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An Idiot Abroad on Science Channel

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
A little late... but don't forget tonight on the Science Channel...

"An Idiot Abroad" brought to you by Ricky Gervais & Steven Merchant... featuring Karl Pilkington sent around the world to experience things and generally fail at it in hopefully hilarious ways!

9:30pm EST is a Preview show, which I presume will be a general intro to the show concept.

10pm EST is the hour-long first episode... Tonight Karl goes to China.

This will either be hilarious for fans of these guys from their podcasts & radio shows... or it will be horrible to everyone else.
post #2 of 66
This is one of the most entertaining shows on television.

"Was it a massage? Or was I just being mugged?"
"It's not a great wall. It's an alright wall."

post #3 of 66
I was screaming laughing (and coughing... could hardly breathe) during all of the "Chinese food" sequences, plus the public men's room.

Very very very funny concept, and execution.

Series recording remains (even if HD quality was fairily poor).
post #4 of 66
Absolutely hilarious.
post #5 of 66
That was close. For a minute I thought it was the other new show "An Idiot & A Broad" on MTV HD.
post #6 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post


Series recording remains (even if HD quality was fairily poor).

"Everything in China is grey. Why do you even want HD, it just makes it greyer!"

This show is fraking fantastic! Great concept and hilarious. It also has some crazy stuff, like the kung fu guy throwing a needle through a pane of glass. Mythbusters should do a myth based on that (kill a man by throwing a needle)
post #7 of 66
I caught just a bit of this earlier. After reading your reviews I had to schedule it for recording. I'm already a Ricky Gervais fan, so I'm definitely looking forward to it.
post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 
Good stuff... even better for anyone who has listened to the podcasts or the old radio shows where they first met Karl.

This show is really the end-result of years of torturing Karl and picking at his lack of desire to travel and learn new things.

Karl is interesting to me... because on the one hand he is often naive or ignorant about a lot of things... but on the other hand he is sometimes spot-on to the way I feel.

For instance... I don't like a lot of weird foods... so I would have a really hard time traveling to some countries and finding something palatable to eat. So I was 100% with Karl on those points, even if I was otherwise more impressed by the Great Wall than he obviously was.

I feel confident that while they kept him safe... they also tried to drop him into as many uncomfortable situations as they could... because if Karl enjoyed the trip, it wouldn't be nearly as funny!
post #9 of 66
I dont think the idiot was sent abroad, the idiot was in the studio cackling the whole time. The guy sent overseas was quite smart and simply making observations and was saying what most other people were just thinking.
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilogik View Post

I dont think the idiot was sent abroad, the idiot was in the studio cackling the whole time. The guy sent overseas was quite smart and simply making observations and was saying what most other people were just thinking.

I think many people realize that Karl is no idiot and much of what makes him look as such is likely part of an act. But, it is a very entertaining act.
post #11 of 66
"Oh no! It's toad! Why did I look? It's a murder scene."
post #12 of 66
Be sure to take note that these shows aren't new. The original air dates according to the guide on my TWC DVR are from the fall of 2010 so when I set up the scheduled recordings and chose "new" it didn't record the episode about China which, luckily, I was already watching. I agree that this is a great show and is actually making my wife, and myself, laugh out loud and she doesn't usually care for British humor or humour as they would spell it.
post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bookworm View Post

Be sure to take note that these shows aren't new. The original air dates according to the guide on my TWC DVR are from the fall of 2010 so when I set up the scheduled recordings and chose "new" it didn't record the episode about China which, luckily, I was already watching.

I had the same problem. My TiVo didn't record anything automatically, but fortunately I was able to grab two episodes and the preview show early this morning.
post #14 of 66
Karl's visit to India had some moments that I thought were rather fascinating.

Of course, there were some hilarious exchanges of dialogue.

Stephen: I don't want to watch you eating carrots on the telly!
Karl: In HD...
Stephen: Even in HD!
post #15 of 66
The issue I have with the program is that it is on the Science Channel. The dilution of "brand" such as wrestling on SyFy and this non science related program on the Science Channel is driving many of us away from satellite and cable.
post #16 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timpanogos View Post

The issue I have with the program is that it is on the Science Channel. The dilution of "brand" such as wrestling on SyFy and this non science related program on the Science Channel is driving many of us away from satellite and cable.

While I do think it would be a better fit on the Travel channel, I think it's a far cry from something like wrestling on SyFy.
post #17 of 66
This show is downright hilarious. This is one of the very few shows that I now look forward to on a weekly basis.
post #18 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timpanogos View Post

The issue I have with the program is that it is on the Science Channel. The dilution of "brand" such as wrestling on SyFy and this non science related program on the Science Channel is driving many of us away from satellite and cable.

