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post #98581 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
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.
It seems to me that as long as viewers watch, nothing will change, not that it necessarily should. We all seem to think that our definition of "good" is the right one and that only the shows we like should get produced/broadcast. If it were up to me, there'd only be one sitcom on and only 2 sporting events (poker and NHRA). I'm quite sure not many here would be happy with that.


And did it ever occur to you that the so-called "junk" pays for the other stuff we like?


As long as I can change the channel and find something I enjoy, I'm quite satisfied. And the DVR let's me exclude commercials, so I'm also okay with 42 minutes of actual content just as some are okay with 20 minutes of comedy. For me it's like reading a book. I don't just read the thick ones, I read the thin ones too. Enjoyment is my measure, not length.
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post #98582 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister
Hopefully at least ABC isn't giving him a pass and will let Katie Couric get hard with him .
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Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post
Ouch! Isn't that an oxymoron?
After I posted it I kinda figured that could be interpreted in various ways so lets substitute contrarian and confrontational !

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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ
And did it ever occur to you that the so-called "junk" pays for the other stuff we like?
Sure there is business case for that OTOH with viewership declining at most networks (other than sports ) one could make a business case for better programing also . ☺It seems like IPTV and some cable channel original programming shows are showing the way but the network types may be asleep at the wheel !

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post #98583 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
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 .
Exactly. The programming executives have free will, and they have freely chosen to prefer bad over good. They have chosen to care about maximizing profits more than about delivering a decent product.
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post #98584 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tubetwister View Post
Sure there is business case for that OTOH with viewership declining at most networks (other than sports ) one could make a business case for better programing also . ☺It seems like IPTV and some cable channel original programming shows are showing the way but the network types may be asleep at the wheel !
TV viewership might be declining, but much of that is simply because there are a myriad of ways to view things now, most of which are not part of the ratings metric, and there are so many more outlets for our attention. Quality of even the best content can always be improved, but that's no guarantee that viewership would increase and who's to say what needs to be improved or how. Some of the best shows have been cancelled before the first year was up, so it still boils down to one's definition of "good" vs someone else's. I look at the popularity ratings on Netflix and wonder who the heck is watching this stuff. What it proves to me is that someone will watch almost anything, like Syfy Saturday night movies. And cable channels don't need near the viewership numbers to make something profitable and they don't have the same constraints, but take a poll of everyone's Top 10 and I think you'd be surprised at just how many shows make someone's list. Heck, I would be surprised if some MeTV and RetroTV shows didn't make someone's list. Then too, when networks pay some bozo millions to read a teleprompter and call it news or pay someone to talk about nothing of substance for hours on end and call it entertainment, it's understandable why their dramas and sitcoms are popular in spite of quality, or lack of.

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post #98585 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by DoubleDAZTV
viewership might be declining, but much of that is simply because there are a myriad of ways to view things now,
One can view the networks on any number of devices now even more network iptv streaming is opening up every day so that may not hold water for long maybe the network execs use that excuse for a crutch to explain their decline and lack of innovation when being interviewed or talking to investors? OTOH the exigent pressure for short term profits by their investors and parent co's may not leave room for risk and innovation so they just work in circles it seems .

Most traditional broadcast network shows are available on the web the next day folks can watch them on just about anything now although they might not monetize as well there so that could be a legitimate problem for them.

Quote:
Quality of even the best content can always be improved, but that's no guarantee that viewership would increase and who's to say what needs to be improved or how.
Be that as it may they aren't in most cases attempting to make just good content so best isn't an adjective I would attribute to the broadcast networks. Nielsen ratings ,polls and measurement systems by their own admission (Nielsen's) are flawed and antiquated so the ratings networks base programming decisions may be somewhat invalid. ofc good programming should be effectively scheduled also some good shows probably got cancelled early due to
poor scheduling decisions .

Quote:
take a poll of everyone's Top 10 and I think you'd be surprised at just how many shows make someone's list.
No argument there I'm surprised at some of the drivel some folks watch but if that's all they know that's what they will watch if they watch .
Most TV programming is circling the drain but you are right people watch it so it may be around for a while .

Quote:
Then too, when networks pay some bozo millions to read a teleprompter and call it news or pay someone to talk about nothing of substance for hours on end and call it entertainment, it's understandable why their dramas and sitcoms are popular in spite of quality, or lack of.
Some of the TV and entertainment personalities and executive compensation is way out of line to what they contribute much like *some of the executive compensation in business now and then and *some TV and Hollywood stars maybe more of that money should go to better programming or the balance sheets or the rank and file.

It can work both ways the good talking heads can often be more interesting than some of the silly dramas they make now save for a few and almost all of the sitcoms ofc the 'other talking heads' (the one's I don't like) ☺☺ aren't good for much of anything !☺☺


Quote:
And cable channels don't need near the viewership numbers to make something profitable and they don't have the same constraints
It could be the traditional business model is broken and something innovative like iptv (or like iTunes did with music ) will eventually flush it out in the marketplace anyway .

Ofc these are just some of my opinions and speculations so they might not be true on some points or valid for everyone .

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post #98586 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 10:47 PM
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TV Notes
Goodbye, Nation. Goodbye, Blowhard Self.
Stephen Colbert Prepares Final 'Colbert Report'
By Bill Carter, The New York Times - Dec. 17, 2013

For nine years, Stephen Colbert has relentlessly maintained his pompous, deeply ridiculous but consistently appealing conservative blowhard character on his late-night show, “The Colbert Report” — so much so that when he puts the character to rest for good on Thursday night, he may have to resort to comicide. The Grim Reaper is his last guest.

Devoted fans of “The Colbert Report” (the final T is silent) have dreaded this day since April 10, when their favorite late-night star announced that he was leaving to become the successor to David Letterman on CBS.

Mr. Colbert has steered clear of commenting on his plans for the last show, other than on-air comments that the end is near. But whatever comic exercise Mr. Colbert devises to end his multi-award-winning run on Comedy Central, including perhaps some symbolic hara-kiri for the character he brought into American homes four nights a week, he has left an indelible mark on late-night television comedy.

And he did it in a way almost no one thought was possible, or sustainable: as a fake host, a fictional character using Mr. Colbert’s own name who was an elaborate parody of a bloviating political talk show host.

Jimmy Kimmel, the host of ABC’s late-night show, with whom Mr. Colbert shares a manager (James Dixon), said he had been concerned when Mr. Colbert announced his intention to create the parody show in 2005.

“I remember pleading with Dixon to tell Stephen it was a terrible mistake to do a character the whole time,” Mr. Kimmel said. “That it wasn’t going to last, and also not to name the show ‘The Report’ as a joke. It was just going to confuse everybody. And he did, anyway, and of course, it was a smashing success in every way.”

Mr. Colbert appeared in character not simply on his show, but in appearances elsewhere, including a memorable knockout performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2006. (He stirred Bush administration outrage with comments like: “I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least, and by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.”) He even remained at his blowhard best when he testified before Congress in 2010. (Before a Congressional subcommittee on immigration issues and farm labor, Mr. Colbert’s character said things like, “Maybe the easier answer is just to have scientists develop vegetables that pick themselves.”)

Mr. Colbert has worked with many of his late-night colleagues, including Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon, appearing in character, of course. (He showed up on Mr. Fallon’s debut “Tonight” show on NBC, pouring a bucket of pennies down the host’s collar, then welcoming him with a colorful phrase.)

Like other competitors, Mr. Fallon professed unabashed awe that Mr. Colbert could sustain this performance at such a high level for so long. “Before he won the Emmy, I had been preaching that people had to recognize what he was doing: He’s faking a person,” Mr. Fallon said. “I was one of those who said, ‘He’ll do it for six months and then he’ll move on.’ Imagine if you were still trying to do the Coneheads on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ It’s gets old. But not this. He’s a genius.”

Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
But for all the effort and talent Mr. Colbert has invested in keeping the character going, he appears resolute in his intention to allow him to pass into comic history. This decision, Mr. O’Brien said, reflects tremendous confidence. “There is something really cool about Stephen saying, ‘This needs to stop at some point, so let’s stop now,’ ” he said.

In some cases, a classic comic creation defines a performer for life. Jack Benny was long associated with being a cheapskate, butchering his violin playing and lying about his age. Classic comic characters are often too fully realized to abandon.

Mr. O’Brien said that hanging on to a persona was an American convention, while British performers seem willing to walk away from their signature creations. He cited John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty and Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge (a narcissistic media personality), though Mr. Coogan has resurrected Partridge a few times.

Ricky Gervais has also recently revived David Brent, the bumbling manager he portrayed on the British version of “The Office,” in live concert performances. “I did consider not bringing him back to life,” Mr. Gervais said. But in a new context — Brent as would-be rock star — the character could be seen as realistically having moved on.

“What’s interesting about what Colbert is doing,” Mr. Gervais said in an interview, “what’s brave and possibly confusing about it, is that he’s always used his own name.” He added: “It can be a dangerous game to play. He presented himself as the character, and now he’s not going to be it. And people are going to miss the character. It’s a joy to watch someone do a really great parody with a character saying the opposite of what you know is right.”

That is the essence of what is upsetting so many of Mr. Colbert’s fans. While moving up to a bigger stage is in the tradition of late-night stars pushing their careers forward — as Mr. Letterman, Mr. O’Brien and Mr. Kimmel have all done — none of those moves have required a singular comic character’s disappearing forever.

