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post #95311 of 100746 Old 07-04-2014, 11:05 PM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Bet On Your Baby
9PM - Mistresses
(R)
10PM - Nightline Prime

CBS:
8PM - Bad Teacher
8:30PM - Bad Teacher
9PM - Criminal Minds
(R)
10PM - 48 Hours

NBC:
8PM - Dateline NBC: Fallen (120 min.)
10PM - The Blacklist
(R)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Paul Rudd hosts; One Direction performs, 93 min.)
(R)

FOX:
7PM - MLB Baseball: Regional Coverage (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)
(R)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits (Queens of the Stone Age) (R)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (Three Hours)

TELEMUNDO:
6:30PM - Movie - The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
8:30PM - Movie: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
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post #95312 of 100746 Old 07-04-2014, 11:09 PM
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TV Sports
The Luckiest Man, on a Playful Day
Film Discovery Shows a Jolly Lou Gehrig in Post-Ruth Era
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Jul. 4, 2014

Four days before the Yankees opened their 1935 season, Lou Gehrig stepped into the gym of the celebrity trainer Artie McGovern on Manhattan’s East Side.

Gehrig was coming off a triple crown season and was out of the career-long shadow cast by Babe Ruth, who had been released by the Yankees and signed by the Boston Braves. At 31, Gehrig appeared to be in superb shape and in little need of McGovern’s help to slim down or build his strength.

Rather, Gehrig was half of a staged workout with Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight champion for much of the Roaring Twenties, whom Red Smith once described as “187 pounds of unbridled violence.”

Gehrig, the Iron Horse, and Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler, wore nondescript sweatshirts and tight shorts to break a sweat for the press. Gehrig also put on a pair of sandals. If a similarly peculiar publicity stunt were suggested today — imagine one pitting Derek Jeter against Oscar De La Hoya at a Crunch gym — the Yankees would no doubt reject the scheme as one that could endanger their captain.

Reporters and at least one newsreel crew were at McGovern’s. The Associated Press reported that the event “gave off echoes of Ruthian ballyhoo.”

Frank Hardart Jr. was there, too, with his 16-millimeter camera prepared to film whatever Gehrig and Dempsey did that day. Hardart was not a newsman but a top executive with the Horn & Hardart chain of automats, which his father had co-founded. Paul Hardart, Frank Jr.’s grandson, could only guess at why he happened to be at McGovern’s that day.

“He wasn’t especially athletic, but he probably belonged to the club,” said Hardart, a co-founder of Witnify, a website devoted to collecting first-person accounts of world history that is showing his grandfather’s video for the first time publicly. “He was an early gadget guy with patents on the automat.”

The film, long stored in canisters and boxes in Paul Hardart’s mother’s house in Bronxville, N.Y., portrays a playful Gehrig four years before amyotrophic lateral sclerosis fully eroded his athletic skills and forced him to retire. On July 4, 1939, an emotional Gehrig delivered his “luckiest man” farewell address between games of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators at Yankee Stadium. Gehrig was the image of heartbreak when he made the speech — a weakened man in a baggy uniform choking up and wiping tears from his face as he thanked his family, teammates, managers and even the groundskeepers.

But in the Hardart film, Gehrig appears as strong as ever while having an absolute blast. Existing film of him has almost never shown him having as much fun as he had that day at McGovern’s.

He smiled as he and Dempsey lifted barbells and squatted with them, flexing with almost comic abandon. With neither man looking to do damage to the other, Gehrig and Dempsey sparred like children learning to box. Gehrig flopped to the mat after a less-than-glancing blow from his once-terrifying opponent.

Gehrig looked close to breaking out laughing when another participant in the workout, Arthur Baer, a syndicated columnist who was known as Bugs, kissed his forehead after being conked by Dempsey with a barbell. Gehrig, Dempsey, Baer and McGovern, dressed all in white, got on the floor to use a device with ropes that simulated a tug of war.

At 39, Dempsey was nearly eight years past his last professional bout, a loss in a rematch with Gene Tunney in Chicago that is remembered for the “long count.” Warm and gentlemanly outside the ring, Dempsey brought a nearly expressionless mug and a five o’clock shadow to his encounter with Gehrig.

Gehrig grinned as he wrapped his right arm around Dempsey’s neck while they did situps. Gehrig might have gotten a kick out of the realization that he had more stamina than Dempsey. Gehrig was still an active competitor, of course, fresh from spring training in Florida and a swing through the South.

Given the paucity of newsreels and home movies in the era before television, the Hardart video is a significant discovery. Nick Trotta, director of library licensing at MLB Productions, said, “Though Gehrig was a superstar in his own right, it’s generally acknowledged that his teammate Babe Ruth received the bulk of the public’s attention on and off the field.”

The most recent archival find of Gehrig featured Ruth, naturally, as the leading man. A newsreel clip showed Ruth on the day he returned from that infamous “bellyache” that delayed the start of his 1925 season until June 1; on that day, Gehrig began his streak of playing 2,130 consecutive games with a pinch-hitting appearance. Gehrig was seen sitting behind Ruth on the Yankees’ bench as his loquacious teammate spoke to the camera.

Gehrig is remarkably animated during the entire Hardart film, which lasts just over five minutes. He was still a young man, with four productive seasons ahead of him before his body began to fail. “It’s sad to see someone so vital when you know what’s going to happen,” Hardart said.

Jonathan Eig, the author of “Luckiest Man,” a 2005 biography of Gehrig, watched newsreel footage from the McGovern’s event during his research and viewed the Hardart film at the request of The New York Times. Eig was impressed that Gehrig was acting with such childlike enthusiasm and that “his thighs are massive and his core strength is obviously great.” He added: “He was always very proud of his strength, and one can see why in this film. He might have given Dempsey a good fight.”

Gehrig and Dempsey spoke and shook hands at the end of Hardart’s silent film. But the newsreel had sound, which allowed Eig to quote Dempsey telling Gehrig: “I certainly want to congratulate you on the wonderful shape you’re in, and I wish this year that you won’t only hit 75 home runs, I wish you’d hit 175.”

Gehrig said: “Well, I might if I eat a couple of steaks down at your restaurant.”

Dempsey had just opened his restaurant, which became a fixture at 50th Street and Eighth Avenue, and was occasionally refereeing matches and fighting exhibition bouts.

There is no clear evidence to say who played matchmaker for Gehrig and Dempsey that day. But one possible clue appears in the film: a cameo by Christy Walsh, the publicity-minded business agent for Gehrig and Ruth who had past ties to Dempsey’s manager, Doc Kearns.

Had Gehrig gone home after the interlude with Dempsey, the workout might have been the high point of his day. But later that day, something more momentous occurred: Gehrig was named the Yankees’ captain by Manager Joe McCarthy in time for an exhibition game between the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

How lucky Gehrig must have felt that day.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/04/sp...-ruth-era.html
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post #95313 of 100746 Old 07-04-2014, 11:11 PM
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TV/Critic's Notes
You can cut cable and get sports, news, shows
By Kim Komando, USA Today - Jul. 4, 2014

The Supreme Court recently dealt a huge blow to on-demand TV viewing. It ruled that a company called Aereo is breaking copyright law by retransmitting over-the-air broadcasts.

If you haven't heard of Aereo, it acts like a super digital video recorder. For a few dollars per month, you could watch any broadcast show in your area on your TV, computer or mobile gadget whenever you wanted. But now Aereo is no more.

This is just another in a long string of setbacks for TV consumers. Like you, I just want to watch what I want when I want, and I don't want to juggle five services or mortgage my house to do it.

To get a better sense of the problem, let's look at what's currently available. We've got cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasts. For online video streaming, there's Apple's iTunes Store, Google Play, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube and a dozen others.

To actually use a streaming service, you have your choice of Apple TV, Roku, Google's Chromecast, Amazon's FireTV, video game consoles and smart TVs. To make it worse, not every streaming service has every show and not every gadget supports every service.

Oh, and Google just announced Android TV software that's going to power a bunch of upcoming smart TVs and set-top boxes. Given what happened to Google TV, I'm not holding my breath, but it's another option you have to wade through.

So is it better to just avoid the whole thing and stick with cable? No. If you need to bring down your monthly bills, cable is probably one of your biggest expenses.

Of course, before you do anything drastic, call your cable company. Tell them, sincerely, your cable bills are too high and you need to cut some services; you might come out with a good deal.

Even then, you should think hard about whether or not you actually need cable. How many of the 500 stations do you watch anyway? Fire up a site like Can I Stream It? or GoWatchIt to see which of your favorite shows are available online and on which services.

Be sure you check often as options are added and removed regularly.

Amazon, for example, just got most popular HBO shows like "Rome" and "True Blood." The NFL is bringing NFL Now to Roku and Apple TV.

Be sure to match the services you want with the streaming gadgets available. You'll also want to take into account other gadgets you own like an iPad, which will work best with an Apple TV, or a Kindle Fire, which works best with Fire TV.

For sports, news and syndicated shows, an indoor HD antenna is a great choice. It will bring you high-definition over-the-air broadcasts from local networks for less than the cost of one month of cable. And you can keep it for years.

After the initial purchase, it's basically free TV. Just be sure you know what stations you'll get before you buy with a site like TVFool.

Will your final mix and match of services be perfect? Probably not. However, the more people switch to on-demand or free services, the more it signals the established media companies that we want something different.

Hopefully that will push them to make a system that puts consumers first, without driving either side into bankruptcy.

