Kyle and Jackie O’s Night with the Stars

Ok until now I’ve been a bit cheeky, with a few broadsides about the impending special by Kyle and Jackie O.

I figure given they dish it out they’re up for a bit of sporting fun. But let me put on my serious hat given I’ve now seen the show.

On a positive note, the radio penetration by Sandilands and O, otherwise known as Jackie Henderson, is outstanding. They have dominated markets, they have scored major interviews and exclusives (as recently as yesterday) and they attract media attention with regularity. Love them or loathe them, they have shown they resonate with radio audiences, built around Sandilands’ gift of the gab.

Television is a different animal. While Sandilands has proven successful on at least three profile shows (Australian Idol, Australia’a Got Talent and The X Factor), Jackie O is yet to forge any success. She is frequently branded the “kiss of death,” including some shows that were poorly produced and beyond her control.

Radio stars crossing to Television is littered with casualties. For some perplexing reason, so many media stars are never satisfied with being at the top of their game in one medium. Must they have it all?

The first sign of trouble on Kyle and Jackie O’s Night with the Stars was the poor audio quality, with a hollow studio vacuum that lacked intimacy.

A huge desk that separating the hosts from the guests exacerbated this intimacy.

A studio audience could be heard applauding, but there were no shots of them. On occasions there was even canned applause. While Sandilands has taken many famous potshots at Rove McManus, he has seemingly learned little from his kind about creating an environment that invites the viewer into the space.

The stars that appeared on the show might suit a Gen Y radio audience but I suspect many of Seven’s broad audience would have been waiting for the stars to arrive. We got Nick Cannon, Janice Dickinson, Kendra Wilkinson and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino. Most have made their names working in Reality TV shows which play in Australia on Pay Television.

Each attempted to be upbeat and laugh along with the hosts, with an occasional anecdote. Cannon’s story about a charity and Wilkinson sharing a story about her father-in-law having cancer were the best of an otherwise dull bunch.

Kyle and Jackie O. talked a lot. A lot. It often felt like everyone was talking “at” each other rather than “with” each other, in an effort to top the preceding remark either in volume or punchlines.

Too much of the programme consisted of three people talking at one time. As a result it lacked direction.

Sandilands also fronted a few pre-recorded clips, the best of which was him getting bored during a Justin Bieber interview. At least it showed a bit of his trademark snark.

Jackie O. spent an inordinate amount of time wading through Top 5 lists of celebrity marriages, separations like they were important until we hit rock bottom with a list of celebrity nude photos, peppered by Janice Dickinson’s escapades with former sexual partners. What had we done to deserve this?

The more base these conversations got the more thrill the subjects seemed to elicit. Are ratings points directly proportionate to the amount of times we can say the words sex, naked or appendages?

At Dickinson’s request, Sandlilands also opted to go the grope with her enhanced boobs. When in LA, I guess…

By this time I was wondering if the show had any understanding of the core audience. Was I really watching the same network with Packed to the Rafters and Downton Abbey?

Thankfully the charming Michael Buble saved the day, via satellite, with an all too brief chat before we got a video clip.

Kyle and Jackie O’s Night with the Stars was a very long affair without enough depth or comedy. As television it made for good radio.


  1. For whomever said there was no audience or that the laughs were fake … I was actually in the audience, and we were all having a rather good time so Donna K Babs … your however many years working in television are to no avail. Work on facts and stop pretending you know it all … because you have clearly made up a bunch of crap based on nothing.

  2. Secret Squïrrel

    For anyone who might think that the epithet “Vile” is an over-reaction to a man who simply says what he thinks, have a read of the nasty, misogynistic, vitriol that he directed at a female journalist this morning. Her only crime was to write a less-than-flattering altho’ balanced critique of their show.

  3. and now, something from someone who actually Works in television….

    1- Seven was contractually “hands off” so they did not and could not intervene in the production and they were wise to do so as Vile has only himself to blame for the Lame…ratings.

    2- Vile said himself he knows nothing about Directing (in other media) and this is patently obvious now. They hired a cheap studio and got a cheap Director as part of the package and the teamsters (US unions guild) wont allow it any other way. Vile probably took some ‘TV buddies” to asssit in production but they would have just sat int eh control room and wondered why they sat on a plane for 15 hours.

    3- notice there was not 1 shot of the audience. Because there was none. Canned laughter does not cut it these days. Audiences are too smart for that.

    4- enough has been said already about the content and Miss O’s lack of TV “presence” (as we call it in the biz) was her downfall. She was probably thinking “oh I’ve done popstars so Im ready for my own co hosting show now…and it will be just like in the radio show..” Babowww… Wrong miss O….TV is 10 times harder than radio as you just found out.

    5- those close to the show will be making calls to other employers today as they wont be working much more on this show.

    6- Seven has not pre-sold the ad slots for any future eps. it was a 1 of experiment and sales teams were briefed accordingly. Notice there was no “sponsored by..” messages ?

    7 the set and sound were a product of budget production values. Vile would not want to spend up big on a studio set or a “big name” director as it was a self funded risk.

    8- the end. of this opinion and Kyles TV career as a “host”.

  4. Seven should have known better.
    They are not radio kings, and rate well behind Alan Jones and the ABC, although they falsely claim to be number 1.
    An absolute disaster for seven.

  5. This was never going to work.I didn’t even bother watching it these 2 people have had to many shots at television,and have proved that don’t cut the mustard radio is where they belong.Kyle has had digs at Rove.I can’t believe Kyle would put himself in the same company

  6. Look 600k for a show which started at 9:50pm and ended around 11:20pm is a good rating. IMO the show was pretty average but when you look at the time it was on its a pretty good result.

  7. I can’t defend Jackie O as a person, but surely most people would have to agree that she’s too hot to be wasted on radio?

    Next: hosting Dancing With The Stars?? 😉

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