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post #95011 of 95716 Old 06-15-2014, 01:26 PM
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Obituary
Casey Kasem, 'American Top 40' Icon, Dies at 82
By Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 15, 2014

Casey Kasem, the American Top 40 radio host who crafted a long and lucrative career out of counting down to No. 1, has died on Father's Day, his final weeks poisoned by an intense family feud.

Kasem, who hosted the syndicated weekend show for nearly four decades, died Sunday of complications from dementia at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash.

Danny Deraney, the publicist for daughter Kerri Kasem, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that the radio host died at 3:23 a.m. Kerri posted a note on Facebook about the news.

"Early this Father’s Day morning, our dad Casey Kasem passed away surrounded by family and friends," she wrote. "Even though we know he is in a better place and no longer suffering, we are heartbroken. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. The world will miss Casey Kasem, an incredible talent and humanitarian; we will miss our Dad. With love, Kerri, Mike and Julie."

In October, his three eldest children claimed that their stepmother, actress Jean Kasem, wouldn’t allow them to visit their father. They staged a protest outside the couple’s estate, waving signs that read, “Let Casey See His Kids.” Two months later, Julie and Mike reached a confidential settlement with Jean granting them visitation; Kerri refused to sign the agreement.

“I’m not afraid of her; they are,” she said of Jean and her siblings in a story published by THR in February. “This visitation agreement not only treats us like criminals, it treats my dad like an inmate. It’s about money for her. It’s about love for us.”

The situation took another bizarre turn in May when a judge ordered an investigation into Kasem’s whereabouts after an attorney for his wife said he had been removed from the country. Kasem had been in a convalescent hospital in Santa Monica, and he was later found to be with his wife staying with friends at a residence in Washington state. A judge cleared the way for Kerri to have him admitted to the hospital, and Wednesday, doctors, per Kerri's wishes, were allowed to stop artificially feeding and hydrating the radio icon.

Since his first broadcast from Hollywood on seven stations on July 4, 1970, to his finale on the same holiday weekend in 2009, the peppy Kasem ended each American Top 40 show with his signature line: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Kasem loosely based his countdown format on the 1950s TV program Your Hit Parade. More than just spinning singles, he blended a mix of trivia, dedications, requests and artist information as he counted down the Top 40 each weekend. His first No. 1 song? Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”

Kasem said he wanted to be the “voice of the guy next door,” and his style was to accent the positive, considering each one of the hits a major accomplishment for each act involved. He never focused on the negative, such as a big drop-off for a particular song, and remained family-friendly. His shows also tugged at the heartstrings with such elements as "Long Distance Dedications."

“I feel good that you can be going to synagogue or church and listen to me, and nobody is going to be embarrassed by the language that I use, the innuendo,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1986. “It’s just not my style ... quite frankly, I think we’re good for America.”

Radio and television personality Ryan Seacrest mourned Kasem's death on Sunday.

"It’s a sad day for the broadcasting community and for radio listeners around the world," Seacrest said in a statement. "When I was a kid, I would listen to Casey Kasem’s AT40 show every weekend, and dream about someday becoming a radio DJ. So when decades later I took over his AT40 countdown show, it was a surreal moment. Casey had a distinctive friendly on-air voice, and he was just as affable and nice if you had the privilege to be in his company. He’ll be greatly missed by all of us."

Kasem’s friendly, crackling tones also were heard as Shaggy on the CBS cartoon Scooby-Doo Where Are You!, which premiered in 1969. He quit the show in 1997 in a dispute over a Burger King commercial but was back in 2002 when it was determined that Shaggy would be a vegetarian, just like Kasem.

Kasem also provided the voice of Batman’s pal Robin the Boy Wonder on several cartoon series.

He was born Kemal Amen Kasem on April 27, 1932, in Detroit, the son of a Lebanese grocer father and a Lebanese-American mother. Kasem made his radio debut covering sports for his Northwestern High School station, then performed in radio dramas at Wayne State University, voicing The Lone Ranger, Sergeant Preston of the Yukon and other heroes of the airwaves.

He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1952 and served as an announcer and DJ on the Armed Forces Radio Korea Network. After his discharge, he moved around the country as a radio announcer, working in Detroit, Cleveland, Buffalo, N.Y., and Oakland, Calif.

In Oakland, Kasem created a program in which he integrated biographical tidbits about the artists before each song. It quickly became a hit.

Kasem relocated to Los Angeles in 1963 when he secured a radio job at KRLA. He moonlighted by hosting “dance hops” on local TV, which attracted the notice of Dick Clark, who signed Kasem in 1964 to host Shebang, a daily musical TV show that Clark produced.

In 1970, Kasem opened his first three-hour American Top 40 broadcast by playing Marvin Gaye’s “The End of Our Road.” He hosted the program until August 1989, when he quit in a salary dispute with ABC, and Shadoe Stevens took over.

Kasem started his own program, Casey’s Top 40, for Westwood One — as part of a five-year, $15 million deal — soon afterward. In 1995, American Top 40 folded, and Kasem started hosting a new version three years later; in 2004, he passed the torch to Seacrest. He did countdown shows for Premiere Radio Networks until July 2009; two years earlier, he had been diagnosed with Parkinson's.

Kasem always wanted to be an actor and appeared in such movies as The Girls From Thunder Strip (1966), The Glory Stompers (1967) with Dennis Hopper, Scream Free! (1969), 2000 Years Later (1969), The Cycle Savages (1969), The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971), Disco Fever (1978) and Ghostbusters (1984), in which he played himself.

He also provided the voice for characters on Sesame Street, Josie and the Pussycats and Transformers; served as NBC’s staff announcer in the late 1970s; hosted the syndicated TV show America’s Top 10 for a decade; did hundreds of commercials; guest-starred on such TV shows as Fantasy Island, Ironside and The New Mike Hammer; and appeared on Nick at Nite to count down reruns on New Year’s Eve.

Kasem was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1992, and five years later, Billboard presented him with its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award.

Kasem was married to Linda Myers from 1972 until 1979, then wed the former Jean Thompson — some 21 years younger and many inches taller than he — in a December 1980 ceremony at the Hotel Bel-Air officiated by Rev. Jesse Jackson. (She went on to star as ditzy blonde Loretta Tortelli on the sitcom Cheers and in a short-lived spinoff.) They had a daughter, Liberty. His fortune had been estimated at $80 million.

In April 2013, the couple listed their 12,000-square-foot Holmby Hills mansion with 17 bathrooms for $42 million but pulled it from the market in September.

Survivors also include Kasem’s brother, Mouner.
Duane Byrge contributed to this report.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...em-dies-673058
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post #95012 of 95716 Old 06-15-2014, 01:33 PM
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TV Sports
21 Flat-Screen TVs, 18 Holes, One Pair of Eyes
By Karen Crouse, The New York Times - Jun. 15, 2014

PINEHURST, N.C. — It was the first round of his 20th United States Open telecast, and the Golf Channel and NBC producer Tommy Roy had a meaty morsel of information for the on-air host Dan Hicks, who could not decipher what Roy was shouting into his earpiece.

Roy was so excited that he forgot to punctuate his sentences. Hicks hit his talk-back button and, in a rare reversal of roles, delivered a command, telling his longtime mentor, Roy, to slow down.

The cramped production truck that is Roy’s office could not contain his enthusiasm, nor could the 10-hour window of live daily coverage during each of the first two rounds. Anybody who thought Roy might be content simply to make the cut in his last United States Open before the tournament shifts next year to the United States Golf Association’s new broadcasting partner, Fox Sports, has never worked for him.

“I’ve been asked, ‘Is there a tendency to mail it in, knowing that this is your last?’ ” Roy said. “And I can absolutely assure you that that’s not in my DNA and not in our team’s DNA.”

The goal, as always, is to give the fan at home the best seat. To appreciate how hard it is to make golf easy on the eyes and ears, it helps to spend time in the truck observing Roy as he gesticulates like a conductor orchestrating a symphony of words and pictures.

“Every once in a while, I’ll step in the truck,” Hicks said. “Ten to 15 minutes in there, I start getting the heebie-jeebies. In all the commotion and chaos, Tommy has the innate ability to make snap decisions that are the right decisions. It’s just uncanny. I’ve never worked with anyone who has such great radar.”

On Thursday afternoon a can of soda, retrieved by an assistant from a stash of mostly high-calorie snacks, grew flat as Roy stared intently at a bank of 21 flat-screen televisions. A few of the TVs had more images than there were lines in the old test-screen pictures.

“I’m an adrenaline junkie,” Roy said. “I think that’s why I love this so much.”

Standing behind Roy, with one hand on the back of his chair, was Tom Randolph, his co-producer and second pair of eyes.

Roy and Randolph are like Phil Mickelson and the caddie Jim Mackay. They never seem out of sync. “The funny thing is, if it’s really been a stressful show, Tom Randolph’s hair is a mess,” Roy said. “It looks like a rat’s nest.”

It was their seventh hour in the truck coordinating coverage on ESPN, Golf Channel and NBC, and Randolph’s hair was holding up well. Roy has produced coverage of the Olympics and the Super Bowl and says neither poses as great a challenge as any week on golf, when dozens of balls are in play and the action continues while the network breaks for commercials. There is never time to catch one’s breath, much less nibble on a snack from a pile of cookies, crackers and chocolates in the corner of the truck.

“Producing 10 hours of live golf is the greatest diet in the world,” Roy said.

His workday starts before he arrives in the truck. Roy stops by the driving range to see what players are wearing, the better to identify them on the monitors. He studies their mannerisms to improve his own performance. That is why Roy doesn’t worry about cutting to a shot of Jim Furyk when he first steps up to a putt: He knows Furyk will back off it.