Some who have worked on “The Colbert Report” have said that Mr. Colbert was tiring of the demands of constantly staying in character, and that he had subtly been doing pieces that did not depend on it. (His recent skewering of sweep month excesses by “Good Morning, America” was a comedic tour de force with little connection to his character.)

Mr. O’Brien commended Mr. Colbert for breaking what he called the American tradition. “Our system is, if there’s another nickel to be found in it, you keep playing that character,” he said, “just beat it to death — and then do it another 10 years.”

He added: “You always have performers saying, ‘I think I’ll go out on top, while it’s still great.’ And then it’s a sitcom, ‘Who’s the Boss?,’ and it’s the 18th season, and you’re like: ‘Tony, I like you, but ... .’ This is one of the few times when a performer is saying, ‘I want to get out while it’s still great,’ and it’s actually true.”

But going out on a slab — if that’s Mr. Colbert’s plan? “I think that’s a really funny idea,” Mr. Kimmel said. “And it would make it clear to people that he’s not that character anymore.”

Mr. Gervais agreed: “As surreal as that would be, it does make people get it. ‘I was that character, and that character is dead now. Do you get it? This is me now.’ ”

And then, presumably, Stephen Colbert can turn up next September on CBS as Mr. Letterman’s successor and be quickly accepted as a real talk show host.

“I think he’ll be great and funny, and people are going to still enjoy him plenty on that level,” Mr. O’Brien said. “And then, every now and then, there’ll be a cooking segment.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/bu...elevision&_r=0
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post #98587 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 10:51 PM
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TV Notes
BET veteran Stephen Hill promoted to president of programming
By Greg Braxton, Los Angeles Times - Dec. 17, 2014

BET Networks have named BET veteran Stephen Hill as its president of programming, signifying an apparent change in leadership strategy for the cable network that targets African Americans.

Hill, who has been at BET for more than 15 years and most recently was president of music programming and specials, will succeed Loretha Jones, who departed in September following a six-year stint as head of original programming, news and development.

In the newly created position, Hill will oversee original programming, music programming, specials and BET news divisions. He will report to Debra L. Lee, chairman and CEO of BET Networks, and will continue to be based in New York.

Hill has been credited with developing one of BET's most popular shows, "Real Husbands of Hollywood," a mock-reality series starring Kevin Hart.

His appointment may indicate a change in direction for the network, which had brought in two Hollywood insiders to help BET become more prominent in the crowded network arena.

Jones, who was a former movie exec and producer, was instrumental in developing BET's first scripted drama, "Being Mary Jane," which is preparing to return for a second season.

Her predecessor, Reginald Hudlin, who was a director and writer when he was brought in to BET as president of entertainment in 2005, was fired in 2008 despite an aggressive programming agenda.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...217-story.html

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post #98588 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 10:55 PM
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TV Notes
FXX Launches Late-Night Animation Block With Series From ADHD Studios
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Dec. 17, 2014

Fox‘s Animation Domination High-Def block is returning to linear TV on sibling FXX. The cable network said it will launch a late-night animation block on January 22nd that will feature fare originally developed and produced by ADHD Studios for Fox. The FXX block, which will get a sneak peak on January 1 at 12 AM, immediately following a special marathon of The Simpsons, will air at midnight on Thursdays. It will launch with eight new episodes of Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers, which will be joined by encore showings of High School USA!, Axe Cop and other ADHD animated shorts. Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers are acquisitions, as the first-run episodes had already been produced but, if successful, FXX plans to order additional new episodes of those or other ADHD series. For the time being, the block is slated to stay on at least until the summer, with repeats succeeding the Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers originals.

“Based on the successful launch of The Simpsons on FXX, this is the perfect time to expand our animation offerings and make FXX the after hours destination for animated shorts and series,” said FX Networks’ Chuck Saftler.

The Simpsons repeats run until midnight on most nights. Additionally, FXX is preparing to become the off-network home of FX animated series Archer starting in March. Saftler said he and his colleagues felt that the edgy ADHD toons “tonally and stylistically are a great fit” for The Simpsons and Archer, with the network able to use their repeats as a platform to launch shows.

The decision for the new animated block was made after FXX quietly did a successful test on Saturday night before Halloween with a two-hour block of ADHD reruns at midnight, following the network’s marathon of Simpsons’ Treehouse Of Horror episodes.

FXX has not made a move in late-night since canceling 11 PM talk show Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell in November 2013. (FX also is without a late-night franchise after the end of the Russell Brand talker.)

ADHD had a one-year run as a late-night Saturday night block on Fox until it stopped airing originals in June. However, the network kept alive the initiative, which at the time of the decision to end, the Fox block employed 100 people working on six series in production. Fox said back then that the unit, ran by ADHD Studios president Nick Weidenfeld, would be geared exclusively towards younger-skewing digital platforms like Hulu and focus on incubating shows for primetime. “We are insanely excited to partner with FXX and help them create a new block of programming for the network,” Weidenfeld said today.

Even after the official end of the ADHD block on June 28, Fox has continued airing a mix of encores of ADHD shows and the network’s primetime animated series in the Saturday late-night time period. FXX’s rights to Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers (or any other ADHD series) are not exclusive, so repeats of the new episodes that debut on FXX could pop up on Fox.

Going forward, FXX and Fox are expected to continue to share content from ADHD Studios, which is housed at Fox.

In addition to the sneak preview on January 1 after The Simpsons marathon, new episodes of Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers also will be showcased behind the Season 6 premiere of Archer on Jan. 8 on FX.

Here are descriptions of Lucas Bros. Moving Co. and Stone Quackers:

LUCAS BROS. MOVING CO.
Brooklyn-based comedians and identical twins Keith and Kenny Lucas get animated in the Lucas Bros. Moving Co. After inheriting their uncles van, the Brothers begin to run a moving company in their neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, populated by everyone from their best friend Jerrod (Jerrod Carmichael) to Jake the Snake Roberts, and their mom (Hannibal Buress). The brothers work only to pay their rent and drink beer at Jerrod’s bar, but nothing is easy for the Lucas Brothers. Even the simplest job of installing an air conditioner leads to an epic trek through a frozen tundra in the basement of their apartment building. Guest stars include Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer from Broad City; Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson and Jillian Bell from Workaholics, Jimmy Tatro (22 Jump Street), Michael Che (Saturday Night Live), Eric Andre (The Eric Andre Show), and musical artists Action Bronson, ?uestlove, Danny Brown, YG and Tyler the Creator.

STONE QUACKERS
Stone Quackers will shock, it will disturb, it will provoke. Executive produced by the acclaimed actor John C. Reilly and renowned artist/creator Ben Jones, the duck denizens of Cheeseburger Island endure hardships ranging from hurricanes, severed heads to dangerous hot dogs and the shame of being alive. The show is based on the upbringing of Whitmer Thomas and Clay Tatum (from the lauded live show PowerViolence) and their experience living in the remote and strange city of Gulf Shores, Alabama. Thomas and Tatum, also co-executive produce, write and voice characters on the show. Actress/writer, Heather Lawless (The Heart, She Holler) also stars as John C. Reilly’s angelic yet deviant paramour. Guest stars include Pam Adlon (Louie, Californication), Rory Scovel (Ground Floor) and Budd Anthony Diaz (PowerViolence) with music from The Zombies, Lightning Bolt, and The Doobie Brothers. Thomas is repped by CAA and 3 Arts.

http://deadline.com/2014/12/fxx-late...hd-1201328342/
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Technology/Business Notes
Dish Becomes First Major Pay-TV Provider to Integrate Netflix Into Boxes
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Dec. 17, 2014

Dish Network is the new service where you can watch the hit Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black.” Dish on Wednesday became the first major pay-TV provider in the United States to integrate the streaming services app into its set-top box.

Netflix is currently rolling out across the company’s second-generation Hopper. In the coming months, Dish expects the app to rollout to its Joey, Super Joey and Wireless Joey clients.

Additionally, in the future, Netflix titles could be integrated into the search functionality across live, recorded and video-on-demand programs for both the Hopper as well as Dish’s upcoming over-the-top service.

“Pairing Netflix with Hopper represents the consolidation of two incredible video experiences,” said Vivek Khemka, Dish senior vice president of product management. “This app integration eliminates the need to switch television inputs to access content on varying devices. It gives our customers easy access to their favorite shows and movies, on both DISH and Netflix, without ever having to leave their Hopper.”

“As the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to add the Netflix app to its set-top box, Dish strengthens an already robust video entertainment experience for its customers,” said Bill Holmes, global head of business development at Netflix. “Many households subscribe to both Netflix and a traditional pay-TV service. Our vast library of TV shows and movies, combined with DISH’s lineup of live television content, gives customers easy access to a wide variety of complementary programming.”

http://www.thewrap.com/dish-becomes-...ix-into-boxes/
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TV Notes
'Mom' gets serious in quest for deeper laughs
By Bill Keveney, USA Today - Dec. 17, 2014

Domestic violence is no laughing matter, but it's central to Thursday's episode of the CBS comedy Mom (8:30 p.m. ET/PT).

