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TeeJay1952's Avatar TeeJay1952
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post
That's true also, I did have a change of modems and at the original $3 it probably wouldn't have paid for itself, but at $7/month and a new one costing in the $70 range, it might be worth the gamble, a lot more than it was then.
If Comcast changes standards they would have to replace all present equpment. You are safe. Buy a modem.
humdinger70's Avatar humdinger70
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Re: Sharknado 2...

Do any of them go to an apartment, knock on the door and say "Candygram."??

You have to be an old, old, OLD viewer of SNL to get that one.
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV
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Originally Posted by TeeJay1952 View Post
If Comcast changes standards they would have to replace all present equpment. You are safe. Buy a modem.
Um, no they wouldn't.

Here's how it really works:

"Congratulations! Comcast is increasing your speed. To get full use of that speed, you'll need to upgrade your modem, which Comcast will do at no cost. Call us now to request your new equipment today so you can enjoy your higher available broadband speeds.**

**Upgraded modem price will increase to $12/month. Your broadband service will remain the same price for the next 12 months, at which time your new monthly price will go up by $5/month. If you choose not to upgrade, you're price will remain the same. To receive new equipment at no cost, customers must exchange their old equipment in person at any Comcast location and perform a self install. Professional home installation is $30.

So, what this amounts to is they figure only a small number of people will take them up on it at any given time because the smart ones that want the higher speeds will buy a modem and the cheap folks will simply stick with what they've got.

Don't believe it? That's exactly the deal that was thrown at my Father through Time Warner.
NetworkTV's Avatar NetworkTV
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Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post
Re: Sharknado 2...

Do any of them go to an apartment, knock on the door and say "Candygram."??

You have to be an old, old, OLD viewer of SNL to get that one.
..or just be someone with the Internet...
BIGA$$TV's Avatar BIGA$$TV
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Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post
Re: Sharknado 2...

Do any of them go to an apartment, knock on the door and say "Candygram."??

You have to be an old, old, OLD viewer of SNL to get that one.
Yep. land shark was one the very best skits on SNL.
MRinDenver's Avatar MRinDenver
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Originally Posted by BIGA$$TV View Post
Yep. land shark was one the very best skits on SNL.
DrDon's Avatar DrDon
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And there's the sketch for the current "SNL:" "Land Sharknado."

And I'm claiming copyright!
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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Technology/Business Notes
Nintendo Posts Bigger Quarterly Loss as Wii U, 3DS Sales Slump
By Gavin J. Blair, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 30, 2014

TOKYO – Nintendo announced an operating loss of $92.7 million (¥9.47 billion) in the April to June quarter, compared to $48.2 million (¥4.92 billion) in the same period last year, as sales of its Wii U and 3DS consoles continued to disappoint. However, the company left its prediction of a return to profit for the full year unchanged.

Total sales fell to $731 million (¥74.7 billion) from $799 million (¥81.6 billion) in the corresponding quarter of 2013. Sales have more than halved since the same period in 2011, when Nintendo posted figures of $1.85 billion (¥188.6 billion) on the back of the popularity of the original Wii console.

Nintendo sold just 820,000 units of its portable 3DS in the three months to June, along with 8.57 million games. Sales of the 3DS dipped below one million in the previous quarter. Wii U console sales were also weak, registering just 520,000 units and 4.39 million games. Mario Kart 8, released globally in May, accounted for 2.82 million of total game sales.

The company in May said that it expects to sell 3.6 million Wii U consoles in the year ending in March 2015, along with 12 million units of its 3DS. The company said in its earnings release today that there is, "no revision to the consolidated financial forecast for this fiscal year," despite the dismal sales figures.

The Kyoto-based game and console maker has long had a reputation among analysts for being overly optimistic in its forecasts. However, predicting sales of more than 10 million 3DS units for the second half of the year, having sold less than two million in the first half, appears to be stretching the credibility of Nintendo's predictions to a new level.

A spokesperson from the company confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that it had no intention of revising its forecasts and expected to hit the stated sales targets.

Rival Sony, whose successful PlayStation 4 the Wii U is losing out to globally, reports its earnings tomorrow.

dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, - Jul. 30, 2014

SyFy, 7:00 p.m. ET

I know, I really shouldn’t be highlighting this 2013 Syfy movie. Yet after generating one unsuccessful hybrid monster schlockfest after another – many of which are on view early today, as with Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus (9 a.m. ET), Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (1 p.m. ET), and Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark (3 p.m. ET) – the cable network finally hit it big with Sharknado, its small-screen equivalent of the media frenzy once generated by Snakes on a Plane. Nobody went to see that movie in theaters, but Sharknado, now as when it premiered last year, is available without leaving your living room. In other words, no one has to see you watching. And stay tuned, of course, for the brand new sequel, which touches down tonight at 9 ET.

The CW, 8:00 p.m. ET
Imported from England, this series allows Penn & Teller to do what Harry Houdini, in his last years, enjoyed doing: Witnessing various purported acts of magic and spiritualism, and calling them out as fakes. Penn & Teller may take a kinder approach to the amateur magicians they host on his show – but don’t bet on it.

CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

In tonight’s episode, Molly (Halle Berry) flees to protect her son the robot – and finds she has other things that should be making her wary as well.

SyFy, 9:00 p.m. ET

The title of this 2014 sequel suggests how tongue-in-cheek the filmmakers are approaching this, and viewers should approach with that in mind. Ian Ziering and Tara Reid return for this second go-round, which is less of a draw than cameos by Kelly Ripa, Matt Lauer, Robert Klein and Viveca A. Fox. The true draw, of course, is the idea of the gloriously cheesy special effects, approximating giant funnel storms that deposit killer sharks all over New York. Personally, I’m waiting for a variation on the theme, one that would marry meteorology and zoology in even more bizarre ways. Why make more than one Sharknado? Why not move on to other grafted animal-filled storms? Submitted, for your approval: airborne bison in Herdicane. Piggish Northern Lights in Aurora Boar-ealis. And, last and probably least, the potentially R-rated weather thriller, Kittytwister.

