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post #97111 of 97127 Old Yesterday, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark12547 View Post
re: sub-channels all 4:3



Oh, you are right. Here in the Portland, OR broadcast area KGW (local NBC affiliate) does have a sub-channel (news/information/fashion) that is SD 16:9.

But why do Get.TV, THiS TV, Antenna TV and MoviePlex all go out 4:3 (at least that is how it is received over Comcast in my area), even though they air lots of movies? I would think those would benefit from 16:9 by allowing close to original aspect ratio broadcasts of 1.85:1 content and would make letterbox not too terrible for 2.35:1 content. Or is the penetration of HDTV far smaller than we think? (Quick google: one 2014 survey showed 77% of US households have at least one HD TV; of the TVs used in US households, 59% of them are HD TVs. But wait! According to an article reporting 2012 Nielsen results, for May 2012, 69% of all primetime viewing was on a HD TV, but only 29% of English-language broadcasts and 25% of cable viewing was HD. If 2014 numbers are close to those, HD viewing penetration is still pretty small. )

Now MeTV I can understand: almost all of their programming consists of older TV shows that were originally 4:3.
It could be any numbers of reasons, content acquisition costs come to mind, it may be less expensive for the 4x3 version over the 16x9. The 16x9 version may have a more limited viewing license and these stations don't want to pay for it.
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post #97112 of 97127 Old Yesterday, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark12547 View Post
And I hate that all the SD sub-channels around here seem to all be 4:3! Other than for content originally at 4:3 (1.33:1) or the old "Academy Ratio" (1.375:1), there are two poor choices: either send widescreen stuff in butcher-and-slice, otherwise known as "pan and scan"; or letterbox into the 4:3 display area so on the 16:9 TVs the resulting image is windowboxed or postage stamp, and zooming windowboxed to fill the screen makes the poor resolution painfully obvious.

Why don't SD sub-channels broadcast in 16:9? At least then more of the screen can be used for the image and would be a better fit for modern shows and require less chopping or letterboxing for both 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 content.
There are a number of reasons. Unless a station has installed a 5th generation HD encoder, putting more than one HD channel on the air is problematic. With the newest HD encoders, a station can do two HD channels and two SD channels without compromising quality or motion (sports action) on any of the channels. However, the channels mentioned in the previous post come down on the satellite from the supplier in SD 4x3 format only. A station simply receives the video and sends it on to an SD encoder to be multiplexed onto the OTA feed.

Another reason is that there is no ATSC standard for SD 16x9 video. Yes, there is a squeezed method called Anamorphic but not all TV's and cable boxes will accommodate it. Further, your standard MK-I consumer would get frustrated changing their setup to watch a SD 16x9 channel and then having to change it back for regular viewing. By the way, this method gives you more vertical resolution but the horizontal resolution remains the same as in a postage stamp.

And there is the cable carriage issue. With 256 QAM, a cable company will typically limit the number of HD programs on a RF channel to two and probably slip in two to three SD channels before they run out of bits. If GetTV, Bounce, and their like were true HD program streams, then their chance of cable carriage would be significantly reduced due to space allocation.

Happy Trails,

Bob

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post #97113 of 97127 Old Yesterday, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by bobchase View Post
Another reason is that there is no ATSC standard for SD 16x9 video. Yes, there is a squeezed method called Anamorphic but not all TV's and cable boxes will accommodate it. Further, your standard MK-I consumer would get frustrated changing their setup to watch a SD 16x9 channel and then having to change it back for regular viewing.
The problem isn't that anamorphic is non-standard: it's part of the ATSC specification. The problem is that station operators assume people will have their TVs set to force 4:3, such that people with old 4:3 sets will see a letterboxed and an anamorphic image the same way (while people with 16:9 sets see windowboxing). They seem to think that using letterboxed widescreen over anamorphic widescreen is less likely to cause AR problems, although that's a dubious assumption.

The whole point of anamorphic widescreen is that it performs the conversion automatically, so there should be no need to change anything to watch a 16:9 channel, nor should there be any need to change anything back when returning to a 4:3 channel when a viewer's equipment is correctly configured. Unfortunately, much A/V equipment is not correctly configured.
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post #97114 of 97127 Old Today, 03:38 AM
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More Cable Companies Take TV Off Menu

Customers Care More About Broadband, They Say, and Programming Has Gotten Too Expensive

By Shalini Ramachandran


A growing group of small cable-TV providers are realizing that both they and their customers can live without expensive TV channels.