Roy could empathize with the Open’s 36-hole leader, Martin Kaymer, who said it was not easy playing the first two days with Keegan Bradley, whose pre-shot routine is an elaborate body tic. It’s difficult, Roy said, to perfectly time a cut to a golfer whose pre-shot routine is unpredictable.

“Go to Elvis,” Roy shouted, referring to a deck on a replay machine. For Roy, there is no such thing as a brilliant mistake.

“You never want to be that person that lets him down,” Hicks said. “We all know in this business there’s no such thing as a perfect show. There are too many moving parts. You know when he sits down in that chair he wants to put on the perfect show.”

Roy occasionally took his eyes off the monitors to glance at a lined pad with pages of his handwritten notes. “I’m driven to avoid failure, and I don’t like to make mistakes,” he said, “so I overprepare, I guess.”

The son of a golf pro, Roy, 55, was a business administration major at the University of Arizona in the late 1970s when he got his first job in TV, as a runner for NBC at the Tucson Open. He essentially never left, advancing through the ranks under the tutelage of Dick Ebersol.

To Roy’s immediate left in the truck sits someone whose duties include checking off players’ names as they appear on screen. Roy said he tried to give every player in a United States Open field his 15 seconds. “If they’ve earned the right to be in our national championship,” Roy said, “they’ve earned the right to be on TV.”

In one six-minute segment, Roy showed shots of eight golfers, including Kaymer, who was fashioning the first of his consecutive five-under 65s.

“We go on the air, and that’s when the script we’ve rehearsed goes out the window,” Roy said. “That’s the great thing about sports in general. It’s unscripted drama.”

During Friday morning’s ESPN telecast, the tower announcer Sean McDonough set the stage for a birdie putt by the Colombian Andrés Echavarria. One of the hosts, Paul Azinger, playfully asked if he had worked on that pronunciation.

McDonough replied that he simply parroted the voice in his earpiece, leading Scott Van Pelt to pipe up from the announcers’ booth. He said, “Lean on Tommy Roy as much as we can with some of these things.”

Van Pelt joked that the on-air talent could be likened to dolls with voice boxes. “They just throw a suit on us,” he said, “put us in here, and pull the string in our back.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/sp...elevision&_r=0
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post #95013 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 03:15 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelorette (120 min.)
10:01PM - Mistress
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Lena Headey; Jungle performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Dec. 16)
8:30PM - Mom
(R - Nov. 11)
9PM - Mike & Moly
(R - Feb. 24)
9:30PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Mar. 3)
10PM - 48 Hours
* * * *
11:35AM - Late Show with David Letterman (Susan Sarandon; Whitney Cummings; Angel Olsen performs; David Sanborn sits-in with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Henry Winkler; Lennon Parham)

NBC:
8PM - Last Comic Standing
(R - Jun. 12)
9PM - American Ninja Warrior (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Keenan Ivory Wayans; Jennifer Lopez performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Wanda Sykes; Piper Perabo; Stromae performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Wil Wheaton, The Birds of Satan, Courtney Kemp Agboh)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
9PM - 24: Live Another Day

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Providence
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Houston
(R - Jul. 2, 2012)
10PM - American Pharaoh

UNIVISION:
8PM - De Que Te Quiero, Te Quiero
9PM - Lo Que la Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Apr. 4)
9PM - Beauty and The Beast

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Impostora
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de Los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Deon Cole; Jesse Joyce; Brandon Walsh)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Ice Cube and Chris D'Elia; comic Hari Kondabolu)
Midnight - The Pete Holmes (Comic Duncan Trussell)

E!
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Jason Biggs)

SYNDICATION
Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Sheryl Underwood; Sara Gilbert; Sharon Osbourne; Aisha Tyler; Julie Chen; DK Quik; George Wallace)
(R)
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post #95014 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 03:17 AM
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TV Notes
TV goes viral, in a big way
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Jun. 16, 2014

Television's latest supervillain: A killer with the ability to remain invisible and change shape while committing mass atrocities.

Viruses – and the accompanying prospect of infection, illness and even pandemic – are a core elements of Syfy's Helix and two upcoming series, TNT's The Last Ship (due June 22, 9 ET/PT) and FX's The Strain (July 13, 10 ET/PT).

Viruses have long played a dramatic role in film, appearing in such movies as The Andromeda Strain (1971), Twelve Monkeys (1995), Outbreak (1995) and Contagion (2011), whose producers consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and shot part of the film at its offices. On television, an Andromeda miniseries appeared on A&E in 2008, while 24's Jack Bauer dealt with bioterrorism in its third season and Heroes characters tried to prevent the release of a deadly virus in Season 2.

"It's an invisible monster that could run rampant and kill all of us. When we conceived of the show that's what we thought could be a really interesting starting place for an end to the world," says Ship executive producer Hank Steinberg, adding that viruses can meld scientific accuracy with horror elements. "You walk into a room and everyone is your enemy. You breathe it and you die."

A virus' ability to adapt as it moves from host to host — and also quickly around the world via air travel — adds dramatic appeal. (That capacity to spread quickly is seen as an asset in the case of viral videos.)

"Viruses have the capacity to mutate, to change, to become more deadly, and therefore they're a great evil antagonist to your protagonist in a story," says the CDC's Barbara Reynolds, who has a Ph.D. in social psychology.

Depictions in entertainment media range from "the almost documentary-like" science in Contagion to campier presentations, she says, and the topic has a strong pull on the public's imagination both in fiction and real life. "We're dealing with MERS right now and, for some people, it's quite fascinating to understand what it does. If you use the word Ebola in a sentence, people perk up. Bacteria can be very deadly, but they don't tend to make the Hollywood scene in quite the same way."

The current TV shows deal with their shared topic in a variety of ways. Ship follows a Navy destroyer on a secret assignment in the Arctic, where it escapes a viral pandemic and, with the help of a virologist on board (Rhona Mitra), could be the source of a cure.

Mitra, who believe viruses are a piece of a larger conversation about humanity's ability to sustain a healthy lifestyle in the face of neurotoxins and rising autoimmune disease, says she is committed to conveying the science accurately on Ship while showing her character's passion for solving viral mysteries.

"It becomes this very intoxicating obsession, where they're so elusive and intelligent and brilliant and Machiavellian, almost ," she says. "A strange sort of romance exists between a scientist and a virus. I love the fact that this woman is so locked in with this particular relationship, with a view ... that she can possibly save the human race."

Ship delves into humanity's influence on the environment, especially climate change, Steinberg says. "It relates to people's fears of global warming. In our show. The permafrost has melted, and an ancient microbe that has been dormant for years that we've never been exposed to is released, and we have no antibodies."

Helix, which finished Season 1 in March and returns in 2015, looks at the potential ravages of a man-manipulated virus at a research center in Antarctica.

The modern-day story connects to our more primitive fear of epidemic disease, which goes back to the scourges of smallpox and the Black Plague, executive producer Steven Maeda says. The series explores man's relationship to nature, whether it is in manipulating viruses or changing the environment.

"The first season it was: Play God, pay the price. There is definitely a sense that even in your best intentions, you don't know what the ultimate result is going to be down the line," he says.

The Strain, based on the novels of Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, is less literal, as its virus is spread by vampires who feed on and infect the blood of their victims, who then become vampires. The lead character is a CDC official (Corey Stoll) and the show's title alludes to the biological connection.

"We live in a world where there are a lot of blood-sucking, parasitic creatures. In the case of our show, they just happen to be a lot larger than a mosquito," says executive producer Carlton Cuse. "The fear of infection is a much more tangible fear for people than being attacked by a vampire."

Beyond the damage caused by the virus, the show looks at the potential harm suffered by society if it is unable to cope with the threat of a pandemic.

"There's a deep cynicism about our social system's ability to cope with this kind of an epidemic. In a society where self-interest dominates, it's entirely likely that ... we might not respond with the alacrity we would need to contain something really serious," Cuse says.

However large the threat, there is room for optimism in both the real and fictional worlds, the CDC's Reynolds says.

"We have some victories over viruses, so there's room for the storyline to come out as a success."

Contributing: Ann Oldenburg

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...hows/10290579/
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TV Sports
Finally, it’s the U.S.’s turn to play
Starts World Cup action against Ghana, their tourney archrivals
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 16, 2014

The World Cup kicked off on Thursday, but the United States squad has been twiddling its thumbs since then.

Now finally it’s time for some action.

Today the team begins its 2014 tournament with a game against Ghana at 6 p.m. on ESPN and Univision. It will be a tough matchup.

Ghana has sent the U.S. home the past two World Cups, knocking the squad out of the round of 16. And the Americans need a win in this game: The other two teams in their group, Portugal and Germany, are even better than the African powerhouse.

If the U.S. has any chance of advancing, it needs to beat Ghana.

This is a young squad, and many of them were not on the field during the last World Cup, so players have been dismissing the idea that they’re looking for revenge for the 2010 loss.

Instead, they’re hoping to show that the U.S. does belong among the top soccer squads in the world, something they still haven’t proven despite the growing fondness for the sport in this country.

The World Cup is already off to record-breaking ratings, and no doubt today’s match will draw strong ratings, if perhaps not as strong as the opening U.S. match four years ago.

The Americans faced England in a huge game that aired on a Saturday on ABC and Univision, drawing 17.5 million total viewers, one of the biggest crowds ever to watch a soccer game in the U.S.

