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post #79081 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 09:50 PM
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TV Notes
Microsoft Dropping DVD/Blu-ray Playback Support in Windows 8
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag.com

In an effort to keep costs down, Microsoft will ditch DVD playback support for Windows Media Player in Windows 8, though there will be the option to purchase Windows Media Center to get DVD functionality.

Windows Media Player will be available within all editions of Windows 8, but users won't be able to use it to play DVDs. Why? It's too expensive, Microsoft said in a blog post.

Playing DVDs on PCs, as well as watching broadcast TV, "require a specialized set of decoders (and hardware) that cost a significant amount in royalties," wrote Bernardo Caldas with the Windows Business Group. "With these decoders built into most Windows 7 editions, the industry has faced those costs broadly, regardless of whether or not a given device includes an optical drive or TV tuner."

Given that Windows 8 will be available on a variety of form factors, Microsoft's partners have expressed concerns about codec licensing costs, prompting the DVD playback decision.

Caldas said Microsoft felt comfortable ditching the feature thanks in large part to the growth of online video. Consumers today are more likely to watch video via streaming services like Netflix or Hulu than by placing a DVD in their PC's optical drive.

For those who are still partial to DVDs, however, Windows 8 will offer the option to purchase Windows Media Center with DVD playback functionality via an "Add Features to Windows 8" menu.

"This ensures that customers who are interested in Media Center have a convenient way to get it," Caldas wrote. "For optical discs playback on new Windows 8 devices, we are going to rely on the many quality solutions on the market, which provide great experiences for both DVD and Blu-ray."

The option will be known as the Windows 8 Media Center Pack for those with Windows 8 Pro and as the Windows 8 Pro Pack for those with Windows 8. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date, Caldas said, but "will be in line with marginal costs."

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that it would also ditch the "Windows Live" branding in favor of an over-arching Microsoft account.

For more, see PCMag's hands on with the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 and the slideshow below. [CLICK LINK]

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403983,00.asp
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post #79082 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:03 PM
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TV Notes
Microsoft Dropping DVD/Blu-ray Playback Support in Windows 8
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag.com

In an effort to keep costs down, Microsoft will ditch DVD playback support for Windows Media Player in Windows 8, though there will be the option to purchase Windows Media Center to get DVD functionality.


http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2403983,00.asp

Well that sux, native Windows has never supported Blu-ray playback, has it?
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post #79083 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:19 PM
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TV Notes
Checking the Vital Signs of Reality TV's Oldest Shows
By Josef Adalian, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog

The modern era of reality TV began twelve years ago this summer, when Survivor debuted right after Memorial Day and instantly became a pop-culture phenomenon. Its first episode brought a healthy 15 million viewers, and when season one wrapped up three months later, more than 52 million folks were glued to their sets for the finale. A slew of unscripted shows followed in Survivor's wake; most lasted a few seasons and then burned out. But some members of the reality tribe's torches have proved unsnuffable, and they've been soldiering on for years and still draw a crowd.

Vulture decided to check in on these unscripted warhorses, defined by us as any post-Survivor show that has lasted ten or more cycles, including all-star editions. (Sorry, Hell's Kitchen and Top Chef: At nine seasons each, you're tasty, but not crusty enough. And we didn't include The Celebrity Apprentice, since its "all-star" version is really its own, weird thing, as opposed to a special version of the original.) Which stalwarts are weakening? Which will outlive us all? Can anything short of Los Angeles crashing into the ocean stop Big Brother?


Survivor

On the air since: 2000
Current cycle: 24
Season one audience: 28.3 million
Year-ago audience: 12.6 million (For all twice-a-year shows, we will be comparing the current spring run to last spring's run, not the immediately preceding fall run.)
Current audience: 11.6 million
Legacy: The granddaddy of modern reality. Helped make CBS the No. 1 network and turned the network into a force on Thursdays during the first part of this century. Gave Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst their careers.
Where it stands: Remarkably true to its name, Survivor remains a key part of the CBS arsenal. A move back to Wednesdays (its original time slot) in fall 2010 could've spelled doom, but instead, the show has become a midweek anchor for the Eye, holding its own against American Idol and generally walloping ABC's comedies and The Biggest Loser.
Prognosis: It's currently renewed through its 26th edition, with two seasons booked for next year, though it's possible that if Probst's upcoming daytime talk show takes off, he may only have time to do one season per year after that. (He's the rare reality host without whom it's hard to imagine a show continuing.) Cutting back to once a year could also help extend the show's life, as it will seem like more of an event. At this point, however, Survivor's strong enough to warrant its year-round status.


The Bachelor

On the air since: 2002
Current cycle: 16
Season one audience: 10.7 million
Year-ago audience: 10.8 million
Current audience: 8.9 million
Legacy: Invented the modern dating reality show format. Spawned countless imitators, most of which have faded away. Provided endless fodder for tabloid magazines, which turned the staged relationships of the show's contestants into countless stories. Recently prompted a lawsuit from African-American men upset that there's never been a Black-chelor.
Where it stands: After audiences sank significantly, ABC made the smart choice to limit the show to one cycle per season, saving it for a January debut starting in 2009 (and airing spinoff The Bachelorette in the summer). This resulted in stronger ratings overall and allowed ABC to establish a soapy stranglehold on Mondays. However, numbers have slipped this spring: It's down about 20 percent over last year. Having to face off against NBC's relatively strong The Voice hasn't helped matters much.
Prognosis: With no other network or cable dating shows commanding nearly as many viewers, there's no reason The Bachelor can't keep handing out roses for as long as gardeners keep growing them. Yes, ratings have slipped, but that's happened to most shows this spring, so it's all relative, and this is still a cheap property for the network (though, owing to age and producer Mike Fleiss's lucrative production deal, it's not that cheap). There's nothing formal yet in terms of a renewal for 2013, but the show will be back. If ABC manages to have a really good development season and suddenly needs real estate on Mondays, it's possible The Bachelor could shift to summer in a year or two. In the meantime, ABC could probably boost buzz (and settle a lawsuit) by finally diversifying the ranks of the Bachelor brotherhood.


