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post #96451 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Keenan View Post
With the Longmire cancellation I can remove yet another now totally useless channel from my channel guide listing.
I've never caught it for more than a few minutes, but I've heard Bates Motel is pretty good, other than that I'm with you as far as A&E is concerned. I did like 'The Glades'.
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post #96452 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:16 PM
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TV Notes
Syfy Cancels Wil Wheaton Talk Show
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Aug. 29, 2014

Syfy will not continue on with its Wil Wheaton talk show.

The weekly Wil Wheaton Project has been canceled after 12 episodes, the host announced Friday. Syfy did not immediately return The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.
"I'm really OK with it," Wheaton recounted on his blog. "I'm super sad that I won’t get to work with my writers and producers, and I’m sad that we don’t get to keep writing jokes, but I did everything I could to help the show succeed. I promoted it the best way I could, I worked hard to write stuff that was funny, and I tried so, so, so hard to get the network executives in New York to understand how they could help the show succeed."

Ultimately he said Syfy executives told him that the series did not have "enough viewers to justify more episodes" of the series.

Syfy announced the series in April for a May debut. The show featured Wheaton dissecting sci-fil film, TV, video games, viral videos and news of interest to the geek community. The half-hour series hailed from Pilgrim Studios, with Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols (Ghost Hunters) on board as exec producers.

The cancellation comes as Syfy has recommitted to going back to the more traditional sci-fi and fantasy genre that viewers had come to expect from the network.

The NBCUniversal-owned network becomes the latest cabler to unsuccessfully attempt to enter the talk show space. While Comedy Central has found success with Chris Hardwick's geek-infused @midnight and Bravo re-upped Andy Cohen and his Watch What Happens Live for two more seasons, FXX's W. Kamau Bell entry, Comedy Central's Anthony Jeselnik show as well as MTV's Nikki & Sara Live did not fare as well.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...on-talk-729254


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post #96453 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:20 PM
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TV Notes
‘The Greatest American Hero’ Gets Fox Remake With Phil Lord & Chris Miller
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Aug. 29, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: A Steven J. Cannell cult classic is getting a reboot at Fox. The network has given a put pilot commitment to The Greatest American Hero, a new take on the 1981 sci-fi dramedy, which is being shepherded by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, directors of the successful feature franchise based on another ’80s TV series by Cannell, 21 Jump Street. Lord and Miller will executive produce the hourlong action comedy alongside Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan.

Written/exec produced by Rodney Rothman and produced by 20th TV, the new Greatest American Hero will chronicle inner-city teacher Isaac’s adventures after his discovery of a superhero suit that gives him superhuman abilities. Unfortunately for Isaac, he hates wearing the suit and has to learn how to use its powers by trial and error because he quickly misplaces the suit’s instructions. He also has to deal with a government handler who has very different objectives than him and struggles as to whether he should use his newfound gifts to help others or just himself. The original series, created by TV legend Cannell and starring William Katt and Robert Culp, aired for three seasons on ABC.

The Lego Movie writers-directors Lord and Miller recruited Rothman for Greatest American Hero after working with him on 22 Jump Street, the duo’s sequel to 21 Jump Street. Rothman co-wrote the Lord- and Miller-directed sequel, which has grossed more than $300 million at the worldwide box office so far. Lord and Miller executive produce Greatest American Hero through their Lord Miller shingle, which has an overall deal at 20th TV. Lord Miller’s President of Television, Seth Cohen, also will executive produce.

This is the second sale and second put pilot commitment this season for Lord Miller as the company recently sold an untitled comedy project from The Interview screenwriter Dan Sterling to CBS. At Fox, they also have the much buzzed about straight-to-series comedy Last Man On Earth. Lord and Miller are repped by UTA and Matthew Johnson; Rothman is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and Ziffren; McKiernan; Tawnia is repped by APA and Andrea Simon.

http://deadline.com/2014/08/greatest...ot-fox-826823/


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post #96454 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:24 PM
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TV Notes
‘The Following’ Sees Showrunner Shakeup
By Variety.com Staff - Aug. 29, 2014

Jennifer Johnson has exited as showrunner of Fox drama “The Following” after just three months at the helm.

The drama vet took over the reins of the Warner Bros. TV show from creator Kevin Williamson in June, but her sensibilities proved to be a bad fit with the intense thriller. With Johnson’s departure, supervising producers Brett Mahoney and Alexi Hawley are being upped to exec producer and co-showrunner status with helmer Marcos Siega.

Johnson will continue to focus on development through her overall deal with Warner Bros. TV. Deadline first reported the news of her departure.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/the-...up-1201294082/


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post #96455 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:27 PM
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TV Notes
Patrick Warburton Set to Reboot ‘The Tick’ as an Amazon Pilot
By Jason Hughes, TheWrap.com - Aug. 29, 2014

“Spoon!” Patrick Warburton may soon revive one of his most beloved, and obscure, characters. The “Rules of Engagement” and “Family Guy” star is set to reprise his role as “The Tick” in an Amazon pilot, an individual with knowledge of the deal confirmed for TheWrap.

