It’s a
good thing the ABC isn’t interested in ratings, otherwise how can the first
edition of the new arts show Vulture be explained?

As an indulgence? Or one that had
to wait until Sandra Levy was out the door before it could
be snuck onto our TV screens on Tuesday night, where it failed to beat its
predecessor in the 10.05pm timeslot, a repeat of Mr
Bean
.

Deborah
Jones, the executive editor of The Australian and former arts editor of the
paper, gave Vulture a good serve in today’s Media section and ended by saying the program has “the stench of
carrion” about it.

For a
program that came from the same areas of the ABC as Spicks and Specks (Courtney
Gibson is the ABC executive in charge of both), the difference is hard to
fathom. Spicks
and Specks
is fresh and irreverent and has no trouble
finding talent, it might be light, but then how could Vulture be described?

Vulture was clunky and hesitant with only two good pieces of
talent in host Richard Fidler (a long time good talent) and Peter
Craven, a Melbourne writer and commentator who is used to voicing an
opinion.

The executive producer, Guy Rundle, needs to get out more and think about what makes good TV. Spicks and Specks host Adam Hills is the sort of sharp, witty commentator that Vulture should be aiming to use.

Vulture
averaged 271,800 people over the half hour of terror, after
Foreign Correspondent was watched by an
average 606,857 viewers, and hurt Lateline (236,159).

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Peter Fray
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