Of the 100 million homes in the U.S. that subscribe to pay TV, about 14% are served by smaller companies that have a million or fewer customers. In some cases, they serve fewer than 100. Faced with rising programming costs, some of those companies—such as Ringgold Telephone Co. in Georgia and BTC Broadband in Bixby, Okla.—have pulled the plug on TV service altogether, preferring to simply focus on Internet and phone service.

Others, meanwhile, are dropping major groups of channels to manage their costs. The latest is Suddenlink Communications, an operator that serves about one million customers, which says it plans to drop Viacom Inc.'s TV channels, including Nickelodeon and MTV, at midnight Tuesday. Suddenlink says it has already signed long-term contracts with other channels to fill the Viacom channels' slots.

The shift poses a potential threat to big media companies. These cable providers are tiny compared with industry titans like Comcast Corp., but the fees they pay media companies for rights to carry programming add up. Cable channel owners—which include major media companies such as Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc. —this year will collect a total of $35 billion in license fees, according to SNL Kagan. But that figure could erode if more small players give up on offering customers the big TV bundle.

After seven years of selling customers cable-TV services, BTC Broadband got out of that business late last year and now provides just broadband and phone services. The Oklahoma company, which had been serving about 420 TV subscribers, decided it simply couldn't afford to keep paying rising fees to carry a basic lineup of channels including ESPN, TNT and MTV.

BTC President Scott Floyd estimated that if the company continued to pass on rising programming costs to consumers and maintained its thin profit margins, by 2016 cable-TV bills would rise to $130 from about $60. "I think the TV model is broken," said Mr. Floyd.

In five years, operators representing about 5 million pay-TV subscribers—5% of current pay TV households—will "no longer be doing business the way they do today with video," estimates Rich Fickle, chief executive of the National Cable Television Cooperative, a consortium that negotiates programming deals on behalf of about 915 small cable-TV providers.

A loss of 5% of households in a few years could shave off about $2.4 billion in revenue for basic cable networks alone, which by 2018 would be raking in about $47 billion in carriage fees, according to SNL Kagan estimates.

"The change in the market is going to come from the bottom," said NCTC's Mr. Fickle. Bigger pay-TV companies like Comcast and DirecTV aren't likely to make similar moves away from pay-TV service, he said, because they enjoy better profit margins and are busy pursuing big mergers.

Some operators say they are gradually being pushed out of the TV business as subscribers drop their expensive TV subscriptions and watch shows on cheaper Internet video services.

Those who have exited completely say that while many customers switched to satellite service, a growing number simply migrate to online video.
Missouri-based Boycom Cablevision Inc. has sold cable-TV service since the early 1990s, but now counts only 1,000 TV customers out of its total 5,000 subscribers. "We have truly morphed into a broadband-only provider in a lot of our markets," says Patty Boyers, co-founder of Boycom.

Tom Might, chief executive of Graham Holdings Co. 's CableOne, which serves nearly 700,000 subscribers in 19 states, says reducing emphasis on video service in favor of broadband has led to higher profits, even though some customers were lost in the process. The "trends are kind of hard to fight," he said. "Better to join them and make your profit where the business is growing."

Since 2008, small telecom companies representing about 53,000 customers have shut off cable-TV services or gone out of business, according to the NCTC. Over the last three years, the number of customers affected by such decisions has accelerated.

At least one midsize operator, Cablevision Systems Corp., which serves nearly 3 million TV customers in the New York metropolitan area, has said it can imagine a day when it no longer sells television and makes broadband its primary offering.

Some media executives shrug off the threat, saying that cable-TV providers have been complaining for a decade about programming costs. They say their businesses don't face any real risk from the small companies that have been disconnecting service thus far.

Media companies could get ahead of any broader decline, cable-TV executives say, by changing their model of selling full bundles of channels to operators, and instead selling just their popular channels in smaller bundles or on an a la carte basis—something they have so far resisted doing.

Many small operators are cutting back on expensive TV channels they don't view as vital to include in their packages, as Suddenlink says it is planning to do. Earlier this year, providers representing some 900,000 households opted out of an NCTC-brokered carriage deal with Viacom, choosing instead to drop its channels.

Those operators had braced to lose as much as 10% of their customers, but overall they have lost less than 2% of their base, according to the NCTC.
Mr. Fickle says other members are emboldened by the Viacom episode and may take a similar approach in deals with big programmers that are coming up for renewal with the NCTC, if the terms don't make sense for them.