For nine glorious episodes in 2001, Warburton perfectly brought to life Ben Edlund's lunatic superhero parody “The Tick.” Based on a comic book, “The Tick” animated series ran for three successful seasons on Fox Kids in the mid-1990s. It didn't fare as well in live-action and in prime time, despite near universal critical acclaim.

Warburton worked out a deal with Sony Television, who have held the rights since the show's 2001 cancellation, to bring back the beloved character as an Amazon pilot. With superheroes dominating on the big screen, and virtually taking over the small screen, there's no better time for a series making fun of them.

Amazon's latest batch of pilots are currently available for free viewing on the streaming network. The company has established a tradition of producing its pilots and then offering them for free so viewers can watch and vote on them. Based in part on this feedback, the company then decides which shows to move forward with.

The latest pilot project headed to series is Jeffrey Tambor's “Transparent,” which will drop its entire 10-episode first season on Friday, Sept. 26.

People.com was first to report the deal.

http://www.thewrap.com/patrick-warbu...-amazon-pilot/


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post #96456 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:30 PM
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TV Notes
Jay Leno rides again on TV for car special
By Marco della Cava, USA Today - Aug. 29, 2014

Jay Leno doesn't do retirement. Although he has enough money banked from two decades hosting The Tonight Show to start his own country in the Caribbean, he's spent the past year working more, not less.

"I did 200 stand-up dates in the past year, compared to maybe 150 a year I did when I was hosting the show, so that feels good," says Leno, 64. "And I'm hoping this latest TV special is the first of more to come. It'd be fun."

Leno's referring to CNBC's Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week (Sunday, 10 p.m. ET/7 PT). The one-hour special is an offshoot of the car fanatic's successful Web series

The focus of the special is the recently concluded Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, which, for car lovers, is like the Super Bowl plus Paris Fashion Week.

Leno plays roving reporter, interviewing the owner of a century-old steam-powered car, getting a sneak peek of a McLaren P1 track car, and attending an auction where a prized 1964 Ferrari GTO surprised the crowd by selling for less than expected — $35 million. Yes, for a car.

"What I loved about that was when people started applauding wildly when the bidding went from $32 million to $33 million, like, 'Ooo, how brave!'" he says, cackling. Not that he thinks such a price for a car is crazy.

"Look, if (Edvard Munch's) The Scream, which is a guy holding his face, can go for $120 million, I don't think it's far-fetched to see something that is truly moving sculpture go for millions," he says.

Leno hasn't bought anything remotely that fancy for himself lately. "I'm mainly just fixing all the broken stuff," he says, seriously underplaying the splendor of his expansive collection. "I bought a Corvair recently. Paid $600. That sort of stuff is fun."

Speaking of fun, Leno got a big laugh the other day while pulling out of Virginia after a stand-up date. The private airport had already closed down when Leno arrived.

"So I had to climb the fence and wake the guy up, to say our plane needed to take off," he says, laughing. "He says, 'Fine, but you can't take off until we get the deer off the runway.' So we're out there with flashlights in hand, screaming at the deer to get off. They finally left, and so did I. Good times."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...cial/14810823/


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post #96457 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:34 PM
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TV Review
‘Houdini,’ here’s something to get out of
History biopic puts the escape artist on a Freudian couch
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Aug. 27, 2014

The term “speculative fiction” is usually used to describe such genres as science fiction, fantasy and horror. It’s less often used to describe a biopic.

But History’s two-part miniseries “Houdini” is so full of speculation that its value as a biography is reduced.

Unfortunately, the speculation also weakens the drama. Although the Oscar winner Adrien Brody brings some star power to the title role, the miniseries is neither an insightful portrait nor escapist fun.

Airing next Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 1 and 2, at 9 p.m., “Houdini” has been adapted by the veteran screenwriter Nicholas Meyer from a 1976 book by his father, Bernard C. Meyer, M.D., called “Houdini: A Mind in Chains: A Psychoanalytic Portrait.”

Judging by the script, the elder Meyer was an orthodox Freudian.

Flashbacks and dialogue portray the young Erich Weiss, who later adopted the stage name Houdini, as overly attached to his mother (Eszter Ónodi). He constantly remembers her pouring warm water over him in the bathtub.

His great love for his mother inspires him to consult mediums after her death. Convinced that séances are trickery, he launches a public battle against spiritualism.

Also in line with Freudian theory, Houdini is fearful of his father (Jeremy Wheeler), a German-speaking Hungarian rabbi. This is vaguely linked to his fascination with stunts involving escape.

At one point, when practicing a dangerous trick with a musket, Houdini pictures his father, a failed rabbi, pulling the trigger. “Is that why I was still running from him?” he says in voice-over.

It’s never made clear what Freud believed was symbolized by punches in the stomach, but the miniseries is full of them. The director, Uli Edel, favors the technique of cutting to X-ray-like, slow-motion shots of the interior of things. So every time Houdini lets someone punch him in the belly, we see his abdominal wall tensing and bending.

What’s more, when Houdini receives an emotional punch in the gut, we get the same visual. People familiar with Houdini’s biography will get the dramatic irony, but dramatic irony is best used as a seasoning, not a main ingredient.

