ACMI: When TV goes wrong

This month’s Live in the Studio forum at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) looks at all those times when telly goes wrong.

Dissecting, highlighting and relishing all things made for TV, this series appears each month with pundits from pop-culture, academia and industry experts. Together they present unique points of view on television events that sit on the knife edge (or garden fence) between analysis and entertainment.

So, bring your tissues to mop up tears of laughter (and sometimes sorrow), your thinking caps for new perspectives and shrug off any thoughts of shame about how much you love TV – we’re in the same boat!

There is a long history on the small screen of getting it wrong – a series with a premise that studio executives couldn’t resist, yet for whatever reason it didn’t fly. Sometimes for very obvious reasons such as clunky scripts, bad cast chemistry or an outdated formula based on an outdated premise. Insert any numbers of shows Chances, Temptation Island, Cheaters… (although we do not cast judgement on those of us who have a pension for ‘bad’ TV – they are people too).

But amongst the flops and the bombs are the shows that triumphed against adversity – the revolving door that was Becky on Roseanne, the real life disasters that mirrored West Wing storylines continually and even the rejuvenation of a classic but ailing show, Dr Who.

The Boxcutters’ Josh Kinal and John Richards return to Studio 1 in August to delve into the archives and address, in ways only The Boxcutters can, the different ways that TV shows can go wrong and the ingenious ways in which some have been able to tune potential bumps into ratings gold.

Thursday 30 Aug 2012, 7pm, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne.


  1. @unclepete & Secret Squirrel
    Yeah, I agree with you guys. I’m not really a sci-fi fan but there was something mesmerising about Firefly. Good actors. And funny. I was hooked by the scene where the hero was being stood-over by a thug and responded by throwing him into the jet engine air intake. I actually applauded the screen! How can you cancel a series with moments like that! Does anyone understand the mind of a TV executive??

  2. I wonder if they will discuss how often and badly TV executives kill extraordinary shows with plain stupid decisions….

    Examples would be Fox with “Firefly”, “Arrested Development” (although to be fair, that one is making a comeback) and Ten with….

    well, just about everything, I think?

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