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post #45091 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Boxed In
Giving someone a TV series on DVD is like giving them a life sentence
By Grady Hendrix, Slate.com - December 1st, 2009

....

Television episodes were never meant to be viewed in rapid fire order. Mad Men often ends with its lead character, Don Draper, stranded impotently in the gloomy, underlit front hallway of his suburban home. Viewed once a week, this is a weighty image of existential angst. Viewed three or four times in a row, you want to scream, "Buy some light bulbs!" Curb Your Enthusiasm plotlines are actually all the same plotline, which you'd never have guessed until you watched six episodes straight. And four episodes back-to-back of the lachrymose Battlestar Galactica will convince you that the show should have been re-titled Crybabies in Space.
....

I think someone needs to a drug store to relieve the excessive fullness of crap...

Seriously, I have yet to find one TV show that wasn't better watching it on DVD - except when it's available on Blu Ray. I get much more jazzed up over a show when I can let them roll while I'm in the mood and keep things straight in my mind.

Plus, it lets you quickly move past those rough early episodes you get with some series and get right to the meat quickly. For example, had I watched True Blood on a weekly basis, I wouldn't have liked it. Instead, I was able to roll through the season and really feel the show pick up speed as the episodes progressed.

The lack of commercials making even the 30 second skip forward button unnecessary is a bonus, too. Plus, the video quality is so much better on those few series out on BD compared to their TV broadcasts.
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post #45092 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

Zucker Expected to Stay On as Comcast Takes Over NBC - NYTimes.com

This is extraordinarily great news....

....for every other network.


The sound of high-5's emanates from The CW, which actually has a chance of achieving 4th if the Vampire Diaries continues to do well...
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post #45093 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Network Primetime Nielsens
Primetime Network Shows
Viewers 2+, Week Ending November 29, 2009
(Viewers In Thousands)

1. Dancing With The Stars ABC 20,411

2. NCIS CBS 20,348
3. Dancing With The Stars Results ABC 19,294
4. Sunday Night Football: Steelers vs Ravens NBC 19,207
5. NCIS: Los Angeles CBS 17,221
6. 60 Minutes CBS 14,377
7. The Big Bang Theory CBS 14,129

8. Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick NBC 13,927
9. Two and a Half Men CBS 13,877
10. Criminal Minds CBS 13,605
11. CSI: Miami CBS 13,221

12. Desperate Housewives ABC 12,780
13. Find My Family (P) ABC 12,764
14. CSI: NY CBS 12,681
15. The Good Wife CBS 12,529
16. Hallmark Hall of Fame: A dog Named Christmas CBS 12,362

17. House FOX 11,952
18. Amazing Race 15 CBS 11,609
19. The OT FOX 10,494
20. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition-8PM ABC 10,362


Source: CBS and Nielsen Media Research data
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post #45094 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

of nature.

When I visited my father-in-law after he had recovered, I asked him if he had ever watched any of those DVD boxed sets. "I hid them in the closet," he said. "And watched golf." As he spoke I noticed that he had color in his cheeks, that his eyes were clearer, his hair more luxurious, and his teeth gleaming and strong.

Okay, I fully agree that no one should ever give a boxed set to someone, unless they know that the person is a big fan of the show, and really wants a boxed set. But golf? The single dullest thing in the universe to watch? The guy must be brain dead, regardless of the color in his cheeks. I'd sooner watch The Drying Paint Channel, or the Flies circle dung pile screensaver, on a 10 second loop...
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post #45095 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:57 PM
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^^^ But are those alternatives to golf shown in high-def though?
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post #45096 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Cable Nielsens
Prime-time Viewers (Live+SD)
Week Ending November 29, 2009
(In thousands)

1. ESPN 3,661
2. USA 3,071
3. DSNY 2,702
4. NAN 1,931
5. TBSC 1,868
6. TNT 1,722
7. A&E 1,712
8. FOXN 1,701
9. FAM 1,662
10. HALL 1,492
11. TOON 1,358
12. FX 1,343
13. SYFY 1,315
14. DISC 1,249
15. ESP2 1,240
16. TLC 1,176
17. BET 1,125
18. FOOD 1,103
19. TRU 1,093
20. LIFE 1,074
21. HGTV 1,072
22. HIST 1,058
23. AMC 1,024
24. SPK 1,012
25. NFLN 932

Source: TVByTheNumbers.com and Nielsen Media Research data

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post #45097 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Cable Nielsens
Prime-time 18-49 Demo Viewers (Live+SD)
Week Ending November 29, 2009
(In thousands)

