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post #96481 of 96862 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 #96482 of 96862 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 #96483 of 96862 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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post #96484 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 03:24 AM
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Critic's Notes
Amazon hits some bumps with its third pilot season, but 'Red Oaks' and 'The Cosmopolitans' show promise
Less to be excited about than in the second batch of pilots
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Aug. 29, 2014

Amazon keeps accelerating the pace and output of its "pilot season" process. The original batch of Amazon pilots were presented to the public in April of last year; of those, only "Alpha House" (which got renewed for a second season) and "Betas" (which remains in limbo) got picked up. The second batch of pilots were unveiled less than a year later, and Amazon ordered almost all of them — other than "Rebels," the pro football comedy that no one seemed to like — to series. That was in February, and while none of those new shows has debuted — "Transparent," the best of the bunch, will premiere all of its episodes, Netflix-style, on September 26 — Amazon yesterday unveiled its third pilot season, even as there's already news about casting for the fourth wave of Amazon pilots. At this rate, they may be ordering some shows before a word's even been written, and traveling back in time to cancel others before the creator has even thought of the idea.

Since only two Amazon shows have actually presented full seasons so far, and since Amazon ordered virtually all of its second batch of pilots, it's hard to identify too many patterns in what Amazon executives and Amazon customers are looking for in their shows. But the third batch — two hour-long dramas and three half-hour comedies — do offer some clues, as well as some things to get excited about and some things to be disappointed by.

You can see a through line, for instance, between "Transparent" (Jill Soloway's story of an aging man who begins a gender transition, and the adult children reacting to that) and the new "The Cosmopolitans," the Whit Stillman-created tale of a group of young American expats (one of them played by Adam Brody) living in Paris. Both shows would have very few homes available to them (maybe HBO would have considered one or both, filling one of their token "we don't think this is commercial at all, but we like it" slots like "Enlightened" and "Tremé" have in the past), and both are clearly the unfiltered work of their creators. "The Cosmopolitans" feels exactly like the first half-hour of a Whit Stillman film (of which there have been precious few), even beyond the Chloe Sevigny cameo. Like "Transparent," I can imagine "Cosmopolitans" attracting a small but very passionate audience.

That said, "Cosmopolitans" isn't as satisfying a viewing experience as "Transparent" was. There's wry banter and a fantastic sense of place, but it really doesn't function as the first episode of a TV show, because it just stops at the half-hour mark. Stillman told Grantland that he originally wrote an hour-long pilot, and when he wasn't satisfied with the second half, Amazon told him to just shoot the first, and it plays that way. I like Stillman's work enough (and am glad to see Brody in a regular series again) that I'll watch more if Amazon orders this to series, but it's the second-best of this wave of pilots by default as much as it is for the pleasures of Stillman's writing.

The best of this round by a country mile is "Red Oaks," produced by Steven Soderbergh, directed by David Gordon Green and written by Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi. A period comedy about a teenage tennis pro (Craig Roberts from "Submarine") at a country club in 1985, it feels fully-formed from its opening moments, is funny when it wants to be and has an instantly-deep bench of characters. Now, many of them are playing off of familiar archetypes from other teen and/or period comedies — as the mustachioed photographer who shoots all the weddings and bar mitzvahs at the club (and who enjoys hitting on the younger female employees), Josh Meyers is essentially playing Wooderson from "Dazed and Confused" — but the show neatly straddles a line between pastiche and sincerity. The broadcast networks are going to be debuting their fall shows in the coming weeks, and I'd rather see a second episode of "Red Oaks" than virtually anything the networks are giving us.

The third comedy, "Really," has the bad timing to come only six weeks after the debut of the virtually identical "Married" on FX. Created by and co-starring Jay Chandrasekhar, it's another story of a marriage that's starting to go stale from routine, the stress of work and parenting, and a lack of regular sex. This is a more upscale version of that story, with different actors (Sarah Chalke here fills the role played by her former "Mad Love" co-star Judy Greer on "Married," and the supporting cast includes Selma Blair, Collette Wolfe, Lindsay Sloane and Travis Schuldt) and slightly more explicit humor. But otherwise, it's really damn close. "Married" has gotten better after a really unpleasant pilot, and maybe "Really" could as well, but I'd only rank it third among the new Amazon pilots because the dramas are not good at all.

"Hand of God" is another Cable Anti-Hero 101 show, structured very similarly to Starz's "Boss," with a revered authority figure (Ron Perlman as a SoCal judge) who is either losing his mind or hearing actual messages from God after a traumatic incident inspires him to become born again. There are lots of shady backroom deals (many of them made by Andre Royo from "The Wire" as the city's mayor, and/or by Dana Delany as Perlman's wife), lots of religious and/or hallucinatory images, lots of violence and nudity and every other cliché we've come to expect from these kinds of shows, all presented in a way that suggests they are profound rather than silly and pretentious. It looks pretty (Marc Forster directed the pilot), but this is one I powered through out of professional obligation rather than enjoyment.

On the plus side, "Hand of God" at least gives a clear sense of what kind of show it wants to be and what stories it's telling. The pilot for "Hysteria" (written by Shaun Cassidy) is... well... I'm not entirely sure what it's about. There's some kind of strange disease — possibly psychosomatic, possibly real, possibly spread via social media (topical horror!) — and there's Mena Suvari as the doctor brought in to figure out what the hell is going on, all while she battles her own personal demons, and there's a lot of angst involving a cop having an affair with a teenage temptress, and a lot of yelling and spasming and occasional dance performances. But the whole thing's a mess overall that repeats certain images way too many times just to make sure we understand the nature of viral video, Suvari doesn't provide enough of a center, and too much of what happens is cryptic solely for the sake of being cryptic. There's no there there, which is unfortunate, because Cassidy usually does very well at playing with genre tropes.

Again, we still have a bit of time before the second wave of Amazon shows actually start appearing online as more than just pilots. I'm looking forward to several of them (and will be running interviews with several of the creators closer to their respective debuts). That second batch of pilots wasn't perfect, but it was a notable improvement on the first group, and suggested a healthy growth curve for Amazon. This third group has its highlights (even if "Red Oaks" is the only one emerged from the pilot oven baked all the way through), but it's also a reminder that content providers don't inherently get better and better all the time. HBO had some bumps after its initial wave of millennial successes, just as FX did after the troika of "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rescue Me." But it's always fun to see a new operator at work, even if it only adds to the Too Much Interesting TV dilemma.

What did everybody else think? Is there a new Amazon pilot you're especially eager to see as a series? One you wish you could down-vote as many times as possible? And are you getting impatient for any of the second wave shows to finally debut?

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...s-show-promise


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post #96485 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 03:25 AM
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.


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post #96486 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 03:29 AM
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TV Notes
ISIS, Ukraine, Joan Rivers: Sunday topics
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Aug. 29, 2014

The Sunday morning programs will run the gamut from ISIS and Ukraine to Joan Rivers' hospitalization. The lineup:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., talks to NBC's "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. A panel on ISIS brings together Gen. Anthony Zinni (Ret.), former commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command; Michele Flournoy, former under secretary of defense for policy; and Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. A political roundtable features Afghanistan War veteran Wes Moore,
Dan Henninger of The Wall Street Journal, Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. The guest moderator is Andrea Mitchell. The program offers a preview with Chuck Todd, who becomes moderator Sept. 8.

Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., are guests on "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. and noon on CNN. Other guests are Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. A political panel brings together Lanhee Chen, a Mitt Romney adviser in 2012; Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson; Penny Lee, former adviser to Sen. Harry Reid; and CNN political commentator Marc Lamont Hill.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Jessica Lewis of the Institute for the Study of War are guests on "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. Other guests are Mark Mellman, CEO of the Mellman Group, and Bill McInturff, co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies. The program offers a feature on Vincent Rossi and Adam Metallo, 3D digitation program officers at the Smithsonian Museum. The panel will be George Will, Julie Pace of The Associated Press, Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America and Charles Lane of The Washington Post.

Sen. John McCain talks to CBS' "Face the Nation" at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Other guests are Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y.; Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash.; Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute; and Michael Singh of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

ABC's "This Week" offers a roundtable at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. The panelists are Cokie Roberts and Matthew Dowd of ABC; former Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M.; and Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.

Former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, are guests on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on CNN.

Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com, talks to "Sunday Morning Futures" at 10 a.m. on Fox News Channel. Other guests are journalist Judith Miller, Capt. Chuck Nash and Richard Grenell, former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations. The panel is GOP consultant Ed Rollins, KT McFarland and Martin Sass, CEO and chairman of Sass.

Nancy O'Dell of "Entertainment Tonight" discusses Joan Rivers on "Reliable Sources" at 11 a.m. on CNN. Other guests are Guest: Anjem Choudary of London Imam; Josh Rogin of The Daily Beast; author and political activist Naomi Wolf; Matti Friedman, former correspondent for The Associated Press; and Patrick Gottsch, founder & chairman of RFD-TV.

"MediaBuzz" starts at 11 a.m. on Fox News Channel. The guests are Lauren Ashburn, Charles Gasparino of Fox Business Network, Joe Concha of Mediaite, Mara Liasson of NPR, David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun and Jim Pinkerton.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/enter...0,7963893.post


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post #96487 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 03:33 AM
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Business/Legal Notes
Aereo Tells Judge It Can Beat Lawsuit Despite Supreme Court Ruling
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood Esq.' Column - Aug. 29, 2014

On Friday, Aereo filed its opposition to an injunction demanded by television broadcasters. As expected, the digital TV company is asserting that it is a "cable system" and is therefore entitled to a statutory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act.

Two weeks ago, after U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said that broadcasters should get the opportunity to first make an injunction motion before Aereo opposed, the plaintiffs did just that with one that was aimed at stopping Aereo from "streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any Copyrighted Programming over the Internet... or by means of any device or process throughout the United States of America."

The broadcasters said that it was in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on June 25 to interpret Aereo's system of capturing over-the-air television signals and relaying them to subscribers' digital devices as a violation of broadcasters' public performance rights.

Justice Stephen Breyer likened Aereo to a cable system -- an unlicensed one -- which has led the company to fully embrace the designation in the interest of saving its company.

According to Aereo's memo opposing an injunction, "At oral argument, the [Supreme] Court made clear its understanding that its ruling would entitle Aereo to a Section 111 license when Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor specifically stated, 'We say they’re a c[]able company, they get the compulsory license.'”

"Indeed, the Court specifically found that with respect to its 'Watch Now' functionality, Aereo is a facility that receives television broadcast signals and makes secondary transmissions to its subscribers," continues the brief.
The broadcasters have pointed to arguments why Aereo won't prevail in the copyright case and can't attain a statutory license including WPIX, Inc. v. ivi, Inc., a 2nd Circuit opinion from 2012 that knocked down a statutory license attempt from a Aereo predecessor.

"But ivi concerned nationwide, out-of-market retransmissions that are fundamentally different from Aereo’s in-market-only technology and thus it does not apply here," responds Aereo. "Aereo has paid the statutory license fees required under Section 111, and thus Plaintiffs can no longer complain that they are not being compensated as copyright owners."

Aereo raises another argument about why it is likely to succeed in the case. It points to the safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Those govern takedown procedures when infringing works are hosted by digital service providers. Aereo says it is entitled to such safe harbor.

The defendant also asserts that the TV broadcasters have failed to show any "irreparable imminent harm" -- one of the two main factors in the issuance of a preliminary injunction -- even though Judge Nathan ruled in favor of the broadcasters on this point when she first denied a preliminary injunction.