TV Land, 10:00 p.m. ET

Here’s something potentially scary: In tonight’s episode of Hot in Cleveland, the female characters, including Betty White, are portrayed as their animated counterparts. And here’s something even scarier: Getting the same two-dimensional treatment is Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
A healthy surge for new ‘Food Fighters’
NBC reality program surges 30 percent over last week's debut
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 30, 2013

In its second week, NBC’s “Food Fighters” heated up.

The reality show surged 30 percent over last week’s debut, the biggest week-to-week growth for any new series this summer.

“Food” averaged a 1.3 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up from a 1.0 last week.

The show finished as the No. 2 program on the night, behind only lead-out “America’s Got Talent,” which, as usual, dominated its 9 to 11 p.m. timeslot.

“Talent” averaged a 2.4, even to last week, and topped the No. 2 network in its timeslot, ABC, by 140 percent.

ABC was the only other Big Five channel with originals on last night. “Extreme Weight Loss” grew a tenth from last week, to a 1.1 from 8 to 10 p.m., equaling an eight-week high.

The season finale of “Celebrity Wife Swap” at 10 p.m. was also up a tenth from last week, to a 1.0.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.0 average overnight rating and a 7 share. Univision was second at 1.4/5, ABC third at 1.0/3, CBS fourth at 0.9/3, Fox and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.6/2, and CW was seventh at 0.3/1.

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

At 8 p.m. NBC was first with a 1.3 for “Food,” followed by Univision with a 1.2 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo.” ABC and CBS tied for third at 1.0, ABC for “Weight” and CBS for a repeat of “NCIS,” Fox was fifth with a 0.6 for reruns of “Family Guy” and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “Reina de Corazones,” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for a repeat of “Arrow.”

NBC extended its lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.4 for “Talent,” while Univision remained second with a 1.5 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo.” ABC was third with a 1.1 for more “Weight,” and CBS took fourth with a 1.0 for a repeat of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Fox and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.5, Fox for reruns of “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project” and Telemundo for “En Otra Piel,” and CW was seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “Supernatural.”

At 10 p.m. NBC led with a 2.4 for more “Talent,” with Univision second with a 1.4 for “Que Pobres Tan Ricos.” ABC was third with a 1.0 for “Wife,” Telemundo fourth with a 0.8 for “El Señor de los Cielos” and CBS fifth with a 0.7 for a repeat of “Person of Interest.”

NBC was also first for the night among households with a 5.0 average overnight rating and a 9 share. CBS was second at 4.2/7, ABC third at 2.3/4, Univision fourth at 1.7/3, Fox fifth at 0.9/2, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV/Business Notes
Production On ‘Big Bang Theory’ Pushed Over Cast Contract Negotiations As Actors Near New Deals
By Nellie Andreeva, - Jul. 30, 2014

There is no agreement yet in the contract negotiations between the original cast of The Big Bang Theory and Warner Bros TV, leading to the studio’s decision to push the production start date for Season 8, originally slated for today. “Due to ongoing contract negotiations, production on The Big Bang Theory — which was originally scheduled to begin today — has been postponed,” WBTV said in a statement. I hear the postponement is for one day, and the situation would be evaluated day by day as the two sides continue to negotiate and are close to deals, something that could happen as early as today.

While Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar worked during the 2010 salary renegotiations that also dragged on over the summer, they were under deals back then. The situation is different this time as the quintet’s contracts all expired at the end of last season. The only Big Bang cast members who have deals and would’ve showed up today are Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, who renegotiated their contracts last fall.

There has been progress, with negotiations ramping up over the past week though the gap between what the actors are seeking and have been offered on the episodic fee and back-end side has not been bridged just yet. At TCA last two weeks ago, CBS chairman Nina Tassler did not sound worried. “We’re feeling very confident that everything will work out,” she said of the negotiations. “These deals manage to get done somehow miraculously year after year.” Big Bang plays a major piece in CBS’ fall plans, with an hourlong premiere on September 22 leading to the debut of new action drama Scorpion, often referred to as a procedural take on Big Bang. There is no immediate danger of missing the premiere date.

The Big Bang negotiations are under extra scrutiny in light of the ongoing takeover attempt of WBTV parent Time Warner by 21st Century Fox. Big Bang is one the biggest singular TV assets of the company, estimated to generate up to $2 billions in profits. Nobody is talking, but industry expectations are that, when the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, the trio of of Parsons, Galecki and Cuoco would each cross the Friends mark of $1 million an episode and will significantly increase their current back-end stake of 0.25 points. As they did the last time, Helberg and Nayyar are said to be negotiating together.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Notes
Fantasy Meets Reality TV in ABC’s ‘The Quest’
By Terry Flores, - Jul. 30, 2014

If you’ve helped make “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and the indie film landscape just isn’t big enough, where do you go? For producer Mark Ordesky, the answer is reality TV.

Ordesky is among a handful of creatives responsible for the “The Quest,” which premieres Thursday, July 31, on ABC, and marries a mostly scripted environment with real people dropped into a fantasy world — Everealm, replete with actors who play villagers, villains and ogres — as they vie to be the “one true hero” who defeats the great evil.

The show, billed as “immersive reality,” is the brainchild of an exec producer combo of feature film pros and reality hitmakers. Ordesky had worked with his Court Five partner Jane Fleming at New Line; Rob Eric and Michael Williams (“Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”) and Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri (“The Amazing Race”) cut their teeth on reality stalwarts.