1. ESPN 1,709
2. USA 1,310
3. TBSC 1,037
4. NFLN 473
5. TNT 799
6. A&E 746
7. FX 730
8. DSNY 717
9. DISC 687
10. TLC 625
11. BET 604
12. FAM 617
13. SYFY 589
14. SPK 533
15. TRU 525
16. FOOD 523
17. CMDY 495
18. ESP2 479
19. NAN 479
20. HIST 448
21. AMC 428
22. VH1 405
23. HGTV 391
24. LIFE 387
25. EN 337

Source: TVByTheNumbers.com and Nielsen Media Research data

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post #45098 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Cable Nielsens
Total Day Average Viewers (Live+SD)
Week Ending November 29, 2009

(In thousands)

1. NICK 2,495
2. NICK AT NITE 1,884
3. DISNEY 1,775
4. USA 1,507
5. ESPN 1,357
6. CARTOON 1,277
7. TNT 1,248
8. ADULT SWIM 1,054
9. FOX NEWS 1,046
10. A&E 988
11. TBS 939
12. HALLMARK 873
13. ABC FAMILY 841
14. FX 826
15. DISCOVERY 798
16. LIFETIME 753
17. TRU 751
18. FOOD 721
19. SPIKE 708
20. HGTV 694
21. SYFY 651
22. AMC 637
23. HISTORY 633
24. TLC 579
25. BET 558

Source: TVByTheNumbers.com and Nielsen Media Research data
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post #45099 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 08:12 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Wednesday’s TV Talk Shows
Chris Rock sits down with Oprah

From the Los Angeles Times’ “Show Tracker” blog
(Note: times are generally ET/PT Cable times are Pacific. For PBS show start times please check your local listings.)

The Early Show (N) 7 a.m. CBS

Today Jill Martin; Steven Seagal. (N) 7 a.m. NBC

Good Morning America Author Julie Powell. (N) 7 a.m. ABC

Live With Regis and Kelly Guest co-host Michael Bublé; Morgan Freeman; Lance Armstrong. (N) Syndicated

The View Kristin Chenoweth; Perez Hilton; Andrea Bocelli; David Foster. (N) 10 a.m. (11 a.m. ET) ABC

The Doctors Treating back pain; the human papillomavirus. (N) Syndicated

Rachael Ray John Stamos; carpenter Carter Oosterhouse. Syndicated

The Martha Stewart Show Alyson Hannigan. (N) Syndicated

The Bonnie Hunt Show Jimmie Johnson; Kellan Lutz; Anya Marina performs. (N) Syndicated

The Tyra Show Tips for getting a man to propose. Syndicated

Oprah Winfrey Chris Rock ("Good Hair"). Syndicated

Dr. Phil Choosing a baby's sex, eye color or IQ. (N) Syndicated

The Ellen DeGeneres Show Matt Dillon ("Armored"); Ashley Greene ("The Twilight Saga: New Moon"). (N) Syndicated

The Dr. Oz Show Bob Greene discusses diabetes. (N) Syndicated

Dr. Phil A woman says her husband lies all the time; using body language to pinpoint deception. (N) Syndicated

Tavis Smiley "Democracy Now!" host Amy Goodman; Jason Schwartzman. (N) 7 and 11 p.m. PBS

The Jay Leno Show Dane Cook; Kim Kardashian. (N) 10 p.m. NBC

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Author Lance Armstrong. (N) 11 p.m. Comedy Central

Lopez Tonight Samuel L. Jackson; Kaley Cuoco. (N) 11 p.m. TBS

Charlie Rose Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (N) 11:30 p.m. PBS

Late Show With David Letterman Kid scientists; Amanda Peet; the Cribs perform. 11:35 p.m. CBS

The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien Jenny McCarthy; Gabriel Iglesias. (N) 11:35 p.m. NBC

Nightline (N) 11:35 p.m. ABC

Jimmy Kimmel Live Matt Dillon; Nikki Reed; Baby performs with Jay Sean. (N) 12:06 a.m. ABC

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson Paul Shaffer; Shohreh Aghdashloo. (N) 12:37 a.m. CBS

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Taylor Lautner; Katey Sagal; Obits perform. 12:37 a.m. NBC

Last Call With Carson Daly Chris Kattan; Nuttin But Stringz; Lily Allen performs. 1:36 a.m. NBC

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/
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post #45100 of 95817 Old 12-01-2009, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

^^^ But are those alternatives to golf shown in high-def though?

They better be!
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post #45101 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Wednesday Network Prime-Time Options


(All shows are in HD)

ABC
8
Modern Family (R, October 28)
8:30 The Middle
9 Modern Family (R, October 21)
9:30 Cougar Town (R, September 21)
10 Eastwick

CBS:
8
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (R, 1964)
9 The Grammy Nominations Concert Live: Countdown to Music's Biggest Night, Grammy nominations are announced; the Black Eyed Peas, Maxwell, Sugarland and Nick Jonas and The Administration are scheduled to perform; LL Cool J hosts.
10 Criminal Minds (R, April 8)

NBC:
8 Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi host the 77th annual tree-lighting ceremony in New York; Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, the Roots, Shakira and the Radio City Rockettes perform.
9 Law & Order: SVU. (R, September 23)
10 Jay Leno Show: Comic Dane Cook; Kim Kardashian.

