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post #78001 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:11 PM
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TV Notes
MTV2 Launches Hollywood Squares' Offshoot Hip Hop Squares'
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Mar. 30, 2012

MTV's sibling MTV2 network has greenlighted a reboot of veteran game show Hollywood Squares. Titled Hip Hop Squares, the new show will premiere May 22 and star Nick Cannon; Jackass Bam Margera; Kat Graham; DJ Khaled; rappers Fat Joe, Biz Markie, Ghostface Killah, Mac Miller and MGK; and the Pittsburgh Steelers' LaMarr Woodley, among others. Radio DJ Peter Rosenberg will host, Nicole Lyn as DJ.

The show will refresh an iconic format and create a fun, dynamic series that's unpredictable, heavy on personality and much more party' than game show', said Paul Ricci, Head of Programming for MTV2. Hip Hop Squares is under license from CBS Television Distribution, which owns rights to the original.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/mtv2...p-hop-squares/

* * * *

TV Notes
MTV Renews Challenge' And Real World'

MTV has ordered new seasons of veteran reality franchises The Challenge and The Real World. The Challenge has been renewed for a 23rd season, The Real World for 28th. Both hail from Bunim/Murray.

The most recent Challenge: Battle of the Exes cycle was the most-watched in seven seasons, averaging nearly 2 million viewers a week, while the two most recent editions of Real World delivered the franchise's best season average (The Real World: Las Vegas) and highest-rated debut (The Real World: San Diego) in five seasons. Real Worlds 27th season, The Real World: St. Thomas, is now filming for a premiere later this year.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/mtv-...nd-real-world/


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post #78002 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:14 PM
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TV Review
'Great Expectations' on PBS
Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham is riveting, but the rest of this three-hour adaptation rushes by with too little detail.
By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times - Mar. 31, 2012

The trouble with attempting to adapt any novel by Charles Dickens into a three-hour miniseries (a mini miniseries?) is that even the best, cleverest screenwriter will be forced to boil the story down to its essential plot. And while Dickens did not shirk on plot, deliriously crisscrossing fistfuls of them as if each book were an unending game of cat's cradle, action is not what defined his work.

God, they say, is in the details, and so is Charles Dickens, in the evocation of place, the palpable rise of mood and, most important, the creation of characters so freighted with eccentricity as to be unbelievable but so finely drawn that they live and breathe nonetheless.

In the latest BBC adaptation of "Great Expectations," which airs in two parts on Masterpiece Classic, only Miss Havisham, as played by Gillian Anderson, is allowed the full dimension of her literary nature. Anderson, who also gave a stellar performance as Lady Dedlock in 2006's "Bleak House," shines as one of the author's most famous creations, a woman jilted on her wedding day who refuses to move beyond that moment, moldering along with her wedding cake and bridal finery. And I mean literally shines; when we first meet her, through the eyes of young Pip (Oscar Kennedy), she is as luminous in a way that recalls Ian McKellen's Gandalf, after he has become Gandalf the White.

But within that alarmingly CG-ish halo is a riveting performance that Dickens, who hastened his own death 200 years ago by giving intense dramatic readings of his works, would no doubt applaud.

Although the basic story remains intact, the rest of the characters are sacrificed to time, space and screenwriter Sarah Phelps' choices, a small tragedy considering the talent of the performers. Raised by his "rampaging" older sister (Claire Rushbrook) and her kindly husband, Joe Gargery (Shaun Dooley), in the marshy wastelands, Pip one day encounters an escaped convict (Ray Winstone) who demands Pip bring him a file; Pip adds a pork pie, and when the convict is recaptured, he keeps Pip's actions to himself.

As if that weren't excitement enough, Pip soon finds himself sent to Satis House, the home of Miss Havisham, to provide companionship to the lady's young ward, Estella (Izzy Meikle-Small). Despite Estella's intentional coldness, Pip falls in love and longs to become a gentleman, and worthy of Estella, rather than a lowly blacksmith like Joe, who Phelps has, for reasons of her own, deprived not only of his famous childlike nature but also his unwavering faith in Pip.

Pip seems to get his wish when an anonymous benefactor provides him with money to move to London and the expectations of a fortune. How the young man Pip (Douglas Booth) handles his newfound station (not particularly well) and his courtship of Estella (Vanessa Kirby) forms the bulk of this adaptation.

Although most of the book's memorable characters are present the cold and disapproving lawyer Mr. Jaggers (David Suchet) and his softer-hearted assistant Wemmick (Paul Ritter), Pip's good-hearted roommate and confidant Herbert Pocket (Harry Lloyd), the dastardly clubman Denby (Paul Rhys) they are too often marched through scenes to establish their basic nature or simply honed down, as in the case of Wemmick, to expository nothingness. (Not a word of the book's Aged P!)

Instead, the narrative focuses on Pip's attempts to woo Estella, and though Kirby is a compelling mix of ice and fury, Booth's Pip lacks any sort of personality until the final scenes. Only amid the dust and mold of Satis House does this "Great Expectations" truly come to life, and then only when Anderson's Miss Havisham is there to light the way.

'MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: GREAT EXPECTATIONS'
Where: KOCE (PBS)
When: 9 p.m. Sunday


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,5305134.story


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post #78003 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:23 PM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Shark Tank
(R - Jan. 27)
9PM - 20/20 Special: My Extreme Affliction (120 min.)

CBS:
6PM - 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament, First Semifinal: : Louisville vs. Kentucky (LIVE)
8:30PM - 2012 NCAA Basketball Tournament, Second Semifinal: : Kansas vs. Ohio State (LIVE)

NBC:
8PM - Escape Routes (Series Premiere)
9PM - The Firm
10PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - Feb. 29)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Katy Perry hosts; Robyn performs)
(R - Dec. 10)

FOX:
8PM - COPS
8:30PM - COPS
(R - Nov. 5)
9PM - Bones
(R - Jan. 12)
* * * *
11PM - ¡Q'Viva! The Chosen (90 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits: Sonic Youth; The Black Keys (R - Jan. 22, 2011)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (3 hrs.)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie: Jet Li's Fearless (2006)
8:30PM - La Antesala
9PM - Fútbol CONCACAF Clasificación OlÃ*mpica: México vs Canadá (120 min., LIVE)


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Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No
By Dan Kois, The New York Times' Sunday Magazine - Apr. 1, 2012


(Photo: Peter Hapak)

In January, the actor Peter Dinklage surprised himself during his own Golden Globe acceptance speech. Dinklage had won the award for best supporting actor in a TV series for his portrayal of the complex, sharp-tongued Tyrion Lannister, who’s the closest thing to a hero in HBO’s epic swords-and-sex hit “Game of Thrones,” which returns for its second season on April 1. As he took the statue from the presenter, Piper Perabo, the onstage microphone stand quietly lowered into the floor to accommodate the 4-foot-5 actor.

Dinklage thanked the people he needed to thank — the author George R. R. Martin, who wrote the novels on which “Game of Thrones” is based; his mother in New Jersey; the cast and crew. As the wrap-it-up music began to swell, Dinklage thought about what his wife had been telling him all night at their table: “Let people know. It isn’t right.” He hesitated a moment, then thought, I’m just gonna do it. “I want to mention a gentleman I’ve been thinking about, in England,” he said quickly. “His name is Martin Henderson. Google him.”

A month later, during breakfast at the Trump SoHo hotel in Manhattan, Dinklage still seemed a bit uncomfortable with the attention his off-the-cuff comment received. “I read about him online the day before the Globes. It really made me sad. I don’t know why.” He corrected himself: “I mean, I know why: it’s terrible.” In October, Henderson, who is 37 and is 4-foot-2, was picked up and thrown by an unknown assailant in Somerset, England. He suffered partial paralysis and now requires a walker. The night of the Globes, after Dinklage’s mention, Henderson’s name was a trending topic on Twitter. Dinklage later turned down offers to discuss the case with Anderson Cooper and other news hosts.