Now that Freudian theory is largely ignored, the miniseries’ post-mortem psychoanalysis will at best provide a little nostalgic fun for viewers old enough to remember when screenwriters routinely used the Oedipus complex as character motivation. One could even speculate that Nicholas Meyer is performing an Oedipal murder of his father by digging up and exposing this hooey.

But the screenplay indulges in another form of speculation: Several feebly sourced conjectures by Houdini biographers are treated as fact. Houdini’s wife, Bess (Kristen Connolly), is an enthusiastic pot smoker; Houdini spies for British intelligence; and his death is caused by a militant spiritualist.

If those facts are arguably false, anything in the miniseries could be, too.

We can’t be sure if Bess, for example, was really as much of a pill as she’s shown to be. Moreover, the script throws around various reasons for her unhappiness without settling on one. Was she worried about his safety? Jealous of his mistresses? Sick of traveling?

Stretched truth should lead to more interesting characters, but Houdini, even in Adrien BrodyHistory biopic puts the escape artist on a Freudian couch, where the show’s writers then launch into much speculation about said patient.’s skilled hands, remains a stunted individual in need of psychoanalysis. When Houdini clashes with the noted spiritualist Arthur Conan Doyle, Houdini’s longtime associate Jim Collins (Evan Jones) tells him, “You find these people and you turn them into heroes or fathers or something, and then you get pissed when they turn out to be regular people.”

So Brody’s droopy eyes get a workout: Even when Houdini is triumphing, his close-ups have an air of sadness. His voice-over musings don’t help us to know him much better, since they often settle for such banalities as “Was the dream I was chasing based on nothing more than lies?”

Most people would assume that Houdini was a can-do immigrant who worked hard and relished his success. Meyer may have real evidence to the contrary, but we can’t trust him.

Seeing how Houdini pulled off some of his most famous stunts is interesting, for a while. But the tick-tock suspense is wasted in a biographical drama. Most of us know Houdini isn’t going to die mid-performance.

Labor Day weekend isn’t exactly overburdened with TV choices, so “Houdini” could fill a few rainy hours. But viewers will be forgiven if they pull their own escape act.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/hou...something-get/


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post #96458 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:37 PM
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THURSDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.


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post #96459 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:44 PM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - College Football: Florida State vs. Oklahoma State (Season Premiere, LIVE)

CBS:
8PM - Unforgettable
9PM - Reckless
10PM - 48 Hours
(R - Oct. 5, 2013)

NBC:
8PM - Dateline NBC: Under the Desert Sky (120 min.)
(R - Jan. 4, 2013)
10PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - May 21)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Host and musical guest Lady Gaga, 93 min.)
(R - Nov. 16)

FOX:
7:30PM - College Football: Fresno State at USC (Season Premiere, LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)
(R)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits (Kacey Musgraves; Dale Watson) (R - Feb. 8)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Sábado Gigante (Three Hours)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie - Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
9PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: Club Leon vs. CF Pachuca (120 min., LIVE)


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post #96460 of 96972 Old 08-29-2014, 10:55 PM
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TV Notes
FX's 'Sons of Anarchy' rides into final season with deadly intent
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 29, 2014

Seven years have passed since the members of Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club Redwood Original locked the picturesque hamlet of Charming, Calif., in their lawless grip, filling the streets with murder, mayhem and all manner of reckless havoc.

But now the rambunctious bikers of SAMCRO are nearing the end of their road — and they are uneasy riders. Deadly jeopardy is around almost every twist and turn, not only from rivals but also from wary allies in their criminal endeavors.

Meanwhile, Jackson "Jax" Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the gang's young and conflicted leader, is battling a more wrenching crisis: His wife, Tara (Maggie Siff), was brutally murdered, and he's enlisting his brothers-in-arms for a coldblooded mission of vengeance aimed at those he suspects may have been responsible, unaware that the real culprit is his beloved mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal) — the controlling matriarch who speared Tara in the head repeatedly with a carving fork during a vicious showdown.

The whirlwind circle of life and death inaugurates the Sept. 9 launch of the seventh and final season of "Sons of Anarchy," the most popular — and bloody — series in the history of FX. The drama about the group of hard-living merry men and their "ol' ladies" drew a weekly average of more than 10 million viewers last year, cementing the cable network's stature as a formidable outlet for aggressive, offbeat dramas such as "The Shield," "The Americans," "American Horror Story" and the Emmy-winning miniseries "Fargo."

The series subscribes to a central theme in contemporary TV drama, the charismatic antihero, while injecting it with a colorful blue-collar vibe that reflects a sizable audience once largely ignored by producers and writers in Hollywood and New York. Its success at finding and pleasing this niche is emblematic of much current TV.

And what a long, strange, weird trip it has been. "Sons of Anarchy's" volcanic mash of dark humor, octane-heavy action and webs of intrigue, deceit and betrayal consciously echoes Shakespearean themes and anchors them in a story of iron-tight family ties and unbreakable bonds of brotherhood. Relentless scenes of over-the-top mayhem and maiming have placed the series in the top ranks of TV's most violent dramas, alongside "Game of Thrones," "The Walking Dead" and "Boardwalk Empire."