Since tonight’s match is airing on ESPN rather than ABC, and it’s on a weeknight, not a weekend, viewership may be smaller.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fin...s-s-turn-play/
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post #95016 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 09:26 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 13, 2014

2014 WORLD CUP
ESPN, 11:30 p.m. ET

Today’s the day Team USA finally steps onto the pitch, facing Ghana in its first match of the 2014 World Cup. But first, there are two other games to be played, also televised live by ESPN. Germany vs. Portugal begin play at noon ET, with ESPN beginning coverage 30 minutes earlier. Then, at 2:30 p.m. ET, Iran plays Nigeria, after which, at 5:30 p.m. ET, ESPN begins coverage of the initial US match.

24: LIVE ANOTHER DAY
Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

In the last hour of this show, President Heller (William Devane) contacted the terrorist directly, agreeing to give himself up to her. Meanwhile, Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) made inroads of sorts by evacuating the terrorist’s daughter, also a terrorist, from a London hospital just before her mother blew it up with a drone strike. And the mother is doing all this to revenge the death of her husband, making this season of 24 a particularly volatile family affair.

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
HBO, 8:30 p.m. ET

Last night, because of the expanded Game of Thrones season finale, the latest installment of John Oliver’s weekly news comedy review was delayed until even later than usual. If you don’t know what you missed, and most viewers don’t, here’s a much more convenient prime-time next-day rerun. And one thing to catch, for sure: Oliver interviewing Stephen Hawking, for real.

LOUIE
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
If this season of Louie seems to have gone surprisingly quickly, that’s because FX has doubled up on weekly episodes since the season began – and, tonight, concludes the season with its final two episodes, wrapping up the “Pamela” story featuring Louis C.K. collaborator Pamela Adlon. By coincidence, Adlon is also finishing up a run on another series, as Marcy Runkle on Showtime’s Californication.

MURDER IN THE FIRST
TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s premiere of this new Steven Bochco series ended with the discovery of a body of a beautiful blonde girl who, apparently, had fallen down the stairs, naked, and died. But personal photos link her to a billionaire Silicon Valley computer genius – while, tonight, other evidence take the cops down another path. It’s not clear yet whether this series deserves support, and a loyal audience, but a few more weeks of its deliberately unfurling plot will soon make that clear. Kathleen Robertson and Taye Diggs star.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Notes
BBC America’s ‘Graham Norton Show’: Watch It and Weep, With Laughter
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 16, 2014

BBC America’s The Graham Norton Show is an import that’s been around for quite a while, but the show, like Norton’s guest list, keeps getting better. It could be, right now, the laugh-out-loud funniest show on TV…

The Graham Norton Show is shown here on BBC America Saturday nights, a few days after each weekly episode premieres in the U.K. Lately, BBC America has been televising the program at 10 p.m. ET, but this weekend moves it back to 11 p.m. ET, to accommodate the prime-time premiere of its new comedy faux documentary series, The Royals.

No matter where it airs, though, you should find it.

Norton has more than earned a high-profile prime-time slot of his own, as well as whatever scheduling moves can maximize his exposure to American viewers. BBC America has a crown jewel on its hands, and it’s a discovery that Norton’s viewers, and his guests, usually realize after a single giddy visit.

One recent show included Bill Murray, Matt Damon and Hugh Bonneville, all there to promote their movie The Monuments Men, sitting on the same couch and knocking back glasses of champagne as Norton asked truly oddball questions. The atmosphere was so laid-back that “casual” doesn’t begin to describe it. At one point, Bonneville, best known as the imperious Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey, stood up and excused himself to go use the bathroom. That, for me, was a viewing first.

“By the way,” Damon told Norton near the end of that program, “this is the best time I’ve ever had on a talk show.” And that was no hyperbole – during the hour, he, Murray and Bonneville all wiped away tears of laughter, and had giggle fits, as Norton questioned one of them about something unexpected, or embarrassing, or both.

Today (Monday) on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, I review Norton’s show, and provide enough clips, I hope, to persuade newcomers to tune in to watch him on BBC America. One of the hallmarks of The Graham Norton Show is that he usually brings out all his guests at once, which makes them have to interact with one another, whether they’re used to sharing the spotlight or not. And in Norton’s hands, the results often are, just as with his guests, giggle-fit funny.

When Judi Dench and Elton John share the same couch, a story emerges about one of them at an infamous London gay nightclub – and it isn’t Elton. When Tom Cruise and Seth MacFarlane share the same couch, MacFarlane makes Cruise roar with laughter by doing Liam Neeson’s telephone speech from Taken, but in a different, very familiar voice.

And when Emma Thompson takes over the questioning of British singer Robbie Williams about the birth of his daughter, she elicits what may well be the most riotously unexpected and unflinchingly honest answer ever uttered on a TV talk show. That, and more, can be heard on Fresh Air, and is available starting late this afternoon on the Fresh Air website.

And that’s only the start of it. Another show, seating Paul McCartney next to Katy Perry, turned into a conversation where, in trying to flatter him, she ended up complimenting him for not being dead.

McCartney played it with perfect deadpan disapproval, and the young pop star kept digging herself deeper – especially once she started comparing her own record of Number One singles to those of The Beatles.

It was a wonderful show, as most of Norton’s turn out to be. His guest roster, most weeks, is a mix of familiar celebrities, British artists less known here in the States, and a musical performer, who may or may not join the others at the couch before or after. Lady Gaga certainly did, and her appearance, too, was quite memorable.

This Saturday, Norton’s guests include Samuel L. Jackson and Keira Knightley. Now that you’ve read this, listen to Graham Norton on Fresh Air, then watch him on BBC America.

Just like Matt Damon, you’ll have the best time.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7599
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post #95017 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 09:33 AM
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TV Sports/Nielsen Notes
World Cup 2014: First-Round Matches Draw Record Ratings
By Scott Foxborough, The Hollywood Reporter - Jun. 16, 2014

The 2014 soccer World Cup has been a ratings hit out of the box, with first-round matches this past weekend outperforming even the impressive figures of the last tournament in 2010.

A series of high-profile matchups, including a rematch of the 2010 final between world champions Spain and the Netherlands, helped boost viewing figures, especially among neutrals.

Approximately 11.2 million Spaniards, or 68.5 percent of the national audience, caught the game in which Spain was battered 5-1 by Holland. In the Netherlands, 7.5 million watched, an 82.9 percent share. But even in neutral Germany, fully 14.6 million viewers, just under 50 percent of the audience, caught the game.

Italy's 2-1 defeat of England in the opening match was a similar draw. Although the match kicked off at midnight Italian time on Saturday, 12 million soccer-mad Italian fans tuned in, for a staggering 82 percent share combined between state broadcaster RAI and satellite rival Sky Italia. It was the highest ever rating in Italy, in terms of market share, for a sporting event.

BBC's coverage of England's first World Cup game averaged 11.5 million viewers for a 68.4 percent share, with the audience peaking at 15.4 million, a share of 76.4 percent, when England scored an equalizer to tie the match 1-1. The figures were down from England's opening match against the U.S. in the 2010 World Cup, which drew an average 16.1 million viewers, a drop partly attributable to the late hour broadcast.

England vs. Italy was also the most-watched first-round game, aside from the opening-night kickoff, among U.S. viewers on ESPN, where the match drew a 2.6 rating, or 4.62 million viewers. ESPN said the figure was a record for a regular first-round match not involving Team USA.

But Spanish-language network Univision pulled some 5 million viewers in the U.S. for its broadcast of Mexico vs. Cameroon on Friday. According to Univision's figures, the network has outperformed ESPN among total viewers by 34 percent over the first four matches of the 2014 World Cup.

The largest TV audience in Europe was in France for Les Bleus' opening match against Honduras, which France won 3-0. An average of 15.8 million French viewers watched on commercial network TF1, peaking at 17 million in the second half. The figures represent 57 percent of all French households and 71 percent of all French men under 50.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...t-round-712084
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post #95018 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 09:37 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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post #95019 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 09:42 AM
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Nielsen Notes
Spurs’ victory lifts ABC to Sunday win
Game averages an 11.7 metered-market household rating
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 16, 2014

The deciding game of the NBA finals boosted ABC to an easy primetime victory on Sunday night.

Game five of the series, which the San Antonio Spurs won 104-87 over the defending champion Miami Heat to clinch the title, averaged an 11.7 metered-market household rating, according to Nielsen.

The game peaked with a 15.1 from 10:30 to 10:45, with the outcome of the game never really in doubt. The Spurs led by a solid margin throughout.

Not surprisingly, San Antonio captured the top local market rating for the game, averaging a 42.6 rating. Miami was second with a 27.6, with another Texas city, Austin, in third with a 22.0.

The game faced minimal competition on the Big Four. Fox and CBS were largely in repeats, and NBC’s two original dramas both slid versus their most recent outings, with the season finale of “Believe” averaging a 0.9, off 22 percent from its most recent original on June 1. “Crisis” slid a tenth from its June 1 outing to a 0.7.

ABC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 5.1 average overnight rating and a 17 share. Univision was second at 0.9/3, NBC and Fox tied for third at 0.8/3, CBS was fifth at 0.5/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.4/1.

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-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Also, ratings for ABC’s NBA coverage are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

At 7 p.m. ABC was first with a 2.3 for “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” (2.1) and “NBA Countdown” (2.5), followed by Univision with a 1.3 for the end of World Cup soccer. NBC was third with a 1.0 for the end of U.S. Open golf and a repeat of “American Ninja Warrior,” CBS fourth with a 0.8 for “60 Minutes,” Fox fifth with a 0.5 for “Enlisted” (0.4) and a repeat of “American Dad” (0.6), and Telemundo sixth with a 0.2 for the start of the movie “Titanic.”