“People are all, like, I dedicated it to him,” he said. “They’ve made it more romantic than it actually was. I just wanted to go, ‘This is screwed up.’ Dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It’s one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice. Not just by people who’ve had too much to drink in England and want to throw a person. But by media, everything.” He sipped his coffee and pointed out that media portrayal is, in part, the fault of actors who are dwarves. “You can say no. You can not be the object of ridicule.”

In many ways, Dinklage’s own story is unsurprising: an actor who flailed for years, worked steadily for some more years, then got a great role and became famous. The part of Tyrion Lannister has now won Dinklage that Globe, an Emmy and an army of new fans who never saw him in “Living in Oblivion,” onstage in “Richard III” or even in his breakout film, “The Station Agent,” in 2003.

Yet Dinklage’s sudden stardom offers a pleasurable meritocratic twist to his career, given that the entertainment industry doesn’t typically reward those who turn down roles on principle, much less actors who don’t meet a certain physical ideal. Sure, James Gandolfini struggled before “The Sopranos” made him an unlikely leading man. But James Gandolfini didn’t eat potato chips for dinner every night because he conscientiously objected to playing one of Santa’s elves in Kmart ads.

Dinklage recently moved away from New York, the city he called home for most of the past 20 years — first in Williamsburg and then in the West Village. The city was making him feel older than his 42 years. “Just all the clawing for space,” he said. “I felt myself becoming a bitter old man in New York, and I wanted to avoid that.”

So he has settled into a house in the woods in upstate New York with his wife, the theater director Erica Schmidt, and their baby daughter. But just 10 days after moving, Dinklage was back in Brooklyn, playing a “bitchy barista” in “A Case of You,” a small-budget romantic comedy written by his friend, the actor (and “I’m a Mac” pitchman) Justin Long. “This is the first time,” Dinklage marveled, “I’ve ever stayed in a hotel in New York.” Why come back to the city so soon for a small role in an indie film? It’s simple, he said. “When our friends call us to be in their movies, we show up.”

Dinklage grew up in Brookside, N.J., an hour west of the Lincoln Tunnel, and his insurance-salesman father and music-teacher mother didn’t even have a TV set in the house — or so Dinklage and his brother thought. One night when Dinklage was in his teens, he heard odd sounds coming from his parents’ bedroom and opened the door to find them watching a black-and-white TV they had just bought and hid in the closet. “So,” he recalled delightedly, “it was ‘Three’s Company’ from then on out, and my brain started to melt.”

Both Dinklage and his brother, Jonathan, were natural performers. (Jonathan now works as a professional violinist.) While Dinklage has said that as the only dwarf in his family, he was often angry about his height in his youth, he is quick to credit his parents for a relatively happy childhood. “I was fortunate enough,” he said, “to have an upbringing that made me more accepting of who I am.” After studying acting at Bennington, he moved to New York in 1991 with his friend and classmate Ian Bell, with visions of building a theater company modeled on the famous Steppenwolf in Chicago. Dinklage points to the 1984 “American Playhouse” production of Sam Shepard’s “True West,” starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, as the moment that steered him toward a career in acting. “A lot of us became actors because of that. Men my age — that was the linchpin.”

The apartment they shared under the Williamsburg Bridge had no heat and shook when trains passed overhead; the oven was unusable, because it was filled with rats. When they complained, Dinklage recalled, the landlord pulled a knife in the living room. “It wasn’t really a living room,” Dinklage said, “just a big empty space that we dreamed of doing ‘True West’ in. But we ended up drinking too much and had one poetry reading.” Bell recalls it “as a space where we could have parties to raise the money to make rent,” but eventually they couldn’t make the rent — they came back from the holidays one year to find the door bolted shut.

Bell left for Seattle, where he’s now an actor and a director. Dinklage stayed in New York and soon was landing stage work and the occasional low-budget film. But he couldn’t book commercial jobs, because he wasn’t interested in the kinds of roles that paid well for dwarves. Specifically, he wouldn’t play elves or leprechauns. Even after Dinklage’s memorable first film role in the 1995 Steve Buscemi indie comedy “Living in Oblivion” — Dinklage played an actor who’s annoyed to be cast in a dream sequence, demanding, “Have you ever had a dream with a dwarf in it?” — he still couldn’t get an agent. “Word got out,” he says. “I started to build up a resentment. And that fueled my desire to live in a cold apartment and be like: ‘I don’t need you! I’m gonna write poetry. Why would I want to be a member of your club if you don’t want me?’ ”

After a recommendation from Buscemi, the New York-based film director Alexandre Rockwell cast Dinklage in his shaggy-dog ensemble comedy “13 Moons.” When Rockwell met Dinklage just before his first day of shooting, they were instantly simpatico. “You might come in with some luggage about Peter’s physicality,” Rockwell says. “Right away he cuts right through that. You’re thinking, He’s a dwarf, he’s a dwarf, but Peter comes shining through as a personality beyond any kind of diminutive-size issue.”

“Alex attracts Steve Buscemi and Seymour Cassell and all those actors that are in his movies,” Dinklage said, then added with pride, “I’m one of them.” By the end of the ’90s, Dinklage was managing to make a meager living. “What I really want,” he told a theater Web site in an interview, “is to play the romantic lead and get the girl.”

Then Tom McCarthy, a recent Yale grad, met Dinklage when the actor portrayed Tom Thumb in a vaudevillian play McCarthy directed and co-wrote. The two became friends, and McCarthy was soon convinced that, indeed, Dinklage was leading-man material. “It was crystal clear,” McCarthy says. “There are qualities that leading men possess, this kind of self-assuredness and this vulnerability. Pete had both.” One day McCarthy and Dinklage ran into each other on a Manhattan street corner — “Peter was temping, and I was just scraping by as an actor” — and McCarthy later thought that Dinklage might be perfect for a script he was working on, “The Station Agent,” about an introverted train aficionado who inherits a tiny depot building in rural New Jersey. “We never imagined,” McCarthy says, “that conversation would alter both of our careers.”

Soon McCarthy had rewritten the character for Dinklage. Along with Bobby Cannavale and Patricia Clarkson, two other New York theater veterans for whom McCarthy had written roles, Dinklage showed up for reading after reading while McCarthy honed the script and raised a half-million dollars. “He never wanted to do it with anyone but us,” Dinklage said. “That sort of loyalty is really rare.” In 2003, “The Station Agent” won the Audience Award at Sundance and kick-started the careers of both its director and its star.

“I’d been in great films before, but I’d never been involved in something from the early stages,” Dinklage said. “It’s the way I wanted to work. Like Steppenwolf — loyal to the ensemble.” Dinklage views loyalty as a superior character trait; he has a circle of close friends, from Bennington and the New York film and theater scenes, who have stuck together for years. Artistic endeavors, he believes, foster the kind of foxhole friendships that last forever — relationships that last because people don’t “follow that distracting white balloon of money or somebody more famous.”

“The base line of our friendship is: He gets the joke,” says Jonathan Marc Sherman, a playwright who attended Bennington with Dinklage. In the early years, when they all were having trouble finding work they felt proud to do, every November brought a wave of calls from casting directors with elf roles. “Having the group of friends helps you stick to what your instincts are telling you to do,” Sherman speculates — though, he notes for the record, “If they’d offered me those elf roles, I would’ve taken them in a second.”

Ten years after “13 Moons” and just before Dinklage was cast in “Game of Thrones,” he offered to help produce Rockwell’s next film. “With whatever clout I had,” Dinklage said, “I wanted to see what I could do to sort of protect him.” The movie was called “Pete Smalls Is Dead.” “It came and went,” he said. “Of course nobody saw it, but that’s O.K.” The opening credits for “Pete Smalls Is Dead” list 14 producers, including Dinklage. “Out of those 14,” Rockwell says, “I could have traded eight for Peter.” He laughs: “ ‘Producer’ is such a joke. I still have never met three or four of them. But Peter was on the front line.”