Well, I can dream can't I?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/c...hows/11646827/
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post #95314 of 100746 Old 07-04-2014, 11:15 PM
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Critic's Notes
SiriusXM’s July 4 Firing Of Opie & Anthony Host Raises Free Speech Issues
By Mike Fleming, Jr., Deadline.com - Jul. 4, 2014

I listened as the radio team of Opie & Anthony got sacked from WNEW-FM radio in 2002 after they launched a Sex for Sam stunt. They sent couples across Manhattan competing to have sex in the most outrageous public place and the hosts got sacked after one randy couple chose St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave. It wasn’t their first pink slip, but when the duo signed with SiriusXM, I didn’t think Opie & Anthony would ever get fired again. The satellite radio format allows them to use every cuss word imaginable; same for fellow host Howard Stern. For raunchy content, they are outdone by the explicit sex shows hosted by porn stars on the satellite radio dial, where nothing is out of bounds. Despite this, co-host Anthony Cumia managed to find a way to get fired by SiriusXM anyway, not for radio content but for taking to his personal Twitter account to vilify a woman he says punched him when she objected to being in the frame of photos he was taking in Manhattan late at night. Cumia, often a very funny comedian and impressionist who personifies the low-tolerance-cranky white guy on the O&A show, let loose a stream of epithets that insulted her gender, and also mentioned she was black.

Two lessons here. First, how many times will people get in trouble for spontaneous Twitter rants before they smarten up and count to ten before hitting send? And, as Gary Oldman just recently learned in a Playboy Interview to promote Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, how many times does it take to see careers dinged for not understanding it is best to just avoid using polarizing slur words that might hurt even one person. Oldman used words as bad as those twittered by Cumia in an unwise attempt by the actor to explain the hypocrisy of how some people get condemned for words and actions, and others get a pass. I was thinking about this when I watched the first episode of the new FX series Tyrant (by the producers of Homeland), just as Oldman was forced to apologize, right after Jonah Hill finished his Fall On My Sword tour to promote 22 Jump Street. Tyrant’s interesting premise–a U.S. raised doctor is forced home to rule his oil rich Middle East nation when his father dies–was completely undermined by the creative decision to turn the brother of the main character into a composite of the recidivist rapist Uday Hussein. The explicit depiction, over and over, of his appalling treatment of women (including taking the virginity of his son’s daughter at their wedding), was so disgusting that I saw no reason to watch another episode. Where was the outcry about this debasement of women?

The zero tolerance policy exhibited by SiriusXM brings up some interesting points. I am a regular Howard Stern listener and I’ve heard Stern run, time and time again, a taped segment piece in which a racist cretin calls a phone sex line. The woman who answers is clearly African American. He calls her the most vile racist things, and she is forced to repeat these insults back to him in this phone sex call. Does airing this garbage make Stern a racist? I don’t think so, but I often wondered why he and his producers insisted on inflicting this unfunny bit upon his listeners, who surely sympathized with a woman whose degrading job was turned dehumanizing. I’m not sure anyone even complained, much less called for Stern’s ouster.

Comedian Lenny Bruce used polarizing words in his stand-up act, claiming that airing such words demystified them and robbed them of their power. This was borne out by Dustin Hoffman in the 1974 Bob Fosse-directed film Lenny. Even though that film received six Oscar nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director, could a major studio like United Artist even release such a film in this hyper PC climate?

And what about Blazing Saddles, released by Warner Bros the same year? The film is considered a classic comedy, but its liberal use of the “N” word and its vicious lampooning of racial and sexual stereotypes makes me believe that Mel Brooks would be run out of town if he made the movie today for a major studio. Could HBO televise Eddie Murphy’s star making stand-up comic performance Delirious, or could Richard Pryor or George Carlin have been able to work in this climate? Or even Dave Chappelle? Bad words aren’t fatal. But it sure feels like they are headed that way as evidenced by today’s move by SiriusXM, a service that broadcasts a lot of content that is perhaps worse than what got Cumia fired. Especially odd coming on a day to commemorate freedom, including freedom of speech. I’m not excusing what Cumia wrote; I hate these words. But do they justify ending someone’s livelihood?

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/siri...speech-issues/
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post #95315 of 100746 Old 07-04-2014, 11:20 PM
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TV Notes
Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' picked up as series by Starz
By Ethan Sacks, New York Daily News - Jul. 2, 2014

The prayers of Neil Gaiman fans have been answered: "American Gods" will come to television after all.

Starz announced its developing an adaptation of the 2001 fantasy novel, with "Hannibal's" Bryan Fuller and "Heroes" alum Michael Green on board as executive producers.

The tale about biblical and mythological deities warring with upstart younger gods fueled by America's celebrity and technology obsessions didn't seem to have a prayer after HBO dropped the title a few years back.

But production company FremantleMedia North America had faith in the material. "American God" won the Hugo and Nebula awards, the top prizes in science fiction and fantasy literature, upon its release.

"Neil Gaiman has created the holiest of holy toy boxes with American Gods and filled it with all manner of magical thing, born of new gods and old," Fuller said in a statement obtained by Deadline.com.

"Michael Green and I are thrilled to crack this toy box wide open and unleash the fantastical titans of heaven and Earth and Neil's vividly prolific imagination."

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.1852023
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post #95316 of 100746 Old 07-05-2014, 09:25 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 5, 2014

2014 WORLD CUP
ABC, 12:00 p.m. ET

ABC presents the first World Cup quarterfinal game today, and the game, Argentina vs. Belgium, features one of the sport’s biggest current superstars: Argentina’s Lionel Messi. If you’ve followed the team through this year’s World Cup, you’ve seen why he’s earned such high praise. He scored four goals in the three-game group stage, and when he wasn’t scoring, he was assisting, or drawing defenders to him so others could get open. And if you need another reason to root for Argentina, try this: they’re playing Belgium, who just knocked the U.S. team out of the 2014 tournament.

2014 WORLD CUP
ESPN, 4:00 p.m. ET

In the last of this year’s World Cup quarterfinals, the Netherlands face Costa Rica – and Costa Rica faces yet another formidable foe in a story line that has developed as the Cinderella story of the 2014 World Cup. Costa Rica has never made it to a quarterfinal before, and wasn’t expected to even make it past the group stage this year. It was placed in a group that, for the first time in World Cup history, included three former World Cup winners: Italy, Uruguay and England. Yet Costa Rica beat the first two teams and fought to a draw with the third, then battled Greece though regulation and bonus play before beating them 5-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout. The Netherlands, comparatively, has been dominant this year, winning all three of its group stage games, then dispatching Mexico 2-1 in the round of 16. If you root for David in these David vs. Goliath matches, align your allegiance with Costa Rica.

ALMOST ROYAL
BBC America, 10:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s episode of this faux documentary series, fake royals Georgie (Ed Gamble) and Poppy (Amy Hoggart) visit Brooklyn, then take in Fashion Week in New York. And at the latter, Poppy shows off some model behavior by consenting to a backstage makeover, where, she explains, the bigger the hair, the better.

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW
BBC America, 11:00 p.m. ET

The current season of The Graham Norton Show just ended – but here’s a highlights episode to give you a hint of what you missed, or to relive some of the year’s best moments. Surely, those will include some of Seth MacFarlane’s vocal hijinks on the show that also included Tom Cruise, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Coldplay. And that’s just one show.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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post #95317 of 100746 Old 07-05-2014, 09:26 AM
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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post #95318 of 100746 Old 07-05-2014, 10:51 AM
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Critic's Notes
SiriusXM’s July 4 Firing Of Opie & Anthony Host Raises Free Speech Issues
By Mike Fleming, Jr., Deadline.com - Jul. 4, 2014

--------------

Bad words aren’t fatal. But it sure feels like they are headed that way as evidenced by today’s move by SiriusXM, a service that broadcasts a lot of content that is perhaps worse than what got Cumia fired. Especially odd coming on a day to commemorate freedom, including freedom of speech. I’m not excusing what Cumia wrote; I hate these words. But do they justify ending someone’s livelihood?

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/siri...speech-issues/
The thing that most people forget about free speech is that, while you're entitled to say what you want, you have to accept the negative affects of that speech when people don't like what you've said. It's "freedom of speeech", not "freedom from consequences".

That means that if the company you work for thinks what you said may hurt their image, they have the right to fire you. There's no guaranteed constitutional right to your job. Likewise, people are free to boycott a business if the owner says things they find offensive.

Too often, people who say negative things feel like they're being infringed on when their employer of customers opt not to pay them money for their services as a result of it. What they fail to realize is, the right to free speech is protection from laws that prevent it, not from other citizens' constitutional right to react negatively to it.

Not only that, people often confuse places that are accessible to the public (restaurants, web sites, etc) with places that are public (such as parks and the front steps of a court house). With the latter, you can spout off all you like. With the former, it's almost always a private business that can legally tell you to bugger off. Publicly traded on the stock market doesn't mean it's public property.

The advice the author gave in the article is good, though: pause before you press send. Think with your brain instead of your Twitter thumbs.

Just because you CAN say something, doesn't mean you should. Further, if you do, don't cry when Karma comes back around and smacks you.
aaronwt, DrDon, Charles O and 6 others like this.