It's just the latest hardly hilarious real-world topic that fleshes out the story of a struggling but loving family centered on a single mother, Christy (Anna Faris), and her mom, Bonnie (Allison Janney).

Mom took a harder edge than most broadcast TV comedies from the get-go, focusing on recovering alcoholics Christy and Bonnie, but it has since taken on vexing social and health issues, including substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, adoption, breast cancer, gambling addiction, financial collapse and (briefly) homelessness.

The warts-and-all approach was important, professionally and personally, to executive producer Chuck Lorre, who oversees a sitcom empire that includes Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Mike & Molly.

"I thought it would be challenging. It's very fertile storytelling and it's very relatable," Lorre says. "It's certainly real to me on a personal level and I thought there's no reason comedy couldn't be mined from real-life situations."

Nevertheless, Mom, up 38% in its second season with the help of its new Big Bang lead-in, remains a comedy.

Lorre, who created the series with Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker, says the goal is "not to be teachy or pedantic. There's times we're talking about life-and-death issues. It's serious. To not take them seriously would be glib and irresponsible. But at the same time, there's laughter in the darkness. In the bleakest moments, we have the ability to find something to laugh at."

During a group visit to a therapist in Thursday's episode, Christy's teenage daughter, Violet (Sadie Calvano), still struggling with giving up her baby for adoption, complains that her life would have been better if she had spent time with her absent father.

Bonnie erupts, enraging Christy by telling Violet that her father beat Christy and twice sent her to the emergency room. The punchlines steer around the abuse, focusing on Christy's anger at her mother for revealing the secret and her convoluted effort to deceive Violet, with expert liar Bonnie's blessing, about her father's whereabouts.

The therapist scene was filmed in advance, away from a studio audience primed for raucous laughter. "When (Chuck) gives us the more emotional material, he's been nice to give it to us in a pre-shoot situation, so we have the quiet and concentration we need to have those moments come out of us," Emmy winner Janney says.

She was drawn to Mom because it dealt with addiction, but she didn't know it would delve into so many other topics so quickly.

There was a teenage "pregnancy and then they threw in Marjorie's (Mimi Kennedy) cancer. Cancer is not funny and will never be funny, but people are living with it and (there's) people's behavior around those who have it. There is humor to be had there. (But) we're certainly not making fun of any of these issues," says Janney, who adds that a few topics, such as abortion, may still be too hot to handle.

Faris, known for The House Bunny and Scary Movie franchise, says fans respond differently to Mom.

"The support I get on the street, at the grocery store, is unlike anything I've experienced before. People seem really connected, really moved. Believe it or not, people did not respond that way to Scary Movie 3," she says, laughing. "People will be very personal with me and share their struggles with addiction."

The episode received a thumbs-up from some anti-domestic violence group members that had a chance to watch it.

"The part about domestic violence wasn't funny. I thought it was well handled and yet (the overall episode) was still funny," says Kim Gandy, CEO and president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence. "It's a hard issue to talk about, so it's especially important that people are getting messages about this in a way they can absorb them."

Progress is being made in the fight against domestic abuse, she says, but more can be done. "We are overdue for shows that talk about people's real lives in a way that we can relate to it."

Most broadcast comedies steer clear of tough social issues, and few TV families face the economic hardship that many viewers do. (The Hecks of ABC's The Middle is another example). Faris was surprised Mom got rid of its house set, an expensive proposition, to illustrate the family's financial peril.

"Thematically, that felt right because of (Christy's) gambling issues, but from a practical and creative standpoint it felt like new ground," Faris says.

In the early 1970s, All in the Family opened the door to exploring taboo social issues, becoming a huge hit. More than two decades ago, Roseanne, which Lorre worked on, stood out for its depiction of a working-class family.

"All in the Family was so groundbreaking," he says. "It turned the whole idea of TV comedy upside down: We can tell the truth and it's engaging and you care."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...sues/20538943/
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Critic's Notes
Award Shows Try to Balance Art and Commerce
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Dec. 17, 2014

Award shows have always wrestled with balancing art and commerce — weighing the noble ability to recognize deserving fare that might not be widely viewed against lauding projects with which more of the audience is familiar, which is generally beneficial ratings-wise.

Yet as original TV series move into the “It’s not even just on TV anymore” phase, those considerations have become even more complicated — and, occasionally, unknowable.

The broadcast networks that share TV rights to the Emmys have long chafed at the bounties harvested by premium cable, particularly HBO, which has at times turned the industry’s annual bash into an extended commercial for pay TV. (The networks enjoyed a mini-resurgence at the most recent Emmys, thanks to such series as “Modern Family” and “The Good Wife.”)

The appetite for original programming, however, has expanded the balloting beyond even HBO’s and Showtime’s niche audiences to the “We’re not even sure how many people are watching” metrics of Netflix and Amazon. And with streaming services and lesser cable channels mounting more quality competitors — as much to enhance their brands and generate subscriptions as garner ratings — award voters sometimes don’t even possess viewing data to inform their decisionmaking.

Clearly, the Writers Guild of America was platform-agnostic in nominating comedy series that bypassed not only the broadcast networks but most of basic cable, choosing entries from Netflix and Amazon (“Orange Is the New Black” and “Transparent,” respectively), FX’s widely admired if little-seen “Louie” and two HBO series, “Veep” and “Silicon Valley.”

What many alternative programs do have going for them, however, is star quality, which in light of the evolving nature of award shows can compensate for puny audiences. “Who are you wearing?” can trump discussion of the actual work on red carpets. Having seen the show becomes less important than knowing who’s in it.

Historically that emphasis on celebrity has always been an advantage at, say, the Golden Globes, where the nominating body tends to be adept at casting a TV special that consistently put high-profile actors front and center.

The process becomes self-perpetuating, because the ego strokes that come from awards help attract talent to relatively narrow services, reinforcing the sense they are earning admiration from their peers, if not necessarily people they’re apt to encounter beyond valet lines.

At the same time, newer players are also taking casting chances their elder brethren usually wouldn’t, such as elevating Jeffrey Tambor — about as accomplished a second banana as there is, as “The Larry Sanders Show” directly and symbolically cast him — to a breakthrough leading-man turn in “Transparent,” at the not-exactly “key demo” friendly age of 70.

TV awards will never achieve total purity — there’s too much politics, and too many apples-and-oranges matchups, for that — but there does seem to be a push toward honoring the medium’s finest without much regard to origins, humble or otherwise.

By that measure, the award circuit is increasingly mirroring the personal way TV is consumed and experienced — where all that really matters to the viewer, ultimately, is an audience of one.

http://variety.com/2014/tv/awards/aw...ce-1201381209/
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post #98592 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 11:05 PM
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Critic's Notes
Best TV Show: 'Fargo'
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Dec. 17, 2014

In July FX CEO John Landgraf, an astute television executive in a business not always brimming with wise men or women, told a gathering of TV critics, "I think we would probably all agree that since the day television was invented, there have been too many bad TV programs. We would probably also agree there have never been, and probably never will be, enough truly great programs on television. But today may be the first time in history where we could all honestly agree there are simply too many good programs, at least too many for any one viewer to watch or any one critic to cover."

This is most certainly true.

Options for TV viewers have exploded in the past decade, offering more lowbrow TV (think: reality shows) and more highbrow (scripted series). Mr. Ladgraf is correct that there's a lot of good TV. Sometimes viewers are annoyed when their popular favorites get overlooked at awards time, but with such abundance comes hard choices about programs that are good but maybe not great.

So feel free to take issue with any omissions here because this is an entirely subjective list. Heck, I may not even agree with it a few months from now if any of these programs takes a bad turn.

1. "Fargo" (FX): So often TV spinoffs of movies disappoint, but this limited series offered the same feel of the movie with its mix of crime drama and dark humor without repeating the plot or characters. Special kudos go to newcomer Allison Tolman for her role as down-to-earth police officer Molly Solverson and to FX for allowing "Fargo" to have a beginning, a middle and a satisfying ending. Season two will tell a completely new story featuring a few younger versions of the characters from season one.

2. "The Good Wife" (CBS): Usually TV dramas in their fifth season fail to surprise, but "Good Wife" writers Robert and Michelle King used the show's basis in reality for a true shock when they killed off Will Gardner, an event made all the more powerful exactly because it's the type of pulpy twist "Good Wife" usually avoids.

3. "Orange Is the New Black" (Netflix): The prison drama with comedic elements proved it wasn't a flash in the pan with an even stronger second season that gave greater depth to its inmate characters with flashbacks that revealed their emotional scars through surprising and heartbreaking events.

4. "Episodes" (Showtime): Not a series that gets a lot of attention, but "Episodes" deserves praise for its funny, spot-on skewering of the TV business. Matt LeBlanc ("Friends"), playing a fictional version of himself, sends up his own image with aplomb while writers Sean (Stephen Mangan) and Beverly (Tamsin Greig), surrogates for viewers at home, watch in open-eyed horror as Hollywood lunacy unfurls around them.

5. "Silicon Valley" (HBO): So many of HBO's recent comedy efforts have been dark and dreary (think: "Hung," "Bored to Death"), but this one offered a brighter, funnier take as it followed underdog nerds as they faced off against a Google-like corporation.

6. "Transparent" (Amazon Instant Video): While the behavior of the Pfefferman children is generally awful and too reminiscent of the bad-choice-prone characters on "Six Feet Under," the plight of their transgender father, Maura (Jeffrey Tambor), is handled with sensitivity that is touching without being sappy.