"That preliminary finding, however, was based on Plaintiffs’ testimony that Plaintiffs contradicted almost immediately in public statements to investors and that has been further debunked in discovery," says Aereo. "Plaintiffs have admitted that, notwithstanding the fact that Aereo continued to operate and expand in the two years after the denial of the preliminary injunction, they suffered no harm to their retransmission negotiations. For example, the CEO of CBS has said that Aereo has not 'affected us in terms of one sub, one deal, one anything.'”

If those arguments don't work, Aereo is at least seeking to narrow the injunction to cover the live aspect of its service and not the time-shifted DVR functions. In truth, it's that aspect of Judge Nathan's forthcoming decision that warrants closest attention. Other services such as Tivo have recently come out with digital services or products that attempt to exploit antennas and remote-DVR functionality. Aereo tells the judge, "Cablevision [a 2008 case] remains the law in this Circuit and Aereo’s time-shifted DVR is functionally identical to the Cablevision system."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr...an-beat-729201


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post #96488 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 05:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post
You can just stop right there. We know what really happened.
LOL. Still happening, too.
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post #96489 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 09:21 AM
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Tech/Business Notes
Slow Comcast speeds were costing Netflix customers
By David Goldman, CNNMoney.com - Aug. 29, 2014

Why did Netflix pay Comcast to stream its videos faster? Because Netflix was losing customers.

That's according to a petition Netflix filed to the Federal Communications Commission this week in opposition to Comcast's proposed mega-merger with Time Warner Cable.

In February, Netflix reluctantly agreed to pay Comcast to directly connect to its network. Prior to the direct connect, Netflix delivered its videos to Comcast customers via third parties, including Cogent Communications. But Comcast customers experienced abysmal Netflix speeds -- among the worst in the country.

Netflix speeds became so slow in December 2013 and January 2014 that customers grew irate, Netflix said in its petition. Calls made to Netflix's customer support center about slow-loading videos more than quadrupled during those months.

"For many subscribers, the bit rate was so poor that Netflix's streaming video service became unusable," the company said. "Some of them canceled their Netflix subscription on the spot, citing the unacceptable quality of Netflix's video streams and Netflix's inability to do anything to change the situation."

"We had to do something to make the congestion stop," the company added.

After its February agreement, Netflix speeds have soared on Comcast's network. The company has since entered similar deals with AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable.

Netflix and its CEO Reed Hastings have become outspoken critics of those direct-connect deals, accusing the Internet service providers of shakedown tactics.

Writing in Wired last week, Hastings said that Internet users will "never realize broadband's potential if large ISPs erect a pay-to-play system that charges both the sender and receiver for the same content." He has called on the FCC to ban broadband companies from charging content providers like Netflix to connect to their networks.

The Internet companies counter that Netflix plays an outsized role in network congestion, accounting for around a third of data consumption online during peak hours, and Netflix should therefore help foot the bill for delivery.

http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/tech...ast/index.html


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post #96490 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 09:29 AM
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 31, 2014

THE SIMPSONS MARATHON
FXX, Check local listings

We’re up to Day 11 of this marathon, and I’ve visited just about every day so far. Tonight’s highlight, for me, is “Exit from the Kwik-E-Mart,” a Season 23 episode that is televised at 10 p.m. ET. It’s about high-priced street art – and though Banksy was represented in an earlier episode, the commentary about popular and ground-level art is quite clever here. And so is the opening sequence, which Game of Thrones fans won’t want to miss: It’s a Springfield variation on that HBO show’s involved opening-credits map sequence.

THE X FACTOR UK
AXS TV, 8:00 p.m. ET

This is the original British series, not its U.S. version that borrowed the same format. And for this British version, which began Season 14 last night overseas, original host and executive producer Simon Cowell has rejoined the judging panel. So has Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, who, before her marriage (and name change) earlier this year, was familiar to both U.K. and U.S. X Factor viewers as Cheryl Cole (seen here with Cowell, from the season premiere). Long-time judge Louis Walsh is here, too, as is first-time judge Mel B, formerly known as Scary Spice from the Spice Girls. How Scary is she now? Tune in and see – as AXS TV presents one-day-later U.S. telecasts of the episodes premiering this season in England.

SHANE
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Here’s a classic Western indeed – one of the definitive examples of the ranch-wars subgenre. George Stevens directs this 1953 emotional confrontation between white and black hats, with Alan Ladd starring as Shane, the loner who rides in to help ranchers being squeezed out by a greedy adversary – and Jean Arthur and Brandon de Wilde play, respectively, the widow and her son that he protects at great personal risk. The scene-stealer, of course, is Jack Palance as Jack Wilson, a ruthless hired gun who played one of the most indelibly evil screen villains of the Fifties.

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

In this eighth episode of FX’s scary new series, Eph (Corey Stoll) learns that the creepy creatures he’s trying to hunt and eradicate have a particular aversion to ultraviolet rays – which means this series, in the same scene, may give viewers something both ultraviolet and ultraviolent. Let there be light!

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

In tonight’s episode, Abby (Rachel Brosnahan) learns that her husband Charlie is going on a top-secret field trip to check out the country’s first plutonium reactor, and is taking an “assistant,” Helen, with him. This could well lead to an explosion that has nothing to do with nuclear fission – just marital friction.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
'The Patty Duke Show' Reminds Us of the Power of Newspapers
By Ed Martin, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 28, 2014

Remember when a letter to the editor in your local paper actually carried weight and often brought about a significant response? If you're under 30, probably not; that's what's happened to the power of newspapers these last 20 years or so.

Once upon a time, before social media expanded communication to such a degree that it is now diluted on the local level, a well written, smartly reasoned letter to the editor with a well-argued point of view could bring about changes in local policies, politics and practices of every stripe. That's because everybody read the local paper every day, or knew someone who did, regardless of age, occupation or social or financial status. Entire communities were brought together daily in one place by one or two affordable publications. Competition for space on the letters page was intense. Unlike social media today, there was no place for knee-jerk responses to anything in that valuable real estate. One had to think for a while before one communicated.

All of this came to mind while watching "Cathy, the Rebel," an episode of the classic '60s sitcom The Patty Duke Show recently telecast on Antenna TV. If you are unfamiliar with the show, it starred Patty Duke in dual roles as identical twin cousins Patty and Cathy Lane. Cathy lived with her Uncle Martin (William Schallert), Aunt Natalie (Jean Byron) and cousins Patty and Ross (Paul O'Keefe) in their finely appointed Brooklyn Heights brownstone. (Interestingly, Cathy's father Kenneth Lane was also played by William Schallert. Like Cathy and Patty, Martin and Kenneth were also identical twins. Kenneth, also a newspaper man, was a roving foreign correspondent hence the decision to have Cathy reside with Martin and his family and experience the life of a more typical teenager.)

Cathy was a refined young lady who had lived "most everywhere, from Zanzibar to Barclay Square," as viewers were reminded every week in the show's theme song, while typical teen Patty had "only seen the sights a girl can see from Brooklyn Heights." The series is remembered for the comic situations that often resulted from people confusing Patty and Cathy. But much of the humor was grounded in what might now be referred to as "the teenage experience" in the '60s.

In "Cathy, the Rebel," Martin -- editor of The New York Daily Chronicle -- had written an editorial blasting a group of students at a nearby university who had run wild and toppled a statue. He called them out as "juvenile delinquents."

Outspoken Patty blithely dismissed the whole thing as an innocent case of "spring fever." But quiet, demure, intellectual Cathy, unaware that her beloved uncle had authored the editorial, wrote a letter to the editor in response to it, referring to the writer as having "the mentality of a dinosaur." She signed the letter "Rebel." (If memory serves, individuals who wrote letters to my local paper, The Bridgeport Post, were required to have their names appear in print.)

The response from the community that followed the printing of Cathy's letter was not unusual for its time. Dozens of kids wrote to the paper in support of "Rebel." Martin's boss was so overwhelmed by the volume of letters that he demanded Martin figure out a way to respond to the situation. The heat was on.

Meanwhile, the gang at the neighborhood soda fountain (another staple of American life that has gone the way of the drive-in and the local department store) was also rallying around the elusive "Rebel" by writing letters to the paper. Even Patty's goofy boyfriend Richard got into the act. "Dear Fossil," his letter began, "Why don't you go back to the La Brea tar pits where they dug you up?"

With The Patty Duke Show having been a family-friendly sitcom from a kinder, gentler era, Martin was never made to be a buffoon (like so many sitcom dads who would come after him), the kids were never rude (even at their most expressive) and everything turned out alright in the end. Cathy admitted to Martin that she was "Rebel" and explained that she had no idea he had written the original editorial about the rambunctious students. She thought what they did with the statue was amusing and not at all malicious. Martin was sympathetic and wisely concluded that it was "time for the stone-agers and the teenagers to sit down and talk things over."

As the episode concluded, Martin decided to allow a high school student to take over his column once a month and express the young people's point of view on subjects that matter to them. Patty told Cathy that she had "struck a blow for all of us."

The Patty Duke Show is yet another of those classic television series that made a great impact when it first aired (especially, in this case, with younger viewers) but today seems so utterly unlike anything in real life it's as if it is being beamed in from another dimension or an alternate reality. But it's fun to see content that entertained many millions of people in its heyday and, occasionally, to see first-hand how some things have changed. Are people better off without a central media franchise in their communities everyone could depend on for information and two-way communication? Are kids better off glued to their phones and tablets engaging in social media rather than gathering in person to solve the problems of their world?

Who could have foreseen when it first aired that an episode of The Patty Duke Show could prompt timely questions a half-century later? Television series, like movies can't help but be cultural artifacts.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...px?postId=7990


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SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.


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Critic's Notes
Must-Share TV
By Ian Crouch, NewYorker.com - Aug. 29, 2014

At the beginning of this week, as he has most weeks since his show launched on HBO, in April, John Oliver started a conversation on the Internet. In a short clip posted online, Oliver mocks Web sites, namely the Huffington Post, for how it shares segments from his show. He cites the headlines of two such posts: “John Oliver Tears FIFA Apart, Calls It ‘Cartoonishly Evil’,” which included a clip of his extended takedown of international soccer’s governing body; and “Watch John Oliver Verbally Pants Dr. Oz,” which introduced Oliver’s segment criticizing Dr. Oz for endorsing specious health remedies. The target of Oliver’s rant is the click-grasping hyperbole of those verb phrases—and the list of offenders extends well beyond the Huffington Post. “The Internet does not know how to describe things anymore,” Oliver says, and, to prove the point by extending it to the furthest reaches of nonsense, proceeds to “literally destroy” a piñata.

The Huffington Post responded by posting the video under a more subdued headline: “John Oliver Hit A Piñata With A Stick A Few Times… See How Boring That Sounds?” Other sites, including Vox and Gawker, noted Oliver’s admonishment by sticking, in this case, to the mere facts, and shared the video based on his instructions. The Internet would do better from now on. Oliver had won the round by being sharp and funny, and by gleefully snapping at one of the hands that feeds him: his show’s very virality.