Last edited by NetworkTV; 07-05-2014 at 11:32 AM.
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post #95319 of 100746 Old 07-05-2014, 02:43 PM
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Critic's Notes
SiriusXM’s July 4 Firing Of Opie & Anthony Host Raises Free Speech Issues
By Mike Fleming, Jr., Deadline.com - Jul. 4, 2014

I was thinking about this when I watched the first episode of the new FX series Tyrant (by the producers of Homeland), just as Oldman was forced to apologize, right after Jonah Hill finished his Fall On My Sword tour to promote 22 Jump Street. Tyrant’s interesting premise–a U.S. raised doctor is forced home to rule his oil rich Middle East nation when his father dies–was completely undermined by the creative decision to turn the brother of the main character into a composite of the recidivist rapist Uday Hussein. The explicit depiction, over and over, of his appalling treatment of women (including taking the virginity of his son’s daughter at their wedding), was so disgusting that I saw no reason to watch another episode. Where was the outcry about this debasement of women?
And therein lies the idiot.

Hope he doesn't watch Game of Thrones or he might be asking why the ASPCA isn't called about all the dire wolves that are being killed or the dragon being allowed to roam free terrorizing farmers. Not to mention the people getting away with murder. Why isn't a criminal investigation happening?!


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And therein lies the idiot.

Hope he doesn't watch Game of Thrones or he might be asking why the ASPCA isn't called about all the dire wolves that are being killed or the dragon being allowed to roam free terrorizing farmers. Not to mention the people getting away with murder. Why isn't a criminal investigation happening?!
Yeah, apparently everything on TV is actually happening for him. The word fiction seems to be missing from his dictionary.

Ironically, in all is mentions of fictional portrayals of racism and such, he completely forgot about Archie Bunker. Talk about a show that wouldn't likely be made now.

Maybe the problem is, people don't know the difference between satire and actual hate any more.
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By Kim Komando, USA Today - Jul. 4, 2014

For sports, news and syndicated shows, an indoor HD antenna is a great choice.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/c...hows/11646827/
Great, another "reporter" who doesn't know that there is no such thing as an HD antenna.

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post #95322 of 100746 Old 07-06-2014, 12:13 AM
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Nielsen Notes
A summer of decline for broadcast
The seven networks are off 12 percent in 18-49s this summer
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine

There’s been something a little off about this summer. Namely the ratings.

The top seven networks are down by double-digit percentages compared to last summer. The CW is the lone channel seeing gains, and it’s up by only a tenth over last year.

The Big Five networks plus Univision and Telemundo are averaging a combined 7.3 adults 18-49 rating this summer, from May 26 to June 29, according to Nielsen.

That’s down 12 percent, or an entire point, from last summer.

First-place ABC has declined 11 percent from last summer, from a 1.9 to a 1.7. That reflects fewer games for this year’s NBA finals, which has been the highest-rated program of the summer and is entirely responsible for the network’s lead.

Second-place NBC similarly suffered from a shorter Stanley Cup finals. It has slid 18 percent from last summer, the second-biggest dip for any network, with a 1.4.

Univision, which saw regular-season declines, continues to be off, falling 8 percent from last year to a 1.2 and third place.

Fox is in fourth with a 1.1, off 15 percent from last summer, while CBS is fifth with a 0.9, down 10 percent from last year.

Telemundo has suffered the biggest decline, slipping 25 percent, or two tenths, to a 0.6. And the CW, while still mired in seventh place, is up to a 0.4 this summer.

The declines reflect several things in addition to the lesser amount of sports programming.

Ratings are down for nearly every program this summer, a trend seen during the regular season as well. Viewers have more choices competing for their attention and there’s a certain amount of natural ratings erosion that happens as a result.

Also, this summer’s crop of new shows is once again uninspiring.

There’s only been one new hit summer show on broadcast the past few years, CBS’s “Under the Dome,” and nothing else has drawn ratings even close.

In fact, Fox was even forced to shelve two of its new shows, “Riot” and “I Wanna Marry ‘Harry,’” after they drew historically low numbers.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bro...-recap-july-2/
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TV Notes
Pittsburgh native draws on mom experiences for MTV drama
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul. 5, 2014

As a writer and working mother, Mt. Lebanon native Terri Minsky was drawn to the concept of MTV’s new drama series “Finding Carter” as soon as MTV executives pitched her its concept and asked her to come aboard as executive producer.

The series, debuting at 10 p.m. Tuesday, follows 16-year-old Carter Stevens (Kathryn Prescott), who learns the woman she calls “mom” – a cool, best-friend-like mother – is actually her kidnapper. Carter was taken from her real mother (Cynthia Watros) at age 3. Carter’s world is torn apart, and she maintains an allegiance to the woman she thinks of as mom and disdains her somewhat brittle, rule-making, limits-setting bio mom.

“What you buy yourself as a writer is the two realities of being a mother,” Ms. Minsky said in a phone interview from New York. “You want to be your daughter’s best friend, sitting next to her, eating popcorn and watching a movie. Then there’s the mother you have to be, the one who cares about their safety and has to make sure they’re healthy, productive, happy people, which sometimes they don’t want to be or aren’t naturally.

“You have to say no, to set limits, to be willing to be disliked by them, and you have to hope it passes.”

To create the relationships on “Finding Carter” – including an exchange between Carter and her kidnapper mom (“Love you,” “Love you more,” “Not possible,” “Yes, possible”) – Ms. Minsky drew on her won relationship with her now-college-age daughter, Anna Blum.

“That voice is really clear to me,” Ms. Minsky said of Carter. “I have really put a lot of effort into making sure it’s consistent throughout the 12 episodes [of season one]. She’s a tough character. She’s got to be smart, but she’s in a bad situation. ... You have to be sure she doesn’t come off like a brat or anything like that.”

Ms. Minsky also worked the name of her mother, Joan Minsky, who still resides in Mt. Lebanon, into “Finding Carter” by naming Carter’s biological grandmother Joan (played by Meredith Baxter, “Family Ties”).

“Finding Carter” is just the latest TV effort from Ms. Minsky, who started her career as a journalist and worked for the Wall Street Journal. In the late 1980s, her husband, writer/editor David Blum, suggested they try writing an episode for Ms. Minsky’s screenwriter uncle, Norman Steinberg (“Blazing Saddles,” “My Favorite Year”), when he created CBS’s 1989-91 Matt Frewer sitcom “Doctor, Doctor.”

Through the years, Ms. Minsky wrote for many comedy series, including “Sex and the City” and its more recent spin-off, “The Carrie Diaries,” and she created the Disney Channel hit “Lizzie McGuire” around the same time ABC picked up “The Geena Davis Show” in 2000, a short-lived sitcom Ms. Minsky also created.

“This is a painful subject,” she acknowledged. “I had to give ‘Lizzie’ up to other people. I was not able to run it.”

“Lizzie McGuire” ran for three years; “The Geena Davis Show” was canceled after only a handful of episodes.

Although Ms. Minsky moved her family, including son Sam, out to Los Angeles for “The Geena Davis Show,” for most of her career she’s been able to live and work in New York, whether writing for ABC sitcom “Less Than Perfect” or light NBC drama “Cashmere Mafia.”

“Comedy for me was kind of opportunistic,” Ms. Minsky said of her entree into TV through her uncle’s sitcom. She then deployed a “Game of Thrones”-inspired analogy: “Once I was in comedy, it was as if I had committed to the Dothraki and that was my kingdom and I was not allowed to cross the Narrow Sea.”

In addition to “Thrones,” Ms. Minsky is a fan of “Breaking Bad,” “Mad Men,” “Penny Dreadful” and “The Good Wife.”

“I was a woman in comedy at a point where there weren’t that many women in comedy rooms,” she recalled, including a stint on “Less Than Perfect” with future-“Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz. “You are laughing for hours and hours a day, but I was not the one telling the joke. I’m just not that kind of funny person. It even got to the point where they were working on rewrites and everybody is pitching jokes, and then they’d have to have [a character say] something emotional and they’d turn to me.”

But when she started working in the writers rooms of TV dramas, she found herself in the role of funny person.

“The revelation for me in a drama room is that I’m hilarious, so obviously I wanted to stay in drama rooms,” she said. “It’s not easy when the perception of you is you write comedy. It’s very hard to tell producers, ‘Thank you, but I wish you would consider me for your drama ideas.’”

When MTV brought Ms. Minsky the “Finding Carter” concept – she has a “developed by” credit on the show rather than “created by” – she jumped at the chance to run her own series at the same time her daughter was heading off to college.

“As soon as she went to college, the universe was like, ‘Here you go,’ and the amazing thing about it was I really wanted to do a mother-daughter show because I’m the first person who ever had a teenage daughter,” she snarked. “And this show had two mothers, and I was in heaven.”

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201407060023
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TV Review
Disney’s ‘The 7D’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Jul. 3, 2014

Disney has been adept at mining its animated properties with preschool-oriented spinoffs (see “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” and to an extent “Sofia the First”), and in terms of mining, well, the Seven Dwarfs would seem to be a natural. Yet Disney XD’s latest excursion into the vaults, “The 7D,” is an ill-considered mess — a series that seeks to approximate the madcap antics of Cartoon Network, with none of the charm associated with the source material. Parents might be comfortable with the brand, but if they try watching with their moppets they’ll be itching to heigh-ho out of there.

Oddly constructed, the series puts the 7D (the term “Dwarfs” is never used) at the beck and call of irritating Queen Delightful (voiced by Leigh-Allyn Baker), who summons them, Batman-like, to assist her with even the most minor problems that might assail the village of Jollywood.

Although they still hang out at their jewel mine together — not that there’s anything wrong with that — in the episode previewed (consisting of two 11-minute shorts within each half-hour) they drop everything to help her thwart the witch-and-warlock couple determined to unseat her, Hildy (Kelly Osbourne) and Grim (Jess Harnell) Gloom.