I admit it does seem odd.

I expected BBC America would pick this up... then, I thought maybe the Travel Channel. Science Channel isn't completely out of left-field, but it isn't where I would have looked/expected this show to be.
post #19 of 66
I saw my first episode - India. I loved it. Karl is a great comic actor, yet he did seem to genuinely grow from the experience. And, his remarks do sometimes make common sense.

Doug
post #20 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timpanogos View Post

The issue I have with the program is that it is on the Science Channel. The dilution of "brand" such as wrestling on SyFy and this non science related program on the Science Channel is driving many of us away from satellite and cable.

While it would make more sense on Travel, I think the culture shock gives it a home on Sci. Plus there's much more egregious violations if were going to go there. It could be a show about ghost hunters or gold miners.
post #21 of 66
Ricky Gervais' 'An Idiot Abroad' Breaks Records for Science Channel
Published on February 1st, 2011
Written by: Robert Seidman

An Idiot Abroad with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, is breaking viewership ratings at Science Channel.

Idiot is quickly becoming Science Channel's highest rated series ever...the latest highlights include:

At two weeks, An Idiot Abroad is Science Channel's most-watched series to-date among P25-54, and is Science Channel's highest-rated series among P25-54, P18-49, and P18-34.

Since its premiere on January 22, 4.3 million viewers have watched An Idiot Abroad on Science Channel.

Boosted by An Idiot Abroad, January 29 earned Science Channel's highest Total Day rating among HH, P2+, and tied 1/30/10 for P18+ and 1/30/11 for P25-54.

January 29 also earned Science Channel's best Saturday Prime rating among HH and P25-54, P2+, and scored Science Channel's highest Saturday Prime delivery among HH, P/M/W25-54, P/M/W18-34, P2+, and P18+.

January 29 also was Science Channel's best Saturday ever in prime delivery among P/M/W 18-49.

An Idiot Abroad airs Saturday nights at 10:00 PM ET/PT on Science Channel.

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/201...source=twitter
post #22 of 66
So I guess we can expect more non-science related, idiotic reality type programming on the Science Channel...
post #23 of 66
Science Channel, Syfy, IFC, Discovery, History, A&E, Bravo, does the name really matter anymore? They all converge on the least common denominator.

This show is moderately amusing but has no business being on this channel, which makes perfect sense nowadays.
post #24 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Science Channel, Syfy, IFC, Discovery, History, A&E, Bravo, does the name really matter anymore? They all converge on the least common denominator.

... led by the decade-long morph of the two brands whose names no longer apply: (1) Music Television, and (2) Video Hits One.
post #25 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilogik View Post

I dont think the idiot was sent abroad, the idiot was in the studio cackling the whole time. The guy sent overseas was quite smart and simply making observations and was saying what most other people were just thinking.

I agree.

Ricky seemed to think everything was a whole lot more funny than everyone else. Sure, it all had me laughing too, but he seemed to be making up his own internal jokes he wasn't sharing with the rest of us. Even Steven gave him a "WTF" look in the office when he was clearly the only one finding Carl as funny as he did. Ricky Gervais is a lot more funny and entertaining when he's playing it straight.

That being said, I found the show very entertaining and plan to continue to watch. I can at least tolerate Ricky on the phone where his cackling isn't as obvious.
post #26 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

Science Channel, Syfy, IFC, Discovery, History, A&E, Bravo, does the name really matter anymore? They all converge on the least common denominator.

Yep - we get the TV, as a population, we deserve at the end of the day... The market decides...

It is interesting how in the 80s and 90s lots of talk was made about narrowcasting and niche channels being the future (and you got channels with very specific genres of output - and these continue with the movie and sport channels) but eventually the channels appear to have broken away from their specific genres in search of mass audiences (not narrow audiences) and become more general broadcasters again.

In the UK - the most watched channel is BBC One (closely followed by ITV) - and this network carries a pretty wide mix (drama, comedy, entertainment, documentary, news, sport, movies)

20 years ago everyone (in the UK anyway - but I think the US as well) was predicting the demise of general interest, mixed-genre, channels - and that we'd all be switching between lots of narrow-interest, genre-specific channels. It hasn't happened yet, and instead of narrow-casting, non-linear VOD access of specific shows, rather than watching via lots of specific channels may be the competition to linear general channels?