The key to this episode is that these sites shared the very clip that mocked them—as they do with many of the other clips of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” It was an honor, in a way, to be mentioned—the kind of insidery thing that everyone on the inside enjoys being a part of. Earlier this summer, when Oliver devoted a long segment to the insidiousness of so-called “native advertising” on news sites, the video of that critique got embedded and shared widely by those same news sites. (Though not everywhere: BuzzFeed, for example, did not share the clip, in which Oliver says of the C.E.O., Jonah Peretti,”His face is like BuzzFeed itself: successful, appealing, and yet somehow you want to punch it.”) In this latest bit, Oliver notes the coziness of the relationship between his show and the places that run his clips: “I’m premium cable’s John Oliver, although, if you don’t read Internet news sites, you probably know me as ‘Oh, he has a show now. Really?’ ”

If you do read Internet news sites, you would see that Oliver has very quickly become an essential cultural critic, one whose bitterly funny opinion segments on such issues as capital punishment, net neutrality, and payday loans not only respond cleverly to the news but have had a hand in shaping both opinion, and, in the case of net neutrality, perhaps even policy. When the show débuted, I thought that its once-a-week schedule would prevent it from engaging with the ups and downs of the week’s news. (Oliver, in the show’s promotional advertisements, made note of this very limitation and, indeed, HBO executives have suggested that the show may expand, either to an hourlong weekly episode or to several half-hour shows during the week.) Instead, the show’s writers have had time to craft what is often the tightest, most joke-filled possible version of “The Daily Show,” where Oliver worked for seven years as a writer and correspondent.

The show’s time slot, on Sunday night, with clips released on Monday morning, has made it an ideal table-setter for the Internet, giving writers and editors looking for ideas and content a natural place to start their week. HBO has been particularly liberal in its release of clips, providing the show, or parts of it, at least, an audience, and thus a cultural reach, that goes well beyond the network’s subscribers. Oliver’s show thrives within a wider dialogue, and would have less relevance if only HBO’s subscribers were seeing it.

The current situation is, then, of supposedly mutual benefit: the show gets wide exposure and HBO gets to advertise by showing off one of its most shareable, relevant shows. News sites, meanwhile, get to briefly explain an essentially self-explanatory comedy video and reap the traffic rewards. (And, to be fair, this post begins in much the same way.) Of the two parties, it is Oliver who seems to have seized the upper hand, or else to realize that he has had it all along: he gets to mock the sites that, in effect, host his show, because the cost of not sharing has been judged as too high to pass up. And Oliver stays just on the friendly side of the line: he’s not telling the Huffington Post et al to stop sharing his clips every Monday, but rather needling them for doing it so eagerly.

Virality is a new metric of success among late-night shows, and perhaps the most important one. The “Tonight Show,” with Jimmy Fallon, and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” have mastered the art—mostly by doing charming, gently offbeat bits with celebrities, who prove themselves to be tremendous good sports—just how we’ve always hoped they’d be. I’ve seen dozens of clips from both shows—Fallon and Bruce Springsteen signing about Chris Christie; celebrities on Kimmel reading mean tweets about themselves. But does that make me a “viewer” of these shows, or even, in the older sense, a fan? Or am I just a consumer, and sometimes a perpetuator, via Twitter and Facebook, in a wider, Internet-delivery service? I can’t remember the last time that I watched a late-night show from start to finish on television.

This week, when I wanted to see David Letterman’s memorial to Robin Williams, I Googled it, and then watched it as an embedded YouTube post on the Hollywood Reporter’s Web site. Today, when I was reminded that Jon Stewart had returned from vacation, and so had offered his belated opinion on the events in Ferguson, Missouri, I got the clip at Talking Points Memo, which embedded a video hosted by Comedy Central. It was owing to the quality of the headlines, among other S.E.O. dark arts, that these sites showed up high on the search page and got my click, while others didn’t. I wanted to watch these clips, and this was the fastest way to get them: modern service journalism at its finest. Still, Oliver is right that it’s silly when a site proclaims that he “demolished,” “slammed,” or “eviscerated” something, when all he did was tell a joke about it. More than that, it may be unnecessary: the Huffington Post worried that its “John Oliver Hit A Piñata With A Stick A Few Times ” headline was boring, but it still appeared near the top on Google, as it had all the right keywords.

If, as he has noted of himself, Oliver is currently more of an Internet star than a traditional television one, well that might not really matter anymore—at least not for his fans. It might matter, however, to HBO. The company’s business model is based on gaining paying customers, and it is normally very stingy about what it releases for free. If giving Oliver to the world is merely an advertising tool for the network more generally—a way to engage with new potential subscribers—then it might continue making good bits of the show free online each week. But, in June, when the television critic Alan Sepinwall asked HBO’s chief marketing officer about the Oliver strategy, she emphasized that putting the clips on YouTube was its way of promoting the new show. Sepinwall cited sources at the network who said the practice might be temporary, and that “Last Week Tonight” may join “Game of Thrones,” and the rest of the network’s offerings, trapped on your father’s HBO GO account. If so, news sites will be left with the lousy task of merely describing a comedy sketch. John Oliver said something really hilarious last night … but I guess you had to see it.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cul.../must-share-tv


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post #96493 of 96862 Old 08-31-2014, 09:58 AM
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WARNING: Spoilers for the current season of TNT's "Falling Skies" in this article.

TV Notes
'Falling Skies': Noah Wyle teases an 'insane' mission in season finale
By Emily Rome, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Aug. 30, 2014

As alien-filled as it is, Falling Skies has kept its characters Earth-bound throughout the show’s four years on TNT. But it appears that’s about to change. The 2nd Mass’ latest strategy for winning back their planet is rocketing themselves beyond Earth’s atmosphere — to the Espheni power converter on the moon.

The mission-to-the-moon storyline came from the show’s executive producer, a guy you may have heard of: “That was Mr. Spielberg’s idea,” Noah Wyle told EW.

Wyle (Tom Mason) admitted that crafting that storyline was a challenge. With Falling Skies‘ fourth season nearing its big finish, Wyle talked to EW about shooting for the moon, about recent character deaths, and about what fans can expect from the season finale, which airs Sunday.

On the mission-to-the-moon storyline:
“The biggest challenge that we had this season was executing a mandate that we were handed from Steven Spielberg, which was that Tom’s gonna find the beamer and fly it to the moon. And the other thing was we want Lexi to be blonde and sort of considered to be like a god. So we took those two mandates and thought, ‘Alright, this is gonna be tricky.’ It’s such an out-there premise. It’s such a ‘come on‘ moment.

“The only way we thought we could get away with it was by striking the tone of incredulity ourselves. We acknowledged that this is far-fetched. We acknowledged that this is insane. But we also acknowledged that there are other alternatives and this one is on the table. So that was my job in attacking [the scene when Tom declares they have to go to the moon] was to strike that note right off the bat.”

On Tom quoting John F. Kennedy’s 1961 “We choose to go to the moon” speech:
“I watched a clip of the speech. It’s a beautiful speech. I watched it just to get a sense of his cadence when he delivered it, but the rest of it was just as good of a Boston accent as I could muster.”

On the moment Anne calls out Tom for his hubris:
“We needed something, some flaw in Tom’s character that everyone could find issue with. We chose hubris. To me, creatively, it’s not the strongest choice we could have come up with. I never thought that Tom had hubris. I thought that occasionally he got a little cocky after a good win or when he did something really excellent. But for the most part, he’s a pretty humble guy. The gist of it was Tom doesn’t want to put anybody else in harm’s way before he puts himself there. And he’s willing to sacrifice himself before he sees anybody else die. He stretches the ethical boundaries by cheating in the draw because he’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice and he doesn’t really want to ask anybody else to do it. I don’t think he’s really that egotistical of a man.

“I did like the scenes with Anne, though — and there’s been a few where we’ve really had some very heated discussions. I think it’s very well-written, very mature, very interesting looks at sort of the way men and women look at a certain situation and how they view responsibilities to each other and to their family. I was very proud of those scenes.”

On showrunner David Eick, who joined Falling Skies at the start of season 4:
“David came in and he had some very big and bold ideas. I feel strongly about giving somebody who was new the chance to put their own approach on the show. They have to make it their own. And I thought David did great. I look at the episodes, and even though we went on our farthest science fiction strand we’ve ever had before, it was grounded with a sense of humanity, family, and truth and all the other things we really try to keep alive on the show in a more profound way. I was really pleased with all 12 episodes under his tenure. I’m really excited that he’s going to be at the helm to take it around the final lap.”

On what he’s most excited for fans to see in the finale:
“The first hour I’m very excited about. That was directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, who is going to be our new co-executive producer and gonna direct the majority of our final season. That episode, the first one of the finale, is his second one that he did for us, and he did a lot of very inventive camera tricks, using doubles and some very interesting kind of old-school camera tricks that I think the audience is going to love.”

On new developments for Tom and Lexi’s relationship in the finale:
“They finally acknowledge that they have [a relationship]. Tom’s had this ambivalence about how he feels about this girl that he doesn’t really know. He had a sort of feeling towards an infant daughter and a little bit of a moment or two with this [apparently] six-year-old child, but then the next time we see her, she’s 22 and she’s got powers and she’s got blonde hair and she’s saying the Espheni are also her parents, and she kills Lourdes.

She’s really a character that’s very difficult to find any sentimentality towards — if you’re not her mother. So what these last couple episodes allow is the character Lexi to prove herself to her father, for her father to really see that he does love his daughter. It’s the closest that they’ve come to acknowledging that they are father and daughter that we’ve seen all season.”

On the triple-whammy character deaths in the Aug. 3 episode, “Saturday Night Massacre”:
“It was a sad departure, saying goodbye to those characters. Lourdes in particular, who’s been with us from the beginning. The character of Tector, who I was personally not a fan of killing. I thought we should have kept him. And I was really sad to lose Robert Sean Leonard as well. Dr. Kadar was wonderful to watch, but even more so Robert Sean Leonard was just a dream to work with. I miss him already.”

On whether fans should expect any more deaths in the finale:
“Well, you know, it’s the apocalypse. It’s got a revolving door to it. People come, people go.”

On how the season 4 finale will end:
“It wouldn’t be Falling Skies if we didn’t do some kind of weird plot twist at the end, something big that’ll help define the next season.”

Falling Skies‘ two-hour season finale airs on TNT Sunday, Aug. 31 at 9 p.m.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/08/30/fa...inale-preview/


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Critic's Notes
99 Words About … ‘The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story’
By Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal

Did anyone involved with “The Unauthorized Saved by the Bell Story” (9 p.m. Monday, Lifetime) ever actually watch “Saved by the Bell”?

Or even glance at a cast photo?

The movie’s young stars look like funhouse-mirror versions of the actors/characters they’re playing.

At first, I wasn’t entirely sure whether Alyssa Lynch was supposed to be channeling Kelly Kapowski or Lisa Turtle. (It’s Kelly.)

Honestly, Frank Marino could’ve gender swapped every actor and assembled a more convincing lineup. If Lifetime was just looking for a cheap, pop-culture stunt covering similar ground, there was a less-embarrassing, more entertaining way: “Screechnado.”

http://www.reviewjournal.com/enterta...ved-bell-story


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Q&A
Dominic West on The Affair and Idris Elba’s ‘Mike Wire’
By Denise Martin, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Aug. 29, 2014

It’s been six long years since we’ve seen Dominic West’s cocksure cop McNulty patrolling the mean streets of Baltimore. The British actor returns Stateside in Showtime’s The Affair, an intimate relationship drama told from his-and-hers perspectives. West talked to us about his new show’s connection to The Wire and how he got into disco.

You’re back doing U.S. television.
Taking work from honest, hardworking Americans.

I’d read you’d turned down a role in Game of Thrones a couple of years ago because it would have taken you away from your kids. But you changed your mind for The Affair?
Well, my family got sick of me and said, “Please go. Please go and bring back money.” No, I got it worked out quite well with this because it shoots over the summer, so I’ve got my family here with me. That’s the short answer.

