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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 950

post #28471 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerguy View Post

Geesh, all guys in the cast so far? Maybe they could squeeze a female or two into this show. Of course, this is Stargate, which has had precious few female regulars in their shows.

Except for Amanda Tapping's Col. Carter in "SG-1" and Torri Higginson/Rachel Luttrell as Dr. Weir/Teyla in "Atlantis," all three amongst their respective show's leads. The "Stargate" universe is guilty of a lot of things but not having female characters as regulars isn't one of them.
post #28472 of 93716
TV Notes
FNL creator Berg fights for his series
By Andrew Dansby, Houston Chronicle - Jan. 15, 2009

The first time I noticed Peter Berg was in The Last Seduction, a film where his bumbling character is devoured, manipulated and disposed of by Linda Fiorentino's relentlessly cunning con woman. Berg has been acting for more than two decades. Twelve years ago he did some writing and directing for Chicago Hope, the TV drama in which he also starred. Today Berg is better known for his work behind the camera on films such as Hancockand The Kingdom. He got a big break with the film Friday Night Lights, the 2006 adaptation of his cousin H.G. Buzz Bissinger's book about Odessa and the Permian Panther football team. Berg developed the story into a fictional TV show with the same name, which has been beloved by a dedicated few. He talks briefly about the show's future as well as Wonderland, a TV show he began in 2000 that was canceled after one episode. Its eight episodes began airing Wednesday on DirecTV's The 101 Network.

Q: Do you like your odds for a fourth season of Friday Night Lights?

A: I'm optimistic we'll be picked up. But you never know. I'm in a cab in New York right now going to talk to Jeff Zucker (at NBC). It's always a constant battle with Friday Night Lights. We'll have a frank conversation. I could probably give you a better idea in about 20 minutes.

Q: The show always seems to be fighting for survival.

A: Yes, and we'll keep fighting. Every year the actors move out of Austin (the show is shot in Del Valle), and they worry they're not coming back. I love making the phone calls to tell them they're coming back. But it's a competitive time right now, for all shows.

Q: And this one is fairly nuanced, which doesn't help it get noticed.

A: Hey, NBC has Jay Leno now for something like eight hours a day to get in people's faces. They have Howie Mandel and the girls with the briefcases to get in people's faces. We're going to hopefully appeal to the network's desire to have something a bit more subtle.

Q: Do you remember the moment you thought Friday Night Lights could be translated to a fictional TV show?

A: When we were shooting the film there were large chunks of the book that were written and put in the script. But the script was 180 pages; it would've been a four-hour movie. When the film was over, Buzz and I were talking about all the things we couldn't explore, issues of education and racism. The way these communities are organized in complex ways. We felt the show was a great opportunity to go deeper. That all took a back seat once we had these great actors. Once we saw Kyle (Chandler) and Connie (Britton) on screen, we knew it was something entirely different from the book. That became the emotional core of the show.

Q: Wonderland had a rougher ride than even FNL. Are you glad to see it airing finally?

A: Definitely. ABC canceled it after just one episode, telling us it was too intense for their network. It was supposed to be that way.

It's an intense show about a psychiatric hospital in New York. I'm super-thrilled that it's airing. It's a minor miracle, really. It's been frustrating for so long to have this great work that nobody's seen. Now they can see all eight episodes.

We're calling it a miniseries, and the eighth episode wraps up nicely after the first seven.

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/tv/6213911.html
post #28473 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

The facts on the ground beyond the failure of the coupon program are also discouraging, Mr. Podesta said. As we have heard from a number of consumer advocacy groups, the shortfalls in planning for consumer support, education and converter box availability will disproportionately affect the most vulnerable Americanslow-income, disabled, elderly and rural people.

Mr. Podesta is an idiot. I have yet to see ANY issues with CECB availablity. My local Radio Shack has 30, yep, THREE ZERO, CECBs IN STOCK. TODAY. Get more money to the coupon program and let's get on with it on February 17th, NOT June 12th.
post #28474 of 93716
Quote:


I have yet to see ANY issues with CECB availablity. My local Radio Shack has 30, yep, THREE ZERO, CECBs IN STOCK. TODAY. Get more money to the coupon program and let's get on with it on February 17th, NOT June 12th.

Agreed.
Is it just me, or has Foxeng been making more sense lately? (Sorry, couldn't resist. Seriously, I haven't found myself disagreeing with one of your posts in a long, long time.)

-Reagan
post #28475 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Digital Switch Notes
Senate Could Vote Today on DTV-Switch Delay
By Ira Teinowitz, TV Week - January 16, 2009

“Lack of appropriate planning has left many consumers vulnerable,” said John Podesta, co-chair of the transition team, in a letter today to House and Senate leaders. House Democrats on Thursday proposed $650 million more for the coupon program as part of an economic stimulus plan.

