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post #98551 of 98580 Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM
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Can Sony Get Around the First Amendment to Sue the Media Over the Hack? (Analysis)
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood, Esq.' Blog - Dec. 15, 2014
I belive News outlets should be fine probably more so if they aren't the first ones to post any
of the stolen information /revelations .

Hires Music formats ..............."Why does it sound like a CD ?" ............. can we make it louder "?
"The wireless music box has no commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"
- David Sarnoff's associates at RCA the 1920's -
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post #98552 of 98580 Old Yesterday, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
Yet they constantly make mistakes like last night Gruden said the nfc south division winner record could be bad enough to still get a top 10 pick in the 2015 draft....thats wrong !!

The non playoff teams pick 1-20 then the playoff teams 21-32 even if a playoff team has a worse record than a non playoff team.

Even my little sister knows that....ok maybe not but still how does "one of the premier analysts in all of sports" not ?
If you accept the fact that alot of tv suits are just morons its easier to stomach....i guess.
Apparently ESPN does not care or they would dump Gruden, Vitale, Corso, Knight, and some of the 15 people on their NFL show.
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post #98553 of 98580 Old Today, 03:16 AM
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TV Notes
‘The Missing’ Renewed For Second Installment By Starz & BBC
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Dec. 16, 2014

Starz has ordered a sequel to the limited series The Missing. The second installment again will be done in conjunction with BBC One, which also has renewed the series.

Brothers Harry and Jack Williams, who wrote the eight-episode original series, will return to write the eight-part second installment, which again will unfold over two time frames but, like FX’s miniseries Fargo, will follow a new case, new characters and new location. New Pictures, Two Brothers Pictures and Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment return as production companies.

“The remarkably talented Williams brothers crafted a beautifully complex and heart-wrenching story with The Missing,” said Starz Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik. “And while the story, character and locations will be different in this new iteration, we anticipate the same captivating longform storytelling and character development that critics and viewers have responded so well to.”

The renewal news comes as the first installment of The Missing, which centers on the psychological fallout and ensuing years-long manhunt resulting from the sudden disappearance of 5-year-old Oliver Hughes, is wrapping its run on BBC today. The finale airs on Starz on January 10. It also followed strong reviews and two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and actress Frances O’Connor. Additionally, The Missing netted strong ratings for BBC One, with an average of 7 million.

Willow Grylls, Charlie Pattinson and Elaine Pyke serve as executive producers for New Pictures, Harry and Jack Williams for Two Brothers Pictures, Polly Hill for the BBC and Colin Callender for Playground Entertainment.

http://deadline.com/2014/12/the-miss...bc-1201327215/
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post #98554 of 98580 Old Today, 03:19 AM
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TV Notes
NBC Launches Live Streaming Service ‘TV Everywhere’
By Alicia Banks, TheWrap.com - Dec. 16, 2014

NBC Universal will offer a new live streaming service, allowing subscribers to access their favorite shows on all platforms as the network’s shows air, the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Called “TV Everywhere,” the on-demand library is currently available online at NBC.com. The service will be available 24/7 through network-owned stations and later, through affiliates as the launch expands.

NBC’s new live stream service will head to mobile devices early 2015.

“A great value proposition for viewers, NBCUniversal is committed to supporting TV Everywhere across our portfolio of brands,” the network said.

The value — there will be no additional cost to subscribers to access TV Everywhere.

NBC’s move follows in the footsteps of popular sites such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and even HBO where shows can be viewed on the computer, mobile devices and tablets.

The announcement comes weeks after CBS’s new venture “All Access.” As TheWrap reported in October, “All Access” will cost $5.99 per month.

http://www.thewrap.com/nbc-launches-...tv-everywhere/
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Technology Notes
Amazon Fire TV adds HBO Go app
By Brett Molina, USA Today - Dec. 16, 2014

Add one more home for the popular app HBO Go: Amazon Fire TV.

The retailing giant announced HBO Go is available through its streaming media set-top box. The app will also be accessible to owners of the Fire TV Stick.

However, the app reportedly won't work if you are a Comcast or Charter cable subscriber. According to The Wall Street Journal, Charter and Comcast are blocking the app.

This isn't the first time Amazon and HBO have worked together. Earlier this year, Amazon signed a long-term deal with the cable channel to host older HBO shows on the Instant Video service, available via an Amazon Prime subscription.

Peter Larsen, Amazon's vice president of devices, says the number of apps and games available on Fire TV has quadrupled since launching in April. The set-top box now hosts 700 services.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/p...-hbo/20471249/
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TV Notes
Dick Wolf Docu-series ‘Nightwatch’ to Premiere On A&E In January 2015
By Elizabeth Wagmeister, Variety.com - Dec. 16, 2014

Dick Wolf’s latest project, “Nightwatch,” will premiere Jan. 22 on A&E.

The hour-long docu-series from executive producers Wolf, Tom Thayer and 44 Blue Productions’ Rasha Drachkovitch will follow emergency teams working the intense and life-threatening overnight shift in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“’Nightwatch’ focuses on first responders, working the graveyard shift, in one of the world’s most notorious night cities — New Orleans,” Wolf tells Variety. “We take the viewer behind the scenes in real time as EMS, police and fire respond to every kind of call possible, many of which are stranger than fiction.”

Adds Drachkovitch, “We were amazed by the incredible cooperation and access from all three of New Orleans’ first responder agencies. They all embraced us and our crew, and gave an unfiltered front seat view of the city’s action, intrigue and drama.”

“Nightwatch” is produced by Wolf Reality (“Chicago Fire,” ”Chicago PD,” “Cold Justice”) and 44 Blue Productions (“Wahlburgers,” “Donnie Loves Jenny”).

http://variety.com/2014/tv/news/nigh...te-1201380859/
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TV Notes
ABC Family's 'Recovery Road' Ordered to Series
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Dec. 16, 2014

ABC Family is moving forward with Recovery Road.

The drama, originally picked up to pilot in March and redeveloped in September, has been picked up to series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Based on the popular young-adult novel by Blake Nelson, Recovery Road focuses on a teenage girl dealing with addiction. Maddie has a reputation as a party girl who doesn’t think she has a problem, until she’s confronted one day by her school guidance counselor and forced to choose between expulsion and rehab. Maddie ultimately makes the decision to live with other recovering addicts at a rehab facility while facing the daily pressures of her teenage life.

The pilot was written by Bert V. Royal (Easy A) and Karen DiConcetto (Ruby & the Rockits). Beth Miller (Revenge of the Bridesmaids) and Craig Piligian (Survivor) from Pilgrim Studios Danielle von Zerneck (Left to Die) will serve as executive producers alongside Royal and DiConcetto.

"ABC Family is best known for its ground-breaking original series and Recovery Road is right in our wheel-house,” ABC Family exec vp programming and development Karey Burke said. "This series will explore relevant social issues for our audience and shine a light on addiction. It’s a powerful addition to our lineup and the strong, authentic characters are sure to resonate with our audience."