Also - 10 or so years ago the massive drop in low-end production costs meant people were predicting cheap TV would create new audiences. It hasn't really happened to a huge degree. Sure production costs have dropped - but the very, very low-cost stuff is not getting great audiences... (I'm not talking about network low-cost, I'm talking about VERY low-cost)
post #27 of 66
And the show is going to have a second season, called Idiot Abroad, The Bucket List! I can't wait. How I love that man with a head like an effing orange. Brilliant.
post #28 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Also - 10 or so years ago the massive drop in low-end production costs meant people were predicting cheap TV would create new audiences. It hasn't really happened to a huge degree. Sure production costs have dropped - but the very, very low-cost stuff is not getting great audiences... (I'm not talking about network low-cost, I'm talking about VERY low-cost)

I was right with you up until this last part. It's not true.

Increasingly, the very low cost stuff is, in fact, getting audiences that dwarf anything on the major networks - just not on TV.

The very low cost content is bypassing the expense and red tape of studios and TV networks and going straight to the audience on the internet - and more and more of it is actually making money.

The best example: Leo Laporte with his "TWIT" network of tech "netcasts" (he doesn't like to use the term "podcast" since, early on, people assumed an Ipod was necessary for them). He makes more money than he ever did on TV, right out of his own home. Further, many of his guests have successful programming of their own. Advertisers are more than happy to support them and several companies help provide the bandwidth.

He broadcasts video 24 hours a day (live programs followed by repeat showings) as well as providing subscription content to specific shows in video and audio-only versions.

Of course, it wasn't always that way. It took a while to build up to that.

However, more people are finding audiences faster than he ever did as people move online more and more to find content.

Plus, a show like this would potentially be huge online - then end up on TV later in a last ditch effort for a network to capitalize on it.

TV networks should be very afraid.
post #29 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I was right with you up until this last part. It's not true.

Increasingly, the very low cost stuff is, in fact, getting audiences that dwarf anything on the major networks - just not on TV.

The very low cost content is bypassing the expense and red tape of studios and TV networks and going straight to the audience on the internet - and more and more of it is actually making money.

The best example: Leo Laporte with his "TWIT" network of tech "netcasts" (he doesn't like to use the term "podcast" since, early on, people assumed an Ipod was necessary for them). He makes more money than he ever did on TV, right out of his own home. Further, many of his guests have successful programming of their own. Advertisers are more than happy to support them and several companies help provide the bandwidth.

He broadcasts video 24 hours a day (live programs followed by repeat showings) as well as providing subscription content to specific shows in video and audio-only versions.

Of course, it wasn't always that way. It took a while to build up to that.

However, more people are finding audiences faster than he ever did as people move online more and more to find content.

Plus, a show like this would potentially be huge online - then end up on TV later in a last ditch effort for a network to capitalize on it.

TV networks should be very afraid.

I'm not saying it isn't happening - just that it isn't happening to a huge degree. There is definitely a market for factual/editorial content delivered via non-broadcast means, and you've cited examples where these are making money (though presumably Leo has a different funding model in this set-up, and is much more self-sufficient than when he was more of a front-man for other peoples channels and content?)

The low-cost stuff works for informational content that (with the possible exception of some early-00s TechTV-type cable/satellite channels) relies on the words for its appeal, and the smartness of its presenters - where they ARE the production.

Where it doesn't work so well is for entertainment and drama - where low-cost stuff just ends up being difficult to watch and looks cheap - though possibly it might for comedy?
post #30 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

I'm not saying it isn't happening - just that it isn't happening to a huge degree.

Do keep in mind a few things:

- Up until the last 7-10 years ago, internet speeds weren't really fast enough for this stuff. Further, up into about the last 5 years, not nearly enough people had access to it. Watching video via dial-up isn't going to happen.

- Advertisers are just now (as in the last couple of years) seeing the potential of IP based content. In fact, where 5 years ago they would be hitting Youtube with a take down notice for a commercial someone posted, now they actually embrace it since they often get more viewers that way. The next step that is just beginning is actually sponsoring video content created for the web, which has the potential for greater value and exposure (cheaper, with international reach at no extra cost).

- While 5-7 years ago, a web series was unlikely to make enough money to have any real quality, a few of those managed to generate enough of a following to transition to TV on the likes of networks like SyFy. At this point, it's feasable to take a series without a network pickup, throw it up online to build a following, then take that audience to network TV if it's successful. The next stage (within the decade, I'll bet) will be real dramatic content created for the web.

What we're seeing is the dawn of this stuff and it's coming quicker than the networks realize. As a result, they're going to be taken by surprise by it - then do everything except create better content to combat it.
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