The setting is a real castle on 70 acres of forested land in Vienna, where the contestants, called paladins, reside. “Michael Williams scanned thousands of castles all around the world to find (it),” Ordesky says.

“There was never a moment when the paladins were out of that world,” adds Eric. And while the paladins went to bed in the castle each night, they “always thought the actors would be there as well,” he says. But the thesps got to go home to the modern world. Even the producers dressed in fantasy garb whenever they visited the set, and they never let the contestants know who they were.

“We wanted to create a world that was completely real,” says Eric.

“The producers were very good making sure we didn’t have any contact with people in production so that we could interact only with the actors and each other,” contestant Jim Curry explains. “They did a fantastic job of hiding the cameramen. I was impressed how they could keep the cameras concealed.”

While Fleming notes such dedication to realism could mean a significant pricetag, she points to other savings. “This is not a budget show, but it’s not as expensive as one might expect,” she explains. “Scripted characters essentially take the place of the host,” she adds. Actors were locals or plucked from nearby countries. And the creators worked with its production partners to come up with a workable plan to present to ABC.

“With our partners — Spectral Motion for the prosthetic creatures, NuFormer for 3D projection and Encore for post-production visual fx — we were able to create a plan just to get the network to say yes,” notes Ordesky. “We had to make a really undeniable case, acknowledging that it would need to be done for a price, but it would be done really well.”

For their part, the contestants dove into the fantasy world with gusto. “The actors were so in the moment and so spontaneous, you couldn’t help but feel you were part of it,” says Jasmine Kyle, another of the 12 paladins. “It was kind of scary just how into that world you could become.”

“We never knew what to expect,” says Curry. “ We didn’t know if the next person coming around the corner would be a friend or an enemy.”

Another element unlike other reality-competition shows, there’s no cash prize.

“We talked about having at length about having a prize,” Fleming says. “It just felt wrong, like, ‘Oh, you’re the One True Hero and here’s a new car.’ ”

“And the network was completely with us,” adds Ordesky. “They said, ‘No. It’s off brand.’ ”

The interplay between characters defines each week’s challenge, and competitors themselves decide who’ll be banished at the end of each episode.

“This voting component is great because it actually goes to people weighing the values of what make a hero,” says Ordesky. “It’s a very thoughtful, fun process.”

The actors work from the framework of a script developed with Eduardo Sanchez and Gregg Hale of Haxan Films, filmmakers who have worked on independent films with Ordesky and Fleming, including the thriller “Lovely Molly” and the upcoming Bigfoot project “Exists.” The storyline weaves through 10 episodes and the actors help to drive the story forward while interacting with the contestants, giving them plenty of opportunity for improv. Fleming notes that the actors were each given extensive backstory for their characters to help them with the improv aspect.

Since Fleming and Ordesky are primarily known for their filmmaking backgrounds, they approached the filming of “The Quest” a little differently than a traditional reality show. “We shot it like an independent feature,” Fleming says. Episodes, indeed, have a very film-like feel.

When they took the idea to Eric and Williams five years ago, the quartet created a trailer that would convey the look and feel of what they were going for. “It was sort of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Stardust,’” said Eric. “That’s the world we wanted to play in.”

Essentially, “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is where “The Quest” began, when Ordesky and Fleming were at New Line in 1999 watching tapes of the actors training to fight for “The Fellowship of the Ring” and, well, they were jealous. “Why do the actors get to have all the fun,” recalls Fleming. “I want to go to sword camp.”

They finally got their chance when pre-production began for “The Quest.”

“One of the most fun things was that we actually got to be the testers of the challenges. So we got to compete against each other and with each other,” says Fleming.

“I made sure not to go head-to-head against Jane, because I’ve known her more than 20 years and I knew that would be a recipe for loss on my part,” jokes Ordesky.

But creating their immersive fantasy world for the paladins was their main focus. “We wanted to push the envelope of reality television and our partners did as well,” explains Ordesky. “There’s that wonderful sense of discovery when people are trying something different.”

For all the immersive reality though, Curry noted one major drawback to castle living. “One of the things we missed most was indoor plumbing.”
Jon J's Avatar Jon J
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Originally Posted by MRinDenver View Post
Will you save some for Mongo?
dcowboy7's Avatar dcowboy7
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, - Jul. 30, 2014

CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET
Why did they change the timeslot its Live+63 audience was 59,000,002.
grittree's Avatar grittree
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
Why did they change the timeslot its Live+63 audience was 59,000,002.
mchief99's Avatar mchief99
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TV Notes
Stephen A. Smith won't be on ESPN for a week after controversial comments

How about a year or two or three - loud mouth idiot.
Keenan's Avatar Keenan
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
TV Notes
Stephen A. Smith won't be on ESPN for a week after controversial comments

How about a year or two or three - loud mouth idiot.
Forever sounds better to me, what an ignorant ass.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Summer’s top programming moves
No. 1: NBC blunting the premiere of ABC's 'Rising Star'
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 30, 2013

One smart programming move can often determine the fate of a show in the summer, when ratings are lower than the regular season and programs have only three months, rather than nine, to make an impact.

This summer has been full of smart programming moves at the broadcast networks.

Though ratings are down once again this summer, they’d be down even more of the networks hadn’t been reacting strategically and aggressively throughout the summer.

The very best example of smart programming was NBC scheduling a special episode of top summer show “America’s Got Talent” opposite the much-ballyhooed premiere of ABC’s ambitious new singing show, “Rising Star.”

“Talent” usually airs on Tuesdays, but NBC hoped to blunt “Star’s” bow by airing “Talent” in the same timeslot.

It worked brilliantly.

