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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 1344

post #40291 of 93848
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Is clear QAM going to be done away with?

The FCC requires cable companies to send the broadcast channels in clear QAM. That wasn't changed in this ruling.
post #40292 of 93848
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Is clear QAM going to be done away with? Most of the newer TVs have QAM capability in them now, are they going to be virtually useless. I always figured as the cable cos transitioned to digital, that QAM capable TVs would be the replacement for the older cable ready analog sets. Filters are normally applied for the basic basic subs, and the normal expanded customers don't have filters on the lines.

I hope clear QAM dont go away......& that cable companies are forced to convert their Analog to Digital clear QAM....making the existing Digital capable TV usefull....& the small box for those people who have older TVs (offcourse the small box can have additional features like full guide info, premium movies & PPV etc). Lets wait & see how this play out
post #40293 of 93848
Speaking of Deal or No Deal, is it still in production? Is it still airing? Will the contestants get paid if their episode never airs?
post #40294 of 93848
Originally Posted by humdinger70 View Post

Speaking of Deal or No Deal, is it still in production?

Yes, but it has moved from CA to Waterford, CT.
post #40295 of 93848
Originally Posted by RemyM View Post

The FCC requires cable companies to send the broadcast channels in clear QAM. That wasn't changed in this ruling.

I understand that, I'm just wondering why or if the cable companies would rather spend capital or have the customers spend money on set top boxes when the current system would work well with the ever growing QAM capable televisions. I'm just wondering where this is all headed. I'm already hearing that people are losing clear QAM channels and that the plain jane set top boxes being distributed are getting channels that aren't in the clear on their QAM capable equipment.
post #40296 of 93848
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

Is clear QAM going to be done away with? Most of the newer TVs have QAM capability in them now, are they going to be virtually useless. I always figured as the cable cos transitioned to digital, that QAM capable TVs would be the replacement for the older cable ready analog sets. Filters are normally applied for the basic basic subs, and the normal expanded customers don't have filters on the lines.

Filters are only used for analog. Digital is "filtered" by cablecard, but there aren't many TVs with a cablecard slot, so STBs handle the decryption of subscribed channels.
post #40297 of 93848
Originally Posted by grittree View Post

Filters are only used for analog. Digital is "filtered" by cablecard, but there aren't many TVs with a cablecard slot, so STBs handle the decryption of subscribed channels.

The digital is carried over analog, so the filters would still trap the signal like it does today. They can encrypt anything that wouldn't be considered expanded basic(or whatever term the local cable co uses to describe that tier of service).
post #40298 of 93848
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Smoked: Fox tops NBC with 'Kitchen'
Averages a 2.6 in 18-49s, led by Ramsay reality show
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - August 26th, 2009

Hell's Kitchen is really cooking.

A week after posting its highest-rated episode of the season, Kitchen put up its second-best number and boosted Fox ahead of usual Tuesday night leader NBC.

Kitchen averaged a 3.4 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, down just a tick from last week's 3.5.

The Gordon Ramsay reality cooking competition was the night's top-rated program, ahead of NBC's two-hour edition of America's Got Talent, which averaged a 3.0.

That was enough to nudge Fox past NBC for the night, though certainly not by much.

Fox finished first for the night among viewers 18-49 with a 2.6 average overnight rating and an 8 share. NBC was second at 2.5/7, CBS third at 1.9/6, Univision fourth at 1.5/4, ABC fifth at 1.3/4 and CW sixth at 0.3/1.

As a reminder, all ratings are based on live-plus-same-day DVR playback. Seven-day DVR data won't be available for several weeks. Thirty-two percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. Fox led with a 3.4 for Kitchen, followed by CBS with a 1.7 for a repeat of NCIS. NBC was third with a 1.5 for a repeat of Talent, Univision fourth with a 1.2 for El Nombre del Amor, ABC fifth with a 1.1 for a Shaq Vs. rerun and CW sixth with a 0.4 for a repeat of 90210.

NBC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.0 for the first half of a new Talent, while CBS remained second with a 2.5 for Big Brother. Fox was third with a 1.8 for More to Love, and ABC and Univision tied for fourth at 1.7, ABC for a new Shaq and Univision for Mañana Es para Siempre. CW was sixth with a 0.3 for more 90210.

At 10 p.m. NBC was first with a 3.1 for more Talent, with CBS second with a 1.6 for a repeat of The Mentalist. Univision was third with a 1.4 for Aqui y Ahora and ABC fourth with a 1.1 for Primetime.

NBC led the night among households with a 5.9 average overnight rating and a 10 share. CBS was second at 5.2/9, Fox third at 3.5/6, ABC fourth at 2.4/4, Univision fifth at 1.9/3 and CW sixth at 0.6/1.

post #40299 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Thanks for being along for the ride, Reagan!

Originally Posted by Reagan View Post

Congratulations on five years of solid work on HOTP. It's as good today as it was on day one.
post #40300 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Tuesday’s fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings (which include the total viewers and 18-49 demographic estimates in every half hour) have been posted near the top of Ratings News -- the second post in this thread.

post #40301 of 93848
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Sen. Kennedy Evening Specials

From TVNewswer at mediabistro.com

Here is the rundown of specials that will air tonight following Senator Edward Kennedy's passing:

  • At 7pmET, CNN will air the HBO documentary "Teddy in His Own Words," which "chronicles Senator Kennedy's remarkable life from his childhood through his speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention." The two-hour special will be hosted by Campbell Brown
  • NBC will broadcast a special one-hour, live "Nightly News" anchored by Brian Williams in Hyannis Port.
  • CBS will air a one-hour special "Ted Kennedy, The Last Brother" tonight at 8pmET, which will be anchored by Katie Couric and feature footage from the CBS archives including interviews with Lesley Stahl and Gloria Borger.
  • ABC will broadcast a one-hour special called "Remembering Ted Kennedy" anchored by Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson at 10pmET.
  • MSNBC will have a first look at Chris Matthews' "The Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary" at 11pmET, which is still scheduled to air Thursday evening.
Fox News will cover the news during scheduled programming with guests discussing Kennedy. Updates to come as we get them.

