Discovery shuffles Philly Throttle off to the Velocity Channel
by Hook for HDhistory
Many of us were left wondering what happened to the 4th episode of Philly Throttle when it didn’t air on the Discovery Channel. The series about Liberty Vintage Motorcycles owned and operated by the charismatic and at times eccentric Adam Cramer seemed like a “sure thing”. Not only was I “hooked” but so were all my friends that I had put onto the series, and like a junkie without a fix, we were jonesing to get hooked up again. Even more surprised was Adam Cramer who although he wasn’t happy with aspects of the production, knew it was a hit by the feedback he was getting from fans around the globe. So what happened?
It’s very possible that Discovery knew the show was a winner, but not in the way it was currently being edited and presented which was starting to resemble OCC without all the chrome and Ness-ness. In short, it was becoming a reality show with villains and heroes and plenty of drama and didn’t represent daily goings on at the shop as they really were. As Adam said on the ChopCult forum, “they seemed to glance right over all the best cycle shot we did,…,not enough bike shit and too much of my big ass mouth open..i really dont yell that much and its always really mellow…”
The production company is the culprit, they stuck to successful reality show formulas and presented it to Discovery without a lot of supervisory input on the part of Adam or Discovery. You can’t fault Adam Cramer for being a babe in the woods when it comes to dealing with tv…as he’ll tell you…he’s a motorcycle guy. And you can’t blame him for wanting the promotion and thinking this would be a cool experience, after all, it’s about bikes right? What he hadn’t counted on was the cost of having a production company in his shop for four months filming. First they required that he carry extra insurance and liability to the tune of $12k which covered equipment and personnel. As if that wasn’t a big pill to swallow, then the power bill suddenly goes from $1k a month to $4k a month with all the extra lights and camera equipment. Some customers were lost along the way too, put off by the production scenario and not being able to get their bikes in and out unless it was convenient for the film schedule.
Discovery liked the proposed series enough to give it a shot and slotted it at the worst possible time, Friday nights in the middle of summer I guess as a test to see how it fared. Most likely Discovery knew the format it was being presented in wasn’t right for them and wasn’t right for Liberty Vintage, or corporate sponsors who buy commercial time and pulled the plug. What I’m guessing at is that behind the scenes, Discovery had to fill their schedule with programs that reflected their image and appealed to their sponsors, but at the same time knew they had a viable product that needed a little reworking. Adam and his fanbase in the meantime started writing Discovery demanding Philly Throttle be brought back. Coupled with Discovery wanting to keep the show, the fans spoke and were heard. One thing Adam had mused about on ChopCult was that if the show was filmed and presented the way automotive shows are done, it would have a chance, and it would be more about the bikes and a street level motorcycle shop. These are the things that drew us to the show in the first place, and Adam, god love ya, you were the bonus.
Discovery had the remaining episode(s) paid for, and in their wisdom and with a little arm twisting from the fans, moved Philly Throttle over to one of their other products, the Velocity Channel, which is strictly automotive programming. A much better fit, and will benefit greatly from the support it should receive. There are already accessory sponsors who would likely get on board for Philly Throttle and possibly some motorcycle specific ones could be coaxed into joining. Whether the original production company will be used if more episodes are ordered, or a new one with with a more in tune view of the show and it’s audience will be selected is anyone’s guess at this point. All we know is that Velocity will air the remaining footage starting Aug. 8th and 9th (check listings). For those of us without Velocity on our cable package, looks like watching it online will be the thing to do, and Discovery….you gotta know that it’s a hit when people will do that.
As for Adam, if it happens it happens, he’s more than happy to just keep doing what he’s doing, fixing, collecting, and enjoying. As he once commented here…. “..the bike always wins”