“Talent” posted a 2.1, while “Star” managed just a 1.5, and the ABC show has fallen sharply since then, unable to pick up any traction despite all the prelaunch hype.

In addition to that move, here are the summer’s four other smartest programming decisions.

2. CBS moving ‘Unforgettable’

CBS’s new show “Reckless” debuted to very low ratings a few weeks ago, holding just a third of “Big Brother’s” lead-out.

So the network switched “Reckless,” airing at 9 p.m. Sunday, with its lead-out, veteran drama “Unforgettable.” Both shows have perked up since then and “Unforgettable” is holding a much higher percentage of “Brother’s” lead-in.

3. NBC putting ‘The Night Shift” Behind ‘Talent’

The only new show to get any traction this summer in adults 18-49 is “Night,” which airs in the plum post-“Talent” spot on Tuesday.

NBC was wise to use that slot to launch a new show rather than waste it on an older one.

4. Fox reviving ‘Hotel Hell’

The network went two years between seasons for the show, but it’s been solid in its return, drawing similar numbers to previous timeslot occupant “24: Live Another Day.”

5. CW canceling ‘Famous in 12’

The trainwreck of a show could have continued to play out for another seven weeks, but the network wisely put “Famous” out of its misery. The network’s drawing similar ratings with repeats.

* * * *

In broadcast ratings for the week ended July 27:

Among adults 18-49
, Univision and NBC each averaged a 1.2 rating and a 4 share, followed by CBS and Fox at 1.0/4, ABC at 0.9/3, Telemundo 0.5/2, ION and CW at 0.3/1, UniMás at 0.2/1, Me-TV, Estrella and Bounce TV at 0.1/0 and Azteca and MundoFox at 0.0/0.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (18-49s): Tie-1. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Tuesday” and “America’s Got Talent-Wednesday” 2.4; 3. CBS’s “Big Brother-Wednesday” 2.3; 4. CBS’s “Big Brother-Sunday” 2.2; Tie-5. CBS’s “Big Brother-Thursday” and Fox’s “MasterChef” 2.1.

Top five English-language Big Five shows (total viewers): 1. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Tuesday” 10.43 million; 2. NBC’s “America’s Got Talent-Wednesday” 10.32 million; 3. CBS’s “NCIS” 8.70 million; 4. CBS’s “60 Minutes” 7.66 million; 5. CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” 7.13 million.

Show on the rise: NBC’s “Taxi Brooklyn,” Wednesday, 10 p.m. The new show posted a not-so-great 1.0 rating among 18-49s, but that was up 25 percent from the previous week’s 0.8.

Show on the decline: CBS’s “Under the Dome” Monday, 10 p.m. The second-year drama tumbled 21 percent week-to-week among 18-49s, from a 1.9 rating to a 1.5.

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Critic's Notes
'Moon Animate Make-Up' remakes 'Sailor Moon': Out of many, one
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - Jul. 30, 2014

I'm not a fan of "Sailor Moon," which I say not with any sort of pride or derision -- I have just been busy with other things. But I do like animation and collaborative enterprises and the way that every human hand makes an individual mark, and all of these things have come together in the just-released "Moon Animate Make-Up," a crowd-sourced project wherein more than 250 animators joined to re-imagine, shot for shot, an episode of the influential, cultishly revered, early '90s Japanese-import cartoon series.

For comparison, the original episode, "Fractious Friends," is here, with the dubbed English soundtrack that became the basis of the remake. The remake is here [CLINK LINK AT BOTTOM]. It has had more than a million views since it was posted on July 20. (And the project Tumblr is here.)

In its crazy-quilt overlay of an existing work, it is a lot like "Star Wars Uncut," Casey Pugh's beautiful and hilarious 2009 crowd-sourced remake of "A New Hope." It is also something like the old surrealist collaborative drawing game Exquisite Corpse, but one in which the content is set while the form is fluid.

The rapidly shifting styles, levels of accomplishment, historical consciousness, homage, parody or degree of loyalty to the anime original make it hard to read at first, but it's an easy language to learn. The way that many voices make one, while still remaining many (while still making one) is what makes the piece so piece so delightful and, yes, thrilling: Every new shot wakes you up; you watch in a state of heightened awareness.

It's not necessary to know the series to get the effect. Indeed, the less you do know, the more appropriate the remake's constant element of visual surprise. (Though the more you know about animation, obviously, the richer your reading.) Basically, for the uninitiated, it follows a group of teenage girls who discover themselves to be superheroic protectors of the Earth. There are villains who have their own ideas about things; a magic crystal in play; and, of course, talking cats. You'll get the idea pretty quickly.

In related news, "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal," the first new "Sailor Moon" series in 17 years, premiered as a global stream this month. America, it is waiting for you now (in subtitled Japanese) on Hulu.
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R.I.P. Robert Halmi Sr.
By Nellie Andreeva, - Jul. 30, 2014

Emmy-winning TV movie and miniseries producer Robert Halmi Sr. has died. At 90, he was still doing what he had loved doing for the past three and a half decades — producing television — until his sudden passing this afternoon in his New York home from a brain aneurysm.

A freedom fighter in his native Hungary, where he had been jailed and sentenced to death twice — once by Nazi invaders, then by the communist regime — Halmi was able to emigrate to the U.S. in 1951, arriving with a Leica camera and $5 in his pocket. He started off as a “diaper photographer,” taking pictures of babies for a diaper service, before becoming one of America’s leading magazine photographers. He then switched to television, becoming one of the most prolific longform producers in the genre’s heyday during the 1980s and 1990s. His more than 200 movies and miniseries included such hits as Gulliver’s Travels, Merlin, The Odyssey and Tin Man. Together, they have earned 136 Emmy Awards (and 480 nominations), as well as Golden Globes, Peabodys, Christophers and Humanitas Prizes.