Fox:
8
So You Think You Can Dance: two contestants are eliminated.
9 Glee

PBS:
8 Mr. Christmas (2004)
9 Great Performances at the Met: The Magic Flute. An stunning adaptation, in English, of Julie Taymor's production of Mozart's ``The Magic Flute'' includes dancing bears, flying birds and a giant serpent. (2008)

The CW:
8 Gossip Girl (R, September 30)
9 The Vampire Diaries (R, October 1)
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post #45102 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 03:56 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
'Ugly Betty' moving to Wednesdays

By James Hibberd in his The Hollywood Reporter LiveFeed blog

"Ugly Betty" is being rescued from Friday nights -- again!

Sources say "Betty" is moving to Wednesdays at 10 p.m., taking over the slot most recently held by "Eastwick."

Back in 2006, ABC shifted "Betty" from a planned Friday night series debut to high-profile Thursdays after critics loved the pilot. After a modestly successful run in the slot, ABC downshifted the show to Fridays this fall, for real this time, once ratings fell off. But "Betty" lost more viewers in its new time period than any other returning show. Plus, adding "Betty" could make Wednesday an all-comedy lineup, following the ABC's sitcom block.

ABC had no comment, though sources say the move will likely happen very soon.

Receiving a network pardon from a Friday slot is rare. The evening have become a night where broadcasters put shows on their last legs. "Betty" has received some rave reviews this season, however.

ABC will use the remaining five episodes of "Shark Tank" in the "Betty" slot, continuing the reality show's string of tough time periods.

http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/12/ugly-...ednesdays.html
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post #45103 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 04:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Business Notes
Comcast, NBC aim to ease feds' concerns
Expected merger would include concessions, sources near talks say

By Cecilia Kang, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, expected to be announced by Thursday, would probably come with concessions aimed at forestalling a drawn-out federal review of the deal, sources close to the negotiations said.

In previous major media mergers, companies have agreed to preserve local news coverage and grant competitors access to content, for example. Sources familiar with the Comcast-NBC Universal talks said such promises would probably be announced with the merger.

The $30 billion transaction would significantly reshape the media landscape by giving the nation's largest cable and broadband Internet provider control over content that makes up one out of five TV viewing hours, according to some analysts. NBC owns Universal Studios, theme parks, shows such as "The Biggest Loser" and "Heroes," and cable channels such as USA Network, Bravo and CNBC.

The deal, which has been in the works for months, was jump-started Monday when General Electric agreed to acquire the portion of NBC Universal it doesn't own from French conglomerate Vivendi for $5.8 billion, according to sources. That agreement was the remaining hurdle for Philadelphia-based Comcast to consummate its purchase of NBC Universal.

Under the terms of the merger, Comcast is expected to pay about $6 billion in cash for a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal. GE would retain a 49 percent stake, and Comcast would contribute its cable assets to the joint venture. Comcast would control the venture's day-to-day operations and have the right to buy the rest of NBC Universal within seven years, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been formally announced.

Big hurdles

If completed, the deal would extend Comcast's vision to bring more content to its subscribers in as many forms as possible -- TV, computers and mobile devices.

But the proposed merger faces significant hurdles, including a close review from federal regulators that some analysts said could last a year. Either the Federal Trade Commission or Justice Department will review whether the deal is anti-competitive, and the Federal Communications Commission will examine how the deal affects consumers.

The deal also has major implications for the Washington region.

NBC Universal owns 34 TV stations, including District-based WRC (Channel 4), and Comcast dominates cable service, owning most of the major systems in the area. The only major jurisdiction Comcast does not serve in Washington's immediate suburbs is Fairfax County.

Although no regulation prevents ownership of a broadcast station and cable assets in the same market, such combinations would probably raise concerns. Regulators conceivably could force Comcast to sell its broadcast or cable stations in the same region as a condition of approval. Washington is one of several markets where Comcast and NBC have such properties.

Sources familiar with the deal said the joint venture has no plans to divest its local TV stations or the NBC network.

Online video scrutiny

Another area expected to draw regulatory scrutiny is online video distribution. Comcast hopes to expand its offerings by acquiring NBC's content.

The cable operator's video-on-demand service, which is separate from its online aspirations, was started six years ago with a few hundred titles and has a library of 17,000 shows and draws 350 million views a month.

