We were a little doubtful about the virtues of the Evening Standard's new Eros Reward Card initiative, but having used it a few times, we're becoming big fans. Readers simply validate the cards with credits online and then swipe it with vendors in return for a discounted copy of the paper. It's easy to use and saves time at the station and also comes with retail, theatre and other reward benefits. A welcome sign that the Standard is getting its marketing act together.
REBUS ON ITV1
ITV has delivered a solid autumn season of drama so far, and the return of Rebus on Friday nights hasn't disappointed. Ken Stott is great in the lead role of the Ian Rankin-created character and each episode is well crafted and manages to build suspense. Rebus is also doing the business audience-wise - fighting off competition from the BBC and commercial rivals alike.
We're enjoying the early weeks of Emap's new digital-only radio station. It's a "does what it says on the tin" experience. If you're after a mix of showbiz news and features, mixed in with chart music and contributions from listeners, then Heat Radio is perfect. It also deserves some credit for attempting to do something different in advertising terms (limiting the number of deals it does, to "VIP" content and sponsorship packages with the likes of Ford). There have been some ramshackle elements, though, not least one of its presenters swearing loudly several times on air, but then we thought this was quite funny.
CALIFORNICATION ON FIVE
Five's new US import, starring David Duchovny, got off to a solid start by attracting more than one million viewers. If the first episode is anything to go by, this will be an enjoyable series. Duchovny's character, Hank, is kind of likeable in a slacker way (he's a novelist with writer's block, who still scores with the ladies). There's a fair bit of bedroom action and the lurking presence of an ex-girlfriend, played by Natasha McElhone. This is a US series that should be enjoyed by a male audience as much as a female one.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
Fair enough, there's nothing anybody can really do about the ban on smoking in public places, but we're getting more than a little tired of the anti-smoking lobby going on the warpath each time the new laws are flouted in whatever minor way. The latest incident involved the publicity hungry James May and Jeremy Clarkson lighting up pipes on the BBC show Top Gear. Cue apoplexy from the anti-smoking group ASH and bucketloads more publicity for Clarkson and his mate who came out of the argument looking much more rational than those attacking them.