post #40302 of 93848
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
Updated Wednesday Network Prime-Time Options

(All shows are in HD unless noted as being in Standard Definition: SD)

9 Crash CourseSD
10 Remembering Ted Kennedy with Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson

Ted Kennedy, The Last Brother": With Katie Couric
9 Criminal Minds (R, November 12, 2008)
10 CSI: NY (R, September 24, 2008)

6:30 (
check local listings) NBC Nightly News coverage of Ted Kennedy with Brian Williams in Hyannisport , Massachusetts (one hour)
8 America’s Got Talent
9 America’s Got Talent (RebeaMcEntire performs)
10 Law & Order: Special Victim’s Unit (R, October 28, 2008)

Bones (R, April 23 )
9 Bones (R, April 30)

Great Performances: Harlem in Montmartre, A black expatriate community forms in Paris' Montmartre district, following the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.
.9:30 PBS: The Previews. A sneak preview of ``The National Parks: America's Best Idea,'' a six-part series from director Ken Burns.
10 Wide Angle: Once Upon a Coup. Mercenary Simon Mann serves time in prison for plotting a coup against the Equatorial Guinea government.

The CW:
8 America’s Next Top Model (R, April 22) SD
9 America’s Next Top Model (R, April 29) SD
post #40303 of 93848
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Imus to Leave RFD-TV

By Brian Stelter, The New York Times, in the “Media Decoder” blog, August 26, 2009

Clearing the way for the Fox Business Network to simulcast his radio show, Don Imus said Wednesday that he was leaving RFD-TV, the rural television network that has shown “Imus in the Morning” for almost two years.

RFD will carry his show for the final time on Friday.

A spokesman said that Mr. Imus’s radio broadcasts “will continue to be produced by WABC Radio in New York and heard on 65 affiliates across the country courtesy of Citadel Broadcasting.”

Mr. Imus is in advanced negotiations with Fox Business, a unit of News Corporation, to simulcast his popular radio program. The deal would bring a big (albeit bruised) name to Fox Business, which has struggled to gain a robust audience since it started nearly two years ago.

Mr. Imus moved to Citadel and RFD in late 2007 after he was fired from his radio syndicator, CBS Radio, and his TV partner, MSNBC. His deal with RFD — a little-known channel for farmers — was set to end three years from now.

Patrick Gottsch, the founder of RFD, did not respond to interview requests. Earlier this month his lawyer said he had declined to comment on the reports that Mr. Imus was preparing to leave his

post #40304 of 93848
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Networks Schedule Tributes to Kennedy

By Brian Stelter, The New York Times, in the “Media Decoder” blog, August 26, 2009

At least two networks will broadcast hour-long memorials to Senator Edward M. Kennedy in prime time on Wednesday.

CBS said that it would show a special report, “Ted Kennedy, The Last Brother,” at 8 p.m. Anchored by Katie Couric, the program will include excerpts of interviews and “candid moments captured over the last 40 years.”

ABC said that it would show a one-hour special, “Remembering Ted Kennedy,” at 10 p.m. It will be anchored by Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer.

NBC did not immediately schedule a prime time special, but said that its local stations would be able to broadcast a one-hour edition of “NBC Nightly News.” The anchor Brian Williams will be live in Hyannis Port, Mass.

NBC’s cable news channel, MSNBC, has covered Mr. Kennedy’s death virtually without commercial interruption since early Wednesday morning. MSNBC will show a documentary hosted by Chris Matthews, “The Kennedy Brothers: A Hardball Documentary,” at 11 p.m.

CNN said it would telecast “Teddy: In His Own Words,” a documentary produced by its sister network HBO, at 7 p.m. The two-hour documentary, which had its premiere in July, was “culled from past commentary, speeches and public and private sources,” HBO said.

On radio, National Public Radio said it would “explore Kennedy’s life” in a special report hosted by Linda Wertheimer at 7 p.m.

Politico and TVNewser note that ABC News was the first outlet to report Mr. Kennedy’s death shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday. Wall-to-wall cable news channel coverage quickly commenced.

post #40305 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Late Night Nielsen Notes
Golf Scores With Solheim Cup Coverage
Network Holes Highest Sunday Ratings With Biennial Women's Event
By Mike Reynolds -- Multichannel News, 8/26/2009

Golf Channel, like the U.S. team, concluded its exclusive coverage of The Solheim Cup Sunday on a high.
The network scored its highest-ever rating for the final day of the biennial event, held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. with a 0.93 mark, trebling its 0.27 average from its coverage in 2007, according to Nielsen Media Research data. That translated into 956,000 viewers on average.

The Aug. 23 rating also exceeded the 0.62 Sunday average in 2005, the previous time it was held on U.S. soil.
The U.S. team won the Solheim Cup for the third straight time, defeating Europe 16-12, as the teams were tied at 8, entering Sunday's singles matches.

The opening day of the team competition on Aug. 21 holed a 0.32 average, the second-highest Friday rating on television for a LPGA Tour event this year, while Saturday's matches - encompassing 12 hours that represented the longest continuous Golf tournament telecast ever - averaged a 0.60, topping same-day ratings from both 2005 and 2007, according to network officials.