The Recovery Road cast will be retooled and a formal announcement is expected to come later. It's unclear which, if any, of the original pilot's cast will return. The pilot starred Samantha Logan as Maddie opposite Sebastian De Souza (Skins), with Alexis Carra as the guidance counselor. Will Lancaster, Justin Prentice and Caroline Sunshine rounded out the cast.

Recovery Road was the last pilot in the works at ABC Family. It joins a roster of original scripted fare, including Baby Daddy, Chasing Life, The Fosters, Melissa & Joey, Pretty Little Liars, Switched at Birth, Young & Hungry and Stitchers, as ABC Family looks to age up the network as it mulls a complete rebranding that could include a name change.

A premiere date for Recovery Road has not yet been determined.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...ordered-758263
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post #98558 of 98580 Old Today, 03:32 AM
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TV Sports
In Seeking TV Bids, Premier League Controls the Ball
By Richard Sandomir, The New York Times - Dec. 16, 2014

Every three years, England’s Premier League tests its value as a television property, and usually, that test produces smiles among its clubs. Last week, it began the formal process of seeking more money from networks at home and abroad that want to broadcast its soccer games. The first phase was to seek bids from the news media companies that want the British rights starting with the 2016-17 season.

Next year, perhaps by spring, similar requests will go out to global networks, including those in the United States.

The short term of government-regulated Premier League contracts means that at some point during the second season of an existing deal, requests to bid for the next set of contracts are sent out. It creates the sort of frequent corporate drama that has been lost in the United States because of the trend toward very long deals. During the last go-round, British Sky Broadcasting and British Telecom acquired Premier League rights in Britain for $4.7 billion, but that was only about half the league’s global take of more than $8 billion.

A sliver of that worldwide revenue came from NBC Universal, which is paying $250 million over three years for television and digital rights in the United States. The figure is nearly four times what Fox Soccer had been paying in the last deal, but it has paid off: E.P.L. games have strengthened NBCSN’s identity and provided unexpectedly high viewership, with an audience that is younger and wealthier than most sports viewers.

Premier League matches, shown largely on weekend mornings, are averaging 414,000 viewers so far this season — more than the 342,000 watching N.H.L. games on the network.

“We had reasonably high expectations for the Premier League, but we’ve exceeded them,” said Mark Lazarus, chairman of the NBC Sports Group. “We’ve done well by the Premier League by giving them a new identity and growth opportunity in the States, and they’ve done well by us to deliver a quality product that has captured the attention of sports fans here.”

NBC now faces a quandary of its own making: By succeeding with a strategy to show all 380 games on a combination of its television and digital properties, NBC has increased the value of the Premier League in the United States. How much more would it be willing to pay to keep what it has built up? Would it double its payments to keep it? Triple them?

“We knew going in that success would make it more expensive next time,” Lazarus said. “We will assess its value to us and we’ll be disciplined, but this is a product we believe in.”

NBC will almost certainly have competition from at least two other networks, ESPN and Fox. ESPN is being replaced by Fox as the World Cup network. But they are partners, along with Univision, in a new Major League Soccer deal.

Last May, John Skipper, ESPN’s president and a devoted Tottenham Hotspurs fan, voiced interest in bidding for the Premier League and reaffirmed it Monday in an email. But ESPN would very likely have to bid with another media company, like Fox, because E.P.L. games would conflict with its other programming. ESPN had previously carried Premier Leagues that Fox Soccer sublicensed to it.

The Premier League is presented and sold differently in Britain from the way it is here. Only 154 of the 380 matches are currently shown live because of a longstanding agreement not to televise them live Saturdays at 3 p.m. (10 a.m. in the Eastern time zone) — to protect attendance at stadiums for all leagues. One dissenter in this television tradition is Virgin Media, a cable operator in Britain that filed a complaint with Ofcom, the British communications regulator, contending that the cost to consumers of watching E.P.L. games had soared because too few games were televised.

The terms of the Premier League deal includes the addition of 14 games to be televised in Britain, including up to 10 on Friday nights. The added day of competition is as much a way to satisfy fans as it is to push the networks to pay more.

The opinions of teams may vary, too. Certain players and managers may view playing Friday night as a shortening of the week that cuts down on preparation time. But others who regularly play midweek games in European tournaments like the Champions League — notably managers like Chelsea’s José Mourinho, who has pushed for the Friday night games — might view a Friday night game before a trip Monday or Tuesday as a benefit.

There is little downside at NBCSN to adding Friday games, which would be seen in the afternoon in the United States.

“It’s nice to think of it as a lead-in to a full weekend of soccer,” Lazarus said, then added, “But first we have to renew the deal.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/16/sp...-the-ball.html
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TV Notes
A shorter tune for ‘The Sing Off’
NBC turns the reality show into a one-night special
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 17, 2013

“The Sing Off” has undergone so many changes since the show debuted five years ago, it’s hard to believe it’s still around.

Tonight the latest iteration of “Sing” returns as a one-night special, airing from 9 to 11 p.m. on NBC.

The show, which pits a cappella groups against each other, premiered as a limited-run reality competition in December 2009. It helped NBC fill the dead time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, and it drew solid ratings, averaging a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating in its first season, according to Nielsen.

The next year another limited holiday run drew even better numbers, averaging a 3.2 and prompting NBC to renew “Sing” for a full season in 2011. It promoted the show to a slot on the fall schedule.

It was not a smart move.

“Sing” struggled against much stronger competition, and after that third season NBC abandoned the show altogether for a year.

In 2013 it was revived for a fourth season, another limited holiday run, and this year NBC decided to limit its run to just one episode.

There are other changes with the program this year, too. Judge Ben Folds has been replaced with Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, and six groups rather than the usual 10 will compete for the $50,000 prize.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/a-s...-the-sing-off/
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TV Review
'Michael Buble's Christmas in New York'
With guests Ariana Grande, Barbra Streisand and Miss Piggy, crooner is comfortable and loose, and turns in a seasonal special with a relaxed vibe.
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Dec. 16, 2014

Michael Buble's fourth annual Christmas special just might be the best holiday special this year.

The content isn't unusual. It’s a little patter, a lot of songs. Nor is his guest list long, though it is choice: Barbra Streisand and Ariana Grande. (OK, diva alert.)

Miss Piggy adds a novel touch and a surprisingly fresh one when she and Buble duet on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

The twist is that in this version, she’s trying to talk the guy into saying “yes,” whereas in the standard reading, it’s the other way around.

Buble and Streisand stray a little way from holiday music with a duet of “It Had To be You.” No complaints here.

Grande sings a fine rendition of “Last Christmas,” and while it’s a production number with a swelling chorus and big orchestration, she reminds us she’s also a terrific singer.

Buble’s own selections come partly from Twitter requests. His slowed-down rendition of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” doesn’t work as well as the driving arrangement popularized by Mariah Carey, but he pulls off the near-impossible by sounding almost as good as Darlene Love on “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

Since the special was filmed at Radio City, Buble injects frequent shoutouts to New York, including a Jets joke. He also gives the Rockettes, who are prominent throughout the show, their own fairly brief solo spot.

What lifts this special above most others is that Buble seems so loose and comfortable doing it. He has developed the same kind of warmth that Bing Crosby used to exude 40 years ago.

He’s clearly gotten into the mood, and an hour of this show should do the same for viewers.