Any regrets about not taking Game of Thrones?
I don’t know the part I gave up, actually. Do you?

The speculation online was you were going to be Mance Rayder.
Is he cool?

He’s this feral warlord type. Lives in perpetual winter.
Wow, I’m glad I dodged that one, then [laughs]. Winter! That’s what I’m trying to get away from. I’m from England. Why the hell would I want to do that?

In your last show The Hour and in The Wire, you were a boozy philanderer. In The Affair, obviously, you cheat, but not drunkenly so far.
No, this time I’m not a drunk. I don’t really know what to do with myself now! [Laughs]. And actually, I’m not really a philanderer this time. My character, Noah, falls in love with a girl, and he’s married. He’s a very good dad and a very good husband, and that’s what makes the drama more interesting.

The Affair is told Rashomon style, so we see different portrayals of Noah. Does it feel like you’re playing two different characters?
In a way, yeah, I do. Two different perspectives allow you to play, at the very least, two extremes of your character. There’s a scene where I meet Ruth Wilson’s character, Allison, and she sees me as sort of a swaggering, confident lothario, and my character remembers being timid and rather passive. I get to play both. The tendency is to get locked into a role. You underestimate the range that every one of us has in our character. The way this show is written explores that range.

There’s also a mystery-crime element. It plays a little like True Detective, where you’re both telling slightly different versions of the same story.
The messing with perspective thing is everywhere now. It seems to be in the water or something. They’re going to play around quite a lot with perspective, and the crime element gives it a motor. You’ve got a detective trying to work out the truth from two greatly different perspectives.

Both you and Ruth Wilson, best known as Luther’s saucy serial killer Alice Morgan, are British. Do all British actors just have an American accent in their back pocket?
No, no, no. It’s constantly, ludicrously funny. I always found on The Wire that whenever we got an English director, which we did occasionally, my American accent would suffer a lot. Now there’s Ruth and me, and we’re — you know, I think our accents are just terrible.

They’re really not.
We’ll fix them, but in acting, what you get a lot of is impostor syndrome. I certainly got it as McNulty, running around with a gun and pretending to be a cop and thinking, I’m a middle-class actor from Sheffield. What am I doing here in Baltimore?

Can we talk about Ruth’s lips? She’s got a natural snarl I’m obsessed with.
We’re all obsessed. And her eyes are even more amazing. They change color. Sometimes they’re bright blue, and sometimes they’re bright green. I’m not sure she’s entirely human.

Have you traded stories about Idris Elba? Luther to her, Stringer Bell to you.
Have you seen the photos online?

Which ones?
He’s been photographed on a set and there’s a question as to what the thing in his trousers is.

Oh, those photos. Somewhere, Jon Hamm is cheering that it’s not him this time.
I think he said on Twitter it was a microphone [Editor’s note: Elba said it was a mike wire], but our sound girl on The Affair was pouring over this photo all night and has pronounced that there’s no microphone that looks like that.

Well, okay then! So you and Ruth have it settled.
Oh, yeah, we were literally looking at it just now. We both tried valiantly to pursue what was in his trousers.

John Doman, who played your hard-driving boss Rawls on The Wire, is playing your father-in-law on The Affair — and he still hates you!
Every scene we do, I think he’s gonna put up his [middle] fingers up and go, [to quote one of Rawls’s great lines], “This one over here is going up your narrow ****in’ Irish ass.”

Do people quote McNulty to you?
“What the **** did I do?” Yeah, yeah. Quite a lot. When we were shooting it, no one was really watching it, certainly not in the U.K. Now almost every day someone tells me they love The Wire.

You also play a failed actor in Pride, the true story of a group of gay activists who set out to help striking miners in the '80s. It premiered in Cannes and is out this month. Word is your big dance sequence is pretty impressive.
The main appeal of the role was I get this three-minute disco dance. I worked pretty hard at it for at least three months. I had a vision of myself as John Travolta, really, so when I saw the film, it was mildly disappointing. [Laughs]. I’m a bit over the hill now. I walked to the South Pole just before Christmas with a bunch of wounded soldiers for charity. One of them asked me, “What training have you been doing?” and I said, “I’ve been doing a bit of yoga, but mainly I’ve been doing disco,” and he just looked at me with this look of astonishment and regret.

You don’t hear about disco that much anymore.
But it worked! I’m telling you, I got really ripped doing that bloody disco.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/domin...l-preview.html


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post #96496 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 12:57 AM
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TV/Critic's Notes
Praise The Lord, and Chase the Ratings
'Preachers of L.A.' Puts New Spin on Reality-TV Formula
By Joe Caramanica, The New York Times - Aug. 31, 2014

A few years ago, Deitrick Haddon — son of a preacher, a gospel music star and a preacher himself — fled his Detroit home and ministry for Los Angeles and a “war against God.”

“I was wilding out,” he recalled in a recent interview. “You name it, I did it. Strip clubs, drinking, things that was completely out of my character.”

He’d recently split from his wife and was beginning to feel the sting of backlash from his fellow Christians. His concerts were canceled. “You don’t expect that the same people that you helped and encouraged to treat you that way,” he said. Soon, he’d impregnated his new girlfriend. The wheels were coming off.

Out of the blue, he received a call from an old friend and fellow preacher, Zachery Tims, who had publicly discussed many of his own struggles. “I began to pour out my heart,” Mr. Haddon said.

“People need to know the truth about us men,” he told Mr. Tims. “We need to do a reality show about stuff like this.” Mr. Tims agreed. A few weeks later, Mr. Tims succumbed to a drug overdose in a New York hotel room.

“I was so consumed with my issue that I couldn’t hear him,” Mr. Haddon said regretfully.

The urge toward transparency stuck with him, though, and that conversation eventually gave birth to “Preachers of L.A.,” one of last year’s most invigorating and surprising reality television debuts now in its second season on Oxygen.

Structurally, “Preachers” works familiar territory: a cast of similar but not too similar individuals who experience friction but have little concern about expressing it in front of cameras. But the cast — all men of the cloth — is unique, and the squabbles are usually faith based. As with the most engrossing reality television, everyone believes strongly that his side of the argument is the right one.

Unlike other shows, though, all the stars here believe they come by that position divinely. This automatically raises the stakes of every confrontation. Often, participants on reality shows of this kind only have celebrity as an end goal, but here, the stars are putting their moral standing on the line. It’s riveting to watch, and fascinating to see how these men inhabit similar positions in such varying ways. Clarence McLendon is theatrically smooth and impervious to critique. Noel Jones has what appears to be a long-term girlfriend, but adamantly refuses to discuss their relationship, or to make it official.

Mr. Haddon is by far the least risk-averse of the cast members (and also the only one who is an executive producer). He is at the center of most of the flare-ups, plenty of times happily lighting the match. He is also the one undergoing the most life change, marrying his girlfriend last season and having a second baby this season.

“This is not the Word Network, this is not the Christian Broadcasting Network,” he said, talking about how he described the show to his cast mates. Those channels go out of their way to portray their subjects in a positive light. In most faith-based entertainment, there is little room for dissent, or internal struggle that isn’t neatly resolved by believing hard enough.

But “Preachers” advances the idea that everyone is flawed, even those who are relied on by thousands of followers for divine guidance. “That’s the power of the gospel,” Mr. Haddon said. “Sometimes, you have to bless others as you’re bleeding.”

“I knew that it was going to be a shift in the church culture,” Mr. Haddon said. “It would make people flow with us or buck up against us. Now, people are saying: ‘We can’t beat these guys, we might as well join them. It’s going to release me out of the prison of perfection that these people put me in.’ “

With its ratings success, averaging over one million total viewers per episode, the show is already planning spinoffs, seeking subjects for versions set in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit. Now that “Preachers” is a known entity, though, casting is more complicated. Some preachers sign on right away, said Holly Carter, one of the show’s executive producers. But others “are not comfortable with transparency, showing their humanity,” she added. “They like the pedestal, and they will stay up there as long as they can.”

“Preachers” goes hand in hand with recent facade cracking in gospel music, as seen in TV shows about performers like “The Sheards” (BET) and the visceral “Mary Mary” (WE). There is also “Preachers’ Daughters,” on Lifetime, which is about exactly what the title suggests: how easily even a spiritually strong family can rupture when confronted with a young woman going through the flush of puberty.

Crucially, none of these shows are on historically Christian channels. Mainstream networks “are realizing the faith-based audience is a proven measurable audience,” said Lemuel Plummer, one of the executive producers of “Preachers of L.A.” and a veteran of “Mary Mary” and “The Sheards.”

But producers have to be mindful of the mainstream’s rules. “We’re very aware of what it takes to keep the attention of the viewers,” Mr. Haddon said. “I’m aware of that, and I govern myself accordingly. People love to see all that drama, man. I understand that. So I let it go, and I hope the outcome is great. You’ll never get us going to blows. We’re not ratchet.”

In the first season, often it seemed as if Mr. Haddon were on his own show, trying to bring the other preachers — Mr. Jones, Mr. McClendon, Jay Haizlip, Wayne Chaney and Ron Gibson — to his level of transparency.

That first season, scenes depicting the preachers ministering directly to followers were among the show’s weakest and most staged, and somehow were less spiritually convincing then the direct tension among the cast members.

“Originally, I think they didn’t understand the full spectrum of what we were doing,” he said. “But this season, they’re bringing it.” And this season, the preachers’ wives and girlfriends are taking on larger roles, generating their own circle of tension.

Elegantly structured conflict is the engine of so much reality television, but “Preachers” and shows like it run the risk that in the service of that drama, the message will be lost.

“If at some point there was a decision to just be messy, that would be for me something I would not want to continue with,” said LaVette Gibson, Ron’s wife and the first lady of his church. “That’s not who I am.” Ms. Carter, the executive producer, said that Oxygen promised that it “will never try to create train-wreck television out of these guys.”

“Preachers” is not without its eye-popping moments, though, like in this season’s premiere, when, during a round-table conversation — the sort that is intended to tease out conflict — Mr. Gibson, pushed aside his sport coat to reveal the Glock tucked in his waistband. (He wasn’t planning on using it.)

Mr. Gibson is, apart from Mr. Haddon, the show’s most colorful personality. A former gang member who found religion, he’s ostentatious and slang happy, taking pride in being able to navigate the hard neighborhood of his youth — “Jesus grew up in Nazareth, I grew up in South-Central,” he said in an interview — and also serving as a streetwise corrective to the stodginess of the circles he now travels.

“God doesn’t want us to be soft,” he said, though he did concede that how he was portrayed in that scene “was warped a little bit.”

“I’m not a gunslinger, I’m just a gun owner,” he added. “That’s why we’ve got to watch what we give them.”

Mr. Gibson seemed to be awakening to the idea that no amount of spiritual commitment could trump a good reality-television editor.