The drama has also made its mark in other ways, propelling Hunnam — an actor from Newcastle, England, who made his first mark as a seductive gay teen in the British "Queer as Folk" — to Hollywood heartthrob and leading-man status. He starred in last year's hit "Pacific Rim" and was the first actor named to the upcoming film version of the soft-core "Fifty Shades of Grey" (he eventually withdrew because of scheduling conflicts). The series also gave a juicy dramatic role to Sagal, best known as the wacky Peg Bundy on "Married … With Children."

"It has been an amazing journey that I never would have imagined happening," said Kurt Sutter, the outspoken architect of this universe as he sat in the spacious Sherman Oaks office headquarters of the show. With his trim ponytail, black T-shirt and long short pants disclosing a collection of bold tattoos, Sutter, a Rutgers University graduate who was an executive producer on "The Shield," looks more like a cast member than a show runner. (He cast himself in a brief recurring role as a tortured Sons member.)

The time to end "Sons of Anarchy" is right, he maintained; he made the decision a few years ago to wrap it up after seven seasons. But now he's in a bit of a denial mode: "I don't want to deal with the sadness."

A former addict with a no-holds-barred personality, Sutter gained a hard-bitten reputation in 2010 after unleashing a rash of acid-tipped tweets and blog posts aimed at a variety of targets, including the television academy voters, who had repeatedly ignored the series. There have also been dynamite confrontations on the set between Sutter and Hunnam, which at times came close to replicating a show story line.

These days Sutter appears much calmer. He's made peace with the academy, which has hosted "Sons of Anarchy" panels, and he and Hunnam express an unqualified love for each other. Still, he is grappling with both anticipation and dread in closing out the saga that has consumed him for almost a decade. "There are moments when I do get overwhelmed," he said. "This is a big … dysfunctional family, but it's family. Everyone who is here really wants to be here, loves to be here, and that's rare. One of our goals now is to look on this as just another season."

Still, "Sons of Anarchy" is not riding quietly off into the sunset. The season opener is bookended by shocking crimson moments. The season will feature some offbeat guest stars, including Malcolm-Jamal Warner ("The Cosby Show") and Lea Michele ("Glee"). And at least a few cast members are likely to meet very bad ends before the final ride concludes.

Legions of rabid "Sons of Anarchy" fans paid their respects at San Diego's Comic-Con last month, filling the massive Hall H. When executive producer Paris Barclay saluted Sutter for taking him and the cast on "such a great ride," the throng responded so vigorously that Sutter, rarely at a loss for words, was almost speechless with choked-up emotion.

A steady climb

The start of the "SOA" road to success was not nearly that grand. While biker clubs and motorcycle enthusiasts were excited about the show, the mainstream entertainment media weren't as revved up. The large cast was mostly unknown, with the exception of Sagal, Sutter's wife, and Ron Perlman, who had made a career out of hiding his face: He was the star of the "Hellboy" films and the "Beauty and the Beast" TV series with Linda Hamilton.

Some reviewers gave the series an encouraging reception. Los Angeles Times television critic Robert Lloyd wrote, "It's a superior package, intelligently constructed and handsomely executed." Variety's Brian Lowry was not as generous: "There's just so little dimension to the characters that it's difficult to care."

After premiering to 2.9 million viewers, ratings grew steadily, including a solid corps of women. The costars who constitute the members of the "Sons" — Tommy Flanagan ("Chibs"), Theo Rossi ("Juice"), Mark Boone Junior ("Bobby") and Kim Coates ("Tig") — all have hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and make appearances all over the world, particularly in Germany, Australia and the U.K.

The only series on the TV landscape that comes close to "Sons of Anarchy" in visceral grit and atmosphere is AMC's "The Walking Dead," in which motley survivors battle flesh-eating zombies. All the dangers on "Sons" come from humans.

TV historian Tim Brooks said the show has reached out to a smaller but still potent viewership hungry for more novel fare than more broader-based series such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" or "The Big Bang Theory." "This show is so counter to what a broad audience would watch, yet it demonstrates how a model like this can not only last" but also succeed, he said.

FX Networks head John Landgraf said audiences have responded because "first and foremost, it's good storytelling, a ripping good yarn with a really distinctive world that had not been explored in television. It has an excellent cast, and it's very funny, darkly comedic.

"When I picked it up, I had noticed that the success of certain reality shows such as 'Ice Road Truckers' and 'The Deadliest Catch' was a real indication that there was an appetite for a certain kind of gritty blue-collar reality that wasn't being reflected on broadcast networks. This takes on a world of gritty tough men that is often overlooked."

Meaningful journey

Though there are numerous elements to the "SOA" world, the explosive dynamic between Sutter and Hunnam is central. They mirror each other in intensity and drive.

"This has been the great creative experience of my life," said Hunnam, 34, amid a long day at the North Hollywood studios where "SOA" shoots. Another long night on location was ahead of him, but the actor was talkative and gracious as he relaxed in his trailer.

"I'm really sad to be saying goodbye to these guys and this cast and this world that I've come to love a great deal. It's really exciting to be part of a show that really means something."

But there were a few bumps along the way, and the actor and his boss at times wound up on a creative collision course. Hunnam said Sutter would challenge him and his portrayal of the show's heroes, with fiery consequences.