Public interest groups have said Comcast could have too much control over content amid a shifting media landscape that is moving increasingly to the Web.

The FCC has a history of nurturing nascent video distributors to promote competition. A source at the Justice Department said the antitrust division is considering questions about how the merger would affect online distribution models such as Hulu -- a joint venture owned by programmers, including NBC -- and a cable industry plan, TV Everywhere, that will bring more shows online, but only to cable subscribers.

"They will face a year-long gauntlet of regulatory and political hearings and conditions that threaten to derail not just the synergy value that might otherwise be achieved in a combination, but in a worst case scenario, that might threaten the structural attractiveness of the core businesses of both Comcast and NBCU," Craig Moffett, an analyst at Bernstein Research, wrote in a note Tuesday.

Comcast and GE declined to comment. A Comcast spokeswoman, however, has said the company's online video strategy allows programmers to negotiate deals with other cable, satellite and online distributors of content.

The deal follows similar media mergers. In 2003, News Corp. bought Direct TV, and in 2001 Time Warner merged with AOL in a $100 billion deal. Those mergers failed, with News Corp. divesting its shares in Direct TV.

Time Warner spun off AOL this year, separating its cable and Time Warner content business. Comcast also made a failed bid for Walt Disney in 2004.

Staff writers Paul Farhi in Washington and Tomoeh Murakami Tse in New York contributed to this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...104343_pf.html
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post #45104 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Wednesday’s TV Highlights
'Sports Jobs with Junior Seau' premieres on Versus

From the Los Angeles Times’ “Show Tracker” blog
(Note: times are generally ET/PT.
For PBS show start times please double check your local listings.)


SERIES

Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares: Gordon attempts to help two friends save their failing restaurant from corporate competition on the season premiere (5, 8 and 10 p.m. BBC America).

Sports Jobs With Junior Seau: The NFL great trades in his helmet and pads and works at Dodger stadium. (7, 7:30, 10 and 10:30 p.m. Versus.

Dog the Bounty Hunter: On the anniversary of the fatal vehicular accident that claimed the life of the bounty hunter's daughter, Dog and his team hunt a target with a taste for drugs and a record of reckless driving, on the season premiere (9 p.m. A&E).

Steven Seagal Lawman: This new unscripted series chronicles martial arts expert and actor Steven Seagal as he pursues his off-screen life as a deputy with Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana, a position he has held for 20 years (10 and 10:30 p.m. A&E).

Top Chef: Las Vegas: The final four chefs head to Napa Valley to compete in a challenge that will determine which three of them will go on to the final round (10 p.m. Bravo).

MysteryQuest: The team tries to crack the mystery behind the true purpose of England's ancient Stonehenge, including a theory that sound reverberations inside the circle of stones induced a trance-like state among participants in rituals (10 p.m. History).

Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura: In this new series, the former professional wrestler and one-time Minnesota governor and a team of expert investigators examine some of the most frightening and mysterious conspiracy allegations of the day (10 p.m. TRU).

Launch My Line: Twin brothers Dean and Dan Caten host this new series in which 10 professionals who have excelled in their chosen fields yet hold dreams of launching their own clothing line are paired with style professionals for a chance to realize their dreams. In the opener, the teams are asked to design a "signature piece" for their collections (11 p.m. Bravo).

SPECIALS

Pixar Short Films: This new special boasts 20 computer-animated short films from the animation studio that includes "Rescue Squad Mater," "Jack-Jack Attack," and Oscar-winners "For the Birds," "Geri's Game" and "Tin Toy" (7 and 9 p.m. ABC Family).

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Santa's lead sleigh-puller is ready to delight the children and grandkids of the viewers who met him back in '64, in this holiday special, based on the song by Johnny Marks (8 p.m. CBS).

Christmas in Rockefeller Center: Jane Krakowski and Zachary Levi co-host this annual special, as musical artists and personalities from NBC programs gather together at the real-life "30 Rock" to participate in the 77th annual tree-lighting extravaganza. Scheduled to appear are Michael Bublé, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Barry Manilow, the Roots, Shakira, Taylor Schilling and James Tupper ("Mercy"), and "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams (8 p.m. NBC).

SPORTS

College basketball: Illinois at Clemson (4:15 p.m. ESPN); Boston College at Michigan (4:30 p.m. ESPN2); Duke at Wisconsin (6:15 p.m. ESPN); Florida State at Ohio State (6:30 p.m. ESPN2).

Boxing: Hopkins battles Ornelas in a light heavyweight bout (5 p.m. VS).

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/
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post #45105 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 04:21 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Disney: 'Regis Back in January'
Studio says veteran daytime host Philbin's hip surgery went well; will be back in four to six weeks.