“I don’t want the show to ever become ‘Ron Gibson is the big bad wolf,’ “ he said. “That’s why I’m trying to vie for an executive producer position.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/31/ar...ref=television


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post #96497 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 01:12 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Bachelor in Paradise (120 min.)
10:01PM - Mistresses (Season Finale)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Jennifer Aniston; chef Adam Perry Lang; Bob Mould performs)
(R - Aug. 27)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Band Theory
(R - Mar. 13)
8:30PM - CBS Fall Preview
9PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Jan. 20)
9:30PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Jan. 29)
10PM - Under the Dome
* * * *
11:35AM - Late Show with David Letterman (Joseph Gordon-Levitt; tennis player Novak Djokovic; Robby Johnson performs)
(R - Aug. 19)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Season Premiere; Ray Liotta; Annaleigh Ashford)
(R - Jun. 17)

NBC:
8PM - Running Wild With Bear Grylls: Tamron Hall
9PM - American Ninja Warrior: National Finals in Vegas (120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Director Clint Eastwood; Jack White performs)
(R - Jun. 9)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Taylor Swift; singer Boy George; comic Derek Waters)
(R - Aug. 14)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Judy Greer; Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion perform)
(R -Apr. 8)

FOX:
8PM - MasterChef
9PM - Hotel Hell

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Corpus Christi (R - Jan. 7, 2013)
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Corpus Christi
(R - Jan. 14, 2013)
10PM - POV: After Tiller (90 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - La Malquerida

THE CW:
8PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - May 9)
8:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Aug. 4)
9PM - America's Next Top Model

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

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Michael Sheen; actor and producer Joe Manganiello; singer-songwriter Marsha Ambrosius)
(R - Jul. 15)[b]


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post #96498 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 01:21 AM
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TV/Business Notes
Are film tax credits cost effective?
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times' Company Town Blog - Aug. 29, 2014

Tired of seeing Hollywood take its business elsewhere, California is moving to triple tax subsidies for film and TV productions, boosting incentives to $330 million annually and making the state competitive with New York, Georgia and other states that are courting the entertainment industry with ever-richer incentives.The action is widely seen as necessary to stop thousands of jobs from leaving Southern California, where most studios and production companies are based and would prefer to work if costs are roughly equivalent.

Yet it comes amid growing national debate about the value of film tax breaks and whether they create new jobs, or merely shift work from one place to another. Some fear California's move may, in fact, escalate a bidding war among states eager to claim a share of the world's most glamorous industry.

Louisiana has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of so-called runaway production, earning the moniker Hollywood South. But a report for the state's office of economic development said its film incentives ended up costing taxpayers there nearly $170 million in 2012 — even after the economic benefits were counted.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue estimated that for every dollar of film tax credits awarded, the state got back only 13 cents in revenue from 2006 to 2011. The net cost to the state was $128,575 for every film job created for a Massachusetts resident.

Michigan, New Mexico and most recently North Carolina have scaled back their incentive programs in one way or another over concerns the cost to taxpayers outweighed the economic benefits.

North Carolina lawmakers recently decided to drastically reduce film incentives on the heels of a state report that found $30 million in tax incentives led to the creation of just 55 to 70 new jobs in 2011.

"Our economists tell us it's the worst return on investment of any of the tax-credit programs," said Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, the Republican speaker pro tem of the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Others point out that the generous subsidies given to Hollywood productions have to be paid for by either cuts in government services or higher taxes on other groups and individuals.

"They don't pay for themselves," said economist Bob Tannenwald, who authored a national study on film tax credits for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a group that researches policies affecting low- and moderate-income people. "They have to be financed somehow, so spending has to be cut or taxes have to be raised elsewhere."

Director David M. Rosenthal holds his hands up to visualize a shot on the set of the movie "The Perfect Guy" in the Hollywood Hills on Wednesday.

Even the California legislative analyst's office voiced unease over the program. It pointed out that California's incentives returned 65 cents in tax revenue to the state for each $1 in film tax credits, disputing findings from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. that the program generated a positive return on investment.

And while expanding incentives may be necessary to protect a "flagship California industry," the legislative analyst's office noted, doing so may encourage other states to ratchet up their own credits.
"It is unclear how these sorts of competitions end," the legislative analyst's office said in a report this spring. "In responding to other states increasing subsidy rates, California may only stoke this race to the bottom."

What is clear is that filming is highly mobile, and studios and producers increasingly rely on this so-called soft money to lower their production costs. They routinely expect taxpayers to offset as much as 30% of their qualified production costs. States now pay out about $1.5 billion in film incentives each year, up from a few million dollars a decade ago.

"All you're doing is moving jobs from California to other states," said Joe Henchman, vice president for state projects for the Tax Foundation, a Washington organization and frequent critic of tax credits. "We've just thrown a lot of public dollars to make that happen. There is no net national gain."

The Motion Picture Assn. of America, the trade group representing studios, disputes the claims by Henchman and other critics. The group says tax credits have helped build stand-alone filming centers in places such as Georgia, where Britain's famous Pinewood Studios is building a 288-acre studio with six soundstages.

What's more, the MPAA says the battle for film production should be viewed on a global scale. Countries including Britain, Canada and Australia — where the California earthquake movie "San Andreas" was recently filmed — have increasingly dangled lucrative incentives before Hollywood. State tax incentives help keep that business here, said Vans Stevenson, senior vice president of state government affairs for the MPAA.

"This is not something that we dreamed up years ago," Stevenson said. "It's something that evolved on its own because the states, lawmakers and economic policy people saw this as an opportunity to create jobs and investment, and that's been borne out. If these programs weren't working they would be going away."

Stevenson and other industry supporters also note that spending on movies or TV shows ripples beyond film sets. Crews spend money on caterers, cast trailers, hotels, prop houses and lumber yards.

And when a big Hollywood production comes to town, politicians can visit sets and trumpet the boon to their local economies. There can also be marketing and tourism benefits to states, which are typically mentioned in the end credits. The baseball field in Dubuque County, Iowa, depicted in "Field of Dreams" remains a popular tourism attraction, and fans still flock to Albuquerque to see the sites frequented by character Walter White in the hit AMC series "Breaking Bad."

Louisiana and New Mexico were the first to launch film incentive programs in 2002, hoping to siphon off the film work fleeing to Canada, where tax breaks and favorable exchange rates made it a go-to location. Today, nearly 40 states offer some form of rebate, credit or grant to the film industry.

The plethora of choices has allowed studios and filmmakers to pit one state against another for the best deal.
When producers of the Netflix Inc. series "House of Cards" threatened to leave Maryland if the state reduced tax credits, Gov. Martin O'Malley in April approved an $11.5-million package to keep the show in the state.

"They say, 'You need to match this, or you don't have a prayer of getting production in your state,'" said Henchman of the Tax Foundation.

Film tax credits aren't tax credits in the conventional sense. Many states will refund the value of the credits to the company even if they don't have a tax liability in their state. Other states such as Georgia allow producers to sell their credits to corporations such as Apple Inc. and Bank of America Corp., which use them to lower their own tax bills.

Evaluating these programs is tricky. Although states frequently trumpet their economic effect, most don't reveal the net cost to create the jobs, or they cite research compiled by the MPAA, which has actively lobbied to expand film tax credits nationwide.

That said, there is no doubt that the expansion of incentives has led to a significant transfer of production jobs away from California.

California lost 18,580 jobs in the film and TV sector from 2004 to 2013, a 12% decline, according to federal jobs data compiled by the Milken Institute.

During the same period, arch rival New York added nearly 10,000 jobs, an increase of 23%. New York has seen a surge in production since it increased its film credit in 2008. The state allocates $420 million annually to film productions.

Louisiana, another top film destination, added 2,760 jobs, up 73%. Other film hubs such as New Mexico, North Carolina and Georgia also have seen some job growth, although the gains have been more modest relative to the size of the subsidies.

"Looking at the absolute numbers, it's clear that California is in slow decline," said Kevin Klowden, managing economist at the Milken Institute. "This is in stark contrast to the tremendous job growth in other states over the past decade."

And while some states are scaling back their tax credit programs, others are showing no signs of retreat.

Louisiana awarded $251 million in film tax credits last year. That's a steep cost for a state with an annual budget of about $25 billion, compared with California's budget of $156 billion.

A study for the Louisiana Department of Economic Development concluded the state lost more than $12,000 for every job created by the film tax credit. The Louisiana Budget Project, which monitors public policy, said taxpayers paid an average of more than $60,000 per direct film job.

"Unfortunately, the returns to the state on this investment, like many of the movies made here, have been a flop," the group said.

Yet support for its incentive program remains strong.

Chris Stelly, executive director for Louisiana Entertainment, said the benefits of film production tax credits can't be viewed from just short-term job gains. Rather, he said, the state is helping create a new industry that will provide jobs and spur economic activity for decades to come.

"The industry now supports many thousands of jobs in Louisiana, and we've built up a deep crew base," he said.

Among last year's movie releases, there were more major studio films shot in Louisiana than in California, according to FilmLA. Inc. Louisiana had 18 studio films; California and Canada were tied for second place with 15 films each.

Confronted with such competition, many in the industry agree that California had no choice but to bolster its program. A bill to expand funding and qualify more projects was approved by the Legislature on Friday and is expected to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown next month.

Studio executives and producers say the legislation, which will be in effect for five years starting in July 2015, will make L.A. a much more attractive film location. Despite competition from other states, Southern California is still the place most people in the industry — including A-list actors as well as directors and producers — call home.

"I haven't shot a movie on our lot in years," said Fred Baron, executive vice president of feature production at 20th Century Fox. California's new tax credit will be "great for the community," he added. "It will just bring back movies."

Veteran producer Gale Anne Hurd lives in L.A. but spends much of her time in Georgia, where she is executive producer on the hit AMC series "The Walking Dead." With the expanded credit, Hurd said she would consider filming an upcoming movie and TV series in L.A.

"We can take our rightful place as the home of filmed entertainment as long as we're competitive," Hurd said. "We still have the best and most highly trained crews."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...ry.html#page=2


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TV Review
History’s ‘Houdini’ has 
its share of magic moments
By Mark Perigard, Boston Herald - Aug. 29, 2014

You’ll almost believe in magic — the magic of a miniseries to capture the tics and tricks of a complicated, driven man.

History’s two-part “Houdini” stars Academy Award-winner Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”) as the Great Harry Houdini, perhaps the world’s greatest celebrity exactly 100 years ago.

The clever opening finds Harry shackled and ready to jump from a bridge into icy waters, then backtracks to Harry’s youth, where he struggled with a dis*approving rabbi for a father and relied on his mother for adoration.

Inspired by itinerant magicians, the boy develops a collection of tricks. Along the way, he dumps his brother as a partner and gains a showgirl wife, Bess (a fine Kristen Connolly, “House of Cards”).

As an omen of things to come, on their wedding night, Harry asks her to slip into a trunk — for a trick, of course.

Harry builds a career with stunts designed for maximum press coverage. In one, he bets a police chief he can escape from his jail cell. As his fame grows, his desire to top himself becomes an obsession. One of his groundbreaking showstoppers: the Chinese Water Torture Cell, in which he was suspended and shackled upside down in a tank of water.

Harry, unlike so many of his counterparts of the day, never claimed to have paranormal powers. Many of his tricks here are explained, and the means of execution may only increase your appreciation for his genius.

Less convincing is the miniseries’ speculation that the British intelligence agency MI-5 recruited him to act as a spy in the run-up to World War I.

In the second night, grief over losing his beloved mother propels Harry into the world of spiritualists — the John Edwards and Theresa Caputos of their day — and with fury he debunks each one. One of his targets is the wife of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, who pegged herself to be a medium.

The miniseries’ own tricks are a bit heavy-handed — such as repeated shots of Harry taking a punch to the gut whenever he’s in turmoil. (He liked to challenge other men to test their strength against his abs.)

Brody is fine as the driven showman, but his voice-overs threaten at times to sink the production. “I can escape from almost anything — but the one thing I can’t seem to escape from is me,” he intones. The story would be stronger with them purged.

But Harry Houdini?

A century later, he’s still magic.

