CO-WINNER: ATTACK OF THE SHOW, G4
Perhaps this is the most unprofessional-looking show to win one of our awards, but its prosaic look is mostly intentional. Broadcast live Mon-Fri, AOTS is an irreverent, often geeky, look at pop news (lots of Star Trek stories), tech trends and things its young, largely male demo considers fun. How else to describe its wacky segment graphics, interactive features or its comely co-host (and Internet heartthrob) Olivia Munn, in French maid’s garb, jumping into a huge bowl of chocolate pudding? But AOTS emphasizes fair play. Once Olivia hit the tasty slop, Kevin Pereira ripped off his clothes to reveal fishnets and a French maid’s uniform and promptly joined his co-host in the dessert. You could hear millions of young male (and a few female) hearts fluttering.
Farewell to the cuddly canines of The Puppy Bowl, the Shakespearian named felines of Meerkat Manor and Mario Lopez’s toothy smile. Whale Wars splashed on to the scene last year to announce the new, action-oriented (read young, male-skewing equals more ad dollars) Animal Planet. Yet the saga of grizzled Greenpeace castoff Capt. Paul Watson (Greenpeace booted him for being too radical) and his largely inexperienced crew battling Japanese boats on the icy high seas is a gripping piece that delivered (get ready for it) whale-like ratings, achieving the network’s best numbers ever for men 25-54 (309K viewers). There is a conundrum, though. The Japanese boats claim they capture whales legally for research purposes. Bunk, say Watson and his mates as they bump the offending ships and shoot eco-friendly stink bombs across the enemy’s bow ( see photo, above). But is Watson an eco-angel or eco-terrorist? Whatever. His ship, cleverly named the Steve Irwin, probably won’t sink unless his ratings plummet.
Brink, Science Channel: The weekly series presents stories about science and technology, some of which are on the cutting edge, yet there’s also room for reports on backyard inventors who’ve built their own spacecraft and math tips from special reporter and numbers whiz Danica McKellar, all grown up (but still adorable) from The Wonder Years.
HDNet World Report, HDNet: With the withering of news departments has come a decline in overseas coverage and investigative reporting. Thank goodness for the much-decorated HDNet World Report, which tackles global stories with depth rarely seen elsewhere.