With the writers on strike and your favorite shows on hiatus, now is the perfect time to turn on Channel 20. You may be surprised at what you find.
“[We] use non-union, dolphin-safe writers, so new episodes are actually in production,” said senior Matthew Cohen, who is a cowriter of Rider’s first sitcom, Networking, which airs on the Rider University Network (RUN).
In fact, RUN has taken many steps forward, according to Scott Alboum, who has been the network’s coordinator for about a year and a half.
“Now I feel like there is stuff for everyone to listen to and to see,” Alboum said. “Having all different kinds of programming gives us places for all different kinds of students to get involved.”
In just this past year alone RUN has renovated itself. Some of its regular programs have changed and completely new concepts have been added to the lineup.
One of those changed shows is Music and Interview Affairs (MIA). MIA has always been about the latest music news and interviews with independent bands. This semester, however, the show has a new producer and an updated appearance.
“I think in MIA you are going to see more things shot on campus this semester, like the Starbucks Music Series,” Alboum said.
When students can’t locate their issue of The Rider News but still want to stay up-to-date on the current events of the University and surrounding areas, they can tune into a weekly segment of the News at Rider.
“We have a new set and a longer show with new anchors,” Alboum said.
Another innovative show on RUN is the Adult Swim-esque Adventures of Scarab and Alien Head, which is produced, directed, filmed and edited by junior Meighan Hogate. Hogate models his show after the type of camera movements and immobile characters seen in 7-Up commercials with action figures.
“The show is really about the very distinct and outlandish personalities of the characters and how those personalities interact with each other,” he said.
Students are constantly coming up with new ideas or creating their own concepts for shows based on what they enjoy to watch on TV — including game shows.
Created by junior Danielle Lotrario, R U Bluffing is the first game show ever to be aired on RUN. The show has two contestants who are asked a question and then shown clips of possible answers to decide who is telling the truth. Whoever can get the most correct answers wins.
“I produce my show on a bi-weekly basis,” Latrario said. “The hardest part of producing a show is getting others to have the same discipline as you do.”
The other new addition to RUN is the “mockumentary” Networking, which is currently filming its third episode.
“Networking is a comedy about two friends who love each other, but not as much as they love hating each other,” Cohen said. “They are programming directors at a cable access television station who are trying to make the next big thing while being drastically underqualified.”
Junior Vincent Leggio, who stars in the show and co-writes it with Cohen, said the idea for Networking came after the show’s producer, junior Justin Herrera, approached him.
“About a year ago I was performing at Brownwater and afterward Justin from the Rider Network wanted to do an interview with us,” Leggio said. “I don’t remember exactly what I said in the interview but Justin found it funny and asked me if I wanted to have a TV show the following semester on the Rider Network.”
Cohen said that he and Leggio can usually tell when their writing is worthy of being filmed.
“When we both start to laugh out loud at something while writing, we know we’re on the right track,” he said.
According to Alboum, new episodes of shows will begin to air every day by next week.
“I think [RUN] is worth taking a look at because it is done by people your own age and who probably have similar backgrounds,” he said.