Dancing With the Stars

On the air since: 2005
Current cycle: 14
Season one audience: 16.8 million
Year-ago audience: 22 million
Current audience: 18.2 million
Legacy: Made ballroom dancing hip (at least for a minute). Gave B-list celebrities a classy way to revive their careers instead of humiliating themselves on a VH1 celebreality train wreck. Supplied ABC with a much-needed ratings boost early in its run, when the network literally had no successful sitcoms on its schedule. Turned lead-out Castle into a solid success.
Where it stands: ABC has never really replaced the eyeballs it lost when Monday Night Football decamped to ESPN, but thanks to DWTS, the network still has a populist success to kick-start the beginning of its weekly schedule. DWTS has always appealed to older viewers, and among those under 50, it's still a hit. But younger folks have been disappearing rapidly this year: While ratings are down 19 percent among all viewers, they're off by a whopping 34 percent with those under 50. A big part of this, of course is casting: The lack of a Bristol Palin or even a Chaz Bono makes a big difference.
Prognosis: With more than 18 million viewers watching each week, ABC isn't going to stop Dancing anytime soon. The show's format means every cycle brings an opportunity to invite more interesting names, and if DWTS can still do well even with a boring cast like this spring's roster, it can survive for years to come. But like Survivor, we wonder if ABC might ultimately try to make do with just one cycle per year, making the show an event once more.


America's Next Top Model

On the air since: 2003
Current cycle: 18
Season one audience: 3.7 million
Year ago audience: 2.6 million
Current audience: 1.6 million
Legacy: Pumped life into UPN after Buffy, the Vampire Slayer departed. Helped build and launch the CW network. Transformed Tyra Banks from supermodel to TV star and resulted in her brief career as a talk-show host.
Where it stands: After this season launched to record-low ratings (barely one million viewers watched the premiere the night it aired), changes started taking place. Banks announced that all of her on-air comrades would be leaving the show next cycle, a sign that CW execs either want a creative reboot or are trying to save money on the show. The show has also lost virtually all of its buzz: You're more likely to hear folks talking on Twitter about RuPaul's Drag Race than Top Model.
Prognosis: The CW has already renewed the show for one more cycle. The cast changes will bring down the cost of production, but unless they result in a ratings surge, Top Model seems ready to sashay off the runway and into the history books.


American Idol

On the air since: 2002
Current cycle: 11
Season one audience: 12.7 million
Year-ago audience: 26 million
Current audience: 20 million
Legacy: The show that delayed the decline of broadcast TV by at least a decade. Turned Fox into TV's No. 1 network among viewers under 50. Made Simon Cowell a superstar and briefly revived the career of Paula Abdul. Launched dozens of talent competition imitators, including Cowell's own The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Introduced or popularized words such as pitchy and dawg. Oh, and it launched more true stars (including Grammy and Oscar winners) than virtually all other reality shows combined.
Where it stands: It took ten years, but 2012 is the Year American Idol Became Human. Execs at rival networks have for years been praying for and predicting the show's demise, but no matter what others threw at it, Idol remained untouchable. It even survived its first season sans Simon. That changed this year, as Idol has lost about 25 percent of its audience from last season. Early episodes (always among Idol's best rated) took a big year-to-year hit, but were still drawing 20 million or so viewers. The declines have since stabilized, but because the show always loses some steam as the weather heats up, in recent weeks results shows have averaged under 15 million viewers (performance shows are still averaging around 17 million). It's also way down compared to its peak, in season six, when the show averaged a whopping 30 million viewers most nights. The combination of time, competition from NBC's The Voice (the shows air on different nights, but serve a similar need), and Simon Cowell's decision to launch The X Factor on Fox all helped diminish Idol's dominance. But guess what: Despite some late-winter chatter suggesting NBC's The Voice had emerged as the hot new singing show, when the season ends later this month, Idol will remain the more popular show (unless you count January's special post-Super Bowl edition of The Voice, which we don't). Idol is also still a top five show in viewers and key demos, and it's by far the biggest show on Fox's schedule. It may not be the Death Star anymore, but Idol is still a power player.
Prognosis: A given to return next season, there's no way Idol won't remain strong enough to last at least two more years. After that, a lot will depend on how The X Factor is doing (or whether it lasts beyond next fall's season two) and whether The Voice manages to survive its transition to fall. Idol is also a very expensive show to produce, thanks to its age and high talent costs. At some point, Fox may decide to rest Idol and reboot. But that day is not yet nigh.