ABC was first again at 8 p.m. with a 4.9 for its first hour of basketball, while Fox and Univision tied for second at 0.9, Fox for reruns of “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” and Univision for “Bailando por un Sueño.” NBC was fourth with a 0.7 for more “Ninja,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.4 for the second hour of “Titanic,” and CBS sixth with a 0.3 for a repeat of “The Good Wife.”

At 9 p.m. ABC led with a 6.1 for basketball, with Fox second with a 1.0 for repeats of “Family Guy” and “American Dad.” Univision was third with a 0.8 for more “Bailando,” NBC fourth with a 0.7 for “Believe,” Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for more “Titanic” and CBS sixth with a 0.4 for more “Wife.”

ABC was first once again at 10 p.m. with a 7.1 for basketball and NBA postgame, with NBC and Univision tied for second at 0.7, NBC for “Crisis” and Univision for “Sal y Pimienta.” CBS was fourth with a 0.5 for a rerun of “The Mentalist” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.4 for the final hour of the movie.

Among households, ABC finished first for the night with a 7.8 average overnight rating and a 14 share. CBS was second at 2.9/5, NBC third at 2.2/4, Univision fourth at 1.2/2, Fox fifth at 1.1/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/spu...bc-sunday-win/
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post #95020 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 09:45 AM
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Tony Gwynn, aka Mr. Padre, died today at 54:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11...d=sportscenter

Scott

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt...
Hot Off the Press / Philips and Magnavox DVD Recorders

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post #95021 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
TV Sports
The Innovation That Grew and Grew
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Jun. 13, 2014

Could anything be simpler than a box in a corner of a TV screen continuously showing the score of a game and the time remaining?

“It’s one of those things that when you see it, you realize, O.K., it makes a lot of sense,” he said. “Why didn’t somebody think of it before?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/sp...-and-grew.html
The bigger issue was the placement in the 4:3 "safe" area (which, in 1994, was all there is on a 4:3 TV screen). When TV went widescreen, mostly the score box would stay in the 4:3 "safe" area, which was unwieldy to some.

Only recently have they put it in the extremes of the 16:9 screens, making it relatively less obtrusive to viewers. Now future TV, when it expands the viewing area (say 2:1 or something oddball like 24:11 ) will still keep the score box in the 16:9 "safe area" until the technology catches up.
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post #95022 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 12:04 PM
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Does anyone know when we will see the next season of " Law and Order UK" which just ended in England? It will be on BBC America but I cannot find out when.
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post #95023 of 95716 Old 06-16-2014, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SowegaBowler View Post
Tony Gwynn, aka Mr. Padre, died today at 54:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/11...d=sportscenter
Very sad day. I have fond memories of Sunday day games with perfect weather and a cold beer watching the lackluster Padres and the amazing Tony Gwynn.

TiVo Elite, TiVo 4, Four TiVo Minis, TiVo Stream, Roku 3, Google Chromecast, Cox Cable, Sonos
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post #95024 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 01:08 AM
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TV Notes
Christopher Titus to Host ‘Pawn Stars’ Spinoff Gameshow
By Jethro Nededog, TheWrap.com - Jun. 16, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: History has tapped actor and comedian Christopher Titus as the host of “Pawnography,” the gameshow spinoff of its hit reality show, “Pawn Stars,” TheWrap has learned.

Titus will host the show while the stars of “Pawn Stars,” Rick Harrison, Corey Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell compete against others in three rounds of trivia with actual objects from Harrison's prized collections at stake.

Viewers will remember Titus as the star of his own Fox series in the Early-2000s. His other TV credits include “CSI: Miami,” “Big Shots,” and “The Twilight Zone.”

Produced by Leftfield Pictures for History, “Pawnography” premieres Thursday, July 10 at 10/9c.

Titus is represented by Octagon.

http://www.thewrap.com/titus/
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post #95025 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 01:12 AM
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Finale Draws 7.1 Million Viewers Sunday
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Jun. 16, 2014

HBO’s most popular show of all time, “Game of Thrones,” didn’t quite set a series record Sunday, but it came close as it wrapped its fourth season.

According to Nielsen in-home viewing estimates, the 9 p.m. telecast — which went head to head with the NBA Finals on ABC in most of the country — averaged 7.1 million viewers, up from the previous week (6.95 million) but not quite as big as the series’ previous high of 7.195 million on May 18. It was up a big 32% from last year’s finale (5.39 million) and more than doubled its first-season finale (3.04 million in 2011).

Two encore airings padded the nightly total for “Game of Thrones” to 9.3 million.

Sunday’s finale continued the show’s remarkable ratings growth, as “Thrones” became the rare series to increase its audience for three consecutive seasons. Its initial 10-episode season averaged 2.52 million same-night viewers, a total that swelled to 3.80 million in 2012, 4.97 million in 2013 and 6.8 million for its 2014 run.

Earlier this month, HBO reported that “Game of Thrones” had become the most popular series in the network’s history. According to Nielsen, episodes of the show that premiere on Sunday night go on to attract an average gross audience of 18.6 million viewers once replays, DVR playback and viewing on other platforms is included.

The previous high for an HBO series, set by the 2002 season of “The Sopranos” (in the pre-DVR era) was an average gross audience of 18.2 million viewers per episode. Season three of “Game of Thrones” had an average gross audience of 14.4 million viewers per episode.

The show’s fourth-season premiere in April drew a then series-record 6.635 million same-night viewers for its initial telecast — the largest same-night audience for any HBO program since the finale of “The Sopranos,” which drew 11.9 million in 2007. The highest in recent years had been 5.53 million for “True Blood” in August 2011.

“Thrones” went on to top that number with six of its final eight episodes.

Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, “Game of Thrones” is an epic story of treachery and nobility set on the continent of Westeros, where summers and winters can last years, and only the lust for power is eternal. In April, two days after its fourth-season premiere, “Thrones” was renewed for seasons five and six.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/ratings/h...ay-1201221238/
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post #95026 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 01:24 AM
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TV Notes
Jennifer Johnson Joins ‘The Following’ As Showrunner, Inks Overall Deal With Warner Bros. TV
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jun. 16, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Johnson will be the day-to-day showrunner of Fox drama series The Following for its upcoming third season as part of an overall deal with The Following producer Warner Bros TV. She will replace at the helm of the Kevin Bacon-starring dark thriller creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson, who will remain an executive producer and very involved in the show but will focus his attention on his newest series, fall CBS drama Stalker. Williamson previously made a similar transition from the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, which is now run by co-developer Julie Plec, to The Following.

This marks Johnson’s return to the WBTV fold where she spent five years before signing an overall deal with 20th TV two years ago. Johnson started at WBTV as a supervising producer on the studio’s CBS crime drama Cold Case, rising to showrunner. Johnson, repped by WME and attorney Matt Johnson, went on to create, executive produce and run the NBC drama Chase, also for WBTV and Bruckheimer TV. She then became showrunner on WBTV’s Fox drama Alcatraz, reuniting with producer J.J. Abrams having previously worked with him on Lost.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/06/jenn...arner-bros-tv/

* * * *

TV Notes
‘Castle’ Creator Andrew Marlowe To Exit As Day-To-Day Showrunner & Focus On Development, David Amann To Succeed Him

There will be a change at the helm of veteran ABC hourlong series Castle. Creator/executive producer Andrew Marlowe will step down as showrunner. He will continue to maintain a day-to-day presence on the show while focusing on developing new projects under his overall deal with Castle producer ABC Studios. Marlowe will be succeeded by Castle executive producer David Amann who will take over primary showrunning responsibility for Season 7. “Over the past four seasons, David has proven himself to be a tremendous leader and a great steward of our show’s unique voice,” Marlowe said. ” I’m excited to continue our creative collaboration as he assumes his new responsibilities, “

Marlowe has run Castle for its six seasons to date. He was joined by Barry Schindel for the first episodes after the pilot in Season 1 and by another veteran, Rene Echevarria, who co-ran the show with him in Season 2. Under Marlowe’s overall deal with ABC Studios, he developed a Philip Marlowe drama project, inspired by Raymond Chandler’s character. Marlowe’s move resembles that of the creator of another long-running ABC/ABC Studios dramedy, Desperate Housewives‘ Marc Cherry, who stepped down as showrunner after Season 7 to focus on development while continuing on Housewives in a consulting capacity. The series ran for another season, with Cherry returning to write the finale.

Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic, is coming off its most watched season, up 3% in total viewers vs. Season 5, and ranks as ABC’s top drama gainer in DVR vieweing among total viewers. Amann, whose previous credits include Without A Trace, Crossing Jordan and The X-Files, is repped by Gersh; Marlowe is with CAA.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/06/cast...o-succeed-him/
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post #95027 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 01:29 AM
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TV/Business Notes
Should Aereo win, next move for broadcasters could be at FCC
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jun. 16, 2014

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this week or next week on whether Aereo -- the start-up service that streams local TV signals on the Internet via remote antennas -- is legal or violates copyright law.

Launched in 2012 with backing from media mogul Barry Diller, Aereo is available in several major cities across the United States including New York. It offers customers access to a cloud-based digital videorecorder that holds up to 60 hours of content and the service costs $8 to $12 a month.

Aereo does not disclose the number of subscribers it has. Broadcasters charge that they need to be compensated by Aereo, otherwise the company is engaging in copyright theft.

While broadcasters -- including CBS, Fox, ABC and NBC -- are hopeful that the Supreme Court will side with them, if not they won't be throwing in the towel.

Fox and CBS have made noise about switching their broadcast networks to cable channels. CBS has also suggested creating its own version of Aereo.

But more likely to happen if Aereo prevails in court is that the broadcasters will seek other legal or regulatory roadblocks.

One approach may be to try to force Aereo to comply with the same rules that require cable and satellite operators to have to negotiate with local TV stations in order to carry their signals.

