Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why Dancing with the Stars is #1

Are you wondering why the heck I’m talking about TV Shows? Well, it’s still a little all about tech and some of my past experiences. In the 90’s I worked with what was, at the time, “Capital Cities ABC”. ABC was one of the first networks to start posting some of their content online. My first project was a program which helped automate the process.

I was still connected with ABC when the Disney Corp came in and took over. I was part of a small group that launched something called “ABC Enhanced TV” integrating live broadcasts with Internet games and content.


I admit I really don’t know much about the actual production of TV shows but I know what networks like ABC can do. I witnessed the organization of the production staff as they moved small cities from one race tack to another, from one football stadium to another. I always said if FEMA had just hired the folks at ABC and NBC to handle Katrina the residents of New Orleans would have been better off.

This week is the season finale of the show “Dancing with the Stars”. I’m sure most of you have never seen this show but if you want to see an example of one of the finest production on the air take a peek on Monday night. DWTS isn’t the number one show because people like ball room dancing.

First let me give kudos to host Tom Bergeron. You might only know Tom from Hollywood Squares or America’s Funniest Video but his talent and timing for adlibbing is 1st class. I also respect Tom for acknowledging that Disney uses every chance they can to promote other properties, it’s comical.

DWTS is a live show which by itself is a huge production nightmare. Yet, every week the cameras are where they’re supposed to be, the taped segments are well placed and entertaining and surprises(like people fainting) are handled as if they were planned.

If you haven’t already, pay special attention to the lighting during an episode of Dancing with the Stars. The lighting changes with each dance to match the theme and is coordinated as if they had a month to prepare instead of a week.

I’m not always a fan of the singers or song selections but the band is great. Having to coordinate the music for each new show certainly isn’t a breeze.

Have I mentioned it’s a live show? Even Saturday Night Live gets to do a test show the night before to see what works. So again, even if you don’t give a hoot about dancing Monday may be your last chance to see TV production at its best.

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Anonymous Liz Gibson said...

Read your comments about DWTS/ I am one of your readers who watches the show and I agree 100% with your opinion concerning the production. I watch and am amazed every week with the quality of the production.. Especially since it is live. Tom Bergeron is a fabulous host, he comes up with witty comments at the appropriate times. The band is great. The entire production is truly number one in my book.

8:30 AM  

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