7. "Survivor's Remorse" (Starz): Sort of an "Entourage" set in the basketball world, this addictive soapy comedy proved itself a welcome surprise as it follows baller Cam Calloway (Jessie Usher) as he navigates fame, fortune and family when he gets his first multimillion-dollar contract with a professional basketball team.

8. "Game of Thrones" (HBO): How to one-up the bloody Red Wedding? Why, with a poisoning assassination at yet another wedding, of course! "Game of Thrones" continued to shock and delight viewers as it introduced and then killed off new characters while putting some of the show's longtime heroes in even more perilous situations (think: that attack on Castle Black).

9. "Sherlock" (PBS): After an almost two-year wait, three new episodes of this "Masterpiece Mystery!" hit found the series in its best form ever, relying more on its characters and their relationships to drive stories than guest stars. This season the episodes felt more connected, more serialized, and the plots were strong enough to warrant the episodes' 90-minute running time, which hasn't always been the case.

10. "How to Get Away With Murder" (ABC): Yes, it's another crazy soap in the "Scandal" vein, but it's a really good crazy soap thanks to series creator Pete Nowalk's use of multiple plot devices, including flashbacks, flashforwards and divvying up of characters to draw interest. While Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) wasn't that interesting at the start -- the students who work for her had more fun -- nine episodes into its ratings-winning first season, "Murder" has given Annalise greater depth while still ensuring that she's full of mystery. And Ms. Davis offers a brave, unglamorous, makeup-free, wig-removing performance that dares viewers to look away.

Honorable mentions (in alphabetical order): "The Affair" (Showtime), "The Americans" (FX), "The Flash" (The CW), "Garfunkel & Oates" (IFC), "Getting On" (HBO), "Hannibal" (NBC), "Homeland" (Showtime), "The Honorable Woman" (Sundance), "House of Cards" (Netflix), "Jane the Virgin" (The CW), "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver " (HBO), "The Leftovers" (HBO), "Looking" (HBO), "Mad Men" (AMC), "Manhattan" (WGN America), "Portlandia" (IFC), "The 100" (The CW).

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201412180111
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post #98593 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 11:07 PM
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TV/Nielsen Notes
HBO Becomes Latest Network to Turn Its Back on Same-Day Ratings
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Dec. 17, 2014

Let's face it: HBO hasn't had much of a reason to share ratings on Monday morning for some time.

The pay cable network has no advertisers and has seen its slate of original Sunday night series draw more and more of their audiences from time-shifting. So it should come as little surprise that the network won't be distributing or confirming its own live-plus-same day ratings any longer.

In a Wednesday note to press, the cable network announced that it's the latest to jump on the growing trend of waiting for DVR and multiplatform stats before touting viewership. FX Networks had a similar move earlier in 2014 — and even broadcast networks are now leaning on time-shifting projections to soften the emphasis on live viewership.

"A single airing is no longer representative of an HBO show’s true audience size," read a network statement. HBO also sees boosts from heavy encores on both the main network and its sisters. Now ratings will come roughly two weeks after a premiere telecast and will include Nielsen's live-plus-seven, HBO Go and HBO On Demand. (The data won't exactly be a secret, as Nielsen will continue to release live-same-day performances for HBO.)

HBO's most-watched show in network history currently doubles its audience with just a week's worth of viewership. Game of Thrones, averaging a live-plus-same day audience just north of 7 million in its fourth season, pulled 18.4 million viewers per episode all told.

The news comes as HBO also readies a standalone streaming service, likely much akin to HBO Go, that will launch in 2015.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...rk-turn-758898
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TV Review
‘All Hail King Julien,’ just for the kiddies
This Netflix take on 'Madagascar' is like the movie, a real eyeful
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 17, 2013

In a highly visual medium like computer animation, it’s easy to forget the importance of dialogue. But a show has to make some effort.

Netflix’s new animated series “All Hail King Julien,” starring the lemur characters from the “Madagascar” movies, has the visuals down — the lemurs are cute or funny or both — but the verbal humor is perfunctory. Unlike the movies, the show fails to engage adults. The silly action, however, should keep kids happy.

Premiering with five episodes available for streaming this Friday, Dec. 19, “All Hail King Julien” is technically a prequel to the movies.

In the first episode, Julien (voiced by Danny Jacobs, imitating Sacha Baron Cohen’s characterization from the movies), becomes king of his lemur tribe for a day when his uncle Julien (Henry Winkler) is warned by his chameleon soothsayer, Masikura (Debra Wilson), that the “one who wears the crown” will be eaten by the foosa. (“Foosa” is the show’s misspelling of “fossa,” the name of a catlike predator native to Madagascar.)

Spoiler alert! Young Julien survives and remains king for at least the three episodes provided for review. Whereas Uncle King Julien forbade his subjects from having any fun for fear it would attract the foosa, the new king is a party animal. (“I Like to Move It,” also known as “that song from Madagascar,” is heard only once in the three episodes.)

The stories are clever enough, although they could be told in less than the 22 minutes they’re allotted. In the premiere, the foosa attack during Julien’s first party, carrying off the entire tribe except Julien and his second-in-command, Maurice (Kevin Michael Richardson).

Masikura tells Julien that he can save his subjects if he picks the right weapon.

Meanwhile, Mort (Andy Richter), the tiny lemur with an unnatural attraction to Julien’s feet, distracts the foosa by dipping himself in barbecue sauce and doing a striptease with lettuce leaves.

Both of Masikura’s predictions come true, sort of, but (spoiler alert!) young Julien remains king. In the second episode, he’s worried that he has only a 99 percent approval rating. His no-nonsense head of security, Clover (India de Beaufort), fearing an uprising, tries to locate the one dissenter.

In the third previewable episode, Uncle King Julien tells young Julien that he can achieve immortality by staving off a foosa attack. Julien and Maurice sneak into the carnivores’ territory wearing an obviously fake foosa outfit, but one of beasts falls in love with them.

The slapstick comedy should get younger kids giggling. Mort is constantly being launched into the air. When Julien and Maurice are in the foosa suit, Maurice’s face is trapped behind Julien’s behind.

But the dialogue needs more wit. The writers seem to think that any pop-culture reference can serve as a punch line.

Although YouTube has made younger viewers more savvy about pop-culture history, it’s unlikely they’ll pick up on the allusions to “Freaks,” “Braveheart” and Sally Field’s second Oscar speech.

The animation is workable but not up to the movies’ standard. It will probably look better on a laptop than on the big living-room TV.

Most of us turn to Netflix when channel surfing runs dry, the DVR is empty and on demand is played out. The kids for whom “All Hail King Julien” will work best have plenty of animated alternatives on cable, including another “Madagascar” spinoff, “The Penguins of Madagascar.”

This fragile island ecosystem may be over-exploited.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/all...r-the-kiddies/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY 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 Taste (120 min.)
10PM - How To Get Away With Murder
(R - Oct. 23)
* * * *
11:35AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Mel Brooks; Christine Baranski; Jenny Lewis performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Sep. 29)
8:31PM - Mom
9:01PM - Two and a Half Men
9:30PM - The McCarthys
10PM - Elementary
* * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Rosie O'Donnell; comic Jeff Altman)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Jim Parsons)

NBC:
8PM - The Biggest Loser
9PM - People Magazine Awards (120 min., LIVE)
* * * *
11:34AM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Amy Adams; Nick Offerman; Foo Fighters perform)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Christoph Waltz; Uzo Aduba; comic Greg Warren)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Jack O'Connell; Coves perform; comic Andrew Orvedahl)

FOX:
8PM - Bones (120 min.)
(R - Jan. 17)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Nov. 13)
9PM - Downton Abbey Rediscovered
(R - Nov. 30)
9:30PM - Downton Abbey Rediscovered
(R - Nov. 30)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Junk in the Trunk 4
(R - Dec. 15)

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

THE CW:
8PM - The iHeartradio Jingle Ball 2014 (90 min.)
9:30PM - Whose Line Is It Anyway?
(R - Oct. 3)

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

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Chris Rock.)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Series Finale; Grimmy, Stephen's colleague and lifelong friend)
12:01AM - At Midnight (Margaret Cho; Drew Carey; Blaine Capatch)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Orlando Bloom; John C. McGinley; comic Sebastian Maniscalco)
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Technology/Business Notes
Amazon Not as Unstoppable as It Might Appear
By Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times' 'Personal Tech' Column - Dec. 18, 2014

Thanks to its ugly spat with book publishers, Amazon has lately been cast as the abominable boogeyman of American commerce.

As hundreds of authors took up arms against the giant, The New Republic declared in a cover article this fall that “Amazon Must Be Stopped,” insisting that the company’s unbounded retail ambitions would end up “cannibalizing the economy.”

But there’s another theory about Amazon’s future, one for which evidence began to mount this year: Despite fears of Amazon’s growing invincibility, the company’s eventual hegemony over American shopping is not assured. It might not even be likely.

That’s not just because investors began to question the company’s aggressive spending this year, or because its big new thing, the Fire Phone, turned out to be about as unwelcome as the flu.

Amazon may face a deeper problem. Like many of the local and big-box retailers it has displaced over the last decade and a half, Amazon could itself become increasingly vulnerable to the threat of technological upheaval.