In the letter, Mr. Podesta cited problems in the government coupon program for converter boxes as the biggest reason for a delay. The $1.5 billion program provides $40 coupons for converter boxes, but ran out of money early this year, forcing the Department of Commerce to put new requests on a waiting list until existing coupons expire. Coupons expire after 90 days after they are issued.

In today’s letter, Mr. Podesta said that at the current pace the requests are coming in, 6 million coupon requests will be on hold on the day of the transition. He also warned that even if more money is added to the program, coupons won’t arrive in time for Feb. 17.

[/url]

Let me check my math, since it's obviously different than "gooberment" math:

The original program: $1.5 Billion

An estimate 6 million coupons are expected to be on hold come transisition day. Each is worth $40.

So, 6,000,000 x 40 = 240,000,000.

Now, I think an earlier article said something like half the coupons never get used. However, let's be conservative and say 1/4.

So, 1,500,000,000/40 = 37,500,000 coupons. Give 1/4 back from unused ones:

37,500,000/4= 9,375,000.

Now, 240,000,000 - 9,375,000 = $230,625,000

So, why do they need $650,000,000 more? That's almost 3 times the amount that it appears is needed. Are we buying TVs for these folks, too?


- Edited due to the addition of an extra zero....oops....
post #28476 of 93716
Critic's Review
'The United States of Tara'
It's showtime for Showtime
From Aaron Barnhart's Kansas City Star 'TV Barn' Blog - January 16, 2009

HBO or Showtime? For years, the question was not even worth asking. HBO was television's crown jewel, the overachiever of cable, a giant, pulsing entertainment electromagnet that sucked in distinguished actors, classy directors, effusive critics and trophies from every industry awards gala imaginable. HBO was fantastic -- it said so, right there in its own press materials.

And Showtime? It was the lint filter, a moist collection of low-budget smut, boxing matches and UPN-quality "original" productions that from 2000 to 2006 won exactly 10 Emmy Awards, none for a leading actor or best series. (During that same time, HBO took home 161 Emmys, as "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" each claimed the highest honor in its category.)

HBO or Showtime? At a time when household budgets are being squeezed, to subscribe to one of these pay-cable channels is an act not taken lightly.

Like every television critic in the land, I have from time to time written the obligatory "hey, look, Showtime actually has something interesting on" article. However, I've never felt that the sum total of all of Showtime's parts were ever enough to give an HBO subscriber even a mild case of buyer's remorse.

Until now.



With the arrival of "United States of Tara," an addictive comedy about a suburban mom with multiple personalities that debuts Sunday, Showtime may have finally leveled the playing field with HBO.

Set in Overland Park (like you, I've lost track of how many TV series are set in Kansas), "United States of Tara" struts in with a premise so ludicrous that it makes HBO's "Big Love" seem like "Life with Father."

After all, Toni Collette plays not only Tara -- with her two kids, one-woman business and stable marriage to Max (John Corbett) -- but three wildly, irreconcilably different characters all competing to break to the surface.

They are "T," a perpetual teenager and bad influence, crazy about boys and reefer; "Buck," a dude who shoots pool, goes to strip clubs and isn't afraid to use his fists; and "Alice," a perfect housewife who looks like she peeled herself off a 1957 Betty Crocker cookbook.

Now at this point you're thinking: Isn't that what Tracey Ullman does, only with famous people?

There's some of that. Collette has been given a part with Emmy written all over it and she sells, sells, sells it. Alice shows up in her perfect skirt and bakes a perfect cake, putting "Mad Men's" Betty Draper to shame. When her daughter Kate (Brie Larson) drops an F-bomb, Alice literally washes her mouth out with soap.

Now here comes Buck, strolling in, sleeves rolled up, with a menacing look -- or as menacing as Mom in drag is capable of being -- puts out his cigarette in the muffins that Marshall (Keir Gilchrist), Tara's son, made for school and calls him a sissy.

And then there's T, clearly unhappy that as she is stuck with a 40-year-old's body when she's not even half that old.

Over the course of several episodes, it's explained that Tara experienced repeated traumas as a child (what they were is not immediately disclosed). She learned to create compartments where the various slices of her id could roam freely, never bumping into the others.

For years Tara controlled her other personalities through medication, but now she's easing off of them, with unpredictable results. Something happens in Tara's humdrum existence -- she and Kate have an argument, say -- and that triggers a stress reaction ... and a costume change.

These explanations are plausible enough, inside the hermetic bubble that this show has created for itself. It's no different than the rule on "Lost" that you must keep hitting that button or else the world ends -- it's true because the show says it's true. This is not to denigrate the work of researchers into dissociative identity disorder, as multiple-personality syndrome is apparently called these days. It is merely to point out that "United States of Tara" is not a documentary.

But as a comedy, it's surprisingly entertaining. Like when Max's partner at work, played by Patton Oswalt, says, "I envy your sex life. It's like you've got one of those 3-paks of cereal. You get, like, a Froot Loop and a Honey Smack. You just dump the milk in the box and chuck the ones you don't like."