Operators' shift away from TV could accelerate if more customers fed up with rising bills "cut the cord" themselves. Last year, the pay TV industry contracted for the first time, losing 167,000 customers as people disconnected service, according to MoffettNathanson research.

Several small operators believe the pay-TV model will splinter and reset itself online, with TV channels and big distributors such as Comcast or Dish Network Corp. DISH selling programming directly to consumers through apps, much like Netflix does today.

Such a reality has long been considered a threat, but executives like Steve Weed, CEO of WaveDivision Holdings LLC, a West Coast cable company, envision a new business opportunity for small cable operators to supply customers with Web TV boxes and manage a storefront of streaming-video apps.
Dealing with customer complaints about TV service—which account for most service calls—would be a thing of the past. "We'll go from being the bad guy to the good guy," Mr. Weed said.

http://online.wsj.com/articles/more-...LEFTTopStories

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post #97115 of 97127 Old Today, 03:51 AM
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Cable Operator Suddenlink to Drop Viacom TV Channels

Deals Have Been Struck With Replacement Outlets to Fill Vacated Slots

By
Shalini Ramachandran and Keach Hagey

Suddenlink Communications, a cable operator with more than a million customers, said it would stop carrying Viacom Inc.'s TV networks at midnight Tuesday, a move that is likely to raise questions with investors about the health of the big media company's cable channels.

Suddenlink said Viacom, whose properties include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and MTV, had been asking for a nearly 50% increase in what the cable operator now pays to carry its channels. It said it has already signed long-term deals with other channels to replace the Viacom networks.
The changeover will occur at midnight, when the current Suddenlink-Viacom contract expires. "Viacom channels will no longer be part of our lineup," said Suddenlink spokesman Pete Abel.

Viacom acknowledged that Suddenlink has chosen to drop its channels at midnight. The company said it was willing to accept a one-year deal based on Suddenlink's most recent proposal, but Suddenlink didn't accept that. "Suddenlink has chosen to turn its back on a long-standing partner and ignore its paying customers," Viacom said.

Amid the Suddenlink drama, Viacom said it reached a deal Tuesday with Verizon Communications Inc. to renew carriage of all of its TV networks on Verizon's FiOS TV service. The deal also includes expanded rights to distribute Viacom programming on a planned Web video service for Verizon Wireless customers, the companies said.

Many disputes between pay-TV distributors and channel owners are resolved in the final hours before a deal expires. But Suddenlink's Mr. Abel said that won't be the case this time. "This is a different situation than people may have read about before," he said.

Among the channels Suddenlink has signed up to replace Viacom's in its "expanded basic" cable-TV bundle are 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FXX, Glenn Beck's TheBlaze and other independent outlets, including Pivot and the Hallmark Channel. 21st Century Fox and Wall Street Journal owner News Corp were part of the same company until last year.

It is possible that over time Viacom and Suddenlink could strike a new programming contract as deals with the replacement channels expire or as channel bandwidth frees up.

Suddenlink has about 1.2 million video customers in states including Arkansas, Arizona, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia. That represents just 1% of U.S. pay-TV households. Wall Street, however, is likely to view the company's decision as a troubling development for Viacom, and one that could have broader implications for the cable industry.

Carriage fees are a major driver of revenue and profit driver for the nation's major media companies. Advertising revenue at Viacom's TV networks grew a modest 2% last year, while carriage-fee revenue in the U.S. grew 10%.

"If a prolonged blackout were to ensue, we believe investors would rightfully question Viacom's ability to get future deals with other small distributors—and maybe even large distributors," Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger wrote in a Tuesday morning research note.

Mr. Abel said Suddenlink had asked Viacom if it could license just a few of its channels such as TV Land and Nickelodeon, which are popular with Suddenlink customers. He said the prices Viacom was charging for a subset of its channels "ended up being more than the price of all their channels combined," making it "certainly not a viable option."

Viacom has run into troubles with other smaller cable providers. Earlier this year, some 60 small operators, including Graham Holdings Co. 's CableOne, dropped Viacom's channels and have moved on without them. Those operators had a combined customer base of about 900,000.