“It’s funny, loyalty,” Dinklage said at the restaurant. “I’ve never really thought about that. Friends of mine will read this and say, ‘Ah, it’s important in us, but it’s not important in him.’ I’m wondering if I’m loyal now. I think I am.” He stared down at his plate. “I should call people back more readily. I’m not the best friend sometimes in terms of that. I do follow that white balloon and get distracted a lot.”

I was curious how far Dinklage’s loyalty extended, so I asked him about the weirdest, most inexplicable title in his filmography: “Tiptoes.” “ ‘Tiptoes’!” he exclaimed, shaking his head. “Oh, that movie. That was something.”

“Tiptoes” stars Kate Beckinsale and Matthew McConaughey as a couple whose relationship runs into trouble when she learns that his entire family are dwarves. As she struggles with the fact that the baby she’s carrying may also be differently sized, she is reassured by her brother-in-law, played not by Dinklage (he plays a friend) but by Gary Oldman in, according to the trailer, “the role of a lifetime” — on his knees, with a harness to shorten his arms and a hump under his shirt. Gary Oldman, that is, plays a dwarf. “There was some flak,” Dinklage acknowledged. “ ‘Why would you put Gary Oldman on his knees? That’s almost like blackface.’ And I have my own opinions about political correctness, but I was just like: ‘It’s Gary Oldman. He can do whatever he wants, and I’m so happy to be here.’ ”

I told him I was impressed that he would defend “Tiptoes,” a movie that seems, on its face, ridiculous. “It was a lovely mess of a movie while we were making it,” he sighed. “I saw the director’s cut, and it was gorgeous.” That two-and-a-half-hour director’s cut was shown at a film festival in Austin, Tex.; the director, Matthew Bright, was reportedly fired shortly afterward, and the movie was recut. “The people who fired him ruined the movie,” Dinklage insisted. “They made it into a weird little quirky rom-com, but with dwarves.” He looked gloomy as he recalled this. “It was sort of an amazing idea for a movie, but the result was what we were fighting against — the cutesiness of little people.” I asked if he ever hoped to be a spokesman for the rights of little people. He made an exasperated sound and held his hands out, palms up. “I don’t know what I would say. It would be arrogant to assume that I. . . .” He put his hands down on the table. “Everyone’s different. Every person my size has a different life, a different history. Different ways of dealing with it. Just because I’m seemingly O.K. with it, I can’t preach how to be O.K. with it. I don’t think I still am O.K. with it. There’s days when I’m not.”

The final day of the “Case of You” shoot, a man approached Dinklage looking for an autograph. “He had this ‘Game of Thrones’ coaster,” Dinklage recalled. “With me on it! And it was legitimate. It wasn’t like he made it in a copy shop. That was bizarre. Do you just walk around with a Formica coaster?”

For all the wild fandom it provokes, “Game of Thrones” started out like all those other gigs over the years: as a call from a friend of a friend. “I knew David Benioff a bit socially,” he said. “I knew his wife, Amanda Peet. He’s a smart guy, so I always sought him out at dinner parties.”

“He was always much friendlier to Amanda than he was to me,” Benioff says. “I knew he was incredibly funny, incredibly smart and had that caustic wit.” From the beginning, Dinklage was the first choice for the role of Tyrion, according to Benioff and the show’s co-creator, Dan Weiss, who observes that Dinklage’s “core of humanity, covered by a shell of sardonic dry wit, is pretty well in keeping with the character.”

Dinklage was cautious during his first “Game of Thrones” meeting. In the film “Prince Caspian,” part of the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, he had played the dwarf Trumpkin and spent the seven-month shoot in Eastern Europe and New Zealand sweating under a long red beard. “It was a lovely experience,” he said diplomatically, “but it was pretty uncomfortable.” So in that meeting with Benioff and Weiss, before anyone explained “Game of Thrones” or Tyrion Lannister to him, he made a simple request: no beard, no pointy shoes. “Dwarves in these genres always have this look. My guard was up. Not even my guard — my metal fence, my barbed wire was up. Even ‘Lord of the Rings’ had dwarf-tossing jokes in it. It’s like, Really?” But he learned from Benioff and Weiss that Tyrion was a different kind of fantasy little person. “He’s somebody who turns that on its head. No beard, no pointy shoes, a romantic, real human being.” And perhaps most important in getting Dinklage, who still hadn’t had that many lead roles in the years since “The Station Agent,” to sign on before the meeting was half over: “They told me how popular he was.”

Indeed for fans of the novels, Tyrion is among the most beloved among the scores of kings, warriors, wenches, slaves, queens and monsters that populate George R. R. Martin’s world. “My readers identify with the outcast,” Martin says, “with the underdog, with the person who’s struggling rather than the golden boy.” But Dinklage’s sly performance has made Tyrion all the more popular. He plays Tyrion as the only modern man in a muddy, violent, primal world. He loves good food, good conversation and a good book. Unlike the warmongering lords and knights of Westeros, but like most HBO subscribers, he would prefer to stay out of battle; when he’s forced by his father into leading a regiment to war, he manages to be knocked unconscious before the fight even begins.

Certainly Tyrion gets many of the series’ funniest lines. “How would you like to die?” a fearsome warrior asks him in the show’s first season, waving an ax. “In my own bed, at the age of 80, with a belly full of wine” and attended by a woman, Tyrion answers. But Dinklage’s bravado masks Tyrion’s deep well of melancholy; the black sheep of a powerful family, he has been despised his whole life by his iron-willed father and hot-tempered sister, Cersei. In the second season, Tyrion is cast in the unfamiliar role of power broker in the nation’s capital, sent to rein in the excesses of Cersei, now the queen. “It must be odd for you,” Tyrion tells Cersei in one of the first new episodes, “to be the disappointing child.” Dinklage delivers the line not with a cruel, mocking flourish but with a hint of sadness — at the only way he can connect with the sister who never loved him.

Recently Dinklage had to confess to Martin that he had read only the first book in the “Game of Thrones” series. “He looked a little hurt,” Dinklage said. “I felt bad. But no disrespect, I still haven’t read all of Tolstoy.” Dinklage likes being surprised when the scripts come in; when I asked if he really didn’t know all the crazy things that will happen to Tyrion in coming seasons, he shrugged. “I need to know the back story, obviously, to figure out who this guy is. But the . . . front story? Is that even a word?”

The series, which famously killed off the heroic Ned Stark at the end of its first season, is no safe place for an actor. “It is amazing how many more people die,” Dinklage said. “Like, leads. Like, coming up. People are gonna be shocked. They think Ned Stark was something — there’s so many more.” Tyrion, for what it’s worth, seems unkillable. “There’s a lot ahead of Tyrion,” Martin says, and judging from the books, that’s true — so far. Dinklage said he was signed on for six seasons — further into the future, possibly, than anyone besides Martin can see. “Anyways,” Dinklage said, “HBO will read this and laugh, because they own my life. ‘Ha ha ha, he signed that in blood!’ ”

The success of “Game of Thrones” — the show was renewed for a second season within days of its premiere, its viewership increased throughout the season and it was nominated for 13 Emmys — has led Dinklage to attend fan events of the sort he’s never done before. He finds it hard, sometimes, to put himself out in the world after a lifetime spent encircled by his own little Steppenwolves. His rambunctious, witty character helps, and so in a way, he’s acting, even offscreen. “They’re somewhat expecting Tyrion, you know? I mean, they like me, but they just kind of want me to say my favorite lines and stuff.” He laughed. “He’s a great character to hide behind. He’s a large personality.”