'Michael Buble's Christmas in New York'
Network/Air Date: Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC
Rating: ★★★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...icle-1.2046237
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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
(R - Dec. 11, 2013)
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
(R - May 6)
9PM - Modern Family
(R - Oct. 16)
9:31PM - Black-ish
(R - Oct. 1)
10PM - Black-ish
(R - Nov. 12)
10:30PM - Black-ish
(R - Sep. 24)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Michael Keaton; TV host Megyn Kelly; George Ezra performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor (Season Finale, 120 min.)
10:01PM - Survivor Live Reunion Show (LIVE)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Tom Brokaw; Willie Nelson and Billy Joe Shaver perform)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Betty White; Thomas Lennon)

NBC:
8PM - Michael Bublé's Christmas in New York (Special)
9PM - The Sing-Off (Special, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Musician Paul McCartney; Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga perform)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Bill O'Reilly; Krysten Ritter; Jungle performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Lorenzo Richelmy; Rey Pila performs; director J.C. Chandor)

FOX:
8PM - Hell's Kitchen (Season Finale, 120 min.)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature - Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story (R - Jan. 9, 2011)
9PM - NOVA: Making Stuff Wilder
(R - Oct. 23, 2013)
10PM - NOVA: Making Stuff Colder
(R - Oct. 30, 2013)

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

THE CW:
8PM - Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown (Special)
(R - Dec. 1)
9PM - The 100

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Los Miserables
9PM - Tierra de Reyes
10PM - Señora Acero

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Anna Kendrick)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Phil Klay)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Mike Lawrence; Alice Wetterlund; Matt Braunger)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Jason Schwartzman; Jack O'Connell; music artist King Tuff)
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post
Apparently ESPN does not care or they would dump Gruden, Vitale, Corso, Knight, and some of the 15 people on their NFL show.
"Term limits." I don't care who it is, that fresh, new "personality" gets old. Contrary to what many may think, doing play-by-play and providing color year after year is a difficult job. There are only so many "new" and "different" things you can say without being repetitive, so when you hear that same person with those same clichés year after year it becomes a broken record and it grates on you, "baby."
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post #98563 of 98580 Old Today, 07:38 AM
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"Term limits." I don't care who it is, that fresh, new "personality" gets old. Contrary to what many may think, doing play-by-play and providing color year after year is a difficult job. There are only so many "new" and "different" things you can say without being repetitive, so when you hear that same person with those same clichés year after year it becomes a broken record and it grates on you, "baby."
The problem with that is, there's a greater chance you'll have more people complain when you replace someone they like with someone they don't.

Change for the sake of change isn't always a good thing, either.

Having said that, I do wish these networks would pay more attention to viewer feedback when selecting their sports commentators. Real feedback - not 12 year olds on Twitter.
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Dec. 17, 2014

MICHAEL BUBLE'S CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK
NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

For his fourth holiday TV special, Michael Bublé gets some new digs – Radio City Music Hall – and a guest who, as musical specials go, simply cannot be beat. Yes, it’s Barbra Streisand. Other guests: Ariana Grande, Miss Piggy and, naturally, the Rockettes.

ASCENSION
SyFy, 9:00 p.m.
Part 3 of 3.
The 2014: A Space Odyssey continues tonight, but the story, like the voyage, may or may not conclude with the end of tonight’s “final” installment. Not if there’s a sequel…

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAK SHOW
FX, 10:00 p.m.

How creepy is this? One of the guest stars in tonight’s show is Lily Rabe, reprising her possessed Sister Mary Eunice role from American Horror Story: Asylum. Same role, different story entirely. Which means these two TV worlds exist as one… which suggests that the other seasons of stories might interconnect also.

THE COLBERT REPORT
Comedy Central, 11:31 p.m. ET

Phil Klay, author of Redeployment, the 2014 National Book Award winner for fiction, is the scheduled guest on Stephen Colbert’s penultimate show. You can bet that’s because Colbert feels the book, and the guest, is important – so you ought to tune in on those merits alone.

THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH CRAIG FERGUSON
CBS, 12:37 a.m. ET

Craig Ferguson has two more CBS shows after tonight – and tonight, he makes room for Betty White, whom he “rediscovered” long before much of the rest of the mass media, and Thomas Lennon.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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TV Notes
'Mythbusters' tackling 'The Simpsons' in season premiere
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Dec. 17, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Mythbusters is looking to Springfield for its next big pop-culture cross-over event. Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman will seek to prove/bust Simpsons-inspired myths in their Discovery Channel hit’s 13th season premiere next month.

“We set out to test Bart throwing a cherry bomb into the toilet that makes all toilets in the school act like geysers,” Savage exclusively told EW, referring to the 1990 episode “The Crepes of Wrath.” “And then there’s one [from season five’s “Sideshow Bob Roberts] in which Homer’s house is about to be destroyed by a wrecking ball and Homer places his body between the wrecking ball and the house to keep it from being destroyed.”

The episode has roots going back at least a couple years. In 2012, Adam and Jamie guest-voiced a Simpsons episode that spoofed their Discovery show. “That felt like a bucket-list item more than almost any other thing that we’ve experienced doing our show,” Savage says.

The appearance led to the guys considering busting Simpsons myths. While the prospect of tackling scenes in TV’s longest-running scripted series was appealing, there was also a “very contentious” debate behind the scenes. “Several people were like, ‘This is a cartoon! What can you do with this?'” Savage recalls. “We looked through many, many, many different bits on The Simpsons, but I think that we found stuff that really is entertaining and not totally outside the realm of physics—unlike, say, Wile E Coyote stuff might be. We reached out [to The Simpsons producers], and they were totally into it.”

For the house-destroying stunt, the Mythbusters team not only had to find two houses to potentially wreck, but also create a life-size Homer Simpson.

“We put asked our researcher Eric to find which we could say take a wrecking ball to two of its sides, a house that was about to be destroyed, and we could not find one in all of California, and we expanded our search to Oregon, Arizona, and Nevada and really couldn’t,” Savage says. “It’s very difficult to find things that are about to be destroyed. We ended up building two replicas of the Springfield house out at a landfill. Then of course we had to make a Homer—this was the first time we made a non-human crash-test dummy because Homer is human, but he’s also a cartoon character, which means his proportions are totally not human. It’s a very elaborate process that we went through using three or four different technologies that we’ve used over the years in special effects. But there’s a weirdness to standing next to a 5’11” tall Homer Simpson proportioned correctly to the cartoon in real life, it’s really peculiar. I can’t describe it any other way than that.”

Expect the upcoming season to also revisit a couple other iconic titles too: Adam and Jamie will tackle new myths from the Indiana Jones franchise and AMC’s Breaking Bad. (Remember Walter White’s machine-gun-in-the-truck attack that caused so much debate after the series finale? That’s on the list.)

http://insidetv.ew.com/2014/12/17/mythbusters-simpsons/
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TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insights' Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘The Voice’ exits on a two-month high
Season finale of the NBC reality show draws a 3.2 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 17, 2013

The season finale of “The Voice” posted its best rating in nearly two months last night.