By Daniel Frankel, TheWrap.com

Since Arsenio Hall's groundbreaking show went off the air in the late 1990s, others have tried to diversify the late-night airwaves, with mixed results. Three new shows are tackling the issue again. Read more.

Regis Philbin has undergone successful hip-replacement surgery and will return to his long-occupied post as co-host of “Live with Regis and Kelly” in early January, according to a statement released Tuesday by the morning show’s producer/distributor, Disney.

“Word from the hospital is that everything went perfectly this morning during Regis’ hip replacement surgery, and his doctor said that Regis couldn’t be in better shape,” the statement read. “Regis anticipates returning to ‘Live with Regis and Kelly’ soon after the first of the year, given the procedure’s typical four-to-six-week recovery time.

Media hackles that the 78-year-old TV host’s condition might be more serious were raised on Nov. 23 when Philbin announced on his show that his return from surgery would occur sometime “next year,” without specifying a month or date.

"Live" is produced by WABC-TV out of New York and syndciated by ABC-Disney Domestic Television.


http://www.thewrap.com/article/disne...-january-11025
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post #45106 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 06:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I think someone needs to a drug store to relieve the excessive fullness of crap...

Seriously, I have yet to find one TV show that wasn't better watching it on DVD - except when it's available on Blu Ray. I get much more jazzed up over a show when I can let them roll while I'm in the mood and keep things straight in my mind.

Plus, it lets you quickly move past those rough early episodes you get with some series and get right to the meat quickly......

I can't see watching a series on DVD if I have already seen it, even for a better quality picture or special comments/extras. If I haven't seen it, I didn't want to see it in the first place. Even if I liked and saw the show before it came to DVD, it would have to be many years for me to want to watch it again.

For the past couple of years, I have recorded everything I want to watch and then watch the shows one at a time during the summer all at once (e.g., 24 straight thru, NCIS straight thru, etc.).

With the exception of news and the odd sporting event (e.g., Super Bowl), there isn't anything I watch as it airs. I watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. I guess I'm the broadcasters' and Nielsen's least desirable viewer.

5 MAGNAVOX 2160 & 7 PHILIPS 3576 OTA
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post #45107 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mreedelp View Post

I can't see watching a series on DVD if I have already seen it, even for a better quality picture or special comments/extras. If I haven't seen it, I didn't want to see it in the first place. Even if I liked and saw the show before it came to DVD, it would have to be many years for me to want to watch it again.

For the past couple of years, I have recorded everything I want to watch and then watch the shows one at a time during the summer all at once (e.g., 24 straight thru, NCIS straight thru, etc.).

With the exception of news and the odd sporting event (e.g., Super Bowl), there isn't anything I watch as it airs. I watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. I guess I'm the broadcasters' and Nielsen's least desirable viewer.

Amen I am right there with you
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post #45108 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bgooch View Post

AT&T Looking For Exec To Oversee Original Content
Telco Seeks Executive Director Of Original Content and Production
By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 11/23/2009 4:57:59 PM

http://www.multichannel.com/article/...al_Content.php

I know this may sound crazy. But I wouldn't be surprise if AT&T thought it was in their best interest to own a media company in the future.
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post #45109 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 07:30 AM
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I think someone needs to a drug store to relieve the excessive fullness of crap...

Seriously, I have yet to find one TV show that wasn't better watching it on DVD - except when it's available on Blu Ray. I get much more jazzed up over a show when I can let them roll while I'm in the mood and keep things straight in my mind.

Agreed. My sister watched the first episode of True Blood when it aired on HBO, didn't care for it. I raved about it, and lent her my box set when it came out. She was hooked after being able to watch most of them back-to-back.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #45110 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:03 AM
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I can't see watching a series on DVD if I have already seen it, even for a better quality picture or special comments/extras. If I haven't seen it, I didn't want to see it in the first place. Even if I liked and saw the show before it came to DVD, it would have to be many years for me to want to watch it again.

Not to mention that some shows we thought were great at the time don't always hold up all that well over time.

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For the past couple of years, I have recorded everything I want to watch and then watch the shows one at a time during the summer all at once (e.g., 24 straight thru, NCIS straight thru, etc.).

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Agreed. My sister watched the first episode of True Blood when it aired on HBO, didn't care for it. I raved about it, and lent her my box set when it came out. She was hooked after being able to watch most of them back-to-back.

Since I've gotten back into reading, I read books by a given author in series, from first book to last. I'd love to be able to do that with TV series, but I don't trust my cable DVR enough to wait. And, I just can't wait for the next episode of 24.

Cheers, Dave
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post #45111 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:11 AM
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TV Sports
With NBC, Comcast Zeros in on ESPN
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - December 2nd, 2009

For years, competitors have tried to challenge ESPN. Their efforts failed or never advanced beyond big talk.