During his hiatus from “Thrones,” Dinklage hopes to act in Molière this summer at Bard, under his wife’s direction. He has been developing a script for years, based on the life of the “Fantasy Island” star Hervé Villechaize, with his friend Sacha Gervasi, director of “Anvil!” “He interviewed Hervé right before he killed himself. Sacha was a journalist, sitting here like we are now. After he killed himself, Sacha realized Hervé’s interview was a suicide note.”

What else? “My friend Mark Palansky wrote this amazing script for myself and Catherine O’Hara,” he added, which spun into a discussion of O’Hara’s greatest moments in Christopher Guest mockumentaries. “That’s a true company of loyal people,” he sighed. “They have a home, don’t they?” Do you ever wonder, I asked, how you could get in on that? He brightens. “Maybe working with Catherine will help!”

He hasn’t quite found his own home yet, but maybe his six or seven or eight or nine years on “Game of Thrones” will provide him one. Or maybe the communities he’s building around himself will keep growing until they encompass all New York and Hollywood.

“I feel really lucky,” he said, then added, “although I hate that word — ‘lucky.’ ” When I asked him why, he mulled it over for a moment, looking away. Then he focused back on me. “It cheapens a lot of hard work,” he said. “Living in Brooklyn in an apartment without any heat and paying for dinner at the bodega with dimes — I don’t think I felt myself lucky back then. Doing plays for 50 bucks and trying to be true to myself as an” — here he put on a faux snooty voice — “artist and turning down commercials where they wanted a leprechaun. Saying I was lucky negates the hard work I put in and spits on that guy who’s freezing his ass off back in Brooklyn. So I won’t say I’m lucky. I’m fortunate enough to find or attract very talented people. For some reason I found them, and they found me.”

Dan Kois is a contributing writer for the magazine and a senior editor at Slate.

GAME OF THRONES
Season 2 Premiere 9 p.m. Sunday on HBO


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/ma...ref=television


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TV Notes
Saturday's Highlights: 'Midnight in Paris' on Starz
By Los Angeles Times' 'Show Tracker' Blog - Mar. 30, 2012

[ALL TIMES LISTED ARE PACIFIC TIME]

WOODY ALLEN's 2011 COMEDY Midnight in Paris stars Owen Wilson as a creatively blocked writer at 9 p.m. on Starz. With Rachel McAdams.

SERIES

Must Love Cats:
John meets a team that performs kidney transplants on cats in this new episode (8 p.m. Animal Planet).

The Firm: Mitch (Josh Lucas) finally gets Sarah (Alex Paxton-Beesley) to tell him the truth about her case in this new episode (9 p.m. NBC).

Bayou Billionaires: The unscripted series wraps its first season (9 p.m. CMT).

Live From Daryl's House: Eric Hutchinson performs in this new episode (11:30 p.m. KTLA).

SPECIALS

Kids' Choice Awards 2012:
Children choose their favorites from music, film, television and sports. Will Smith hosts (8 and 10 p.m. Nickelodeon).

MOVIES

Hornet's Nest:
A serial killer is targeting visiting businessmen. Virginia Madsen, Sherry Stringfield, Robbie Amell, Michael Boatman and Michael Silver star in this new TV mystery (8 and 10 p.m. TNT).

Seattle Superstorm: In this new science fiction tale a UFO crashes into Puget Sound, triggering a series of earthquakes and killer storms that threaten to spread to the rest of the world. Esai Morales and Ona Grauer star (9 p.m. Syfy).

SPORTS

Tennis:
Sony Ericsson Open: Women's final (9:30 a.m. CBS).

Golf: Shell Houston Open, Third round (Noon NBC).

Pro basketball: The New Orleans Hornets visit the Lakers (12:30 p.m. FSN); the Utah Jazz visit the Clippers (7:30 p.m. FS Prime).

NCAA basketball: Semifinal: Louisville vs. Kentucky (3 p.m. CBS); Kansas vs. Ohio State (5:30 p.m. CBS).

Hockey: The Kings visit the Minnesota Wild (5 p.m. FSN); the Ducks visit the Phoenix Coyotes (6 p.m. KDOC).

Soccer: The New England Revolution visit the Galaxy (8 p.m. NBCSP).

Women's soccer: Japan vs. U.S. (Sunday 3:25 a.m. ESPN2).


http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/show...-on-starz.html


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post #78006 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:40 PM
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Nielsen Notes
Bumpy start for 'CBS This Morning'
Longtime third-place show falls 11 percent in total viewers
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 30, 2012

It can take time, years even, for the ratings for a news show to turn around after a makeover.

But while it may be premature to call "CBS This Morning," the latest reboot of the network's weekday morning news show, a miss, it's definitely not a hit.

Viewership for "Morning" fell 11 percent during second quarter, according to Nielsen, from 2.8 million last year, when the program was called "The Early Show," to 2.498 million this year.

It's also down 14 percent among adults 25-54, news' target demo, to 1.03 million.

Gains were certainly tough to come by in morning news in first quarter.

Only ABC's recently surging "Good Morning America" was up from last year, narrowing the gap between it and longtime No. 1 "Today" on NBC to the smallest margin in 17 years, though the latter still held a comfortable lead.

"Today" averaged 5.39 million viewers, down 4 percent from 5.6 million at this time last year, while "GMA" was up 1 percent, from 4.88 million to 4.93 million.

"GMA" was also up 7 percent in 25-54s, to 1.997 million, while "Today" fell 8 percent, to 2.385 million.

CBS's morning news program has lagged behind the other two for years, and this latest revamp was an attempt to really distinguish the show from its rivals.

CBS hired Charlie Rose and Gayle King as new co-hosts, joining Erica Hill, and gave the broadcast distinct parts. Where Rose presides, the broadcast highlights harder news. King features the more traditional morning spiel of pop culture and lifestyle stories.

Give CBS credit for trying a new take on the morning news, an area where the tried and true dominates. The problem is that news audiences are as set in their ways at the shows themselves and are notoriously resistant to change.

CBS saw just how much that was so six years ago when it brought in Katie Couric to anchor "CBS Evening News" with the promise of an entirely new approach to the evening news, one focused on a softer, feature-driven approach to stories.

Alas, Couric's broadcast saw ratings decline sharply and eventually went back to a more traditional format.

It's too early to say what will happen with "This Morning." The early declines certainly aren't encouraging, but a lot of shows see an initial dip when a new host comes in.

After the audience stabilizes, and the new hosts have a chance to establish their chemistry, then the ratings are more likely to rise.

"GMA" is a perfect example. It took some time after the addition of George Stephanopoulos three years ago for the show to find the right balance.

But now it's been growing for months, and while it still isn't close to overtaking "Today," last week it came within 137,000 viewers of its rival, the smallest gap between the two in five years.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ing-reboot.asp


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post #78007 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:44 PM
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TV Review
'The Killing' returns to the scene
The conclusion of the AMC show's first season upset many viewers. Season 2's opener gives some answers, to a point. Even so, the characters' secrets are most compelling.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - Mar. 31, 2012

When "The Killing" concluded its first season on AMC in June 2011, cries of dismay not heard since David Chase finished off "The Sopranos" with 10 seconds of carefully crafted dead air rang throughout the land. Seemingly ready to declare, after much hemming and hawing, that Seattle City Council President and mayoral candidate Darren Richmond (Billy Campbell) was the killer of teenager Rosie Larsen, it changed its mind in the final minutes, leaving many viewers, critics and citizens alike, feeling they had been victims themselves of an insult and an injury.

Now it is back, with a second season starting Sunday to further test your patience, confirm your fears or fulfill your hopes, as its bedraggled heroine, homicide detective Sarah Linden (Mireille Enos), begins to deal with the fact that evidence she thought real had been fabricated and that street-talking new partner Stephen Holder (Joel Kinnaman), whom she was just starting to like, was somehow mixed up in it.