The NBC show averaged a 3.2 adults 18-49 rating from 9 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, its top Tuesday outing since Oct. 21.

The show peaked with a 3.4 in its final half hour at 10:30, and it was easily the top-rated show on broadcast last night.

It was down only a tenth from last May’s finale, though it was the show’s lowest-rated finale yet.

Alas, NBC did not have as much luck with the new Christmas special “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas.” The animated show posted a 1.3 in 18-49s, fourth in the 8 p.m. timeslot.

Among kids 2-11 it was second in the hour with a 1.7, behind a repeat of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on ABC, which posted a 2.0.

Elsewhere last night, CBS’s “NCIS” was the top show in total viewers with 17.2 million. It averaged a 2.3 in 18-49s.

At 10 p.m., airing opposite unusually strong competition from NBC’s “Voice,” CBS’s “Person of Interest” tied a series low with a 1.3 in the demo.

On Fox, the second-season finale of “MasterChef Junior” posted a 1.7 at 8 p.m., up a tenth from last week and up 0.2 from its first-season finale, when it aired on Friday.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.6 average overnight rating and an 8 share. CBS was second at 1.8/6, ABC and Fox tied for third at 1.2/4, Univision was fifth at 1.0/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

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

At 8 p.m. CBS started the night in the lead with a 2.3 for “NCIS,” while ABC and Fox tied for second at 1.7, ABC for “Brown” and Fox for “Junior.” NBC was fourth with a 1.3 for “Elf,” Univision fifth with a 1.1 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo,” and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for a repeat of “The Flash” and Telemundo for “Los Miserables.”

NBC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.1 for the first hour of “Voice,” followed by CBS with a series-low 1.9 for “NCIS: New Orleans.” ABC was third with a 1.2 for a pair of ‘Disney Prep & Landing” repeats, Univision fourth with a 1.0 for “Hasta el Fin del Mundo,” Fox fifth with a 0.7 for reruns of “New Girl” and “The Mindy Project,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “Tierra de Reyes,” and CW seventh with a 0.4 for a reairing of the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.”

At 10 p.m. NBC led again with a 3.3 for the final hour of “Voice,” with CBS second with a 1.3 for “Interest.” Telemundo was third with a 0.9 for “Señora Acero,” and ABC and Univision tied for fourth at 0.7, ABC for a repeat of “Forever” and Univision for “La Malquerida.”

CBS finished first for the night among households with an 8.4 average overnight rating and a 14 share. NBC was second at 6.1/10, ABC third at 2.7/4, Fox fourth at 2.2/4, Univision fifth at 1.3/2, CW sixth at 1.0/2, and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/voi...wo-month-high/
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TV Notes
Stephen Collins Confesses Sexual Abuse of Underage Girls to PEOPLE: 'I Did Something Terribly Wrong'
By Lynette Rice, People.com - Dec. 17, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Embattled actor Stephen Collins has released a lengthy statement to PEOPLE in which he admits to inappropriate sexual contact with three female minors.

The 67-year-old – who has remained out of the public eye ever since a recording of him confessing to child molestation was released to TMZ – goes into detail about the incidents that occurred over a 20-year time span. In vivid detail, Collins explains how there were three victims from 1973 to 1994, and how "I have not had an impulse to act out in any such way" in the last 20 years.

Collins also writes about why he hasn't apologized directly to the women he once assaulted.

"Forty years ago, I did something terribly wrong that I deeply regret. I have been working to atone for it ever since. I've decided to address these issues publicly because two months ago, various news organizations published a recording made by my then-wife, Faye Grant, during a confidential marriage therapy session in January, 2012. This session was recorded without the therapist's or my knowledge or consent."

"On the recording, I described events that took place 20, 32, and 40 years ago," Collins continues. "The publication of the recording has resulted in assumptions and innuendos about what I did that go far beyond what actually occurred. As difficult as this is, I want people to know the truth."

The 7th Heaven actor – who will sit down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric for an in-depth interview based on his PEOPLE essay (this will stream on Yahoo! and air Friday on 20/20 on ABC) – goes on to acknowledge how he has "agonized" over whether to make a direct apology to the women he violated.

"I did have an opportunity to do so with one of the women, 15 years later. I apologized and she was extraordinarily gracious," said Collins, who remains in a protracted divorce battle with Grant. "But after I learned in the course of my treatment that my being direct about such matters could actually make things worse for them by opening old wounds, I have not approached the other two women, one of whom is now in her 50s and the other in her 30s."

http://www.people.com/article/stephe...sion-exclusive
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Originally Posted by Aliens View Post
"Term limits." I don't care who it is, that fresh, new "personality" gets old. Contrary to what many may think, doing play-by-play and providing color year after year is a difficult job. There are only so many "new" and "different" things you can say without being repetitive, so when you hear that same person with those same clichés year after year it becomes a broken record and it grates on you, "baby."
Gruden and his 'this guy' comments. Gruden has ruined MNF for me, unless it's a really, really good matchup I don't even bother with it anymore as I just can't stand listening to Gruden talk about how every "this guy" on the playing field is the best he's ever seen.
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The problem with that is, there's a greater chance you'll have more people complain when you replace someone they like with someone they don't.

Change for the sake of change isn't always a good thing, either.

Having said that, I do wish these networks would pay more attention to viewer feedback when selecting their sports commentators. Real feedback - not 12 year olds on Twitter.
The problem with feedback is you never get much from people who are happy with something. The most feedback comes from those who aren't. And there's always people who aren't. So, if you went strictly on viewer feedback, you'd be firing everyone every week.

Networks DO put a TON of time and money into researching their personalities. Which means the guys in the booth are a combination of knowledge, credibility, affordable salaries with looks and voices that rate neutral or better with a series of carefully-selected test audiences.

Though I'm still trying to figure out how Shannon Sharp cleared that last bar.
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

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TV Notes
Doubts Raised In Court Over Secrecy of Movie and TV Script Summaries
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood, Esq.' Blog - Dec. 17, 2014

On the defensive after being accused of unfairly selling access to a website that contains "breakdowns" of TV and movie scripts, Frank Moran, Louise Yanofsky and Steven Rubin are pouring scorn on whether the breakdowns really amount to trade secrets or constitute proprietary information.

The three are being sued in New York by Breakdown Services — a company that gathers information about entertainment projects in development through casting directors. The defendants are alleged to have committed unfair competition and tortious interference and are attempting to fend off a motion for preliminary injunction that would stop them from providing third parties with access to the website and disseminating any analyses of scripts obtained from the plaintiff's secure website.

Although the dispute isn't directly connected to the Sony hack, it's worth pointing out that David Boies has threatened the media with ramifications for disseminating Sony intellectual property and trade secrets. The Breakdown case might not really turn on the issue, but what constitutes proprietary information in Hollywood? Clearly, the screenplay of the upcoming James Bond movie Spectre is protected, but how about a description of what's in the movie?

According to Breakdown Services, its own depository of script summaries are deserving of great confidentiality.
"Casting directors want to assure that qualified professionals are submitting suitable candidates with the necessary qualifications so that they are not overwhelmed with submissions by unqualified or inappropriate candidates," says Breakdown Services. "In addition, casting directors are concerned that otherwise, the information may be leaked to 'spoiler' websites that publish information about the plot and characters in movies and television shows before the movies are released or the shows are aired."