The Amazing Race

On the air since: 2001
Current cycle: 20
Season one audience: 8.8 million
Year-ago audience: 10.3 million
Current audience: 10.2 million
Legacy: The critical darling. The reality show even reality-TV haters can safely admit to watching. Virtually owns the Emmy for competitive reality show. Took reality TV on the road. Never a ratings monster indeed, iffy ratings early on prompted rumors of cancellation but has been a consistent performer throughout its eleven-year run.
Where it stands: Like its lead-in 60 Minutes, Amazing Race has become a Sunday staple for CBS. There's nothing flashy about its performance, but its stability is stunning. Take a look at the numbers above: Race attracted just under 9 million viewers in its inaugural run. It struggled a bit in its first few seasons, only breaking 10 million viewers during one of its first four cyles. But after getting a bump from Big Brother during the summer of 2004, the show has lured between 10 and 12 million viewers almost every cycle since. That's ... amazing.
Prognosis: As of now, it's been renewed for at least one more cycle next season. Converting to HD a few seasons ago definitely made the show a bit more compelling, and it's clear the show has kept a core audience, or perhaps brought in new viewers over the years curious to check out the show that keeps getting the Emmy (it's won the reality competition race eight out of the nine years that the award has existed). The show has shown some signs of desperation, synergistically casting popular or infamous alumni from CBS's other reality shows. (A celebrity edition seems inevitable, though it is destined to be D-list, because who else has the time to run around the world? No offense, Mike White!) And the fact that producers have refused to alter the core format same yelling/hugging, different airport has caused more than a few longtime fans to grow tired of the Race. That said, maybe tweaking the formula is out of the question: Remember the family edition?


Project Runway

On the air since: 2004
Current cycle: Cycle 11 debuts later this year
Season one audience: Roughly 1.5 million
Most recent audience: 2.9 million (Fall 2011)
Legacy: Along with The Amazing Race and Survivor, it's one of the rare reality shows that has generated nearly equal amounts critical acclaim and audience acceptance. Brought the fashion world to Main Street. Made Tim Gunn a household face. Spawned countless riffs on "Make it work." Along with Queer Eye, helped transform Bravo from sleepy cultural net to pop-culture powerhouse. Led to nasty war between NBC Universal (Bravo's owner) and producer Harvey Weinstein after Weinstein sold the show to Lifetime. Provided a good promo platform for Lifetime to hype then-nascent dramedy Drop Dead Diva.
Where it stands: A solid player for Lifetime, Runway nonetheless failed to be the game-changer the network might have hoped. After debuting on Lifetime with 4.2 million viewers in 2009, it soon saw ratings decline by double digits (particularly among younger women). Subsequent seasons have been all over the map, with some episodes of the recent All-Star edition generating fewer than 2 million viewers and last summer's regular edition often averaging around 3 million viewers. Given how much more intense cable competition has become, these are not awful numbers. But rather than transform Runway, the show instead seems to have seen its buzz and hip factor evaporate within the decidedly mainstream bubble that is Lifetime.
Life expectancy: Another cycle has already been ordered. Assuming Weinstein is no longer charging Lifetime the arm-and-leg rates he forced the network to shell out to land Runway, it seems likely the franchise should survive in some form for at least two or three more years. Soon, however, it might be time to blow up the show's format and reinvent it. Is it too much to hope that Bravo might buy it back and reboot?


The Biggest Loser

On the air since: 2004
Current cycle: 13
Season one audience: 10.3 million
Year-ago audience: 8.5 million
Current audience: 7.1 million
Legacy: Most successful makeover show ever on network TV. For a couple of years, one of the few shows on NBC with any pulse at all. Briefly made Jillian Michaels a star.
Where it stands: This week's season finale was the least-watched capper in the franchise's history, down 30 percent from a year ago. Given the wreckage of NBC's prime-time schedule, Loser is still a relative winner in the younger demo, often outperforming much of the network's schedule. Expanding it to two hours during the 200708 season ago hurt the show's storytelling and may have chased away audiences. But the show still has a little Nielsen heft left.
Prognosis: If NBC, as expected, launches a fall edition of The Voice, it seems certain the network will either save Loser for midseason or shrink it to an hour. And if NBC finds success with scripted programming, it's easy to see Loser shifting to once a year or maybe even becoming a summer show. However, as long as NBC has major holes with scripted fare, it's hard to not see this show surviving in some form for at least a few years to come, even if it's on Friday nights.


Big Brother

On the air since: 2000
Current cycle: 14 (begins in July)
Season one audience: 9.1 million
Year-ago audience: 8.3 million
Legacy: The show critics love to hate. Guilty pleasure for millions of addicts unable to walk away. Gave the world the Chenbot.
Where it stands: As viewership for other network summer programming keeps shrinking, CBS's summer tentpole remains amazingly steady and looks bigger each year compared to its competition. The network gives very little promotional time or budget to the show (winners who devote three months to living in this house and starring in three weekly hours of prime-time programming get a paltry $500,000 prize), but last summer, it almost always won its time slots with viewers under 50. It hardly ever generates buzz outside of its core circle of fans, but CBS couldn't care less: It generates solid tune-in on a dirt-cheap budget, thus adding millions to the Eye's bottom line.
Prognosis: For the first time in a dozen years, Big Brother has some real competition in the wired house reality show genre. ABC just announced it is launching something called The Glass House on June 18 (contestants live under constant surveillance in a plush house and hope to win an even stingier $250,000 in cash). It will only air once per week (for now), so it's unlikely to make much of a dent in the loyal Big Bro followers, but BB is showing its age. CBS has stubbornly refused to let producers do much tweaking to the format over the years: While there are always "expect the unexpected" twists, almost everything about the show has remained constant, from the musical cues to just about everything that comes out of Chen's glittery mouth. The Eye annually refuses to give the show a big promotional push, perhaps assuming that everyone who would be interested in this kind of thing is already watching, and it's hopeless to try to win over anyone who isn't already hooked. So when the show's dastardly hypnotic hold is broken with longtime fans who suddenly realize they've heard all the cries of "It's on!" that one pair of ears can tolerate, there will likely be no new viewers coming in to replace them. Considering that CBS seems to pretend this show isn't squatting in the middle of their summer schedule, they will likely be quick to sever ties. That said sorry, crumbling society! all signs point to BB hanging tough for years to come.

http://www.vulture.com/2012/05/how-l...hows-last.html
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post #79084 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:23 PM
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Well that sux, native Windows has never supported Blu-ray playback, has it?

