brand confusion (conservative in the morning, liberal the rest of the dsy) is your biggest opportunity. A lot of people who watch “Morning Joke” do so because of the lack of a compelling, progressive option. Current can be the answer. Don’t get me wrong; I do like Stephanie Miller. But she can’t carry the ball alone.
Ease off on the former pols – Eliot Spitzer, Jennifer Granholm and now Gavin Newsome? Each on their own has merit. In aggregate, I think that’s too much similarity and not enough appeal to the young, connected audience you crave.
More fun – Speak more to the intersections of politics with film, TV, culture, tech and humor.
I’m not saying get rid of everything you’ve got, but…here’s an alternative lineup that would certainly make me want to watch. None of these people currently have their own network show. But all have solid personal brands and credibility in the progressive world and/or journalism, entertainment, commentary and humor.
“Looking Ahead with Krystal Ball and Jonathan Capehart” – Your new morning show. I was on a panel with Krystal once and was very impressed; she’s doing a great job on MSNBC. Valuable perspective as a mom and someone who’s been in the arena as a candidate. Jonathan is a rising star. Grab him now. Over 40,000 Twitter followers between them. Forget the Today Show’s window overlooking Rockefeller Plaza. The backdrop should be a curated, living social dashboard where anyone anywhere can see their own message and interact.
“Vanguard with Van Jones“ – Re-imagine “Vanguard” and give progressive hero Van a megaphone. He goes on the road, surfacing problems and solutions in communities across America on the issues he’s passionate about, with suggestions from his over 50,000 Twitter followers.
“CrowdSource” – A daily rundown of the best in user-generated video, commentary, tweets, blogs etc. on politics and culture. Got to be hosted by someone with a finger on the pulse and wide interests. My friend Farai Chideya fits the bill to a T and starts with over 14,000 Twitter followers.
“Blow by Blow” – Charles M. Blow goes in-depth on one issue, with guests and perspective from all sides. This isn’t rocket science. Charles is awesome, highly credible and has almost 50,000 Twitter followers.
“I Call B.S.” – The day in complete bullshit. ”The Soup” meets MediaMatters. A wry, but factually on-point takedown of the crap politicians, commentators and reporters have said over the course of the day. You need a funny smart-ass with smarts to host this. I nominate John Fugelsang, who’ll bring along over 50,000 Twitter followers.
“Aisha Tyler’s Reel Agenda” – Brilliant, funny and as a former fill-in for Roger Ebert, Aisha knows film criticism. Reviews of movies and TV with an eye toward the political implications, messages and controversies (see my thoughts on “The Hunger Games”) with guests from the world of entertainment. And she’s got over 172,000 Twitter followers.
“Party Ideologically with @DCDebbie“ – A funny, edgy, sexy take on the DC/political social scene with one of its most engaged, witty denizens, Twitter star DCDebbie (almost 20,000 followers).
“NSFW with Rob Delaney” – Your late night show. The funniest man in America does stand up with guests and musical acts in front of a live studio audience. Uncensored, unfiltered. Which means it will be totally inappropriate and hilarious. Let it be R-rated and you will have a major hit. He’s got a ready-made audience of over 380,000 Twitter followers.
There you have it. Politics, but with a highly-interactive, sharp, sexy, social media-saavy point of-view that makes those who watch not just viewers, but contributors. Don’t like my plan? Come up with a better one. But the time has come to take some risks and be bold, or Current TV will become a thing of the past.
Disclaimer: I know some of these folks, but I have no idea if any of them are the slightest bit interested in Current or anything I’m proposing. They may be quite happy in their present gigs. They’re all great, and I hope they see these ideas as the high compliment they are intended to be.