Viacom said the defections didn't have a material impact on its business. "I don't think it portends anything," Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said at a recent Goldman Sachs conference. He said there was only one distributor "of some size" that didn't sign on, alluding to CableOne.


http://online.wsj.com/articles/cable...els-1412112336

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TV Notes
Sprinting Downcourt to the High Life
LeBron James’s Experiences Inspire ‘Survivor’s Remorse’
By Joe Rhodes, The New York Times

ATLANTA — The title of “Survivor’s Remorse,” Starz’s new six-episode comedy series about a fictional professional basketball player who has just signed his first multimillion-dollar contract, came from Maverick Carter, who is the manager and a childhood friend of the newly returned Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James, the most famous basketball player in the world. It is a phrase they had used often to describe their conflicting emotions about their enormous success, a life of private jets and manicured estates beyond anything they could have imagined when they were growing up in their poor and often dangerous Akron, Ohio, neighborhood.

The phrase came up when Mr. Carter was talking to Tom Werner, the chairman of the Boston Red Sox and a producer of numerous sitcom hits (including “Roseanne” and “The Cosby Show”) about opportunities for Mr. James in the television business. Mr. Werner wanted something like theSamsung Galaxy commercials that ran last year showing Mr. James, 29, with his family at home, just a regular dad with his wife and kids, relaxed and playful, away from the public eye.

“LeBron always wanted the commercial to be as close to his real life as possible,” Mr. Carter said. “And it was. But we weren’t going to make a show about LeBron’s life. That was never on the table.”

In wide-ranging conversations over the course of months, Mr. Carter, 33, came back to the idea of “Survivor’s Remorse.” He recalled: “I don’t know if we were even talking about it as a show. I explained to Tom how I have it sometimes, because of my family and my neighborhood where I come from. There’s a lot of good people there, and not all of them, to use a phrase, make it out. And I did. But a lot of times I feel bad about making it when they didn’t. I have survivor’s remorse.”

Mr. Werner suggested, in spite of the title, that the show should be a comedy, adult in tone and often dealing with serious topics and difficult emotions, but a comedy nonetheless.

“In some ways, comedy is an easier platform to talk about serious issues than drama,” Mr. Werner said as he watched a scene being filmed here at a home in the upscale Atlanta neighborhood Buckhead. “We can talk about race and privilege and culture, but in a smart, clever funny way.”

He brought in Mike O’Malley, whose script credits include “Shameless” but who may be better known for his acting roles in “Glee” and “Yes, Dear,” to write and serve as show runner. The series he created, which begins next Saturday, revolves around Cam Calloway (played by Jessie T. Usher), an underrated point guard who, after playing for the league minimum in Memphis, has a breakout season, signs a big-money contract with Atlanta and, just like that, finds himself surrounded by the trappings and temptations that come with sports stardom. How he — and his family — deal with that sudden wealth and fame is what “Survivor’s Remorse” is about.

“Cam is someone who’s generous at heart and feels guilty about having all this money when he knows so many who are still struggling,” said Mr. O’Malley, who took elements of Mr. Carter’s and Mr. James’s experiences, but created fictional circumstances and characters to illustrate them. Cam, for instance, is from Dorchester, the Boston neighborhood, and his manager-confidant-best friend is his cousin Reggie (played by RonReaco Lee).

“I will not let you be a cautionary tale,” Reggie tells his cousin in the pilot, trying to explain that no matter how much money he has, he can’t save everyone who asks for help. “Some tweaker does not deserve a place on your generosity list just because he grew up two doors down.”

Many of the story lines will seem familiar to anyone who’s watched “SportsCenter” or followed the N.B.A. (The new show, unable to secure permission from the league, never mentions it or specific franchises by name and never shows any footage from games, real or fictional.) There are dubious characters from Cam’s past who show up at inopportune moments, conflicts about endorsement deals and — in an episode filmed long before the football star Adrian Peterson’s child-discipline controversy — a media uproar after Cam’s mother proudly talks about how she used to “whup him with a Hot Wheels track” when he was a little boy.

Although there are some parallels to the now-canceled HBO series “Entourage” — both share the premise of a young star and his neighborhood pals dealing with a glamorous but sometimes treacherous new way of life — the difference is that Cam Calloway’s entourage is family: his mother; his cousin; his truth-telling Uncle Julius (played by Mike Epps); and his lesbian sister, M-Chuck (played by Erica Ash).

Mr. O’Malley and everyone associated with the show make a point of emphasizing that “Survivor’s Remorse” is not about Mr. James, that the characters and situations are fictional and that beyond reading a few scripts, Mr. James, although listed as an executive producer, had no direct input into story lines. In an email interview, Mr. James said the show came together during basketball season, so his time was limited.

“Most important for me was the opportunity to empower my organization to have an impact,” he said. “The show created over 200 jobs for people. We need more television shows for great black actors.”