Comcast’s impending acquisition of NBC Universal will certainly set off an effort to turn Versus into a viable alternative, if not a full-fledged competitor, to ESPN. Under Comcast’s ownership, Versus has transformed from the Outdoor Life Network to OLN, then, in 2006, into its current incarnation.

But Versus is a second-tier network whose highest-profile sports, the N.H.L. and the Tour de France, aren’t blockbusters. It lacks a studio show that would give it identity, like ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” or an announcer who is its defining personality.

Versus (and its sister network, the Golf Channel) will be turned over to NBC for an overhaul, assuming regulators approve the deal, a process that could take 12 to 18 months. Versus will probably be renamed something like NBC Sports Cable to reflect a more defined sports brand. On-air and production talent would migrate from NBC, to a certain extent, although Bob Costas would not be hosting IndyCar races.

Versus and Golf would certainly be overseen by Dick Ebersol, the chairman of NBC Universal Sports, who has never had a sports cable network to tinker with (the expanding Universal Sports channel is distributed through NBC stations and affiliates); he would no doubt quickly strip Versus of its current crop of late-night infomercials.

But beefing up Versus’ quality and appearance is a small part of getting part of ESPN’s business. Comcast would have to decide to spend what is necessary to lure viewers from ESPN and ESPN2 by acquiring bigger events, like the Olympics, Major League Baseball, the N.F.L., Nascar and the N.B.A. — properties on a tier above its current rights to IndyCar, the Professional Bull Riders, Mountain West Conference football and mixed martial arts.

Versus needs big acquisitions to become something more than a default network for sports that ESPN doesn’t want (although it doesn’t need the huge bulk of hundreds upon hundreds of college games).

Executives at Comcast and NBC declined requests for comment.

A real competitor to ESPN — with its epic power, multitude of platforms and billions of dollars in revenue — does not truly exist. Yes, there are sports on other networks, like Fox, CBS and NBC, or on TNT or TBS, and one-sport channels like the MLB Network and NBA TV. But ESPN has spent enough to get the N.B.A. from NBC and the Bowl Championship Series games from Fox. It had Nascar rights, lost them, then got them back.

And ESPN could wrest the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament from CBS.

It’s all about building huge audiences. ESPN and ESPN2 have close to 100 million subscribers, ESPNews has 70.1 million and ESPNU has 64 million. It is no wonder that no real or hypothesized competitor — from Mizlou to Fox and CNN/SI, as well as an AOL Time Warner-N.B.A. venture — has succeeded.

But Comcast is a potentate, too, with more subscribers than any other cable or satellite provider. It knows all about the sea of revenue you can get from subscribers and advertisers. It has 10 regional sports networks.

So, if Comcast is serious financially and qualitatively, it and NBC could turn Versus into a credible rival. It could turn Versus into a network that would provide cable operators (like Comcast) leverage in negotiations with ESPN.

It might also make leagues giddy, knowing they could potentially juggle large-scale bids from Versus.

“You can see that the leagues must be concerned about the next round of negotiations,” said Randy Falco, the former president of the NBC Universal Television Group. “They’re asking, ‘Where’s the money coming from?’ Less and less over the next 10 years will it come from the broadcast networks, so they’re looking for an alternative.”

Given the time it will take to receive regulatory approval, the next round of Olympic bidding (for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro) will be handled sometime next year by General Electric, NBC’s parent company. But Comcast would surely have to agree, before a takeover, to G.E.’s bid.

Comcast does not need the Olympics to rationalize its NBC purchase, or to defeat ESPN, which has never carried the Olympics.

But buying the rights would be a significant gesture of support for one of the last anchors of high ratings at fourth-place NBC. Falco, a former key member of NBC’s Olympic team, said that whether Comcast spends what is necessary to outbid ESPN is not a certainty. “Depending on what they find in due diligence, I don’t think Comcast will say, ‘If we’re not a player in the Olympics, we’re in trouble,’ ” he said.

Still, Falco said, if Ebersol and his Olympic team make a strong case to Comcast about the Olympics, having them would benefit Versus starting in 2014 and the Golf Channel in 2016, when golf will be played in the Rio Games.

Challenging ESPN will not be easy. But once upon a time, CNN had the cable news world to itself.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/bu..._r=1&ref=media
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post #45112 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:15 AM
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TV Review
'Steven Seagal: Lawman' review
By Alan Sepinwall, Newark Star-Ledger - December 2nd, 2009

When Steven Seagal made his movie debut 21 years ago in "Above the Law," he was hyped as the next great action star. In retrospect, he should have been heralded as one of the great unintentional comedy stars of all time.

