Friday, February 18, 2005

A Hit For Desperate Network?

Last year was very bad for Nova TV. After being serious competition for state-run HRT and leaving RTL Televizija far behind, this station has lost its lofty position on Croatian TV market in couple of months. They changed the owner, most of its stars have defected to other two stations and the programme which once had almost all the best American and British TV shows is now only the shadow of its former self.

Only in recent months Nova TV showed some signs of trying to restore its position. Those efforts, however, weren't that successful. The most spectacular – interview with Ceca – turned into the most embarrassing fiasco possible. The second one – Laku noć Hrvatska (Laku noc Hrvatska) – daily cartoon show making fun of Croatian politicians and celebrities – at least went on the air, but it also showed inability of its creators to maintain the quality of humour for the long time. Bad time slot didn't help either.

However, Nova TV recently scored a victory that might, with some help, change its long-time fortune once again. After merciless bidding war Nova TV took away broadcasting rights for Desperate Housewives from HRT and RTL Televizija. First episode of the show, heavily promoted in Croatian media, premiered tonight.

I watched the first episode and I wasn't particularly impressed. There was some humour but I'm not sure that I will continue to watch the show regularly.

And Nova TV also managed to spoil their last triumph with some interesting gaffes. The most obvious is the way they translated the title. Instead of Očajne kućanice (Ocajne kucanice) they used Kućanice - or Housewives. I guess the station executives thought that it was difficult to market the show with the word "desperate" as a comedy or something that the average Croatian would like to watch in order to escape reality.

Another blunder occurred when Nova TV teletext described Sheryl Lee as the show's narrator. I guess that many of those expecting to see Laura Palmer of Twin Peaks fame got quite a surprise in the form of space ship captain from Starship Troopers. Sheryl Lee had appeared in the original and later discarded pilot, but that doesn't justify Nova TV – it could have its promotional materials updated.


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