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post #96211 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 10:03 AM
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TV Notes
NBC's next musical? 'Robin Hood!'
By Hoai-Tran Bui, USA Today's 'Entertain This' Blog - Aug. 15, 2014

The network is developing Robin Hood & Marian, a 10-episode series set in 1190 that tells the origin story of the greatest man in tights that ever lived — a.k.a. Kevin Costner’s role of a lifetime.

Kevin Costner indeed..... There is only one Robin Hood, and that is Errol Flynn!
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post #96212 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 11:21 AM
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TV Notes
Ann Compton Retiring From ABC News After 4 Decades
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Ann Compton, who has covered six presidents for ABC News, is retiring after four decades with the network.

Compton, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has had a career that included being the sold broadcast reporter to remain with President George W. Bush on Air Force /
I wondered if some reporters "sold" out, proof in this article?
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post #96213 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 12:17 PM
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Q&A
WWE's Stephanie McMahon discusses bullying, SummerSlam and Triple H
By Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 15, 2014

WWE is having its annual "SummerSlam" pay-per-view Sunday at Staples Center. WWE co-owner and Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was in town Thursday at the Boys and Girls Club of East Los Angeles to promote the show and to talk to the kids about how to prevent bullying as part of WWE's Be A STAR anti-bullying program. As part of the youth program, McMahon sat down with 13-year-old Hannah Mitchell, daughter of Times Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell, to discuss bullying, WWE and her husband, pro wrestler and WWE executive Triple H.
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Did you face a lot of obstacles from men in your rise to the top of WWE?
Well I am the bosses daughter, you decide.

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What advice would you give to girls my age about how to become a successful businesswoman?
Make sure your dad owns a multi-million dollar company. And then make sure your brother (one of the driving forces behind the WWE's foreign expansion success) leaves to pursue other ventures.
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post #96214 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 04:52 PM
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Emmy Notes
The Divide Between Broadcast & Cable Gets Deeper
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 16, 2014

In 2011, the Television Academy was late in organizing that year’s Primetime Emmy Awards because it took nine months of negotiations to close an eight-year, $66 million deal with the four major broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox—to carry the awards show. The broadcasters, who had gone out of the longform business, complained that a third of the Primetime Emmy ceremony—the portion featuring the movie and miniseries categories—served as an advertisement for cable. It didn’t help that little-known cable series, such as then-reigning drama winner Mad Men, which had 2 to 3 million viewers, were upstaging more popular broadcast series. The networks felt Emmy ratings suffered as a result.

A few months later the broadcast nets landed a supporter at the top of the TV Academy when Bruce Rosenblum, then head of Warner Brothers TV Group—one of the biggest broadcast suppliers with such hit series as Friends, ER and The Big Bang Theory—was elected chairman and CEO.

Now, almost halfway through the eight-year Emmy deal, the broadcasters are as unhappy as they were during the 2010-2011 negotiations. They’re back in the longform game, but the drama field—once a stronghold of broadcast shows, such as four-time winners Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law and The West Wing—has become the new battleground.

For a third straight year, there is not one commercial broadcast series in the top drama category.

To see a show that has drawn as much critical praise as CBS’ The Good Wife this past season not get nominated is pretty disheartening for the broadcasters. Adding to their disappointment is the fact that one of the TV Academy’s all-time favorite contenders, James Spader, didn’t get a nomination for his show-stopping role on NBC’s The Blacklist, after stints on The Practice and Boston Legal nabbed him four noms and three wins.

The divide between broadcast and cable is running so deep that the CableAce Awards—the cable industry’s trophy fest that ran from 1978 until 1997, was brought up twice during the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour.

“Let’s bring back the CableACE Awards,” NBC’s Bob Greenblatt joked. CBS’ Nina Tassler added, “I want to be the first person at the head of the line to bring them back.”

With few or no content restrictions, cable networks and digital platforms such as Netflix and Amazon can push the envelope creatively, something broadcast networks can’t, bound by FCC restrictions. “Cable has the advantage of doing shows that are darker, more interesting on some levels and that go into subject matter that just feels cooler than some of the stuff we can do. It’s just a fact of life,” Greenblatt said.

When Seth Meyers, this year’s Emmy host, and broadcast veteran of SNL and now Late Night With Seth Meyers, recently was asked about his favorite shows, he rattled off True Detective, Mad Men, Fargo, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Portlandia, Key & Peele and Inside Amy Schumer. There was not one single broadcast show on the list.

What also has become a hot-button issue is the number of episodes produced per season. Of the six series nominated for best drama, five ran on seasons of 10 episodes or less: AMC’s Mad Men (7), HBO’s True Detective and AMC’s Breaking Bad (8 each), PBS’ Downton Abbey (9) and HBO’s Game of Thrones (10). Ironically, the only show that doesn’t air on TV, Netflix’s House of Cards, had the most episodes with 13. Compare that to the 22 episodes that The Good Wife produces every season. CBS TV Studios built the show’s Emmy campaign around that distinction, but it didn’t sway Emmy voters.

The discrepancy in the amount of content that cable and broadcasters churn out is so big there are calls to divide the drama series race into separate cable and broadcast categories. The BroadcastAce awards, anyone? That seems unlikely, Rosenblum said during an Emmy panel at TCA, though he acknowledged that “it’s incumbent upon us to step back and take a look at the rules.” However, Rosenblum also said “it’s less that the rules have become more fluid. I think what’s happened is that our industry’s evolved. If you look at the kinds of shows that are being produced and the networks that are ordering shows today—we didn’t have Netflix ordering shows. You didn’t have HBO ordering eight episodes of a series like True Detective.”

Tassler would support potential Emmy rule changes that could include further expanding the number of best drama series nominees to as many as 10, something employed for the Academy Awards’ best picture category. “You look at what The Good Wife does every year. We have 22 episodes,” she says. “You look at our primetime, our production schedules. They are so much more demanding, so much more difficult. And look, at the end of the day, right now everybody is playing in the same sandbox. But I think it’s something that is being talked about.”

How do you reconcile the fact that a broadcast drama has to produce in 10 months as many episodes as three of the best drama series nominees combined? And some of the nominated shows had more than a year to do it. Rosenblum and his team have their work cut out for them.

Speaking of evolution, Rosenblum himself is not where he was when he was elected as TV Academy chairman. He is now the head of Legendary TV. The company just landed its first pilot, a drama called Colony. Ironically, it is on cable, at USA Network.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/emmys-th...deeper-819339/
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post #96215 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:04 PM
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Critic's Notes
'The Killing' concludes on Netflix, more miserable than ever
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Aug. 15, 2014

Two weeks ago, Netflix released the fourth season — and what is allegedly the final season, though I have a hard time believing that, given history — of "The Killing," having revived the show after AMC canceled it for a second time. I have seen all six episodes, and while I already discussed it on this week's podcast, I had a few thoughts I wanted to write up, as well as provide a space for non-podcast listeners to weigh in on how they felt about the series' latest conclusion, with spoilers aplenty coming up just as soon as I’m somehow the most depressing character in a TV universe that also includes The Leftovers"...

Season 3 of "The Killing" wasn't great, but it was easily the best of the show's three years on AMC. Confining the mystery to a single season reduced a few of the show's more aggravating tics to a more manageable size, and the work done with the guest characters and subplots was a dramatic improvement over the Larsens, "viral" wheelchair basketball videos, etc. Holder's friendship with Bullet was the strongest relationship the show ever did, the episode where they executed Ray Seward was riveting — except for the various moments where Sarah Linden again proved herself to be the most gullible police detective in television history, always believing the latest piece of information placed before her above anything she knew previously — and it felt at times like Veena Sud and company had begun to figure out how to genuinely take advantage of telling a traditional police procedural story over 13 episodes rather than one.

Then, of course, they botched the ending yet again, and I resolved that if "The Killing" ever returned, I might watch it, but only "with the understanding that I shouldn't pay the slightest bit of attention to the plot."

I entered this six-episode Netflix season curious to see whether Sud and company could carry the improvement of season 3 forward, and also how the storytelling felt with half as many episodes to work with. But I also approached it with both lowered expectations and minimal emotional investment.

And even given that minimal investment, these episodes were remarkably unpleasant to get through.

We pick up in the immediate aftermath of Linden giving her serial killer ex-boyfriend the suicide-by-cop that he desired — Linden having been manipulated into it because, again, she believes with all her heart whatever it is that someone last told her — as Holder helps her cover up the evidence of murder. But Linden turns out to be even worse at covering up crimes than she is at investigating them, and so she does remarkably stupid things like hold onto her ex's phone, or dispose of crucial evidence right near his lake house. We're meant to view Linden — who has had mental health issues in the past — as going off the deep end in the aftermath of season 3, but playing bug-eyed crazy for most of six episodes stretches the limits of what Mireille Enos does well as an actress. Joel Kinnaman(*) was always the more interesting of the two leads, and he unsurprisingly does better at portraying Holder's own struggles — falling off the wagon, being cruel to his sister and his pregnant girlfriend, confessing to the crime at an NA meeting conveniently attended by a police informant — but it's still six hours of the show's heroes being trainwrecks even as they're trying to work a new case.