The coverage marked both the first time Golf aired the Solheim Cup in HD and the first time the network's Live From news franchise covered a women's event.

post #40306 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Weekly Cable Nielsens
Total Day Average Viewers (Live+SD)
Week Ending August 23, 2009
(In thousands)

1 NICK 2168
2 DISNEY 1810
3 USA 1536
5 TNT 1253
6 FOX NEWS 1204
8 CARTOON 1087
9 ESPN 996
10 TBS 938
12 A & E 735
13 FOOD 730
14 TRU 727
15 HGTV 683
16 FX 706
18 FAMILY 658
19 HISTORY 636

post #40307 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Weekly Cable Nielsens
Prime-time 18-49 Demo Viewers (Live+SD)
Week Ending August 23, 2009
(In thousands)

1 USA 3417
2 DISNEY 2716
3 ESPN 2586
4 TNT 2513
7 TBS 1610
9 A & E 1447
10 HGTV 1400
11 FAMILY 1359
12 SYFY 1302
13 FX 1212
14 FOOD 1179
15 TRU 1148
16 CARTOON 1135
17 HISTORY 1128
18 TLC 1114
20 AMC 1077


Source: TVByTheNumbers.com and Nielsen Media Research data
post #40308 of 93848
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Fox 'fesses up to 'Snakes on a Cane'

By James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter senior reporter, in his LiveFeed blog, August 26, 2009

"Snakes on a cane." Sound familiar?

Perhaps you've seen the flashes of a caduceus employing a cane instead of a staff while watching commercial breaks on Fox. Or seen the symbol drawn with chalk on New York streets. Or even clicked through to the phrase's cryptic Web site.

Fox is set to announce what many who've spied the symbol already suspect: It's been a summerlong guerrilla marketing promotion for Season 6 of "House" in the fall.

Yet few would guess that the idea came from "House" star Hugh Laurie.

In the spring, the actor sketched the symbol and showed it to the network, whose marketing department ran with the idea as an innovative teaser campaign.

"Teaser campaigns are usually reserved for Year 1 shows," Joe Earley, Fox's executive vp marketing and communications. "Rarely would you do something like this for a show that's already established."

"House" is set to return Sept. 21 and likely will continue its reign as the network's highest-rated drama. Usually networks reserve their most creative marketing efforts for new shows, but Fox elected to buck tradition to promote its veteran hit. But with competitors launching three new medical dramas this season, "House" could benefit from some extra attention.

The first part of the campaign just spread the symbol without any context. The second phase added a countdown clock to the "House" premiere date on the campaign's Web site and five-second "subliminal" ads during Fox programming, while remaining cryptic and not directly showing a connection to "House." One ad was a full-page placement in a major publication without a title or tune-in date.

Online viewers have made myriad guesses about the symbol -- from being something related to the president's health care plan to a campaign for a new movie.

"We were really able to hit a wide range of people," Earley said. " 'House' doesn't need a teaser campaign, but given how brilliant it is, it's intrigued people in a new way."

The crucial part is making sure that viewers make the connection between the teaser "snakes on a cane" imagery and "House." So Fox is set to ramp up the next phase of its campaign: In addition to ads on the air and off, the network will have a vintage ambulance driving around Los Angeles with the symbol and tune-in information for the show.

post #40309 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Cable Nielsen Notes
Most-watched summer ever;

'Royal Pains' tops list
By James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter senior reporter, in his LiveFeed blog, August 26, 2009

Though you wouldn't know it from following broadcast ratings, summer TV viewing is at an all-time high this year.

According to a Turner ratings report, the average person watched 32.2 hours of TV per week this summer, up just a fraction compared to last year, with cable networks pushing the gains.

Here are a bunch of Top 10 lists tracking the most popular cable networks and shows this summer:

Ad-Supported Cable's Top 10 New Original Series among Viewers
1. Royal Pains (USA) 7,151,000
2. Warehouse 13 (SyFy) 3,967,000
3. HawthoRNe (TNT) 3,893,000
4. Dark Blue (TNT) 3,398,000
5. Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime) 3,047,000
6. Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (TBS) 2,911,000
7. Real Housewives of New Jersey (Bravo) 2,773,000
8. Cake Boss (TLC) 2,297,000
9. Make It or Break It (ABC Family) 2,229,000
10. Pawn Star$ (History Channel) 2,178,000

Ad-Supported Cable's Top 10 Returning Original Series among Viewers

1. The Closer (TNT) 7,852,000
2. Burn Notice (USA) 7,677,000
3. Monk (USA) 5,556,000
4. In Plain Sight (USA) 5,109,000
5. Law & Order: Criminal Intent (USA) 4,591,000
6. Psych (USA) 4,467,000
7. Deadliest Catch (Discovery) 4,316,000
8. Army Wives (Lifetime) 4,280,000
9. Leverage (TNT) 4,125,000
10. The Next Food Network Star (Food Network) 3,692,000

Top 10 Ad-Supported Cable Networks among Viewers -- Primetime

USA 3,571,000
2. TNT 2,435,000
3. Fox News 2,157,000
4. Nick at Nite 1,780,000
5. TBS 1,592,000
6. ESPN 1,410,000
7. ABC Family 1,400,000
8. Discovery 1,353,000
9. FX 1,318,000
10. HGTV 1,265,000

Top 10 Ad-Supported Cable Networks among Viewers
Total Day

1. Nickelodeon 2,274,000
2. Nick at Nite 1,606,000
3. USA 1,558,000
4. TNT 1,304,000
5. Adult Swim 1,194,000
6. Fox News 1,154,000
7. Cartoon Network 1,051,000
8. TBS 878,000
9. ESPN 764,000
10. Discovery 754,000

Ad-Supported Cable's Top Original Series in Time-Shifted Growth among Viewers

1. Top Chef Masters (Bravo) +69% when comparing Live to Live + 7 delivery
2. Tori & Dean: Home (Oxygen) +66%
3. Rescue Me (FX) +63%
4. Eureka (FX) +60%
5. Psych (USA) +53%
6. 10 Things I Hate About You (ABC Family) +52%
6. Leverage (TNT) +52%
8. In Plain Sight (USA) +49%
9. Deadliest Catch (Discovery) +47%
10. Burn Notice (USA) +46%
10. Warehouse 13 (SyFy) +46%

(You can tell Turner assembled this list because they're the only ones out there spelling its new hit series "HawthoRNe.")

post #40310 of 93848
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

I had never heard of her until this post. She is a what I call a "real broadcast hero" and trailblazer and 95% of the broadcast industry doesn't even know she existed and doesn't even realize that many wouldn't have a job in the business if it hadn't been for her. That is a shame.