"I'm not chucking any boxes," Max replies. "But I ain't eatin' that much cereal."

To which his incredulous partner says, "How is that even possible?"

But what ultimately kept me watching, through every screener Showtime provided, was this audacious bit of acting from Collette -- letting it all hang out as T or Buck or Alice, and then reeling it all back in to Tara, a woman with a problem and quite possibly, the means to fix it, if she chooses. If you're willing to suspend disbelief about a medical condition you know nothing about, you may find "Tara" irresistible.

So, Showtime or HBO? Well, one critically well-received series (and I'm only one critic) does not a network make. But if I were to devise a sort of index fund of positive reviews -- including not just the shows I like but those that have found broad support among critics -- I believe Showtime would be hitting record highs right now.

Watching "Dexter," a splatter caper starring Michael C. Hall as a serial killer who avenges serial killings, isn't my idea of a way to forget my troubles. But season three, just ended, racked up raves from many of my colleagues. And most of us would agree that "Weeds" remains a strong series for Showtime, having reinvented itself as a sexy outlaw-mom serial that perhaps only Mary-Louise Parker could have carried this far.

True, no one cared when Tracey Ullman took her show from HBO to Showtime. On the other hand, quite a few people have expressed their amazement that HBO would let go "Inside the NFL" -- a commercial-free, fairly low-intensity highlights show using the cinema-quality clips from NFL Films -- and allow Showtime to scoop it up.

Showtime, not HBO, carefully courted Ira Glass and his radio laboratory at Chicago Public Radio and allowed them to reimagine their documentaries in convenient video form. The result, "This American Life," won the Emmy for best nonfiction program and found a way to build a road even higher than HBO's documentary department.

HBO hasn't given us a leap-off-the-screen moment since Tony Soprano and family cut to black. There really hasn't been a series on HBO remotely like "The Sopranos" since "Deadwood." Bill Maher was fantastic, but the election's over. HBO's films division, led by "John Adams," had another stellar season -- but its longtime head just left HBO, right behind Chris Albrecht, who resigned as chairman of HBO following an altercation with his girlfriend.

Showtime? Not HBO? I never thought I would say it. I still haven't said it. Yet.

http://blogs.kansascity.com/tvbarn/2...e-fo.html#more
post #28477 of 93716
Obama should pay attention to what just happened in his birth state.

According to the FCC 53,000 request for the DTV coupon were made in Hawaii, just over 17,000 were redeemed(about a third). Most estimates had between 20-25,000 households in the state as OTA only, so about 3/4th of the population went with the coupons. Yet yesterday all the analog stations went dark yesterday and within an hour press releases went out calling Hawaii's transition a success. By most accounts, other than a few problems hasn't cause any uproar....we survived!

Stick to Feb 17th.
post #28478 of 93716
"The U.S. Senate could vote as early as today to delay the digital TV changeover to June 12." - I found myself here having mixed feelings about this one. As a technology enthusiast, I can't help myself but think that this is BS, that we should move along with the Feb 17th date and get on with our lives. At the same time, June 12th makes SO much more sense:
1- Sweep's over
2- It's early summer - ok, technically, late spring , so it's not -30 in Northern/Central parts of the US, much more reasonable weather for an antenna installer to work outside(if necessary).
3- Even the risk of extreme weather is much less in early June than in mid-February - tornado season is almost over by then, hurricane season isn't in full force, winter storms are out of our way.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that June 12th should have been selected the D-Day from the get-go.
post #28479 of 93716
TCA Press Tour Notes
ABC's McPherson Wants More Sitcoms
By Josef Adalian, TV Week - January 16, 2009

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson said he'd like to expand the network's comedy portfolio by adding more traditional sitcoms to its programming mix.

The network once dominated the comedy space with meat-and-potatoes half-hours such as Roseanne and Home Improvement. But while ABC has had plenty of success with dramas, its only mildly successful comedy in recent years has been the single-camera Samantha Who?

Mr. McPherson, speaking to reporters Friday at ABC's portion of the Television Critics Association's Winter Press Tour, said he's hoping to greenlight several multicamera half-hours when the network picks up its comedy pilots in the next few weeks.

A lot of comedies on the air now are observational, Mr. McPherson said. There's an intimacy missing when the sitcom isn't on the air. I think there's a place for it.

Mr. McPherson said he still enjoys watching repeats of shows such as Seinfeld and Home Improvement, and explained that viewers right now are looking for comfort food to help them through difficult times.

As with all press tour sessions this week, the economy's impact on programming was a key theme of Mr. McPherson's session.

We're in one of the worst economies in 70 years, if not a century, Mr. McPherson said. We're looking at everything we can do to be more effective. We have to look at everything across the board, from cost-cutting to smarter ways to program our network. The world has shifted underneath these businesses. We need to be incredibly bold.