(*) This is your periodic reminder that Fienberg is absolutely right in wanting Kinnaman to play the young Lou Solverson in "Fargo" season 2, especially when you compare photos of him to 1970s Keith Carradine.

That case, involving a private military academy cadet who may have massacred his entire family, is even more of a wallow than Linden and Holder's struggles. It's an opportunity to trot out every cliché about the cruelty of boys to one another, and how the sadism gets so much worse in a (faux) military setting. As the chief suspect — and the one who carries large swaths of each episode in between our glimpses of Linden and Holder going to pieces, at times barely aware that they are actively investigating a multiple homicide — Tyler Ross is asked to play every scene either through tears, or on the edge of tears, and it wears thin over even a half-length season. As the academy headmaster — and apparently its only adult employee — Joan Allen is given almost nothing to play but steely impatience with these two idiot cops. And the explanation that the boy did, in fact, kill his parents (after a psychotic break caused by the academy's hazing) does a very poor job of explaining the various mind games that Allen's character orders her co-conspirators to play as part of their own weird cover-up.

"The Killing" was never a light show in its AMC incarnation, though the culture clash between the deeply private Linden and open book Holder provided occasional levity. Season 4, though, amps up the misery, assuming that it's inherently the same as profundity. One can be linked to the other — the dark final season of "Breaking Bad" was incredible, and I remain under the spell of "The Leftovers" (even as many others are not) — but bleakness doesn't inherently make something deep and compelling, especially not when your central character isn't well-drawn enough to support all this unhappiness.

After a deux ex machina appearance from Billy Campbell as wheelchair basketball mayor Darren Richmond — the chief red herring of season 1 — takes care of whatever legal jeopardy our heroes are in, we jump ahead five years for a truly bizarre epilogue. Holder's a father to an adorable little girl, and he's found a new home running a shelter for troubled teens — an effective payoff both to Holder's own struggles with addiction and his friendship with Bullet. He and his daughter's mom have split up, but that's just fine and dandy, because who should return from her soul-replenishing walking of the earth but Sarah Linden? And who should be revealed to be each other's One True Pairing but Holder and Linden, despite almost no suggestion in previous seasons that there was any romantic tension between them? For that matter, it was barely even suggested in previous seasons that the two of them were even friends, and if you choose to read the final scene as simply the two of them realizing they need each other around in a platonic sense, "The Killing" didn't even really put in the necessary work to foreshadow that. Not all opposite-gender partners must fall in love, even on television, and the Linden/Holder partnership was presented as something where two opposites gradually developed respect and trust for one another, and not that they were each other's soulmate, or even each other's best friend forever.

I suppose that the beating Sud took after season 1 failed to solve the Rosie Larsen case as the ad campaign had implied (if not explicitly promised) made her reluctant to ever again embrace ambiguity or try to deny her audience closure. And I would imagine that the majority of the people who toughed it out all the way to the end of "The Killing" season 4 did it out of genuine enjoyment of the show and/or Linden and Holder, and that therefore they might appreciate an ending that leaves them together, even if they're not cops anymore.

For me, though, "The Killing" was largely a wasted opportunity. From time to time, it really did demonstrate the power of spending so much time on a single investigation. But too often, it just felt like an elongated version of a network police procedural that lasted longer without actually going any deeper. Season 3 could have been a breakthrough, and maybe even one that set the show up for an extended Netflix run (say, with Holder as the veteran breaking in a rookie partner), but season 4 was a mess well before it got to the parts designed to wrap up the series for good.

After two resurrections by two different companies, I'm not ready to accept that "The Killing" has actually been buried just yet. Even if Netflix got what it wanted out of the deal — a definitive ending that allows the service to hype it as a complete experience alongside other, far better binge-viewing candidates — I could see some other service getting into the original content business deciding that they need a familiar name, and asking Sud to bring Linden and Holder out of retirement yet again. And if that happens, I'm hoping at a minimum that she recognizes it's not such a detrimental thing if Linden gets to smile every couple of months.

What did everybody else think?

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...able-than-ever
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post #96216 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:10 PM
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TV Notes
David Gregory's exit becomes Sunday talk
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Aug. 16, 2014

A Sunday morning show, "Meet the Press," will become a Sunday morning topic this weekend.

David Gregory is leaving NBC after two decades and being replaced by Chuck Todd on Sept. 7. Andrea Mitchell fills in this weekend. CNN and Fox News Channel programs will discuss the changes.

"Meet the Press" been trailing CBS' "Face the Nation" and ABC's "This Week" in the ratings, and Gregory's future had been a topic of speculation for months. "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer and "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos generally have offered more compelling fare in recent months.

CNN's "Realiable Sources" will take up the "Meet the Press" changeover at 11 a.m. Sunday. The guests are media critic Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at New York University; and former CNN D.C. bureau chief Frank Sesno, who is director of George Washington University School of Media & Public Affairs. Brian Stelter is the moderator.

Fox News' "MediaBuzz" also talks "Meet the Press" at 11 a.m. The guests are Lauren Ashburn, David Zurawick of the Baltimore Sun, Jim Geraghty of National Review, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi and Joe Concha of Mediaite. Howard Kurtz is the moderator.

They all will have a lot to talk about because the president of NBC News, Deborah Turness, in April said that reports that Gregory was being dropped were "quite ludicrous." But now she has acknowledged that poor ratings and outside pressure forced the change.

Other "MediaBuzz" topics include unrest in Ferguson, Mo.; the death of Robin Williams; coverage of the crisis in Iraq; and Hillary Clinton's criticism of President Barack Obama's foreign policy.

"Reliable Sources" also discusses Ferguson with the Huffington Post's Ryan Reilly, who was arrested in the Missouri town, and Ash-Har Quraishi of Al Jazeera America.

The program takes up the Rev. Al Sharpton's activisim in Ferguson and his hosting duties on MSNBC. The guests are Crystal Wright, editor of ConservativeBlackChick.com, and Marc Lamont Hill, professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College.

Other guests are Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist; CNN's Ivan Watson; and CNN photojournalist Mark Phillips.

"Meet the Press" airs at 9 a.m. Sunday on WESH-Channel 2.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...0,6433850.post
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post #96217 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:14 PM
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TV Notes
The 'Saved By The Bell' Movie Has A Trailer, Prepare To Freak Out
By Erin Whitney, HuffingtonPost.com - Aug. 16, 2014

Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming behind-the-scenes "Saved By the Bell" movie, the new trailer is going to please your nostalgic heart.

Lifetime previously released a clip from the movie where the kids of Bayside High posed for a photo shoot only to start arguing on set. It's no news that this movie has stirred up tension with the former "Saved By the Bell" cast. The movie is somewhat based on Dustin Diamond's controversial book "Behind the Bell," which revealed both true and fabricated things about what really happened on set. Diamond's former co-star Mark-Paul Gosselaar recently stopped by HuffPost Live and called the book "negative," while Gosselaar's "Franklin & Bash" co-star Breckin Meyer called Diamond a "d--k."

Regardless of how you feel about the movie, let your '90s-loving self enjoy the trailer above.

"The Unauthorized Saved By The Bell Story" airs Monday, Sept. 1, at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime. [CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE CLIPS]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...?utm_hp_ref=tv
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post #96218 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:20 PM
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TV Review
'Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart'
HBO documentary argues that the sensational trial of Smart became a media circus, but doesn't change our minds about the verdict
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Aug. 16, 2014

This new documentary about the sensational 1993 Pamela Smart murder trial argues effectively that it became a media circus.

Not to sound ungrateful, but, hmmm, tell us something we didn’t know.

It argues provocatively and somewhat less persuasively that the intensity of that media circus may have skewed the administration of justice.

That’s possible. But in the end, that suggestion feels supported less by hard evidence than inference and speculation.

For those too young to remember, Smart was a 22-year-old school media worker who became romantically involved with a 16-year-old student, Billy Flynn.

Flynn and three of his buddies, none model citizens, broke into Smart’s condo one night in 1990 and murdered her husband, Gregory.

The question was whether Pamela Smart was involved. Flynn and his buddies said she was, and all got a break on their sentences for saying so in court.

Pamela was sentenced to life without parole, which she is now serving. She speaks on this documentary, still insisting the murder was not her idea.

At the time of the killing and trial, she was almost too easy a subject: young, pretty, seemed to like the spotlight, didn’t seem to be heartbroken over her husband’s death. And of course, she'd been sleeping with a teenage boy.