Other articles on the subject and reports from other tech blogs indicate that it applies to Blu-ray as well as DVD. But you're right, it was up to the manufacturers of Blu-ray computers to include playback software (like Toshiba did with a stripped-down Corel Win-DVD/BD version for my year-old Blu-ray laptop) to get them to accept/play back Blu-rays.

Does it really matter though? Windows 8 will work on computers but its mainly for tablets, which aren't devices meant for disc playback of any kind.
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post #79085 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:38 PM
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TV Sports
Jack Whitaker Was Always Camera Ready
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - May 6, 2012

From the 1960s through the '90s, Jack Whitaker specialized in reports and essays that brought elegance to CBS's and ABC's coverage of golf, horse racing and the Olympics. Among the few other similarly evocative commentators were two of his colleagues, Jim McKay and Heywood Hale Broun.

When Ruffian broke down in a match race at Belmont Park against Foolish Pleasure in 1975, Whitaker said: A false step here and the years of planning and breeding and training and loving came to an end. A horse with speed and stamina and heart. A horse, like the Bible says, whose neck is clothed in thunder.'

Whitaker is 87 and retired. He sometimes must search his internal archives to recall names. Still, he looks almost camera ready. He is easily recognizable: white hair, craggy features, twinkling eyes and a voice that was born in Philadelphia and bred around the world.

As he sat in a Manhattan hotel room last week, one foot tapping the carpeted floor, it was easy to visualize him as he once was: a golf cap topping his head, a network microphone in his hand, offering his thoughts from Turnberry or Churchill Downs that he had just set down on a legal pad.

I miss the big things, the major golf tournaments, the Derbys, he said dressed in a blue blazer with red pocket square, a patterned tie, houndstooth pants and soft shoes. But I don't miss the travel.

A big thing came his way that night: the Life Achievement award at the annual Sports Emmys ceremony. Sportscasters and executives of his and later vintages had already received the award. He was long overdue. McKay got his in 1989 while he was still active at ABC Sports.

As he prepared to introduce Whitaker at the Rose Theater in Manhattan, Jim Nantz of CBS devised a plan: he would ask the nominees for outstanding play-by-play announcer and studio host to come to the stage in time for Whitaker's speech. We're all descendants of Jack's and his generation, Nantz, a friend, said Tuesday. I wanted this to be perfect for him. You're talking about a poet, a wordsmith, a lyricist.

As Whitaker spoke, Nantz, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Mike Emrick, James Brown and Joe Buck stood to his left. Approbation, it appears, is the greatest gift you can have, Whitaker said.

When he finished, the group surrounded him in a scene that was reminiscent of the major leaguers who massed around the ailing Ted Williams on the field at Fenway Park before the 1999 All-Star Game.

That swept me away, Whitaker said. I was just blubbering. I don't even know what I said.

Whitaker's career began in news but moved into sports, as McKay's had. At WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, he worked with a baritone news anchor, John Facenda, who became a vocal deity as the narrator of tundras at NFL Films, and a showbiz commentator named Ed McMahon.

Whitaker said that a turning point in his career that pointed him toward commentary, came at Facenda's suggestion. One night, he recalled, John said, Put a little more of yourself into the reports.' He pushed me. So I started fooling around. I always looked up to people of erudition, like Alistair Cooke.

Years later, at CBS, he worked with Broun, a sometime Broadway actor who could turn a phrase, with rhetorical flourishes, while wearing distractingly outlandish attire.

I'd say to Woodie: Let me look at your script. How did you do this and that?' Whitaker said.

At the 1966 Masters, Whitaker displeased Clifford Roberts, the chairman and co-founder of the tournament. CBS carried the golf major then, as it still does, under a series of one-year contracts that made it eager to satisfy Roberts. During a three-way playoff that Jack Nicklaus won, Whitaker described the gallery as a mob scene as it moved to the 18th hole. Roberts did not appreciate the characterization any more than he did when McKay used the same term years before when he was at CBS.

But Roberts had other problems with Whitaker's reporting, according to the 1965 and '66 critiques of the broadcasts that Roberts wrote to CBS, which David Owen revealed in his book The Making of the Masters (Simon & Schuster, 1999).

He didn't like the work I did, Whitaker said. It was pretty petty.

A month before the 1967 Masters, Jack Dolph, CBS's director of sports, told Whitaker that he was off the crew. He was kind of embarrassed, Whitaker said. Owen surmised that Bill MacPhail, CBS's vice president of sports, exiled Whitaker to please Roberts but that Roberts probably did not order it.

The banishment ended a few years later when MacPhail invited Whitaker to the Masters only as his guest. But when Henry Longhurst took ill, Whitaker was asked to replace him at the 16th hole.

I saw Cliff Roberts, and he said, Young man, I'm delighted to see you here.' I'm not sure he remembered our previous encounter.

Whitaker moved from CBS to ABC in 1982, where he worked for the sports and news divisions.

At one point while covering the British Open at St. Andrews, he said: Nobody designed this course. Nobody with a pencil and $2 million and five bulldozers. This was made by nature. It comes out of the ground. It was done with wind and rain and sun and the help of a few sheep. And so, while for most Americans and other people, it's not love at first sight at St. Andrews, St. Andrews's Old Course is like a dry martini an acquired taste, and, as such, it remains with you forever.