"One of the things that Jax always has to deal with is being overwhelmed and dealing with self-doubt," he said. "I felt that acutely during the course of the show, of being overwhelmed, and that sometimes brought out the very worst in me.

"I've had a very short fuse at times," he conceded. "Kurt and I have very similar personalities. We both can have robust reactions. There's been so much love, but there have been those other times when I tried to engage him in hand-to-hand combat."

Ultimately, the two made peace: "Working with him has been the greatest collaboration of my life," said Hunnam, whose plans include producing his first screenplay, "Vlad," with Plan B, Brad Pitt's production company, and starring in the planned sequel to "Pacific Rim." He also reportedly is considering playing King Arthur in a Guy Ritchie film.

Sutter said the clashes were never personal and were all about the work. He has choked up at premieres when praising Hunnam, calling him a true brother: "We're at a place where we'd take a bullet for each other."

As the sun sets on "Sons," Sutter is preparing to embark on his next project for FX — a pilot for a period piece called "The Bastard Executioner" about a warrior knight in King Edward III's charge. He is developing the project with producer Brian Grazer, who came up with the idea.

But TV success is self-replicating, and "Sons of Anarchy" is not totally vanishing. "Sons of Anarchy" comic books have already started to appear, and novelizations are on their way. Sutter is mulling a prequel to the series. "It would be a completely different tonal piece," he said. "That is a real possibility."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...ry.html#page=1


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post #96461 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 04:38 AM
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TV Notes
Patrick Warburton Set to Reboot ‘The Tick’ as an Amazon Pilot
By Jason Hughes, TheWrap.com - Aug. 29, 2014
http://www.thewrap.com/patrick-warbu...-amazon-pilot/
My weekend has just been made! How much of a geek am I? When I was in Burbank in the 90s doing some things with NBC's promotion department, I had Townsend Coleman autograph some copies of the comic book. How obscure is THAT?

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #96462 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 04:53 AM
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Yeah, this is great news! I loved Warburton's 'The Tick'. Absolutely hysterical. Along with 'Police Squad', it was one of the most hugely underrated and unappreciated comedies ever made, IMHO (assuming you like superhero stuff in the first place).
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post #96463 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 05:53 AM
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Yeah, this is great news! I loved Warburton's 'The Tick'. Absolutely hysterical. Along with 'Police Squad', it was one of the most hugely underrated and unappreciated comedies ever made, IMHO (assuming you like superhero stuff in the first place).
Thanks for the reminder to put that in my Netflix queue. I'm not sure I've seen all of the episodes. I lived in Joplin, Missouri at the time. After the first two episodes, the local station began pre-empting the show for local talking-head, public affairs "specials." I found friends in other cities who'd recorded other episodes and I got those tapes. I think we once drove to Springfield and got a room just to watch an episode.

It never ceases to amaze me what network affiliates will pre-empt or why. When I lived in Cincinnati, I had to watch most of the episodes of "24" from the Dayton Fox affiliate because the local one pre-empted the show for basketball and often didn't air the missed episode until after midnight on the weekends.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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post #96464 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 06:41 AM
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TV Notes
Syfy Cancels Wil Wheaton Talk Show
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Aug. 29, 2014

Syfy will not continue on with its Wil Wheaton talk show.

Syfy announced the series in April for a May debut. The show featured Wheaton dissecting sci-fil film, TV, video games, viral videos and news of interest to the geek community. The half-hour series hailed from Pilgrim Studios, with Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols (Ghost Hunters) on board as exec producers.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...on-talk-729254
The key word here is "dissecting". I think Syfy (and any other Network) gets a little paranoid when there is any critical examination of the industry. (Max Headroom, Ellison on "SciFi Buzz", etc) They seem to run these shows hoping for a product placement puff piece. The first time they hear "and this doesn't make sense" or "what were the writers thinking?" they bail out.

I was surprised they even finished out the first run of episodes.
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Yeah I thought it was a decent show for us nerds, and was surprised that he got away with as much as he did when he constantly made fun of Siffy shows. I hope he gets another gig doing this kind of stuff somewhere else, he's fun to watch (and a pretty smart guy).
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post #96466 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 09:45 AM
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Yeah I thought it was a decent show for us nerds, and was surprised that he got away with as much as he did when he constantly made fun of Siffy shows. I hope he gets another gig doing this kind of stuff somewhere else, he's fun to watch (and a pretty smart guy).
Both my son and I enjoyed the show and were hoping they'd pick it up for another season (Skeletor reading angry tweets was the best!).

I'm a 'hooker' and a knitter. I guess that makes me bi-stitchual :).
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post #96467 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 10:05 AM
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Thanks for the reminder to put that in my Netflix queue. I'm not sure I've seen all of the episodes. I lived in Joplin, Missouri at the time. After the first two episodes, the local station began pre-empting the show for local talking-head, public affairs "specials." I found friends in other cities who'd recorded other episodes and I got those tapes. I think we once drove to Springfield and got a room just to watch an episode.