“I cannot retire, I would go nuts,” Halmi told me five years ago, when he was still jetting around the world to the sets of his movies, with that still camera still around his neck. Recently, he was working on the latest big-scope project, Syfy’s 13-part series Olympus, which started filming three weeks ago for a 2015 premiere.

A Christmas CarolHalmi loved doing ambitious, big-scale productions based on timeless stories with a strong moral message. He brought to the screen such literary classics as Homer’s The Odyssey, Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime & Punishment, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He had an affinity for biblical tales, including The Ten Commandments and Noah’s Ark. Halmi also was passionate about social issues, which he tackled in such projects as Human Trafficking and Baby Sellers.

Halmi had just started a new chapter in his career. Two years ago, he left RHI Entertainment, Inc., the company he had founded in 1979 with his son Robert Halmi Jr. The father and son had a bumpy road with RHI, where they built a library of more than 1,000 titles. They sold their company to Hallmark in 1994 and bought it back in 2006, but took on too much debt and eventually declared bankruptcy at a time TV movies and miniseries went out of favor at the networks. Following his 2012 exit from RHI (now Sonar Entertainment), Halmi Sr. launched the Halmi Co. to continue “to do what I always loved the most” just as the longform genre was starting to make a comeback.
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TV/Business Notes
TNT Renews Dick Wolf's 'Cold Justice' for Third Season
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 30, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: TNT is sticking with Cold Justice.

The Turner-owned cable network has picked up a third season of the unscripted series from exec producer Dick Wolf, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The true crime docu-drama will return with another batch of 10 episodes in early 2015, featuring both new states and types of cases that haven't yet been depicted on the series. The episodic order is up from the eight of season one and on par with the initial order for its current sophomore run, which was later upped to 16.

Cold Justice, which follows former prosecutor Kelly Siegler and ex-crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary as they examine unsolved cases, has already helped result in 15 arrests, eight criminal indictments, four confessions, two guilty pleas and a 22-year prison sentence.

In its move to Fridays this summer, the show has averaged 2.3 million viewers when factoring in seven days of delayed viewing. That's up 24 percent compared with Cold Justice's winter run. The series is up 12 percent among adults 25-54 compared with its winter installment and up 13 percent among adults 18-49 vs. season one.

Cold Justice hails from Wolf Reality and Magical Elves' Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz as well as Tom Thayer.

Cold Justice is part of TNT's summer lineup, with scripted dramas The Last Ship, Major Crimes and Falling Skies already renewed for additional seasons.
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TV/Nielsen Notes
Networks Compete Against Themselves as Time-Shifted Viewing Spikes
By Cynthia Littleton, - Jul. 30, 2014

Network and cable execs have a tough new competitor to square off against in primetime: themselves.

In the past year, the volume of DVR playback viewing that occurs during primetime hours has reached the point where the DVR now ranks as the No. 1 network. The ratings generated by viewers opting to watch time-shifted programs — from across the television dial — are equivalent to the averages of the Big Four networks combined.

Alan Wurtzel, president of research and media development for NBCUniversal, offered this staggering statistic in a recent presentation on the state of TV viewing. But what is most unnerving for traditional TV executives is the accelerated pace of change during the past seven years, such as how quickly tablets have been embraced by consumers and become a significant TV viewing platform.

The “mainstreaming” of time-shifting options such as the DVR, VOD and streaming services with older viewers is driving the growth in multi-platform viewing. Younger viewers were quicker to embrace new options for watching television on their own timetables, but they now have plenty of company.

“This behavior is no longer about a bunch of 25-year-olds who wear black and live in Williamsburg,” Wurtzel says. “It affects everybody across the country.”

All this time-shifting means network programmers have to adapt to two big challenges. They need to work harder to give viewers a reason to tune in to a program on the night it airs, and they need to understand the dynamics that drive time-shifted viewing patterns. With the explosion in the volume of original content offered by TV and digital outlets, the most avid TV viewers are no longer just using DVRs and other devices to catch up on shows. They’re using on-demand options as tools to create their own primetime lineups.

“We talk about (how) the consumer wants control,” Wurtzel says. “But the fact of the matter is what’s going on now has really gone way beyond control. It really is the consumer as curator. And by ‘curation,’ I mean these (viewers) are customizing what they get and how they get it.”

The broadcast networks have the additional problem of fighting the perception that viewership is steadily declining. There is activity in the streaming arena to offset, if not reverse, the declines for some programs, but the numbers for streaming aren’t readily available because of the technical hurdles involved for Nielsen’s measurement systems.

Meanwhile, Nielsen’s linear TV numbers show a big drop in overall television usage among key demos between 2008-13, such as a 17% decline for the adults 18-24 demo and 15% drop for adults 25-54. This was a red flag for network research execs because the “persons using television,” or PUT level numbers, “move glacially,” Wurtzel said. Such a big drop in a short period did not compute — until they realized how much activity was happening beyond the living room screen.

Wurtzel offered estimates for the size of streaming as a component of overall viewership for three NBC shows — “The Blacklist” (17%), “Parenthood” (21%) and “Parks and Recreation” (37%) — none of which is factored into Nielsen’s tallies at present. The numbers were derived from studying the number of streams NBC delivered for the show in a given time frame. He acknowledged that it took an “enormous” amount of work and involved some educated guesses.

Nielsen is under pressure from its TV and advertising clients to vastly improve its measurement systems. This fall, it is set to begin measuring viewing done via tablet as part of its national sample. But it still won’t be able to capture viewing done via laptop computers and PCs, which still account for more than half of all streaming viewing, though that number is declining as tablet viewing increases.

