TMi [2006 to 2009]
TMi (Too Much Information) became the seventh programme to occupy the official Saturday Morning slot when it began its run on 16 September 2006, just a couple of weeks short of the 30th anniversary of the first ever Swap Shop.
Originally TMi was broadcast from a studio at MTV which overlooked Leicester Square in London, and was the first show to add a 'reality television' twist to the mix with the TMi Flat full of cameras that two of the show's presenters - Sam and Mark - lived in and prepared the show with the production team.
TMi was simply Sam, Mark, Caroline and the crew making a great programme and almost having too much fun doing itSam Nixon and Mark Rhodes, two CBBC favourites from TOTP Reloaded, Level Up and Do Something Different, were joined by Caroline Flack.
The start of TMi saw the return to Saturday mornings of a show more like Live & Kicking than The Saturday Show. The mix of games, guests, cartoons and music videos (with spookily familiar L&K style full screen graphics) was very traditional Saturday morning fare.
There were however some very nice twists to the fare, with an interactive taste added...
The TMi Playlist was a list of music videos that viewers vote for on the TMi website (or webspace as they like to call it) and the highly randomly selected Birthday Bingo month would be generated using a different method each week - the more bizarre the better.
Loot Machine would see viewers send in their 'tat' to play the human fruit machine, but the aptly named Surely They Can't Make a Game Out of That? would almost always steal the show. Simply, a game had to be created by Sam and Mark using a number of randomly selected items, then once the game had been played the Bird of Decision had to be asked its opinion.
And of course, the Chinatown Challenge saw one of the boys being sent off deep into Leicester Square for an exercise in humiliation as a forfeit for losing to the other in a head-to-head challenge.
TMi steered Saturday morning television right back to the golden era enjoyed up to the end of L&K's sixth series, and what a great job it did too. There were so many comparisons that could be made between TMi and L&K, Going Live!, SuperStore and Swap Shop - and that's why it worked!
The second series of TMi saw a change in the format with the programme moving to a new home in Studio TC9 at BBC Television Centre and the demise of the 'reality television' idea saw the end of the TMi Flat. The programme's running time had also been reduced from 165 minutes to 90 minutes and was no longer simulcast on the CBBC Channel, but a repeat of the morning's programme was shown at 5pm.
The second series also saw the three team members trying to get as many viewers to sign up, through the TMi webspace, as 'Friends'. Signing up let the friend access exclusive web content.
The third series dropped the 'Friends' strand and also did not get an afternoon repeat on the CBBC Channel, and for the fourth (and final Saturday series) series Caroline did not take part as she had moved on to other non CBBC projects.
The programme returned for a fifth series in 2010 exclusively on the CBBC Channel, but was renamed Sam and Mark's TMi Friday and as the title suggests was broadcast on a Friday.
TMi was simply Sam, Mark, Caroline and the crew making a great programme and almost having too much fun doing it. Marvellous!