Community TV digs at SBS

By David Knox on August 26, 2009 / Filed Under News 12

sbs4Community television took the opportunity to remind us of its worth this week when TVS General Manager Laurie Patton pointed out the similarities between a new SBS show, Costa’s Garden Odyssey, and its own Vasili’s Garden.

Costa’s Garden Odyssey is one of four local shows SBS airing tomorrow night.

In the series, landscape architect Costa Georgiasdis (pictured right), takes a ‘holistic’ approach to gardening. He is described as a ‘Greek garden god aiming to spread his green wisdom while celebrating cultures and communities and their connections to plants.’

That’s a little too close for comfort for community television.

TVS chief executive Laurie Patton pointed out the show looks a lot like the long running Vasili’s Garden.

In a statement TVS said: ‘If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then SBS’s new gardening show, Costa’s Garden Odyssey is proof that Community Television is helping shape the future of Australian television. ‘

“It’s nice to see a network cloning an Australian program instead of buying another overseas format,” says Patton.

But SBS stood its ground.

Denise Eriksen, Manager of Production and Development, told TV Tonight, “The only real similarity between the two programmes is that they both feature Greek men – passionate about what they do.  Incidentally, Vasili’s Garden also ran on SBS for 10 episodes more than two years ago.

Costa’s a landscape architect who takes a holistic approach to gardening and horticulture, emphasising the importance of water and its management and the benefits of sustainable living – crucial contemporary issues.  Vasili’s show focussed on Australia’s backyards. Long may they both find their homes on Australian television.”

Vasili did indeed air on SBS, after starting in community television, and returning to it years later.

Costa’s Garden Odyssey airs on SBS Thursday night at 8:00 pm along with newcomers My Family Feast, ADbc and the return of  Dave in the Life.

12 Comments »

  1. TVS CEO August 31, 2009 at 5:37 pm -

    Just for the record, Community TV is proud to have its programs ‘cloned’. We have a very good relationship with SBS and indeed with all the networks. TVS wishes Costa and his crew all the best. The more Australian content on our screens the better.

  2. AussieDingo1983 August 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm -

    @Vee: If nothing else, community TV provides an important training ground for up and coming Australian TV presenters. Also those “few major cities” make up a very big percentage of Australia’s population.

    @J Bar: I’ve thought the same thing. The only reason we don’t already have that situation is because of the stupid Howard-Rudd LibLab government stuffing up just about everything they do.

  3. J Bar August 27, 2009 at 9:03 am -

    Why don’t they just make Community TV another SBS channel like SBS3? Same goes for the Indigenous channel NITV. Why not make it SBS4? They could better utilise resources and government funding that way.

  4. Andrew August 27, 2009 at 8:34 am -

    Perhaps we should wait and see the show before making any comparisons to Vasili’s program?

  5. Media Researcher August 27, 2009 at 7:26 am -

    I thought it was an SBS version of Jumanji myself.

  6. Daniel G August 26, 2009 at 11:30 pm -

    GuanoLad: that show’s called Andrew’s Guide To Being A Man. You’ll find it at the ABC’s website.

  7. GuanoLad August 26, 2009 at 8:30 pm -

    That man needs a haircut.

    It’s a shame that it’s genuine. Holistic gardening? I thought at first that you were implying that it was a satirical show, poking fun at gardening shows, like that oddball little five minuter about the home handyman and his assistant that I see every so often, whatever it’s called.

  8. Vee August 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm -

    Let’s see, Community TV, only in a few major cities (maybe only capitals?) and SBS nationwide. So who cares what Community TV did or does.

  9. Stan August 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm -

    Haha! This might be the only way digital viewers can see some community TV programmes??

    Anyway, welcome to the club, TVS. Nine & Seven have been doing this to eachother for years. That’s why I have to keep checking their watermarks in the corner of the screen, because their logos are the only substantial difference I can see.

  10. mikeys August 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm -

    He looks like one of those Greek gods, only wearing 21st century clothing…

  11. moog August 26, 2009 at 6:11 pm -

    Costa looks like a complete pretender, wanting to steal Vassili’s crown.
    Vassili was the real deal…I wish he was coming back, together with his catchphrase…Maresi!

  12. Rob August 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm -

    Love how executives always save their a**e first and foremost. Surely we the viewer are so dumb to not tell the difference.

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