As for VOD, some 40% of free VOD usage is replays of broadcast primetime series. More than half of U.S. TV households have VOD available to them via cable, and three-quarters of those use VOD a least once a week. The “sweet spot” of the demo for DVR usage is adults between 25 and 50.

In the 2008-09 season, the year after Nielsen introduced DVR ratings measuring the seven-day period following a program’s premiere, 83% of program viewing was done live, while 8% was done on the same day and 7% within the first three days. Five years later, live viewing has dropped 27% and live same day viewing spiked 75%. Viewing within three days has increased 20%.

“This is a phenomenon that is just taking off. In other words, it’s just something we can’t ignore anymore,” he said. “So whether it’s a huge amount or somewhat less, it’s still a phenomenon that’s only going to grow as the mainstreaming continues and as the proliferation of these devices continues and as the behavior as a result changes.”

This is the biggest challenge for scheduling, especially with the emphasis on live events and limited series designed to drive can’t-miss tune-in, social media buzz and second-screen activity.

“The linear schedule is hugely important … but we better realize that there are changes taking place that we have to take into account,” Wurtzel said. “We just can’t fall back on the idea that ‘We’ll show it to them, and they’ll come.’”

In a world of on-demand instant gratification, it’s hard to train executives and journalists to allow for the time needed to collate all the data that dribbles in from disparate sources about program viewership. It doesn’t help that it takes 20 days for Nielsen to process even the live plus seven ratings, Wurtzel noted. But in the new world of TV watching, patience is a virtue.

“Making a decision about a program based upon the next day’s rating is kind of like deciding if you want to marry someone after a seven-minute speed dating session,” Wurtzel said.
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY 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)

8PM - The Quest (Series Premiere)
9PM - Rookie Blue
10PM - NY Med
* * * *
11:35AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kerry Washington; musician Tom Petty; Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers perform)
12:07AM - Nightline

8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Jan. 2)
8:31PM - The Millers
(R - Apr. 3)
9:01PM - Big Brother (LIVE)
10PM - Elementary
(R - Oct. 24)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Julia Louis-Dreyfus; comic Michael Somerville; David Gray performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Jesse Tyler Ferguson; author Jon Gnarr)

8PM - Hollywood Game Night
(R - Jan. 20)
9:01PM - Welcome to Sweeden
9:30PM - Working the Engels
10PM - Last Comic Standing
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Julia Roberts; TV host Andy Cohen; actor Ron Funches)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Ethan Hawke; TV host Megyn Kelly; writer Paula Pell)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Allison Tolman; The Preatures perform; musical group I Am the Avalanche)
(R - May 14)

8PM - Sleepy Hollow
(R - Sep. 16)
9PM - Gang Related

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Feb. 13)
9PM - Last Tango in Halifax
(R - Dec. 17)
10:30PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Des Moines
(R - Jul. 28)

8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Lo Que la Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

8PM - The Vampire Diaries
(R - Feb. 27)
9PM - The Originals
(R - Jan. 14)

8PM - Reina de Corazones
9PM - En Otra Piel
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Aubrey Plaza)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Journalist Campbell Brown)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Jen Kirkman; Jermaine Fowler; Mike Lawrence)

11PM - Conan (Jane Fonda; Ramon Rodriguez; musician Twin Shadow)
(R - Jun. 3)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Chris Pratt)

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TV Review
'The Honorable Woman': Wide-Eyed in Gaza
By Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal

"The Honorable Woman'' isn't the sort of series that leaves time for contemplation of its powers—there's too much going on in this thriller awash in spies, competing national-security agencies, the bitterness of the Israeli-Arab conflict, the forces of ideology run amok. Still, as it careens to its final revelation-packed chapters, it becomes clear how much all that's enthralling about this drama, written and directed by Hugo Blick, derives from an originality that makes itself felt everywhere—in the deep flavor of the social detail, and there's a lot of that in this picture of Israelis and Palestinians; in the intricacies of the plot; the sharp, thrusting dialogue; and, not least, the audacity of the commentary. That's hard to miss in scenes like the one, near the end, where the U.S. Secretary of State, a model of politically progressive rectitude of a highly familiar kind, holds forth virtuously on what must happen in the Middle East.

That's not all there is to that part of the story, to be sure—the rest, which must be left to the television to reveal, is a whole lot tougher. True, there is always more to virtually everything that happens in this tale—much more behind every act, every gesture however innocent-seeming in a world where no one can be trusted. That's the plaint sounded repeatedly in the show's one irritant—its wailing theme song .

The drama revolves around the aspirations of Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and her brother, Ephrah (Andrew Buchan), children of a fabled Israeli arms producer for the Zionist state's early wars for survival. His children have decided, as inheritors of their father's estate, to turn his wealth to projects for the advancement of Palestinian welfare via a company called the Stein Foundation—one whose good works will include the laying of a data cable network between the West Bank and Israel.

For her bountiful contributions to similar projects promoting reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis, Nessa has been rewarded with an appointment to Britain's House of Lords. She's a long way from the wide-eyed, silent child shown, with her brother, in the premiere episode—a bloody restaurant scene in which the children sit frozen as a terrorist sneaks up behind their father and murders him. She grows up a doctrinaire progressive with a relatively minor part in the running of the Stein Foundation as compared with the more pragmatic Ephrah. That will change, for reasons made spectacularly clear in the brief flashbacks that connect to the ominous events that haunt Nessa, and ultimately her brother, who's far from the innocuous presence he appears to be.

What does not change is the wonderful, lingering focus on Nessa's fervent activism (a role for which Ms. Gyllenhaal is ideally suited)—on the passion that drives her, and causes her to glow in exultation every time she appears before a crowd to deliver more news of contributions to the cause of peace and Palestinian progress. That focus lingers nowhere more tellingly than in those speeches.