“Captivated” notes several troubling factors that the jury never heard. The teens were jailed together, enabling them to align their testimony. The friend who secretly taped Pamela was planning to sell her story.

It’s sordid and sad — for Pamela and for the blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice.

But as for whether the verdicts have been different without saturation media coverage, “Captivated” ultimately offers no persuasive alternative scenario.

'CAPTIVATED: THE TRIALS OF PAMELA SMART'
Network/Air Date: HBO, Monday at 9 p.m.
Rating: ★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.1887570
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post #96219 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:34 PM
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Emmy Notes
The Divide Between Broadcast & Cable Gets Deeper
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 16, 2014



How do you reconcile the fact that a broadcast drama has to produce in 10 months as many episodes as three of the best drama series nominees combined? And some of the nominated shows had more than a year to do it. Rosenblum and his team have their work cut out for them.



http://deadline.com/2014/08/emmys-th...deeper-819339/
Who says it has to produce 3 times as many episodes? This mindset is one of the biggest problems broadcast nets face and they still don't get it, they want to stay in their 1960's era format instead of advancing to shorter seasons with more refined and focused shows and not having up to a third or more of those 22 episodes as nothing more than filler to air ads with.

The model doesn't work anymore, this article reads like an industry that wants to change how awards are given out just so it fits their dated model instead of changing the model itself. An example is the idea of wanting to change the drama nominees to 10, why, so it can be filled up with even more cablenet content?
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post #96220 of 100746 Old 08-16-2014, 05:48 PM
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Who says it has to produce 3 times as many episodes? This mindset is one of the biggest problems broadcast nets face and they still don't get it, they want to stay in their 1960's era format instead of advancing to shorter seasons with more refined and focused shows and not having up to a third or more of those 22 episodes as nothing more than filler to air ads with.

The model doesn't work anymore, this article reads like an industry that wants to change how awards are given out just so it fits their dated model instead of changing the model itself. An example is the idea of wanting to change the drama nominees to 10, why, so it can be filled up with even more cablenet content?
Doesn't a lot revolve around getting enough episodes for syndication to fill up cable channels and fill even more air time with ads? I have to admit I yearn for more episodes of Suits, but I'm quite sure more episodes would end up diluting what I consider a good product. I think 24 showed how much better, though still unbelievable, fewer episodes can be. I wonder what the financial dynamic was compared to Season 1 or 2. Heck, as much as I like NCIS, even I agree some episodes just don't measure up. I certainly wouldn't mind 2 seasons filled with 12-episode shows, especially if it meant 12 aired back-to-back with no break.
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post #96221 of 100746 Old 08-17-2014, 05:51 AM
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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 - Apr. 6)
8PM - Wipeout
9PM - Rising Star (LIVE)
10PM - Castle
(R - Feb. 24)

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

NBC:
7PM - American Ninja Warrior: Miami Finals (120 min.)
9PM - America's Got Talent (120 min.)
(R - Aug. 12)

FOX:
7PM - American Dad
(R - Mar. 23)
7:30PM - The Simpsons
(R - Jan. 5)
8PM - NFL Football: Kansas City Chiefs at Carolina Panthers (LIVE)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Secrets of Althorp: The Spencers
(R - Jul. 7, 2013)
9PM - The Buddha
(R - Apr. 7, 2010)

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Movie: El Bolero de Raquel (1956)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
6PM - Movie - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)
8:30PM - Movie: Twilight (2008)

HBO:
11PM - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
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post #96222 of 100746 Old 08-17-2014, 05:58 AM
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Critic's Notes
Those Manly Scowls of Summer
On TV, a Near Epidemic of Frowns and Clenched Jaws
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 17, 2014

It’s been a grim summer. Especially for men, mostly middle-aged white ones.

At least, it has been on television, which has experienced a near epidemic of clenched jaws and downturned mouths. Male actors and even the occasional reality star have been putting on an unintentional clinic in how (and sometimes, how not) to look grim. In one show after another, as an actor strains facial muscles to the breaking point, you can almost hear the director urging: “Give me grim. No, grimmer. No, even grimmer.”

Jack Bauer in “24: Live Another Day” was disgruntled over an impending rain of death from the skies, and so was Fin Shepard in “Sharknado 2: The Second One.” Frank Winter not only is trying to build an atomic bomb but also has vexing family issues in “Manh(a)ttan.” That Big Jim Rennie’s town is cut off from the world by a clear, impenetrable covering has been the least of his worries in “Under the Dome.” Grim, grim, grim.

This is a very specific emotion, this grimness. It is not “angry,” with screaming and throwing of things against the wall. It is less demonstrative than “furious,” more ominous than “miffed.” The grim on display all over television is a foreboding scowl that says, “The situation is very grave, and I am extremely displeased about it.”

Though some grim has been manifesting itself on returning series, many of the shows trafficking in the emotion are new. And it seems to be largely a guy thing. Halle Berry, inexplicably pregnant after a long spaceflight, ought to have a lot to feel grim about in “Extant” on CBS, but she is mostly wary and haunted, which aren’t the same thing. Jennifer Finnigan of FX’s “Tyrant” is relatively placid considering all that her family is going through. Grimness, at least this summer, is a man’s game.

But some men are better at conveying the emotion than others. Here are the Top 10 Grim Guys of Summer, in reverse order — that is, least effective at rendering grim to most effective:

CLIFF CURTIS (Javier Acosta in “Gang Related” on Fox): Javier is the head of the Los Angelicos criminal gang, so of course he’s grim because grimness instills fear and respect. He has been especially grim recently because the Los Angeles police officer who is supposed to be providing protection for the gang had to have him arrested for reasons too dense to detail here. Mr. Curtis is at the bottom of the Grim Top 10 because he’s too darn good-looking. If you really want to pull off grim, a little homeliness helps.

IAN ZIERING (Fin Shepard in “Sharknado 2” on Syfy): Of course Fin is grim, because last month for a second time — what are the odds? — he found himself in the middle of a sharknado. It was Syfy’s sequel to its unexpected 2013 hit about tornadoes that suck sharks out of the water and drop them onto urban areas. Mr. Ziering again saved the world, but pulling off a good grim is hard when actors and television personalities of all sorts are trying to horn their way into your movie for kitschy cameos.

ADRIEN BRODY (Harry Houdini in “Houdini” on History): “Fear is how I know I’m alive,” Houdini says in the forthcoming History mini-series as he is plunging off a bridge into icy water while wrapped in seemingly inescapable heavy chains. No wonder he’s grim. But Mr. Brody’s is a brooding sort of grimness, mixing in Houdini’s quest for fame, preoccupation with spiritualism and looming foolish death. And a lot of it is conveyed through voice-over. Not the ideal recipe for pure grim grimness.

KIEFER SUTHERLAND (Jack Bauer in “24: Live Another Day” on Fox): Jack was back in a new season of this venerable series, and boy was he grim. Too grim, really. Sure, Jack was carrying an enormous amount of baggage, and maybe he was irked that he’d been off television for four years, and terrorists had seized control of American drone aircraft, but Mr. Sutherland sometimes seemed like a caricature of grim. Next time, pull it back, Jack.

JOHN BENJAMIN HICKEY (Frank Winter in “Manh(a)ttan” on WGN America): It’s the 1940s in Los Alamos, N.M., and Frank has a lot on his plate. The world is counting on him and his team to come up with a bomb that will end World War II but could also destroy life as we know it, and he’s being hassled on the domestic front as well. Mr. Hickey delivers the grimness of the supersmart, of a man who knows he is changing the world and not necessarily for the better.

KELSEY GRAMMER (Allen Braddock in “Partners” on FX): Allen is the scowly half of a pair of mismatched lawyers forced into business together on this sitcom, which began this month. The character is grim because his father fired him from the family law firm. The actor is grim because he has somehow ended up in this awful show.

DEAN NORRIS (Big Jim Rennie in “Under the Dome” on CBS): When the dome first came down over his town last summer, Big Jim, a bully with a selectman’s title, saw it as an opportunity. In Season 2, though, he has been finding that power comes with a price. Mr. Norris looks a little scary even when he doesn’t have his game face on, so when he goes grim, people pay attention.

STEVE AUSTIN (in the reality series “Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge” on CMT): When he was a professional wrestler, Mr. Austin generally had “Stone Cold” appended to the front of his name, so you expect grim whenever he turns up in his current career as an actor and television personality. You get it in “Broken Skull Challenge,” in which he badgers macho men and women as they compete to get through a down-and-dirty obstacle course. The stakes may not be very high compared with some of the entries on this list, but the dude sure makes it seem as if they are.