Currently, over-the-top providers are not regulated as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD). That means they are immune from certain Federal Communication Commission regulations including retransmission consent, which gives local broadcasters the ability to charge a distributor a fee for carrying their signals.

The key difference between an over-the-top service and a traditional MVPD is that the former uses the public Internet to distribute content while the latter uses facilities they own or control.

In 2012, the FCC said it was looking into whether it needed to change what defines an MVPD. However, that proceeding has been idle since then.

The industry is divided about whether OTTs should be regulated as traditional MVPDs. Some distributors, including DirecTV, told the FCC that if an OTT is going to compete with MVPDs, they should be regulated the same way.

The FCC should "establish a level playing field where competitors operate under a core set of common rights, protections and obligations," DirecTV said.

But others, including NBC parent Comcast Corp., said OTTs should not be viewed as MVPDs. Its rationale was that it is a growing platform that should not be burdened by the regulatory commitments that traditional cable and satellite operators are required to fulfill.

Aereo, which has argued all along that it is an antenna service and not a video distribution platform or subscription TV provider, probably would try to make those same arguments to the FCC.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...616-story.html

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post #95028 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 01:46 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Extreme Weight Loss (120 min.)
10PM - Celebrity Wife Swap: Robin Leach/Eric Roberts
(R - Apr. 22)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Musicians Ludacris, Ke$ha, Josh Groban and Brad Paisley; Internet personality Michael Stevens; Brad Paisley performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
(R - Feb. 4)
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
(R - Feb. 25)
10:01PM - Person of Interest
(R - Dec. 17)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Olivia Wilde; talent manager Shep Gordon; Empires performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Simon Helberg; L.P. performs)

NBC:
8PM - America's Got Talent (120 min.)
10:01PM - The Night Shift
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Kevin Hart; Jimmy Buffett performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Robert Pattinson; Gabrielle Union; comic David Wain)
1:37AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Aisha Tyler, Deap Vally, Tokyo Police Club)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - Family Guy
(R - Jan. 12)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Sep. 17)
9PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Oct. 15)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Nov. 26)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - PBS Previews: The Roosevelts
8:30PM - PBS Previews: The Roosevelts
(R)
9PM - Freedom Riders: American Experience (120 min.)
(R - May 16, 2011)

UNIVISION:
8PM - De Que Te Quiero, Te Quiero
9PM - Lo Que La Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Famous In 12
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Oct. 29)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Impostora
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (Author Daniel Schulman)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Authors David Boies and Theodore B. Olson)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Randy Sklar; Jason Sklar; Erin Foley)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Wildlife expert David Mizejewski; Max Greenfield; Jarle Bernhoft performs)
Midnight - The Pete Holmes Show (Film director Joe Manganiello)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (The cast of Lifetime's docu-series "Little Women")

SYNDICATION:
Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Kendrick Lamar; Schoolboy Q; Allison Janney; David Oyelowo)
(R)
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post #95029 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 09:21 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 17, 2014

2014 WORLD CUP
ESPN, 11:30 p.m. ET

After yesterday’s thrilling U.S.A. opening game against Ghana, more people than ever will be paying attention to the World Cup here in the States. (Everywhere else in the world, they already were.) Today, ESPN presents all three games being played. The first and third feature the final teams to play their first opening-round games, from Group H: at 11:30 a.m. ET, Belgium vs. Algeria, and at 5:30 p.m. ET, Russia vs. South Korea. And sandwiched in between is the day’s premium draw: the second game featuring host nation Brazil, who, at 2:30 p.m. ET, plays Mexico, and is a team to watch, with fans and cheerleaders to match. Right now, both Brazil and Mexico won their openers, and are atop their Group A division. After today, that may well change. Or not, if they battle to a draw.

RISKY BUSINESS
Sundance, 7:45 p.m. ET

This movie is 31 years old, and wasn’t even Tom Cruise’s first movie. But it’s been that long since he’s been a top-tier movie star – and three decades at or near the top of Hollywood puts him right up there with the biggest of big boys, like the Jimmy Stewarts and John Waynes and Henry Fondas. Tune in again, and watch how effortlessly, and winningly, he shot to the top in the first place. Cue the Bob Seger music, kick off the shoes, and… slide. Repeated at 10 p.m. ET.

PBS PREVIEWS: THE ROOSEVELTS
PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ken Burns’ latest documentary series is coming this fall: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, a study of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt that covers a century of American history in a seven-part, 14-hour epic look at the lives and contributions of three members of a single family. Early buzz has it as one of the very best efforts to ever emerge from the Burns shop, which is the highest praise possible. Tonight’s 30-minute preview serves as a teaser, as an appetizer, and, in this fractured TV landscape, one way to begin to build awareness and expectations months ahead of time. Check local listings.

CHASING LIFE
ABC Family, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s series premiere set up this show’s unusual premise: Chasing Life stars Italia Ricci as April, a 24-year-old journalist who’s suddenly given a diagnosis of leukemia. It’s not a dark comedy, like Showtime’s The Big C, but more of a straight drama, and for a young audience more used to thinking of itself as invulnerable. Here, vulnerability is everything – and the way April handles her diagnosis is what makes Chasing Life so distinctive, and so affirming.

FARGO
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
What a delicious surprise this new FX series has turned out to be. And tonight’s episode, the Season 1 finale, is guaranteed to serve up plenty of surprises of its own. For an appreciation that doesn’t serve up any spoilers, see Eric Gould’s The Cold Light Reader. (below)


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
‘Fargo’ Finale: No Country for Innocence
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com - Jun. 16, 2014

If you liked the bungling hubris and violence in Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 film Fargo, and their chilling tale of nihilism in 2007’s No Country for Old Men, then you must be loving the mash up of both in FX’s Fargo series, which is wrapping up Tuesday night at 10 p.m., ET.

Fargo hasn’t been perfect. For his loosely related adaptation, writer and creator Noah Hawley has swapped the marginally functional brutes from the original film for a sociopath mastermind and hit man, Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton, top). Thornton has been pitch perfect as an angel of death with a bad haircut, ala Anton Chigurh in No Country. (There’s a surprising bit more of Malvo's technique to start Tuesday’s finale.)

On the downside, Malvo has orchestrated his mayhem and antics with disguises and the unlikely skill of a black-ops ninja, often being a master of disguise, entomology and residential plumbing. His feats have been good television, but hardly like those in Breaking Bad which were outrageous, but danced well on the line of plausibility.

And speaking of Breaking Bad, onboard this season was Bob Odenkirk, that series’ crook lawyer Saul Goodman, in the habitual then tedious role of Police Chief Bill Oswalt who each week stalled the investigation into murder suspect Lester Nygaard (Martin Freeman, bottom) because, golly, the mousy insurance guy just couldn’t be guilty of killing his wife despite incriminating evidence pointing right at him.

Even Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key showed up as two unwitting FBI agents. The duo from Comedy Central were too recognizable from their sketch comedy series, broke the fourth wall, and were distracting.

And, oh yeah, there was that biblical raining down of fish on local supermarket king Stavros Milos (Oliver Platt, right) in episode 6, borrowing from Paul Thomas Anderson’s original hail of frogs in his 1999 feature, Magnolia.

But those are quibbling points. Fargo has essentially been appointment viewing this spring, embodying the style and black comedy of the Coen’s feature films and crafting a great 10-episode season following Nygaard, the insurance agent who finds personal growth as a wife-killer, and what happens when he accidentally crosses paths with the deranged Malvo.

Most notably, Hawley made a thrilling leap to one year later in the narrative two weeks back, something we usually don’t see in a series until, well, the next year of the show. We saw steadfast policewoman Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman, left) still clinging to a cold Nygaard case out of Oswalt’s negligence, now pregnant and married to salt-of-the-earth Gus Grimley, who had left the Duluth police force for his childhood dream job as a postman.

In Tuesday’s 90-minute finale, “Norton’s Fork”, we will see what happens after Lester’s accidental meeting last week with Malvo in St. Louis and Malvo's homicidal impression of Jackson Pollack in an elevator. Of course, Nygaard has seemed to have gotten away with things, but, as with all of the Coen tragic characters, his vanity and new-found testosterone won’t let things be. Malvo returns to the bucolic town of Bemidji, Minnesota with his black brand of metaphysical justice.

There’s way too much to spoil here, but let’s say Hawley has remained true to the Coen brothers genius of colliding the best of human nature – the good-hearted cornpone of Minnesota – with its basest and lets the scintillating pieces fall in their signature manner. Tuesday’s episode is short on comedy and long on shocking consequences.

While Hawley, writer of the entire first season, reportedly has a two-year deal with FX, he hasn’t committed to season 2 as of yet. It seems unlikely that the Nygaard tale will go further and if it does, Fargo will continue on as an anthology, like HBO’s True Detective, with a new story and a new cast, but because of the title, stay set in the American midwest.

So far, Fargo has been one of 2014’s best. Let’s hope it returns to the unsuspecting dark winters of folksy Minnesota.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7593
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MONDAY'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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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘MasterChef’ cooks up a Monday win for Fox
Gordon Ramsay reality show averages a 1.8 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 17, 2014

“MasterChef” turned up the ratings heat on Monday night.

The Gordon Ramsay reality show averaged a 1.8 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 20 percent over last week and finishing as the highest-rated program of the night on broadcast.

That boosted Fox to No. 1 for the night when combined with “24: Live Another Day,” which averaged a 1.5 at 9 p.m. “24” fell a tenth from last week, and it wasn’t the only show to dip.

ABC’s “The Bachelorette” and NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” tied for second place for the night with a 1.6 apiece, down 11 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from last week.

