BNN (Dutch broadcaster)
by Bart de Graaff
BNN or Bart's Neverending Network (formerly Barts News Network, as a pun on CNN) is a Dutch public broadcasting association supported by the Netherlands Public Broadcasting. BNN was founded in 1997 by Bart de Graaff, Gerard Timmer & Frank Timmer, and targets teenage and young adult audiences. It produces entertainment and informative television programs, radio programs, and feature films. Some of BNN's programming has dealt with controversial subject matter, including most famously, a hoax reality special made to help raise awareness of the shortage of organ donors in the Netherlands.
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BNN had its origins in a program broadcast on Veronica presented by Bart de Graaff, in this case known as Bart's News Network.
BNN became a public broadcasting association as a part of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting system on 15 August 1997, replacing former member Veronica, with BNN first standing for the Brutaal News Network (Flagrant News Network). The name was later changed to Bart's Neverending Network after Bart de Graaff's death at age 35 from kidney failure caused by a rejection of a kidney transplant he received in 1999. While Dutch media in general is known to be liberal in coverage of sexuality and drugs, even BNN's programming has been considered controversial.
Some of BNN's most controversial programs have included "Neuken doe je zo!" (This is How You Fuck!), a 7-episode miniseries discussing sex in a way that would be interesting to teens. "Spuiten & Slikken" (Squirt and Swallow, Spuiten can mean both "to squirt" or "to inject") discussed both sexuality and the use of drugs. A show entitled "Try Before You Die" - where presenters attempted to do things that they think people should do at least once in their life, made headlines when presenter Sander Lantinga acted as a streaker during a quarter-finals match at Wimbledon between Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva.
In May 2007, five years after the death of Bart de Graaff, who had suffered from kidney failure for almost all of his life, BNN announced "De Grote Donorshow" (The Big Donor Show), an initiative for promoting the filling in of a codicil for organ donation, in which three contestants would strive to be the recipient of a kidney donated by a terminally ill woman. The show aired on 1 June, but at the end of this show it was revealed to be a hoax, attempting to draw attention to the low number of organ donors in the country.
BNN is however not only known for its controversial shows, but also for shows such as "Nu we er toch zijn" ("While we are here anyway"), in which presenter Eddy Zoey tests the hospitality of Dutch places; and "De Lama's" ("The Llamas"), which is a Dutch version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?".
BNN has created a few medical programmes, such as Je zal het maar hebben ("It could've been you") and Over mijn lijk ("Over my dead body"), in which youth with handicaps are consulted and talk about their handicaps.
Notable Television shows
- De Grote Donorshow
- De Lama's
- Spuiten en Slikken
- Cash Cab
- Top of the Pops
- Veronica Mars
- Bart de Graaff (1998–2002)
- Bridget Maasland (2000–2005)
- Eric Corton (2005-)
- Edo Brunner (2006)
- Hanna Verboom (2004–2006)
- Katja Schuurman (2001–2008)
- Ramon Stoppelenburg (2005–2006)
- Nicolette Kluiver (2006-2014)
- Patrick Lodiers (2001-)
- Ruud de Wild (1998–2004)
- Sander Lantinga (2005-)
- Wouter van der Goes (2004–2006)
- Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen (2006-)
- Floortje Dessing (2010-)
- For example, prime minister Balkenende was afraid of De Grote Donorshow's negative effect on the country's image abroad. (See "Balkenende betreurt donorshow zeer" [Balkenende deeply regrets donor programme] (in Dutch). NU.nl. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2009..)
- "Wimbledon uncovered". BBC. 4 July 2006. Retrieved 8 August 2009.