Although the mood has changed somewhat which is to say, it has grown even more dark and dour, with a new note of paranoia the two-hour opener does not represent in any significant sense a change of plan, style or approach. Though some specific questions will be cleared up, or at least made less muddy, it will not leave you any closer to the bottom of the mystery, as there is still the rest of the season to fill out.

Even within the space of that episode what looks to be true will change and change again. Indeed, it's hard to remember without reviewing them all the wrong turns the case took in Season 1: sex crime, serial killing, act of terrorism, sordid something-or-other, breath mint, candy mint.

I like "The Killing" and its naturalistic, if perhaps too persistently damp and gloomy, take on film noir. (Even the sympathetic viewer eventually can come to feel himself afflicted with a case of seasonal affective disorder.) I even approve of its cliffhanger.

I definitely prefer it to the conclusion creator Veena Sud, reimagining a popular Danish series, seemed about to offer up though I can see how it might have felt like a last straw after a season of red herrings and reversals. (But something was going to have to keep Sarah from flying off to Sonoma and a boring new life with her clearly dispensable fiance; that is not a show anyone would have returned to watch.)

It isn't perfect, certainly. The political story line, which features an evil mayor lacking only a waxed mustache to twirl, a decadent young gazillionaire and, that old favorite, a construction project, feels a little too familiar. Even Richmond's quasi-lovelorn aide (Eric Ladin) is very much a recognizable, not to say parodied, type. I can see its practical uses, but on its own, it's far from compelling.

The detectives, for their part, are forever questioning suspects out of the presence of a lawyer and generally conduct their investigation without much respect to whether they're creating a lot of inadmissible evidence. This is standard operating procedure on TV cop shows, of course, but the flaws of "The Killing" are more pronounced for their being set against its ambitions and successes.

Beneath its complicated, many-charactered superstructure, the series seems to me the story of three women: Sarah; Mitch Larsen (Michelle Forbes), the mother of the murdered girl; and Gwen Eaton (Kristin Lehman), candidate Richmond's advisor and undercover lover. None are particularly young that's a good thing, for the story and for Hollywood and all of them are on edge. This is music for knitted brows, penetrating stares and questions answered with silence. (Sud happily keeps her characters from becoming too articulate or self-knowing.)

Not to scant the men, notably Brent Sexton as Mitch's husband Stan, whose grieving tends to turn brutal, and Kinnaman's most original Holder imagine Shaggy with career ambitions and a former meth habit. But, like male dancers in classical ballet, they often strike me as instruments to show off the women, if just by troubling them. That's not to say they don't get their solos.

Billboards advertising the series' first season asked "Who killed Rosie Larsen?" But the bigger mysteries here belong to the living nearly every major character has had some dark secret to reveal, and it's the progress through these that draw us forward. (One of last season's best episodes saw Sarah and Holder off the case for a day, as they searched for her missing son and guardedly got to know each other better.) What will become of Sarah matters more, finally, than what happened to Rosie.

'THE KILLING'
Where: AMC
When: 8 p.m. Sunday


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,5891390.story


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post #78008 of 96947 Old 03-30-2012, 11:49 PM
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Critic's Notes
What's wrong with these kids today?
Why Do Adult Dramas Like 'Smash' and 'Terra Nova' Have Such Terrible Teen Characters?
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com

I stepped back from regular reviews of "Smash" after last week's episode, but in watching Monday's, I couldn't help marveling at how most of the hour felt like Theresa Rebeck wrote it on a dare to prominently include every one of the most hated characters and stories the show has developed in its short, uneven life. Particularly amusing, but not in the way intentioned, was that we actually took several minutes to revisit the legal troubles of Julia's son Leo, who's not only incredibly irritating but has nothing to do with the show within the show. At least when we spend time with the horrible Ellis, it's within the context of making "Marilyn: the Musical," or whatever it's going to be called; why exactly are we spending time with Leo, who's part of a plague of Annoying Teenage Boys who have descended on television in the last few years?

While I was musing on that yesterday, "The Shield" creator (and producer of "Terriers," "The Unit," "The Chicago Code," etc.) Shawn Ryan was going on a Twitter run about all the ways "Smash" had gone awry, and suggested that at least some of the problems had to be coming from network notes. I asked whether we could blame networks for all the obnoxious teenage characters not just Leo, but Tyler on "V," Jack Linden on "The Killing" and Josh from "Terra Nova," to name three recent examples and he said yes, then tweeted, "Think a lot of writers/networks mistakingly think the mere presence of a teenager is show (however annoying) will lure teens into watching."

And that's not a new phenomenon, nor one that's confined to adult programs. I remember when I was a kid, a lot of the cartoons I watched had kid characters often, in the case of something like "Superfriends," adding them to pre-existing source material where they didn't exist who were elevated to a position of prominence that never made sense to me at the time. With the benefit of hindsight, I have to agree with Shawn's theory, and say they were there because an executive or producer assumed kids wouldn't want to watch a bunch of grown-ups have adventures unless there was someone close to their own age to relate to. And it always seemed like a fundamental misunderstanding of the audience. Though some of the kids were non-terrible, I was tuning in to watch Superman or Batman or the guys from M.A.S.K. do something cool, not Wendy and Marvin, the Wonder Twins or Scott Trakker and his pet robot T-Bob. Or, to use a live-action example from when I was slightly older, think of Wesley Crusher, who was there as young audience bait, and yet is someone whom Wil Wheaton is still apologizing for 25 years later.

For similar reasons, I don't think anyone's not going to watch a show about the making of a Broadway musical, or the investigation into a murder in Seattle, or the forming of a rebellion against an alien invasion because there's not a character their age on there. You're going to watch or not watch because you're interested in the subject. And yet time and again, we get these younger characters shoe-horned into genre pieces, and the great majority of them are unwatchable. It's like everyone involved thought they just had to cast someone young-looking and get back to focusing on more important matters.

That's not to say that there aren't plenty of good teen characters of either gender on television. Just watch "Parenthood" (or, before it, "Friday Night Lights") to see how well it can be done. But usually, these characters work because the show is designed to be as much about their concerns as the adults', rather than sticking them in at the last minute to hit some kind of demographic sweet spot. I've mentioned how compelling Rex on "Awake" is, which is a credit to Dylan Minnette's performance and the writing for the character, but that's also a show that couldn't exist without Rex; he's as necessary to everything as Britten's wife, his two partners, the cases, the shrinks, etc.

(It's funny that both "Awake" and "Homeland" which I thought (though others disagreed) did a very good job of integrating Brody's daughter into the story and making her central to its resolution are produced by Howard Gordon, who was also one of the key writers on "24," which had the female equivalent of this problem in the perpetually-endangered Kim Bauer. At least there, they recognized after a few seasons that it was getting silly even by their standards and wrote Kim out.)

The kid characters on "Game of Thrones" are all very strong and when you despise one of them, like Joffrey, it's because you're supposed to, and not because the writers and actors have fallen down on the job but that's also a show working off of source material where those characters existed, and I think it's safe to say that George R.R. Martin wasn't trying to cover as many demographic bases as possible when he conceived of all the characters in Westeros.

And there are some exceptions even to the idea of a teen boy character on a show where he's not really necessary, like Noah Wyle's oldest son Hal on "Falling Skies." Whatever problems that show had as it moved on, Hal was never treated as an idiot plot device like Tyler or Josh, or a whiny brat of variable age like Leo. He didn't do everything perfectly, but he also doesn't get into trouble just to generate story, and he's written consistently. Not the show's greatest asset, but also not it's hugest liability the way a bunch of these other teen boys are.