SEAN BEAN (Martin Odum in “Legends” on TNT): Martin, an undercover agent, has domestic terrorists, interagency conflicts and family pressures to deal with. Oh, and he’s also confused about his own identity. Mr. Bean, aided (as many of the Top 10 Grim are) by scruffy facial stubble, looks grim even when he’s receiving a lap dance at a strip club, as he did in Wednesday’s premiere. He was pretty grim in Season 1 of “Game of Thrones,” too. Maybe the flak he received for revealing a possible “Game of Thrones” spoiler in a recent interview has made him extra-grim in the new show.

RICHARD M. NIXON (the 37th president of the United States): Some fine actors have been doing grim this summer, but none have done it better than Nixon did in real life 40 years ago this month. That was when heresigned from office, an event revisited by several television specials in recent days. The king of grim, then and still.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/ar...elevision&_r=0

* * * *

Critic's Notes
Young Masters of Culinary Sagesse
‘Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off’ Returns on Sunday

Making an impression in the cooking-show universe is close to impossible these days, with a seemingly endless number of series and chefs. But a show that stands out through sheer charm returns on Sunday night at 8 on the Food Network. It’s “Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off,” and it looks, sounds and presumably smells and tastes a lot like many other kitchen competition shows, but the contestants are all 12 or younger.

Let’s face it: Many cooking shows are a bit pretentious, with participants discussing ingredients and textures as if they’re of life-or-death significance. Putting that same culinary-speak into a child’s mouth makes it endearing rather than annoying.

“My signature dish is orecchiette with broccoli rabe with chicken sausage with a garlic-infused olive oil,” Gibson, a 12-year-old, explains in the premiere, and it can’t help bringing a smile to your face.

Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray, the grown-ups who coach and mentor the young chefs, are perhaps overexposed on shows with adults in them, but here the children bring out a different side of each of these television personalities.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/ar...ref=television

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Emmy Notes
2014 Creative Arts Emmy Analysis: No Big Frontrunner Emerges As Category Splits Help First-Time Winners
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 16, 2014

Last year, HBO’s Behind The Candelabra took an insurmountable lead after the Creative Arts Emmys tonight, winning 8 statuettes, double the haul of second-place Boardwalk Empire and the Tony Awards. There was no dominating performance this year, with Saturday Night Live landing the most wins, 5, followed closely by four programs with 4 trophies each — True Detective, Game of Thrones, Sherlock: His Last Vow and Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey – and five three-time winners, including Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black.

Game of Thrones, which led the Emmy nominations pack with 19 noms, and True Detective, Sherlock and OITNB, each with 12 noms coming in, all have a chance to raise their tally at the main telecast, with True Detective probably holding a slight edge as it seems to have a lock on at least one category, lead actor in a drama series for Matthew McConaughey. True Detective‘s main drama series rival, AMC’s Breaking Bad, which had 16 overall nominations, walked away with one win tonight, picture editing for the series finale.

True Detective‘s four statuettes included one fully expected, main title design, for the visually arresting opening sequence of the dark drama, and one that seems a little puzzling at first glance, casting for a drama series. While OITNB, winner on the comedy side, is an ensemble series with a number of memorable performances by actresses cast on the show, True Detective was virtually all about the two lead characters, played by McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Both attached themselves at the script stage, and the show was sold to HBO with them already on board as stars and executive producers. However, while only appearing briefly (except for Michelle Monaghan), the supporting True Detective cast did contribute to the show’s authentic feel.

ABC’s Scandal is becoming the new Practice, a formidable force in the guest starring races with showy parts. Last year, the guest star in a drama series went to Scandal‘s Dan Bucatinsky, this year it went to his co-star Joe Morton, both first-time winners. Ditto for Uzo Aduba, unknown with no TV or film credits until she was cast in OITNB and now a guest starring Emmy winner. An awards pro, Allison Janney took the best actress in a drama series category for her meaty role on Showtime’s Masters of Sex as a 1950s housewife struggling with her husband’s homosexuality. (Beau Bridges, who played the husband, also was nominated but lost out to Morton.) This is Janney’s fifth Emmy, all on the drama side, and she is eying another trophy, her first for comedy, for CBS’ Mom.

NBC’s Saturday Night Live restored its winning ways in the guest acting comedy categories. After failing to win an Emmy for a host last year for the fist time since emceeing the late-night sketch comedy show became eligible in the guest comedy acting categories in 2009, SNL was victorious again with former cast member Jimmy Fallon, who also won the guest actor in a comedy series trophy in 2012 for hosting SNL. Additionally, Fallon’s Tonight Show won for interactive program, and the Fallon-hosted SNL episode, which posted ratings records last season, secured four of variety series’ Emmy statuettes tonight.

TV Academy’s decision to split several more categories created new fields, producing first-time winners and helping a former victor to return to the winner circle. After losing to Undercover Boss in the best reality program category for the past two years, ABC’s MVP Shark Tank landed its first Emmy tonight in the new structured reality program category. Meanwhile, Discovery’s The Deadliest Catch, which won the reality program trophy in 2012 before being overshadowed by Undercover Boss, was back on top now that unstructured (aka docu) reality series have their own category. Also getting a little help by the separations was The Simpsons‘ Harry Shearer, winning his first Emmy after 25 years on the show in the newly created character voice-over category. His counterpart in the narrator voice-over field was Jeremy Irons, who added a third Emmy to his Oscar. The TV Academy has to do a better job getting some of the top winners to show up at the Creative Emmys as Irons, Shearer and Fallon all were no-show today.

Despite losing to first-time winner Bob’s Burgers for best animated program, veteran The Simpsons won its most Emmy awards in a single year, 3, in 21 years. That should work well for FX, whose FXM network is carrying the Creative Emmys this year, airing an edited version of the ceremony on Aug. 24, in the midst of the massive launch of The Simpsons in cable syndication on sibling FXX.

Reality series host is becoming one of the most unpredictable categories with a different winner for a third consecutive year. This time, it was Hollywood Game Night‘s Jane Lynch, who has previous credentials as a host, doing the honors at the Emmys, and as Emmy victor for Glee.

There was no suspense in the writing for variety series category, won by The Colbert Report for second consecutive year. The Comedy Central late-night program is eying another sweep, after taking both writing and best variety series last year, ending The Daily Show‘s 10-year streak in the latter category.

For a third straight year, Mad Men, whose creator Matt Wiener has been attending the Creative Emmys, was left empty-handed.The last two years, that was followed by a complete Emmy shutout for the AMC period drama, which is still seeing its first acting win.

President Barack Obama helped FunnyOrDie’s Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis win an Emmy for the episode featuring the President as part of his campaign to get young Americans to sign up for government-sanctioned health care.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/2014-cre...inners-820612/
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Critic's Notes
Those Manly Scowls of Summer
On TV, a Near Epidemic of Frowns and Clenched Jaws
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 17, 2014

It’s been a grim summer. Especially for men, mostly middle-aged white ones.

At least, it has been on television, which has experienced a near epidemic of clenched jaws and downturned mouths. Male actors and even the occasional reality star have been putting on an unintentional clinic in how (and sometimes, how not) to look grim. In one show after another, as an actor strains facial muscles to the breaking point, you can almost hear the director urging: “Give me grim. No, grimmer. No, even grimmer.”
Don't Forget:

Clive Owen(Dr. John Thackery) - The Knick
and
Michael Sheen(William(Bill)Masters) - Masters of Sex
Anson Mount(Cullen Bohannon) - Hell on Wheels
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Emmy Notes
The Divide Between Broadcast & Cable Gets Deeper
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 16, 2014



http://deadline.com/2014/08/emmys-th...deeper-819339/
Oh ... boo, hoo

1) CBS and Showtime are the same entity.
2) NBC/Universal ... yada, yada
3) ABC/Disney/ESPN ... yada, yada
4) FOX ... you get the picture.

If'n ya'll want more "respect" then stop competing against yourselves. Corporate Problems.

PS: Let's not forget TW (et. al.) either
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Emmy Notes
The Divide Between Broadcast & Cable Gets Deeper
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 16, 2014

For a third straight year, there is not one commercial broadcast series in the top drama category.

To see a show that has drawn as much critical praise as CBS’ The Good Wife this past season not get nominated is pretty disheartening for the broadcasters. Adding to their disappointment is the fact that one of the TV Academy’s all-time favorite contenders, James Spader, didn’t get a nomination for his show-stopping role on NBC’s The Blacklist, after stints on The Practice and Boston Legal nabbed him four noms and three wins.

The divide between broadcast and cable is running so deep that the CableAce Awards—the cable industry’s trophy fest that ran from 1978 until 1997, was brought up twice during the recent Television Critics Association summer press tour.

“Let’s bring back the CableACE Awards,” NBC’s Bob Greenblatt joked. CBS’ Nina Tassler added, “I want to be the first person at the head of the line to bring them back.”