By the late '90s, his career was winding down. TNT hired him for its 1998 Winter Games coverage from Nagano, Japan. He wrote an autobiography. He did some work for ESPN. But nothing since.

The renown of his 40 years in network sports has not resonated as strongly as McKay's did even if much of their work was similar. Jim had Munich, said Costas, referring to McKay's anchoring of ABC's reporting about the murders of 11 Israelis at the 1972 Summer Games by Palestinian terrorists. He had the designation as Olympic host and he had Wide World of Sports.' Jack didn't have as obvious a peg.

At a small gathering after Whitaker received the life achievement award, McKay's son, Sean McManus, who runs CBS Sports, said that Whitaker really started to cry when he told him that my father felt like a kid in a candy store on the day Jack joined ABC Sports.

He was so excited knowing that they could work on the two sports they loved most, golf and horse racing, McManus said. There was no one my father respected more.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/sp..._r=1&ref=media
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TV Review
'Undercover Stings,' you won't feel a thing
New Spike series makes undercover police work look pretty boring
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine

Disclaimer: Saying that a show makes police work look routine and rather inconsequential isn't the same thing as saying that police work is routine and rather inconsequential.

Spike's new documentary series "Undercover Stings" fails to find anything new or significant in undercover police work. Even the officers and detectives themselves feel the need to explain that the arrests they're making may have a greater importance than they seem to. Moreover, the smarmy treatment of one sting operation is exploitative and sad.

Although at the beginning of the premiere episode, which airs this Monday, May 7, at 9 p.m., a narrator says that police sting operations "have rarely been seen by the public until now," the footage looks and feels awfully familiar.

The first segment is both the most involving and the most troubling. A group of male detectives and some inexperienced female officers set up a fake prostitution ring in Savannah, Ga. As they discuss their plans, the men leer and the women giggle.

"My name is Brandy already," says one young officer, "so I figure my mom gave me a hooker name already, so I was born to do this."

The women go to what looks like a lingerie shop and goof around as they try on outfits. But when we see them actually awaiting their customers in a hotel, they're wearing simple tops and shorts.

First viewed via grainy hidden-camera footage, the clients get ample face time when the detectives and the camera crew rush into the room. Although the suspects' names are withheld, they will be easily identifiable. In the age of YouTube, this isn't the sort of thing that goes away after two or three airings.

One suspect tearfully says he's a pastor. "You don't play with God," a detective says. "Obviously he tried to straddle the fence." The presence of cameras seems to have fooled the detective into thinking he's on an episode of "Law & Order."

The other segments are less sensational and less interesting. In order to fight the thievery of expensive metal, two detectives plant a huge spool of copper wiring, which they say could be sold for as much as $1,000, on the property of an electric company, then wait in the dark for crooks to cut the fence and try to carry the spool off. Although this time we see night-vision and infrared footage rather than hidden camera, nothing surprising happens.

Then a female cop buys a small amount of marijuana from some youths selling it in their own neighborhood. After the arrest, one of the boys' mothers says she warned him not to hang out on that corner. A detective tells the boy his mother is going to be harder on him than prison will be.

The detectives seem concerned that on TV their work will appear to be rather pointless. One says that prostitution often involves drug use. The copper-wire thieves and drug dealers, we are told, will be questioned about other crimes.

It would be better if "Undercover Stings" could show us, rather than tell us, why it's worth watching. When it's not straining for titillation, it's underwhelming.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...el-a-thing.asp
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post #79087 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Other articles on the subject and reports from other tech blogs indicate that it applies to Blu-ray as well as DVD. But you're right, it was up to the manufacturers of Blu-ray computers to include playback software (like Toshiba did with a stripped-down Corel Win-DVD/BD version for my year-old Blu-ray laptop) to get them to accept/play back Blu-rays.

Does it really matter though? Windows 8 is mainly for tablets, which aren't devices meant for disc playback of any kind.

Well, I guess it doesn't matter, since I'll be sticking with Windows 7, they seem to be deserting what I'm sure is a fairly large portion of their user base(users who do utilize Windows Media Center and disk playback). I think they'll definitely lose some sales on Windows 8 because of this. I'll be sticking with Windows 7, unless the add-on is very cheap.

Streaming is nice, but when we have basically no choice but to stream, then the hammer will drop and we'll be gouged endlessly with bandwidth caps and we'll be hung out to dry with the requirement to sub to a slew of different services to get a decent selection of programming.

Of course these are my opinions only, but the road ahead looks like we're(the consumer) gonna get continuously nickled and dimed(if not dollared) until we just throw in the towel and let them have it. We can only hope their eternal greed and arrogance will bankrupt a few of them, because someone that loves TV as much as I do and subs to all the premium channels is about ready to just scrap the whole thing and go for some basic programming.
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post #79088 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:46 PM
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[quote=dad1153;21992822]TV Notes
Microsoft Dropping DVD/Blu-ray Playback Support in Windows 8
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag.com


I didn't think things anywhere near far enough along to stop the option of watching DVDs on your computer. Looks like I'll be hanging onto Vista and W7 for awhile longer.
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post #79089 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Well, I guess it doesn't matter, since I'll be sticking with Windows 7, they seem to be deserting what I'm sure is a fairly large portion of their user base(users who do utilize Windows Media Center and disk playback). I think they'll definitely lose some sales on Windows 8 because of this. I'll be sticking with Windows 7, unless the add-on is very cheap.

Streaming is nice, but when we have basically no choice but to stream, then the hammer will drop and we'll be gouged endlessly with bandwidth caps and we'll be hung out to dry with the requirement to sub to a slew of different services to get a decent selection of programming.