Mr. James also said it didn’t matter to him whether “Survivor’s Remorse” was about basketball per se. “It’s not a show to help people understand the life of an athlete,” he said, and added, referring to the ESPN documentary series: “They can go to ‘30 for 30’ or places like that for a serious story.”

Even though Cam Calloway is clearly not LeBron James, there will inevitably be speculation as to which plot points — and characters — might be based on actual incidents. In Mr. Carter’s view, “people are sophisticated enough to know that these are fictional characters,” he said. “We want it to be entertaining and funny and to feel real. But it’s not about us.”

Even so, Mr. O’Malley said Mr. Carter was a regular, and welcome, presence on the set, offering observations and suggestions on matters like which poses would be used in a shoe endorsement photo and which video games players prefer. “Maverick has been parsing this thing within an inch of its life,” Mr. O’Malley said, “and I don’t mean that in a critical sense.”

Fictional liberties aside, there seems to be some of Mr. Carter in Reggie Vaughan, the cousin-manager. As Mr. Carter does in real life, Reggie preaches constantly that the family must think about long-term possibilities instead of short-term rewards. Mr. James, with Mr. Carter advising him, has been a savvy investor, often turning down lucrative endorsement offers unless he also gets some equity in the company.

Mr. Carter was a crucial player in Mr. James’s 2010 decision to announce his signing with the Miami Heat with an “American Idol”-type TV special, “The Decision,” which turned into a public relations disaster. But he was also one of the strongest advocates for Mr. James’s return to Cleveland this season, and for Mr. James’s taking his family back to Akron and spending more time helping the neighborhoods he left behind.

Referring to the characters on the show, Mr. Carter said, “This is a family going through experiences and learning on the fly.” But he could just as easily have been talking about himself and Mr. James. The characters “are bits and pieces from all types of people I’ve met throughout my life,” he said.

“The stories are made up,” he went on, “but the scenarios are all things that could happen. And some of them have.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/ar...ref=television


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TV Notes
'Community' is losing another cast member
By Kelly Lawler, USA Today's 'Entertain This!' Blog - Sep. 30, 2014

Another student won’t be signing up for classes at Greendale Community College.

Yvette Nicole Brown told TV Guide that she will not be returning for Community‘s sixth season. The actress asked to be released from her contract in order to take care of her ailing father.

“My dad needs daily care and he needs me,” she said. “The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn’t do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad.”

Brown played Shirley Bennett in the show’s first five seasons. It’s not clear how her exit will be addressed, but Brown said she is open to perhaps returning for guest spots.

“I am totally open to whatever (series creator Dan Harmon) decides,” she said. “I’m glad it won’t be hard for them to explain where she is. She has three kids, a degree and a business. There are a lot of ways to explain her (departure).”

With the exit of Brown and Jonathan Banks (who’s off and away on Better Call Saul), not to mention the loss of Donald Glover and Chevy Chase in previous seasons, the study group is down to four members. TV Guide reports that the show will be casting two new characters. Or perhaps the group could just let Starburns or Fat Neil join.

http://entertainthis.usatoday.com/20...-nicole-brown/


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TV Notes
'Married' and 'You're the Worst' renewed for second seasons
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times - Sep. 30, 2014

When it comes to love, there's always room for more misery.

FX's two freshman relationship comedies "Married" and "You're the Worst" are coming back for new seasons. But their time as a couple is over -- one of them is moving to FX's sister channel FXX.

"Married," starring Nat Faxon and Judy Greer as a perpetually bickering married couple, will remain on FX for its 13-episode second season.

"You're the Worst," stars Chris Geere and Aya Cash as a pair of cynical singles who find themselves falling in love, despite their best efforts to avoid relationships. That series, created by writer Stephen Falk, will move to FXX.

"Married" averaged 1.96 million total viewers and "You're the Worst" averaged 1.65 million. Though, according to FX, the ratings for "You're the Worst" showed particular growth in the adult demo over episodes in the latter half of the 10-episode first season.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...930-story.html


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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Middle
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Black-ish
10PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Tim Allen; Anna Gunn; The Madden Brothers perform)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor
9PM - Criminal Minds (Season Premiere)
10PM - Stalker (Series Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bill O'Reilly; Cristin Milioti)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Patton Oswalt; Chandra Wilson)

NBC:
8PM - The Mysteries of Laura
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago P.D.
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Jennifer Garner; John Mulaney; Lady Antebellum performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Neil Patrick Harris; Rita Wilson; The Both performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Jerrod Carmichael; The So So Glos perform; band Direct Hit!)