With few or no content restrictions, cable networks and digital platforms such as Netflix and Amazon can push the envelope creatively, something broadcast networks can’t, bound by FCC restrictions. “Cable has the advantage of doing shows that are darker, more interesting on some levels and that go into subject matter that just feels cooler than some of the stuff we can do. It’s just a fact of life,” Greenblatt said.


http://deadline.com/2014/08/emmys-th...deeper-819339/
Summary of article:

Waaaaaaaaahhhhhh! We're producing brainless derivative crap and still expect to be rewarded for it by winning awards. Waaaahhhh!

Then they have the gall to claim the reason cable is being recognized more is they can "push the envelope" more. What a complete pack of bullsh*t.

Several of the most award winning shows, including Mad Men don't push any envelope at all, unless you call quality writing and high production values "pushing the envelope".

CBS is the most galling, with their endless CSI and NCIS spinoffs, along with laughable "high value" productions that merely leech off their creators' names, like "Under the Dome" and "Extent". To fill in the blanks, you get reality shows like "Big Brother" and "Survivor". Don't even get me started on the pack of crap that's upcoming this fall known as "Scorpion". Congratulations, CBS, you win the Emmy for hypocrisy.

If anyone has a right to complain, it's the BBC for the back to back denial of "Orphan Black".

Maybe when the broadcast networks actually produce something worth an award, they'll start getting them again.
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BIANCULLI’S BEST BETS


LIFEBOAT
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1944 character drama and wartime thriller, based on a story by John Steinbeck, featured one of the most interesting technical challenges of Hitchcock’s entire career. How do you maintain the drama and suspense of a movie when the entire thing takes place in the confines of a single lifeboat at sea, after a ship is torpedoed by a WWII German U-boat? Just watch closely, and you’ll see. William Bendix, Tallulah Bankhead star. And watch closely, too, for how Hitch sneaks his already anticipated cameo appearance into a movie where it doesn’t seem there would be any way he could do so, given the confines of the plot and setting. How does he do it? When William Bendix is holding a newspaper, look closely at the model in the “before” and “after” weight-loss ad. Priceless.









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

This is the penultimate episode of True Blood, and boy, is it satisfying. The emphasis this week is on character, not action, and we get a lot of well-written, well-acted scenes, usually involving familiar characters in relatively unfamiliar pairings. But there’s a lot here that long-time fans will enjoy, all while ramping up to a tense cliffhanger showdown for next Sunday’s series finale. Key supporting actors Ryan Kwanten as Jason Stackhouse, and Deborah Ann Woll as young vamp Jessica, are showcased especially well in heartwarming scenes – though not, it should be noted, at the same time.









THE STRAIN
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

The more the evil spreads in this series, the creepier it gets – and I wouldn’t have thought, after watching the first four episodes, that The Strain could get much creepier. I was wrong. The visuals tonight are right up there with the most vividly scary TV horror moments from American Horror Story – and then some.









MANHATTAN
WGN America, 10:00 p.m. ET

The tension has been building steadily on this series from the start, especially between the scientists and the MPs on the secret scientific camp at Los Alamos, where the atomic bomb is being developed in a desert of intellectual rivalries and emotional paranoia. On tonight’s episode, the whole thing turns explosive, and not just figuratively.









LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER
HBO, 11:00 p.m. ET

We’re closing in on the final month of shows by John Oliver this season, and give the man credit for finding a unique approach, as well as comic voice, in that short a time. Oliver, in this series, has done something so many times that it has to be considered a design rather than a happy accident. He’s taken the Sunday night placement of his Last Week Tonight series and utilized it the way newspapers (you remember newspapers) used to devote extra space and time on special Sunday stories. As a result, a piece on the week’s featured topic can run well past 10 minutes of air time, and allow Oliver to approach it from several angles, offering insight as well as punch lines along the way. So keep watching – as with his Comedy Central colleagues Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, he’s educating as he’s commenting. And to those who are alarmed by the prospect that many of today’s young viewers get most of their news from the likes of these three TV comics, my response is this: Even if that’s true, those young viewers could do a lot, lot worse.


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This mindset is one of the biggest problems broadcast nets face and they still don't get it, they want to stay in their 1960's era format instead of advancing to shorter seasons with more refined and focused shows and not having up to a third or more of those 22 episodes as nothing more than filler to air ads with.?
I find this more urban legend than truth. You take a great show like "The Good Wife" and the season isn't nearly long enough. Of course if it's a bad show its bad... but good shows having time to plot numerous concurrent arcs only make them stronger.
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TV Sports
Arena Football Is Crossing Into New Territory: China
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times

Marty Judge is fully convinced that China wants football — not the type played by the N.F.L. but the indoor version found in the Arena Football League, where the field is 50 yards long, there are eight players a side, and the ball can be rebounded off nets above the end zone.

“It’s exciting,” Judge said, “and it’s what the Chinese government wants.”

Judge, a co-owner of the Philadelphia Soul of the A.F.L., said Wednesday that he had an agreement with Chinese authorities to launch the China American Football League in conjunction with the Chinese Rugby Football Association.

The league, he said by telephone, is expected to start in August 2015 with six to eight teams. He said confidently that he expected the league to have 30 teams in five years.

Judge’s background in the A.F.L. and the abundance of arenas, but not stadiums, in China are the primary reasons the league will feature the indoor game.

“There is no appetite for N.F.L.-style football in China,” Judge said, adding, “The billionaires in China don’t have enough professional basketball and soccer teams to purchase.”

The league’s 20-man rosters will be divided evenly between Chinese and American players, Judge said, with the American players being drawn from the A.F.L. and colleges.

Ron Jaworski, an ESPN football analyst and a partner in the Chinese venture, said, “What we’re finding in our research is that there are many Chinese players in the States, maybe not at Michigan or Ohio State but some high-caliber players at lower-level colleges who, as they hear about us, would like to play.”

Jaworski, who owns the Soul with Judge, acknowledged that there was no guarantee of success.

“Like any endeavor, there is some risk involved,” he said in a telephone interview. “No one else has tried it. I don’t have a crystal ball, but we’re highly confident this will work. I think we can find great passion for football in China.”

One obstacle is that American football has not found the same sort of reception overseas that the N.B.A. has. The N.F.L. tried to find a new market in Europe in the 1990s with the World League of American Football, which became N.F.L. Europe and N.F.L. Europa.

The N.F.L. discontinued its European spinoff in 2007 and now annually sends teams to play games outside the United States, mostly in London.

According to the N.F.L., it has about 14 million fans in China, and its games, highlights and the Super Bowl are carried by 15 broadcasters there. It also sponsors flag football in the country.

An independent venture, the eight-team Elite Football League of India, started play in 2012, with teams in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It is too soon to determine, though, the success of the league, which was created largely to capture television viewers.

Judge, who owns a staffing company, said that he felt arena football would fail in Europe but that he saw a “golden opportunity” in China.

“I’m bringing football where there isn’t any,” he said, adding that on a trip to China with his company in 2009, he found no sports worth watching on television.

Last year, he staged an A.F.L. exhibition in Beijing, and he has invested in training players at six Chinese universities who will play a season of games starting in October.

Judge insisted the hard work of bringing football to China was behind him and said with enthusiasm, “Now we have to execute.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/sp...ory-china.html
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Technology Sports
Amazon looks to gain liftoff for drone delivery testing
By Mike Snider, USA Today - Aug. 17, 2014

Amazon is going on the offensive as it seeks federal approval to test its planned Prime Air drone delivery system.

You are not likely to get a Prime Air drop on your porch anytime this year, or even next, but the online retailer, which announced plans for drone delivery last December on 60 Minutes, is making moves to spur development.

Amazon recently banded together with several makers of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to create a coalition to speed federal action. And the e-tailer is also buttressing its lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.

"Amazon Prime Air is participating in several groups ... that share Congress' goal of getting small UAVs flying commercially in the United States safely and soon," said Paul Misener, the company's vice president of global public policy.

Such efforts are needed because the advance of commercial drones covers a swath of federal agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, which governs airspace, and the Federal Communications Commission, with oversight of communications frequencies drones would use. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy also has rules in the works regarding privacy.

"This is uncharted territory," says Chris Anderson, co-founder of drone maker 3D Robotics. His firm joined Amazon, DJI Innovations and Parrot in founding the coalition. The group aims to represent commercial uses of drones, establish a code of conduct and educate the public about benefits of the technology, he says.

Amazon's interest "lets people realize how big it can be," Anderson says. "They have a well-established presence in Washington and they were able to kick-start the mechanics of this coalition so we could quickly join and get moving."

Drones are coming. The FAA has estimated that as many as 7,500 small, commercial drones may be in use in the U.S. by 2018, assuming regulations are in place. Globally, drone spending is expected to increase from $6.4 billion this year to $11.5 billion annually a decade from now, as projected by aerospace and defense industry research firm the Teal Group.