Here's a man who delivers every line of dialogue in a mumbling monotone. Here's an alleged action hero who, after his first few movies, began to move on screen with the speed and grace of a walrus. Here's a man whose two most universally liked films are one ("Under Siege") where he's off-screen for half the time while other actors handle most of the dialogue and exposition (that movie uses him like the Godzilla movies used the monster), and one ("Executive Decision") where he dies in the first hour. (The studio put his death scene in the trailer so audiences would know it wasn't really a Seagal movie.)

And now, with his new reality show "Steven Seagal: Lawman," Seagal has cemented his position as an accidental comedy savant. It's easily the funniest thing he's done since the climactic speech from "On Deadly Ground" (his infamous directorial debut about evil oil companies polluting the Alaskan wilderness), and one of the more entertaining additions to the Has-Beens On Parade reality sub-genre.

What elevates "Lawman" over the likes of "Hammertime" is how deadly serious it takes itself, which only makes it more amusing.

We learn that Seagal has spent the last two decades moonlighting as a deputy sheriff in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, but that until now more or less the point in his career where this kind of move is a necessity to remain culturally relevant he kept it to himself.

"I'm Steven Seagal," he purrs in an affected Cajun patois over the opening credits. "That's right: Steven Seagal, deputy sheriff."

Seagal is a producer on the project, so what might just be a spin on "Cops" instead turns into a celebration of his own awesomeness.

"As a lifelong practitioner of martial arts, I'm trained to remain calm in the face of adversity and danger," he explains, before going on about his uncanny ability to spot bad guys before they do bad things.

I don't mean to question Seagal's commitment to this job nor his fitness for it it's obvious that he loves it and is well-trained but so many of the storytelling choices are designed to make Seagal out to be a character from one of his movies that it all becomes silly.

Every cop is trained to look for danger signs before trouble has a chance to jump off, but Seagal talks like he has some kind of special Spidey-sense, and the editing choices with potential wrong-doers shown in spotlighted freeze-frames as Seagal's patrol car passes them back him up.

He turns a marksmanship lesson with a fellow deputy into a lecture on Zen archery, and boasts that on good days, he can shoot so close to a match that he can light it without breaking it. (Here, though, he does the latter but not the former.) When he runs a lesson on aikido, his martial arts specialty, one of the deputies marvels, "I had a flashback from 'Above the Law'!" as Seagal nods approvingly.

Every now and then, though, you get a glimpse of how Seagal's sizable ego must wear on his colleagues. During a high-speed pursuit, Seagal begins barking out directions from the passenger seat.

"Steven, let me drive," says his exasperated partner, in a tone suggesting this isn't the first time he's had to make that request (nor will it be the last).

"Just telling you where the holes are!" insists Seagal.

Though it's been nearly a decade since a Seagal-headlined movie had a long theatrical release (that would be 2001's "Exit Wounds," where DMX was the real drawing card), the show makes sure to feature plenty of scenes of witnesses marveling at the presence of an honest-to-gosh film actor working as a cop in their backyards.

"Sometimes," one of the deputies admits as he watches one of these scenes, "I forget Steven's a big movie star."

"Steven Seagal: Lawman" (Tonight at 10 p.m. on A&E) A reality show follows the action movie actor in his other job as a deputy sheriff in Louisiana

http://www.nj.com/entertainment/tv/i..._review_-.html
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post #45113 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:28 AM
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You had my head spinning trying to figure out how the Saints would possibly miss the playoffs. We need another nickname for fold-a-riffic Giants.

Geeze, didn't dawn on me that reference can be made to the 2010 Super Bowl champs... my bad. Maybe g'aints?

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post #45114 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:36 AM
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Jints.

Oldie but goodie.

I'm starting to like g'aints!

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post #45115 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 08:40 AM
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TV Sports
With NBC, Comcast Zeros in on ESPN
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - December 2nd, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/bu..._r=1&ref=media

More competition is great. But this is Disney, not Turner. There is no way Disney lets ESPN get complacent and it becomes the new CNN. Plus with their deep pockets they can pretty much be competitive in any negotiation (isn’t Disney bigger than Comcast now?).

IMO they have created a destination that is synonymous with sports, and that’s going to be hard to compete with… just ask Rupert Murdoch and CNNSI.
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post #45116 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 09:27 AM
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I'm not sure this is the type of competition that is good for the consumer. The two bidding up the rights to events and then getting the consumer to pay for the increased costs. Hang on to your wallets.

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More competition is great. But this is Disney, not Turner. There is no way Disney lets ESPN get complacent and it becomes the new CNN. Plus with their deep pockets they can pretty much be competitive in any negotiation (isn't Disney bigger than Comcast now?).

IMO they have created a destination that is synonymous with sports, and that's going to be hard to compete with just ask Rupert Murdoch and CNNSI.