Of course these are my opinions only, but the road ahead looks like we're(the consumer) gonna get continuously nickled and dimed(if not dollared) until we just throw in the towel and let them have it. We can only hope their eternal greed and arrogance will bankrupt a few of them, because someone that loves TV as much as I do and subs to all the premium channels is about ready to just scrap the whole thing and go for some basic programming.

yep - I'm with you all the way. At the risk of fanning the flame, this just seems kinda knee jerked and not well though through. Even if the WMC for W8 is affordable, it has been free for so many years that it's coming off as some kind of desperate move to suddenly start making people pay for it. In short - it just doesn't make sense - at least not to me. Bottom line is that most laptops and PCs these days still have DVD players in them and I'm guessing that will continue - for awhile anyway.
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post #79090 of 96518 Old 05-06-2012, 11:10 PM
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yep - I'm with you all the way. At the risk of fanning the flame, this just seems kinda knee jerked and not well though through. Even if the WMC for W8 is affordable, it has been free for so many years that it's coming off as some kind of desperate move to suddenly start making people pay for it. In short - it just doesn't make sense - at least not to me. Bottom line is that most laptops and PCs these days still have DVD players in them and I'm guessing that will continue - for awhile anyway.

I kinda agree with the knee-jerk reaction also. Their stock is finally starting to move after many years, and making the newer Windows with less features isn't gonna help sales, the streaming is nice, but it's complementary to most people, it's not the be all end all that they are trying to make it, consumers are being cut out of the loop as the manufacturers make all the decisions on what and how we get our programming and live our lives in general.
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post #79091 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 01:09 AM
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Well, vanilla-XP didn't support DVD playback out of the box either. Nor did several versions of Vista. Nor do lower versions of 7. This isn't exactly new.

Quite frankly, I don't see the big deal. I don't know how many Windows 7 users use WMC, but I'd be willing to bet anything it's less than 10%. I couldn't tell you the last time I used my PC to play a DVD movie. And even if I did, I'd use VLC, which offers a lot more features than WMP. Most PCs come shipped with 3rd-party playback software as well, so I think the chances of the average consumer noticing this feature missing would be pretty slim. And like dad said, Win8 is being targeted towards tablets.

Personally, I'll be sticking with 7 as well (as a PC gamer, not much of a reason to upgrade). Microsoft has a habit of releasing bad OSes after good ones. 98 was good. ME was probably the worst OS ever made. XP was good. Vista was initially bad (by the time SP2 was released, it was good). 7 was good. 8 = ?
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post #79092 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 01:51 AM
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I use WMC for its slick Netflix interface, and not much else.

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With the release of Cablecard multi-tuner devices in the last couple of years, WMC has gained a lot of fans as a whole-home DVR solution with Xbox360 and other extenders. Others have been using it this way for years with OTA and analog cable tuners. It does not have a lot of uptake, sure, but the fans are loyal. And now Ceton and Whiteman are coming out with whole-home DVRs and extenders based on 7MC Embedded OS so it's going to get more people interested. But it will still be a niche market, and still doesn't include satellite or U-Verse.

Well it could, if the FCC would get off their ass and finish the AllVid proposal.
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post #79094 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 06:25 AM
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TV/Business Notes
ABC News, Univision Launch English-Language News Venture
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - May 7, 2012

ABC News and Univision announced Monday their collaboration on an English-language news, entertainment and lifestyle venture that will cater to the country's 50 million Hispanics viewers.

Plans for the venture first came to light in February. A website, as well as mobile and social media content, are expected to debut this summer. A yet-to-be named, 24/7 television channel is expected to launch next year.

The two companies will share newsgathering and production resources, and networks and anchors will be based in major cities across the U.S. A management team is expected to be announced this summer.

Univision News is proud to be working with ABC News in this groundbreaking venture to further deliver global news and investigative reporting to the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population which today is one of the most important influencers on the future of the United States and its role in the world, said Isaac Lee, president of Univision News.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/ab...-venture-38716
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post #79095 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 08:38 AM
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HBO is showing the Mayweather/Cotto fight saturday @ 10:15pm.

Its not updated in some program guides yet.


Also TBS has the Family Guy Star Wars OT parodys from 8-11....if youre a SW fan these are must sees if youve never seen them.

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post #79096 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 09:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Windows 8 will work on computers but its mainly for tablets

Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows team at Microsoft would beg to differ with you on that one.

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Originally Posted by kingpcgeek View Post

Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows team at Microsoft would beg to differ with you on that one.

It would be more accurate to say that the Metro interface is being designed with tablets in mind. The traditional PC experience in Windows 8 will not be all that different from what came in 7 (or Vista, for that matter).
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post #79098 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 10:46 AM
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Does it really matter though? Windows 8 will work on computers but its mainly for tablets, which aren't devices meant for disc playback of any kind.

That is a gross misrepresentation of windows 8. I've been running it for nearly a year as a main desktop OS. There are things I don't like, but it has little to do with the Tablet vs PC use factor.

But, as they lose the entire media player market because they have the only "4 pay" application, we'll see how long the policy lasts.

They are banking too heavily on "cloud" and streaming solutions. Just like they were several years too early with the tablet concept, they are several years too early with ditching local playback.
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post #79099 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 11:31 AM
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SUNDAY'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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That is a gross misrepresentation of windows 8. I've been running it for nearly a year as a main desktop OS. There are things I don't like, but it has little to do with the Tablet vs PC use factor.