Looking different than the dwarfs assisting Snow White that Disneyphiles have come to know, the little men have the same names, but their personalities feel fuzzy. Sure, Grumpy (Maurice LaMarche) is always cranky, and Happy (Kevin Michael Richardson) cheerfully sings lively tunes, but the others almost blend together, except Sleepy, who (duh) sleeps through most everything.

The episodes are loud and hectic, which goes with the territory, but the animation design isn’t particularly interesting. The half-baked plots, moreover, fall into a sort of No Kid’s Land in terms of age groups. (The series will premiere on Disney XD, the boy-oriented cable network, and play on Disney Channel and Disney Jr. later in the year.)

Disney has been fairly unabashed about using Disney Jr. as a platform to stoke enthusiasm for its classic properties among new generations — thus keeping the merchandising train chugging — but has also historically been understandably protective of those venerable titles. (Disclosure: My wife works for an unaffiliated unit of the company.)

While it might help send some plush toys off the shelves, “The 7D” is, in that respect, pretty one-dimensional — a show that goes for the gold, perhaps, but hardly qualifies as a gem.

Disney's 'The 7D'
(Disney XD, Mon. July 7, 10 a.m.)


http://variety.com/2014/tv/reviews/t...7d-1201250708/
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TV/Business Notes
New SAG-AFTRA Deal Builds on DGA Template, Looks to Future
By Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 4, 2014

The new deal reached just after midnight Friday by SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP (representing studios and producers) achieved several key union goals: it unifies the legacy SAG and AFTRA television agreements, incorporates basic cable into an industry-wide agreement for the first time and includes wage increases and new media improvements similar to those obtained by the DGA and WGA.

Television is at the heart of the deal, and The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the television provisions in the new unified agreement are based on legacy SAG rather than AFTRA provisions. That means that the basic cable terms will reflect the “Sanchez” residuals formula used in the SAG, DGA and WGA agreements, rather than the AFTRA “exhibition day” approach that frequently paid lower residuals or none at all.

It also likely means that primetime minimums in the new agreement will be based on the legacy SAG wage rates, not the slightly higher legacy AFTRA rates. The difference is about 3.5 percent and stems from SAG’s delay in reaching a deal back in the 2007-2008 negotiating cycle, a time of political turmoil within the union. AFTRA achieved and ratified a contract in summer 2008, while SAG didn’t reach an agreement until almost a year later, causing it to miss one annual wage increase.

The flip side of that trade-off is that the annual wage increases in the new agreement — 2.5 percent the first year (and a 0.5 percent increase in pension and health contributions) and 3 percent in the second and third years — apparently apply across the board. That consistency means that legacy AFTRA shows, even though they’re at a higher rate, will also get the benefit of the annual wage increases, as will legacy SAG shows. Incorporating basic cable into the industry-wide television agreement also brings SAG-AFTRA to parity with the DGA and WGA, whose collective bargaining agreements include basic-cable terms. Previously, SAG, AFTRA and then SAG-AFTRA relied on standalone basic-cable agreements. Producers could choose which agreement they wanted, and the AFTRA basic-cable agreements were often modified or waived in part.

In a message to members, the union’s national executive director and chief negotiator David White called the agreement “hard-fought,” and that’s probably the most telling of the comments. The deal wasn’t reached until three days after the original expiration of the previous contracts, which were extended three times in 24-hour intervals. Although it’s simple to say “merge the television agreements,” the devil is in a host of the details.

SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP declined to comment.

The next months — and, realistically, years — will see the merger of legacy benefit plans as a major agenda item. There is now a limited form of reciprocity between the two health plans, and the new contract includes a mechanism to amend contract provisions to facilitate a merger of the health plans. The next steps are up to the SAG and AFTRA benefit plans, which remain separate entities despite the merger of the two corresponding unions in 2012.

Not yet addressed is the even harder question of how to reconcile SAG and AFTRA's separate pension plans. In addition to being a more economically complex matter than merging the health plans, a discussion of the pension plans is high stakes for the union because the studios may resist setting up a new pension plan with the same worker-friendly defined-benefit structure as the existing plans, pushing instead for a defined contribution plan akin to a 401(k).

That, in any case, is the position that much of corporate America has taken over the past several decades as union power has waned. Defined benefit plans guarantee the employee a certain monthly payment (based on income and years of service) upon retirement, whereas defined contribution plans come with no guarantee at all and expose the retiree to market risk. With only about 7 percent of private sector jobs covered by union agreements, the labor organizations in many industries have been unable to prevent erosion of what was once for many a key benefit.

Not affected by the new agreement is the AFTRA network code “front of book,” which applies to daytime serials (soap operas) and other non-dramatic or non-primetime programming. That agreement expires November 15, and negotiations are expected to commence in the fall.

Union leaders praised the new pact. “Unifying the legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts was essential, and I am very pleased that we were able to achieve that,” said SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard in the message to members. “As important, we have established an industry-wide, basic cable agreement — something we have wanted for two decades.”

White said, “The leadership has done exemplary work here and has secured a hard-fought and valuable agreement. Not only did we unify our agreements, a critical step in our march towards a merger of our benefits plans, but we now have improvements in the pension, health and retirement contribution rates, outsized gains for background actors and stand-ins and significant enhancements in other areas.”

In a statement released Friday, the AMPTP said, “We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with SAG-AFTRA for theatrical, television and new media production. This deal memorializes our partnership with the new union as we worked together to forge a new unified television agreement. The entire industry gains the assurance of a third and final agreement with the above-the-line unions. We congratulate SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard, national executive director David White, chief contracts officer Ray Rodriguez and all of the members of the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee on a successful negotiation.

Key terms of the new contract are as follows:

* Three-year agreement commencing July 1, 2014 and expiring June 30, 2017

* Contract unification including the first SAG-AFTRA industry-wide agreement covering basic cable

* Wage increases of 2.5 percent in the first year, 3 percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third year

* A half-percent increase in the current rate of employer contributions paid to the Screen Actors Guild-Producers Pension Plan and AFTRA Health & Retirement Funds in the first year of the agreement, raising the total contribution rate to 17 percent effective July 1, 2014

* An outsized increase for stand-ins of 5 percent per year in each of the three years of the contract

* A contribution allocation method to help stabilize the funding of the pension, health and retirement funds

* An agreement to pursue the merger of the legacy unions' industry cooperative funds

* A mechanism to amend contract provisions, as necessary, to facilitate a merger of the health plans

* Other gains including an increase to the rate paid to performers for streaming product, a reduction in the free streaming window from 17 days to 7 days and improved residuals formulas

* An increase in the amount of money performers must be paid before their residuals can be advance paid in several areas, including under The CW Supplement

* Additional covered background actor positions in the Western Zones in TV and theatrical beginning in year two of the contract by excluding more stand-ins from the count. Two additional stand-ins will be excluded from the count in television in the second year and one stand-in will be excluded from the count in theatrical productions

* Allowance increases in several areas.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...-builds-716803
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TV Notes
TV in Aereo's aftermath
By Mike Snider, USA Today's 'Cutting the Cord' Column - Jul. 5, 2014

For cord cutters, the Supreme Court's recent decision to squash streaming service Aereo is a blow — and an opportunity.

Other tech firms are seeing the defeat as a chance to educate consumers about legal ways to watch and record local, over-the-air TV broadcasts. Antenna makers and companies with digital video recorders say they have had increased interest in their wares in the aftermath of the Aereo decision.

In past columns, we've touched on several simple solutions for those wanting to get local broadcasts, including easy-to-deploy antennas from Winegard, Channel Master's DVR+ and PlayOn's software, which gathers network programming that's available online.

Another player hoping to build on Aereo's momentum is Tablo, an app-based system for watching local TV at home and on the go. You buy Tablo's set-top box ($219.99) and a location-based programming guide (one-month free trial, then $4.99 per month, $49.99 annually or $149.99 lifetime), then connect your antenna and an external USB 2.0 or 3.0 hard drive. (The Tablo has flash memory built in, but it is devoted to system processes. You need the external drive for viewing more than one channel of live video.)

Even though the initial model has been out only a month or so, Tablo recently announced availability of a new four-tuner DVR ($299.99). Having additional tuners lets people in the home watch or record four different channels simultaneously.

The goal with Tablo was to offer a convenient and cost-effective way to watch and record local broadcasts, says Grant Hall, CEO of Nuvyyo, which makes Tablo. "Aereo has really been great for us in increasing awareness on free, over-the-air HDTV," he says. "Most people just don't realize that those days of ghosty pictures and rabbit ears and bad TV that fades in and out are gone. With HDTV, now you've got a stunning quality picture."

Setting up the two-tuner DVR couldn't have been easier. I connected it to the antenna in the upper floor of my home, then downloaded the Tablo app for iPad (there are also apps for Android, Web viewing and Roku). I linked Tablo to my home Wi-Fi network and also formatted a 1-terabyte external hard drive — you can find name-brand drives of 500 gigabytes for $40 — and started surfing.

At the time, Argentina was playing Switzerland in the knockout round of the World Cup, so I used the programming guide to watch the action on my local Univision station. The video was fluid and crisp wherever in the house I went.

I scheduled two simultaneous recordings for later in the day — Criminal Minds on the channel Ion (digital channel 66-1 where I live in Virginia) and TMZ on Fox channel 5. I watched some of both the next day in the office to test Tablo's remote streaming. While the video wasn't as crisp as it was at home, it was certainly watchable. (Remote viewing can be affected by the strength of the Wi-Fi network you are on — and how many folks are using it.)