FOX:
8PM - Hell's Kitchen
9PM - Red Band Society

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Penguins: Spy in the Huddle, A Nature Special Presentation
9PM - NOVA: Building Pharaoh's Chariot
(R - Feb. 6, 2013)
10PM - Rise of the Black Pharaohs

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

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
(R - Dec. 4)
9PM - Arrow
(R - Dec. 11)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Reina De Corazones
9PM - Los Miserables
10PM - Señora de Acero

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Lena Dunham)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Admiral Mike Mullen)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Tom Lennon; Cameron Esposito; Daniel Sloss)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Nick Offerman; comic Jerrod Carmichael; comic Pete Correale)


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TV/Nielsen Notes
On ’Minds,’ new face for an aging show
Jennifer Love Hewitt joins the CBS procedural, now in its 10th season
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Oct. 1, 2014

When a show’s been on as long as CBS’s “Criminal Minds,” which premieres its 10th season tonight at 9 p.m., it needs the occasional fresh face to keep people interested.

This season’s new blood seems rather unlikely. Jennifer Love Hewitt, who most recently played a single mom dabbling in prostitution on Lifetime’s “The Client List,” joins the cast as the latest BAU agent hunting down the bad guys.

Hewitt’s resume doesn’t exactly scream bloody procedural.

In addition to “List,” she starred on CBS’s “The Ghost Whisperer,” about a widowed psychic, and, in her much younger days, the Fox soap “Party of Five.”

On “Minds,” Hewitt will play an agent who has experienced deep loss in her personal life, driving her desire to help make the world safe for others.

But like most of CBS’s procedurals, “Minds” isn’t really about the agents who solve the cases. The focus is on the often-grisly crimes themselves, and the people who solve them are secondary.

That’s what makes it possible to bring in new agents a decade into the show’s run. It’s a way to keep viewers engaged without alienating them. None of the characters are indispensable, and replacing them adds new dynamics to the program.

“Minds” saw ratings decline last season, falling to new series lows. But it still does very well among total viewers and CBS’s target demo of adults 25-54.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/onm...an-aging-show/


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TV Review
'Stalker’ feels more like a PSA than a thriller
By Dave Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

The new CBS suspense series “Stalker” is like a PSA for the paranoid. If that’s your thing, tune in Wednesday night and move carefully to the edge of your seat.

The show was created by Kevin Williamson (”The Following”) and stars Maggie Q (“Nikita”) and Dylan McDermott (“American Horror Story”) as detectives attached to the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit.

Lt. Beth Davis (Maggie Q) is none too happy to welcome New York transplant Jack Larsen to the squad to begin with. She’s already heard about his affair with the wife of a superior officer in New York. When he tries to break the ice by complimenting her on her appearance and staring at her breasts, she’s sure he’s going to be bad news. Larsen spends the rest of the pilot trying to win her over. Barely works with either Davis or us, for that matter.

Davis takes threat assessment very seriously, though, and at the moment, the unit is trying to solve a series of gruesome serial-stalker murders of young women. The stalker, wearing a creepy mask, traps his victims, douses them with gasoline and lights a match.

At the same time, Williamson wants us to understand that stalking is, unfortunately, an equal opportunity menace. So we get a college guy (Darren Kagasoff, “The Secret Life of the American Teenager”) stalked by a former roommate (Erik Stocklin, “Mistresses”).

The two stalking cases in the pilot episode are moderately engaging, but the faux drama about whether Davis will accept Larsen as her working partner (of course she will, until one of the actors gets a better offer or the show is canceled) feels like exactly what it is: filler.

“Stalker” works hard to milk the kind of culture-wide paranoia that also fuels other shows like “Homeland” and “Person of Interest.” The world is a scary place in the 21st century, and we’ve become a nation of people waiting for other shoes to drop.

That’s where the PSA part of “Stalker” comes in to play. At various points in the show, especially after the single effective gotcha of the pilot episode’s first scene, “Stalker” feels like a public service announcement. Don’t go walk to your car in a parking garage by yourself late at night. Be aware of your surroundings when you approach your doorway late at night, and you’ve just taken a call from a stalker on your cell phone. Don’t drink that beer your former roommate turned weirdo is offering you as a way of burying the hatchet.

While all of these moments are intended to add to our sense of uneasiness as we watch the show, they actually make the show too predictable. No one can watch Kagasoff drink that beer without wondering what Stocklin’s character may have put in it. A young woman gets into an elevator late at night, do you really think we’ll be paying attention to the Musak?