Mr. McPherson also said he was happy about NBC's decision to dump drama programming at 10 p.m. in favor of stripping a Jay Leno comedy show.

It opens up beachfront real estate to less bidders, he said. We're hoping there are viewers who are left behind (by NBC) that we can grab.

With Mr. Leno now no longer a near-term possibility for ABC's late-night schedule, Mr. McPherson said the network once again was discussing the best strategy for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

We're looking at everything. It changes the landscape, he said, adding that moving Mr. Kimmel is still a possibility, as is finding new ways to promote the show in its current timeslot.

A big chunk of Mr. McPherson's session with journalists was dominated by questions regarding the creative direction of ABC's hit Thursday soap opera Grey's Anatomy. The ABC executive tackled critics' concerns head on, hinting that creator Shonda Rhimes was aware of viewers' complaints about the show's controversial Izzie-Denny storyline.

I think shows ebb and flow, especially the kinds of shows we have, he said. Shonda is one of, if not the most, talented women writer out there. I think she's responded to the criticism extremely well.

Mr. McPherson also said that viewers will better understand the Denny-Izzie storyline when the season is over.

On other matters:

Mr. McPherson said definitively that ABC would not be picking up 20th Century Fox TV's King of the Hill. With Fox saying it has no plans to order more episodes, the show may be dead.

ABC's new animated half-hour The Goode Family may not premiere until May, Mr. McPherson said. The network expects to announce the rest of its spring premieres in the next few weeks.

Mr. McPherson said According to Jim is probably (in) its final run. But you never say never. Jim' has been an amazing asset for us.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/01/a..._more_sitc.php
post #28480 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Let me check my math, since it's obviously different than "gooberment" math:

The original program: $1.5 Billion

An estimate 6 million coupons are expected to be on hold come transisition day. Each is worth $40.

So, 6,000,000 x 40 = 240,000,000.

Now, I think an earlier article said something like half the coupons never get used. However, let's be conservative and say 1/4.

So, 1,500,000,000/40 = 375,000,000 coupons. Give 1/4 back from unused ones:

375,000,000/4= 93,750,000.

Now, 240,000,000 - 93,750,000 = $146,250,000

So, why do they need $650,000,000 more? That's almost 5 times the amount that it appears is needed. Are we buying TVs for these folks, too?

Never thought of it - but it makes perfect sense, even when you take into account the $$$ spent with shipping & handling of the coupon requests, and the, if I recall correctly, 1.5Mi used to alert citizens of the analog shut off.
post #28481 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

Let me check my math, since it's obviously different than "gooberment" math:

...

So, 1,500,000,000/40 = 375,000,000 coupons.

Your math is a little different from mine, too....
post #28482 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Digital Switch Notes
Senate Could Vote Today on DTV-Switch Delay
By Ira Teinowitz, TV Week - January 16, 2009

The U.S. Senate could vote as early as today to delay the digital TV changeover to June 12.

Senate staffers said today that because of the limited time before the Feb. 17 transition, the Senate leadership is hoping to short-circuit normal committee procedures and take directly to the floor legislation introduced Thursday by Senate Commerce Committee chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., to delay the switch.

If other senators agree to approve the delay by unanimous consent, a vote could take place as early as today.



http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/01/s...day_on_dtv.php

Wow...

I found no mention of this in yesterday's Record, and when I called Rockefeller's office this morning, they couldn't give me a bill number, because they don't think it has one yet. They said it should be introduced today, and the text should be available online tomorrow.
post #28483 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Your math is a little different from mine, too....

Sorry, I hit an extra 0 on the product there. I'll fix my post and re-verify the rest. Either way, they don't need anywhere close to $650 million.
post #28484 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TCA Press Tour Notes
ABC's McPherson Wants More Sitcoms
By Josef Adalian, TV Week - January 16, 2009

Mr. McPherson also said he was happy about NBC's decision to dump drama programming at 10 p.m. in favor of stripping a Jay Leno comedy show.

It opens up beachfront real estate to less bidders, he said. We're hoping there are viewers who are left behind (by NBC) that we can grab.

With Mr. Leno now no longer a near-term possibility for ABC's late-night schedule, Mr. McPherson said the network once again was discussing the best strategy for Jimmy Kimmel Live.

We're looking at everything. It changes the landscape, he said, adding that moving Mr. Kimmel is still a possibility, as is finding new ways to promote the show in its current timeslot.

http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/01/a..._more_sitc.php

Start by doing the show in HD.
post #28485 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Get more money to the coupon program and let's get on with it on February 17th, NOT June 12th.

Makes too much sense. For that very reason, it won't happen.

I agree with foxeng 100% on keeping the date, and funding the coupons.
post #28486 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Wow...

I found no mention of this in yesterday's Record, and when I called Rockefeller's office this morning, they couldn't give me a bill number, because they don't think it has one yet. They said it should be introduced today, and the text should be available online tomorrow.