It never ceases to amaze me what network affiliates will pre-empt or why. When I lived in Cincinnati, I had to watch most of the episodes of "24" from the Dayton Fox affiliate because the local one pre-empted the show for basketball and often didn't air the missed episode until after midnight on the weekends.
Many times a TV Station that's a Network Affiliate will pre-empt a show simply because the station can often make more money by showing a local show instead of showing the network's offering. Viewers in the Detroit Area never got to see the first season of NBC's Saturday Night Live because the station decided to show movies instead. Those who could tune into Toledo, Ohio's NBC Affiliate would watch it via their station even though the picture quality made it barely visible. The same station also pre-empted the first season of CHIPs because they thought the show would "Bomb" and be cancelled early. The show did get cancelled, five years later. Fortunately, the first season of both shows are available on DVD.

Stations that are network affiliates often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when they are contracted to show a game of a local team. In the 1970, Detroit's NBC Affiliate was contracted to televise the Detroit Tiger's Baseball Games.Detroiters have a nickname for 1979, they called it "The Year of the Toothless Tiger". The team was DEAD LAST in the rankings (A local Radio Station, WNIC would interrupt whatever song they were playing with Barry Manilow's It's a Miracle whenever the Tigers won a game). One evening the station found themselves in a jam, NBC scheduled the movie The Sound of Music on the same evening as a Tiger's Game! During the evening Irate viewers bombarded the station demanding they show the movie. A person at the station's switchboard reported about 900 calls an hour from frustrated viewers. As for the Movie, it's also available on DVD.

Last but not least is our little friend, Political "Correctness" Stations will often pre-empt a network's offering because their afraid a minority would be offended by the show. The Detroit Area has one of the largest populations of Arabs living in the USA. Seems like they don't like the Christmas Special, The Little Drummer Boy because the villain in that show is an Arab. As a result the station refused to televise that show. Guess what? That show is available on DVD as well!
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post #96468 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 10:38 AM
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Oh, I understand why pre-emptions are done. I'm in the business. I'm just more or less venting. "Police Squad" was canceled because the ratings were terrible. And I know the Joplin affiliate got to sell all of the inventory during the pre-emption rather than just the few local avails. Though I can't imagine a public affairs program did the advertisers any more of a service. And my issue with the basketball games wasn't necessarily that they pre-empted "24." Again, I get that, they had the rights to Cincinnati basketball, which was huge at the time. But scheduling the replay for the middle of the night nearly a week after the original airing? Ugh. Again, I KNOW why. Weeknight infomercials had long since been sold. Just frustrating. But it did inspire me to start using my knowledge of antennas to construct arrays that would pick up a distant market or two. Now, I have 3-4 network affiliates to turn to should event programming or weather interruptions interfere with a favorite program.

Funny about "Saturday Night Live." Didn't air in Tulsa, either, so I'd drive up to see my girlfriend at college, check in to a motel and we'd watch it off of a small town Kansas station.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

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Funny about "Saturday Night Live." Didn't air in Tulsa, either, so I'd drive up to see my girlfriend at college, check in to a motel and we'd watch it off of a small town Kansas station.
You can just stop right there. We know what really happened.
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TV Notes
Jay Leno rides again on TV for car special
By Marco della Cava, USA Today - Aug. 29, 2014

Jay Leno doesn't do retirement. Although he has enough money banked from two decades hosting The Tonight Show to start his own country in the Caribbean, he's spent the past year working more, not less.

"I did 200 stand-up dates in the past year, compared to maybe 150 a year I did when I was hosting the show, so that feels good," says Leno, 64. "And I'm hoping this latest TV special is the first of more to come. It'd be fun."

Leno's referring to CNBC's Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week (Sunday, 10 p.m. ET/7 PT). The one-hour special is an offshoot of the car fanatic's successful Web series
CNBC? A Leno car show should have been an easy pitch to sell to multiple edutainment cable channels. What was stopping them? That he didn't want to do it naked? Or that included things like "learning" and "knowledge"? Two aspects which are rapidly diminishing on cablenets.


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CNBC? A Leno car show should have been an easy pitch to sell to multiple edutainment cable channels. What was stopping them? That he didn't want to do it naked? Or that included things like "learning" and "knowledge"? Two aspects which are rapidly diminishing on cablenets.
I catch myself watching a lot of CNBC lately, I usually watch Mad Money and now that they dropped the Kudlow show, it is followed by their specials, American Greed, The Profit, Shark Tank, Ultimate Factories, etc ... the Caterpillar dump truck built for the Canadian Tar Sands was awesome.
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post #96472 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 01:10 PM
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Ironically WDIV did televise The Sound of Music on the following Saturday Night, after the telecast of Saturday Night Live ended.
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Quick question is there a tablet friendly way to view AVS forums? TIA.
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post #96474 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 05:58 PM
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Quick question is there a tablet friendly way to view AVS forums? TIA.

At the bottom of the page there will be a tab that says mobile, desktop, or enhanced mobile. I use mobile on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 but I just switched over to desktop and that renders the page more like it's supposed to be but I think mobile is more tablet friendly.
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Is there any way to go to 'last read' in anything other than desktop?

I know this is a dead horse - but the new forum SW sucks.