Maggie Q and McDermott are competent, if not terribly interesting actors, and that about sums up the series as well.


Stalker
10 p.m. Wednesday on CBS.


http://www.sfgate.com/tv/article/TV-...an-5785872.php


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Emmy Notes
PBS, CBS Are Big Winners at News and Documentary Emmy Awards
By Steve Pond, TheWrap.com - Sep. 30, 2014

PBS and CBS dominated the 35th annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards on Tuesday night at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City, with PBS winning 11 awards and CBS taking 10.

ABC was a distant third with three Emmys, while BBC World News, HBO and NBC each won two. CNN won one award for its English-language station and another for its Spanish-language one, as did Discovery Channel. National Geographic Channel and National Geographic Wild each won one award.

Other winners included the New York Times, Telemundo, The Guardian, Al Jazeera America and Univision.

CBS's “60 Minutes” was the biggest winner among single shows, with five victories for different episodes. PBS's “Front Line” received four different awards.

Kirby Dick‘s and Amy Ziering's Oscar-nominated documentary “The Invisible War” won two awards, while Lucy Walker‘s Oscar-shortlisted “The Crash Reel” won one. The documentary “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” won for music and sound, while “Detropia” won for its editing.

Here is the list of winning shows. The full list of winners is available at emmyonline.com/news_35th_winners.

Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams: Devastation in Oklahoma”
Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “BBC World News America: Inside Syria's Deadly Conflict.”
Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: “BBC World News America: Suffering in the Central Africa Republic”
Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: ABC, “Nightline: Raid in the Philippines”
Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: ABC, “Nightline: Brian Ross Investigates: Billion Dollar Losers – China Fraud and U.S. Markets”
Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in a News Magazine: CBS, “48 Hours: Caught”
Outstanding Continuing Coverage of a News Story in a News Magazine: CBS, “60 Minutes: Imminent Danger” and PBS, “Need to Know: Dying to Get Back”
Outstanding Feature Story in a News Magazine: CBS, “60 Minutes: Africa Mercy”
Outstanding Investigative Journalism in a News Magazine: Al Jazeera America, “Fault Lines: Haiti in a Time of Cholera”
Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting in a News Magazine: CBS, “60 Minutes: China's Real Estate Bubble”
Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis: CBS, “Face the Nation: 50th Anniversary of John F. Kennedy Assassination”
Outstanding Live Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form: CBS, “CBS News: Boston Marathon Bombings” and “NBC News Specials: Boston Marathon Bombings”
Outstanding Coverage of a Current News Story – Long Form: PBS, “Frontline: Syria Behind the Lines”
Outstanding Investigative Journalism – Long Form: PBS, “Independent Lens: The Invisible War”
Outstanding Informational Program – Long Form: “HBO Documentary Films: The Crash Reel”
Outstanding Historical Program – Long Form: PBS, “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross With Henry Louis Gates, Jr.”
Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting: PBS, “Frontline: The Retirement Gamble”
Outstanding Interview: “CBS This Morning/Charlie Rose on PBS: One on One With Assad”
Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming: PBS, “POV: Herman's House”
Outstanding Science and Technology Programming: PBS, “Nova: Manhunt – Boston Bombers”
Outstanding Nature Programming: “National Geographic Channel: Chasing Ice”
Best Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast: ABC, “Nightline: The War for Paradise”
Best Report in a News Magazine: CBS, “60 Minutes: Guantanamo and Gitmo”
Best Documentary: PBS, “Independent Lens: The Invisible War”
New Approaches to News & Documentary Programming: Current News: “The Guardian: The NSA Files Decoded”
New Approaches: Documentaries: NPR, “Planet Mone Makes a T-Shirt”
New Approaches: Arts, Lifestyle and Culture: “The New York Times Op-Docs and the National Film Board of Canada: A Short History of the High Rise”
Outstanding Writing: CBS, “60 Minutes: The Recyclers”
Outstanding Research: PBS, “Frontline: Outlawed in Pakistan”
Outstanding Video Journalism: News: CNN, “Mark Phillips – Reporting From Afghanistan and the Philippines”
Outstanding Cinematography: Documentary and Long Form: National Geographic, “One Life”
Outstanding Editing: News: CBS, “48 Hours: Art Theft Segments from Brooklyn DA”
Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form: PBS, “Independent Lens: Detropia”
Outstanding Graphic Design and Art Direction: H2, “Big History”
Outstanding Music and Sound: HBO Documentary Films: “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer”
Outstanding Lighting Direction and Scenic Design: Investigation Discovery, “A Crime to Remember”
Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Institutional: Discover Channel: “Discovery's Shark Week 2013”
Outstanding Promotional Announcement – Episodic: PBS, “Frontline: League of Denial Dangerous Love Affair Trailer”
Outstanding Regional News Story: Spot News: “WNBC-TV Breaking News (New York, NY): Superstorm Sandy”
Outstanding Regional News Story: Investigative Reporting: KNXV-TV Daily Newscast (Phoenix, AZ): “Ford Escape: Exposing a Deadly Defect” and NBC5 News at 10 (Dallas-Fort Worth, TX): “Driven to Distraction”
Outstanding Newscast or News Magazine in Spanish: CNN en Espanol: “Panorama Mundial”
Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story in Spanish: Telemundo, “Pope Francis”
Outstanding Investigative Journalism in Spanish: Univision, “Aqui y Ahora: El Chapo: El Eterno Fugitivo” and Discovery en Espanol: “Trata de Mujeres: De Tenacingo a Nueva York”