AUGUST 26, 2009 Wanda Ramey: 1924 - 2009

TV's 'Woman on the Beat' Broke Newsroom Barriers


She was an experienced broadcaster when she took a job as one of the nation's first female local news anchors in 1959, yet Wanda Ramey was billed as KPIX-TV in San Francisco's "Girl on the Beat."

Ms. Ramey, who died Aug. 15 at the age of 89, had been on the air for more than a decade by the time "Noon News" had its debut. She specialized in reporting from the scene at a time when newscasts were conducted mostly from the studio. She rode along on a night police patrol in a high-crime zone, peered into the exotic haunts of a Beatnik from Greenwich Village, and reported on the construction of San Francisco's latest high-rise from inside the emerging building's skeleton.

Within a year Ms. Ramey's hard-news leanings led to a different slogan: "The Woman on the Beat."

"People sometimes mistook her soft manner and didn't notice that she had a steel back," says Belva Davis, a veteran Bay Area broadcaster who counts Ms. Ramey as a mentor.

Wanda Ramey interviews Ronald Reagan in 1966, the year he was elected governor of California.
On "Noon News," she was paired with a male anchor, John Weston.

"John led the newscasts with the biggest stories," Ms. Ramey told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1990. "In those days we didn't think of equality."

Earlier in her career, she worked at several Bay Area radio and television stations. Her reporting then was aimed primarily at homemakers, with features like "The Woman Behind the Man," in which she interviewed the wives of famous men.

Ms. Ramey was determined to be on the air from her student days at Indiana State Teacher's College, where she majored in radio while hosting a children's show called "Story Princess of the Music Box." She moved to Oakland, Calif., after graduating in 1945, and was hired as an interviewer at radio station KROW.

There, Ms. Ramey was part of an illustrious broadcasting team that included Rod McKuen, Art Linkletter and Ralph Edwards, creator of "This Is Your Life." Also employed at the station was a writer named Phyllis Diller. The two young women shared an office and became friends.

Ms. Diller says that when she started out as a stand-up comic, Ms. Ramey bought Ms. Diller a dress for her opening night at the Purple Onion, a local nightclub. "She went on her Sunday TV interview show and told viewers there was a new comic in town who would break all the records," Ms. Diller says. "She took a stack of records in her hand and broke them right there on the set."

On New Year's Eve of 1960, Ms. Ramey filmed a report about inmates at California's San Quentin State Prison. The story kicked off a lengthy relationship with the prison community. Ms. Ramey helped to create SQTV, a close-circuit network that still exists at the prison. Ms. Ramey and her husband, Richard Queirolo, a part-time cameraman, helped train inmates in production skills. Eventually dubbed an "honorary inmate" by some of the prisoners, she once brought Ms. Diller with her to San Quentin to perform stand-up comedy. The inmates presented Ms. Diller with a giant wooden "key to the prison."

Ms. Ramey was especially interested in helping the inmates make movies about their experiences while incarcerated, recalls Rick Cluchey, a former San Quentin inmate. His play "The Cage," a stark depiction of prison life, was filmed on cameras provided by Ms. Ramey and her husband and broadcast on public television shortly after Mr. Cluchey was released, in 1966. He subsequently toured the U.S. with a theatrical production of "The Cage" starring ex-convicts, and later became known for his productions of Samuel Beckett works.

Says Mr. Cluchey, "I don't know if people understand how important it is for people of substance to come to the disenfranchised and broken down."

Ms. Ramey left her anchor's post in 1967 to take a position with National Educational Television, the precursor to PBS. She worked in the 1970s as California correspondent for Voice of America.

"[It] was an innovation to have a woman as a straight-out newscaster," Ms. Ramey recalled of her early years at KPIX, in an interview recorded at the University of San Francisco in 2000. It was natural for her to do hard news, she added, and not be "relegated to home hints and recipes."

Email remembrances@wsj.com
post #40311 of 93848
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

10. Warehouse 13 (SyFy) +46%[/size][/font][/b]

(You can tell Turner assembled this list because they're the only ones out there spelling its new hit series "HawthoRNe.")

They screwed up Syfy.
post #40312 of 93848
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

cable nielsen notes
most-watched summer ever;

'royal pains' tops list
by james hibberd, the hollywood reporter senior reporter, in his livefeed blog, august 26, 2009

according to a turner ratings report, the average person watched 32.2 hours of tv per week this summer, up just a fraction compared to last year, with cable networks pushing the gains.


Apparently, for the money I spend on television programming, services, and equipment, I am not nearly as devoted as the average person.
post #40313 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Nice to see the Wall Street Journal is only a few days behind, Larry!
post #40314 of 93848
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notes
“Caprica” start date

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune tweets that “Caprica” gets its Syfy premiere on January 22nd.

Wow shes late....i posted that here July 24:

"Syfy sets 'Caprica' premiere-
The new series, whose pilot has already had its home video debut, will hit the air Friday, Jan. 22 at 9 p.m., with its two-hour opener."