Other nice features in the app let you see what movies and sports events are playing in the next two weeks on your channels — I can get more than a dozen channels, including local ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and PBS — and a prime-time menu that shows what's playing tonight. "We thought, why couldn't we bring a more Netflix-style or modern Internet-style interface to broadcast and network TV?" Hall says. "We wanted to make it a joy to use rather than a pain, like it is with the remote today."

Not everyone is going to want to watch only on tablets or computers, and Tablo can connect to your TV in several ways, including Apple TV using AirPlay from an iPad, as well as using Google's Chromecast. I connected by adding a Tablo channel to my Roku device.

Overall, Tablo is slick and easy to use — another impressive option in the cord-cutting toolbox.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/p...math/12154001/
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Critic's Notes
In Battle of Muscle Shows, Only One Is Having Fun
‘Steve Austin’s Broken Skull’ vs. ‘American Muscle’
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Jul. 5, 2014

Certain Americans — you know the type — take physical fitness far too seriously. These people probably don’t spend a lot of time on the couch watching television; they’re too busy training for the next Ironman or Spartan Death Race.

But two shows that seem aimed directly at them begin in the next few days. One will make them say, “Hey, I want to try that.” The other might cause them to convert to couch potatoism.

“Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge,” which has its premiere on Sunday night on CMT, is the inviting one. Mr. Austin, the actor and former professional wrestler, is the growly host of a competition show that pits impossibly fit contestants against one another and against an obstacle course called the Skullbuster.

It’s a 10-obstacle, half-mile course that is both intimidating and irresistible. Anyone who has run a Tough Mudder or other extreme race — or even some people who only dream of doing so — will be on the phone to CMT, asking for a chance. There is rope-swinging. There is belly-crawling. There is wall-climbing. All under what looks to be a very hot sun.

If “Broken Skull Challenge” makes it seem as if getting in shape might be fun, “American Muscle,” which begins on Wednesday on the Discovery Channel, does the opposite. The show chronicles the goings-on at the Barwis Methods Training Center near Detroit, frequented by professional athletes, people who want to be professionals and others. Mike Barwis presides, and, from the look of things, if you’re given a choice between doing his workout and being tortured by Jack Bauer of “24,” Jack is the less stressful option.

“I’m going to show you my own special breed of hell,” Mr. Barwis, who is even growlier than Mr. Austin, says, describing a regimen called hypertrophy. It’s a program that aims to build muscle mass, and a frightfully unforgiving one. “The whole time, you get no breaks and no rest, which pushes your mind and your body to its absolute limit,” he says.

Among the athletes who turn up in the premiere is Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, whose comments after a playoff game last year caused a ruckus. But the real stars here are pain and suffering.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/ar...elevision&_r=0
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TV Notes
Lee Child, David Ignatius on 'Face the Nation'
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel

The Sunday morning guest list will include best-selling authors. How's that for mixing it up?

Lee Child, David Ignatius and Jeffery Deaver talk to CBS' "Face the Nation" at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. They are joined by Sandra Brown ("Mean Streak") and Karin Slaughter ("Cop Town"). "The Director," the new book from Ignatius, has earned raves. Child ("Personal") and Deaver ("The Skin Collector") contribute to FaceOff, the anthology in which authors' characters work together. Child is a readers' favorite for creating Jack Reacher. The other guests are Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

Gov. Rick Perry, R-Tex., talks to ABC's "This Week" at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. Another guest is Bishop Mark Seitz of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso. The panel will be Matt Bai of Yahoo News, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, ABC's Matthew Dowd and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, co-host of CNN's "Crossfire."

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., talks to "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. Other guests are Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States; Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa. The program salutes Martha Ann Alito, wife of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, as a "power player." The panel will be Mara Liasson, Nina Easton of Fortune Magazine, Charles Lane of The Washington Post and Liz Cheney, former deputy assistant secretary of state.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Tex., and Mayor Alan Long of Murrieta, Calif., talk to CNN's "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. and noon. A political panel features Democratic strategist Mo Elleithee, Republican strategist Sean Spicer, radio host Stephanie Miller and Carly Fiorina, former Republican Senate candidate and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Another guest is Vice Adm. Michelle Howard, 38th vice chief of naval operations.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson is an exclusive guest on NBC's "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. One topic will be the heightened terror alerts on U.S.-bound flights. Other guests are Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, and Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. The panel will be NBC's Chuck Todd, Carolyn Ryan of The New York Times, Lori Montenegro of Telemundo and Michael Gerson of The Washington Post.

Edward Lazear, former economic adviser to President George W. Bush, is a guest on "Sunday Morning Futures" at 10 a.m. on Fox News Channel. Other guests are Richard Gelfond, CEO of IMAX; John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Judith Miller of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. The panel will be Tony Sayegh, president of Talk Radio News Service; Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott; and Steve Moore of the Heritage Foundation.

Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics and foreign affairs journalist Robin Wright are guests on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on CNN. Other guests are Jack Devine, president of the Arkin Group and former acting director and associate director of the CIA; Gregory Johnsen of BuzzFeed and author of "The Last Refuge: Yemen, al-Qaeda, and America's War in Arabia"; and Peter Beinart of Haaretz.com and The Atlantic/National Journal.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...,0,920211.post

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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

ABC:
7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R)
8PM - Wipeout
9PM - Rising Star (120 min., LIVE)

CBS:
7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - Big Brother
9PM - Reckless
10PM - Unforgettable

NBC:
7PM - American Ninja Warrior (120 min.)
(R)
9PM - Miley Cyrus: Bangerz Tour (Special, 120 min.)

FOX:
7PM - Brain Games: Trust Me
8PM - The Simpsons
(R)
8:30PM - The Simpsons
(R)
9PM - Family Guy
(R)
9:30PM - American Dad
(R)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Last Tango In Halifax
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! Endeavor, Season 2: Nocturne (90 min.)
10:30PM - Vicious

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Bailando por un Sueño (120 min.)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
6PM - Movie: Monster House (2005)
8PM - Movie - Transformers: Dark of The Moon (2011)

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TV Review
‘The ’90s: The Last Great Decade?’
Flashback recalls years both grand and giddy, including cyberbiz, Bill Clinton, Anna Nicole Smith, Roseanne Barr and Vanilla Ice
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Jul. 4, 2014

If you don’t mind a bit of exaggeration here and there, you can microwave some popcorn and enjoy this good-natured three-part retrospective on a decade you already need to be 25 or 30 to remember.

Like the title of the show, some of the commentary and selections seem designed to push a button rather than deliver considered historical analysis.

In fact, the show often seems to make no distinction between what mattered, what will endure and what merely amused us in ways noble or perverse.

The first episode devotes a large chunk to Anna Nicole Smith, who even during her time in the spotlight was a sad tabloid headline, not anyone who was very interesting beyond her measurements and her thirst to be noticed.

Hard on the high heels of Anna comes a smart segment on Bill Clinton, pointing out the ways he branded himself during his run for President.

The segment doesn’t go quite far enough, stopping before his calculated trashing of Sister Souljah, but it makes his strategy clear. Back on the other side of the pendulum, “The ’90s” recounts the Clarence Thomas hearings, which is fine until one of the commentators on his accuser, Anita Hill, turns out to be Monica Lewinsky.

Seriously?

The show makes a convincing case that a lot happened in the decade, from the Columbine High School killings to the flowering of Silicon Valley.

By recounting how Microsoft and Bill Gates crushed an early browser rival, Netscape, it also foreshadows the ruthless megalomania that has accompanied the rise of technology. These folks aren’t any nicer than the robber barons and oil magnates of a century before.

We flash back to the World Trade Center bombings and Vanilla Ice. Calling Ice more than a footnote stretches things a little, but so does calling MTV’s “The Real World” the first reality show or hearing Roseanne Barr say no TV shows have portrayed ordinary lives honestly since hers. But this isn’t a history class. It’s a popular-culture flashback that reminds us serious stuff is always interwoven with the ephemeral.

Collectively, by the end, we have a better appreciation for the forces that shifted, amused or informed our lives in those years.

'THE 90's: THE LAST GREAT DECADE?'
Network/Air Date: Sunday at 9 p.m., National Geographic
Rating: ★★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.1852857
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Nielsen Overnights
Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Fizzle Against 2013 ‘Spectacular’
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 5, 2014

The Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular (1.1/6) wasn’t the only original programming on last night but the NBC special was the only one truly in the Independence Day holiday spirit. However, despite being given a pass by the weather on the East Coast, the 2-hour show hosted by America’s Got Talent’s Nick Cannon did not attract the audience of last year. Featuring performances from NYC and elsewhere by Miranda Lambert, Ariana Grande, Lionel Richie, Enrique Iglesias and the Zac Brown Band as well as lighting up the Manhattan skyline, the Fireworks Spectacular was down 27% among Adults 18-49 from last year’s show. In total viewers, last night’s show drew just 5.3 million compared to the 7.2 million of last year. Of course, July 4, 2013 fell on a Thursday not a Friday, where viewership is always lower so a drop was almost inevitable this year. We also might see adjustments to the live event when the final nationals come in early next week.

