Lewis O'Flynn, Director of Showcase Management
- creator of Hottest On TV - 13th July 2004
We all hear and see a multitude
of dynamic media and entertainment concepts, in
this mass media world we live in. Once in a while,
something or someone comes along, that sets things
On TV and it's founder, Lewis O'Flynn, has the
potential to make a real and positive difference
to the Australian media and entertainment world,
using both new age and traditional concepts.
back and relax, and enjoy this insightful, educational
and entertaining interview with Lewis O'Flynn.
What's your background?
The highlights of my professional career to date
have been my involvement in the management of
various sporting and major events in Victoria.
I love playing sport and importantly building
the friendships and associations that you do through
is "Hottest On TV"?
Hottest on TV is fast becoming the central place
for all things related to Australian television.
the flagship is the "Official Rankings",
which is a monthly ranking system of the Australian
television industry's hottest celebrities.
consisting of industry experts and the wide audience
of television viewers and internet users vote
monthly on who are the hottest, most popular and
appealing Australian actors, presenters, reporters
and panellists on television. Both male and female
celebrities are judged, with the final list of
Official Rankings distributed to all major media
outlets on a monthly basis. The general public
go to the website, www.hottestontv.com.au,
and view the lists, photos and profiles of over
400 people who make up the Australian talent that
we currently see on television. Each month visitors
then vote for who they think are the hottest.
We're going to see the results change as different
shows come and go, certain personalities fade
in and out of the public eye and their level of
popularity changes all the time along with public
opinion, so we can expect to see variation in
the lists every month.
will judge the "hottest" differently.
The public have their own criteria and this is
going to throw up some interesting names from
time to time.
did you come up with the idea?
I was sitting in a pub one Sunday afternoon when
I became involved in a friendly discussion about
with some friends as to who was the 'hottest'
of all the current newsreaders. Everybody had
their own opinions and nobody was willing to settle
for each others submission as the hottest newsreader
on TV. As the discussion carried on it became
obvious that there needed to be outlet whereby
the wide opinion of all television viewers could
be taken to find out who really is the hottest
newsreader on television.
why stop there. Let's find out who everybody thinks
are the hottest Australian celebrities on all
of our own locally produced television.
is Hottest On TV so much more than just a website?
What excites me is the enormous potential for
Hottest on TV. OK, so the website is already the
most comprehensive list of Australian TV personalities
that anybody will find in one place, and has more
photos, profiles and up-to-date TV news than any
other website. But we are going to see Hottest
on TV become an institution in the Australian
TV industry. The Official Rankings are going to
give TV networks some of the best data available
when they are considering the most popular talent
available to appear on their programs. Budding
Australian talent suddenly have the perfect vehicle
to promote themselves and get their faces in front
of decision makers, sponsors and the audience
those well established actors, hosts, panellists
etc, who wouldn't want to be voted the Hottest
are some of your biggest supporters?
In reality, it's the thousands of people who have
visited and keep returning to the website, and
that have submitted emails, who are genuinely
excited about the prospect of being able to vote
for their favourite Aussie TV celebrities.
month we've got thousands of people visiting the
site, and in the period that we've been building
the Voting feature we've been inundated with people
eager to cast their votes. That's a fantastic
result because at the end of the day, Hottest
on TV becomes successful by the sheer weight of
traffic to the website and popularity of the project
do you motivate the masses to vote?
We are already finding that web users are 'busting
down the door' to submit their votes.
think it's in the psyche of Australian's that
if there is something they like, and if they think
they can influence it's existence by voting for
it, then they will do so. And why wouldn't you
want to ensure that some of the beautiful faces
on our TV screen remain by voting for them each
support the up and coming talent by selecting
them as the Hottest on TV, and have a real influence
on what we see on our television screens. Oh,
and of course there will be random monthly prizes
for those that come back and vote.
it's TV's, VCR's, Game Console's, Computer equipment
or even fashion, there is the chance of getting
something for nothing that always entices back
the masses. In fact this is also one of the best
opportunities for Sponsors to get involved in
Hottest on TV, by including their products as
giveaways each month and getting their brand name
in front of one of the most discerning markets.
many faces from Australian TV do you cover?
Hottest on TV features over 400 names and faces
covering just about all the Australian talent
that is on currently produced Australian programs.
Hottest on TV has far and away the most comprehensive
listing of Australian TV celebrities anywhere
on the internet. There is the benefit of finding
all your favourite celebrities in the one place.
Why go to different programs website, different
networks website and various fansites to find
all the information you are after, when it is
all here in one spot. But nothing is perfect.