You're right, I apologize. I don't know enough or have hands-on experience with Windows 8 to pass judgement on it. I'm no computer expert (even though I work on computers all day) so all I know is based on reading tech blogs and other similar stuff. And a layman like me, perceptionwise, perceives Windos 8 as being primarily an OS for the mobile/tablet market that also happens to work on regular PC's. Sorry!
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Pre-finale bump for 'Desperate Housewives'
Long-running ABC comedy jumps 12 percent from last week
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - May 7, 2012

A week before its highly anticipated series finale, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" saw a ratings bump.

The long-running hit comedy was up 12 percent versus the previous week to a 2.8 adults 18-49 rating in the 9 p.m. timeslot, according to Nielsen.

That marked "Housewives'" best rating since the Jan. 8 episode, which averaged a 3.0, and it comes as the show prepares for next week's series ender.

The finale will be two hours long and is expected to include the usual doses of death, romance and shockers that "Housewives" became known for over its eight-year run.

This year "Housewives" fell to all-time low ratings, but the finale for what was once the top scripted show on television is expected to draw a healthy crowd next week.

Meanwhile, elsewhere last night, the two-hour season finale of "The Amazing Race" on CBS averaged a 2.6 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., flat to last spring's finale.

With the two top-rated shows of the night in "Housewives" and "Once Upon A Time," ABC led the night among 18-49s with a 2.4 average overnight rating and a 7 share. CBS was second at 2.0/6, Fox third at 1.9/5, NBC fourth at 1.3/4, Univision fifth at 0.9/3 and Telemundo sixth at 0.5/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback, which includes shows replayed before 3 a.m. the night before. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Forty-four percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 7 p.m. ABC was first with a 2.0 for "America's Funniest Home Videos," followed by CBS with a 1.6 for "60 Minutes." Fox was third with a 1.3 for a repeat of "The Simpsons" (1.1) and a new "The Cleveland Show" (1.4), NBC fourth with a 0.7 for "Dateline," Univision fifth with a 0.6 for "Rosa de Guadalupe" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.3 for "Pa'lante con Cristina."

ABC was first again at 8 p.m. with a 3.0 for "Time," while CBS remained second with a 2.6 for "Race." Fox was third with a 2.0 for "The Simpsons" (2.1) and "Bob's Burgers" (1.8), Univision fourth with a 0.9 for "Nuestra Belleza Latina," NBC fifth with a 0.7 for "Harry's Law" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.3 for more "Cristina."

At 9 p.m. ABC led with a 2.8 for "Housewives," with CBS a close second with a 2.7 for more "Race." Fox was third with a 2.5 for "Family Guy" (2.7) and "American Dad" (2.3), NBC fourth with a 1.6 for "Celebrity Apprentice," Univision fifth with a 1.2 for more "Latina" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.7 for the first hour of the movie "Apocalypto."

NBC took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 2.1 for more "Apprentice," followed by ABC with a 1.8 for "GCB." CBS was third with a 1.3 for "NYC 22," up 8 percent from last week, Univision fourth with a 1.0 for "Sal y Pimienta" and Telemundo sixth with a 0.8 for its movie.

Among households, CBS was first for the night with a 5.7 average overnight rating and a 9 share. ABC was second at 4.6/8, NBC third at 3.8/6, Fox fourth at 2.3/4, Univision fifth at 1.4/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ousewives-.asp
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post #79102 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 11:45 AM
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Business Notes
Dish Network's Surprising Q1 Sub Growth Helps It To Beat Profit Forecasts
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - May 7, 2012

The No. 2 satellite company added 104,000 subscribers, bringing its total to 14.1M. Analysts only expected to see a pick up of about 88,000. The company attributes its strong performance to a decline in its churn rate helped by the fact that it didn't increase its subscription prices the way it did last year. The financials are a little more complicated: Dish generated $360.3M in net income, down 34.5% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $3.6B, up 11.1%. The decrease in profit is partly due to the fact that last year's results had a $341M boost from a reversal of litigation expenses following the settlement of the patent infringement lawsuit with TiVo. The revenue figure was in line with analyst forecasts. And earnings, at 80 cents a share, beat projections of 70 cents.

About $334M of the company's revenues, and $14M in operating income, came from Blockbuster, acquired in April 2011. Dish says it benefited from the sale of the rental chain's inventory: It closed about 500 domestic stores in Q1, bringing the total down to about 1,000. Dish says it plans to close another 100 domestic Blockbuster stores in the current quarter and warns that its evaluation of the chain's performance could lead us to close additional Blockbuster retail stores. CEO Joseph Clayton says he's encouraged by two quarters of net additions, as well as a reduction in churn. Although the company provided no details about the launch in March of its ballyhooed Hopper multi-room DVR set top box, he says the market's reception was favorable and we think it will be a great platform for the future.

http://www.deadline.com/2012/05/dish...fit-forecasts/
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post #79103 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 11:48 AM
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Technology Notes
LG launching Google TV later this month
By Brett Molina, USA Today - May 7, 2012

High-definition television makers LG plan on releasing an Internet-ready device using the Google TV platform, reports Reuters.

Citing a senior LG executive, the report says the TV will launch on the week of May 21. No details were given on prices or screen sizes.

Google TV is the search giant's attempt at creating a Smart TV experience, giving users access to their Chrome Web browser, as well as apps including Netflix and Pandora. Users can also use their iPhone or Android smartphone as a remote control.

Google recently rolled out an update to its TV and Movies app emphasizing Favorites and letting users rate shows or films.

Since launching in 2010, Google TV has struggled to capture a big audience in the Smart TV business. The company pushed out a massive update last October, and unveiled partnerships with TV makers LG and Vizio during January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

http://content.usatoday.com/communit...r-this-month/1
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post #79104 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by JMCecil View Post


They are banking too heavily on "cloud" and streaming solutions.