In a memorandum opposing a preliminary injunction, the defendants raise doubts about whether Breakdown Services has a likelihood of success in its legal claim of unfair competition because they allegedly can't show any misappropriation of something valuable.

"Breakdowns, by their very nature, are neither trade secrets nor 'proprietary information' under the law, by sheer virtue of the fact that they are disclosed to thousands of people each and every day," states the defendants' papers. "Moreover, any commercial value which breakdowns possess would be entirely nullified if they were not so widely disclosed. Breakdowns only have value to the extent that a casting director would use them to cast actors for a role and to the extent that talent agents or managers are willing to pay to use them so that they can obtain employment for their clients."

In the lawsuit, Moran, Yanofsky and Rubin are alleged to have misled talent managers and taken advantage of vulnerable actors desperate to learn about jobs in the industry. There's suggestions in the lawsuit that actors were charged for representation and given access to the breakdowns.

The defendants say that Breakdown Services hasn't met their burden of showing irreparable harm — another factor that determines whether an injunction is issued.

Moran, Yanofsky and Rubin argue against the concern that reporters will post "spoilers" should they get these summaries.

According to the memorandum, "It's not clear... that actors are more likely to release spoilers than any agent, and any concern with confidentiality could arise only after Breakdown Services established the boundaries of their confidence. [Breakdown founder Gary] Marsh seems to occupy himself with ensuring there are no other options available in the industry, and yet a trivial response to his fears would seem to be extending access to the Breakdown Express site to actors..."

The defendants don't address the other alleged irreparable harm — that according to the plaintiff, "if the breakdowns are distributed directly to actors, without the 'gatekeeper' function performed by licensed talent agents and personal managers, the casting directors will be inundated with literally thousands of submissions by actors for each role being cast, regardless of the applicant's lack of qualifications or suitability."

But whether this is at all germane to the dispute is another question.

"The arguments are a misdirection," says plaintiff's attorney Helene Freeman at Phillips Nizer. "It's the platform that's proprietary. Would you let someone break into your house and take something from your kitchen? The aggregation of the information is the business and if you say people freely can breach the security and sell that for their own benefit, it destroys the business."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr...y-movie-758802
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TV Notes
Fox Faces Challenge to Make ‘American Idol’ Sing
By Brian Steinberg and Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com - Dec. 17, 2014

The red cups are off the judges’ table. Coca-Cola, which struck a landmark ad deal with Fox in 2002 that kept drinking cups emblazoned with the soft-drink company’s logos on the “American Idol” set, has dropped its sponsorship of the show just before it starts its 14th season.

“Coca-Cola and Fox have mutually decided to end their 13-year ‘American Idol’ partnership,” the advertiser and the network said in a statement. “We look forward to working together on new collaborations in the future.” Ford Motor, the last of what was once a troika of big “Idol” sponsors, will stay with the program, though it has trimmed its support in recent seasons. AT&T ended its “Idol” association in January.

The departure of Coke underscores the challenge Fox faces to rehabilitate the show in the eyes of viewers and marketers. The pressure is even greater with Fox having a down year overall, meaning the network is counting on the ratings boost delivered even by a diminished “Idol.”

The execs in charge of overseeing the show are convinced that for the most part, “Idol’s” fate hinges on contestants’ charisma-factor. To that end, producers took the step this year for the first time of mounting a private showcase for 48 finalists on Dec. 8 at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. Producers and judges wanted to see how the hopefuls performed in front of an audience before winnowing the field to 24.

“As many twists and turns as you can add and as many production techniques that you might change, television is about human beings relating to other human beings,” says David Hill, senior executive VP of 21st Century Fox, who oversees the program for the network. “This show is only ever going to be as good as the contestants, and whether America falls in love with any of them.”

The stakes are higher than ever for “American Idol” to rebound this year after last year’s collapse in the ratings — an inevitable decline after nine seasons as the No. 1 non-sports program in primetime. But there has been plenty of criticism that the Fox franchise has grown long in the tooth and in need of a major overhaul to remain vital. Ratings fell 27% last season, marking its third straight year of 20%-plus declines.

The volume of “American Idol” hours Fox will air starting Jan. 7 will drop from 55 last season to 41 in the coming year — a sign the network realizes the show has been wearing out its welcome with viewers.

Another key change for the 2015 season — the program’s 14th cycle on Fox —
is the addition of Scott Borchetta as a mentor/coach. Borchetta is the mogul behind Universal Music Group’s Big Machine label, home to Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, the Florida Georgia Line and the Band Perry. He’s renowned in the biz as having the ear and the eye to see the potential in a 14-year-old Swift, so his advice goes a long way with singers plucked out of an open-call audition.

“This is not somebody who says, ‘That was great,’ and goes away for the season,” says Trish Kinane, president of entertainment for “Idol” producer FremantleMedia North America. “From the moment (the 2015) Idol is crowned, (Borchetta) will be focused on working on that person’s career to help create another superstar. That’s not easy to do.”

Even without a massive rating rebound, “Idol” is likely to have a positive impact on Fox’s ratings performance this season, if only because the network has hit such a downturn this season. “Idol” won’t regain its past glory, but it can be a competitive show for Fox with a little luck and traction, notes Sam Armando, a senior VP at SMGx, a media-research unit of large ad-buyer Starcom MediaVest Group.

Advertisers have pulled back on the amount they are willing to pay to be in the show. The average price of a 30-second spot in the 2015 edition of the program’s Wednesday episode is $266,333, according to a Variety survey of primetime ad prices for the 2014-2015 TV season. That’s down 5.4% from this year’s average of $281,000. For Thursday’s airing, advertisers will pay an average of $249,566 for a 30-second ad, a 3.24% slip from this year’s average of $257,926.

Hill and Kinane are focused on a disciplined approach to making changes for the coming season. They share the feeling that the judging panel introduced in the 2014 edition — Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban — should be given another year to coalesce. That’s why they made no adjustments to the lineup for 2015 other than bidding adieu to longtime “Idol” personality Jackson.

“Last year’s panel worked really well,” Hill says. “It felt like Jennifer, Harry and Keith got on instantly (in 2014), and now it’s really gelling for them. It’s hard to get the right three people to work on the judges panel. It’s not as easy as, ‘Hey let’s just get three famous names.’ ”

Hill notes that “Idol” is not immune to the sea-change going on in television viewing. At its peak, the show was DVR-proof because of its competition aspect. But now, with so many viewers relying on DVR playback and VOD, the exec says the program should be judged on live-plus-7 ratings, not overnights.

“The overnight rating has become pretty much irrelevant,” Hill says. “I’m going to be more concerned with what’s going on with the L7, because we’ve got all of this multigenerational and multiplatform viewing. But if we’re really doing our jobs well, we’ll give them a reason to watch live again.”

http://variety.com/2014/tv/features/...ol-1201379994/
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Critic's Notes
The Top 10 TV Shows Of 2014
By Maureen Ryan, HuffingtonPost.com

The most important television development of the past decade occurred four years ago.