We want to hear from the public, networks and
agents if we've missed somebody who should be
added to the site, and as long as that person
meets our criteria (an Aussie on a program currently
produced in Australia) we'll add them to the site.
also take a lot pride in the fact that the site
features only Australian talent. As our TV screens
continue to be invaded by international content,
we need to support the local industry and Hottest
on TV supports it like no other.
many hits and impressions per month does your
Before the Voting Feature even went on-line we
were getting over 60,000 individual page requests
per month. I'm always sceptical when website hosts
start proclaiming the success of their site and
announce the enormous number 'hits' they are getting.
If we want to talk hits then Hottest on TV receives
over 1.2 million per month but I don't believe
that this measure adopted by so many other hosts
is particularly accurate so I always suggest the
public take caution when trying to digest website
do TV executives, producers and decision makes
need to pay attention to the information Hottest
On TV provides?
The more Hottest on TV grows, the greater the
influence it is going to have on what we see on
our television screens. To date, what tools do
TV execs have that tells them how popular their
on-air talent is.
Oztam ratings tell them how popular the show is,
but when Home and Away brings in a new cast member,
what is the accurate indicator that tells the
Executives how popular or 'hot' that cast member
does Channel 9 know when the appeal of a cast
member of McLeod's Daughters is fading? When the
latest reality show is looking for a new host,
why should networks take a punt and use only anecdotal
on TV is the real deal. It tells networks who
the public want to see more of and who are their
favourites, allowing them to make informed decisions,
which leads to increased ratings and more advertising
dollars coming in.
are the sort of factors which can make a celebrity
go from "Hot" to "Cold"?
There are so many possible answers to this question
but I'll just try to give my perspective.
celebrities will last the test of time. Sandra
Sully and Rove McManus have been on our screens
for some time now and have managed to remain ever
popular with the viewers. But other celebrities
come and go, sometimes helped along by the success,
or hindered by the failure of the show they appear
a celebrities personality comes across in their
performance and this can strike a chord with the
viewers. But sometimes celebrities might begin
to appear to press for all the wrong reasons,
and their public appeal turns sour.
we tire form seeing the same old face hosting
the same old show, but on other occasions the
viewers can't get enough and cry out for more
of their favourite celebrities. There are so many
factors that can influence a celebrities popularity.
publicists, agents and the like ever try to influence
you and the voting?
Why wouldn't they?
outcome of the Voting could be make or break for
their talent and the ultimate promotion for particular
programs and celebrities. But at the same time,
Hottest on TV is a far more valuable tool for
networks and agents if they are obtaining a true
indication of what the public and the TV industry
really think of their talent.
best way to 'fairly' influence the public vote
is to support Hottest on TV by providing the most
up to date photos and profiles of their talent
to be added to the website. This can go a long
way to influence the vote of the public as the
end of each month nears.
safeguards have you got in place in the voting
Hottest on TV is built on integrity and respect
for all members of the Australian TV industry.
don't aim to hurt careers or force talent to suffer
which is why we only publish the list of the Hottest
celebrities, not those at the bottom of the list.
are out to promote Australian television and it's
talent and we ensure that anybody who has managed
to earn their place as an industry judge comes
in with credentials that are unbiased towards
particular networks and talent. And what makes
this voting system, we believe, to be the most
fair and equitable in the entertainment industry,
is that we take the opinions of the industry experts
and the public at large to compile a fair sample
that reviews the Australian TV celebrities.
anyone attempted to "buy you out" or
"buy you off" yet?
In the whole scheme of things, it's too early
to be 'bought out' just yet.
value of the Hottest on TV property is going to
grow enormously over the next few years so if
an astute business-person wants Hottest on TV
to be theirs, they would need to be very shrewd
to beat the rush when Hottest on TV starts to
close in on reaching it's potential.
you, what is success?
Success is to be able to spend your life doing
what you enjoy while having the important people
in your life around you as much as possible. If
you're not sharing the highs and lows of your
life with the people you love then you are wasting
do you do to relax?
What would you expect, I watch TV of course.
you will know when Hottest On TV has reached it's
I don't want to give too much away. I think there
are some great spin-off opportunities that will
appear once Hottest on TV grows to a certain level.
I'm envisaging annual TV specials, "The Hottest
on TV Year in Review", merchandise, celebrity
A-list parties and awards nights. When the Logies
becomes the second biggest night on the Aussie
TV social calendar, that's when potential is close
to being reached. When Hottest on TV cracks the
competitive magazine market you also know we're
closing in on the peak.
an Australian television institution, there also
is the opportunity for international growth. The
blueprint will be there for other countries to
build up their own Hottest on TV support their
own local industries, but let's just worry about
conquering Australia for the moment.
All that's left to say is log on and stay tuned!
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