EDIT: she just tweeted we landed on the moon !!
post #40315 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Ask Matt
Can TV Handle a Musical Like Glee?
By Matt Roush, TV Guide Senior Critic, August 26, 2009

Send all questions to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com and follow me at twitter.com/roushTVGuideMag

Question: As a theater student with an eye for musicals, I have taken an interest in how U.S. prime-time TV has been implementing song and dance into its scripted programming in recent times. I was wondering if you could weigh in on Glee within that context. If memory serves, certain TV shows with enough quirk have been able to pull off having characters on occasion jump into song, whether they be the neurotic lawyers in Ally McBeal or Olive Snook bursting into yet another Broadway classic on Pushing Daisies. Then other shows with such wit were able to execute an entire musical episode, as it were, such as Buffy or Scrubs. Obviously such execution is dependant on the tone of the show. Even Eli Stonewhich had musical numbers on a weekly basis and cleverly used music as a plot motif primarily for comic effectwas a drama first and a musical second. But what happens when it's the other way around? I had never seen Viva Laughlin, but it's quite obvious that whatever formula it was following failed. Now we have Glee. After having watched the pilot, I am between minds. Music and song here is implemented as a vehicle for these characters, who are in a struggle for individual achievement and glory. Like Eli Stone, music here is a plot device, not a genre. Yet any claim for realism here is threatened, not by the singing and dancing, but rather by Ryan Murphy's script. Murphy always sets out to shock his audience, and his stunts do nothing but harm the show's efforts to deliver an authentic tale of youthful glory and failure. Instead of what could be something like Friday Night Lights with song instead of football, we have a show seizuring with enough hysterical antics and outrage that the characters might as well be as shallow and clichéd as if they were on a musical. What is your take?Chris

Matt Roush: I look at Glee first and foremost as a musical comedy, not a comedy with music or however you seem to be parsing things. And who says characters in a musical needs be shallow and clichéd? Having seen two episodes beyond the pilot, I'm pretty confident in saying this show is a complete original, which is both exhilarating and terrifying, because network TV doesn't always treat its unique gems kindly (though Fox is going all out to support this one so far). The tone of Glee is extreme to the max, and not only during the musical sequences. Ryan Murphy is not a master of subtlety, to put it mildly. The show is wildly funny, quite often cruel, and not afraid to go dark and bizarre in its melodramatic twists. And then just when you least expect it, a scene and a performance can just rip your heart out with its raw emotion. So how does Glee fit into TV's history of mixing musical with dramatic content? Right now, I'd like to say it's writing its own distinct chapter. Whatever happens, it's going to be a milestone of some sort. I'm hoping for the best.

Question: I completely agree with your assessment of the Aug. 16 episode of True Blood as transcendent. I finally figured out what was slightly off about the show previously. I don't consider Bill to be the hero of the story. His bravado often rings untrue and feels forced (and not in a way that enriches the show). However, I finally realized in that episode that I feel more for Eric than I do Bill. Adding to that thought pattern, I like Sookie more when she is around Eric as well. It's like when she is with Bill she is whiny and clingy, but with Eric he sees more in her and doesn't let her hide behind him (though he does seem protective as well). I really feel that the series really started fresh that Sunday. I've enjoyed True Blood so far, but in that episode it became appointment television. I can't wait to see where they bring us next and I'm officially adding my name to the less Bill/Sookie makes this show so much better bandwagon. The characters don't bring out the best out of each other. They are a bit like white noise for me. There, but never something that I enjoy or find compelling. What do you think about the Bill/Sookie relationship, Matt?Micha W

Matt Roush: Well, thanks for stirring this hornet's next up. Few things get fans more riled up than taking sides in the relationship game. (This one being more complicated by the real-life romance between Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer, I suppose.) That said, I don't think there's any question that this season has presented Eric in the more appealing light, even when he's being appalling. When I liken him to charming bad-boy Spike on Buffy, I mean that as a very good thing indeed. Sookie is clearly drawn to him, against her will perhaps, but even in the wake of his grief over Godric's sacrifice, Eric comes off (in lighting and makeup as well as attitude) as a more attractive, more confident and happier-in-his-own-skin vamp than Bill. Whatever happensand I have no idea how closely the next seasons will follow the book series (I'm guessing not too slavishly)Bill will always be there for Sookie as her first love and she will always be the love of his afterlife. But I can't imagine many fans would object if Sookie and Eric took it to the next level, and soon. It's a great triangle, and I imagine the series will milk it (as the books have) for a long time to come.

Question: You know that really annoying high-school couple that would break up, get back together, break up, get back together, etc? You feel like taking them aside and saying, Give it up already. It's not going to happen. Find someone new. I feel like if that couple was a TV show, it would be Heroes. All I ever hear about Heroes is It's going to be better this time! The second part of season two well, season three you know, season four is just going to be great! The problem is I don't care any more. I stuck with the show the first two seasons and kept up with what's happening in season three online. And it seems to me that the characters that I fell in love with in season one just aren't there anymore. They made leaps and bounds in character development that didn't always make sense, and I just don't recognize them anymore. With all the other good TV out there, I have neither the energy nor the desire to try to come back. I think I wouldn't care so much except we've lost so much good TV (Pushing Daisies, Eli Stone, Samantha Who?). And I know all my examples were on ABC, not NBC. However, the fact that I was sweating bullets over Chuck while Heroes was given the all-clear just really made me mad. I know Heroes was really big in season one, but is there really a chance that it could come back? Chuck has so much potential, while I feel like they're beating a dead horse with Heroes. So NBC, maybe it's time to break up with Heroes and find someone new. Chuck could use some lovin'.Lindlee

Matt Roush: I'd like to think this season will be Heroes' last chance to redeem itself. Not to prejudge, but it has a lot of ground to cover to make up for the mess of the last few seasons. NBC has already dropped the ball with the delightful Chuck by keeping it for way too long in the too-early Monday time period that limited its exposure, and now it's being kept off the air until after the Winter Olympics (unless NBC's schedule falls apart and it's called back into duty, but that's getting ahead of things). I agree that NBC's devotion to Heroes at the expense of Chuck is lamentable, but I can also see why NBC likes the idea of having Heroes on its schedule with its comic-book tone and easily promotable characters. Too bad it isn't a better show. If they had put the same muscle behind Chuck, selling its adorable leads and the fun of its spy capers, it might have had a commercial hit on its hands. For now, it's still very much the undeserving underdog.

