So after all the hoopla, all the acerbic musing about whether we
need another 18-34 demographic TV channel, Al Gore’s Current.tv is finally live and
broadcasting to select cable outlets around the country. I think some 20 million households are being covered, so most
likely you’ll be able to see it.
Lots of articles were run this weekend about the effort, including this one in the
New York Times, and this one in the
LA Times. All the speculation so far about the channel’s
success has been more or less positive. Optimists are crossing their fingers that the channel will indeed usher in an
entire new genre of compelling, user-created TV that takes us away from mainstream tripe. But critics are saying the
channel is likely to be the “same ol’ same ol'” in an already over-saturated marketplace. Personally, I hope the former
Why? Because I really admire what they are doing. In fact, as folks here may remember, I submitted
a video to them that became a finalist in their
user-created content contest. It was tremendous fun, and the piece will supposedly air on TV sometime today. In fact, I
was psyched to see that Time
Magazine this week mentioned my piece, calling it, “a gripping, sensitively shot video of Indian
families cremating their loved ones on the Ganges“. That’s positive, right?
The Current Web site is completely new as well, and has a much nicer look and feel than the earlier iteration, whose
color scheme was kind of an electric vomit. They break out what’s on and what’s coming up on the channel, and provide a
nice overview of their “pod” system (one wonders what Apple think about that name?) which breaks out stories into
themes like “Current Parent”, “Current Soul” and so on.
Everyone give this new channel a look. Find out if it’s on in your area and watch it. Or at the very least check out
the Web site and give it a once and twice over. And if you’ve got some interesting ideas, submit them. You never know,
you might become a star.