Having said that, while overall last night’s fireworks were a slide for NBC, there is a bright side in the sky and ratings for the network. The last time July 4th was on a Friday was back in 2008 when the fireworks were a 1-hour show from 9 – 10 PM. NBC didn’t extend the show to 2-hours until last year. Comparing hour to hour from last night to 6 years ago, the 2014 Fireworks Spectacular was actually up 18% among the key demo and 20% in total viewers to 6.5 million watching vs. 5.4 million in 2008. From 10 – 11 PM, NBC ran an edited version of the fireworks. That 1-hour show got a 0.9/4 among the 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers. That’s down 30% from last year’s edited repeat in the demo and 1.09 million less viewers overall. Needless to say, NBC won the holiday night with a 1.0/5 rating and 5.03 million viewers over primetime.

Unlike last year, ABC dared to brave the holiday primetime with new broadcasts. Not that there was traction to be had. At 9 PM, Primetime: What Would You Do? (0.6/2) was down 54% from last week’s show while 20/20 (0.8/4) fell 43%. Of course, on an evening of mostly encores, affiliates across the country on all of the Big 4 cut into national programming to show local fireworks displays – cause why wouldn’t they?

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/macy...ck-cannon-nbc/
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SATURDAY'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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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 6, 2014

BATMAN MARATHON
IFC, 9:30 p.m. ET

This weekend’s Batman marathon continues – and since this series has yet to be released on DVD (or VHS, for that matter), any chance to watch it, and perhaps record it, makes sense. Today’s episodes include some well-known villains such as Frank Gorshin’s The Riddler, but also include some relatively forgotten ones, such as Art Carney as the Archer.

THE SIXTIES MARATHON
CNN, 8:00 p.m. ET

I appear, briefly and sporadically, in the opening episode of this CNN documentary series, but that’s not why I recommend it highly. In fact, I recommend it in spite of myself, because everything else in The Sixties impresses me to no end. And tonight, starting at 8 p.m. ET with a look back at the impact of television on that decade, CNN presents all five installments of the documentary miniseries presented to date

TRUE BLOOD
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

As the closing image of last week’s episode, we saw Alexander Skarsgard’s Eric, for the first time in this final season, slumped in a chair with telltale signs of some serious health issues. Yet, since the last time we saw him before that, Eric was not only undead, but in flames, that’s an improvement, and a nice surprise. Here we go… this last season, it seems, anyone can die. Or return. Or, sometimes, both.

SIN CITY
Starz!, 9:00 p.m. ET

Next month, the sequel to this artistically audacious 2005 movie will be released – but for now, take any opportunity to familiarize yourself with the characters, the various story lines, and especially the dazzling visuals of this marvelous movie, co-directed by Robert Rodriguez and Sin City graphic novelist Frank Miller. Among the many performances to watch here: Alexis Bledel, playing a character far removed from her Rory on Gilmore Girls.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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TV Review
'Extant': Unusual conception for sci-fi drama
By Dave Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

If you've snagged Halle Berry to star in your new TV drama, what else do you need?

That's a tough one to answer about the new sci-fi family drama "Extant," because CBS allowed critics to see only the pilot of Mickey Fisher's promising new series, premiering on Wednesday.

As Tracy said of Hepburn in "Pat and Mike," "There ain't much meat on her, but what's there is cherce."

"Cherce" may not be enough to make a series work in the long run, but it'll do for the pilot as astronaut Molly Watts (Berry) returns from a 13-month solo stay in an orbiting space station to discover she's inexplicably pregnant.

Almost before you can make the obvious connection to "Alien," we're caught up in Molly's family life and how she will spill the news to husband John (Goran Visnjic), not to mention how she can be pregnant when she was entirely alone for 13 months. Her friend and doctor, Sam Barton (Camryn Manheim), can't explain it either, but the fact of the pregnancy is indisputable.

The Wattses already have a child, their "son" Ethan (Pierce Gagnon, a mini Brent Spiner), a very lifelike android John has created. John and Molly each have complicated feelings about Ethan. John, a futuristic Geppetto of computer science, believes that treating Ethan as human and, more important, as their biological son, can instill human emotions in him.

Molly is making an effort to behave like Ethan's real mother, but she can't quite make the necessary emotional connection with him. Yes, Ethan is learning emotions, but as an android, does he really have the tools to deal with them? And how will he react when he learns he will have a human brother or sister in several months? He's already exhibiting some disturbing playground habits.

There are more questions than answers in the pilot of "Extant," which, in this case, is a good thing. The seeds of dramatic conflict have been planted, and we're going to come back the next week to see how all of this plays out.

Something did happen in space, that much we know because we saw it. Or did we? And even if what we saw wasn't a hallucination, what is actually gestating in Molly's womb?

Although the series title is pretentious (or sounds like the name of a laxative - take your pick), "Extant" makes good use of Berry's skill at portraying a likable, apparently average woman suddenly having to deal with extraordinary events or circumstances. The script shortchanges her when it comes to reacting to the news of her pregnancy and how she is dealing with whatever she thinks happened in space, but that's because Fisher doesn't want us to know too much just yet.

The rest of the cast is fine, although Visnjic and Berry have very little chemistry. He seems an odd choice to play her husband at this point, but he does OK portraying an obsessed scientist with an obvious God complex.

Gagnon's is the most memorable performance in the pilot, making Ethan the most interesting character. The young actor is able to make Ethan enigmatically placid at one point and turn on an emotional dime a second later. Holding your own while sharing screen time with an Oscar winner isn't the worst way for a kid actor to get some visibility.

It's easy to see what attracted producer Steven Spielberg to Fisher's project: It's both science fiction and family drama. That combination hasn't always worked for Spielberg's TV projects, but with the care Fisher has put into his script, and having an A-lister as the show's star, it's easy to have great expectations for "Extant."


'EXTANT'
9 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.


http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/Ext...fi-5598208.php
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Nielsen Overnights
Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Fizzle Against 2013 ‘Spectacular’
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 5, 2014

The Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular (1.1/6) wasn’t the only original programming on last night but the NBC special was the only one truly in the Independence Day holiday spirit. However, despite being given a pass by the weather on the East Coast, the 2-hour show hosted by America’s Got Talent’s Nick Cannon did not attract the audience of last year. ...
I could think of two major reasons for low ratings:

  1. Maybe people were afraid that the same editor that loves to cut away from the critical parts of the acts on America's Got Talent would be butchering this performance, too.
  2. The show was billed as a fireworks show but only the last 25% of the show had fireworks. And since some performances were from the west coast after sunset, someone tuning in after the show had begun might have thought they had missed the fireworks.


I thought the fireworks were pretty, but only after skipping past 75% of the show.

My very humble setup:
Man Cave:Vizio E500i-A1 "Smart TV" (50-in 1080p 120Hz LED/LCD, has Netflix app.), Sony BDP-S3100 Blu-ray player, Roku N1000 (original model), PC (Windows 7), Comcast Internet (120Mbps/12Mbps).
Bedroom:LG 32LV3400-UA TV (32-in 768p 60Hz LED/LCD), HD DVR (Motorola RNG200N), Xfinity Comcast cable (Digital Preferred Plus), DVD/VHS player.
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TV Notes
Reality TV families see fame flicker and fade
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Jul. 7, 2014

What's the life cycle of a reality TV family?

Shorter than it used to be. For the Kardashian clan, the Robertsons of Duck Dynasty and the family of beauty pageant contestant Alana Thompson (aka Honey Boo Boo), the limelight is fading. All three shows returned last month with depressed ratings that dropped sharply from their peaks — some set just last year — though each still claims a sizable audience by cable TV standards.

A&E's Duck Dynasty premiered little more than two years ago and peaked last summer with an astounding 11.8 million viewers, setting cable records for an unscripted series. Though it remains a cable hit, its audience is now one-third of that total. E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians has had a longer run, opening modestly in 2007 and climbing to 4.8 million viewers in 2010 as the family gained international fame. But since then its ratings have been cut by more than half. And TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, introduced in August 2012, now has half the audience of its early highs.

It's not that viewers are tiring of reality TV families: They're just tiring of these families, who join a long list of clans who wore out their welcomes, including Fox's The Simple Life, which introduced sisterly (if unrelated) Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie to the masses; TLC's Kate Plus 8; MTV's The Osbournes; and then-Newlyweds Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson (she remarried Saturday). Some built slowly through word of mouth; for others — including Simple Life — it was all downhill after their first episodes.

"The more novel a show is, sometimes the faster it burns out," says former MTV programming chief Brian Graden, who oversaw the rapid rise of The Osbournes and Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. "You watch it for the jaw-drop factor." He says part of The Osbournes' initial appeal was "seeing extraordinary celebrities living ordinary lives," but more than a decade later, the explosion of social media means "it's a given that people open up their entire lives." Constantly mutating spinoffs often hasten the burnout factor.

Andy Dehnart of RealityBlurred.com says real families thrive as TV magnets when they're "surprising or interesting or unique," but many quickly lose the authenticity that made them popular and suffer as a result. "A lot of shows resort to increasingly contrived situations, where they're playing to the cameras or faking things or both." That's what happened with The Osbournes, Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty, where producers often invent situations to maximize conflict or comedy.

"People are beginning to realize that reality shows are not reality shows," says genre veteran Joan Rivers, who stars in a reality series with her daughter Melissa. She believes Honey Boo Boo has "grown up too much" and says the Robertsons "totally ruined themselves" with patriarch Phil's comments about gays and blacks, But, she says, "the Kardashians will never leave us, because they keep growing us new ones."

Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!)
Premiere (10/14/07): 898,000
Peak (2/21/10): 4.8 million
Recent (6/29/14): 2.1 million

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (TLC)
Premiere (8/8/12): 2.3 million
Peak (9/11/13): 3.2 million
Recent (6/26/14): 1.7 million

Duck Dynasty (A&E)
Premiere (3/21/12): 1.8 million
Peak (8/14/13): 11.8 million
Recent (6/25/14): 3.4 million

Jersey Shore (MTV)
Premiere (12/3/09): 1.4 million
Peak (1/20/11): 8.9 million
Finale (12/20/12): 3.1 million

The Simple Life (Fox)
Premiere (12/2/03): 13.0 million
Peak (12/3/03): 13.3 million
Finale (5/12/05): 3.8* million
*moved to E! where finale (8/5/07) was 650,000.

The Osbournes (MTV)
Premiere (3/5/02): 3.2 million
Peak (4/23/02): 7.8 million
Finale (3/21/05): 2.1 million

Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica (MTV)
Premiere (8/19/03): 2.5 million
Peak (1/21/04): 4.7 million
Finale (3/30/05): 3.4 million

Kate Plus 8 (TLC)
Premiere and peak (6/6/10): 3.4 million
Finale (9/12/11): 2.1 million
Special (6/26/14): 1.9 million

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...asty/12109039/
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Critic's Notes
Summertime sitcoms fizzle
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 'Tuned In' Column

Summertime and the viewing is ... funny? Not necessarily.

July brings with it a bounty of scripted comedies on both broadcast and cable networks but the results are more fizzle than sizzle.

FX comedies

Let’s start with the more ambitious shows and work our way down to the dregs.

FX has a mixed track record with comedy, more so than with its mostly successful dramas.

With two new shows, “Married” (10 p.m. July 17) and “You’re the Worst” (10:30 p.m. July 17), FX embraces the downbeat ethos of its critical hit “Louie.” Call it the “Louie”-fication of FX, especially when it comes to “Married,” a comedy to slit your wrists by.

That’s not to say “Married” is a bad show. There are some terrifically funny lines and it’s intellectually funny, but not often ha-ha funny and the situations are dark and depressing.

Longtime married couple Russ (Nat Faxon, “Ben and Kate”) and Lina (Judy Greer,” “Arrested Development”) tolerate one another but don’t have much joy in their “miserably married” lives.

Lina reads vampire novels to sate her desire for romance and refuses her husband’s sexual overtures. In the premiere episode she gives him permission to seek sex outside of their marriage, which he attempts half-heartedly and with complicating consequences.

Lina comes off as a cold scold and Russ seems like a well-meaning but namby-pamby doofus.

“Married” is at its funniest when Russ’s friends Bernie (John Hodgman, “The Daily Show”) and Jess (Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”) are on screen.

Bernie tells Russ he can rekindle romance with Lina if he’ll just “find out what she’s into, no matter how stupid it is. It’s called being sensitive.”

Weirdly, both “Married” and “You’re the Worst” feature characters snorting cocaine and male characters who masturbate in front of their female partners. (Maybe comedy writers need to get out of their L.A. bubbles.)

If “Married” is defined by its hopelessness, at least the funnier, more anarchic “You’re the Worst” tips the scales toward hopefulness.

“Worst” begins with Jimmy (Chris Geere) causing a ruckus at his ex-girlfriend’s wedding.

“Sometimes you just want to be there for the beginning of a disaster so later when the house is in flames you can say, yep, I was there when they installed the faulty wiring,” Jimmy tells the bride.

At the wedding he meets equally cynical, self-destructive Gretchen (Aya Cash), and the two embark on a one-night-stand that improbably turns into some sort of longer-term relationship.

They’re both terrible people in a myriad ways, and yet, they really seem to connect, which allows “You’re the Worst” to evince an acidic sweetness through its bleakness.

‘Hotwives of Orlando’

Online streaming service Hulu.com debuts a promising spoof of Bravo’s “Real Housewives” franchise with the seven-episode “Hotwives of Orlando” (July 15).

The premiere 23-minute episode is long on set-up and introductions as it mocks its characters and staged reality TV conventions. A second episode proves stronger and less predictably funny.

“This is Orlando: You go big or you go back to Kissimmee,” a party planner announces during the premiere.

Trophy wife Tawny (Casey Wilson, “Happy Endings”) gets into a fight with best friend Shauna (Danielle Schneider) when Tawny dares to tell Shauna to “calm down” during a party.

Devout but uneducated Christian Crystal (Angela Kinsey, “The Office”) shows up to a pimps and hos party in a revealing outfit that has to be constantly blurred but it doesn’t stop her from passing judgment: “I really hope you don’t go to hell because you’re so pretty!” (When she runs into a friend at the store, Crystal declares, “If that’s not divine intervention, then I clearly don’t know what that means!”)

All the reality show archetypes are represented, including the woman who carries herself as classy but loves gutter humor and the token African-American hotwife who just has to tell it like it is, even if her pronouncements are unnecessarily mean. There’s also an oddball, Crystal’s sister, Amanda (Kristen Schaal, “Flight of the Conchords”), a child star in a local commercial for prune juice, who’s never recovered from her fleeting fame.

Writers Dannah Phirman and Danielle Schneider clearly know the source material they’re mocking and do a great job of getting laughs out of the absurdities of the “Real Housewives” shows. But sometimes the humor is dulled by the realization that while mockery can be fun, “Hotwives” still requires viewers to sit through “Real Housewives”-style inanity.

‘Welcome to Sweden’

Two new NBC comedies, “Welcome to Sweden” (9 p.m. Thursday, WPXI) and “Working the Engels” (9:30 p.m. Thursday) could not be more different.

“Sweden” is a quiet, gently amusing comedy; “Engels” is loud and brash with occasional funny bits peeking through a generally pat, wan premise.

Executive producer Amy Poehler (“Parks and Recreation”) guest stars as herself in the first episode of “Sweden,” which stars her brother, Greg Poehler, as Bruce, a New York accountant who falls in love with a Swedish woman, Emma (Josephine Borenebusch), and moves to Sweden.

It’s a fish-out-of-water tale with a ton of English subtitles used when Emma’s family members are speaking in Swedish. That alone makes “Sweden” a rarity for a comedy on a broadcast network and probably a tough sell to some viewers.

A bigger impediment to a broad American audience may be that the humor is largely based on height jokes about Bruce’s stature – he’s evidently short compared to most Swedes – and the dim bulb nature of Emma’s brother who lives with her parents (“I thought about becoming a shepherd but there are no sheep here,” he says).

Emma also has an ill-informed, America-loving uncle whose impressions of the U.S. are based primarily on Robert De Niro and Al Pacino movies.

“Sweden” may generate some smiles but not a lot of laughs with its quiet humor and overly familiar culture clash gags.

‘Working the Engels’

With Andrea Martin (“SCTV”) as the star, there’s no question that “Engels” will be somewhat voluble. That’s just her style of comedy. But “Engels” also insists that every character is a broadly drawn screamer.

Occasionally that makes for funny bits – an argument over quotes and whether they come from “Star Wars” or the Bible is a hoot -- but the show is otherwise exhausting.

Ms. Martin stars as Ceil Engel, who learns in the opening scene that her recently deceased husband left the family $200,000 in debt from his legal practice. She contemplates suicide, changes her mind, then accidentally falls off her roof, drawing all three children to her hospital bedside.

Responsible Jenna (Kacey Rohl) leaves her terrible law firm job to take over the family business, where Ceil will work as a paralegal.

Sandy (Azura Skye, “American Horror Story”), a born-again Christian who is recovering from drug addiction, will become the firm’s receptionist and bad boy Jimmy (Ben Arthur) will become the investigator. (What happened to the folks who previously did lose jobs is not addressed in the pilot episode.)

Each character is introduced in a vignette that’s as amped-up as possible – Jenna doesn’t just have a weird roommate, she has a weird roommate who is always naked! – and the show never allows itself to stand down from ill-fated, continuous attempts at heightened hilarity.

‘The Almighty Johnsons’

Syfy introduces its latest imported series – this time from New Zealand – an hourlong, comedic drama about four brothers and their great-grandfather who have inherited the power of Norse Gods.

The pilot episode of “The Almighty Johnsons” (10 p.m. July 11), the only one Syfy made available for review, is all set-up as youngest Johnson brother Axl (Emmett Skilton) turns 21 and his older brothers share their family secret: Olaf (Ben Barrington) is not their cousin, but their grandfather, and they’re all Norse Gods.

Axl is both concerned and thrilled that he might have a power.

“Bloody hell, it’s like giving an atom bomb to a toddler,” responsible older brother Mike (Timothy Balme) complains.

Axl also learns brother Ty (Jared Turner) has the power to summon extreme heat and cold, so Axl is eager to learn what power he might have. He gets that information along with the price of the power of a Norse God.

Axl also gets an arrow through the chest but he doesn’t learn the shooter is part of a group of women who are trying to take him down because they fear recent events – shooting stars, earthquakes, a red sea and more – portend the return of wise Odin. Axl doesn’t seem to fit the bill but maybe he does?

It’s difficult to judge “The Almighty Johnsons” from its pilot episode, but the blend of humor and Norse Gods lore does fit in well with Syfy’s penchant for light, fantasy dramas, but those series also tend to be fairly forgettable.

‘Backpackers’ and ‘Seed’

The CW, long home to soapy dramas, began its embrace of comedy with last year’s return of “Whose Line is It Anyway,” and that continues with originally-for-online series “Backpackers” (8:30 p.m. July 14) and Canadian import “Seed” (9:30 p.m. July 14, WPCW).

“Backpakers” benefits from filming on location in Europe but that can’t make up for the lowest common denominator escapades, which play like an unfunny, made-for-TV “Road Trip.”