The key to its vulnerability is the smartphone, a device whose scope and significance Jeff Bezos, the chief executive, has not yet managed to corral.

Phones have already radically altered both the way Americans shop and how retail goods move about the economy, but the transformation is just beginning — and it is far from guaranteed that Amazon will emerge victorious from the transition.

Phones are at the heart of the service offered by Postmates, one of several start-ups that are working with retailers and helping to change shopping experiences. “Everything that we’re doing is anti-Amazon,” said Bastian Lehmann, the co-founder of Postmates.

Postmates runs a network of couriers who, like Uber drivers, are dispatched by phones to deliver food, apparel, toothpaste and other goods from local stores in 18 American cities. The company recently announced a plan for retailers to build Postmates’ technology into their own technology systems, a way to give small stores the kind of logistical efficiencies that were previously available only to giants like Amazon.

As local retailers adopt such mobile innovations, customers will be able to search stores’ inventories, purchase goods for same-day delivery, and navigate and search for help and reviews inside a crowded store. None of these technologies pose an existential threat to Amazon, but by giving physical stores some of the conveniences that Amazon has long had, they may limit its potential reach.

“We want to use the city as our warehouse instead of building a warehouse outside the city,” Mr. Lehmann said. “We want to be part of a city versus saying, ‘Here’s a way that you can save $2 on an item, but nobody in your city earns a dime, but now you have a cheap DVD player — congratulations!’ ”

The Bay Area has become a hotbed for some of the most innovative retailing start-ups.

With Instacart, you can get groceries delivered instantly from big and small supermarkets. With Google’s Express delivery service, you can get household goods from big-box stores delivered on the same day you order. The app Curbside lets users order items from Target, and have them ready when they drive up to a store. And with Postmates, it is possible to order takeout, and pretty much anything else, and have it delivered directly very quickly.

These services all have in common speed and convenience: Because they route purchases from stores, they can often shuttle goods to buyers faster than they are available from Amazon. The prices are even competitive with Amazon, which delivers most of its products, even groceries, from warehouses that are a few hours away.

And speed changes everything.

I used to buy just about everything from Amazon; in 2012, my household recorded 141 purchases from the retailer, not including digital items like Kindle books. Many of these were for staples like paper towels and baby diapers. But when you run out of diapers, you can’t really wait a day or two to get them.

Now, with Instacart and Google Express, I can search for these staples at nearby stores, and get them within just a few hours of my purchase. The more I used these faster services, the less I used Amazon.

In 2013, my Amazon orders slipped to 115, about 20 percent down from the previous year. This year, my Amazon purchases will be down again — I’m at 90 for the year, down by about a third from my 2012 peak.

Am I an outlier? Almost certainly, given that Amazon’s overall sales have continued to grow at a fast clip over the last two years.

And none of the start-ups that are challenging Amazon expect to meaningfully slow its growth in its core categories. But they do see opportunities in new areas, like food, medicine, apparel and other categories where Amazon is not yet indomitable. So far, these new ideas have seen rapid growth.

Instacart is poised to generate more than $100 million in revenue in 2014, 10 times what it did in 2013, according to the company.

It has reportedly been valued by investors at $2 billion, and it is looking to expand into other categories beyond groceries, said its founder and chief executive, Apoorva Mehta.

“We believe we started with the hardest vertical, and we’ll expand from there,” said Mr. Mehta, who used to work at Amazon as a logistics expert. “Once you know how to pick avocados, picking towels is a lot easier.”

To Mr. Mehta, the biggest advantage of Instacart’s model is that it co-opts local retailers rather than turning them into enemies. Stores that use Instacart have seen sales go up by 10 percent annually, he said; that’s huge in the grocery business, where sales increases are often measured in the single digits. “We’re the retailer’s best friend,” Mr. Mehta said.

Maybe so. “We’ve found that about half of the people who are buying with us via Instacart said they would not have shopped with us if they did not have this option,” said Jackie Donovan, the vice president for marketing at Fairway Market, the New York-based specialty grocery store. “It’s been extraordinarily successful for us.”

Amazon did not respond to queries for this column, but it will certainly respond to any potential threat posed by mobile start-ups. It has been investing vast sums in speeding up its delivery service, and it has been experimenting with ideas that mimic some of the start-ups, including using taxi-hailing apps to deliver goods.

But the challenge for Amazon is that it may not be able to do all that it wants to do to take over the nation’s retail landscape.

“I’m seeing the first big cracks in Amazon at this point, and it will be interesting to see how they handle it,” said Venky Harinarayan, a tech investor and entrepreneur who worked closely with Mr. Bezos in the early 2000s, after selling a company he helped start, Junglee.com, to Amazon.

More than a decade later, Mr. Harinarayan and his partner sold another company, Kosmix, to Walmart Stores, where he then worked to improve that company’s digital efforts. Having seen both retail giants from the inside, Mr. Harinarayan pointed out one big difference between the two: Walmart’s investors have long expected it to show profits; Amazon’s have not.

“Wall Street has given them a lot of leeway in prioritizing growth over profitability, and they’ve taken full advantage of that,” he said. “But it’s going to get harder and harder to get that license, and when that happens, we’ll see how their business starts to look, and how they respond to challenges.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/18/te...ref=technology
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post #98597 of 98737 Old 12-17-2014, 11:34 PM
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It seems to me that as long as viewers watch, nothing will change, not that it necessarily should. We all seem to think that our definition of "good" is the right one and that only the shows we like should get produced/broadcast. If it were up to me, there'd only be one sitcom on and only 2 sporting events (poker and NHRA). I'm quite sure not many here would be happy with that.
Sorry, but poker is simple game, not a sport.
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post #98598 of 98737 Old 12-18-2014, 09:20 AM
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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.
Yeah he might make some mistakes but I like him, it's obvious he has a passion for what he's doing and he works well with Tirico. I think his analysis is usually valid, like when I was watching ATL-GB and he mentioned that ATL could've won if they had a pass rush which was spot on. He's also willing to call a spade a spade, like mentioning that he would bench a player that repeatedly does false starts (CHI-NO). He's an entertaining guy in my book, not some boring know-it-all.

They're a damn sight better pairing than when they had Kornheiser and Jaws in there.

Opinions about analysts and play-by-play men are well, you know, like the place where your food processing ends every day.
Nayan likes this.

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Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Yeah he might make some mistakes but I like him, it's obvious he has a passion for what he's doing and he works well with Tirico. I think his analysis is usually valid, like when I was watching ATL-GB and he mentioned that ATL could've won if they had a pass rush which was spot on. He's also willing to call a spade a spade, like mentioning that he would bench a player that repeatedly does false starts (CHI-NO). He's an entertaining guy in my book, not some boring know-it-all.

They're a damn sight better pairing than when they had Kornheiser and Jaws in there.

Opinions about analysts and play-by-play men are well, you know, like the place where your food processing ends every day.
Yeah, kinda like the opinions of said analysts
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post #98600 of 98737 Old 12-18-2014, 09:39 AM
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options

THE CW:
8PM - The iHeartradio Jingle Ball 2014 (90 min.)
This was the Z100 concert at Madison Square Garden last week lots of cool chix among others were there:
Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, Jessie J, Meghan Trainor....sweet.

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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
This was the Z100 concert at Madison Square Garden last week lots of cool chix among others were there:
Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, Jessie J, Meghan Trainor....sweet.
You know you are getting old when you have only heard music from one person in that list, and haven't even heard of half of them.

TiVo Elite, TiVo 4, Seven TiVo Minis, TiVo Stream, Roku 3, Two Amazon Fire Sticks, Google Chromecast, Cox Cable, Sonos
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post #98602 of 98737 Old 12-18-2014, 10:50 AM
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Dec. 18, 2014

THE COLBERT REPORT MARATHON
Comedy Central, 10:00 a.m. ET

Starting at 10 a.m. ET, The Colbert Report is noting its final day on the air by an all-day marathon that runs right up to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show at 11 p.m. ET. That’s 11 straight hours of selected episodes from The Colbert Report – episodes which are being presented as a surprise, without any information about which ones are shown, or when. But I’d bet that the opening offering will be Stephen Colbert’s first show from 2005. I’m not certain of that, but it has the ring of truthiness.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
TCM, 8:00 p.m.

There’s no “Bah, humbug!” reaction to this 1938 film. It’s a terrific version of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story, with Reginald Owen as one of the cinema’s all-time best incarnations of Ebenezer Scrooge.

THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART
Comedy Central, 11:00 p.m.

There are two very compelling reasons to watch tonight’s show in particular. One is that the evening’s guest is Chris Rock. The other is that, at some point on tonight’s show, Jon Stewart is bound to bid a fond farewell to his Comedy Central colleague in arms, Stephen Colbert.

THE COLBERT REPORT
Comedy Central, 11:31 p.m. ET
SERIES FINALE:
Stephen Colbert has been going out not with a whimper, or a bang, but however the hell he wants. Interview Smaug the dragon? Sure, why not? Close out his entire decade-long run as a triumphant talk-show conservative caricature by making room for his friend “Grimmy,” a.k.a. The Grim Reaper? Sure. And I hope, on this final show, they play a game of chess…

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

While Stephen Colbert presents his final show tonight, Craig Ferguson mounts his penultimate one. His guest: frequent visitor Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Survivor’ paces CBS to a Wednesday win
Season finale posts a 2.4 in 18-49s, easily the night's top show
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 18, 2013

“Survivor” dominated Wednesday night with the show’s 29th season finale.