It's gotten so bad that on our recent podcast review of "Missing" where the teen character is baked into the premise (remember, Ashely Judd is a MOTHER, looking for HER SON!) Dan and I actually felt the need to stop and discuss where Judd's son fit on the Annoying Teenage Boy continuum. (My feeling was that he gets worse the more he's given to do, which is generally not a good sign.) And Shawn, who's currently at work on the "Last Resort" pilot for ABC, felt the need to remind his Twitter followers that this show will not feature any characters like that.

He's not the only creator developing a pilot right now. There are dozens and dozens of drama and comedy pilots being shot and edited right now, and depending on which ones get picked up, we could face another wave of noxious, unnecessary, badly-written and/or performed underage characters coming our way in the fall. I'd like to think that the failure of "Terra Nova" (which was, after all, supposed to focus on the family), the "Smash" audience's unrelenting hatred and mockery of Leo, etc., might convince producers and network suits that the new shows either need to do much better by their teen characters or else would be much better off without them, but I doubt it. I've seen too many Zan and Jaynas, too many Wesleys and (to borrow someone from the other gender) Kim Bauers to think we're going to be rid of this phenomenon anytime soon. All we can really hope for is that the casting and writing gets better over time, but if not, we're going to get more moments like Leo moaning like a 9-year-old, "My sister is waiting for us in China! What is going to happen to her if we don't go and get her!"

What does everybody else think? What, to your mind, separates the good kids on adult shows from the bad?

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...ese-kids-today


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TV Review
‘Titanoboa: Monster Snake’ on Smithsonian Channel
Just Try to Get This One on a Plane
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Mar. 31, 2012

A spring warning for puttering-in-the-garden types who have occasionally been startled by a garter snake as they pull the weeds: Soon you may be seeing a cousin of that garter lolling in your flowerbed. This snake will be fairly easy to distinguish from the other. It’ll be the one that’s longer than your house.

“Titanoboa: Monster Snake,” coming Sunday on the Smithsonian Channel, suggests near the end of the program that we may not have seen the last of the incredibly large prehistoric serpent known as Titanoboa, or something like it. The program notes the correlation between snake size and temperature. In Britain, with a relatively mild climate, the biggest snake is about six feet long, while in the modern-day Amazon basin, anacondas might reach 25 feet. Throw in a little global warming, and suddenly those 25-footers could be runts.

Titanoboa, you see, was 48 feet long. People strolling through Grand Central Terminal the other day got a first-hand look at just how big that is, because the Smithsonian Channel had plunked a life-size model of the snake there as a promotional device. In the program, there’s a scene in which four researchers are struggling to hold onto an annoyed green anaconda in the wetlands of Venezuela that looks to be about 20 feet long.

“This is probably the size of a juvenile Titanoboa, maybe about a year old,” says Jonathan I. Bloch, one of those researchers. Oh.

Though the prospect of a Titanoboa-filled future makes for a delightful image to pass on to your grandchildren, the most interesting part of the program is the story of the discovery of the first Titanoboa fossils at a coal mine in Colombia and the dawning realization of just how big the snake was.

A Colombian graduate student first noticed a fossilized leaf at the mine in 2002, and researchers then began discovering a wealth of animal fossils there too, including, we’re told, “turtles with shells the size of pool tables.”

Dr. Bloch, a curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History, was among those working the site. At his lab in Florida, a graduate student going through a box of crocodile bones found a colossal vertebrae that was from something other than a crocodile.

It was identified as coming from a snake, but one of a size never seen before. A fellow scientist advises Dr. Bloch in the program that if this snake were coming through his office door, it would have to squeeze through. Which is why, in a globally warmed future, all offices will need a second exit, just in case.

TITANOBOA: MONSTER SNAKE
Smithsonian Channel, Sunday night at 8, Eastern and Pacific time; 7 Central time.


http://tv.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/art...ref=television


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post #78010 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 07:10 AM
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Move along people. Nothing to see here [re: Olbermann's latest departure].

I love Keith, but every time he blows up another network I think back to what one of his former colleagues at ESPN said about him: "Keith doesn't just burn his bridges, he napalms them."
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I love Keith, but every time he blows up another network I think back to what one of his former colleagues at ESPN said about him: "Keith doesn't just burn his bridges, he napalms them."

Current TV was his bridge to nowhere , burning brightly Now in his rear view mirror .................
L O L !
I used to like the guy till he got the idea/attitude that Keith knows all.

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So, where's he go next? HDNet?

It seemed to work for Dan Rather....


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post #78013 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 09:55 AM
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So, where's he go next? HDNet?

It seemed to work for Dan Rather....

Dan who ?
HDnet what's that ? is that like OWN ?

Mike

JAZZ IS NOT DEAD IT JUST SMELLS FUNNY ; FRANK ZAPPA
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post #78014 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 10:13 AM
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DIRECTV Accepts Tribune's Terms for Broadcast Stations

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Mar 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DIRECTV said today that it has accepted financial terms Tribune's management offered to it by phone on Thursday, March 29 at 3:30 PM EST, to carry their 23 local broadcast stations to ensure customers do not lose their programming when the agreement with Tribune expires tonight at midnight.

We accept the rate proposal Tribune set forth on Thursday for the local channels and look forward to completing this agreement, said Dan Hartman, senior vice president of Programming. While we have been negotiating in good faith for two months, we believe Tribune's viewers and our customers are best served by making sure the local stations remain on our service without disruption first and will then negotiate a separate agreement for WGN America.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dir...ons-2012-03-31
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DIRECTV Accepts Tribune's Terms for Broadcast Stations

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Mar 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- DIRECTV said today that it has accepted financial terms Tribune's management offered to it by phone on Thursday, March 29 at 3:30 PM EST, to carry their 23 local broadcast stations to ensure customers do not lose their programming when the agreement with Tribune expires tonight at midnight.

We accept the rate proposal Tribune set forth on Thursday for the local channels and look forward to completing this agreement, said Dan Hartman, senior vice president of Programming. While we have been negotiating in good faith for two months, we believe Tribune's viewers and our customers are best served by making sure the local stations remain on our service without disruption first and will then negotiate a separate agreement for WGN America.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dir...ons-2012-03-31

and don't forget the price increase to pay for these channels. when the price increase comes I don't want any DirecTv customers to complain because they are partly to blame.
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and don't forget the price increase to pay for these channels. when the price increase comes I don't want any DirecTv customers to complain because they are partly to blame.

Oh I think I'll reserve the right to bitch and moan about the price increases. I doubt any of the locals had any effect around here and I could probably count the times I watch WGN-HD on one hand in a year, especially since 'Legend of the Seeker' got cancelled.
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Peter Dinklage Was Smart to Say No
By Dan Kois, The New York Times' Sunday Magazine - Apr. 1, 2012

Awesome interview! Thanks for posting.

Peter Dinklage has been one of my favorite actors ever since I first saw "The Station Agent", one of my all-time favorite films. Interestingly though, I've yet to see "Game of Thrones", which has revealed his talents to the masses.
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post #78018 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 12:27 PM
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By Jay Posner
Friday, March 30, 2012

With less than a week remaining until Opening Day, the only development in the Padres' TV situation Friday was an exchange of strong words between Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable.

One day after FSSD said it did not expect to have a agreement with Time Warner or AT&T U-Verse in place by Thursday's Padres season opener, the cable operator said Fox was being "unreasonable."

"We continue to negotiate for the right to put the Padres games on the air," said a statement issued by Time Warner. "Fox is currently demanding a 400% price increase over the price we paid for the Padres last year. That is unreasonable and it's the main issue."

But Fox said the two situations are not comparable.

Time Warner's comparison is absurd," the company said in a statement. "FS San Diego is a new 24/7 local sports network featuring more than 150 Padres games and more than 300 pro and collegiate events.

"For Time Warner to compare it to a completely different channel that wasn't owned by Fox is a smokescreen to avoid paying a fair market rate.