“HOUDINI”
Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. on History.
Grade: B


http://bostonherald.com/entertainmen..._magic_moments


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TV Review
Following Trails at the Welsh Countryside
The British Show 'Hinterland' Comes to Netflix
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Sep. 1, 2014

The title of the cop series “Hinterland” refers to its location, a windy and rugged stretch of coast in western Wales, an out-of-the-way part of an out-of-the-way country. But it could also be a television in-joke: For the last decade, Wales has served silently as the home base and filming location for some of the most acclaimed TV shows set in England, including “Doctor Who,” “Life on Mars” and “Sherlock.” Here, finally, was a major show made by the Welsh about the Welsh.

And it was popular, drawing large audiences on a Welsh channel and later on the BBC, leading to its pickup by Netflix, which is posting the first season as four 90-minute episodes on Monday.

That success with the non-Welsh audience isn’t surprising, because beyond the dramatic but hardscrabble setting, “Hinterland” is just like a lot of other British cop shows, except slower and a little more formulaic. A big-city detective, Mathias (Richard Harrington), arrives in the backwater for mysterious reasons, much like Alec Hardy of “Broadchurch.” He solves murders while jousting with both his uptight boss and his right-hand woman, Rhys (Mali Harries), who joins a long line of testy but loyal female sidekicks including Hardy’s Detective Sergeant Miller, Inspector Lynley’s D.S. Havers and Constable Travis of “Above Suspicion.”

The mysteries themselves, involving a murdered woman who once ran a reform school or a murdered man with links to Nazi prisoners of war, are routine in the British mode. That’s to say they’re complicated and pedantic by American standards, with a minimum of action (and virtually no gunplay) and a maximum of old-fashioned clues, which are often found the second or third time a room is searched.

The focus is on Mathias, whose secrets are held close; he occasionally gazes at a picture of two young girls, and in one case sympathizes too much with a suspect whose children were taken away. Mostly, what we know about him is that he runs, like Sarah Linden of “The Killing,” and chooses to live in a trailer at the end of a row of dead, blasted trees.

This kind of hero requires that an actor bring along his own personality, whatever it is. Performers as diverse as Jason Isaacs in “Case Histories,” Stephen Tompkinson in “DCI Banks” and Martin Shaw in “Inspector George Gently” give their tortured cops charisma. So far (“Hinterland” has been picked up for a second season), Mr. Harrington isn’t showing much besides cold glares and pensive stares. Whatever he thinks Mathias is feeling, he’s keeping it to himself.

Hinterland
Available for streaming on Netflix.


http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/01/ar...ref=television


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Critic's Notes
'Saved by the Bell' movie should spawn other 'unauthorized' flashbacks
By Gail Pennington, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

As Lifetime prepares to air “The Unauthorized ‘Saved by the Bell’ Story,” perhaps you’re thinking, “Ooh, what juicy behind-the-scenes stories will we finally hear?” Or, possibly, “But why?”

The Saturday morning sitcom, targeting young teens by depicting the antics of high-schoolers, aired four seasons, 1989-93, on NBC, and then spawned spin-offs, knockoffs, sequels and two TV movies. It created stars, some of whom might like to forget about it today, including Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Mario Lopez, Tiffani (then Tiffani-Amber) Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley.

Gosselaar was Zack, the handsome schemer; Thiessen was Kelly, his cheerleader girlfriend. But the best remembered of the characters is “Screech,” played by Dustin Diamond with an ear-splitting squeak.

“SBTB” appealed to such a niche audience that, if you were much younger or older than, say, 13, it might never have been on your radar. But to the faithful, it felt like something just for them, not shared with parents as prime-time shows were. It also felt just a little dangerous, not childish and certainly not educational.

The core fans of “Saved by the Bell” are in their 30s now, many with kids of their own. And Lifetime is betting they’d love to revisit those golden days when a kid too old for cartoons could get up on Saturday morning, grab some cereal and enjoy “Teen NBC,” as live-action shows like “California Dreams” and “Hang Time” were known.
Lifetime bills the “Saved by the Bell” movie (which wasn’t available for preview) as “a nostalgic look back at the ’90s TV show that changed the landscape of Saturday mornings with America’s favorite teens.”

Interest may have also been sparked by Diamond’s 2010 book “Behind the Bell,” which trashed his co-stars, reported on-set sex-and-drug shenanigans and boasted about his own anatomy and prowess with many, many women. If there’s no scandal, why the “Unauthorized” in the title?

But as long as we’re talking “unauthorized,” “Saved by the Bell” is hardly the only TV show that could be ripe for similar treatment.

Consider our wish list of these six shows:

"The Unauthorized 'One Day at a Time' Story"
How badly behaved was Mackenzie Phillips on the set of this 1970s sitcom? A behind-the-scenes drama would almost write itself. Phillips, who played the older daughter of single mom Bonnie Franklin, has talked openly about her bratty antics, fueled by a horrific childhood and multiple drug addictions. In a casting twist, Valerie Bertinelli, who played the younger daughter, could play the mother in the movie.

"The Unauthorized 'Cheers' Story"
Here we’d learn the truth about Shelley Long’s reported prima donna behavior, and how the NBC comedy was revitalized (it ran six more seasons) when she quit.

"The Unauthorized 'West Wing' Story"
We’d find out whether Rob Lowe really believed he was the star, and whether his jealousy of Martin Sheen’s salary led to his departure.

"The Unauthorized 'Grey's Anatomy' Story"
This one could be a miniseries, with Part I dealing with Isaiah Washington’s alleged homophobia and slurs against co-star T.R. Knight, and Part II dramatizing the antics of Katherine Heigl and her problems with the show’s writing.

"The Unauthorized Shannen Doherty Story"
Wait, has this been done, and if not, why not? Doherty had famous problems on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” leading to her exit after Season 4, and again on “Charmed,” where she and Alyssa Milano reportedly didn’t speak. Perhaps Doherty could play herself.

"The Unauthorized 'Cosby Show' Story"
The Huxtables had the perfect family, but even Bill Cosby reportedly couldn’t rein in Lisa Bonet, who played oldest daughter Denise. Bonet’s infractions ranged from starring in a racy movie to skipping work. The last scene in the movie would be the “Cosby Show” reunion, minus Bonet.

• What “The Unauthorized ‘Saved by the Bell’ Story”
• When: 8 p.m. Monday
• Where: Lifetime


http://www.stltoday.com/entertainmen...05ca452b0.html[/QUOTE]


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post #96502 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 06:50 AM
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Aug. 31, 2014

THE SIMPSONS MARATHON
FXX, Check local listings

This is Day 12, the final day, of FXX’s Simpsons every-episode marathon, one of the smartest and most successful cable network promotional stunts in years. The marathon concludes at 11:30 p.m. ET with episode No. 552, Season 25’s “The Yellow Badge of Cowardge,” from last May. But before that, there are two episodes today that deserve special mention. At noon ET, there’s 2013’s “The Saga of Carl,” a Season 24 spot-on parody of a truly unusual subject: Homer and company go to Iceland to learn the story of their despondent friend Carl, and even visit the Blue Lagoon. Then, at 10:30 p.m. ET, there’s the Season 25 episode “Brick Like Me,” the inventive Lego episode from 2014.

THE KNICK MINI-MARATHON
Cinemax, 8:00 p.m. ET

For the holiday weekend, HBO is repeating the first three episodes of The Knick in a mini-marathon, so folks can catch up. What makes this noteworthy? Because HBO is repeating a show that it didn’t present the first time, because The Knick premiered, and still runs, on sister network Cinemax. But it was so well-received that HBO has made room for it on its own schedule. Lots of room. Clive Owen stars.

TOP GEAR: CARS OF THE PEOPLE WITH JAMES MAY
BBC America, 9:00 p.m. ET

Part documentary, part social commentary, part comedy routine and part automotive analysis program, this Top Gear spinoff, starring the plain-speaking James May, continues to provide his very personal perspective on cars and their history. Tonight’s topic, as he puts it: “the baffling world of the European micro-car.” Highly entertaining.

HOUDINI
History, 9:00 p.m. ET
MINISERIES PREMIERE, Part 1 of 2.:
Adrien Brody stars in the title role of this new two-part, four-hour History miniseries. And he’s virtually the only star, unless you recognize Kristen Connolly, who appears in House of Cards, as Houdini’s wife, Bess. This new biography, filmed in and co-produced with Budapest, probably is going to be another History hit – but it’s largely a disappointment. Its CSI-style special effects, unless they’re revealing magic trick secrets, are inserted for ridiculously metaphorical reasons. The script by Nicholas Meyer, the novelist who wrote The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, is too reverential to its psychobabble source biography, is spotted with anachronisms, and is much too obvious in its approach. But the story of Houdini is so fascinating, it survives all that – just as it has survived previous docudramas, such as the ones starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh as Harry and Bess Houdini in 1953, Paul Michael Glaser and Sally Struthers in 1976, and Johnathon Schaech and Stacy Edwards in 1998.

UNDER THE DOME
CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

Things may have seemed bad and complicated enough under the dome, but tonight they get worse. The sheriff (Dean Norris) comes face to face with his wife, who’s been presumed dead for almost a decade – and other townspeople are visited by departed loved ones and acquaintances, too, people who were not only presumed dead, but were dead. These days, almost everywhere I turn on TV, I’m like the little kid in The Sixth Sense. I see dead people.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/


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post #96503 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 06:58 AM
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Q&A
CBS Exec Steve Capus Discusses the Evolution of the Evening News
By Michelle Castillo, AdWeek.com - Sep. 1, 2014

Specs
Who
Steve Capus
New gig Executive editor, CBS News;executive producer, CBS Evening News
Old gig President, NBC News; executive producer, NBC Nightly News
Age 50
Twitter @SteveCA pus


Photo: Alfred Maskeroni
What insider knowledge are your bringing to your new role?
I’m coming in with a little bit of a different perspective than most people have who just perhaps only had to produce for broadcast. It doesn’t get any better than being able to say, “This is a great piece of reporting at 60 Minutes, and we can showcase that on the Evening News,” and we can work together to make it that much better. It’s not an individual pursuit: it’s a group pursuit.

How are you positioning the Evening News for the future?
The Evening News is going to have a long run, both as a broadcast and as a presence online and on cellphones. It is a franchise with a very rich tradition. What I think is terrific is the Evening News is positioned in a different way than our competitors. It has charted its own path with the right kind of editorial direction, and the audience is responding well. Our ratings have grown year over year and continue to do so. I don’t take that kind of thing as an automatic. We have to make the editorial decisions that make us relevant, no matter what age the audience is. We have to do all the right things to say that we’re open for business.

You don’t seem to be afraid of synergy and being online.
The days are long gone where an organization is siloed. Any one of these news organizations has to be multiplatform to be relevant to the audience. If the audience wants to consume news on their cellphones, we have to produce for that. If they want to watch the broadcast on DVR, we need to make it simple for them. If somebody wants to check in on what’s happening on the iPads or desktops while they eat lunch at their desk, then we have to be there in an aggressive way, too.

You pushed NBC Learn when you were there. Is education a priority for you at CBS News?
Putting an emphasis on education was the right thing at NBC News. I think it’s too soon to say if we’ll do something at CBS. What I’ve spent my first few weeks on the job doing is assessing the strength of the organization, and in all honesty, I’m incredibly impressed by the talent this news division has all around the world. Right now, I want to make sure we do a broadcast that’s reflective of that talent.