The 10 p.m. ABC drama “Mistresses” tied last week’s rating with a 0.9.

Fox was first for the night among 18-49s with a 1.6 average overnight rating and a 5 share. ABC was second at 1.4/4, NBC third at 1.3/4, Univision fourth at 1.1/4, CBS fifth at 1.1/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.7/2, and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

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-nine percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Fox began the night in the lead with a 1.8 at 8 p.m. for “MasterChef,” followed by ABC with a 1.6 for “Bachelorette.” CBS was third with a 1.2 for reruns of “2 Broke Girls” and “Mom,” Univision fourth with a 1.1 for “De Que Te Quiero, Te Quiero,” NBC fifth with a 0.9 for a repeat of “Last Comic Standing,” CW sixth with a 0.6 for “Whose Line Is It Anyway,” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “La Impostora.”

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 1.6 for more “Bachelorette,” while NBC and Fox tied for second at 1.5, NBC for “Ninja” and Fox for “24.” CBS was fourth with a 1.3 for repeats of “Mike & Molly,” Univision fifth with a 1.1 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for “En Otra Piel” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for “Beauty and the Beast.”

At 10 p.m. NBC led with a 1.6 for more “Ninja,” with Univision second with a 1.1 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.” ABC and Telemundo tied for third at 0.9, ABC for “Mistresses” and Telemundo for “El Señor de los Cielos,” and CBS was fifth with a 0.8 for “48 Hours.”

ABC finished first for the night among households with a 3.6 average overnight rating and a 6 share. Fox was second at 3.3/6, CBS third at 3.2/5, NBC fourth at 2.4/4, Univision fifth at 1.5/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.9/1, and CW seventh at 0.8/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/mas...onday-win-fox/

* * * *

TV Notes
‘Rizzoli and Isles,’ a real throwback
Returning TNT procedural is unlike many of the new shows
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jun. 17, 2014

TNT is loading up on new sci fi and fantasy shows to push the network in a new direction, but it still has a handful of older procedurals that draw solid numbers.

One of them, “Rizzoli and Isles,” returns for season five tonight at 9 p.m. with the same reliable mix of mystery, crime and a few hints about the leads’ personal lives that has worked for so long for similar shows like “NCIS,” “CSI” and “Law & Order.”

It’s an approach TNT embraced for years. “The Closer” and “Major Crimes,” the network’s two biggest hits over the past decade, are both traditional procedurals like “Isles.”

But in recent years TNT has had trouble launching strong new shows in that vein.

With procedurals generally losing their ratings pop on broadcast, where “L&O” was canceled a few years ago and “CSI” has waned, TNT is rebranding.

Whereas before it simply identified itself as the network for dramas, going forward it’s focused on thrilling, titillating content, the sort of thing procedurals simply don’t offer. It wants to gain the same sort of buzz as networks like FX and AMC, known for hits like “Sons of Anarchy” and “The Walking Dead,” to draw the attention of media buyers.

While TNT’s procedurals get good ratings, they’re not really sexy, hot shows. The aim of the rebrand is to change that.

Undoubtedly even with the rebrand “Rizzoli” will stick around a little longer if it maintains its current ratings pace. The show finished its fourth season as one of the top 10 dramas on cable in total viewers.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/spu...bc-sunday-win/
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Technology Notes
Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes
By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times - Jun. 17, 2014

In the middle of the night, when most Americans are sound asleep, their lights and appliances off, a power hog is wide awake and running at nearly full throttle: the boxes that operate their cable or satellite television service.

The seemingly innocuous appliances — all 224 million of them across the nation — together consume as much electricity as produced by four giant nuclear reactors, running around the clock. They have become the biggest single energy user in many homes, apart from air conditioning.

Cheryl Williamsen, a Los Alamitos architect, has three of the boxes leased from her cable provider in her home, but she had no idea how much power they consumed until recently, when she saw a rating on the back for as much as 500 watts — about the same as a washing machine.

A set-top cable box with a digital recorder can consume as much as 35 watts of power, costing about $8 a month for a typical Southern California consumer. The devices use nearly as much power turned off as they do when they are turned on.

"I could yank the power supply cord," Williamsen said, "but that's not a very consumer-friendly way to reduce energy consumption."

The boxes have been at the center of a battle between the cable industry and conservationists who believe the devices could be far more efficient.

"It is a classic case of market failure," said Andrew McAllister, a member of the California Energy Commission. "The consumers have zero information and zero control over the devices they get."

The industry agreed recently to voluntarily reduce the power consumption of new devices, which it said would save consumers $1 billion annually. But experts say the deal will provide only a fraction of the potential gains and take years to realize.

The fight over set-top boxes is a stark illustration of the difficulty of wringing energy efficiency improvements even in an era when Americans are trying to reduce their energy footprint over concerns about global warming and family budgets are strained by rising electricity prices. The recent announcement by the Obama administration of plans to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% and reduce electricity costs to the nation by 8% will require unprecedented improvements in efficiency.

Electricity demand is growing far more slowly today, thanks to conservation over the last decade. But total use is still projected to grow 29% by 2040, according to the Energy Department. Slower growth could reduce the pressure to build new gas-fired power plants as the nation retires low-cost coal-fired generators that cannot meet pollution standards.

While the technology exists to make giant strides in energy efficiency, the economic incentives are often missing. In many cases, there is no connection between who pays for electricity and who decides how much electricity gets used.

Steve Kelley, a senior vice president at Green Charge Networks, a Santa Clara, Calif., electronics firm that produces devices that help businesses lower their power bills, offers a case in point. The nation's shopping malls annually use hundreds of millions of dollars of electricity, he said, but their owners are often indifferent about reducing power consumption because tenants pay the bills.

"The mall owners often won't consider spending $50,000 on a system that would pay for itself, because they don't share in the savings," Kelley said.

Similarly, tenants in millions of apartments pay for electricity, but landlords decide whether they get efficient appliances, modern air conditioning systems and good building insulation. Many landlords, particularly those who rent modest apartments to working-class families, do not believe they can charge higher rents for units with improved efficiency, studies show.

The opposite problem exists at workplaces, where employees control much of the power use but do not pay the bills. Employees commonly use energy intensive space heaters under their desks, plug in incandescent lights or leave computers running all night.

It has fallen to the federal and state governments to clamp on mandatory standards in many cases, though they are fiercely opposed by the industry. Federal standards on refrigerators and televisions have driven down their energy use by 75%, even while the retail prices have dropped, said Ralph Cavanagh, an energy expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"There are still lots of $20 bills lying on the sidewalk," he said. "The potential is huge."

The set-top box issue is part of a much larger group of personal electronic devices in homes that represent one of the fastest-growing parts of residential electricity use. Americans are spending more than $12 billion a year on electricity to run computers, smartphones, game consoles, modems and other devices in their homes — one price of the nation's connected culture, according to estimates by the Consumer Federation of America.

"It is a very tough case to make to tell consumers don't use these devices," said Severin Borenstein, director of the UC Energy Institute. "People, as they get wealthier, are getting new toys and almost all of the things we do use electricity."

The set-top boxes consume power when turned off because of spinning hard drives, program guide updates and software downloads, leaving consumers with one choice to reduce that load: Unplug the device. The downside is that turning the system back on requires a convoluted reboot.

Energy experts say the boxes could be just as efficient as smartphones, laptop computers or other electronic devices that use a fraction of the power thanks to microprocessors and other technology that conserves electricity. Ideally, they say, these boxes could be put into a deep sleep mode when turned off, cutting consumption to a few watts. At that rate, a box could cost less than $1 a month for power, depending on how much it is used.

McAllister said the commission was closely watching the voluntary agreement and may still impose binding state standards.

The deal signed late last year by 11 cable and satellite companies, which control the bulk of the nation's communications services, calls for a power reduction in the range of 10% to 45% by 2017. It requires an independent audit of the program, detailed public reports and disclosures to consumers.

Brian Dietz, a spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., said that by 2017 about 90% of the boxes would meet a standard set by the federal government, though a more ambitious standard was already being established. Dietz said the new boxes would provide all the current functionality for consumers, allowing them to program their television watching and to record shows, while still saving energy.

But Mark Cooper, research director of the Consumer Federation of America, takes a dim view of the deal, saying, "This voluntary agreement is very modest, to say the least."

Noah Horowitz, research director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which was one of the organizations that signed the deal, said, "It is a good first step, but a lot more needs to be done." It does not require the devices go down to a trickle when turned off, for example. And the agreement has no penalties for noncompliance.

Horowitz said the council agreed to the deal because a federal standard could have taken eight years.

"The industry was putting up a big fight," he added, "threatening litigation."

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-...ry.html#page=1
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Critic's Notes
Julie Klausner Presents the 2014 Vulture TV Awards
By Julie Klausner, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jun. 17, 2014

All week, we’ll be honoring the best in television from the past year with the Vulture TV Awards. Given the dizzying amount of material to sift through, this is no small task, but our writers and critics pored over 12 months’ worth of material (from last June until now) and returned with selections for their favorite moments and performances in hand. We’ve also enlisted David Milch, Damon Lindelof, Amy Sherman-Palladino, and other industry luminaries to write about and discuss the small-screen stuff that blew them away over the past year. And we’re kicking it all off with a real awards ceremony (hint: not actually real). The stars are all gathered at the refreshingly air-conditioned Varick Street Pavilion to help us celebrate the year that was in television. And here’s your host, Julie Klausner!

Hello, and welcome to the first-ever Vulture TV Awards! My name is Julie Klausner and I love television! I’m your host, inasmuch as one can “host” a weeklong installation of written pieces on a website.