Neither company would be specific about how much Fox is seeking for the games. Time Warner also would not say how much it paid Cox Communications for Padres games last season, or how much it was offering FSSD.

AT&T U-verse also issued a statement that said only: We're still in discussions but don't have any updates to share at this time.

Fox, which has a 20-year deal to televise the Padres pending approval from Major League Baseball, said it was continuing negotiations with Dish Network.

Cox Communications already has a deal to carry FSSD on channels 56/1056, and DirecTV will carry Padres games on channel 694

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/...ge-statements/
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post #78019 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 12:27 PM
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Awesome interview! Thanks for posting.

Peter Dinklage has been one of my favorite actors ever since I first saw "The Station Agent", one of my all-time favorite films. Interestingly though, I've yet to see "Game of Thrones", which has revealed his talents to the masses.

Same here, loved "The Station Agent", some great actors giving some great performances.
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Originally Posted by tomhunter8 View Post

Awesome interview! Thanks for posting.

Peter Dinklage has been one of my favorite actors ever since I first saw "The Station Agent", one of my all-time favorite films. Interestingly though, I've yet to see "Game of Thrones", which has revealed his talents to the masses.

He was excellent on Nip/Tuck as well.
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post #78021 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 03:16 PM
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media INsight's Blog


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post #78022 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 03:32 PM
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Nielsen Overnights
'Fringe' ratings rise, match 'Grimm'
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Mar. 31, 2012

The ratings for Fox’s Fringe rose its second week back on the air, enough to tie NBC’s Grimm at 9 p.m.

Fringe was seen by 3.1 million viewers and delivered a 1.2 adult demo rating, up 33.33333333 percent from last week (if you want to be really exact about it). Grimm had 4.2 million viewers and also had a 1.2 rating. As pointed out in the most recent edition of our Death Watch rundown of each broadcast show’s survival odds, the industry rumor mill on whether Fringe will get renewed flipped from negative to positive this week after Fox’s Alcatraz ratings bottomed out. Nothing is for sure yet, but this recovery doesn’t hurt.

Also Friday: CBS’ Undercover Boss (1.8) won 8 p.m., CSI: NY (1.6) topped 9 p.m. and 20/20 (2.1) led 10 p.m. and the night. CW’s Nikita (0.4) was really low, Supernatural (0.7) was up a tick.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/03/31/fr...e-match-grimm/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes
'Punk'd,' 'Pauly D' ratings strong, but no 'Shore'

MTV’s revival of Punk’d and the debut of its first Jersey Shore spin-off launched to strong numbers Thursday night, though fell shy of the standards set by hits like Shore and the Teen Mom franchise.

Punk’d delivered 3.2 million viewers at 10 p.m., while Pauly D had 2.9 million viewers. Both were the night’s top show in MTV’s target 12-34 year-old demographic. By (perhaps unfair) comparison, Teen Mom has clocked 4 million viewers and Thursday night mainstay Shore has delivered over 8 million.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/03/30/pu...uly-d-ratings/


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post #78023 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 03:35 PM
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TV Notes
Chevy Chase In Feud With ‘Community’ Creator Dan Harmon
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Mar. 31, 2012

Things are looking up for NBC’s perennial bubble series Community, which has been solid since returning from a long hiatus earlier this month, establishing itself as NBC’s second highest-rated comedy behind The Office. But behind the scenes, a rift between co-star Chevy Chase and creator/executive producer/showrunner Dan Harmon has escalated into an ugly war of words.

Accounts of the feud have leaked online, including on social news website Reddit. The chronology of the events, corroborated to me by multiple sources, involves Chase walking off the set of the show on the last day of shooting last month without filming one of his scenes, which reportedly was to close out the season finale. Then at the wrap party, Harmon got up and gave a “f*** you, Chevy” speech in front of Chase and his wife and daughter, and encouraged the crew to join him in saying “f*** you” to the actor. Chase left immediately and later left Harmon a profane-laden voice message, a portion of which found its way to the Web after Harmon played it in front of other people. Click here for audio. (Warning: foul language!) In the voice message, Chase addresses both his storming off the set, which he attributes to not getting the script beforehand, (some say it’s because he didn’t find the scene funny) and the wrap party incident.

People close to the matter told me they weren’t surprised by the feud, noting that Chase already had a reputation of being difficult before signing on for Community. (I hear it was NBC’s former boss Ben Silverman who championed Chase for the project and was instrumental in bringing him on board.) Word is Chase has stormed off the set of the NBC show in the middle of a scene a number of times and has also gotten into arguments with Community executive producers-directors Anthony and Joe Russo. There had been tension between Chase and Harmon, and with both of them described as “passionate” or “volatile,” depending who you talk to, a blowup was “inevitable,” one person said. Ironically, a recorded Chevy Chase phone call played a major role in another feud involving the Saturday Night Live alum, that with shock jock Howard Stern.

It is unclear at the moment what impact the falling-out between Harmon and Chase would have on Community and whether Chase would continue on the show. The producers’ attention right now is focused on securing a fourth-season renewal for the offbeat comedy, which appears more and more likely. The pickup is key to the syndication prospects of the series, which has an off-network deal with Comedy Central as well as a non-exclusive pact with Hulu. While he was the biggest name when Community launched, the series has made stars out of several of its little known supporting players, with Joel McHale firmly established as the show’s leading man. Still, Community has benefited Chase, boosting his sagging career with a role on a hip show.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/chev...or-dan-harmon/


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post #78024 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 08:38 PM
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TV Notes
‘Face the Nation’ expands to hour, features Joe Biden
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Mar. 30, 2012

CBS’ “Face the Nation“ becomes an hour telecast this weekend, and moderator Bob Schieffer talks to Vice President Joe Biden.

The program airs at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on WKMG-Channel 6. Schieffer’s other guests are Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. A panel discussion features Gwen Ifill of “PBS NewsHour” and “Washington Week,” Romney campaign adviser Kevin Madden, and Jan Crawford and John Dickerson, both of CBS.

In a release, Schieffer said: “For 57 years, ‘Face the Nation’ has covered the biggest stories and the most important newsmakers in American politics. Starting Sunday, we’ll bring you a full hour. It’s about time!”

Also on the Sunday morning guest list:

NBC”s “Meet the Press” features Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. The program starts at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. The panel will be Tom Friedman and David Brooks of The New York Times; Jon Meacham of Random House and Time magazine; former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn.; and Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Fox News Sunday” talks to Santorum; former Gov. Haley Barbour, R-Miss.; and former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt. The program starts at 9 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. The panel will be Juan Williams, Bill Kristol, Liz Marlantes of The Christian Science Monitor and Chip Saltsman, former Mike Huckabee campaign manager.

CNN’s “State of the Union” welcomes Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich.; and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md. The program starts at 9 a.m. and noon.

ABC’s “This Week” talks to Rep. Ryan and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. The program airs at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. The panel will be George Will, Matt Bai of The New York Times, Ann Coulter, former White House environmental adviser Van Jones and Terry Moran of ABC’s “Nightline.”

http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/ent...joe-biden.html


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post #78025 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 08:47 PM
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Busines Notes
DirecTV, Tribune Still At Odds In Retrans Dispute
Agreements Covering 23 Local TV Stations, WGN America Expire Midnight Saturday
By Multichannel News Staff - Mar. 31, 2012

DirecTV on Saturday said it had accepted Tribune Broadcasting's retransmission terms covering 23 local TV stations across the U.S. -- but Tribune subsequently issued a statement saying it had not agreed to any deal, with the previous contract set to expire at midnight.

Tribune Broadcasting has not reached an agreement or come to terms with DirecTV on any aspect of its contract, which expires at midnight tonight," the broadcasting company said. "Any statement by DirecTV to the contrary is inaccurate and misleading."