Anything that threatens the purity of the Stein Foundation's efforts makes Nessa wild with fury. During a heated argument, Nessa's once adoring brother advises Nessa to take a good look at herself—and at all her world-stage reconciliation efforts. Not the first charge in this eight-part series that her idealism is more than a little driven by a hunger for glory.

One of her charitable enterprises has had its consequences—a long-held dark secret about which we hear much, and which produces mysterious phone calls from people with heavy Middle Eastern accents. It's a secret whose nature nobody should have much trouble figuring out, but it hardly matters. Not given the rest of the show's stock of impenetrable plots and machinations—those of MI6, the FBI, the CIA, Israeli intelligence and PLO agents—all involving the Steins and their business, particularly the laying of those underground cables.

It's superbly designed suspense, with hit-teams lurking everywhere—the series was shot in the United Kingdom and Morocco—and also protectors, chief among them MI6's Hugh Hayden-Hoyle, a magnificent ruin of an old intelligence hand who goes shambling about asking the right questions. He's played by Stephen Rea, in what is surely the series' outstanding performance. No small praise considering Janet McTeer's delectable turn as the sharklike and wittily remorseless head of MI6, Julia Walsh. Or Igal Naor, who plays Shlomo Zahary, the indomitably buoyant Israeli friend and business kingpin Nessa suspects of corruption. Or Lubna Azabal's fiercely persuasive Atika Halibi, an embittered Palestinian woman who has made her way into the lives of the Stein family.

The series couldn't have arrived at a more timely moment for such subject matter, but there's no point looking for even-handedness or a lack thereof in a work that offers only—give or take a caustic political observation or two—exhilarating drama.

Thursday at 10 p.m. on Sundance
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post
That's true also, I did have a change of modems and at the original $3 it probably wouldn't have paid for itself, but at $7/month and a new one costing in the $70 range, it might be worth the gamble, a lot more than it was then.

I have had Comcast for internet for over 11 years. I have bought a modem since day one. During that time, I have had two of them and probably don't even have $150 in both of them. During that time, I would have paid out well over $700 in modem rental fees. One thing you have to be careful with them of late is getting some kind of crazy letter saying their records indicate you are not being charged for your modem when you own it. I got several of those and finally stopped getting them when I threatened to drop them if I got another one of those letters.

I'll never go back to Comcast for TV.
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, - Jul. 30, 2014

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

We adore Mel Brooks here at TVWW, and it’s good to know TCM feels likewise. Tonight, that network turns its lineup over to Brooks, by showcasing him in four of his films and an interview, as well as showing the original version of a movie he remade. Starting things off at 8 p.m. ET is 1970’s The Twelve Chairs, one of the rarest Brooks films to find on TV, and one he adapted from a period Russian novel. Next up: 1976’s Silent Movie (9:45 p.m. ET), his homage to the pre-sound era of cinema, and 1977’s High Anxiety, his Alfred Hitchcock homage that had creative input from the Master of Suspense himself. An interview conducted by Dick Cavett is shown at 1:15 a.m. ET, followed an hour later by 1983’s To Be or Not to Be, Brooks’ charming version of the 1942 Jack Benny wartime comedy movie. Brooks’ version co-stars his late wife, Anne Bancroft, who’s as hilarious as she is beautiful – and Ernst Lubitsch’s original version co-starring Benny and Carole Lombard, ends the evening at 4:15 a.m. ET. Watch them all! Trade with friends!

CNN, 9:00 p.m. ET

I was out of the country two weeks ago when breaking news of the shot-down aircraft pre-empted The Sixties on CNN, so last Thursday, CNN showed a previously scheduled installment instead of 1968, which is now shown tonight, unless more breaking news interrupts. I described 1968 last week thusly: It makes sense that this really smart CNN documentary series would be perceptive enough to single out the year 1968 as one volatile and meaningful enough to warrant its own hour – titled, simply, 1968. And what relevance does that year hold to today? Well, start with the Soviet incursion into Czechoslovakia, if you want modern parallels. And if you want pivotal historical events, start with the assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the election of Richard Nixon, and… well, watch and see. It’s amazing, and frightening, that all of that happened in one explosive 12-month period.

Lifetime, 9:00 p.m. ET

On tonight’s episode of Runway, the designers are ushered into a movie theater, where they’re asked to concoct runway looks from “unconventional materials.” Here’s hoping: a flapper dress made of Twizzlers? (Okay, so we actually saw one of those, pictured, back in Season 8. I’ve never forgotten it.) A mod pop-art black-and-white blazer with buttons made of Junior Mints? And what about a long popcorn boa, held together with corn syrup? Hey – a man can dream. Especially one who’s on a diet…

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

This week’s installment of NY Med has stories, as usual, that are as intense as they are unscripted – real life, and real life and death, running through the doors and corridors and treatment rooms of Roosevelt Hospital and elsewhere. And this week, there’s a two-year-old girl facing sudden death, another patient who flees an impending operation out of fear, and – well, just watch. And be amazed, as I am each episode, by the professionalism, the humaneness, and the amazing dedication of these doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals. They're just super...

Sundance, 10:00 p.m. ET
Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in this new eight-part production, a co-production by Sundance and BBC-2, and she gives a performance unlike any of hers I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen some great ones, but nothing that prepared me for her multilayered, mysterious character in this drama: a British heiress who uses her money and political position, as well as her Israeli heritage, to try and broker a path for peace in the Middle East. But as topical and inspirational as that sounds, she’s surrounded by people with their own agendas – and even before the credits sequence begins, we’ve seen how deadly the stakes can be, and often are. This is an impressively involving and unpredictable drama, populated by characters who are hard to read and even harder to forget. For a full review, listen to today’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, or visit the Fresh Air Website later this afternoon.
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WEDNESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Extant’ holds steady in new later timeslot
CBS drama posts a 1.1 in 18-49s, even to last week's rating
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 31, 2013

A later timeslot didn’t help or hurt CBS’s new drama “Extant.”