Wouldn't it be nice if congress could act this fast...every day?

Maybe it would get quicker funding to my state > county > town so that big huge pothole on my street will get fixed. Think I could get the request run through tomorrow afternoon?
post #28487 of 93716
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mitch Pomerantz (626) 372-5150
American Council of the Blind Announces
Audio Description for the Inauguration

WASHINGTON, January 16, 2009 - The American Council of the Blind (ACB), under the auspices of its new Audio Description Project, proudly announces that, for the first time ever, blind and low vision persons will have access to audio description during three major events surrounding the inauguration of Barack Obama: at the Opening Day Ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, January 18; the Presidential Inaugural Parade on Tuesday, January 20; and the National Prayer Service on Wednesday, January 21. Audio description will allow users of the service to hear concise and vivid descriptions of the visual spectacle at all three events.

In cooperation with ABC-TV, audio description will be broadcast throughout the network's Inauguration Day coverage, marking the first time that a commercial network has provided live audio description access to an inauguration for the benefit of its blind and low vision audience. From 10:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. EST, ABC will make its SAP (Secondary Audio Program) channel available for people who wish to hear descriptions woven into the pauses in its regular audio commentary. (The descriptive audio will only be available when viewers choose the SAP channel audio stream and only on standard definition broadcasts.)

Audio Description uses words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative to convey the visual image from television, film, DVDs, theater, museums and many other settings. "We are honored to be a part of making this historic event accessible to our members and all blind and low vision Americans,"
commented Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind."

For more information on audio description, visit:
www.adinternational.org


About the American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind is a national membership organization. Its members are blind, visually impaired, and fully sighted individuals who are concerned about the dignity and well-being of blind people throughout the nation.

Formed in 1961, the ACB is one of the largest organizations of blind people in the world, with more than 70 state and special-interest affiliates and a nationwide network of chapters and members spanning the globe.

For more information about the American Council of the Blind,
contact: Mitch Pomerantz, President, American Council of the Blind, 2200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201; phone (626) 372-5150 or visit the web site, www.acb.org.
post #28488 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmulvany View Post

Audio Description uses words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative to convey the visual image from television, film, DVDs, theater, museums and many other settings.

While I think this is a great idea, I had to laugh at the above portion. It sounds like something you would get by hiring Robin Williams to do voice-over without a script in front of him...
post #28489 of 93716
TCA Press Tour Notes
ABC aiming for a comedy comeback
Network wants to bring back situation laffers
By Michael Schneider, Variety - January 16, 2009

ABC is looking to reclaim its once-hot comedy brand.

Having struggled with half hours in recent years, the Alphabet is looking at ways to bring back situation comedies in the vein of past hits like "Roseanne" and "Home Improvement."

"That kind of show is missing," ABC Entertainment topper Steve McPherson said Friday at the Alphabet's TV Critics Assn. sesh. "These are tough times and people want more comfort food."

McPherson noted that most of today's half-hour laffers are observation-based setups.

"There's an intimacy missing when the sitcom is nowhere on the air," he said. "People respond to those comedies. I would like to see us get back to a contemporary version (of 'Roseanne' and 'Home Improvement'). There's a real place for that."

Alphabet will take a number of stabs at developing such shows this year. In the larger development picture, McPherson said ABC's large number of midseason bows won't prevent him from picking up as many as 10 comedy and 10 drama pilots - likely the most of any network.

"We're not cutting our R&D," he said. "I believe that's money really well spent. We're not cutting pilots."

Asked about speculation that ABC is about to trim its staff and/or merge its studio and network programming units, McPherson declined comment.

"Rumors are rumors," he said. "Let's deal with the reality of right now."

Earlier in his meet with reporters, McPherson did say that the net was looking at ways to be as cost-concious as possible.

"The world has shifted underneath these businesses," he said. "We have to be incredibly diligent and bold in what we do or we'll be left by the wayside."

McPherson also hinted that a new deal with "Desperate Housewives" creator Marc Cherry is imminent. Pact would keep Cherry as an exec producer on the show, but he'd likely turn his attention to developing new fare.

Exec said the network and studio sat down with Cherry before the holiday to discuss the future of the show and his part in it.

"Luckily for us, he decided we'd keep him on 'Desperate' in some capacity until the end of the show," McPherson said. "He's always said he'll end the show next year, but he realized that I'd probably lock him up and not let him do that. Not only will he be a part of 'Desperate' but he'll develop new material for us. He's got some stuff he's noodling on."

Also at the ABC portion of the tour:

-- McPherson said he was "pleased" with NBC's decision to strip Jay Leno at 10 p.m. next season, and that ABC could benefit from the move.

"It opens up beachfront real estate to less bidders," he said. "10 o'clock is such a coveted slot, talent like to be in that slot... (CBS' Nina Tassler) and I have different brands, so we're both looking at it and excited that there will be viewers left by the wayside that we can grab."