It wasn't the arrival of the third season of "Breaking Bad," the launch of "Parenthood" or the airing of the "Lost" finale, as notable as those events were. It couldn't be found inside the brief lifespans of "Lone Star" and "Terriers" (sob), and it wasn't contained within the series finale of "Dollhouse," a show from some guy named Joss Whedon (anyone know what became of him?). And I'm not talking about the day half a decade or so ago when some deep-pocketed online entity began laying the groundwork for its foray into what we're still calling television.

No, in my opinion, the game-changing event was the Oct. 31, 2010 premiere of "The Walking Dead," which I have compared to the arrival of "Star Wars" in 1977. The ratings for the zombie drama were not cable-good, they were regular-TV good; more than five million people tuned in and the number of viewers in the desirable 18-49 year old demographic were very healthy indeed.

"The Walking Dead," which is based on a popular comic book, became an enormously successful franchise, selling not just a lot of key rings, T-shirts and graphic novels, but an upcoming AMC spinoff as well. And just as "Star Wars" did almost four decades ago, the show sped along changes in its home industry once people realized the true scope and impact of its success. Chew on this: However good the pilot's ratings were, triple the number of viewers tuned in to the fourth-season premiere of "The Walking Dead." Triple.

It's not that TV hadn't had blockbusters before -- the medium's history is, of course, littered with smashes that nobody really expected to be gigantic hits. What changed in the past few years is that almost every TV executive -- cable or network or streaming or whatever -- decided to shoot the moon. Sure, the kind of accolades, respect and modest viewerships a show like "Mad Men" got were nice. But a lot of people in the industry really started wanting their own "Walking Dead."

Even in this day and age of fractured audiences and nonlinear viewing, everyone realized it was quite possible to have monstrously large ratings, even on cable. Hence the desire to reboot old properties, adapt successful books and option comic-book properties, and then cast those projects not with name actors but with competent but inexpensive journeyman actors and newbies. That strategy also worked out for HBO and "Game of Thrones." (And yes, I realize "GoT" was in development before "The Walking Dead" hit the screen, but the fact is, both those shows helped change ideas about what was possible, success-wise, in certain precincts of the TV industry.)

Obviously, all the changes the industry's gone through in the last few years are not attributable solely to the proliferation of zombies and direwolves, and many other factors influenced the industry's recent evolutionary stages. But to me, the premiere of "The Walking Dead" is a significant milestone on the path toward the blockbuster-ization of television. That show's success energized and sped up a process that was likely to happen anyway, especially as TV cast about for ways to keep audiences from fleeing measurable and profitable viewing patterns. If AMC got to have that kind of huge franchise, networks seemed to be saying, where's ours?

Let me be clear: When they're done well, there's not a damn thing wrong with tentpoles, on TV or in film. But I didn't want what happened to movies to happen to television. Speaking of poles, to overgeneralize, the American movie industry has two of them: Indie movies, awards-bait films and small-budget affairs are clustered around one pole, and then there are the ginormous action, adventure and superhero ventures that are designed not just to clean up at the box office but to stomp it into submission, ideally across a range of sequels and shared cinematic universes.

There isn't much of a middle in movies anymore; mid-budget and/or character-driven studio films do exist, but they're rare, and they rarely drive the cultural conversation. Television does. (And I'll clarify one more time: I love both movies and films, but I think the preceding statement is true -- though I'll stipulate that the distinction may not matter much in a world where all screens seem to be converging.)

In the "Walking Dead" era, my worry was, what would happen if TV lost its middle range, and its capacity to shelter weirdos, outliers and unconventional storytellers? What if the tender shoots of progress and evolution got stomped? Then where would we be? Ironically, the bigger the budget, the less a film can afford to be shaggy, challenging and distinctive, but for a while now, TV has been there to pick up some of the thematic and emotional slack. Much as I love genre fare, what if superheroes, vampires and zombies began to dominate the small screen in ominous ways?

I can't ignore the fact that some segments of the TV industry have gotten much noisier and stomp-ier in the last few years. The trend toward broadness and volume arose partly out of to panic: There are so many ways to access entertainment now that TV is really afraid you'll leave it behind, and the end result is that it can start to come off like a desperate boyfriend who tries too hard.

It's not hard to find colorful concepts, bloody arias, loud speeches, outsized characters and death, murder and more death. It's possible to like and even love shows with these elements. But for a while there, I feared that TV was heading toward a tinny, clanging hollowing-out. I wondered if we'd have to settle for a landscape composed of tiny, cult-friendly endeavors that ran for a season or two and a whole passel of "Walking Dead" wannabes, without much of a middle ground in between.

So here, at long last, is the good news: TV's middle is doing awesome.

What's below is, as you probably gathered from the headline, is my list of the 10 best shows of the year. This list is a few drops scooped from the raging torrent of content that the industry unleashed on us during the past year. (Please don't tell me what's not on it -- I'm hyperaware of the many additional shows that easily could have landed on this list.)

I don't especially love using the word "content" to describe things that move me and make me laugh and think and cry, but let's face it, that's how media executives think of TV shows much of the time. It's a product meant to lure you into buying a TV or a device or subscription or a thingie to implant in your brain. "Content" is not quite a loss leader -- TV still makes a lot of money in a lot of different ways -- but on some level, it's a widget meant to be spread around and distributed and mined and, increasingly, slid into your life in whatever way makes you most comfortable (while relieving your wallet of a few coins).

All these devices and services and networks need a lot of content, and a lot of people are being given chances to make a huge variety of shows. Some of the shows are stompy and loud -- that trend remains alive and well (and usually in search of better execution on the broadcast networks). Some of the shows are quiet and dark; the sneaky offspring of TV's Golden Age are heading in some very interesting directions. There's still not enough diversity in front and behind the camera and in executive suites, but a wider array of people with many different vantage points on the human condition are getting to tell stories.

In this variety, so much brilliance and bravery and curiosity and enjoyment can be found. The shows on this list are stories I didn't know I wanted but fell in love with almost instantly.

What makes me happy is that this list could have been 30 shows long. Easily. Beyond the 60 or so shows that wound up on my three lists, there are at least 50 more scripted endeavors that are worth your while and bring something fresh or amusing or necessary to the table. TV's middle may be the healthiest it's ever been (though the relative lack of intelligent speculative fiction/sci-fi is something that TV really needs to address).

The fact is, TV has evolved beyond the two poles it used to revolve around. In Ye Olden Tymes, say, a decade ago, there was swanky, smarty-pants stuff on cable, and then there was the big swirling mass of workaday shows on the broadcast networks. Some of the shows in each arena reached above and beyond the limitations of their particular categories, but there were often limits -- practically, aesthetically or thematically -- that hemmed shows in. Who could the story be about, what could the characters' goals be and how weird could the storytelling get? TV was crushing it 10 years ago, but I can't help thinking that a broadcast network or even a relatively adventurous 2004-era cable network would have messed up what makes "Transparent" and "Review" special. These supremely idiosyncratic creations would have been scrunched into boxes that didn't quite fit them, but TV's more adventurous spirits have spent the last few years gleefully destroying the box and burning its innards for fuel.

