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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2589

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Business Notes
Oprah's OWN Laying Off 30 in Restructuring
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Mar. 19, 2012

Oprah Winfrey's OWN is laying off 30 people in a restructuring that continues the troubles of her ratings-deprived, turnover-plagued network. The restructuring also gives Discovery Communications more input into the network it established with Winfrey.

The layoffs in New York and Los Angeles are among the first dramatic moves by Winfrey since she appointed herself CEO in July, two months after the firing of Christina Norman. The talk show hostess, better known for giving out cars and other extravagant gifts to fans than for eliminating jobs, said the decision was a trying one that was essential to the company's long-term health.

The network has burned through money at a faster rate than expected while earning lower ratings last year than the network it replaced, Discovery Health. The job duties will be taken on by others at the network as well as by employees at its venture partners, Discovery and Winfrey's Harpo Studios.

It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people's lives, said Winfrey in a statement. But the economics of a start-up cable network just don't work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.

in the restructuring, several Discovery executives will take on new responsibilities at OWN. The company has invested heavily in OWN, agreeing in August 2010 to boost its initial $100 million commitment by $89 million. In February 2011, it committed another $50 million, mostly toward programming.

But the network nonetheless had a high-profile failure last week when it announced the cancellation of Rosie O'Donnell's new OWN series, "The Rosie Show," which failed to deliver big numbers. The show had been one of OWN's most-hyped, outside of the shows featuring Winfrey herself.

The restructuring includes Neal Kirsch, a long-time Discovery executive and chief financial officer of Discovery's U.S. networks, moving to OWN in the role of chief operating officer and CFO. He will report to Logan and Salata. Also, Tina Perry, OWN's vice president, business and legal affairs will now oversee the department and partner with Lee Bartlett, executive vice president of global production management, business and legal affairs at Discovery.

Michelle Holt, OWN's vice president of production, will now oversee production management, and Ian Parmiter, senior vice president of marketing for Discovery ad sales, will now oversee integrated marketing for OWN.

OWN said Winfrey and her network co-presidents, Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, have been reviewing the best structure for the network. It also said the network has had double-digit ratings increased since September and has reached up to 40 million viewers per month.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/ow...ucturing-36373
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TV Review
'Bent' lacks new wrinkles
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Mar. 18, 2012

Stop me if you've heard this plot before: Judgmental, uptight, divorced single mom Alex (Amanda Peet, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip") hires irresponsible, horndog contractor Pete (David Walton, "Perfect Couples") to renovate her home. He hits on her, she brushes him off and yet there's a spark there, especially when it becomes clear how well Pete bonds with Alex's daughter, Charlie (Joey King).

That's the plot of past romantic comedies and of NBC's new single-camera comedy "Bent," which will air two episodes weekly at 9 p.m. Wednesday on WPXI for the next three weeks. If that scheduling makes it seem like NBC is burning off the show it's because the network probably is.

"Bent" is not a terrible show but it's not particularly good either. The title comes from Pete's washed-up actor dad (Jeffrey Tambor, "Arrested Development"), who says, "I am bent, not broken," in the show's premiere episode. And yes, the contractor-who-takes-an-eternity premise does bring to mind Eldin on "Murphy Brown."

The "Bent" performances are all fine. Ms. Peet is appropriately stiff; Mr. Walton plays his "dude" role with the right amount of sexy, slacker charm. And the supporting cast, which includes J.B. Smoove ("Curb Your Enthusiasm") and Jesse Plemons ("Friday Night Lights"), is notable for bringing some likable character actors back to prime time.

But the "Bent" script by series creator Tad Quill ("Perfect Couples," "Samantha Who?") is light on an abundance of laughs, surprises and original ideas.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...inkles-517317/
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
TUESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - Last Man Standing
8:30PM - Cougar Town
9PM - The River (Season Finale)
10PM - Body of Proof
(R - Jan. 13)
* * * *
11:30PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Kristen Bell; Ice Cube; KISS performs)

CBS:
8PM - NCIS
9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
10PM - Unforgettable
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Jennifer Lawrence; author Gail Collins; The Shins perform)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kathy Bates; stylist Brad Goreski)

NBC:
8PM - The Biggest Loser (120 min.)
10PM - Fashion Star (Time Slot Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul; Frank Caliendo; The Wanted performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Jon Hamm; Rachael Harris; Marcus Foster performs; Melanie Fiona performs with the Roots)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Singer Kimbra; musical group Tennis; musician Gary Clark Jr.; rapper Kendrick Lamar)

FOX:
8PM - Raising Hope
8:30PM - I Hate My Teenage Daughter
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - Breaking In

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - American Experience - Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World (R - May. 10, 2010)
10PM - Frontline: The Vaccine War
(R - Apr. 27, 2010)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Una Familia Con Suerte
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No PodÃ*a Amar

THE CW:
8PM - 90210
9PM - Ringer

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Relaciones Peligrosas

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Rachel Weisz)
(R - Mar. 14)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Audra McDonald)
(R - Mar. 5)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Steve Schirripa; Shaquille O'Neal; Sharon Van Etten performs)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Adrien Brody; comic Lavell Crawford; comic April Richardson; TV personality Ross Mathews)
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TV Notes
Mistrial in Desperate Housewives' case
By Lisa De Moraes, Washington Post - Mar. 19, 2012

Nicollette Sheridan needed to convince just one more juror that Edie Britt, the character she played on Desperate Housewives, got bumped off because the actress complained that show creator Marc Cherry walloped her on the show's set in September of 2008.

