ATV kicks off its new season this Sunday

Remember when ATV, AU's student-run television station on channel 2 and 15, was cool? No? Well, Josh Fine, program director of ATV, promises to change that.

"This year, we are going to give students what they want," Fine said. "Comedy, nudity, sex jokes and drug jokes."

With a live kick-off broadcast scheduled for this Sunday, Sept. 7 at 9 p.m., ATV is determined to become the poor man's MTV, complete with irreverent game shows, funky comedy sketches, hip-hop music videos, even a weekly news hour, Fine said.

"ATV will have actual shows this year," Fine said, referencing last year's fluctuating lineup of endless reruns. "The shows will be well-produced, and there will be a new episode of each show every week."

The grainy film quality and choppy sound editing that ATV viewers have become accustomed to are history, thanks to new studio equipment, Fine said.

"ATV has new studio cameras, teleprompters and editing systems," he said. "The studio is very professional, as far as equipment goes."

Students will be able to see the "new" ATV for themselves by tuning into this Sunday's broadcast. The "grand opening" show will feature guest speakers, hosts from the new shows, and some ATV regulars from last semester. Though he declined to give details, Fine promised some exciting surprises.

"It's going to be awesome," he said.

In addition to his behind-the-scenes duties, Fine can be seen in front of the camera as co-host of "Rip-off," a "Tom Green Show"-esque gabfest that he started with Emily Price last January. Though there is no telling how popular "Rip-off" became, Fine claimed to have been approached by adoring fans on more than one occasion.

"A lot of people would come up to [Emily and I] and say they watch us," Fine said. "When a new episode of 'Rip-off' went on the air, I'd be getting three compliments a day."

Though Fine didn't get any syndication bids from Comedy Central, he did enjoy VIP status at a recent frat party.

"One of the brothers let me jump to the front of the line for the keg," Fine said. "The guy said he liked my style."

Fine is hoping others will like his style, too, as ATV aims to cater itself to the general student population rather than audio and video geeks. For example, "It's A Dog, Asshole!" pits opposing sectors of the AU community against each other in a game of Pictionary. (One episode matches the men's and women's basketball teams. In another, "gays" versus "straights.") The show is designed to attract viewers from all parts of campus life, according to Fine.

"We're trying to incorporate different sides of campus on ATV," Fine said, "because people will watch if they are on it or their friends are on it."

It's a plan that Fine hopes will boost ATV's ratings to record levels - and maybe score him another VIP pass to the keg, as well.

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