The Driven TV show pilot

Hi folks,
One of the things I’ve been doing this summer is working on a television show pilot for the car reviews. With a lot of help from friends and a Stedicam operator with lots of endurance I have a tangable 30 minute show (which is 22 minutes without commercials).

Basically there are three reviews you may have seen before and a preview of the Ford Focus Electric. The point is to show how it comes together in a half hour package.

There’s more than just reviews though. John Stofflet talks to a guy who gets the ultimate Christmas gift. There’s also a car care tip from the good folks at Griot’s Garage in Tacoma, Washington. If you don’t know about their products I highly recommend checking them out. Their products are used at the LeMay- America’s Car Museum for some of the most valuable cars in the world. No doubt they’re good enough for yours.

This version is not perfect, there are a few graphics that will be fixed but I’m throwing it out to get your feedback. I appreciate the bad as much as the good so let me have it, okay? And if you’re a high powered TV executive, call me. I’ll buy lunch.


  1. simply aaron says:

    Great show!! I truly hope this is the start of many more shows!!

  2. fatbaldandhappy says:

    Great stuff Tom! Here’s hoping all the hard work pays off and this kind of quality work finds a home that will allow you to do more of it. It’s clear you enjoy it and it’s just awesome when a person takes a risk on something they enjoy. While the rest of us bask in our “I wish I could’s…”; you went out and made it happen- so whether it turns into something bigger or not I personally appreciate the inspiration channeled with the effort.

    All the best,

  3. Toaster says:

    Wow. This looks amazing Tom. I hope it gets picked up! I have to agree with Crash, this is very much like Driving Television, one of my regularly PVR’d shows. Great stuff.

    Are you in negotiations with King 5 to air it? King 5 is one of the stations I get as a Time Shift channel with my cable package, so if they pick it up I’ll definitely watch!

    Love the car care tips too. Keep ‘em coming, even if the show isn’t picked up it, those would be a great addition to Driven!

    • TV says:

      It does not appear that KING is interested in it as a 30 minute show, they don’t have an open time slot. Doesn’t mean it can’t be syndicated. I’ll certainly give it a go. I’d like to improve it though, it needs to be snappier. I’ve only seen Driving Television a couple times when I’ve been in Vancouver, I’d like Driven to have more of an edge. I’m always looking to improve the product…

  4. AL says:

    This is great stuff Tom! Entertaining, informative and down to earth as always. I’d definitely tune in every week. Love it!

  5. alf says:

    This could be a big success if you don’t change the essence too much.
    (eg: And now, the evil twin show!)
    Just be yourself and good luck!

  6. desertraycer says:

    Tom, I like it. Pure and simple. The human interest story about John Stofflet was heartwarming and in keeping with the automotive theme. I know this is the pilot and you and your team will be improving it as you go along. Strange working with more people than you and EvilTwin right?

    The comments others left are noteworthy – especially the discussion on which format it will be aired. Where ever it is, I will always be a fan, from the King5 reviews, to iTunes, BlipTV, YouTube, to your own website, i’ve been along for the ride. Thanks for putting on a great down-to-earth show. And thanks for showcasing the scenery in the northwest part of the country; being from Phoenix, it’s nice to see green foliage and rain.

    Good luck with the show!

  7. Facepalm says:

    Great first effort, Tom. I watch Motor Week and enjoy the side bits like Goss’ Garage and the various automotive-related news, so I appreciated seeing something similar here.
    I gotta admit though, more than halfway through the video I was beginning to worry we wouldn’t see Evil Twin. I’m glad he made a cameo at the end. Some of my favorite parts of your reviews are the TP tests and Evil Twin segments.

    • TV says:

      You have to understand that I do these segments on stolen time. The pilot you see here was done on a budget of $400 (plus the investment of my time). If I had a reasonable amount of time and a decent budget it would more entertaining, though I hate using that excuse.

      I’d like to do more bits like Evil Twin and the TP test and have a number of them in mind as I go forward. The trick is balancing the shtick with real information. Since I was trying to do a theme (cars that are a bit different than the ones you know) it was more informational than entertaining. The next one will be more fun. I promise.

      • Facepalm says:

        Whoops, I hope I didn’t come off as if I wasn’t entertained (sorry). On the contrary, really. I personally really enjoyed it, and to be honest, I never would have guessed the budget was $400. The end result was very good, small budget or not.
        Good luck with this and future productions, I always love seeing new videos on here.

        • TV says:

          I’m free and many people volunteered so that’s why the cost is next to nothing. Hey, I’d like it to be more entertaining, it’s something I work towards every time.

  8. cole63 says:

    I really like the video. I would watch it on a regular basis! I think a stronger performance aspect would add something to the show (at least it would attract younger audiences like myself). I like your reviews and this longer version is exponentially better. Keep em’ coming!

    • TV says:

      To be honest I feel like I was a little flat that day. For one thing, I’m not used to having people around when I’m on camera (remember, i shoot these all myself) and having a guy with a Stedicam three feet from me and a number of people around was really weird. There’s nowhere to go but up.

  9. motorstreet says:

    I like this TV show format. This pilot episode is 100 times better than Motor Week! I hope the regular videos will still be available online if you got to this format for TV, because I like to use your videos when I recommend a car to someone. It’s a lot easier to get people to watch a 7 minute video than a 22 minute video and your reviews are very helpful.

    • TV says:

      If the show was picked up I’d continue to do both. The segments would be longer on their own, shorter in the show. I know what you mean, many people don’t have time to watch a half hour show.

  10. hiptech says:

    I like it very much… excellent work (as usual) Tom!

    That said, I do have one key question.

    Will this air exclusively on terrestrial TV, cable,, satellite etc. (i.e., no download versions)? I notice you currently using Blip TV. It seems to me in this high tech era anyone seeking wider exposure would avail themselves of multiple distribution channels and not limit themselves to a network only outlet (unless they make an offer you can’t refuse).

    Just a few thoughts;
    Perhaps regular segments on car care tips, worthwhile aftermarket options, tires, lighting, suspensions, exhausts, etc. Tech tips; viewer questions; driving basics, where to hold the steering wheel; is it better to have tire weights on the inside or out; the validity of those moose whistles ppl mount to their bumpers… stuff like that.

    Overall great idea, your definitely on the right track with the format.. hope it succeeds. One last thing, just remember us little ppl when you become big and famous!

    • TV says:

      Completely agree. I’d love to do all sorts of stuff like moose whistles and all sorts of trivia. That’s where the fun is.

      I would hope to have both a web and cable presence. But really, the television industry is very fickle these days. Since I’m not a hot chick or have tattoos I’m not holding my breath. Those are the things networks are looking for.

  11. crash says:

    Nice! Tell me you’re going to get it aired in Canada! PLEASE! Motoring is nice, Motor Week is nice as well…you’re show reminds me of Driving Television (Canadian show) with the addition of car tips / etc.

    The problem I have with the above TV shows is catching them (even w/ a PVR) is hit and miss…schedules are frequently changed w/o any notice to consumers. I find myself more and more going to youtube / etc to watch / catch up.

    • TV says:

      Well, at this point the station I work for isn’t even going to air it so the chance of it getting picked up in Canada is pretty darn slim. This is something I did on my own time with my own money, just to have something to show. I’ll let you know if it does though. Don’t hold your breath…

      • augaug says:

        It probably won’t be picked up in Canada, more because cars often come with very different trim options here. The Veloster is a great example. We have much different trim options on that car than the American’s do. Not to mention the fact that we often have different cars altogether. (Chevy Orlando anyone?)

        Looks great though Tom! I hope it does well for you!