Making News: Texas Style – Still Watching

OK, who am I kidding. I’ve become hooked on this damn show – Making News: Texas Style!

I really didn’t want it to happen. It just did. Some things are beyond your control.

Over the past few weeks I’ve written about the superficiality of the stories being covered and the people covering them. That’s still the case. What’s changed is, I now care about the people on the screen. All it took was three weeks of seeing them, flaws and all.

I feel really bad for Melissa Correa&#185, the extremely self conscious reporter desperately trying to lose weight on-the-air. She set herself up in a task that had little upside and lots of downside.

How embarrassing to do a ‘me-roll’ story on weight loss and lose none… or very little. You could see her desperation as she talked about the diet pills she was now taking and the cigarettes she’d like to stop smoking.

As it turned out, she did bail on the weight loss series! Long before the story was over, but after she had promised a payoff in on-air promos, she decided it just wasn’t working. Credit to Jose, the news director, for letting her walk away. not every news director would have made that ’employee friendly’ decision.

Michelle is as close to a mental breakdown as anyone I’ve ever watched on TV. It’s a combination of low self esteem and constant introspection. Was this really a good career choice for her? Can she survive much longer under the pressure?

Bill Warren, the ousted anchor is my second charity case. His bio doesn’t mention it, but I’ll bet he made his way from radio to TV. He’s got that ‘grown-up disk jockey’ persona (and matching voice). I’m not sure how else to describe it.

I feel bad because at age 62 he’s taking a major career step backward. It’s obvious there’s no real future for him outside this market… probably outside this station. His salary and prestige will continue to dwindle before his very eyes.

Bill Warren is living the career equivalent of staying married for the kids. It’s a shame because he seems like a nice guy, and probably a little too intelligent for the room.

What’s bothered me from Episode One is how little meat is in this show and how much time is spent recapping what’s happened and advancing what’s to come. Making News: Texas Style would have made a much better half hour show.

Last Monday, after the show aired, my website got a nice traffic boost. If you Google the show’s name, Making News: Texas Style, my entries come in second and third, right after the TV Guide Network itself.

That is more a comment on the show’s lack of publicity than my site’s great value in critical commentary. On the other hand, it was fun to hear from my fellow addicts.

&#185 – I originally wrote Michelle instead of Melissa. My error.

Making News – Texas Style Has Got Me Worried

A friend emailed me the ad you see on the left. It’s for a new reality program on the TV Guide Channel, “Making News – Texas Style”.

Yeah, it surprised me too. I thought they only ran character generated listings.

The ad scared me. Some people already look upon us TV types as shallow or trivial. This won’t help.

“Meet Jay, the station’s future anchorman and “Star of West Texas”; Bill, the longtime anchorman who worries about his recent demotion to reporter; Melissa, the reporter with a sense of humor, who’s out to prove she’s great at her job; Kara, the feisty young reporter who’s always up for a challenge; Tatum, the anchor and former Miss Texas who balances family and her career; and Jose, the news director pushing hard for his team to be #1. This news team will do anything to get their stories on the air and beat the competition.

That ad represents everything superficial TV news can be with none of the substance. I’m not saying we’re teaching college level courses on-the-air, but there really is more than pageant winners and cat fighting in the newsroom.

Actually, I can’t guarantee the ad’s copywriter saw the show, because “Making News – Texas Style” was a lot closer to this reserved blurb in a TV Guide press release.

The network is making an especially big bet on original content this year. On June 13, it will debut Making News: Texas Style, a 13-episode reality series about a TV station