Both Amazon and the new coalition have retained Washington, D.C., law firm Akin Gump to assist in lobbying efforts. Already, Amazon is among nearly two dozen other companies that have sought exemptions from the FAA to begin tests with drones that weigh less than 55 pounds and fly below 400 feet.

In its filing to the FAA, Amazon said that so far it has only been able to test its drones inside its Seattle R&D lab or in other countries. Its goal is to get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less via the rotor-powered flying machines. "One day, seeing Amazon Prime Air will be as normal as seeing mail trucks," wrote Amazon's v Misener in the filing.

The FAA is determining the best way to respond to Amazon's petition, said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.

Drone potential goes far beyond package delivery into such things as providing wireless broadband Internet in the Third World and monitoring areas where endangered species are hunted.

"A number of companies are looking at getting into philanthropic purposes," says Michael Drobac, one of the lobbyists at Akin Gump working on the issues. "They're also looking at recreational uses, mapping and aerial photography — the possibilities are limitless."

Regulatory support for testing and deployment will help businesses harness the potential and help unlock the job-creation potential of the technology, said Ben Gielow, general counsel for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a non-profit technology advocacy group.

Amazon has hired Gielow, who will leave the Arlington, Va.-based association next month to join Amazon's Prime Air public policy group.

Congress has charged the FAA with developing rules to test and integrate drones into the airspace. But a report that Transportation Department Inspector General Calvin Scovel delivered to Congress in February said the FAA will unlikely meet a September 2015 deadline set by Congress.

Companies need a "safe sandbox" to begin testing applications, Anderson says.

Eventually, drones could be a boon to law enforcement and public safety, helping assess crime situations and natural disasters such as fires, Akin Gump's Drobac said.

And, yes, drones will help with the more mundane functions. "I envision a world where I walk outside and one drone delivers diapers for my children and another shows up with my pizza," he said. "I have a vision of the world that is very good."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2...sive/13966157/
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TV Review
'Dora and Friends: Into the City': Dora grows up
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 15, 2014

Time marches on for everyone, even cartoon characters, apparently.

"Dora and Friends: Into the City" is the new animated series spun off from the long-running hit "Dora the Explorer" and premieres Monday on Nickelodeon. Any parent who has gotten misty-eyed stumbling across clothes their kids no longer fit into will surely have ambivalent feelings upon seeing little Dora all grown up.

In the new series, Dora, who was the most adventurous 7-year-old on TV, is now a 10-year-old, which means she has entered the so-called "tween" demographic. And though she hasn't turned surly yet, changes abound. She's grown her hair out and wears earrings and a magical charm bracelet now. She's ditched her ever-faithful backpack in favor of a camcorder (also magical) and her trusty guide Map has become an app on her smartphone, which also has FaceTime. This Dora is no Luddite.

The former explorer has left behind the fantastical wilderness of her youth and lives in the fictional city of Playa Verde along with an agreeably diverse group of new human friends. But going urban and growing up sadly means some of the most colorful supporting characters from "Dora the Explorer" are nowhere to be seen in the new series. Gone are Boots the monkey, Benny the bull, Isa the iguana, Big Red Chicken, Grumpy Old Troll and that pesky fox, Swiper. There are still some talking animals to be found, but their presence is always carefully explained and somehow contained. In the big city there’s little room for the commonplace weirdness of "Dora the Explorer's" landscape.

That's not to say all of the changes are unwelcome. The new "Dora" series has become nearly wall-to-wall music, giving a Latin-influenced accompaniment to the on-screen action makes the episode fly by. It certainly makes for a propulsive change from the often-drowsy pace of the old "Explorer" episodes.

And there's a lot of good that remains, including an emphasis on problem-solving and bilingual language-building that has made "Dora" a safe choice for toddler viewing since it debuted in 2000.

Parents may question why Dora has to grow up at all -- Bart Simpson has somehow remained 10 years old for 25 years – but luckily her spirit remains intact. And purists can still find new episodes of "Dora the Explorer" on Nick Jr. through at least January of next year.

Ultimately, as much as we want Dora to stay the same, she can change as much as her core audience wants her to. And when introduced to this more mature Dora, one hard-core 3-year-old fan soaked it up without a pause. And the next day she asked for more by name: " 'Dora in the City,' please!"

Can't argue with that.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...815-story.html

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Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
ABC’s ‘This Week’ leads once again
By Media Life Magazine Staff

ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” must be getting used to life on top.

The Sunday morning news show averaged 2.63 million total viewers on Aug. 10, according to Nielsen, placing it ahead of NBC’s “Meet the Press (2.43 million) for the seventh straight week.

CBS’s “Face the Nation” averaged 2.38 million total viewers, while “Fox News Sunday” averaged 1.21 million.

In the news demo adults 25-54, “This Week” led with 829,000 viewers, No. 1 ninth time in the past 11 weeks. NBC was second in the demo with 747,000 viewers, followed by CBS at 612,000 and Fox at 369,000.

In other dayparts ratings:

In evening network news for the week ended Aug. 10,
NBC’s “Nightly News with Brian Williams” was first with 7.46 million total viewers and a 1.4 rating among adults 25-54. ABC’s “World News with Diane Sawyer” averaged 7.02 million viewers and a 1.5 rating, followed by CBS’s “Evening News with Scott Pelley” with 5.95 million and a 1.2 rating.

ABC’s “This Week” was the most-watched Sunday morning show on Aug. 10 with 2.63 million tuning in. NBC’s “Meet the Press” was second with 2.43 million, CBS’s “Face the Nation” third at 2.38 million and “Fox News Sunday” fourth at 1.21 million.

In morning shows during the week ended Aug. 10, ABC’s “Good Morning America” averaged 4.78 million viewers, with NBC’s “Today” at 4.01 million and CBS’s “This Morning” at 2.83 million. Among households, “GMA” averaged a 3.5 rating and 15 share, with “Today” at 3.0/12 and CBS’s “This Morning” at 2.1/8.

In late night during the week ended Aug. 10, NBC’s “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” averaged 3.51 million total viewers, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” with at 2.35 million and CBS’s “The Late Show with David Letterman” at 2.23 million. In late late night, NBC’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” averaged 1.48 million, with ABC’s “Nightline” at 1.46 million, CBS’s “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” at 0.98 million and NBC’s “Last Call with Carson Daly” at 0.82 million. Among viewers 18-49, “Tonight” averaged a 0.96 rating, with “Kimmel” at a 0.57, “Late Night” at a 0.45, “Late Show” at a 0.44, “Nightline” at a 0.35, “Last Call” at a 0.26 and “Late Late Show” at a 0.23. “Last Call,” “Late Show” and Friday’s “Kimmel” and “Late Night” were reruns. Also, Thursday and Friday “Late Late Shows” were delayed by PGA Championship golf coverage and are excluded from the averages.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/abcs-week-leads/
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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 - Bachelor in Paradise (120 min.)
10:01PM - Mistresses
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Rosario Dawson; Eric McCormack; Self performs)
(R - Jul. 30)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Mar. 3)
8:30PM - Mom
(R - Mar. 17)
9PM - Mike & Molly
(R - May 5)
9:30PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Dec. 5)
10PM - Under the Dome
* * * *
11:35AM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bruce Willis; The Gaslight Anthem performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Amanda Peet; Kit Harington)
(R - Jun. 3)

NBC:
8PM - Running Wild With Bear Grylls: Tom Arnold
9PM - American Ninja Warrior: National Finals in Las Vegas (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Bill Cosby; professional golfers Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy; Royksopp and Robyn perform)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Kate McKinnon; former MLB player Pete Rose; Betty Who performs)
(R - Jul. 14)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Bret McKenzie; Jenny O performs; author Michael Malice)
(R - Mar. 19)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
9PM - Hotel Hell

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Junk in the Trunk (R - Nov. 17, 2011)
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Tasty Treats
(R - Nov. 14, 2011)
10PM - POV: A World Not Ours (90 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
(R - Jul. 28)
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

THE CW:
8PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Jul. 14)
9PM - America's Next Top Model (Season Premiere)

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

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Josh Groban; comic Nathan Fielder; Jenny Lewis performs)

E!
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Interview/music performance with Sia)
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TV Notes
‘The Bridge’ Isn’t Real; It Just Seems That Way
By Andy Langer, The New York Times - Aug. 17, 2014

Last year, the FX program “The Bridge” won a Peabody Award for “raising awareness of border issues,” and many of the plotlines were based on the realities of life in El Paso and its violence-stricken Mexican sister city a bridge away, Ciudad Juárez.

The program touched on drug cartel violence, labor issues and the hundreds of women who have been murdered or gone missing in and around Ciudad Juárez since the mid-1990s. The second season started last month amid headlines of the child and family migrant crisis in which thousands of unaccompanied Central American minors have crossed into the United States.