And what a year it’s been for television, am I right, or should I just go **** myself? Matt Weiner, you’re in the front row nodding and laughing. You know what I’m talking about! Hey — nipple in a box, right? Not a Justin Timberlake–Andy Samberg spoof just yet, but maybe it will be one day! Hi, Kurt Sutter! I see that you’re dressed traditionally. Was your leather tuxedo in the wash? Ha-ha, we’re having a great time.

Before we present our first award, let’s take a look back at the events in Television Land from the past year. Back in September 2013, the government passed a law that made sure every straight white male had at least one late-night talk show. Hi, Chris Hardwick! Are you going to be hosting an after-show for this ceremony? I hope so! You’re certainly the man for the job.

Since we all gathered here last June, many TV fixtures have said their good-byes. Like you, I was as sad to see Breaking Bad end as Barbara Walters was to see her dressing room on The View gradually transformed into a electric humidor for Jenny McCarthy’s ever-increasing collection of vape cigs. Hey, look at who’s here! It’s Sherri Shepherd! How did you get in? Are you sitting in Anna Gunn’s seat? Please leave. You were not invited.

Sometimes, our investment in certain shows piqued our collective dander. Why on earth did Dexter have to end like that? Did anybody on staff at House of Cards notice that they dropped the matter of Zoe’s death like it was a piping-hot rib from Freddy’s now-shuttered establishment? And, in regards to the whole Adele Dazeem business, what precisely is wrong with John Travolta’s brain, anyway? Like, can we get a neurologist to write a listicle? Ha-ha! It’s okay, Jenna Elfman: You can laugh at a fellow Scientologist at the expense of his brain. Dianetics is the user manual, right? I know, I know. You look lovely tonight, by the way.

But in the end, our unfaltering belief that television can do wonderful things remains intact. Who needs to talk to your real family when you can pretend that Keith Carradine is your dad, Allison Tolman is your sister, you all live in Fargo, and you’re going to take Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton down, dag-nabbit!

And who needs to spend any energy making your job more tolerable when you can just zone out all week and, come Sunday nights, invest yourself in the life and death and dragon-related matters of one Tyrion Lannister, a guy with more daddy issues than Wes Anderson! And after that, sit tight and you can pretend that you work for the Pied Piper start-up, alongside your favorite new gang of pencil-necks.

And speaking of Pipers, let’s give a hand to the ladies of Orange Is the New Black! I haven’t seen an institution rife with that much sapphic sexual tension since the Facts of Life girls opened that store. Hi, Uzo Aduba! You look incredible tonight. Have you met Steve Buscemi? If his eyes have a meme, I think you at least deserve a special chocolate-vanilla swirl promotion at Carvel. Carvel, everybody! Let’s give that local ice-cream chain a hand. Cookie Puss, right? Everybody loves him. He’s an alien from Planet Birthday! Mads Mikkelsen is nodding. Hannibal knows all about ice-cream cake.

So, tonight, or this week, or whenever you happen to be reading this, we are here to honor the best of the best of television — and a few worsts! — from the past year. From the depraved organ-eating and polyamorous cavorting depicted on Hannibal to the depressing ice-cream eating and half-hearted dating shown on Louie. From the bloodthirsty, soulless monsters on Walking Dead to the bloodthirsty, soulless monsters on Veep. We are here to salute the awkward honesty of Girls and the heartfelt goofiness of Bob’s Burgers; the heady bromances of True Detective and Sherlock and the general excellence of Orphan Black, The Good Wife, Archer, and The Americans, which are all shows I’ve heard are very good from people who like them a lot, but haven’t gotten around to watching yet, I know, I know. Hey, look, everybody! Keri Russell is here tonight! That remark will surely be greeted with such wild applause that I’ll have to wait out. Hey, Keri Russell! Remember Felicity? Me too! Now you’re on a different show! People seem to like that one a lot!

What’s special about this “Awards Show” is that, unlike other awards shows, it needs to be presented in quotes. And what’s more, it features some of your favorite critics! That’s what everybody always says at the Oscars and the Emmys, right? The judging process was okay, but the real payoff is seeing Matt Zoller Seitz in a sequined bow-tie? In all seriousness, what a treat it’s been to have been privy to these informed appreciations of shows as written by, for, and about the people here tonight who make them great. To that end, we’re going to present awards delegated by the Vulture staff — stand up, guys! Take a bow! And now please sit down immediately, you’re holding up an otherwise-great show. I’ll know for future ceremonies never to seat you guys next to Amy Schumer. Yes, she’s very attractive. Hi, Amy! Do you have a production company yet? Let me know, we can go pitch! We can play sisters, maybe? Why are you making that face?

What’s more, we’re lucky to have some television insiders in the house tonight, can you believe it? Hi, Vince Gilligan! Huh — you haven’t shaved that yet? Okay. Any Better Call Saul spoilers you can toss us in your signature comforting drawl? And Amy Sherman-Palladino is here! Perfect timing, as I ended sitting shiva for Bunheads ten minutes ago. She’s going to share her pick for best dialogue later on, and I can’t wait. Will it be the “time is a flat circle” spiel? The ode to Burger Chef that Peggy delivered in the season finale of Mad Men? Or will the award go to the narrator of Puppies 101 for just randomly making **** up over footage of a litter of newborn puppies? Casting agent Allison Jones, you’re laughing at that. Are you a dog person? Have you yelled at any get off the casting couch? They’re not allowed on ANY couch, dogs! Ha ha. This is a lot of fun. Who here is from New Jers—

Guys, I’m getting the light and that means I can’t sing my Billy Crystal–style parody medley about all the TV shows we enjoyed talking about and goofing on this year. The good news is that means we can get to the actual ceremony a little faster, and the bad news is you’ll never find out how I rhymed “Sharknado” with “Couch Potato” in a verse set to Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” It’s a uniquely terrible song!

Anyway: the Vulture TV awards! I’m Julie Klausner! On with the show! And speaking of Amy Schumer ...

http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/vultu...monologue.html

* * * *

TV Notes
Vulture TV Awards: Amy Schumer Is the Year’s Best Female Comedy Performer
By Matt Zoller Seitz, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jun. 17, 2014

The nominees are:

Mindy Kaling, The Mindy Project
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer
Aisha Tyler, Archer
And the winner is ...

Winner: Amy Schumer


Inside Amy Schumer is a great sketch-comedy show that would be worth praising anyway, but its success will seem especially unexpected and sweet to anyone who watched Schumer endure the slings and arrows of frat-house-style hazing during Comedy Central’s Friar’s Club roasts. The toxic masculinity of stand-up culture was never more painfully obvious than when Schumer was at the podium or in the audience getting slagged by male peers. Their go-to insults were all “whore/slut/bitch” and variants of same. Her new show is a great response to that sort of unimaginative dude-bro hazing: a show that presents a startling range of female experience while turning the tables on the guys who tend to control how women are perceived in pop culture. But what makes Inside Amy Schumergenuinely delightful rather than tediously moralistic is Schumer’s lead performance, which has a bit of Carol Burnett’s fearlessness and versatility. Whether endless retaking selfies while sexting, bantering with a waiter at the male version of a Hooters-style restaurant, or interviewing random people on the street (when a dancer tells Schumer she once gave a 97-year old man a lap dance, she deadpans, "Walk me through that"), she’s always exuberantly committed without tipping over into too-muchness. Her judgment is exquisite.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/06/vultu...y-schumer.html
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Washington/Business Notes
Worries Over Access to Free Public TV
By Elizabeth Jensen, The New York Times - Jun. 16, 2014

Public television officials are raising the concern that the Federal Communications Commission’s planned spectrum incentive auction, intended to free airwaves for use by wireless broadband companies, could leave parts of the country without over-the-air public television access.

The incentive auction, promising the possibility of millions of dollars to broadcast stations that give back some or all of their six megahertz of spectrum or move to another spot on the dial, will be open to commercial stations, as well. But the money could prove particularly enticing to public stations, many of which have tight budgets.

Public broadcasting officials worry that universities and states, including New Jersey, that hold public station licenses but are not primarily broadcasters may decide to give up some or all of their spectrum and use the proceeds for other needs, such as unfunded pension liabilities.

Early this month, the Association of Public Television Stations, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting released an unusually blunt statement expressing “profound disappointment” that the F.C.C. had not built in protections to ensure that the auction would not create any areas without free PBS service. PBS viewers are particularly dependent on over-the-air television.

“The Public Broadcasting Act specifically mandates that public television reach every American citizen, everywhere in the country, for free, and for more than 60 years the commission’s own policies on spectrum reserved for noncommercial educational television have honored and safeguarded that mandate,” the statement said in part, adding, “We believe the commission’s rejection of this longstanding policy is a grievous error that risks breaking faith with the nation’s commitment to universal service for noncommercial educational television.”

The public television stations association had asked the commission to “work with us on a potential warning light, a stop light, a trigger” if it looked as if the last public station in a market would be bidding, “instead of letting the impersonal algorithm of the spectrum auction do what it was going to do,” Patrick Butler, the association’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. He added that while the association was not certain that any areas would lose PBS service, “the commission didn’t seem very interested in acknowledging the possibility that it might happen, or working with us to make sure it didn’t.”

An F.C.C. official, who would not speak on the record because planning for the auction is still underway, said the commission and Chairman Tom Wheeler “are fully committed” to preserving public broadcasting and, indeed, built in some financial help for those stations.

But the statute underpinning the auction process said that all eligible stations must be allowed to take part, and the public broadcasters’ proposal would have been inconsistent, the official said. “It’s hard to comment on and address a hypothetical” situation, the official added.