The Halle Berry show maintained last week’s rating despite moving away from its strong lead-in, “Big Brother.”

“Extant” averaged a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating at 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, flat to last week, when it aired at 9 p.m.

It tied NBC’s “Taxi Brooklyn” as the No. 2 show in the hour, both finishing behind Univision’s “Que Pobres Tan Ricos,” which posted a 1.4.

“Brother” tied NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” as the night’s No. 1 show, both averaging a 2.2. “Brother” was off a tenth from last week while “Talent” was down two tenths.

“Talent” continued to boost lead-out “Brooklyn,” which grew by a tenth over last week to its series high.

On the CW, the premiere of “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” posted the network’s best rating for a new show so far this summer, bowing to a 0.5 at 8 p.m.

CBS and NBC tied for first for the night among 18-49s, each with a 1.5 average overnight rating and a 5 share. Univision was third at 1.3/5, Fox fourth at 1.1/4, ABC fifth at 0.9/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.5/2 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

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

CBS started the night in the lead with a 2.2 at 8 p.m. for “Brother,” followed by NBC with a 1.2 for a repeat of “America’s Got Talent.” Fox and Univision tied for third at 1.1, Fox for “So You Think You Can Dance” and Univision for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo.” ABC was fifth with a 0.9 for reruns of “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs,” CW sixth with a 0.5 for “Penn” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Reina de Corazones.”

NBC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 2.2 for a new “Talent,” while Univision moved to second with a 1.5 for “Lo Que La Vida Me Robo.” CBS and Fox tied for third at 1.1, CBS for a repeat of “Criminal Minds” and Fox for more “Dance.” ABC was fifth with a 1.0 for reruns of “Modern Family” and “The Middle,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “En Otra Piel” and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a repeat of “The 100.”

At 10 p.m. Univision led with a 1.4 for “Ricos,” with CBS and NBC tied for second at 1.1, CBS for “Extant” and NBC for “Taxi.” Telemundo was fourth with a 0.8 for “El Señor de los Cielos” and ABC fifth with a 0.7 for “Motive.”

NBC was first for the night among households with a 4.4 average overnight rating and an 8 share. CBS was second at 3.6/7, ABC third at 2.3/4, Fox fourth at 2.2/4, Univision fifth at 1.7/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.7/1.

* * * *

TV Notes
Yay! Boo! It’s the CrossFit Games
The controversial sport has plenty of fans but also detractors
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 31, 2013

CrossFit is kind of like liver.

You either love it or you hate it. There’s no in between.

Tonight at 8 p.m. ESPN2 airs “The CrossFit Games,” the national championship for the controversial sport.

In case you are unfamiliar with CrossFit, it’s essentially a competitive fitness workout. It incorporates lifting heavy weights with short bursts of cardio.

CrossFit boxes, which is what they call their gyms, have popped up all over the country over the past four years, and trademarked gear is available at Reebok stores. The shoe-maker is the sponsor of the annual Games.

CrossFit has been compared to a cult. Devotees have their own way of eating (caveman or Paleo style) and talking, using abbreviations like WOD (workout of the day).

And some claim the sport is unsafe, encouraging people who aren’t in shape to lift too much weight or perform reps too quickly in an effort to get a better score.

Still, there’s no denying CrossFit’s huge popularity, and it’s drawing pretty good viewership on ESPN2. Saturday’s edition of the Games averaged 445,000 total viewers, about 100,000 more than the network averaged in primetime last month, according to Nielsen.
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Business Notes
Time Warner Cable Q2 Earnings Rise, But Miss Estimates
By Tim Molloy, - Jul. 31, 2013

Time Warner Cable reported higher second-quarter profits and revenue, but nonetheless just missed analysts’ expectations. The stock was down in early trading.

The country's second-largest cable company reported earnings of $499 million, or $1.76 per share, up from $481 million, or $1.64 a share, in the second quarter of 2013. Its adjusted, undiluted earnings per share rose $1.89 a share, up from $1.69. Revenue was $5.7 billion, up from $5.55 billion.

Analysts had projected $1.91 a share in earnings and $5.74 billion in revenue.

The company heralded its “best second quarter subscriber performance in years” after losing 34,000 subscribers.

As of 11:06 a.m. Thursday, its stock was trading at $148.61 per share, down 1.86 percent.

Comcast, the country's largest cable company, is seeking federal approval to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. Time Warner Cable said its operating income for the second quarter decreased 2 percent primarily due to higher merger related and restructuring costs, including merger-related expenses of $49 million — $40 million for employee retention and $9 million in advisory and legal fees.

* * * *

Business Notes
Earnings: Discovery Beats Q2 Estimates

Discovery Communications reported higher second quarter revenue and earnings, easily beating analysts expectations.

The owner of Discovery, TLC and OWN reported revenues of $1.61 billion, up 10 percent over $1.47 billion in the second quarter of 2013. Earnings rose to $379 million, or $1.09 per diluted share, up 26 percent compared to $300 million and $.82 per diluted share in the second quarter a year ago.

Analysts had expected the company to report profits of 92 cents a share.

As of 11:10 a.m. Thursday, the company's stock was trading at $84.75 per share, up 1.25 percent.

The results reflect a $31 million gain associated with the sale of HowStuffWorks, a $29 million gain associated with the consolidation of Eurosport and a $15 million increase in equity earnings.

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