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post #45117 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 09:43 AM
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More competition is great. But this is Disney, not Turner. There is no way Disney lets ESPN get complacent and it becomes the new CNN. Plus with their deep pockets they can pretty much be competitive in any negotiation (isn’t Disney bigger than Comcast now?).

IMO they have created a destination that is synonymous with sports, and that’s going to be hard to compete with… just ask Rupert Murdoch and CNNSI.

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I'm not sure this is the type of competition that is good for the consumer. The two bidding up the rights to events and then getting the consumer to pay for the increased costs. Hang on to your wallets.

The real question is, will Comcast have any money left to be competitive should the NBC-U deal go through? Comcast has a long history of stripping everything they acquire down to the frame in order to milk every penny out of it, leaving a shell behind they end up having to rebrand as something else.

In short, they buy stuff to avoid competing with it, not to be competitive.
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post #45118 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by mreedelp View Post

I can't see watching a series on DVD if I have already seen it, even for a better quality picture or special comments/extras. If I haven't seen it, I didn't want to see it in the first place. Even if I liked and saw the show before it came to DVD, it would have to be many years for me to want to watch it again.

For the past couple of years, I have recorded everything I want to watch and then watch the shows one at a time during the summer all at once (e.g., 24 straight thru, NCIS straight thru, etc.).

With the exception of news and the odd sporting event (e.g., Super Bowl), there isn't anything I watch as it airs. I watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. I guess I'm the broadcasters' and Nielsen's least desirable viewer.

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Not to mention that some shows we thought were great at the time don't always hold up all that well over time.


Since I've gotten back into reading, I read books by a given author in series, from first book to last. I'd love to be able to do that with TV series, but I don't trust my cable DVR enough to wait. And, I just can't wait for the next episode of 24.

Honestly, I watch TV box set for shows I never heard about until the buzz started well into the show's run. Also, I don't subscribe to the money channels, so watching Tru Blood, Dexter or other shows on those channels isn't an option.

I also watch sets for shows that were broadcast before my time and I never really caught in syndication. For example, lately, I've been catching all the seasons of Dick Van Dyke. Now that was some quality comedy...
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post #45119 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 10:07 AM
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And there they were, stacked up on the other side of the room as menacing and oppressive as the Berlin Wall: Seasons 1, 2, and 3 of Lost, five seasons of The Wire, 16 hours of Foyle's War, Mad Men, The Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, and Prison Break. The most critically acclaimed television series of our timenow on DVD!looming over him like grim death.

If I knew people would gift me over a grand worth of TV box sets if I broke my leg, I'd break it myself. Granted, I would only keep them on Blu-ray and return the DVD editions for store credit. Actually my wife would do that since I wouldn't be able to walk.
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post #45120 of 95817 Old 12-02-2009, 10:08 AM
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Favre wins again....

ESPN’s 21.4 Million Viewers for Patriots-Saints Second Most-Watched Cable Program of All-Time
ESPN Wins the Night in Households, Viewers, and Key Male and Adult Demos Among All Networks

This week’s Monday Night Football game on ESPN – the New Orleans Saints’ improving to 11-0 with a 38-17 victory over the New England Patriots – earned a 15.0 rating, representing an average of 14,872,000 households (21,402,000 viewers – P2+), making it the second most-watched cable telecast of all time among both households and viewers, as well as ESPN’s second-highest rating in the network’s 30-year history.

The MNF game also ranks as the top prime time program of the past two weeks (since 11/16/09) among all broadcast and cable networks in households, viewers, and all key male and adult demos.

The Patriots-Saints game finished just shy of ESPN’s Monday Night Football telecast October 5 (Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings), which set the all-time cable records for households (15,136,000) and viewers (21,839,000), based on an ESPN-record 15.3 rating. ESPN has set the cable household viewership record four times in as many years since acquiring the rights to MNF. In all, cable’s seven biggest household audiences ever — and eight of the top 10 – (excluding breaking news) are ESPN MNF games.

Monday’s game delivered a combined 35.0 rating in Boston (13.1 on ESPN and 21.9 on WCVB-ABC), as well as a combined 66.7 rating in New Orleans (23.3 on ESPN and 43.4 on WDSU-NBC). The New Orleans rating is the highest combined local rating for ESPN’s Monday Night Football this year, surpassing the 63.9 in New Orleans for the Falcons-Saints game (Nov. 2).

For 2009, ESPN’s MNF telecasts represent cable’s 12 biggest audiences among households and viewers (and 13 of the top 14 among households). Through 12 weeks (13 games) of the NFL season, ESPN’s MNF is averaging a 10.6 rating and 10,447,000 households (14,560,000 P2+), up 18 percent, 18 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from last season.

http://tvbythenumbers.com/2009/12/02...-viewers/35033

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