Rage (TV Program) - Format


Rage has a good reputation among viewers for its minimalist format which has remained largely unchanged for more than two decades. The program was originally created by executive producer Mark FitzGerald in early 1987. It was then given an idiosyncratic and alternative flavour by music programmers and producers Stephanie Lewis (1988 to 1995) and Narelle Gee (1995 to 2008). A wide range of music genres are included in the Rage mix with the Friday night programming focusing on New Release videos. The only time a human is seen on Rage delivering dialogue to the camera is when guest programmers appear on the Saturday night edition. Otherwise, the videos are run end-to-end with the occasional quick branding clip or the "Rage" logo accompanied by a voice that simply says "Rage!" to break them up. A "crawl" is also used at times during the program, with details of upcoming Specials and Guest Programmers printed in text at the bottom of the screen during a short snippet of a selected clip. The titling on the videos is also very simple, with the artist and song name displayed briefly after the Rage logo near the beginning of each video (originally only the artist was identified). Historically. no other logos or watermarks appear over the clip as it played, but as of 25 June 2010, Kath Earle, Executive Producer with ABC Arts & Entertainment, stated that the Director of Television and Head of Marketing have decided to watermark rage to 'maintain consistency across the network' as all other programs are watermarked.

On Friday new and recent releases are played, often including little heard of new names in the very early hours of Saturday morning. During his John Safran's Music Jamboree series, John Safran successfully demonstrated "...even a dog can get a video on Rage", by attaching a video camera to a dog, and editing the resulting footage together with simply produced looping music.

On Saturday nights, Rage features specials and often has guest programmers, including local and international personalities from the music industry. From the program's inception, Rage aired the Australian Top 50 music chart on Saturday and Sunday mornings, however in mid-2006 this practice ceased and it now shows selected hits, new release video clips and a one-hour guest programming/special programming slot on Saturday morning, with new release and classic videos on Sunday morning.

Between July 1993 and May 1995, Rage aired a special "new releases" program weekly from 2am until 4am on a Friday morning.

The Saturday night editions are themed. Often it's a simple dedication to an established artist by showing a large amount of their work. As an example of the other types of themes, in early 2004 edited highlights from Countdown (from the 1970s and '80s), Rock Arena (from the '80s) and Recovery (from the '90s) were shown over many weeks. The tradition continues, with January each year being "Retro Month", and now including material from other ABC shows including GTK (1970s), Flashez (1970s) and Beatbox (1980s).

The first two music video shown on Rage were "Weirdo Libido" by the Lime Spiders and "(You Gotta) Fight For The Right (To Party)" by The Beastie Boys.

Because the show usually starts on one day and ends on the next, it is often unclear which day the show belongs to. The producers have decided that even if it begins after midnight, its identity belongs to the earlier day (Friday or Saturday) even though the majority of the show (if not all) will be on the later day. This is most likely because television guides in Australia start and end each day at 6am.

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