Question: I thought that Dexter was coming back to CBS. What happened? I only have basic cable so I can only see it on CBS. Dexter is certainly a different kind of show, especially on a broadcast network. Even though it had gruesome topics, it is tastefully done. I hope it comes back. I know it's the repeat of the Showtime series, but it was interesting.Caroline

Matt Roush: CBS and Showtime are corporate cousins, but they're not going to share Dexter again. The rebroadcast of the first season on CBS was a one-time thing, and partially a consequence of the writers' strike opening up a hole on CBS's schedule. The subsequent seasons are all available on DVD, so you might want to rent themalthough be forewarned that without the editing that was done for broadcast, you might find the show a little less tastefully done. But season two in particular was amazing.

Question: Thanks for recommending the wonderful BBC America series Being Human. BBCA isn't part of my cable package, so I was happy to be able to see the episodes via video on demand. I don't normally go for monster shows, but the fact that these three supernaturals strive to be human in spite of their very un-human elements really engaged me. It doesn't hurt that the three leads are very appealing actors. While I haven't seen Aidan Turner in anything before, I liked Russell Tovey in Little Dorrit and a Miss Marple episode, and Lenora Critchlow in Sugar Rush. There is comedy and darkness in almost equal measure and blended in a satisfying way. I particularly enjoyed the werewolf and ghost mentors who show up to counsel their newbie counterparts with practical coping skills. I noted from TV Guide Magazine that there will be only six episodes total for this show. Six episodes isn't enough! I want more. Is there any chance of that? In a summer of erratic on-demand availability of my other favorite cable shows, Being Human has been a real winner consistently delivered. These appealing supernaturals deserve more stories.Frank

Matt Roush: And you'll get more stories. Just can't say when. A second season of Being Human is in the works, but BBCA hasn't announced an air date or how many episodes to expect. British series tend to produce a considerably smaller number of episodes per season than the U.S. networks, but I agree that even so, six was not enough where Being Human was concerned.

Question: It's getting to that time of year where my TV schedule is loaded full of shows, some of which are going to make it and some won't. So help me out: Which of the season's new shows should I be watching? Also, are there any shows entering their second seasons that I should pick up (The Mentalist, Lie to Me)?Matt

Matt Roush: All of this really depends on where your interests lie. If you're a fan of crime procedurals, I'd definitely give The Mentalist a shot. Simon Baker is charming and the show is great fun. I'd also give Lie to Me a look in its second season. With Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) now running the show, it may spin off in some intriguing new directions. As for the new season, as I've noted before, my short list of shows to watch is heavier on comedy (Glee, Modern Family, Community, maybe The Middle) than drama: The Good Wife, FlashForward, V in November, maybe The Vampire Diaries and Eastwick, and for now, the under-construction The Forgotten is a complete unknown. Let me use this question as an excuse to plug our annual Fall Preview issue, which hits stands next week.

Question: So I'm really enjoying Warehouse 13. It's a blast!! My problem is their new character addition, Claudia. She ruins every scene she's in!! I think the way they brought her aboard just didn't make sense. Artie doesn't need her! I know it's only been a couple of episodes, but I think they are making a mistake bringing her on as part of the team. I'm very happy to hear how well this show is doing and that it has been renewed, but they need to get rid of this character! Why fix it when it ain't broke? Your thoughts?Connie L

Matt Roush: I get what you're saying. The character doesn't feel particularly organic to the show, more like a reaction to meddling from some corner that wanted to add another youthful cast member to bounce off Saul Rubinek, who's great fun but obviously no spring chicken. From what I gather, she's not going anywhere. Her arrival hasn't dented the show's ratings, which keep going up, so you're probably just going to have to get used to her.

Question: Any thoughts on Patrick Swayze's exclusion from the Emmy nominations? Given the expanded nominations and his amazing work in The Beast under extraordinary circumstances, I thought he was definitely in the running this year and was disappointed that he was not recognized.Heidi

Matt Roush: There's no doubt that whatever one thought of The Beast, Patrick Swayze's dedication to seeing the first (and only) season through despite his illness was a heroic effort. But the lead actor in a drama category has generally been one of the toughest Emmy categories to break into, and this year is no exception. If Swayze had made the cut, it would most likely have been regarded as a sentimental nod. The show was not all that well received critically and didn't do particularly well, either, which are both handicaps for earning Emmy buzz. So I wasn't personally surprised when he wasn't nominated.

Question: I have a theory. The shorter the time between first and second seasons of a show, the better it does in ratings. Take True Blood and Damages, for example. We know how well True Blood's ratings are doing, with the second season premiering roughly nine months after the first season began. With Damages, however, we had to wait about 18 months! Damages is obviously a lot more intricate (or confusing) than other shows, but it seems like the buzz really died down for season two. I think this also ties into the writers' strike, where Pushing Daisies, among others, had its season cut short, meaning a long hiatus. Your thoughts?Brody

Matt Roush: You're right that the second season of Damages was delayed more than usual by the writers' strike, and that True Blood may have benefited by a shorter-than-the-HBO-norm pause between seasons. (It premiered last fall, but was successfully rescheduled as a summer series this year.) The long hiatus between seasons for Damages didn't help, but the show was never exactly a ratings hit for FX, and my own take on the second season was that while it started strong, it didn't really sustain the mystery the way the excellent first season did. True Blood is a runaway hit, and probably would have been regardless of when these episodes aired. Damages, despite some great performances, is probably always going to be a tougher sell, especially to the FX audience, which tends to prefer a more pulp sensibility to its adult melodramas.