McPherson said he hadn't expected Leno to remain at NBC, but that it allowed ABC to now start discussing the future of "Jimmy Kimmel Live." "It's a changing landscape and we're lookin at everything," he said.

-- ABC will announce the rest of its midseason launches sometime in the next week. Among the bows, McPherson -- who said he wanted to see full cuts of the net's new shows before making final sked decisions - hinted that new animated comedy "The Goode Family" may launch in May.

-- "King of the Hill" won't be coming to ABC, despite rumors to the contrary. McPherson said he had no plans to pick up the animated comedy, which Fox canceled late last year.

-- The fate of "Scrubs" continues to be uncertain, although McPherson hinted that a renewal was unlikely. "I think it would be hard to do the show without Zack (Braff)," he said.

-- It's probably also curtains for "According to Jim": "I think this is probably the final run but you never say never," McPherson said

http://www.variety.com/article/VR111...goryid=14&cs=1
post #28490 of 93716
Critic's Review
'Friday Night Lights' returns to NBC
By Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News - January 16, 2009

The return of Friday Night Lights to NBC for the start of its third season is a chance for hard-core fans (and with this show, is there any other kind?) to catch up with what's going on in the small Texas town of Dillon and with its beloved high school football team, the Panthers.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a DirecTV subscriber, in which case you've probably already watched all 13 episodes. Thanks to a cost-sharing deal between NBC and the subscription satellite TV service, Friday Night Lights' new season has already aired - on DirecTV.

A smart, sophisticated show that has won critical praise and a devoted following but only mediocre ratings is nothing new - let's call it Arrested Development syndrome. The new element to this scenario is a deal that has kept Friday Night Lights in production and on the air when it may have otherwise been canceled. DirecTV agreed to subsidize production costs; in return NBC agreed to give it first-run rights to the show's third season and subsequent seasons if the arrangement is deemed a success.

Here's hoping that the ratings this rich, deep, resonant show deserves finally happen, starting with tonight's premiere. The episode opens with an introductory montage that brings new viewers up to speed and serves as a scrapbook of highlights for fans. Because of producers' admirable insistence on existing in something like real time, things are changing in Dillon and at its high school. Unlike previous TV high school students, the kids of Friday Night Lights are going to grow up and graduate and move on - no 30-year-old "sweathogs" cutting up in class.

So get ready for
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
star running back Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles) and paraplegic quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter)
to exit the show sometime during this season. Writing out central characters, especially ones with so many untapped storytelling possibilities, is hard and almost unheard work, but it's in keeping with this show's dedication to existing in a world that is recognizably like our own. As you watch
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
all the senior-year characters - Matt, Landry, Tyra, Tim and Lyla - working on what their next move is going to be,
you realize how much you're going to miss them when next season comes and it's their time to go.

Given the knife's edge this show has been skirting along, that would be a great problem to have.

http://www.guidelive.com/sharedconte...1.4e92da6.html
post #28491 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reagan View Post

Agreed.
Is it just me, or has Foxeng been making more sense lately? (Sorry, couldn't resist. Seriously, I haven't found myself disagreeing with one of your posts in a long, long time.)

-Reagan

No, you are just coming around to my side!!

Honestly, my position hasn't changed in years. Once a date got set, then let's do it. We ain't getting any younger and my dislike for politician's, of all stripes, is pretty high these days and it has nothing to do with the transition. The transition just re-enforces my feelings about these...uh......"gentlemen."
post #28492 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Review
'Friday Night Lights' returns to NBC
By Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News - January 16, 2009

The return of Friday Night Lights to NBC for the start of its third season is a chance for hard-core fans (and with this show, is there any other kind?) to catch up with what's going on in the small Texas town of Dillon and with its beloved high school football team, the Panthers.

Unless, of course, you happen to be a DirecTV subscriber, in which case you've probably already watched all 13 episodes. Thanks to a cost-sharing deal between NBC and the subscription satellite TV service, Friday Night Lights' new season has already aired – on DirecTV.

A smart, sophisticated show that has won critical praise and a devoted following but only mediocre ratings is nothing new – let's call it Arrested Development syndrome. The new element to this scenario is a deal that has kept Friday Night Lights in production and on the air when it may have otherwise been canceled. DirecTV agreed to subsidize production costs; in return NBC agreed to give it first-run rights to the show's third season and subsequent seasons if the arrangement is deemed a success.

Here's hoping that the ratings this rich, deep, resonant show deserves finally happen, starting with tonight's premiere. The episode opens with an introductory montage that brings new viewers up to speed and serves as a scrapbook of highlights for fans. Because of producers' admirable insistence on existing in something like real time, things are changing in Dillon and at its high school. Unlike previous TV high school students, the kids of Friday Night Lights are going to grow up and graduate and move on – no 30-year-old "sweathogs" cutting up in class.