What good is "Cloud " Or even "Streaming " gonna be when when most have caps on the D/L rate ???
I'm lucky I've got unlimited D/L BUT as I "Knocks On Wood " That could end at any time .....

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post #79105 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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You're right, I apologize. I don't know enough or have hands-on experience with Windows 8 to pass judgement on it. I'm no computer expert (even though I work on computers all day) so all I know is based on reading tech blogs and other similar stuff. And a layman like me, perceptionwise, perceives Windos 8 as being primarily an OS for the mobile/tablet market that also happens to work on regular PC's. Sorry!

First, no need to apologize .. stupid message boards always make everything sound so dang serious.

I think people have the "tablet" perception because the primary interface is Metro. Since that's what people are seeing instead of a "desktop", they are assuming it is tablet oriented. FWIW, I am not a Metro fan on or off a tablet. Although I do like the programming paradigm, I just don't like the interface.

All that said, the desktop concept is still alive and well. Again, there are things I don't like that I hope don't make it to production (i.e. the dumbing down of the indexing system), in general it is a MUCH smaller footprint OS that uses the "plugin" approach to streamline things. By the way you can click "desktop" on the main metro screen (which you can set as default) and you get pretty much the W7 experience +- a few things.
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post #79106 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

You're right, I apologize. I don't know enough or have hands-on experience with Windows 8 to pass judgement on it. I'm no computer expert (even though I work on computers all day) so all I know is based on reading tech blogs and other similar stuff. And a layman like me, perception wise, perceives Windows 8 as being primarily an OS for the mobile/tablet market that also happens to work on regular PC's. Sorry!

Your just like a whole lotta people Dad ... MS has really Pooched the Puppy about what W8 really is ........
................... All the Cash & they still Hire incompetent media consultants
..Idiots they all are !

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What good is "Cloud " Or even "Streaming " gonna be when when most have caps on the D/L rate ???
I'm lucky I've got unlimited D/L BUT as I "Knocks On Wood " That could end at any time .....

Data caps are just 1 of the many issues with "cloud" solutions. Data integrity, copyright infringement, QOS .....

You think TV is artificially creating channels and content unnecessarily, you wait until the big content providers finally get all major copyright material (think iTunes/Netflix/Hulu/Pandora etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc), the rental model will be horrific, and each will have its own flavor to stop cross population and competition at both the technical and provider layers.
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post #79108 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:10 PM
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Critic's Notes
Potential romance of Stana Katic and Nathan Fillion remains an unsolved case on Castle'
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - May 7, 2012

Kate Beckett of Castle is one hard-boiled detective. But she's spent much of this season tending to her soft heart.

Stana Katic's Beckett spent a couple of seasons resisting the unsubtle infatuation of Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion). Then, when he finally pretended to move on, she was slammed with the realization she might have made a terrible mistake.

If it's any consolation as the Castle season rolls to a close Monday (ABC, 10 p.m.), Kate isn't the first character caught in one of TV's most heart-wrenching dilemmas.

You have two characters who, whether they admit it or not, have fallen in love and want to get together. You have an audience that would love to see them happy.

And then you have cold-hearted writers and producers who realize that could ruin the show.

The previews of Monday night's Castle suggest we may get some resolution. Don't bet your badge on it.

Let's look at just a sampling of history:

1. Maddie and David, Moonlighting. The textbook case of a show going into decline after Will they or won't they? became They did. The fun just withered.

2. Will and Emma, Glee. They sort of got together, but with so many asterisks and qualifiers it really doesn't even count.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
3. Marshall and Mary, In Plain Sight. Poster kids for abstinence, at least from each other. They did the dance for five years, right up to this past Friday's final show.


4. Bones and Booth, Bones. A test case. They refrained for years and now they're parents. Can it work?

5. House and Cuddy, House. They circled warily for years, finally got together and imploded so violently it blew Cuddy right off the show.

6. Ross and Rachel, Friends. Even when they had a baby, these two never acted quite sure.

7. Sam and Diane, Cheers. Another show where the signs said yes and the writers said no.

8. Buffy and Spike, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This got tricky, but Buffy held out almost until the end.

9. Mike and Molly, Mike & Molly. An exception that proves the rule, perhaps. The premise was that they'd get together, so all the drama and jokes were always geared for two.

10. Nick and Jess, New Girl. The show is still in its first season, and it hasn't taken this inevitable relationship out of first gear yet. Drive slow, guys.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.1072653
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post #79109 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:11 PM
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hey still Hire incompetent media consultants
..Idiots they all are !

Well, some might be smart idiots
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post #79110 of 96518 Old 05-07-2012, 12:13 PM
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TV Notes
'The Client List' Gets Second Season From Lifetime
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - May 7, 2012

"The Client List" has apparently rubbed Lifetime the right way.

The series, which stars former "Party of Five" star Jennifer Love Hewitt as an abandoned wife and mother who takes a job at a masseuse to pay the bills and discovers that the her place of employment offers illicit services, has been picked up for a second season, the network said Monday. The 15-episode season will premiere next year.

The show, which emerged from a Lifetime movie that also starred Hewitt, has been a solid attraction for Lifetime since its April 8 premiere, drawing 2.8 million total viewers with its maiden episode. To date the series has averaged 2.7 million total viewers.

In addition to the numbers, the series reflects the ambitions for lifetime as a whole, Lifetime Networks' president and general manager Nancy Dubuc said while announcing the renewal.

"'The Client List' represents everything we want to be -- fresh, exciting and original with attitude," Dubuc said.

The series also stars Cybill Shepherd .

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/cl...lifetime-38771
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