The commission remains open to “further refinements” in coming months, the official said, when it releases more details about how the process will work, including which markets will be eligible. The commission has said it hopes to conduct the auction in 2015.

New Jersey’s intentions are of particular interest to public broadcasters. When New Jersey got out of public broadcasting in 2011, it sold its radio licenses, but, with the potentially lucrative auction already looming, it retained the licenses of its television stations, which are now operated by the New York City public broadcaster, WNET.

Joseph R. Perone, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of the Treasury, wrote by email, “It would be premature for the state to comment on the spectrum auction because the final F.C.C. decision was only released on June 2. We are reviewing the ramifications of that decision and will consider potential options in due course.”

The public television stations association said 57 public TV stations were licensed to universities and 18 to state entities. An additional 89 are community licensees, and six belong to local authorities. Many big cities have multiple public television stations. But eight of the top 30 markets have just one, the association said, including Houston, the 10th-largest market, and Phoenix, the 12th largest, each of which is operated by a university. Officials at Houston Public Media and KAET in Phoenix declined to comment.

One public station has already said that it will take part in the process, then close. The money-losing KCSM, licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District, announced in May 2013 that it would give up its spectrum, after trying unsuccessfully to find a buyer. But other PBS stations, including KQED, will still serve the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Los Angeles station KCET, which broke with PBS in 2010 and has struggled financially as an independent public station, said last year in an auditor’s report that surrendering half of its spectrum “could yield significant liquidity.” In a statement, the station added: “In today’s environment, it’s wise for all public television stations to be looking at every possible opportunity for revenue. KCETLink has contacted a consultant who is exploring what that situation would look like for us.”

Even some stations that want to remain in the public television business say they will have a fiduciary responsibility to consider all options.

“Right now, we want to stay in the business,” said Ida Reynolds Watson, board chairwoman of WNIT in South Bend, Ind., a community licensee. “We like what we do for this community, and the community appreciates the content that we offer.”

Nonetheless, Greg Giczi, president and general manager of WNIT, said, “We live on the edge financially, and the opportunity to consider having an influx of revenue is definitely appealing.” But, he added, even surrendering a portion of spectrum could hurt the station if future technological advances require large swaths of airwaves it would no longer have.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/16/bu...ref=media&_r=0
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TV Review
‘Rectify,’ Season Two (SundanceTV)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jun. 16, 2014

The little series that could, “Rectify” is such a wispy construct, where events unfold so languidly, it’s a puzzle why the hours fly by and prove consistently compelling. Much of it has to do with the casting — which is dead-on from top to bottom, and indeed, gives the supporting players more work through the early stages of season two. Whatever the reasons, this SundanceTV drama, anchored by Aden Young’s out-of-body calm in the lead role, was one of 2013’s most pleasant surprises, and continues in that vein in this new 10-episode run.

Young plays Daniel Holden, whose imprisonment on death row for murder was overturned, and whose release back into the world, after 19 years, set all sorts of unexpected events into motion. That included the brutal assault on him that closed the first season, with the aftermath of that violence dominating the early stages here, as Daniel initially lays in a coma, while others in the small town grapple with what happened.

That’s not to say Young gets a vacation. Instead, viewers relive aspects of his prison stay through a mix of flashbacks and dream sequences, cutting between the stark white cell he occupied and the real world. The latter setting includes his concerned and angry sister (Abigail Spencer); their mother (J. Smith-Cameron); stepbrother Ted Jr. (Clayne Crawford), who works with dad (Bruce McKinnon) running the family business; and Ted Jr.’s wife (Adelaide Clemens), to whom Daniel is drawn, and vice versa.

Series creator Ray McKinnon manages to incorporate various elements associated with serialized drama into the narrative (such as the local sheriff, played by J.D. Evermore, investigating the beating), while infusing the show with poetic qualities, aided immeasurably by Young’s exquisite, tightly coiled performance. And it all unfolds so assiduously, sprinkling out story with an eye dropper, that the series might as well be subtitled “The Recapper’s Nightmare.”

“Everything out here is so complicated,” Daniel muses at one point, suggesting he remains bottled up, only in a different and more confusing sort of confinement.

Thanks to its tone, “Rectify” perfectly encapsulates a cable environment that makes this sort of niche offering possible. Indeed, the mind boggles at the thought of a broadcast-length season.

Sundance will eventually have to judge just how viable that model really is from a business perspective, but for now, the channel has a series that puts it on the map with the big boys, quality-wise. And in TV terms, that alone represents its own kind of breakout.

'RECTIFY,' Season Two
SundanceTV, Thurs. June 19, 9 p.m.


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...wo-1201219392/
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post #95036 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 10:07 AM
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TV Review
‘Dominion,’ pity the writers and cast
This new Syfy futuristic drama is awash in silly storylines
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine

In a TV show in which evil angels attack from the air or crawl along walls like bugs, the most salient image shouldn’t be rows of candles. But that staple of set design, which is usually a sign that that a show is trying to cover a lack of substance with style, keeps distracting us during Syfy’s new fantasy drama “Dominion.”

Our minds wander because, although the series’ premise is complicated, the characters and situations are shallow and uninvolving. Our sympathy goes to the authors who have to pretend to take the silly scripts seriously.

Premiering with a 90-minute episode Thursday, June 19, at 9 p.m., “Dominion” takes place 25 years after the events in an unsuccessful 2010 film called “Legion,” in which an army of angels led by Gabriel attacked humankind. The archangel Michael (Tom Wisdom on the TV show) led the human resistance.

The anti-angel humans now live in fortified cities. Michael helps protect the city of Vega, formerly Las Vegas, which is governed by a small circle led by General Edward Riesen (Alan Dale).

The main character is Alex Lennon (Christopher Egan), a young soldier who is in love with the general’s daughter, Claire (Roxanne McKee), a priestess in the local religion, which preaches that a child will become the savior of humanity.

The head of the religion is William Whele (Luke Allen-Gale), whose father, David (Anthony Stewart Head), is an ambitious member of the ruling council. David is in cahoots with Arika (Shivani Ghai), the wife of the queen of Helena, a less technologically advanced city.

Alex and Claire can’t marry because they’re members of different castes. He wants her to escape with him to another city, New Delphi, which has no castes and a more democratic system of government. But this conflicts with his sense of duty after it becomes clear that the bad angels are posing a renewed threat.

In the premiere at least, the war against the angels takes a back seat to the power struggles within Vega and between Vega and Helena. Along with the caste system and the odd religion, the show has echoes of “Game of Thrones” that are probably deliberate.

At one point, David Whele talks about a possible wedding that would “join Vega’s two greatest houses.” Since both of the families to which he’s referring evidently consist of two people, the language seems inappropriately elevated.

Another echo of “Game of Thrones” is the unconventional sex: Arika appears to be mercenarily bisexual. The men and women of Alex’s military unit shower together.

In Michael’s first scene, he’s just gotten out of a bed he shared with a half dozen scantily clad women, one of them being his girlfriend and fellow council member, Becca Thorn (Rosalind Halstead).

“You were a naughty boy tonight,” she tells him. He glumly replies that he should have been more careful because he can’t risk having children, even though Vega needs more of them. We get no explanation for any of that.

By the time we meet an associate of Michael’s who is covered in indecipherable tattoos, we can hear the overloaded premise beginning to creak. We can’t blame the actors for giving the impression that they’re preparing to run for the exits.

None of them makes much of an impression otherwise, or at least not as much of an impression as those candles. From what little we know about General Riesen, he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would insist on candlelight when dining alone, especially when Vega is so proud of its new nuclear power plant.

Arika bathes by candlelight, but it seems to be a TV law that every attractive woman does that.

We should point out that the version of the premiere provided for review had only rudimentary special effects in some of the scenes with flying angels, but in general, good visuals can’t make up for a weak script.

After an hour and a half of “Dominion,” most viewers will probably decide that what happens in Vega can stay in Vega.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/dom...-writers-cast/
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post #95037 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 10:10 AM
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Technology Notes
Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes
By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times - Jun. 17, 2014

A set-top cable box with a digital recorder can consume as much as 35 watts of power, costing about $8 a month for a typical Southern California consumer.
I dont buy this.

Someone ran a test for a month on theirs with electrical reading equipment & it was nowhere near $8 month.

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post #95038 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 11:15 AM
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I dont buy this.

Someone ran a test for a month on theirs with electrical reading equipment & it was nowhere near $8 month.
ASSuming 35W of power 24/7, that's 25,200 Watts / 30 days.
At $0.15/kWh electric rate, That's $3.78/mnth..
So using the article blurb's "35W", then Electric rates would have to be closer to $.30/kWh to reach the $8 ...
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post #95039 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 12:15 PM
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ASSuming 35W of power 24/7, that's 25,200 Watts / 30 days.
At $0.15/kWh electric rate, That's $3.78/mnth..
So using the article blurb's "35W", then Electric rates would have to be closer to $.30/kWh to reach the $8 ...
Be happy - here in Northern California, our marginal electric rate (2 x baseline quantity) is $.35/kWh. The baseline amounts are ridiculously low so the highest tier is hit every month. (Btw, the next lowest tier, 130% of baseline, is $0.31/kwh.)
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post #95040 of 95716 Old 06-17-2014, 12:45 PM
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Be happy - here in Northern California, our marginal electric rate (2 x baseline quantity) is $.35/kWh. The baseline amounts are ridiculously low so the highest tier is hit every month. (Btw, the next lowest tier, 130% of baseline, is $0.31/kwh.)
Here in the Phoenix area I chose the variable rate plan. Rates vary based on the month and the time of day. The most expensive is July & August between 1:00 and 8:00 at 21¢/kwh. All other hours of the day during those months is 7.17¢/kwh.

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