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post #96476 of 96972 Old 08-30-2014, 07:59 PM
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Is there any way to go to 'last read' in anything other than desktop?

I know this is a dead horse - but the new forum SW sucks.

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Not that I've found, and yes, it does suck. I just scroll down...
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post #96477 of 96972 Old 08-31-2014, 03:06 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. 13)
8PM - Wipeout
9PM - 2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon (120 min.)

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

NBC:
7PM - American Ninja Warrior: Denver Finals (120 min.)
(R - Aug. 4)
9PM - America's Got Talent: Semi Finals 1 (120 min.)
(R - Aug. 26)

FOX:
7PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Nov. 10)
7:30PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Oct. 6)
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - Mar. 23)
8:30PM - The Simpsons
(R - Mar. 30)
9PM - Family Guy
(R - Jan. 5)
9:30PM - Family Guy
(R - Mar. 30)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Secrets of The Tower of London
(R - Oct. 27)
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! Breathless, Part 2 (90 min)
10:30PM - Vicious
(R)

UNIVISION:
7PM - Aquí y Ahora
8PM - Movie: El Padrecito (1964)
10PM - Sal y Pimienta

TELEMUNDO:
6:30PM - Movie: The Spy Next Door (2010)
8:30PM - Movie - Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)


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post #96478 of 96972 Old 08-31-2014, 03:11 AM
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Critic's Notes
Weighing whether it is words or reality
By Mike Snider, USA Today's 'Cutting the Cord' Column - Aug. 30, 2014

Want more proof that cord cutting is officially a thing? It's caught the attention of the folks who publish the Oxford English Dictionary.

The term "cord cutter" isn't yet part of the Oxford English Dictionary, which is often considered the arbiter of the language. But it has been added to OxfordDictionaries.com, the first step toward OED inclusion.

Along with "cord cutter," the online dictionary also added "binge-watch" and "hate-watch," which means watching a program you don't like, just so you can rant about it. A few other words added: "amazeballs" and "side-boob."

Updated quarterly, OxfordDictionaries.com is a more contemporary counterpart to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is due for its own quarterly update in September. Words migrate to the OED, but not quite that quickly, says Katherine Martin, who is the head of the U.S. dictionaries at Oxford University Press.

"There's a lot of evidence for 'cord cutter' right now so if it stays in (the vernacular) much longer it will be a very good candidate," she says.

The last print version of the OED came out in 1989, so OED.com is the up-to-date document. There are some sample entries you can look at, but a subscription runs $29.95 monthly or $295 annually.

When the OED researchers looked into the background of "cord cutter," they found it has also been used to describe those who were dropping landline phone service for cellphones, Martin says.

"It's a fun word because you are comparing the cable or telephone companies to your umbilical cord," she says. "It's a fun piece of new English usage. And I think the fact we are adding 'binge-watch' and 'hate-watch' and 'cord cutter' all at the same time speaks to the fact that the way that we consume video content is changing a lot right now. So when things in society change, the English language tends to evolve a lot of new ways to talk about them. If I were looking at a linguistic trend, it would be that our entertainment consumption habits are really being revolutionized right now, and we are needing new words to describe the phenomenon."

That all makes sense, but could the concept of cord cutting be overblown?

Only about 5% of U.S. homes with broadband Net service have cut the pay TV cord, says Parks Associates research analyst Glenn Hower. "We are not projecting really any increase in that," he says.

That's confirmed by a recent eMarketer analysis of recent cord-cutting research that deemed it "more myth than reality," with perhaps 1 million U.S. cord cutters expected in 2014. Rather, consumers are more likely to switch from cable to telco and satellite services and chip away at their overall pay TV bill, the research firm's report projects.

"A big part of that is just the fact that consumers in the U.S. especially really like their video content and in a lot of instances that is just not really available without a pay TV subscription," Hower said. "You can get certain things from Hulu and Netflix but it is a very fragmented experience and you have to subscribe to multiple services to get all the content you want and even then you won't have access to (everything)."

How online video services evolve — and traditional pay TV providers respond — will dictate whether "cord cutter" has a future on OED.com or not.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/p...nary/14683203/


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post #96479 of 96972 Old 08-31-2014, 03:15 AM
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TV Notes
Fox's ‘Utopia’ Live Feeds Are Free and Streaming Now
By Jason Hughes, TheWrap.com - Aug. 29, 2014

Fox's “Utopia” is a little more than a week away from its Setp. 9 premiere, but curious fans can check out the action already on the show's live feeds. Like CBS's “Big Brother,” the feeds will be available 24/7, but there is one major difference: “Utopia” offers free feeds, as well as more enhanced feeds for paid subscribers.

Free subscribers can view two HD live streams, as well as voting for new members of the “Utopia” society, and gaining access to select news items and videos. Fox also offers a “premium passport” for $5 a month. This passport gives viewers access to four different live streams with no ads, and access to live chat.

The adventure began on Friday, with the contestants relocating from their sequestered hotels onto the five-acre “Utopia” set. While everyone is being very nice and courteous in these early hours of getting to know one another, this is a varied cast coming from widely divergent backgrounds.