Yet producing a torn-from-the-headlines program was not what Elwood Reid, the lead writer and executive producer, intended. The first season opened on a border bridge where two bodies were discovered, each cut in half at the waist. One was a missing girl from Mexico, the other an anti-immigration Texas judge. The dual murders forced detectives from both sides of the border to work together to solve the crime. As the plot thickened, the Central Intelligence Agency was linked to Mexico’s drug cartels.

“We do entertainment, not documentary,” said Mr. Reid, who has written three crime novels and came to “The Bridge” after co-producing and writing for “Hawaii Five-0.” “We don’t do issue episodes. Issues are threaded into the narrative, but if you pull that out, the narrative still stands on its own. I don’t want to ever be the show that forces you to eat your vegetables, like, ‘Let’s all learn about immigration from a Hollywood liberal.’ I’m suspicious when that kind of stuff is fed to me, so I don’t want to feed it to other people.”

The program was not even inspired by the Mexico-American border. The series is an adaptation of “Bron/Broen,” a popular Scandinavian series set on the border of Sweden and Denmark. (The original opens with a similar plotline). FX would have set it at the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, if Mr. Reid and his co-producer for the first season, the “Cold Case” creator Meredith Stiehm, had not objected.

“We thought we’d pretty quickly run out of gas trying to overextenuate the differences between the Canadian and American sides,” Mr. Reid said. Although the program is shot largely on soundstages in Santa Clarita, Calif., camera teams regularly shoot exterior shots in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

“There’s something cool and working class about El Paso, this town that sort of depends on its sister city — jobs flow back and forth across the border — but has also built a wall between them,” he said. “And of course, it’s ground zero for all the immigration issues we’re talking about right now. That’s conflict we don’t have to make up or exaggerate.”

Not only is the material rich, but the program appeals to an audience that FX covets: Hispanics. According to Mr. Reid, the viewership is about 15 percent Hispanic, and Hispanics are also 15 percent more likely than the average household to watch the program. He said one reason was that a relatively substantial portion of the program was in Spanish, with English subtitles.

“Subtitles were something we initially thought long and hard about,” Mr. Reid said. “But with all the international content on Netflix, people aren’t as allergic to subtitles as they used to be, particularly when you’re talking about Spanish, a language a lot of us hear on a daily basis. And when you’re having two characters in Mexico talking to each other, it would be dishonest not to have the subtitles.”

The program has also captivated a number of fans with a lesser but authentically Texan character: Monte P. Flagman, a drug cartel lawyer in boots and a cowboy hat, played by Lyle Lovett.

Mr. Reid cast Mr. Lovett just before shooting began on the first season after circulating a casting memo describing Flagman as a stoic “Lyle Lovett type,” only to find out that one of the program’s stars, Annabeth Gish, knew Mr. Lovett personally and was willing to direct message him about the role on Twitter.

Mr. Lovett plays Flagman in a deadpan way. In the gory opening sequence of the second season, featuring a house full of dead bodies, Flagman tucks his pants into his cowboy boots so as not to stain them with blood. Mr. Reid said that was Mr. Lovett’s idea. Mr. Lovett said he was just glad that the blood was not his character’s.

“The first day I worked on set, Elwood told me, ‘Remember your role has the potential to develop, as long he doesn’t get killed off,’ ” Mr. Lovett said. “I took that as a slightly ominous warning.”

Shooting for season two of “The Bridge” wrapped earlier this month, and the season finale is scheduled to air Oct. 1. While FX has yet to greenlight the program for a third season, Mr. Reid said he hoped that the program would be renewed.

Mr. Lovett, whose acting résumé includes four Robert Altman films, also has his fingers crossed.

“I get to work with great people, wear a hat and boots and drive a 1970 Coupe de Ville,” Mr. Lovett said. “I’m not ready to check out just yet.”

Andy Langer is the music columnist for Esquire and the midday D.J. on KGSR in Austin.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/17/us...ref=television
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keenan View Post
Who says it has to produce 3 times as many episodes? This mindset is one of the biggest problems broadcast nets face and they still don't get it, they want to stay in their 1960's era format instead of advancing to shorter seasons with more refined and focused shows and not having up to a third or more of those 22 episodes as nothing more than filler to air ads with.
The problem we see is not just with the 22 episodes/season, but the multiple-season mind-set. Why couldn't the Dome show been a single season? The concept behind Prison Break lent itself to just 1 or 2 seasons. I'm watching The Last Ship right now and worry it's going to get quite stupid as they try to milk it for all its worth.

There are some excellent short story concepts that are more than worth of 15-25 epsiodes (10-20 hours of screen time) and not a minute more. The old "mini series" mentality expanded.

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SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Big Brother’ hits a season high in viewers
Long-running CBS reality show averages 6.85 million total viewers
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 18, 2013

CBS’s long-running reality show “Big Brother” hit a season high in total viewers last night.

The program averaged 6.85 million viewers, according to Nielsen overnights, up from 5.93 million last week.

That marks the show’s best viewership on any night this season if the numbers hold.

The show was also up a tenth over last week in 18-49s, posting a 2.1 in its 8 p.m. timeslot and finishing as the night’s top show.

Though CBS usually wins Sunday on the strength of “Brother,” last night Fox placed No. 1 with an NFL preseason game.

The exact rating for the game won’t be known until final ratings come out tomorrow, as overnights measure timeslot and not actual program data. But the network should win the night fairly easily.

Meanwhile, ABC’s new reality program “Rising Star” posted a 0.8 from 9 to 11 p.m. in 18-49s, up a tenth from last week.

Fox was first for the night among 18-49s with a 1.8 average overnight rating and a 6 share. CBS was second at 1.1/4, ABC third at 0.8/3, NBC and Univision tied for fourth at 0.7/2, and Telemundo sixth at 0.4/1.

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

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

At 7 p.m. ABC and Fox tied for first, each with a 1.0 rating, ABC for a repeat of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and Fox for reruns of “American Dad” and “The Simpsons.” CBS was third with a 0.9 for “60 Minutes.” NBC and Univision tied for fourth at 0.5, NBC for a repeat “American Ninja Warrior” and Univision for “Aqui y Ahora,” and Telemundo was sixth with a 0.4 for the movie “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.”

CBS took the lead at 8 p.m. with a 2.1 for “Brother,” followed by Fox with a 1.8 for its first hour of football. ABC and NBC tied for third at 0.8, ABC for “Wipeout” and NBC for more “Ninja,” with Univision fifth with a 0.7 for the movie “El Bolero de Raquel” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for the end of “Persia” and start of the movie “Twilight.”

At 9 p.m. Fox was first with a 2.1 for football, with ABC, CBS and Univision all tied for second at 0.8, ABC for “Star,” CBS for “Unforgettable” and Univision for its movie. NBC was fifth with a 0.7 for a repeat of “America’s Got Talent” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for more “Twilight.”

Fox led again at 10 p.m. with a 2.1 for football, with NBC second with a 0.9 for more “Talent.” Univision was third with a 0.7 for “Sal y Pimienta,” ABC fourth with a 0.6 for a repeat of “Castle,” and CBS and Telemundo tied for fifth at 0.5, CBS for “Reckless” and Telemundo for the end of “Twilight.”

CBS finished first for the night among households with a 4.0 average overnight rating and a 7 share. Fox was second at 3.1/6, ABC third at 2.3/4, NBC fourth at 1.9/3, Univision fifth at 1.1/2 and Telemundo sixth at 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/big...-high-viewers/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
Tyra’s back, a little earlier than expected
'Next Top Model' returns to help the CW's troubled Monday
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 18, 2013

It’s time to strut.

The quick cancellation of the CW’s new comedies “Seed” and “Backpackers” left the network with a hole to fill on Monday night, and so its longest-running show, “America’s Next Top Model,” returns a few days early for its 21st-season premiere, tonight at 9 p.m.

The show was originally slated to premiere this coming Friday. But when the network axed the sitcoms after only two dreadfully low-rated episodes, it needed a place filler.

And “Model” is nothing if not highly flexible. It will run on Mondays for six weeks, with repeats airing in its regular Friday 9 p.m. timeslot.

On Oct. 3, the show will move back to airing originals on Fridays, opening the Monday slot for the return of the network’s regular fall lineup.

“Model” certainly isn’t the hit it was years ago, when it was the CW’s No. 1 program across several key female demos.

But it does okay on Friday. It averaged a 0.4 adults 18-49 Nielsen rating last season, easily the network’s top show on the night, and 1.1 million total viewers, though its viewership in both increased by more than half with seven-day DVR viewership added in.

When a show has been on as long as “Model,” it needs some sort of new wrinkle to get people to tune in. This season host Tyra Banks invited on the show a young woman who suffers from vitiligo, a rare skin condition that causes large white patches to pop up.