Let that sit for a moment: 29 seasons and it is still the top-rated show of the night, albeit a night where there was not strong competition on broadcast.

“Survivor” averaged a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights. That was even to last week and did mark the show’s lowest-rated finale in its very long history.

But the rating may go up when final numbers come out later today. CBS points out that the actual winner of the season was not revealed until 10:15, but overnights cannot measure 15-minute increments.

“Survivor” dominated Fox’s competing “Hell’s Kitchen” finale, which posted a 1.3 at 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, the return of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” which aired as a two-hour special last night, posted an underwhelming 1.3.

But the network did see a year-to-year gain in viewership for “Michael Bublé’s Christmas in New York,” which posted its most-watched edition in its four-year run on NBC, drawing 7.4 million total viewers.

That was up 48 percent from last year.

CBS was first for the night among 18-49s with a 2.2 average overnight rating and a 7 share. ABC, NBC and Fox all tied for second at 1.3/4, Univision was fifth at 1.1/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2, and CW seventh at 0.5/2.

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.

CBS led each hour of the night, beginning with a 2.3 at 8 p.m. for the first hour of “Survivor,” followed by ABC with a 1.4 for reruns of “The Middle” and “The Goldbergs.” NBC and Fox tied for third at 1.3, NBC for “Buble’s” and Fox for “Hell’s,” Univision was fifth with a 1.2 for “Mi Corazon es Tuyo,” and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for “Greatest Holiday Commercials” and Telemundo for “Los Miserables.”

At 9 p.m. CBS was first with a 2.5 for more “Survivor,” while ABC remained second with a 1.5 for “Modern Family” and “black-ish” reruns. NBC was third with a 1.4 for “Sing-Off,” Fox fourth with a 1.3 for more “Kitchen,” Univision fifth with a 1.1 for “Hasta el Fin del Mundo,” and CW and Telemundo tied for sixth at 0.5, CW for “The 100″ and Telemundo for “Tierra de Reyes.”

CBS was first again at 10 p.m. with a 1.9 for its “Survivor” reunion, with NBC second with a 1.2 for more “Sing-Off.” ABC was third with a 1.1 for more “black-ish” reruns, Univision fourth with a 0.8 for “La Malquerida” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.7 for “Señora Acero.”

Among households, CBS was first for the night with a 5.2 average overnight rating and a 9 share. NBC was second at 3.8/7, ABC third at 3.2/5, Fox fourth at 2.2/4, Univision fifth at 1.4/2, CW sixth at 1.0/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/sur...wednesday-win/

* * * *

Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Where people watch online video: PCs
Surprise: Mobile is growing, but the majority still use computers
By Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 18, 2013

These days it seems all you hear about is mobile this and mobile that.

Mobile has overtaken desktop as the main way people use the web. Mobile has seen the biggest year-to-year ecommerce increases. Mobile has the biggest growth rate for advertising.

It may come as a surprise then to learn that there’s one area mobile is not yet dominating: Online video.

While mobile video is growing, the vast majority of video is still watched on PCs, and that won’t change anytime soon, according to a new study from eMarketer.

It finds double the number of people use their computers to watch video as use tablets or smartphones.

Emarketer says 59 percent of respondents used computers to watch digital video in 2014, down slightly from 62 percent the previous year.

Twenty-seven percent used tablets, up from 23 percent in 2013. And 23 percent used a smartphone to stream video, up a bit from 21 percent last year.

While 200 million people now watch online video of some sort, eMarketer projects that by 2018, only 111.7 million will be using tablets to do so, or about 52.6 percent of all digital video viewers.

Considering mobile’s huge popularity right now, that’s not a big number.

Why have people been relatively slow to adapt to watching video on tablets and smartphones, while embracing it on their PCs?

There are a number of reasons, including the fact that much of the video people watch is still in short snippets, such as YouTube videos of a cat or the latest sketch by Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show.”

It’s easy to surf to those videos while you are sitting at your computer working. Something pops up on a newsfeed and you click on it; then you go back to your normal work routine.

Also, there are more smartphone users than tablet users, and the simple fact is that watching video on your phone is not a great experience.

The screen is small and the sound quality is poor, even on top-of-the-line phones. Given the choice between watching on a smartphone and a computer, most people will choose the larger size they are used to from television.

Finally, the heaviest of online video viewers are using their mobile devices. These are the people who do not have pay TV subscriptions and watch all their entertainment via online video. But they do not make up a big slice of the total online video audience.

The light online video viewers, who represent the vast majority of all online video viewers, continue to watch on PCs.

One more interesting thing to come out of the report: The number of people who watch via smart TVs, or televisions connected to the internet, is small but growing.

Just 10 percent reported watching online video through a smart TV in 2013, but that was up to 12 percent this year and is projected to increase quickly as those TVs become more common, since the large screen makes for more enjoyable viewing.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/peo...ine-video-pcs/
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TV Notes
Hulu strikes deal with FX to stream 'The Strain,' other series
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Dec. 18, 2014

The undead vampires on FX’s “The Strain” -- and some other eccentric characters from across the FX networks -- will have an afterlife on Hulu.

The streaming service has secured a deal with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution for exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to new and upcoming FX and FXX series that are produced or co-produced by FX Productions.

Under the multiyear pact, the first seasons of shows such as “Tyrant,” “The Strain,” Married,” and “You’re the Worst” -- all of which debuted in 2014 -- will be available exclusively on Hulu Plus (its $7.99-per-month service) ahead of their second-season premieres. Hulu will then gain subscription streaming rights to subsequent seasons of said shows.

Current-season FX Networks series will remain available via the FXNow app.

The forthcoming FX titles that Hulu will also add to its library are FXX comedy series “Man Seeking Woman,” starring Jay Baruchel, which rolls out in January; “The Comedians,” starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad, which premieres in the spring; “Baskets,” starring Zach Galifianakis, which is eyeing a 2016 rollout; “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” starring Denis Leary and John Corbett; and period drama “Taboo,” starring Tom Hardy.

A cross-promotion arrangement will be in play to boost the synergy between Hulu and FX Networks. That means FX Networks will significantly promote Hulu across its channels, while Hulu will provide FX Networks with on- and off-site branding.

In a statement, Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content, touted the diversity that the FX shows will add to the streaming site’s library.

“We are thrilled to begin this partnership, which will add a wide variety of popular series, and fresh, yet-to-air series to our ever expanding roster of great content,” he said.

Hulu has also licensed -- nonexclusively -- prior seasons of “American Horror Story” and the recently departed “Sons of Anarchy,” as well as comedies “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Louie,” “Archer,” “The League” and “Wilfred.”

Eric Schrier, president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions, described the pact in a statement as an “integral component to our future,” adding that it would allow FX Networks and FX Productions to “continue to expand [their] original program offerings.”

The deal makes Hulu, which is a joint venture of Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal, the SVOD home to the largest selection of FX Networks content. Outside of the FX friendship-building, Hulu will also gain exclusive subscription streaming rights to Fox’s upcoming M. Night Shyamalan event series “Wayward Pines.”

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...218-story.html
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TV Notes
Networks roll out new shows for midseason
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Dec. 19, 2014

It’s not Christmas yet, but TV networks already are looking ahead to 2015 and the January start of midseason.

Due to the overwhelming influx of new programming, the midseason preview will get spread over two weeks this year, beginning with broadcast network plans this week and concluding with cable network plans next Friday.

To be sure, this is just what’s been announced so far. Some broadcasters have additional series waiting in their cupboard but have not yet announced plans to bring them out.

ABC

“Galavant” (8 and 8:30 p.m. p.m. Jan. 4, WTAE):
The showrunner behind underrated comedy “The Neighbors” returns with another offbeat entry that’s a musical comedy set in medieval times. Think: Monty Python meets Mel Brooks in this story of dashing Galavant (Joshua Sasse), who loses his lady love (Mallory Jansen) to wimpy, evil King Richard (Timothy Omundson).

“Agent Carter” (8-10 p.m. Jan. 6): Another Marvel Universe spinoff, this one focuses on “Captain America” character Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), who in 1946 teams with industrialist Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper), father of Tony “Iron Man” Stark, and his butler Edwin (James D’Arcy, “Those Who Kill”) to track down weapons of mass destruction.

“Fresh off the Boat” (8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Feb. 4, then moves to 8 p.m. Tuesday on Feb. 10): Fish-out-of-water comedy set in 1995 and based on the memoir by chef/restauranteur Eddie Huang, who briefly attended the University of Pittsburgh.

“Secrets and Lies” (9 p.m. March 1): Ryan Phillippe stars as a suburban murder suspect who’s being investigated by a detective (Juliette Lewis).

“American Crime” (10 p.m. March 5): Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives”) and Timothy Hutton (“Leverage”) star in this crime drama with racial and socioeconomic undertones from Oscar-winning screenwriter John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”), who wrote and directed the pilot.

Returning: “The Bachelor” (8 p.m. Jan. 5), “Once Upon a Time” (8 p.m. March 1), “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (9 p.m. March 3).