So get ready for
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
star running back Brian "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles) and paraplegic quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter)
to exit the show sometime during this season. Writing out central characters, especially ones with so many untapped storytelling possibilities, is hard and almost unheard work, but it's in keeping with this show's dedication to existing in a world that is recognizably like our own. As you watch
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
all the senior-year characters – Matt, Landry, Tyra, Tim and Lyla – working on what their next move is going to be,
you realize how much you're going to miss them when next season comes and it's their time to go.

Given the knife's edge this show has been skirting along, that would be a great problem to have.

http://www.guidelive.com/sharedconte...1.4e92da6.html

While I'm happy for FNF fans, I think this oozes of desperation from NBC. If they had anything else worth any ratings at all, they wouldn't even consider it.

However, I'm not sure why Tom (or NBC, for that matter) thinks the show is going to do any better than it did in its original run. If bringing a show back was all it took to get the ratings it wasn't getting before, Fox would have a whole bunker full of candidates and ABC wouldn't be pushing back the final episodes of Pushing Daisies, etc.
post #28493 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles O View Post

Yet yesterday all the analog stations went dark yesterday and within an hour press releases went out calling Hawaii's transition a success.

Except for PBS viewers on parts of the Big Island:

http://www.starbulletin.com/business...V_viewers.html
post #28494 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

While I'm happy for FNF fans, I think this oozes of desperation from NBC. If they had anything else worth any ratings at all, they wouldn't even consider it.

However, I'm not sure why Tom (or NBC, for that matter) thinks the show is going to do any better than it did in its original run. If bringing a show back was all it took to get the ratings it wasn't getting before, Fox would have a whole bunker full of candidates and ABC wouldn't be pushing back the final episodes of Pushing Daisies, etc.

Most low-rated network shows could disappear tomorrow and nobody outside a vocal group of online fans would care. But "FNL," like "Arrested Development" and now "30 Rock" (which will outlast the first two now that it's been renewed for a 4th season), gets by on critical acclaim so vocal and influential it can give 'prestige' to the concept of keeping it on the air as a quality 'loss leader.' It's the one show (along with "30 Rock") in NBC's schedule Silverman and Zucker can point to when the press asks them about disasters like "Momma's Boy" and "Knight Rider" and counter 'who says we don't put quality programming on the air?' This is where some much-needed Emmy and Golden Globe love could have gone a long way to keeping "FNL" alive for a season or two more than the extraordinary three it's gotten so far. By ignoring "FNL" the Emmy voters have basically sentenced the future of the show to the decision of Nielsen voters, whom NBC is trying to get to by the cheapest and most cost-efficient way possible.

Guess what I'm saying to "FNL" fans hoping for the impossible is be grateful you've gotten three seasons' worth of episodes from a show whose ratings merited cancelation before the initial order of 13 episodes from S1 finished airing.
post #28495 of 93716
I haven't seen this posted yet...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Falcon_77 View Post


Senate Republicans block delay in TV transition

http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/200901...v_transition_7
Quote:


WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that would delay the nationwide switch from analog to digital television broadcasts until June 12. But Democrats say they will try again to pass the measure next week.

The bill was defeated even after President-elect Barack Obama on Friday urged Congress to postpone the Feb. 17 transition. There have been mounting concerns that too many Americans who rely on analog TV sets to pick up broadcast channels won't be ready. The federal program that subsidizes converter boxes for such viewers ran out of money this month.

But Senate Republicans fear a delay would cause consumer confusion and deprive public safety agencies of chunks of the airwaves that will be freed by the switchover.
post #28496 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Except for PBS viewers on parts of the Big Island:

http://www.starbulletin.com/business...V_viewers.html

In related news, their shipment of mugs, Peter, Paul and Mary CDs and tote bags for pledge...(season)...arrived safely and on time...
post #28497 of 93716
TCA Press Tour Notes
McPherson plans robust fall development, criticizes Nielsen
From James Hibberd's Hollywood Reporter 'Live Feed' Blog - January 16, 2009

ABC entertainment president Steve McPherson says his network needs to continue taking programming risks despite the economic downturn and plans a robust development slate for the fall.

McPherson told critics at the winter press tour that he plans to shoot 10 comedy and 10 drama pilots for next season.

We have to take swings at the plate, and we still have to be bold, he says, noting the shows that have worked best for the network such as Lost and Desperate Housewives creatively broke new ground. We want to grow our brand and built off the success we have. ... I don't want to do a total departure and do CBS-like shows.

The entertainment president also criticized Nielsen, saying the ratings measurement company doesn't take into account enough forms of viewing (such as bars and hotel rooms).

We're talking about a different world now, he says.It's not just people sitting at a single television at home. ... We have to get as much of that viewership measured as possible. There's a tremendous amount of viewership that no network is counted for.

McPherson said he was pleased about NBC's decision to cede 10 p.m. dramas and air Jay Leno instead.