Like MTV's “The Real World” said back in the day, this show won't get real until people “stop being polite.” Unlike “Big Brother,” “Utopia” offers very little in the way of structure. It's not a game per se, and there aren't competitions. But people will leave the game, and new people will join, based on as-yet-undefined viewer and peer votes.

“Utopia” will premiere across three nights on Fox: Sunday Sept. 7, Tuesday Sept. 9, and Friday Sept. 12. All episodes will broadcast at 8/7c. It will then continue on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8/7c.

http://www.thewrap.com/foxs-utopia-l...streaming-now/


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post #96480 of 96972 Old 08-31-2014, 03:20 AM
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TV Review
Houdini miniseries explores reality of magician
By Michael Grandinetti, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Aug. 31, 2014

When I was growing up in West Mifflin and started studying magic, it was impossible not to discover Harry Houdini. His name and photo were in almost every magic book I read. He seemed larger than life — a man who could escape from anything, walk through walls and even make a grown elephant disappear from the center of an arena.

I was fascinated.

It’s now even more amazing to realize that in a time before YouTube, the Internet, television and even radio, Houdini, who lived from 1874 to 1926, reached the masses and became a household name. He did this by convincing the public that there were no confinements that could hold him and, in the process, inspiring them that they might be able to overcome their own challenges, too.

He connected with his audiences. They rooted for him and cheered him on, and they remembered the powerful emotion of optimism he made them feel.

As one of the most fascinating characters of early 20th-century entertainment, Houdini’s life has been covered in several books and movies, most notably the 1953 film starring Tony Curtis, a 1976 movie starring Paul Michael Glaser and a 1998 television movie starring Johnathon Schaech.

The new History miniseries, “Houdini,” starring Academy Award winner Adrien Brody as Harry Houdini and Kristen Connolly as his wife, Bess, shares the story of Houdini from a different perspective than past projects. Based on the novel “Houdini: A Mind in Chains: A Psychoanalytic Portrait” by Bernard C. Meyer, the movie explores how the situations and relationships that Houdini experienced through his life left a lasting impact, both personally and professionally.

Mr. Brody brings his own quality to his portrayal of Houdini. Where Houdini was only 5-foot-6 and muscular, the tall and thin Mr. Brody gives more of an emotional, vulnerable feel to Houdini than what we’ve seen before.

Ms. Connolly captures many of the essential qualities for the role of his wife, in her supportive yet impassioned reactions to Harry’s life and career. There are some embellishments to the story that veer from fact and, unfortunately, as in a lot of movies where illusion is the subject, some “Hollywood magic” was used to accomplish the magic effects (rather than actual illusion performances), such as when the elephant disappears from New York’s Hippodrome Theater.

Even with that in mind, this is an entertaining addition to the Houdini film history. Told through a series of flashbacks, with several twists, turns and cliffhangers, the stages of Houdini’s life are covered over the two-night broadcast.

As the film opens, Houdini is dropped, wrapped in chains, from a tall bridge into an ice-covered river as hundreds of spectators watch from above. This perfectly captures the essence of both Houdini and his story. We’re then taken back to his early days as Erich Weiss, a Hungarian immigrant growing up in Appleton, Wis. He’s driven by the support of his mother, and we watch as he moves from standard magic performances to discovering that overcoming escape challenges on stage produces a much stronger response from his audiences than he ever expected.

It’s interesting to note that as the development of movies and other advances create increasingly more competition for live theater, Houdini has to outdo himself, again and again, to stay on top — from being strapped to the mouth of a loaded cannon as a lit fuse draws near to hanging 20 stories in the air above a crowded street bound in a straitjacket. He was so successful that Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes series, actually believed that Houdini had magical powers.

An intriguing part to this miniseries that hasn’t been explored previously onscreen is Houdini’s suspected involvement as an American spy, using his world travels as a cover to obtain and transfer information. This film also portrays a darker side to his story by depicting a sometimes strained relationship between Harry and Bess, drug and alcohol usage, and Harry’s well-documented, intense fights against spirit mediums later in his career.

To me, one of the truest insights into Houdini’s character is on display when we see that he was not satisfied with just mastering magic. He was also compelled to involve himself in the latest fascinations of society as well. When movies first appeared, he starred in two, both including his escapes.

In the end, it’s actually the unexpected itself that brings a sudden close to Houdini’s story, which is augmented in the film with actual footage from his funeral. Despite his incredibly accomplished life, when watching this, one can’t help but wonder what Houdini might have achieved next had his time not been tragically cut so short.

The effect that Houdini had on the people of the time is probably best summed up in the movie in a conversation he has with his doctor, from his hospital bed, near the end of his life. When Harry tells the doctor he is a fake, the doctor responds, “You thrilled millions. I took my family every time you played Detroit. Is it fake to make people happy, fake to help millions escape their own problems and inspire them? You are the realest person I've ever met.”

One of the biggest dreams of any entertainer is to attain longevity, staying power. Houdini not only did this during his career, but unlike almost all of his contemporaries, nearly 90 years after he left the stage, we are still talking about him, remembering him and fascinated by his accomplishments.

That may be his greatest magical feat of all.

“HOUDINI”
When: 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday on the History Channel, with numerous repeat showings.


http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201408310052


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