CBS

“The Odd Couple” (8:30 p.m. Feb. 19, KDKA-TV):
Just prior to the one-hour conclusion of “Two and a Half Men,” CBS launches a remake of the Tony Randall-Jack Klugman sitcom starring Matthew Perry (as Oscar) and Thomas Lennon (as Felix).

“Battle Creek” (10 p.m. March 1): Two weeks after the 2014-15 season finale of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS debuts this smarter-than-the-average procedural created by Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”) and run by David Shore (“House”) that follows the work adventures of mismatched Michigan law enforcement officers played by Josh Duhamel and Dean Winters.

“CSI: Cyber” (10 p.m. March 4): “Stalker” takes a break so CBS can premiere the latest “CSI” spinoff. This one stars Patricia Arquette (“Medium”) as head of the cyber crime division of the FBI. James Van Der Beek (“Dawson’s Creek”) and Peter MacNicol (“Ally McBeal”) co-star.

“The Late Late Show With James Corden” (12:37 a.m. March 23): With Craig Ferguson stepping down after tonight’s broadcast, another Brit takes over CBS’s late, late show.

The CW

The CW, which is having its best season in years thanks to the success of “The Flash,” has two scripted dramas, “iZombie” and “The Messengers,” waiting in the wings, but no air dates have been announced.

Returning: “Masters of Illusion” (8 p.m. Jan. 9).

Fox

“Empire” (9 p.m. Jan. 7, WPGH): Drama about a family dynasty in the music business that stars Taraji P. Henson (“Person of Interest”) and is executive produced by director Lee Daniels (“Precious”) and writer Danny Strong (“Game Change”).

“World’s Funniest Fails” (8 p.m. Jan. 16): A viral video show based on the YouTube channel FailArmy, in which each week comedians analyze the videos and rate one the “Fail of the Week.”

“Backstrom” (9 p.m. Jan. 22): Rainn Wilson (“The Office”) stars in this crime procedural as an unhealthy, offensive but brilliant detective, the latest attempt to clone “House.”

“The Last Man on Earth” (9 and 9:30 p.m. March 1): Will Forte stars as the last hope for humanity in an end-of-the-world comedy from the writers of “The Lego Movie.”

“Weird Loners” (9:30 p.m. March 31): Four singletons form a bond in Queens, N.Y., in this comedy starring Becki Newton (“Ugly Betty”), Zachary Knighton (“Happy Endings”) and Nate Torrence (“Hello Ladies”).

Returning: “Masterchef Junior” (8 p.m. Jan. 6), “American Idol XIV” (8 p.m. Jan. 7), “Glee” (8 p.m. Jan. 9), “The Following” (8 p.m. March 2), “Hell’s Kitchen” (8 p.m. March 3), “Bones” (8 p.m. March 26).

NBC

“Allegiance” (10 p.m. Feb. 5, WPXI):
Airing after “The Blacklist,” this spy drama might sound familiar to fans of FX’s “The Americans”: An idealistic CIA analyst (Gavin Stenhouse) learns his parents (Scott Cohen, Hope Davis) are deactivated Soviet spies who have been re-enlisted.

“The Slap” (8 p.m. Feb. 12): An eight-episode “event series” about guests at a party — one of whom slaps a child, leading to threats of legal action. Green Tree native Zachary Quinto (“Star Trek”) stars alongside Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman, Thandie Newton, Melissa George and Thomas Sadoski.

“One Big Happy” (9:30 p.m. March 17): Ellen DeGeneres executive produces this comedy about lesbian Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert, “Happy Endings”) and her best guy friend Luke (Nick Zano, “2 Broke Girls”) who decide to start a nontraditional family. Then Luke falls in love with a British woman (Kelly Brook, “Smallville”) who’s due to return home in a few days just as Lizzy learns she’s pregnant.

“A.D.” (9 p.m. April 5): A sequel to executive producer Mark Burnett’s “The Bible” miniseries on History, this 12-hour follow-up explores the lives of Christ’s followers after his death.

“Odyssey” (10 p.m. April 5): An international conspiracy thriller that brings together a single mother soldier (Anna Friel, “Pushing Daisies”), a former U.S. attorney (Peter Facinelli, “Nurse Jackie”) and a political activist (Jake Robsinon, “The Carrie Diaries”).

Returning: “Celebrity Apprentice” (9 p.m. Jan. 4), “Parks and Recreation” (8 and 8:30 p.m. Jan. 13), “The Blacklist” (after the Super Bowl on Feb. 1 and then moving to 9 p.m. Thursday on Feb. 5), “The Night Shift” (10 p.m. Feb. 23), “Undateable” (9 p.m. March 17).

PBS

Of local interest, the “American Masters”-WQED co-production “August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand” debuts at 9 p.m. Feb. 20 with Viola Davis, Phylicia Rashad and Laurence Fishburne among the theater stars who share stories of the late playwright and Pittsburgh native.

In addition, new installments of “American Experience” explore the creator of Ripley’s Believe It or Not (9 p.m. Jan. 6), the emergence of “Klansville, U.S.A.” (9 p.m. Jan. 13) in North Carolina in the 1960s, and the life of Thomas “Edison” (9 p.m. Jan. 20).

“Masterpiece” introduces new dramas “Grantchester” (10 p.m. Jan. 18), a mystery about a clergyman and cop who team up to fight crime in the 1950s, and “Wolf Hall” (10 p.m. April 5), starring Damian Lewis as Henry VIII in an adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels.

New series include:

“Earth: A New Wild” (9 p.m. Feb. 4):
A conservation scientist explores man’s relationship to the wild.

“The Italian Americans” (9 p.m. Feb. 17, 24): Stanley Tucci narrates this four-hour documentary about the Italian experience in America.

“Cancer: Emperor of all Maladies” (9 p.m. March 30): A three-part, six-hour documentary series directed by Barak Goodman (“Clinton”) and executive produced by Ken Burns.

“Miracle Baby Unit” (8 p.m. March 31): Three-part series about fetal medicine.

“America’s Ballroom Challenge” (9 p.m. April 24): Competition series featuring four major styles of ballroom dancing.

“First Peoples” (10 p.m. April 29): A five-part series on the evolution of early humans.

Returning: “Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey” (9 p.m. Jan. 4), “Antiques Roadshow” (8 p.m. Jan. 5), “Genealogy Roadshow” (8 p.m. Jan. 13), “Shakespeare Uncovered” (9 p.m. Jan. 30), “Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge” (9 p.m. March 20), “Call the Midwife” (8 p.m. March 29).

Series scouting

From Wednesday’s North Huntingdon commissioners’ meeting, Post-Gazette freelancer Anne Cloonan reports that a location scout for the upcoming Sony Pictures Television production of “Outsiders” spoke to the board about the possibility of using Braddock’s Trail Park as a filming location.

In August cable network WGN America announced a straight-to-series order for “Outsiders,” previously titled “Titans,” about the Appalachian Farrell family, who, according to the network, live off the grid and above the law on a mountaintop homestead. The series is created and written by playwright Peter Mattei, who executive produces alongside Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me”) and actor Paul Giamatti (“John Adams”). Thomas M. Wright (“The Bridge”) and Kyle Gallner (“Veronica Mars”) have been cast in “Outsiders” with more casting still to be announced.

A publicist for Sony could not confirm a shooting location for “Outsiders.” Scouting happens before a filming location for a TV show or movie is selected and finalized.

Producers of Cinemax’s “Banshee” also have scouted Western Pennsylvania for the show’s fourth season if it should be renewed after the third season premieres Jan. 9 at 10 p.m. “Banshee” is one of several North Carolina-filmed TV series that are looking for a new filming location after North Carolina legislators gutted the state’s film tax credit program this past summer.

“Banshee” has been set in fictional Banshee, Pa., since it began. A publicist for Cinemax declined to comment.

‘Icetastrophe’ on Syfy

Since “Sharknado” became an unlikely hit, I’m always scanning the Syfy shlock movie titles for the next potential out-of-nowhere sensation. Could it be “Christmas Icetastrophe” (9 p.m. Saturday) starring Victor Webster (“Continuum”) in a thriller Syfy says is about “an explosive wave of ice crystals that threatens to freeze all life on Earth” just before Christmas?

Cappelli pilot airs

Low-power station WEPA, formerly WBGN, will broadcast the unaired pilot for “Frank’s Garage,” a proposed follow-up series to Frank Cappelli’s “Cappelli and Company” that was filmed in 1996 but has never aired.

“Frank’s Garage,” aimed at children 3-8, will air at 11:30 a.m. Sunday through next Friday, Dec. 28-31 and again Jan. 1 and 2.