Earlier, DirecTV announced that it had accepted the financial terms Tribune's management offered by phone on Thursday, March 29, at 3:30 p.m. ET to carry its local broadcast stations. It said it would negotiate separately for WGN America, Tribune's national cable network.

"We accept the rate proposal Tribune set forth on Thursday for the local channels and look forward to completing this agreement," Dan Hartman, DirecTV senior vice president of programming, said in a statement issued around noon ET. "While we have been negotiating in good faith for two months, we believe Tribune's viewers and our customers are best served by making sure the local stations remain on our service without disruption first and will then negotiate a separate agreement for WGN America."

Tribune issued the statement that it had not reached an agreement with DirecTV at about 2 p.m. ET.

In a press release at 4:15 p.m. responding to Tribune's denial that a deal was in place, DirecTV said, "We're extremely perplexed as Tribune management and DirecTV had a handshake deal on Thursday with an agreed-upon rate for their channels. Their actions are the true definition of 'bad faith' in every sense of the term."

DirecTV continued, "We can't help but wonder whether Tribune's ability to negotiate a reasonable retransmission agreement with DirecTV is being undermined by the complexities and competing interests in their lengthy bankruptcy process. Despite our best efforts to compensate Tribune fairly for both WGN America and the local stations, it seems they are focused on unduly benefitting their creditors rather than viewers. Threatening station blackouts to extract an exorbitant fee for all of Tribune's content may provide an improved return for certain banks and hedge funds, but is not in the interest of its viewers and is not a cure for bankruptcy."

The satellite TV company added that if the Tribune local stations and WGN America are pulled from DirecTV at midnight, "it will be 100% Tribune's decision to take them away from customers. To come so close and then renege on terms that affect millions of customers defies Tribune's long history of protecting the public interest. However, we hope Tribune does the right thing and honors their word, keeps the channels on and puts customers before creditors."

Chicago-based Tribune owns or operates 23 stations in 16 U.S. markets. The dispute with DirecTV involves its national cable network -- WGN America -- and 23 broadcast properties comprising independent stations and Fox, ABC and The CW affiliates in major markets including New York (WPIX-TV); Los Angeles (KTLA-TV), Denver (KWGN-TV); Philadelphia (WPHL-TV); and New Orleans (WGNO-TV).

DirecTV has set up a customer-information website on the dispute at directvpromise.com, while Tribune's is at telldirectv.com.

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


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post #78026 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 08:54 PM
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TV Notes
First look at BBC America's 'Copper,' plus premiere date
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Mar. 30, 2012

BBC America’s first original scripted series now has a photo — and a premiere date.

The network’s ambitious debut project, Copper, is a crime drama set in 1860s New York. It stars Tom Weston-Jones as rugged Irish-American cop working the city’s notorious Five Points neighborhood, struggling to maintain his moral compass in a chaotic world. The talent behind this drama is impressive: Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson (Homicide), Will Rokos (Monster’s Ball), Glen Salzman and Cineflix Studios president Christina Wayne (a former AMC executive who helped develop Mad Men).

So now that we’ve caught you up to speed, here’s the news: Copper, from BBC America and Cineflix Studios, debuts August 19 at 9 p.m. (yup, a Sunday — that night is getting so crowded with great cable TV). Below is your first look, with Weston-Jones and his detective partner played by Kevin Ryan: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/03/30/copper/#more-80764


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post #78027 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 09:00 PM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R - Oct. 16)
8PM - Once Upon A Time
9PM - Desperate Housewives
10PM - GCB

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The 47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (Three hours, LIVE)

NBC:
7PM - Dateline NBC
8PM - The Celebrity Apprentice (Three hours)

FOX:
7PM - The Simpsons
(R - Dec. 4)
7:30PM - The Cleveland Show
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - Jan. 8)
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy
9:30PM - American Dad

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Barbara Walters and Geoffrey Canada
9PM - Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations (Part 1 of 2)
10PM - Saving the Titanic

UNIVISION:
7PM - Parodiando
8PM - Nuestra Belleza Latina (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Pa'lante Con Cristina (120 min.)
9PM - Movie: Death Race (2008)


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post #78028 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 09:37 PM
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Business Notes
UPDATE: Tribune Stations Will Go Dark On DirecTV At Midnight
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Mar. 31, 2012

7:50 PM PT: Tribune confirms that its stations and WGN America will vanish from DirecTV at midnight in their local time zones. Tribune simply cannot get fair compensation from DirecTV and we cannot allow DirecTV to continue taking advantage of us, the company's broadcasting president, Nils Larsen, says. Tribune adds that up to now DirecTV hasn't paid a fee to carry the TV stations and says that it is asking for an agreement that is similar to those that DirecTV already has in place with hundreds of other broadcasters and program providers. Larsen notes that DirecTV subscribers can still watch the broadcast stations for free in HD with a TV antenna or through an alternative pay-TV provider. DirecTV says that having the stations go dark is the last thing we want to do but we have no choice. It asked Tribune to allow the satellite company to keep the channels up while we try and work this out, it's the only right thing to do for the customers and we hope Tribune will give us the OK to do that.

The announcements come as a surprise particularly after DirecTV prematurely announced this morning that it had a deal with Tribune. Pay TV programmers and distributors frequently play a game of chicken with retransmission consent negotiations, but typically settle before things get out of hand. If the stalemate continues, then we can expect to see lawmakers and the FCC become involved. Regulators are already weighing proposals that might curtail blackouts when there's a contract impasse. And there's sure to be an outcry from baseball fans in several major cities as the season begins: Tribune stations broadcast the Chicago Cubs and White Sox, the Philiadelphia Phillies, the Washington Nationals, and the New York Mets.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/dire...smission-spat/


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post #78029 of 96947 Old 03-31-2012, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Busines Notes
DirecTV, Tribune Still At Odds In Retrans Dispute
Agreements Covering 23 Local TV Stations, WGN America Expire Midnight Saturday
By Multichannel News Staff - Mar. 31, 2012

"We accept the rate proposal Tribune set forth on Thursday for the local channels and look forward to completing this agreement," Dan Hartman, DirecTV senior vice president of programming, said in a statement issued around noon ET. "While we have been negotiating in good faith for two months, we believe Tribune's viewers and our customers are best served by making sure the local stations remain on our service without disruption first and will then negotiate a separate agreement for WGN America."

Tribune issued the statement that it had not reached an agreement with DirecTV at about 2 p.m. ET.

In a press release at 4:15 p.m. responding to Tribune's denial that a deal was in place, DirecTV said, "We're extremely perplexed as Tribune management and DirecTV had a handshake deal on Thursday with an agreed-upon rate for their channels. Their actions are the true definition of 'bad faith' in every sense of the term."

DirecTV continued, "We can't help but wonder whether Tribune's ability to negotiate a reasonable retransmission agreement with DirecTV is being undermined by the complexities and competing interests in their lengthy bankruptcy process. Despite our best efforts to compensate Tribune fairly for both WGN America and the local stations, it seems they are focused on unduly benefitting their creditors rather than viewers. Threatening station blackouts to extract an exorbitant fee for all of Tribune's content may provide an improved return for certain banks and hedge funds, but is not in the interest of its viewers and is not a cure for bankruptcy."

Gee, this is not the first time DirecTV has used the "...but we had a deal. See? We're not the bad guys here..." type of negotiating tactic, IIRC.
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post #78030 of 96947 Old 04-01-2012, 01:34 AM
 
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On the other hand, expecting DirecTV to pay money to carry your channel when you're sending it out over the public airwaves for free at the same time is even more ridiculous. It's not like DirecTV carrying the channel is free for them; they have to pay for transponder space and a bunch of satellites to carry all these dumb affiliates. That **** ain't cheap.

I think every cable and satellite provider who pays a ABC/CBS/NBC/FOX affiliate for carriage is stupid.
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