What do you think of CBS’ upcoming livestreamed network?
I’m not going to have oversight of that, but in my mind, it’s part of the collective strength of CBS News overall. I think [CBS News president] David [Rhodes] had a brilliant idea to expand the reach of CBS News. I think in this era, it’s the kind of idea that you have to explore with gusto. Everybody at CBS News will contribute in one way or another.

Besides the Evening News, what do you watch?
I’ll go on binges where I watch all these different shows. I went through a phase where I watched years of Breaking Bad. I’m a Philadelphia sports fanatic. I still watch Phillies games on my iPad, which is basically admitting to having daily torture sessions.

What else do you do in your spare time?
The bass guitar is my other real passion. Every weekend I go to the guitar bar in Hoboken and do a jam session. One of the things I did during my gap year between NBC and CBS was get to know the band Yes and I was involved in an effort to get them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I drive my family nuts because when I watch something on TV, I’m likely to watch it with a bass guitar. But I don’t plug it in!

http://www.adweek.com/news/televisio...ng-news-159783


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post #96504 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 07:08 AM
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TV Notes
11 Lies About Your Favorite TV Shows You've Been Repeating
By Bill Bradley, HuffingtonPost.com - Sep. 1, 2014

Whether it's inaccurate "True Detective" casting news, made up "Game of Thrones" fan theories, celebrity death hoaxes or anything in between, the world of TV is full of untrue rumors. Amazingly, some of these rumors get passed on so often that we just accept them as fact, no matter how ridiculous.

Here are 11 lies you've been told about your favorite TV shows.

1. Lucille Ball was a redhead on "I Love Lucy."

When Lucille Ball first came to Hollywood, she was a natural brunette and then dyed her hair blonde as she pursued acting. Later in her career, Ball adopted the color she was known for on "I Love Lucy," but, as her longtime stylist Irma Kusely explains, it wasn't red:

"It's apricot, but a lot of people think it's red. It's not red at all," she told Emmy archivist Karen Herman in 2001. "It's a golden apricot. [I used] regular hair dye when I did her own hair. And then I used a henna rinse for a balance, which she was famous for."

2. Lassie saved Timmy from a well.

Timmy, Lassie's second owner in the series, got into a lot of trouble during 7 seasons, including getting trapped in a mine, almost getting shot and being threatened by an escaped elephant, but Timmy himself, actor Jon Provist, revealed in his autobiography that he was never trapped in a well.

Additionally, in 17 season's of the show, the only character to fall down a well was Lassie.

3. There is a Superman in every episode of "Seinfeld."

Fans often point to the Superman magnet and statue in the "Seinfeld" apartment as evidence that this has to be true, but those items didn't appear in the show until Seasons 4 and 5, respectively. Other references that were supposedly inserted into the show can be called into question, too. For instance, Teri Hatcher who played Lois Lane in "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," appeared on "Seinfeld" before "L&C" ever premiered.

It's true that Jerry Seinfeld is a big Superman fan and often made references to the Man of Steel in his show, but a variety of "Seinfeld" and Superman resources point out that there is not an a visual reference to Caped Crusader in every show and many claim there aren't obscure references in every episode either.

4. There aren't any black people in Mayberry.

This lie was possibly started when Oprah, who was a fan of "The Andy Griffith Show," once asked the question, "Where are the black people?"

Though it can be noted that only one black actor, Rockne Tarkington, ever had a speaking role on the show during its entire 8 season run, there are many examples of black Mayberry residents walking in the background of shots.

5. Bert and Ernie are gay.

It's a rumor that continues to be spread through the media; however, "Sesame Street" dispelled speculation in a 2011 statement:

"Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

6. Captain Kirk said, "Beam me up, Scotty."

"Beam me up, Scotty" is one of the most widely misquoted lines in television history. The "Star Trek" series features characters using different variations of the phrase, such as, "Beam us up!" and, "Scotty, beam us up, fast," but it is never said in that exact order everyone likes to quote.

"Beam me up, Scotty," became so popular that the actor who portrayed Scotty, James Doohan, used it in the title for his biography.

7. Peanut Butter was used to make Mister Ed talk.

Mister Ed's human co-star Alan Young actually started the rumor and came clean on the reason why during a later interview:

For the kids. They would write and ask if the horse really could talk! Al Simon and Arthur Lubin, the producers, suggested we keep the method a secret because they thought kids would be disappointed if they found out the technical details of how it was done. So I made up the peanut butter story, and everyone bought it.
In reality, Mister Ed moved his lips due to a piece of nylon placed under his tongue, and he eventually learned to do it on command.

8. Jesse Pinkman said, "Yeah! Science, Bitch!"

Much like "Beam me up, Scotty," this misquote from Jesse Pinkman in a Season 1 episode of "Breaking Bad" is generally accepted as being true and has been spread around the Internet as a popular meme. The actual phrase is, "Yeah, Mr. White. Yeah, science."

In addition, Pinkman is known for saying the word "bitch" throughout the series, but it may surprise some that he said the phrase only 50 times total in all five seasons.

9. There are aliens in every "South Park" episode

Widely accepted by "South Park" fans as being true, South Park Studios finally set the record straight:

This is probably one of South Park’s greatest myths. And despite what you heard through the alien-probe grapevine, the answer is actually no. Although Visitors do appear in SOME episodes, they definitely are not hidden in every single episode. But that doesn’t mean they don’t pop up randomly — like driving limos in “Cow Days”, or going drag in the crowd of a beauty pageant (in “Dead Celebrities”).
As to why they appear at all, "South Park" tells us they work for a universal TV company and fix satellite dishes hidden in Earthling’s rectums.

10. Charles Manson auditioned for "The Monkees."

Davy Jones actually admitted he started the rumor sometime after the Tate-LaBianca Murders, jokingly telling a reporter Manson auditioned for the "The Monkees" TV show.

Manson had a lot of connections to the 1960s music scene, even living for a time with Beach Boys member Dennis Wilson, so the lie gained widespread acceptance, but Manson was actually in prison during the time the show was auditioning, so he couldn't have been there.

11. Crime fell during The Beatle's first TV appearance.

On February 9, 1964, around 73 million people tuned in to watch The Beatle's appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." The rumor that crime fell during the show can be traced back to Washington Post editor B.F. Henry, who wrote:

During the hour they were on Ed Sullivan's show, there wasn't a hubcap stolen in America.
Though the phrase seems like a compliment, Snopes reports that Henry meant it as a way to highlight the perception that The Beatles were a fad that appealed to the "worst of American youth" and their fans had probably stopped committing crimes for a bit to watch the show.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...ent+Inbound%29


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post #96505 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 06:47 PM
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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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TV Notes
Lars Von Trier to Take on TV with 'The House That Jack Built'
By Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter - Sep. 1, 2014

Controversial Danish director Lars von Trier is returning to TV for the first time in 20 years.

The filmmaker behind Melancholia, Dancer in the Dark and the two-part erotic epic Nymphomaniac will write and direct The House That Jack Built as a high-end TV drama series.

Von Trier's producer Louise Vesth, who has worked with the director since Melancholia in 2011, announced the project during the press conference at the Venice Film Festival for the director's cut of von Trier's Nymphomaniac Vol. 2.

Vesth declined to reveal any details of the series except to say von Trier would start working on a script this Fall and shooting was planed to start in 2016. Vesth will produce for von Trier's Danish production company Zentropa together with executive producer and Zentropa partner Peter Aalbaek Jensen. Von Trier

Danish public broadcaster DR, whose credits include The Killing and The Bridge, is developing the series together with von Trier with DR's Piv Bernth executive producing. TrustNordisk will handle international sales for the series.

Von Trier’s last television project was The Kingdom, made in 1994. The creepy hospital drama – part soap opera, part horror – was a huge international success, selling around the world and inspiring ABC's short-lived US remake Kingdom Hospital in 2004.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...take-tv-729374


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post #96507 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 07:14 PM
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TV Notes
Raycom Media TV Stations Blacked Out By DirecTV In Carriage Dispute
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Sep. 1, 2014

More than 50 local stations owned by Raycom Media went dark on DirecTV today after the two sides failed to reach a new carriage agreement. The companies also engaged in contentious negotiations three years ago before reaching a deal. Negotiations continue, Raycom said in a statement on its Web site.”This is frustrating for DIRECTV customers who rely on Raycom stations for information and entertainment,” Raycom Media CEO Paul McTear said. “We share their frustration and are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue and have been for the last 12 weeks of discussions.”

DirecTV is defending its position on a specially branded Web site, directvpromise.com, accusing Raycom of unreasonable price hike demands. “Raycom Media is denying DIRECTV customers and some of its own most loyal viewers access to its local broadcast stations unless they pay more than double just to receive the same broadcast shows that remain available over the air for free,” the company said. “We will always work to protect our customers and prevent them from enduring any unnecessary interruptions, no matter how brief.” DirecTV noted that its customers in the affected markers will be able to watch NFL and college games uninterrupted.

Raycom owns more than 50 stations – affiliates of all all broadcast networks in mid and small markets, including New Orleans, Charlotte, Savannah, Cincinnati and Memphis.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/directv-...ispute-827574/


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Q&A
Jim Parsons Hits the Stratosphere
The star of TV's biggest show talks about The Big Bang Theory, Emmy Awards and Larry Kramer
By Sam Thielman, AdWeek.com - Sep. 1, 2014

Honestly, if this keeps up, they’re just going to have to rename the Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Comedy the Jim Parsons Award. Last week, the 41-year-old won the prize for a fourth time for his role as Sheldon Cooper, main character on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. It was a busy August for Parsons. Two weeks earlier, he and his cast mates Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting signed a three-year deal with the show for $1 million per episode each, and more than one observer suggested CBS should be happy to pay so little. (Big Bang returns for Season 8 on Sept. 22.)

Parsons in particular is worth it. The sitcom is the most-watched show on broadcast, averaging a 6.2 rating in the dollar demo (the next-most popular show gets a 4.4). It’s also an incredibly valuable rerun, bringing in $2 million per episode for studio Warner Bros. Domestic TV. In many ways, it’s the swan song of the multicamera, laugh-track comedy era, with Parsons’ Sheldon at its center.

Parsons, an accomplished stage actor, took time between seasons to play Tommy Boatwright in a revival of Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis, The Normal Heart, in 2011, and then again in 2013 to reprise the role for Ryan Murphy’s adaptation for HBO.

Over the phone, Parsons is warm and deferential, discussing his career successes the way you’d talk about finding a $50 bill on the ground. But it’s clear after a moment or two of conversation that he’s also a guy who takes nothing for granted.

Adweek: You started your career on the stage, and you’ve come back to New York to work in The Normal Heart on Broadway in between seasons. Do you miss that part of your career?
Parsons:
Yes, without a doubt. Not because I’m currently left wanting for anything, but that will always be home, artistically speaking, and I think that’s true for a lot of actors. It’s such a beautifully brutal training ground. One of the things I’m always reminded of when I’m back on stage is how much you have to be aware of, and in control of. There is no tight shot. There is no “we’re only shoulders-up this time.” No, from the top of your head to your pinky toe, you’re telegraphing part of the story the entire time you’re up there. The theater I got to do informs every move I make as an actor and will for the rest of my life. I can’t shake it if I wanted to, but I don’t want to.

Has the enormity of the show’s success changed your day-to-day life?
Even after [the show’s popularity grew], it was more of a fact on paper. And in some ways it still is, if I want to be honest about it. Do more people recognize me, or any of us, in the street? Yeah, yeah, yeah. But some of that had started to happen in Season 1. The numbers are just a figure you read, and it’s kind of inconceivable. I don’t know that it will never not be inconceivable because I can’t count that high.