Question: Couldn't agree with you more about the great shows of summer. The Closer was the best season ever. And that says a lot. Not too happy that I have to wait until SPRING (!!!) for In Plain Sight to return. And PLEASE give Jeremy Renner of the canceled show The Unusuals a job.Dorothy

Matt Roush: I'm going to miss my fave summer shows, too. But since you singled him out, I hope you were able to catch Jeremy Renner in the riveting war movie The Hurt Locker. After his performance in that nail-biter, I imagine movie and TV producers will be clamoring for him.

Question: Is there any chance television will be fun, interesting and watchable again?. All I see on TV is some form of law enforcement, doctors, reality, and a lawyer here and there. TV, network TV, is incredibly boring. All these shows look the same, feel the same, and always have to be "edgy." How "edgy" can they be when it seems every show is doing the same thing? The creativity is not there. The diversity is not there. The fun is not there. I am going back more and more to older shows and shows I grew up on in the '80s, or from the great, long-gone WB. It's pretty sad when 20-to-25-year-old shows seem fresh and more exciting and interesting than modern television. This is probably the worst period of TV I have witnessed in my life.Barry

Matt Roush: While I agree there's a lot of formula TV out there, that's pretty much always been the case, so I can't really buy your argument. Not when I've lately been watching shows with the richness and variety of Mad Men, True Blood, Nurse Jackie and Rescue Me just this summer, and disregarding the fall for a moment, have new seasons of 24 and Lost among many others to look forward to after the new year. I'm also not a reality snob, at least when it comes to well-produced competition shows like Top Chef and Project Runway, which came back strong this month. And with shows like Friday Night Lights somehow surviving and the new Glee on the horizon, which certainly defy the conventional norm, I'm not giving up hope just yet. Since you brought up the WB, I will concede the point that what's missing on TV right now is the type of show that defined that network at its best: dramas with heart and soul and wit, like Felicity and Gilmore Girls, as well as bold cult sensations like Buffy and Angel (although Supernatural and Smallville, which started on the WB pre-merger, carry on that tradition very nicely). Keep an eye out for the CW's midseason dramedy, Life UneXpected, which evokes the old WB vibe better than anything I've seen the last few seasons. My biggest complaint with network TV these days is the shortage of truly funny populist comedy, but I'm hoping with ABC getting back in the game this fall, that trend can reverse itself. I guess what it boils down to is that if you want to bemoan the fact that this is the worst time ever for TV, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

Question: I recently got the first four seasons of House and have been devouring them. I just finished the first season and am about to start the second. I watched all of last season and enjoyed it, but frankly, the earlier seasons from what I've seen are far superior, and I'm pretty sure it's due to the team. I know this has been debated to death, but is replacing two members of the team with three other people really the best thing for the show? On the one hand, fresh blood can be a good thing, but if the fresh blood doesn't live up to the new blood, is it really worth bringing in? I know that the writers at the time didn't know for sure who the final people would be, but even so, Taub reminds me of a grumpy old man, Kutner as someone who was a little too aware of just how smart he was, and Thirteen...well, enough's been said on that. Even Foreman seems to have lost his edge. Is there something to be said here for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" And is this really something Jennifer Morrison and Jesse Spencer are happy with? Getting massive amounts of screen time cut can't feel good. Sure, they're getting paid more than the new team members, but high amounts of money didn't stop T.R. Knight from leaving Grey's Anatomy after he got such little screen time. I just can't help but feel that they'll soon say "Enough's enough" and leave. Am I onto something here, or just paranoid?Joel T

Matt Roush: From all reports, Chase and Cameron will be much more visible this season, which is a good thing. When we can look back with some distance at House when it eventually ends its run (no time soon, let's hope), I think the consensus will be that shaking up the team the way it did was too drastic a change coming too soon in the show's run. It has yet to recover from this, but I'm hoping this season will be a step in the right direction. (P.S.: Thanks for the recommendation for The Spectacular Spider Man which I had to cut from your initial e-mail. If I had the luxury to make time for any high-end animated superhero series, this would be on my playlist, I'm sure.)

Question: How did you like Cougar Town? I love Courteney Cox!Zachary B

Matt Roush: If you love her, then you're probably already sold on this one. I like her, too, and thought she had a number of funny self-deprecating moments in the overly frantic and jumbled pilot. I only have anecdotal evidence at this point, but Cougar Town appears to be one of the more polarizing new shows of the season. I know people who hate it and find it terribly offensive, and others who found it mostly amusing, and Cox herself a likable mess. I find myself kind of in the middle. The pilot was a shapeless mess that often stooped way too low to get a laugh, but as a sex farce, I've seen far worse.

Question: While I enjoy many shows on BBC America, the network never seems to give them a chance. In recent years, Hotel Babylon and Gavin & Stacey have fallen by the wayside. And you can add Primeval to the list as I just read that its run is also over. (I'm curious, at three seasons, is The Office the longest running show from across the pond?) So is it always about money? Am I just spoiled by the big networks here who can give shows a few seasons to find their footing? I'm asking now as I find Being Human, BBC America's newest series, intriguing, but do I even bother giving it a real chance as it could be gone any day.Diane B

Matt Roush: Correct me if I'm wrong, but the original Office only ran for two seasons of six episodes, with a Christmas-special finale, and many BBC America series, even scripted ones, have run considerably longer than that. Primeval was definitely a situation where the economy forced its production company to shut it down, so you can't really blame BBCA for that one. There may be shows (besides the infamous Eastenders situation) where BBCA canceled the run of a show that hadn't aired all of its seasons on this side of the pond, but generally, it seems to me that once the channel decides to bring a show over, the duration and timing of its run pretty much depends on when and if it continues producing episodes in the U.K. As previously discussed, Being Human only produced six episodes in its first season, and I'd bet BBCA, just like its viewers, would have liked to have had more on the front end. I'm also surprised to see you give credit to the U.S. networks for giving shows a long leash to catch on. Maybe on cable that's true, but the networks' instant-failure rate is still pretty steep.