http://www.thewrap.com/pbs-cbs-are-b...y-emmy-awards/


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TV Sports/Washington Notes
Will the Word ‘Redskins’ Be Banned from Broadcast TV? FCC Weighs Action
By Ted Johnson, Variety.com - Sep. 30, 2014

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the agency is considering a petition to issue sanctions against broadcast stations that use the term “Redskins” when referring to Washington D.C.’s professional football team.

In comments to reporters, Wheeler said that the FCC “will be looking at that petition, we will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we’ll be responding accordingly.” But he personally believes that the term is “offensive and derogatory,” according to an interview he gave earlier this month to Broadcasting & Cable.

The idea of punishing stations for using the word came about in a petition filed by George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf earlier this month. He is challenging the license of team owner Dan Snyder’s WWXX-FM radio station, and contends that the word is an “offensive demeaning racial swear word.” The FCC has authority to sanction stations for indecent or obscene content. A decision against the station would have ramifications across broadcast sports coverage.

Last year, former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, along with other communications executives, sent a letter to Snyder urging him to change the team’s name. They argued that, while broadcasters wouldn’t think of using other racial epithets, they routinely use the name of the Washington team.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/reds...cc-1201317855/


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TV Notes
‘Rush Hour’ To Be Remade As Action Series From Bill Lawrence & Brett Ratner
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Sep. 30, 2014

A big series project is about to hit the markeplace — an hourlong action comedy based on the blockbuster movie franchise Rush Hour. I’ve learned that WarnerTV has closed deals for the project, which will be co-written/executive produced by one of studio’s top showrunners, Bill Lawrence. The movie franchise’s director Brett Ratner and producer Arthur Sarkissian will serve as executive producers.

Written by Cougar Town co-creator Lawrence and the series’ executive producer/showrunner Blake McCormick, Rush Hour is expected to stay close to the premise of the original movie, with a stoic, by-the-book Hong Kong police officer, played in the features by Jackie Chan, assigned to a case in Los Angeles, where he’s forced to work with a cocky black LAPD officer, originally played by Chris Tucker, who has no interest in a partner. WBTV declined comment.

Produced by Warner Bros subsidiary New Line Cinema, Rush Hour was a sleeper hit when it came out in 1998, launching a successful three-movie franchise that has grossed more than $500 million domestically and topped $845 million worldwide. There had been a lot of talk about doing another sequel, with Chan indicating as recently as last month that Warner Bros. was still interested in doing a fourth Rush Hour film, but there is nothing actively in the works.

Rush Hour, from WBTV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer, marks a second big project for Doozer this season. A comedy from Tommy Johnagin, Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker recently landed a pilot production commitment from CBS. The ICM Partners-repped company also has series Undateable on NBC as well as Cougar Town and Ground Floor on TBS.

Before joining Cougar Town, McCormick, repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone, worked on Fox’s King Of The Hill. Last season, Lawrence and McCormick teamed for another hourlong action buddy comedy, Chasing Skips, which had a put pilot commitment at Fox.

Rush Hour joins another big movie title, Minority Report, which was sold as a series to Fox with a put pilot commitment. Ratner has strong ties with Warner Bros. on the feature side. He and his RatPac Entertainment partner James Packer have a first-look deal at the studio. And the duo, along with Steven Mnuchin, have a $450 million deal to co-finance the entire slate of Warner Bros films.

http://deadline.com/2014/09/rush-hou...ratner-843720/


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