As the show’s gotten bigger, you’ve been adopted by more than one community. Rather than say “Hey, do you want to be a spokesman for, you know, Pepsi and we’ll pay you X?” people say, “You are now the spokesman for Asperger’s.” How do you deal with that?
Asperger’s came up as a question within the first few episodes. I got asked about it by a reporter, and I had heard of it, but I didn’t know what it was, specifically. So I asked the writers—I said, “They’re asking me if Sheldon has Asperger’s,” and they were like, “No.” And I said, “OK.” And I went back and I said, “No.” And then I read some about it and I went, OK, well, if the writers say he doesn’t, then he doesn’t, but he certainly shares some qualities with those who do. I like the way it’s handled.

It normalizes something that’s difficult and comes with a real stigma for many people.
That comes up very much with gay issues, too. And being part of that community, one of the things I’ve always said is that it’s nice when you see gay characters as normal people; what’s even better is when it’s not even worth remarking about. This is who this person is; he’s just another human.

The Normal Heart seems like a very logical choice for you along those lines. Was it rough going so quickly into a Broadway play?
Because of my production schedule, I arrived in New York to start rehearsal in earnest about seven days before our first preview. A lot of it had to do with the pressure, but I’ll never forget our first preview: It went fine. It was lovely. I had a great laugh line to end the scene, and I closed the door behind me and went offstage, and I burst into tears.

That run of the play that summer ended up being one of the best artistic experiences of my life. It’s a real lesson. You just have to speak up. You just have to say, “I would like to do this,” and it’s amazing what people who listen can do for you.

The run of that show and the subsequent production of the movie happened during a vital period in the gay rights movement, too.
During the filming of the movie, we were having a big extravaganza of a scene that we were filming, which was a big reenactment of the first Gay Men’s Health Crisis fundraiser, and that was the day DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act] was overturned. And [Normal Heart’s writer] Larry Kramer came to the set that day—it was just surreal. But equally surreal was the night during the Broadway production when New York legalized same-sex marriage, and we took our curtain call, and somebody kind of stopped us on our way offstage, and all the house lights came up, and we came back on stage and one of the producers said, “Since I’m sure all of you had your cellphones off during the production, you probably don’t know yet that New York State just legalized same-sex marriage.”

And oh my God, was that chilling. Just the kismet of the moment, being there, but also the house lights shining on a Broadway theater filled up to the rafters with people cheering after having just finished that play, which Larry … You know, one of the things that keeps amazing me is that it’s hard to hear Larry’s story, The Normal Heart, and how it ends with that marriage in that hospital room. It’s hard to hear it these days and realize what a radical plot point that was in the early/mid-’80s. That wasn’t rewritten in 2010 or 2013, no—that was the way he wanted that story to end way back then. And I don’t know, credit’s not the right word, but it keeps surprising me when I think, that’s not now—he wrote that then. He was ahead of the curve.

How do you go back to Big Bang after that?
Oddly, happily as hell. There is nothing more refreshing for the current, continuing TV job than to do any other acting job in the interim. I got to be somebody who likes other people, who wants to talk to other people, who can pick up on the subtle, human cues, who wants to touch other people, and who deals with the sick. I never get bored playing Sheldon. You get used to it—and that’s good, too. You should; it can help to deepen things, but it’s so nice to have a reminder of the remarkable character you’ve been given a chance to inhabit. I mean, from the moment I read the pilot, that’s what it was that was so attractive to me. I couldn’t tell you a good, bad or ugly pilot just from reading it, but I can tell you a character I want to play. I did feel that with him from the beginning.

God knows why. It probably does say something very odd about me psychologically. That guy? Really? Yeah, yeah I did. I liked the way he talked, and I still do.

Just in terms of season renewals, 10 seasons is the pyramids as far as television longevity goes.
Especially in this day and age. TV is so diversified, and the good side of that is that there’s so much work out there and there are so many risks being taken that you just would never have dreamed of seven years ago. If you’d told me seven years ago, the same spring that I auditioned for the pilot of Big Bang, that I was also going in for a pilot for Netflix, I’d have said, “What the hell does that mean?” Now we’re talking about shows being done for Amazon. The flip side is that I think that might make it more financially difficult to keep things on the air for long. But I may just be basing that on old rules. The new rules are still writing themselves.

The negotiation process was drawn out and high profile for this last renewal—what was that like?
I’d certainly never done that before, and it’s hard to imagine going through that again. There’s no joy in going, “OK, we’re not starting.” That was no fun. We enjoy doing this show. By the same token, I didn’t have my head buried in the sand. I’d heard of these things being done before, and it simply … it’s weird, but it simply has to run its course and do what it does, and that’s how I could finalize. And sure enough, we didn’t stay out past that last date everyone was worried about. It was very clear on the part of everyone who works on the show, from the actors to the production crew, that everybody wanted to do it. There was no negativity as far as anyone saying, “I’m done with this anyway, so whatever.”

Are you on set?
Yeah, we shot two episodes—they always do two or three episodes in a row and then we’ll take a week off. And they had blocked off way in advance the week of the Emmys, in case we had to go.

Well, at this point, I feel like they ought to block it off for next year, too.
You just never know.

http://www.adweek.com/news/televisio...osphere-159809


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post #96509 of 96862 Old 09-01-2014, 07:28 PM
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TV Notes
FXX Basically to Become The Simpsons Channel
By Jesse David Fox, Vulture.com (New York Magazine)

FXX's 12-day "Every Simpsons Ever" marathon has been very popular for the newish network. The marathon has been gaining viewership through each of the first six days and has led FXX to rank as one of the top five basic-cable networks each night.

Well, it appears the fun won't stop once the marathon does. FXX announced its post-marathon Simpsons schedule, and it doesn't look as different as you might think. The Simpsons will air: Mondays from 6 p.m.-midnight, Tuesdays from 8 p.m.-midnight, Thursdays from 8 p.m.-midnight, Fridays from 6 p.m.-midnight; and Sundays from 4 to 8 p.m.

This is an incredible 24 hours of Simpsons a week. Praise Jebus.

http://www.vulture.com/2014/08/fxx-b...s-channel.html


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TV Sports/Q&A
Jim Nantz on prepping for NFL games: 'The way I'm wired, I read everything'
By Chris Strauss, USA Today's 'For The Win' Blog - Sep. 1, 2014

NEW YORK -Jim Nantz’s schedule got even more crowded this fall. After spending his spring and summer as the lead play-by-play voice for CBS’ NCAA Tournament coverage and anchor of the network’s golf broadcasts, he’s back alongside Phil Simms every Sunday to announce CBS’ number one national NFL game.

The big difference? From Week 2 through Week 8, he’ll now be doing that after also announcing the Thursday Night Football matchup just three days earlier. Nantz kicks off his NFL season in Pittsburgh on September 7 as the Steelers host the Browns, then will be in Baltimore on September 11 for CBS’ first Thursday Night Football broadcast, followed by the September 14 matchup in Green Bay between the Packers and New York Jets.

For The Win caught up with the five-time National Sportscaster of the Year at the NFL on CBS media day at the CBS Broadcast Center two weeks ago to get perspective on how his career has evolved over the years.

You’ve been on the job here at CBS for nearly three decades. What’s been the biggest change in how you approach it?
The job has changed so much. I always think of this when I come into the studio, but I auditioned for my job at CBS 29 years ago [in August]. The desk is about right where we are, maybe about five feet over here. It was the old NFL Today studios where Brent Musberger used to host the show. And I auditioned. Look at it now.

I was 26 years old, I was just a kid. I tried to act like I was older than I really was. But I’ve just seen the industry expand so much. The internet was a nonfactor then. ESPN was just a startup. You didn’t have this proliferation of sports television. It wasn’t on all the time. Weekends being on the network was a truly huge deal because people waited all week to see sports television. Everything’s changed.

Are there things you do now due to constantly emerging technology that you didn’t do in the past?
You learn through the process how to prepare in the best way possible for you. Everyone has their own style and approach to it. I’ve learned how to fine tune exactly how I need to be ready to go on the air. It’s a daunting task. If you prepare for the game, both teams send you reams of material. Just the way I’m wired, I read everything. I have to see everything. Now I’m going to have double that. I’m going to be doing Thursdays and Sundays. That’s the only concern I have right now. How am I going to process all this? And I will. I’ll figure it out.

As a broadcaster, you’re always learning. I got the great break to be the youngest ever to be hired at this network. I was 26, I’m 55 now. Hopefully I’ve learned through all the different generations of my broadcasting how to get better. How to be more authoritative. How to be more succinct. How to tell a story that’s more cogent. How to have more excitement in my voice. All of these things, it’s a process.

The research has changed because you have access to more information. In the old days it was like, “I’m doing a Seattle game next week, how can I get the Seattle Times brought to me down here in Connecticut.” It was a harder process. Now there’s so much information and I want to see it all.

Are there different approaches for how you personally prep for a golf tournament versus an NFL game?
Golf is a different vibe. Golf is not something I do with a spotting board in front of me. I don’t have a Rory McIlroy box up here and a Tiger Woods information section here. I by and large do it kind of off the cuff. In golf, you travel to so many of the same places, same hotels and restaurants as the players and it’s not as transient of a sport. They can be there for 20 or 30 years. There’s turnover in college basketball rapidly.

In the NFL the careers are also unfortunately far too short. Some quarterbacks, a Brady and a Manning, I’ve been able to cover their whole careers. But the basketball and the football takes a lot of your own stylized board work. I believe in putting charts and color coded things together so I have at my fingertips during a commercial break the chance to look down and say “This is something I want to remind myself. If something happens with the Patriots running game, this is a story I want to tell.”

Golf gives you a chance to be a little more poetic about it as well.
Thank you. That’s what I try to do. It’s a longer form of storytelling, although it can be quick-cutting. “Let’s go back to 16.” But when you get to the end and you’ve got the last group coming up the 72nd hole, you can have a 20 minute stretch there where we’re not cutting away to anything. You’re really getting to the heart of that champion. What does this moment mean to them? I love that.

Golf is more of a fireside chat and the other ones are happening so fast that it’s rapid-fire storytelling. It’s extemporaneous speaking. We’re paid observers is how I term it. If I was doing one of those [broadcasting] bootcamps, I’d be talking about how if you were in school, a class you need at the high school level is public speaking. When the teacher tries to get you to do extemporaneous speaking, pay attention. That’s what you’re doing. You’re seeing something and it’s leaving your lips the moment you observe it. You have to make these sentences and storylines and the direction you’re going with it up on the fly.

Speaking of golf, you’ve covered Tiger Woods his entire career. With his recent injury history, how do you see his future shaping up?
I think he still has a lot of great golf to play. I think he made a very smart decision to shut it down and the next time you come out and compete there are no health issues at all. Everyone wants to see Tiger back healthy giving him a fair, real chance to play at the standards he’s set. People have got to understand he’s had enough injury issues to rank up there with NFL running backs, who have a very short lifespan in their careers as football players.

Tiger’s been through four knee surgeries, now this back operation. He’s had Achilles issues so his health has taken its toll. But this is a sport if you’re good enough you can have a very successful 30-year run. Remember he was dominating when he was just past the age of 20. If he can get healthy and the back comes back, he could be playing another ten years at a high level at a major championship. That’s 40 majors. So if anybody is going to tell you right now that he’s done, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/09/jim-...lf-tiger-woods


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