TV has turned into a dizzyingly large all-you-can-eat buffet with so many different flavors and spices. There's the auteurist, visually rigorous approach of "True Detective," "Rectify," "The Knick" and "Transparent." There's the happily mainstream yet adventurous sensibilities of "The Good Wife," "The Americans," "The Flash" and "Jane the Virgin." There are searching crime stories like "Happy Valley" and smart horror serials like "Penny Dreadful" and "Hannibal." Actor-driven character studies like "Worricker" and "Olive Kitteridge" are short-term treats that linger in the mind. For anyone who enjoys intelligent actioners, "The 100," "Arrow" and "Banshee" are hard to beat. And then there's the gorgeous escapism of shows as varied as "Outlander" and "Cosmos." The broadcast networks may be struggling to launch good new comedies, but "Enlisted," "New Girl" and "Parks and Recreation" were all in fine form this year. And that's just a small slice of the five dozen shows I mention in my lists (Top 10 Shows, Best New Shows and Best Returning Shows).

Drawing up all three lists reminded me of why I love this job, but I'm particularly excited about my Top 10. I thought last year there was far too much good TV to choose from, but what did I know? December 2013 was a simpler time. We were all so young then.

Who knew that TV was going to level up again? Who knew that making last year's list would seem like child's play compared to sorting out this aggressively fantastic bunch? Who knew my list would be -- once again -- dominated by a pack of newbies who couldn't be more different from each other?

I had no idea. And I don't know what'll happen next year. But I can't wait for 2015 to arrive.

Without further ado, here are my Top 10 Shows of 2014, in alphabetical order:

"The Americans," FX: Hey, whatever happened to smart, sophisticated, one-hour TV dramas that were aimed squarely at the broad middle of the mainstream and still managed to take chances and upend expectations? On CBS, ABC and NBC, provocative yet satisfying dramatic entertainments like that have largely gone the way of the dodo, aside from "The Good Wife," "Scandal" and a few other shows; instead, every season we get a flailing mass of indistinct widgets. Thank goodness beautifully constructed, suspenseful and empathic entertainments -- dramas that unashamedly seek mass appeal and yet are full of very specific ideas -- still survive in various pockets of the industry. FX is a Jedi master of this kind of fare, and it was exhilarating to watch "The Americans" take a brilliant leap forward in its second season. The entire cast is terrific, and nothing would make me happier than seeing Margo Martindale segue from "The Millers'" cancellation to a long stint on this delightful '80s espionage drama.

"Enlisted," Fox: Almost every year I have a "gone too soon" show on my Top 10 list, and this year I saved a Top 10 salute for a bunch of unruly soldiers and their gruff but commanding commander. It's very rare for a network comedy to know what it wants to be right out of the gate, but "Enlisted" started out fully formed and fantastic, and it went on to deepen its characters in realistic ways and tell empathic stories while supplying many, many laughs. It's sad that this program's deployment was cut short, but it's is one of the rare comedies that rewards multiple re-watches.

"Happy Valley," Netflix/BBC: A lot of the great crime drama of the last few years has examined the impact of deaths, disappearances and devastations in small towns and isolated communities; we watch the ripples of tragedy play out and are forced to think deeply about issues of complicity, corruption and convenient apathy. Like "Top of the Lake," "Rectify" and "Broadchurch," among others, "Happy Valley" is no polemic, but strong emotions lurk beneath its surface. Like those other fine dramas, "Happy Valley" sank into the details of its characters' lives, quietly limning portraits of depression, connection and resilience in the face of terrifying violence and catastrophic loss. "Happy Valley" derived much of its power not only from its limited scope -- which it more than made up for in depth -- but also from its shorter running time. In six episodes, the viewer lived a lifetime with these characters, and Sarah Lancashire wasted no time in establishing herself as one of television's finest actresses; she was always effortlessly transparent and charismatic.

"Jane the Virgin," CW: I could just call "Jane the Virgin" the year's fizziest confection -- and it is -- but that phrase wouldn't pay enough tribute the solid, meaningful substance at its core. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from Gina Rodriguez, this delightful show performs a number of interlocking high-wire acts: It's an earnest family drama about a young woman with brave aspirations; a nighttime soap complete with scheming, love triangles and backstabbing; a tender romance and a coming-of-age tale; and in its spare time, "Jane's" also a murder mystery. The show does all those things with flair, and all the while, it also pays loving tribute to the telenovelas from whence it sprang. So many other dramas could learn from the way this ebullient show efficiently adds texture and nuance to characters and elements that, in the wrong hands, would have been unamusingly one-dimensional and flat. But nothing is flat in "Jane"-land: The show is bursting with color, energy, hope and life, and its bemused love for all its characters and their struggles is palpable.

"Orange Is the New Black," Netflix: Could this much-praised show match the impact of its stellar first season -- or even top it? What a relief to find out that the answer is yes. "OITNB" is sometimes a messy, sprawling affair, but that's usually a feature, not a bug. This year, we got to know an even wider variety of inmates and prison employees, and yet sufficient time was spent with most of the characters who dominated Season 1 (though there is never enough Sophia. Fact.). The final moment of the second season combined mortality, humor, anger and exhilaration in a way that only this show can. It was the perfect capper to an "OITNB" season that was, once again, over much too soon.

"Penny Dreadful," Showtime: Given that it features characters from classic tales of horror and Gothic suspense, "Penny Dreadful" could have been a derivative pastiche -- a tarted-up chance for a pay-cable network to cash in on America's seemingly endless appetite for bloody fare. "Penny Dreadful" is so not that. This smart and perceptive show had fun with its pulpier elements, to be sure; rocketing around Victorian London with an obsessed band of demon hunters was a blast at times. But all of that was, in a sense, window dressing for the much deeper and sadder tale that "Penny Dreadful" wanted to tell about the difficulty of connection and the strange beauty of grief. Every member of the core cast is very, very good but Eva Green, in particular, is spectacular as the mysterious Vanessa Ives.

"Rectify," Sundance Channel: I'm going to pull out a "Friday Night Lights" analogy -- again -- because "Rectify" reminds me of that modern classic for a lot of reasons. In its first and even better second season, "Rectify" offered exquisite detailed examinations of family dynamics and small-town life; it functioned as an intelligent examination of the challenges of masculinity and intimacy; it painted respectful portraits of Southern life and Christian culture (two things television is perpetually bad at); and it asked knotty questions about culpability and blame in complicated situations with no clear-cut villains and heroes. By turns wise, beautiful, sad and strangely optimistic, "Rectify" is a nuanced, compassionate drama that quietly but resolutely earns every one of its deeply affecting moments.