Question: Have you any information on a second year of the delightful The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency? The books were good and the HBO series well done. Will there be more?? I hope so!!Pat H

Matt Roush: I wish I had news. When the subject came up a few weeks ago during HBO's portion of the TCA press tour, the executives denied that it's dead and said they're still trying to figure out how to bring it back. It's a co-production with the BBC and was affected greatly by the untimely death of Anthony Minghella, who directed the pilot and brought the project to HBO. Fingers crossed that we'll see it again, but it may take a while, and given how quickly HBO has renewed other shows on the schedule, I wonder if they'll just drag this out to where it becomes a fait accompli, the way Deadwood was scrapped with no follow-up movies ever produced.

[This just in (as in, just arrived in mail): The 3-disc DVD boxed set hits stores Sept. 8. For fans of the books who don't get HBO or otherwise missed it, I highly recommend checking out this charming series.]

That's all for now. Keep those questions coming to askmatt@tvguidemagazine.com, and look for the next column soon.

In the meantime, follow me on twitter at twitter.com/roushtvguidemag

post #40316 of 93848
Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

The digital is carried over analog, so the filters would still trap the signal like it does today. They can encrypt anything that wouldn't be considered expanded basic(or whatever term the local cable co uses to describe that tier of service).

I believe they can encrypt any channel except local broadcast channels. Why they don't encrypt all the ones they can is beyond me, but I assume it has something to do with providing service for cable-ready TVs without deploying expensive STBs as part of Basic and Expanded service tiers. Once they have a cheap way of providing STBs for every TV in a household, those channels may indeed end up encrypted and you will be left with just the locals. Since I plan to purchase 2 QAM-enabled TVs soon, I hope "clear QAM" remains a viable alternative to STBs for all TVs.
post #40317 of 93848
Costas to hit the road for Sunday Night Football.
Football Night in America anchor Bob Costas is leaving the studio.

This season, Costas will travel to the site of each Sunday Night Football telecast on NBC. Before each game, Costas will engage in "[l]ive conversation" with NBC's broadcast team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.

With Costas on the road, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick will "hold down the fort" in NBC's New York studio.


Oh man the "leaving Oby" jokes i can get out of this but....
post #40318 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Mmmmm, I didn't realize that Coasts couldn't interact with Michaels and Collinsworth electronically in NY.

Frankly, I think Dan and Keith need a responsible adult nearby.
post #40319 of 93848
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Mmmmm, I didn't realize that Coasts couldn't interact with Michaels and Collinsworth electronically in NY.

Frankly, I think Dan and Keith need a responsible adult nearby.

Tony Dungy's been acting the shepherd lately...
post #40320 of 93848
Thread Starter 
Dominick Dunne, 83
By Vanity Fair , August 26, 2009

Dominick Dunne, a best-selling author and special correspondent for Vanity Fair, died today at his home in Manhattan. He was 83.

The cause of death was bladder cancer, said his son Griffin Dunne.

Dunnewho joined Vanity Fair in 1984 as a contributing editor, and was named special correspondent in 1993famously covered the trials of O. J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers, Michael Skakel, William Kennedy Smith, and Phil Spector, as well as the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. He wrote memorable profiles on numerous personalities, among them Imelda Marcos, Robert Mapplethorpe, Elizabeth Taylor, Claus von Bülow, Adnan Khashoggi, and Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. His monthly column provided a glimpse inside high society, and captivated readers.

His first article for the magazine appeared in March 1984an account of the trial of the man who murdered his daughter, Dominique. Throughout his life, Dunne was a vocal advocate for victims' rights.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 29, 1925, Dunne was awarded the Bronze Star, at age 19, for his service in World War II. In 1949, he graduated from Williams College with a B.A.

In April 1954, Dunne married Ellen Beatriz Griffin, who went by Lenny. The marriage ended in divorce in 1965.

Dunne began his career in New York City as the stage manager of The Howdy Doody Show, and in 1957 he moved to Hollywood, where he became the executive producer of the television series Adventures in Paradise. Later, Dunne was made a vice president of Four Star Productions, a television company owned by David Niven, Dick Powell, and Charles Boyer. He then moved on to producing feature films, including The Boys in the Band, Panic in Needle Park, Play It as It Lays, and Ash Wednesday.

But by this time drugs and alcohol had become an unmanageable part of his life and in 1975 he drove himself up to the woods in Oregon. Living alone in a cabin he became sober and began, at age 50, to write.

In 1980, Dunne moved back to New York and saw five of his novels become bestsellers. His books include The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (Crown, 1985), Fatal Charms (Crown, 1987), People Like Us (Crown, 1988), An Inconvenient Woman (Crown, 1990), A Season in Purgatory (Crown, 1993)which was adapted for television as a four-hour CBS mini-seriesand Another City, Not My Own (Crown, 1997). A collection of essays, Fatal Charms (Crown), was published in 1987, and his memoir, The Way We Lived Then: Recollections of a Well-Known Name Dropper (Crown), was published in 1999. Justice (Crown), a collection of articles that had appeared in Vanity Fair, was published in 2001. And his last book, Too Much Money: A Novel, is scheduled for publication in December 2009 by Random House.

The documentary series, Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice, premiered on Court TV in June 2002. Dominick Dunne: After the Party, a documentary about his life, premiered in 2008.

In addition to his son Griffin, of Manhattan, Dunne is survived by another son, Alex, of Portland, Oregon, and a granddaughter, Hannah.

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