Best friends Ryan (Noah Reid) and Brandon (Dillon Casey, “Nikita”) are backpacking across Europe after Ryan and his fiance make a deal to experiment with an open relationship before their wedding. Then Ryan freaks out and changes his mind, so he and Brandon try to track down Ryan’s fiance without the benefit of her itinerary.

The first episode opens with the pair playing soccer with their pants around their ankles in an empty Paris fountain with the Eiffel Tower in the background. This gives some idea about the level of humor. It also proves that no matter how beautiful the location – episode two is set in Italy – the background can never make up for idiocy in the foreground.

Scripted Canadian comedy “Seed” benefits from a more novel premise and its premiere episode has some genuinely funny moments, including one gag concerning mistaken identity and a lack of gender-specific names.

Womanizing loser Harry (Adam Korson) was a sperm donor years ago and it comes back to haunt him when some of his offspring begin showing up at his door after one of the kids hacks the sperm bank computer to learn his identity.

Soon Harry has to forgo dates to help his biological offspring out of assorted jams, including a teen daughter he fears may be attending a sex party.

Written by executive producer Joseph Raso, “Seed” is mildly dirty in a smirky way but it doesn’t go too far over the top. Nor does it get overly saccharine when Harry starts offering counsel to his offspring and their families. “Seed” isn’t great TV, but it’s a funny enough diversion in the context of generally disappointing summer comedy.

Channel surfing

Canceled NBC comedy “Community” lives again thanks to Yahoo!, which renewed the show for a sixth season to stream online this fall. ... Fox has canceled its yet-to-premiere big-budget Egyptian drama series “Hieroglyph,” planned for 2015, following last month’s departure of Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. ... Denis Leary is back in business with FX for a 2015 comedy series, “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” in which he’ll play a former rocker who is desperate for fame. ... History’s “Ice Road Truckers” returns for a new season at 10 p.m. Monday. ...”Cops” returns with new episodes at 8 p.m. July 12 on SpikeTV. ... A new season of “Doctor Who” comes to BBC America at 8 p.m. Aug. 23.… NBC renewed summer medical drama “The Night Shift” for a second season. … Beginning Aug. 10 AMC will re-air “Breaking Bad” from the beginning on Sundays, 5 p.m.-1 a.m., through Oct. 5. … A fourth season of PBS’s “Masterpiece Mystery!” series “Sherlock” begins with a special that films in January followed by three new episodes. No American air date has been announced but late 2015 or early 2016 seem plausible.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201407040004
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
June’s winners and losers on cable
Winners: Soccer, '19 Kids and Counting,' 'Game of Thrones' and Disney
By Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 7, 2014

Soccer and sword fighting were hot stuff in June.

ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup and HBO’s “Game of Thrones” were the two biggest stories of the recently ended month on cable.

Three of the programs among total viewers in June, including the top two, were World Cup matches on ESPN.

All were contests in which the United States played, but other World Cup games did well, too, lifting ESPN to huge year-to-year gains in both primetime and total-day ratings.

HBO’s “Thrones,” meanwhile, accounted for three of the month’s top five broadcasts on cable, a rarity for the pay cable network, which is available in about a third of the number of households that top channels such as ESPN are distributed in.

“Thrones’” top episode, from June 1, drew 9.5 million total viewers including DVR playback, according to Nielsen, and all three June episodes topped 9 million viewers, putting it among the most-watched programs ever on HBO.

In addition to World Cup and “Thrones,” here are the month’s other winners and losers on cable.

WINNERS

‘BET Awards,’ BET


The show, annually the No. 1 program on the network, finished as the No. 3 show on cable for the month among adults 18-34, drawing 2.36 million in the demo.

Disney Channel originals

From the movie “Zapped” to the recently renewed “I Didn’t Do It,” Disney had the top seven programs of the month among kids 2-11 and 6-11.

The big question is whether the new show “Girl Meets World,” which did well among kids and their parents in a June sneak preview, will grow into a hit.

’19 Kids and Counting,’ TLC

The long-running show hit series highs as the Duggars’ oldest daughter, Jill, got engaged. Expect more records next season, when she actually ties the knot.

LOSERS

‘Duck Dynasty,’ A&E


It may seem harsh to call a show that had two episodes finish among the month’s top 50 shows in 18-49s a loser. But the program has clearly peaked. It has fallen to its lowest ratings in two years.

Animal Planet

It’s tough to follow up a record-setting 2013. Animal Planet had its most-watched month ever in June 2013, boosted by top series “River Monsters,” and it was down quite a bit in primetime this June, by at least 24 percent across the major demos.

Al Jazeera America

Not to belabor the point, since AJA has made the losers list for several months now, but the news network is struggling. It lost 1,000 viewers in the key news demo of adults 25-54 from May to June, falling to just 4,000 in primetime.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/jun...-losers-cable/

* * * *

TV Notes
For ‘Ice Road Truckers,’ colder still
Brutal winter was tough on the stars of History's hit show
By Luisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 7, 2014

Remember the polar vortex that socked the country last winter, sparking record-low temperatures and school cancellations across much of the continent?

Well, the tough drivers from “Ice Road Truckers” are battling those conditions in the eighth season of the show, which premieres tonight at 10 p.m. on History.

The show follows a group of truckers who travel across the dangerous frozen tundra of Canada and Alaska as fast as they can, hoping the ice will hold up underneath them as they deliver their cargo.

The polar vortex, a weather system that appears only once every couple decades, made their jobs even harder. The extreme cold makes it difficult for engines to run, and being stranded in those conditions is life-threatening.

Of course, it also makes for good television.

“Truckers” was once one of History’s top-rated shows, and its success helped push the network to incorporate more reality-based shows into its lineup, such as “Pawn Stars” and “American Pickers.”

The show set several ratings records for History that have since been surpassed by other programs, and at its peak it drew nearly 4 million viewers.

Last season that had cooled to about 2.5 million, but the show does very well in its timeslot relative to other cable programs among adults 25-54.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/ifo...-colder-still/
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Nielsen Overnights
Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Fizzle Against 2013 ‘Spectacular’
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 5, 2014

The Macy’s 4th Of July Fireworks Spectacular (1.1/6) wasn’t the only original programming on last night but the NBC special was the only one truly in the Independence Day holiday spirit. However, despite being given a pass by the weather on the East Coast, the 2-hour show hosted by America’s Got Talent’s Nick Cannon did not attract the audience of last year. Featuring performances from NYC and elsewhere by Miranda Lambert, Ariana Grande, Lionel Richie, Enrique Iglesias and the Zac Brown Band as well as lighting up the Manhattan skyline, the Fireworks Spectacular was down 27% among Adults 18-49 from last year’s show. In total viewers, last night’s show drew just 5.3 million compared to the 7.2 million of last year. Of course, July 4, 2013 fell on a Thursday not a Friday, where viewership is always lower so a drop was almost inevitable this year. We also might see adjustments to the live event when the final nationals come in early next week.

Having said that, while overall last night’s fireworks were a slide for NBC, there is a bright side in the sky and ratings for the network. The last time July 4th was on a Friday was back in 2008 when the fireworks were a 1-hour show from 9 – 10 PM. NBC didn’t extend the show to 2-hours until last year. Comparing hour to hour from last night to 6 years ago, the 2014 Fireworks Spectacular was actually up 18% among the key demo and 20% in total viewers to 6.5 million watching vs. 5.4 million in 2008. From 10 – 11 PM, NBC ran an edited version of the fireworks. That 1-hour show got a 0.9/4 among the 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers. That’s down 30% from last year’s edited repeat in the demo and 1.09 million less viewers overall. Needless to say, NBC won the holiday night with a 1.0/5 rating and 5.03 million viewers over primetime.

Unlike last year, ABC dared to brave the holiday primetime with new broadcasts. Not that there was traction to be had. At 9 PM, Primetime: What Would You Do? (0.6/2) was down 54% from last week’s show while 20/20 (0.8/4) fell 43%. Of course, on an evening of mostly encores, affiliates across the country on all of the Big 4 cut into national programming to show local fireworks displays – cause why wouldn’t they?

http://www.deadline.com/2014/07/macy...ck-cannon-nbc/
What Would You Do was a repeat from 2013, most of the segments on 20/20 were previously run. Deadline get something wrong...

"Bring out yer dead!".."Wait I'm not dead yet!"..(Sound Austrian here) "WRONG !!" (You know what happens next..)
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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 - Mistresses
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Gerard Butler; Meagan Goode; Matisyahu performs)
(R)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R)
8:30PM - Mom
(R)
9PM - Mike & Molly
(R)
9:30PM - Two and a Half Men
(R)
10PM - Under the Dome
* * * *
11:35AM - Late Show with David Letterman (Halle Berry; writer Steve Young; War on Drugs performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Comic Kathy Griffin; singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson)

NBC:
8PM - Last Comic Standing
(R)
9PM - American Ninja Warrior (120 min.)
(R)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Kiefer Sutherland; fashion designer Nicole Richie; Crosby, Stills and Nash perform)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Brian Williams; model Chrissy Teigen; Charli XCX performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Rhys Darby; Band of Skulls performs.)
(R)

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

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Toronto
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Secaucus
(R - Jul. 30, 2012)
10PM - POV: My Way To Olympia

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?
(R)
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R)
9PM - Beauty and The Beast (Season Finale)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina de Corazones (Series Premiere)
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de Los Cielos

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Martin Short; Jessica Pare; singer-songwriter Kelis)
(R)

E!
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Jenna Dewan-Tatum)
(R)
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