"Review," Comedy Central: In 2013, we said goodbye to a man whose delusional obsessions destroyed his family and everything else he touched. Walter White has left us, but his brand of khaki-clad, suburban-dad mania lives on in the story of Forrest MacNeil, the affably deranged main character of "Review," which (like "Too Many Cooks") mined Heisenbergian commitment for maximum comedic value. Forrest evaluates life experiences for a TV show of the same name, and he believes -- or has to believe -- that he's doing the world a service by providing these reviews (ahem). That belief is the one fixed point of his life, and he can't abandon it, in the face of logic, pleas from loved ones and increasing evidence that he has lost his damn mind. The truth is, it's not that he can't let go of his devotion to the cause -- he won't abandon it, not after all the sacrifices he's made, and the more unhinged his commitment seems, the more he clings to it like a life raft in a storm. Many critics have singled out "Pancakes, Divorce, Pancakes" as one of the year's best episodes of television (which does contain the unforgettable line: "This certainly is an upsetting number of pancakes"), but for my money, "Best Friend; Space" is an even more wickedly hilarious exploration of something that's true in comedy, criticism and life: If you want results, you have to display total commitment. Or do you?

"Transparent," Amazon: I never rank my Top 10 choices -- they're all my favorite! -- but this year, I'll happily reveal that one show is more favored than the others: In my opinion, "Transparent" was the best show of 2014. The Pfefferman clan contains such multitudes that I could write a book on why this show is so wonderful and why its themes of personal discovery resonate so deeply. But, for brevity's sake, I'll settle for a comparison: Like Jane Austen, Jill Soloway focused with laser-like precision on the manners, mores and concerns of one family in one geographic locale, and the more specific the stories and characters, the more universal the themes became. Whether we're talking classic novels or loosey-goosey stories about neurotic, modern-day Angelenos, it takes a brilliant observational eye and a subtle handling of structure to create something that looks so unforced, feels so lived-in and and manages to be quietly propulsive as well. Whatever you think about the Pfeffermans and the various changes they went through, once you see this show, it's hard to get these characters out of your mind; each one is so vivid and real and believably flawed. Every character's struggle is heartbreaking; every character is capable of breaking another person's heart without quite realizing it. And yet few shows carry their emotional burdens so lightly: "Transparent" also happens to be one of the most unsparing and wickedly funny comedies on TV. More, now, please.

"You're the Worst," FX: It can be scary to contemplate a lonely life; it can be even scarier to be tempted by a commitment to someone who's as wary and self-absorbed as you are. Like so many of the shows on this list, "You're the Worst" laid bare its characters' worst traits -- narcissism, callousness, being English -- while simultaneously celebrating the qualities that made them funny, human and kind of wonderful. Thanks to the marvelously acerbic, surprisingly openhearted adventures of Lindsay, Edgar, Gretchen and Jimmy, we know romance is not dead, it's just lurking inside the scarred hearts of disappointed novelists, veterans, party girls and -- wait, this can't be possibly true -- publicists.

[CLICK LINK BELOW FOR LINKS TO ORIGINAL REVIEWS, ARTICLES AND/OR INTERVIEWS FOR ALL THESE SHOWS]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_6271604.html
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post #98574 of 98580 Old Today, 12:00 PM
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Technology Notes
Amazon Fire TV adds HBO Go app
By Brett Molina, USA Today - Dec. 16, 2014

Add one more home for the popular app HBO Go: Amazon Fire TV.

However, the app reportedly won't work if you are a Comcast or Charter cable subscriber. According to The Wall Street Journal, Charter and Comcast are blocking the app.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/p...-hbo/20471249/
That's good Comcast. Keep pulling stuff like that. That will help you convince the regulators to let you buy Time Warner Cable and become a bigger bully.
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The problem with feedback is you never get much from people who are happy with something. The most feedback comes from those who aren't. And there's always people who aren't. So, if you went strictly on viewer feedback, you'd be firing everyone every week.

Networks DO put a TON of time and money into researching their personalities. Which means the guys in the booth are a combination of knowledge, credibility, affordable salaries with looks and voices that rate neutral or better with a series of carefully-selected test audiences.

Though I'm still trying to figure out how Shannon Sharp cleared that last bar.

Sharpe sounds like he is talking with marbles in his mouth. He can't even get a coherent thought into a complete sentence. He is by far the worst former NFLer on TV.
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Sharpe sounds like he is talking with marbles in his mouth. He can't even get a coherent thought into a complete sentence. He is by far the worst former NFLer on TV.
We used to grab a clip of him doing highlights, which was usually completely unintelligible, and give a prize to the listener who could best translate what he'd said. We judged on creativity, not accuracy. Mostly because WE couldn't figure it out either.

Also did a Shannon Sharpe - James Brown mashup, once, too.
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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At least we have NCIS as a cushion, imagine if the Victoria's Secret special aired just after Rudolph?

(nobody will beat ABC's steamy sex scenes just after Charlie Brown earlier in the year)
Yes. Hopefully kids will have been lulled to sleep by images of decapitations or serial killer stabbings before being exposed to the female body!

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EXCLUSIVE: Embattled actor Stephen Collins has released a lengthy statement to PEOPLE in which he admits to inappropriate sexual contact with three female minors. The 7th Heaven actor – who will sit down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric for an in-depth interview based on his PEOPLE essay (this will stream on Yahoo! and air Friday on 20/20 on ABC) http://www.people.com/article/stephe...sion-exclusive
I don't get it or these network exec. types and Katie Couric doing this (I'm not surprised Yahoo is streaming it though .) ABC seems to be finding a new low here who want's to watch a 67 yr old or any age confessed pedophile 'atone for his sins' on TV just to make himself feel better or whatever and what's worse he admittedly is only going public because he got outed he should be in prison ! Unfortunately this is something I would expect on HLN or MSNBC .
Hopefully at least ABC isn't giving him a pass and will let Katie Couric get hard with him .

Why is this pedophile special just because he is an actor he's still a pedophile no mater how one looks at it.

Collins says he doesn't get urges anymore ofc at his age that might be expected as a matter of course it's not likely from a conscious rehabilitation . I think it's a con job and and maybe Yahoo and ABC are falling for it hopefully not. OTOH there are lot's of better things to broadcast on public airwaves .

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"The Americans," FX: Hey, whatever happened to smart, sophisticated, one-hour TV dramas that were aimed squarely at the broad middle of the mainstream and still managed to take chances and upend expectations? On CBS, ABC and NBC, provocative yet satisfying dramatic entertainments like that have largely gone the way of the dodo, aside from "The Good Wife," "Scandal" and a few other shows; instead, every season we get a flailing mass of indistinct widgets. Thank goodness beautifully constructed, suspenseful and empathic entertainments -- dramas that unashamedly seek mass appeal and yet are full of very specific ideas -- still survive in various pockets of the industry. FX is a Jedi master of this kind of fare, and it was exhilarating to watch "The Americans" take a brilliant leap forward in its second season. The entire cast is terrific, and nothing would make me happier than seeing Margo Martindale segue from "The Millers'" cancellation to a long stint on this delightful '80s espionage drama.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/1...n_6271604.html
It seems to me anyway traditional network TV and a lot of cable channels are going the cheap to produce junk reality show route and when not airing that they are going for the stereotypical low brow programming and not much caring about quality save for maybe a few shows mentioned above amidst all the garbage .

OTOH FX "The Americans" and WGN America's "Manhattan" are good examples of what is possible I may have missed some others but these are decent IMO.

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Hopefully at least ABC isn't giving him a pass and will let Katie Couric get hard with him .
Ouch! Isn't that an oxymoron?
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