Channel surfing

Unsurprisingly, Fox has passed on a second season of low-rated mystery “Gracepoint,” but the British series that inspired it, “Broadchurch,” returns for its second season Feb. 4 on BBC America. … Starz ordered a sequel to British import “The Missing” that will follow a new case and new characters over eight episodes that again unfold in two time frames. … That “ADHD” animation block that aired late night Saturday on Fox for about a year before it died in June is now being resurrected on sister network FX. The new block, including “ADHD” holdover “Lucas Bros. Moving Co,” gets a preview at midnight Jan. 1 before moving into its regular Thursdays at midnight slot on Jan. 22. … ABC renewed “The Great Christmas Light Fight” for a third season to air in 2015. … Xfintity on demand customers have access to a Yule Log, as usual, but also a menorah that’s available on demand through Dec. 24. On traditional set-top boxes, yule logs and the menorah are in the music folder under “Yule Log and More.” In X1 homes, select music and scroll down to Yule Log and Holiday Screen Savers.

http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201412190014
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TV Notes
David Fincher Shepherding HBO Comedy About 1980s Music Video Industry
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Dec. 18, 2014

Gone Girl‘s David Fincher is revisiting his days as a music video director with a half-hour project at HBO. Tentatively titled Living On Video, the project — which had been in the works at HBO for months — was written by Rich Wilkes (xXx) and Bob Stevenson, a friend of Fincher’s from his music video days, based on an idea by Fincher, who is expected to direct.

Set in 1983 Los Angeles, Living On Video centers on Bobby, a wide-eyed guy who drops out of college and drives to Hollywood with dreams of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a company making music videos. In the vein of HBO’s Entourage, the series revolves around the players of the then-exploding music video industry — directors, record executives and crew members, many of them dabbling in drugs — through the eyes of the newcomer.

The script for Living On Video has been completed, with preliminary casting underway, though the project has not officially been greenlighted to pilot.

This is the latest HBO project for Fincher, who also has dramas Utopia, based on the British format, and 1950s Los Angeles noir drama Shakedown with James Ellroy.

Among the memorable 1980s music videos Fincher directed before segueing to features was Madonna’s “Express Yourself.” Wilkes is with Verve.

http://deadline.com/2014/12/david-fi...bo-1201329932/
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TV Notes/Q&A
HLN Chief Albie Hecht’s Rebrand Is Going to Blow Up Cable News Biz: It’s Sort of the Informative Side of ‘Daily Show’
By Jordan Chariton, USA Today - Dec. 18, 2014

Earlier this year, HLN—known for years as CNN’s “crime time” sister station, decided it was time for a makeover.

The network announced in February its rebrand as the cable news station built on social media; one that will deliver the news based off what’s pulsing on social media. HLN has gradually tinkered with its lineup throughout the rest of 2014, with bigger changes on the horizon in early 2015 including new shows: “Keywords” hosted by former Olympian Summer Sanders and “Jack Vale: Offline” hosted by the YouTube star.

The network’s seen initial success in 2014, pulling ahead of MSNBC into third place in the total day 24-54 demo in the third quarter. The network’s also reduced it’s median audience age from 58 to 55—no small feat in the world of cable news.

And network President HLN Albie Hecht spoke with TheWrap about turning cable news on its head by making TV the third screen as opposed to the first.

Albie Hecht: This is about redefining news as news you share. It also means where we get our news, so I say to our producers: you have to program this network and this all-screens experience for people who don’t have a TV set, don’t have a magazine, don’t read the newspaper; they’re going to get up, they’re going to look at their phone, they’re going to get their feed or their information. So, what’s on there that they’re going to see that’s relevant to them. That’s how we want to redefine our news. You may be reading the New York Times, but you’re reading it on your phone. So, we’ll attribute it to The New York Times, or BuzzFeed, or HuffPo or whomever published it. So, it’s really about what they share or where they’re getting their news in that sense. The other part is about participation—we’re not the news network, you are. We want our audience to participate, that’s what social demands. They want to like it, they want to share, they want to engage. We want to give them the forum to do that.

Having the audience participate on-air
The CNN guests that you’d normally see, the experts, they’re not going to be on HLN. That’s not the same type of people that will be there. And there will also be people from the street who are just commenting, and have something to add to the conversation—we want to have as many of them on-air as we can. The other part is presenting the news in a different way. News hasn’t been changed in 50 years, right? We’re going to present the news in a different way, with talent that is conversational and social, with an environment that feels more like a start-up meets a coffeehouse; a casual environment with people actually working, and that you’re dropped into the middle of that and you can participate in that. And then the last part of that is building a social news gathering organization that finds and curates the news and finds the tools—the technological tools—to get that on the air in real time.

Treading the fine line between traditional journalism and citizen, social-media reporting
We’re giving a home for new voices that are so powerful, so persuasive, so informative, smart, and funny; that’s what I hope HLN will be. That doesn’t mean we’re abdicating our journalistic responsibility at all. We’ll be vetting stories as we go—the social media community is better and faster at outing a bad story than the vetters we have here. If we can mobilize that community in real-time to help us gather and vet the news all together with the excellent journalistic resources we have at HLN and CNN—that’s a powerful combination.

Who’s the new HLN trying to reach?
18-49, female skewing is going to be our sweet spot. HLN will give the social media community an all screens home for the best social news and lifestyle content. Our competitive advantage is we have a fully-distributed TV network, but we also have a digital and social organization, so we have an all screens place where our community can find our content. BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Vice—all of those are social and digital—but they don’t have a TV network. We’re everywhere: we’re in gas stations, we’re in airports, everywhere CNN is, HLN is. The reach of HLN is enormous. Giving this thriving, creative, noisy community a chance to not only be on social and digital but on television is a unique proposition for us.

Reaching the 18-49, 18-34 age group
All screens is so important. We’re on social, we’re on your phone, we’re on your desktop, we’re on your television set, we’re on your OTT box; that’s why we’re agnostic about where our content is going to be, and we’re going to make specific content for those platforms. Reaching those audiences is going to come through social first; we’re going to reach them where they are. We don’t even have a website for our new original content—we’re only on social. We’re not even on digital, we’re only on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Vine for the first piece of content we’ve put out.

Reversing the production process
We found our voice by making content for social first. Right now, young people aren’t watching a lot of TV and they’re not watching HLN—that’s a pretty big hump to get over. They don’t watch TV, and they don’t even necessarily have cable. Traditional TV makes good TV, then drives them to the website, and puts out a tweet after the show. What we want to do is craft a story for social first—Instagram or YouTube—we want to put it out, collect the best ones on our digital sites, and then we want to push that back to television. Television now is almost our third screen, not our second screen. That’s how we’re looking at it right now. We also don’t want to just push stuff out. We want to have a voice that people come to recognize, “That’s HLN.” Optimistic is the most important word I want people to associate with HLN. That to me is one of the most distinctive pieces we could put out there.

HLN and 2016
I don’t think we’ll be politically agnostic in saying we don’t have an opinion. There will be people on our air that have opinions, point of views; there will be people who express themselves the same way they do on social. I don’t think we’re going to be left or right, like “they’re more Fox or MSNBC.” We’re going to be sort of the informative side of “The Daily Show.” An example: Romney during the debate [2012 presidential debate], said, “I have binders full of women.” Immediately there was a hashtag on Twitter, there were all kinds of Google searches; exactly that kind of conversation that’s going on in real-time is what we’ll be covering. We’re actually reporting on how people feel about the news via social. We’re in real time, we don’t want to wait to hear how people feel the morning after on “Morning Joe,” we want to know what people are saying and feeling in real-time. When you watch the Academy Awards, you want to know what the people you follow are saying about the Red Carpet right now, not hours later.

http://www.thewrap.com/hln-chief-alb...of-daily-show/
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post #98608 of 98737 Old 12-19-2014, 04:07 AM
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TV Notes
Best tube bets this weekend
The top draws on broadcast and cable and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 19, 2013

FRIDAY

Best bet on broadcast
:
CBS, “The Amazing Race” 9 p.m. Season finale. The 25th season wraps up with the remaining teams making their way to Los Angeles.

Best bet on cable:
TNT, “Christmas in Washington” 8 p.m. The Rock hosts the 33rd annual event, with performers including Rita Ora and Aloe Blacc.

Top farewell: CBS, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” 12:35 a.m.
The Scotsman signs off following a nine-year run. He will be replaced in March by James Corden.

SATURDAY

Best bet on broadcast
:
CBS, “NFL Football,” 8:25 p.m. Special Saturday game between San Diego and San Francisco will no doubt dominate the night on broadcast.

Best bet on cable:
Syfy, “Christmas Icetastrophe,” 9 p.m. Could this become the “Sharknado” of the holiday season?

Top sporting event:
ABC, “College Football,” 3:30 p.m. The Las Vegas Bowl between No. 22 Utah and Colorado State.

SUNDAY

Best bet on broadcast
:
ABC, “The Sound of Music,” 8 p.m. A chance to expose the kids to one of the classics with a sing-along version of the 1965 movie.

Best bet on cable:
Showtime, “Homeland” 9 p.m. Season finale. Carrie and Saul return to the U.S. and look into what they learned in Islamabad.

Top sporting event: NBC, “Sunday Night Football,” 8:20 p.m.
Control of the NFC West is on the line between 10-4 Seattle and 11-3 Arizona.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/bes...s-weekend-403/

Last edited by dad1153; 12-19-2014 at 12:05 PM.
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post #98609 of 98737 Old 12-19-2014, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
TV Notes
Best tube bets this weekend
The top draws on broadcast and cable and in sports
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Dec. 19, 2013

FRIDAY
Top sporting event: CBS, “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” 12:35 a.m.
Must really be a sloooow sports night.
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post #98610 of 98737 Old 12-19-2014, 12:06 PM
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Must really be a sloooow sports night.
Or a really sloooow person posted it... AAAGHH! Fixed, thanks.
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