Chantelle Brown-Young, whom Banks found through Instagram, has said she was bullied as a child due to her condition but later became a model.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/tyr...lier-expected/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 18, 2014

POIROT: "THE LABORS OF HERCULES"
Acorn TV, Check local listings

This is the second of three final episodes of the long-running Poirot series, starring David Suchet as Agatha Christie’s stuffy, fussy Belgian detective. And like the first and third, it’s available, for now, only on the Acorn.TV website, whereas the other mysteries in the show’s 13-season run always have been shown in the U.S. on PBS. Tonight’s story has Hercule starting off by failing to both catch a killer and protect someone from harm, and falling into a deep depression as a result. But in a story that takes him on vacation to a breathtaking mountain retreat, he finds his spirit revived not by the scenery, but by another mystery. For my full review, visit NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

DR. WHO MARATHON
BBC America, 8:00 a.m. ET

Building up to this weekend’s launch of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor, BBC America goes all in, all week, with Doctor Who-related marathons and specials. Beginning today at 8 a.m. ET, for example, BBC America repeats the first 10 specials in the Doctor Who – The Doctors Revisited nonfiction series, giving behind-the-scenes histories of the various men cast as The Doctor. At 1 p.m. ET, it’s Doctor Who: The Christmas Invasion holiday drama, followed at 2 p.m. ET by six episodes of Season 2 of the modern Doctor Who. And prime time carries additional goodies, including, at 9 p.m. ET, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Time Lord, a new special hosted by Peter Davison (the Fifth Doctor).

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
ESPN, 8:00 p.m. ET
PRESEASON PREMIERE:
This is a preseason game, so it doesn’t count in the standings once the season begins. But that doesn’t mean this opening game, pitting the Cleveland Browns vs. the Washington Redskins, is devoid of drama. Over on the Browns side, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer is battling not only the opposing defense, but his own teammate: this year’s top draft pick, Johnny Manziel, has been assigned to lead the offense on alternating possessions. So if he shines while Hoyer fizzles, the new kid could emerge with the starting job by the time the season starts. And over on the Redskins side, there’s a new NFL coach, Jay Gruden, trying to guide talented quarterback Robert Griffin III to a much better season that last year. Oh, and in the broadcast booth for ESPN? It’s the former Super Bowl-winning coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jon Gruden, Jay’s older brother.

CAPTIVATED: THE TRIALS OF PAMELA SMART
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

This new documentary recounts and recircles the infamous story of Pamela Smart, the young teacher who had an affair with one of her high-school students and was convicted of conspiring with him and his friends to kill her husband. Smart continues to profess her innocence, this documentary spends a good deal of time excoriating the media, but the pertinent information in this narrative is doled out slowly and somewhat confusingly. One thing that leaps out, though: Despite all the headlines and news stories to the contrary, Pamela Smart was not a teacher – just someone who worked with, and advised on, educational media.

DALLAS
TNT, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON PREMIERE:
Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing is long gone now, but this series continues to tell its South Fork stories. And while the younger cast members are given most of the juicy stuff to do, it’s still the old guard, especially Linda Gray as Sue Ellen and Patrick Duffy as Bobby, who keep the engine chugging.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
The Eye of the Camera and Blind Justice: The Pamela Smart Trial
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 17, 2014

The star of the upcoming HBO documentary on the sensational Pamela Smart trial is a hand-held mini-cassette recorder sitting on an empty desk. The little device is a substitute for Juror 13 – who held out for part of the deliberations for acquittal – since, to this day, she prefers to remain anonymous. The program plays part of her audio diary made during the 14-day trial in 1991.

Her fascinating words, along with footage of a lot of bad '80s haircuts, are part of the revisitation of the media onslaught that surrounded the case that began with the grisly murder of Gregory Smart in New Hampshire in 1990.

Recounting events during and after the Smart trial – the first ever televised nationally, gavel-to-gavel – Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart also follows the Smart trial as one of the early instances of reality TV. It airs Monday at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.

For those who may or may not recall, Pam Smart was first seen in the media as the grieving widow of her husband of just one year who had been shot in the head after surprising presumed burglars at their condo. Police shortly unraveled her affair with Billy Flynn, a student enrolled at the high school where she worked. Flynn was soon arrested along with two of his pals, petty criminals from the tougher side of town, as the triggermen. Soon after, Smart was charged as an accomplice and mastermind of the scheme (although not at the condo at the time of the murder, she was accused of making Flynn do the murder if he wanted to stay her lover).

Up to that point, the press had painted Smart – a pretty, stylish, 22-year-old – as a victim. Quickly, the New Hampshire locals, asked in man-on-the-street interviews, began describing a scheming ice princess, a guilty, cold-hearted sexual manipulator.

Smart was soon the daily subject of tabloid shows like Inside Edition and talk shows like Geraldo and Donahue. Video from these and other shows form the documentary’s main thesis: the television pressure cooker having essentially convicted Smart before she ever went to trial and assisted the outcome.

There are plenty of historical clips here, and new interviews with reporters and writers who covered the case. They recount how hundreds of potential jurors were released because of their exposure to the coverage, and how the eventual jurors – not sequestered during the 14-day trial – were free to go home and watch the news after each day’s proceedings.

Director Jeremiah Zagar paints a palpable picture of the media storm at the time, along with extensive audio clips from Juror 13’s diary of the trial – a televised event that got higher ratings than afternoon network soap operas. Juror 13 expresses sobering displeasure with Smart’s conviction in the press at the time, and anguishes over convicting Smart solely on the basis of statements she made to an informant recorded by police wiretap.

Smart, maintaining her innocence after almost 25 years in prison, is interviewed several times for the documentary. There are compelling ideas here about television perception becoming public reality and, more disturbingly, how Flynn and the others received reduced second-degree murder charges in exchange for testimony against Smart. They will be eligible for parole next year, while Smart, who appealed all the way to the Supreme Court, is still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

None of Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart changes the fact that Gregory Smart is still dead nearly 25 years later and isn’t coming back. But the manner in which Pam Smart was convicted for the crime does deserve its moment, along with Juror 13’s tape recorder, spotlighting why television, when it comes to serving justice, should dedicate itself more to the principles of journalism than the pursuit of ratings.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7979
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Emmy Notes
Harry Shearer becomes final 'Simpsons' main cast member to win Emmy
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 18, 2014

It only took 25 years, but finally all six main cast members of "The Simpsons" have Emmys for their work on the show after Harry Shearer won TV's big award at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday.

Shearer won the outstanding character voice-over performance Emmy for performing multiple characters in the episode "Four Regrettings and a Funeral." In that single episode, Shearer performed as news anchor Kent Brockman, the villainous Mr. Burns, a younger version of Mr. Burns, and Burns' assistant, Smithers.

Shearer also has portrayed "Simpsons" characters Ned Flanders, Otto the bus driver, Reverend Lovejoy, police officer Eddie, Principal Skinner, Homer's coworker Lenny, Dr. Hibbert, Dr. Marvin Monroe and God, in addition to many more characters over the show's quarter-century on the air.

Shearer is currently in London starring in the play "Daytona." According to Deadline, the actor was asleep in England when he won the award in Los Angeles.

It's just the second time Shearer has been nominated for the voiceover award at the Emmys. His first nomination was in 2009.

Dan Castellanetta has won four Emmys for his voice work on the series, Julie Kavner won one in 1992, Yeardley Smith won one in 1992, Nancy Cartwright won one in 1992 and Hank Azaria has won three.

The animated hit's 26th season begins this fall on Fox, and the FXX cable channel plans a 12-day marathon, starting Aug. 21, of all 552 episodes and the movie.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...818-story.html
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TV Notes
Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves’ ‘Devil's Advocate’ Rebooted by NBC
By Travis Reilly, TheWrap.com - Aug. 18, 2014

“The Devil's Advocate” is being prepped for the small screen. NBC has ordered a put pilot from producers John Wells and Arnold Kopelson and writer Matt Venne (“Bag of Bones.”)

If NBC doesn't order the pilot, which focuses on a public defender who joins a law firm literally run by the Devil, to series the network will be forced to pay a substantive fine to the studio.

The 1997 Warner Bros. film, which starred Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino and Charlie Theron, was directed by Taylor Hackford. Reeves played an ambitious young lawyer who is tempted to trade his soul to the Devil (Pacino) for supernatural courtroom skills. The movie made $153 million dollars.

“The Devil's Advocate” series is produced by WBTV and John Wells Prods. Wells, Kopelson and Andrew Stearn are executive producing, with Venne serving as a co-executive producer.

WBTV and JWP have teamed up already on Showtime's “Shameless.” Wells previously directed Meryl Streep and Julia Robets in “August: Osage County.”

This story was first reported by Deadline.

http://www.thewrap.com/al-pacino-kea...booted-by-nbc/
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