In a spin: From TV critic to TV show.
A website that has spent much of its life criticising television now has a show of its own. Kerry Harvey reports.
For four years, the guys at The Spinoff website have been commenting – often controversially – on local television and now they are on the box themselves.
On the eve of the launch of The Spinoff TV on Three, the website’s founder and managing editor Duncan Grieve is still a little stunned.
“For most of our life we’ve written about television on the internet and very much felt like outsiders, and even when we’d go along to events we’d feel like the naughty kids sneaking into the grown-ups’ events,” he says.
“At last year’s Voyager’s (Media Awards) I won reviewer of the year for, among other things, kind of savaging Filthy Rich over and over again and now other critics get the chance to have a go at our show.
“I’m sure some of the TV makers who we’ve lacerated at various times in the past will be waiting for us to fail with an unholy passion and we absolutely welcome that.” The Spinoff TV will offer highlights of the week’s internet coverage plus extras. “When you’re a news show you are sort of obligated to cover everything and there are certain responsibilities that go along with that which we don’t want,” Grieve says. While Grieve expects the show will appeal to younger viewers, he knows it already has a strong following among baby boomers. “We talk about appealing to a psychographic rather than a demographic so people have a particular mindset rather than an age,” he says. “The show will have serious work on it at times. It will hopefully be funny, it will certainly have strong opinions, it will be a little bit chaotic and probably not as clean or as slick as things you are used to seeing on TV. “There is no point in us replicating something that already exists elsewhere. For us to have a reason to exist at all, we need to be different.”