We think it opens up beachfront real estate to less bidders, he says. For [CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler] and I, we have different brands so we're both looking at it and excited that there are viewers who have been left by the wayside that we can take advantage of.

Critics asked about the fates of Wednesday night dramas Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies, which were knocked prematurely off the schedule last year because of the strike and returned to fatally low ratings.

I really loved the shows, the producers delivered what they promised, he says. For us it was a frustration that we couldn't get a larger audience - or that Nielsen says we couldn't get a larger audience.

McPherson adds that ABC still wants to make remaining episodes of both shows available, though producers were not able to craft satisfying series finales.

We've like to air the ending of those shows, he says. I wish we had been able to give the producers series-ending notice so they could really have a finale.

After the panel, McPherson says the network hopes to put the episodes online.

Mike Judge's unscheduled animated comedy "The Goode Family" is still on track for a midseason rollout, McPherson says, though may debut as late as May. McPherson confirmed ABC will not pick up Judge's last animated series, Fox's canceled "King of the Hill," as a companion.

Asked about the performance of transplanted comedy Scrubs so far, McPherson says he's generally pleased, yet that it's too early to draw any conclusions.

We saw one week with no competition and another week with the biggest competition you can have (American Idol'), he says.

http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/01/abc-tca-.html



McPherson on Brooke Smith's firing

Things get testy post-panel as critics press ABC's entertainment president Steve McPherson about actress Brooke Smith's firing from Grey's Anatomy.

Asked if he's concerned about actors departing Grey's in general and McPherson says it's an absurd question," and he spars with a critic about how many episodes departing actress Melissa George had appeared in this season. When pressed about Smith's firing, McPherson says, the character was not working for us and the relationship was not working for us, and he says Smith's post-firing take on the situation was just an actress [talking] in a manner that was useful to her.

McPherson defends the Grey's storyline where Katherine Heigl's character has a romance with the ghost of her departed lover.

It's not a ghost, as you will learn, he says. When you get to the end of season and see everything she had in mind ... I really like the story line when we heard the show season laid out.

McPherson also emphasizes that the creative quality of Private Practice is improving.

This season Practice' really found the show, he says. We got back to the Addison we knew."

http://www.thrfeed.com/2009/01/mcphe...ith-greys.html
post #28498 of 93716
Quote:
Originally Posted by joblo View Post

Except for PBS viewers on parts of the Big Island:

http://www.starbulletin.com/business...V_viewers.html


PBS Hawaii received only 62 calls yesterday about the switch, despite the snafu on the Big Island.

http://leslienotes.typepad.com/
post #28499 of 93716
TV Notes
Spike Feresten: One Hour, Tomorrow Night
From Verne Gay's Newsday 'Tv Zone' Blog - January 16, 2009

In all the hub-bub - didn't I just use that line? - I almost forgot to tell you about another new show coming up tomorrow: "Talkshow with Spike Feresten," which goes to an hour at 11, now that "MadTV" has been sent to the glue factory.

Spike? You've never watched his show? Tomorrow night is the time, then, or at least Hulu it on Sunday morning.

Here's why: He's gonna call out Jeremy Piven on the show, and tell the world - or at least his few select viewers - that he thinks the whole business with mercury poisoning was..."bull----."

We talked a couple days ago, and here's what he said (and for some viral "Spike," go to that clip below of the lovely lady trying to figure out her digital conversion techniques; it's been an Internet hit...)

"I'm a big 'Entourage' fan and I enjoy Jeremy Piven on the show, but this has rubbed me the wrong way. I feel it's total bull---- and it appears that David Mamet believes that too...[Piven's] lying and my personal opinion is, he went out on stage [for 'Speed the Plow"] and saw a sea of gray-haired ladies in their sixties and thought, 'I'm not gonna get [any sex] here.'"

Of the mercury business, he says, "I have an opinion about that too. In Hollywood, if you have a problem, or don't want to be somewhere...you usually say, 'I've got food poisoning.' Or, 'I can't come to your party, I've got food poisoning.' I've used it myself. That'll get you out of one night, but it won't get you out of a Broadway show, so you've got to up [the ante.]"

That's to mercury poisoning.

By the way, I think Spike's kidding. I'm not sure though. In any event, he did ask Jeremy to come on tomorrow's show. So far, no answer.

And what of his star, 97-year-old Mae Laborde, who got into show business only a few years ago? Says Spike, "I find her a real inspiration to anyone who says, 'I don't know what to do with my life' and they're only 35. She started a new job in one of the toughest careers there is - at age 90."

Watch tomorrow night (or Hulu on Sunday). Spike is a funny guy and so is his show.

http://weblogs.newsday.com/entertain...ur_tomorr.html
post #28500 of 93716
^^^ Here's the digital transition video Verne's talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMeaX...eature=related. You know, after seeing this the people wanting to delay the digital switch may just be right.
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