Sheridan failed, and so on Monday, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge declared a mistrial in the wrongful-termination civil lawsuit she'd brought against ABC for lost back-salary of nearly $6 million and potential punitive damages.

Sheridan's lawsuit contends that Britt was electrocuted in spring 2009 after the actress said that Cherry struck her one day on the set. Cherry denied the wallop and testified that he'd tapped her on the head to demonstrate an example of how he wanted something done in a scene.

Cherry, the former programming chief at DH broadcaster ABC as well as the former head of the Disney division that actually makes the show testified that Cherry was given authority to kill off Britt months before Cherry tap/walloped Sheridan.

At the end of two weeks, and after two days of deliberation, the jury was split 8 to 4, with the majority siding with Sheridan. But she needed nine jurors to prevail.

According to the trade Web site the Hollywood Reporter, the jurors all voted exactly as they did on the first day, according to Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Allen White.

Both sides have said they look forward to having another whack at the case it in another trial.

Meanwhile, in a made-for-TV Desperate Housewives drama, Sunday night's episode featuring the funeral of James Denton's hot-plumber character, Mike Delfino marked the show's most-watched telecast in four months, with about 9 million viewers. That's not even close to the more than 20 million that the prime-time soap opera enjoyed in its heyday. Or the 15 million who watched in March of '09, as Britt survived a strangulation attempt and a getaway car crash, only to be electrocuted when she stepped out of her crashed vehicle and into a pool of water, which was already playing host to a live electrical wire.

On the bright side, DH's audience of 9 mil last Sunday is virtually identical to the crowd that watched, that same night, the season-two finale of AMC's zombie drama Walking Dead.

Except that though it' s a fairly lousy DH number in the larger scheme of things, it's a record audience for basic cable network AMC, and execs at that network broke out into a happy dance Monday when their numbers came out.

Which just goes to show you, once again, that all things are relative.

OWN cuts Rosie,' 30 jobs

OWN, the cable network co-venture of Oprah Winfrey's Harpo company and Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications, announced Monday that it had restructured its network operations in Los Angeles and New York, as well as cut 30 job.

Additionally, Neal Kirsch, a longtime Discovery executive and CFO of Discovery's U.S. networks, has been named new chief operating officer and chief financial officer of OWN. He will report directly to Sheri Salata and Erik Logan; they are members of Oprah's Harpo leadership team who she named to be presidents jointly in another reconfiguring just eight months ago at the same time she made herself CEO and chief creative officer of OWN.

It is difficult to make tough business decisions that affect people's lives, Oprah said in Monday's announcement, but the economics of a start-up cable network just don't work with the cost structure that was in place. As CEO, I have a responsibility to chart the course for long-term success for the network. To wholly achieve that long-term success, this was a necessary next step.

The news comes on the heels of OWN's announcement that it was dumping Rosie O'Donnell's talk show just five months after its launch, owing to lousy ratings. The final episode will be taped Tuesday.

Long before Friday's announcement of the Rosie show's demise, the program had been slashed and reconfigured, from a live talk show shot in front of a studio audience, to an audience-free, Larry King-esque interview show. Which, not surprisingly, did not save the show.

The dismal performance of Rosie's show is counted among the reasons that longtime Winfrey/Harpo fave Lisa Erspamer was let go in January as OWN's executive vice president of production and development.

Rosie's final telecast will air Friday, March 30.

Among the changes at OWN announced Monday: Tina Perry, the network's business and legal affairs VP, will replace the recently departed senior VP business and legal affairs Alan Saxe. Perry will oversee the department, partnered with Lee Bartlett, who is exec VP, global production management, business and legal affairs at Discovery. And Ian Parmiter, senior VP of marketing for Discovery Ad Sales, will now oversee integrated marketing for OWN. And, Michelle Holt, VP production, will oversee production management at OWN, replacing the network's production senior VP Julie Stern.

Jersey's' return

MTV has finally acknowledged what has been commonly known for weeks: Jersey Shore cable TV's most watched show among 12- to 34-year-olds is returning for a sixth season.

Production is set to begin this summer in Seaside Heights, N.J., the network at long last officially announced Monday.

In its fifth season, Jersey Shore delivered nine of the top-15 cable telecasts of 2012 to date among 12- to 34-year-olds as befits, MTV boasted in Monday's announcement, the network that is the cultural home of the millennial generation.

Did you know that the millennial generation, confronted with the out-of-wedlock pregnancy of one of its most popular TV personalities, goes all 1950s on us, and can only bring itself to refer to it with coy expressions like baby bumps, and heading into unchartered territory. Well, anyway, that's the closest MTV could get to saying Snooki's pregnant in Monday's announcement and who knew Seaside Heights was not yet incorporated?

Idol' moves

Fox has decided to continue with two-hour Wednesday-night performance episodes of American Idol followed by Thursday one-hour results shows until, that is, the last week of the television season. Fox will move the singing competition to Tuesday and Wednesday nights May 22 and 23 because that Wednesday is the final day of the official 2011-12 TV season and the Idol finale will clock one of the show's biggest audiences, if not the biggest.

But that means the final Idol performance night will air the same night as the second week of America's Got Talent With Howard Stern (NBC earlier announced that its singing competition series, The Voice, would wrap its second season on Monday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 8).

So Fox also announced Monday that Idol's final performance night will be the only one for the rest of the show's run this season that will be only one hour in length from 8 to 9 p.m. Not coincidentally, AGTw/HS is scheduled to air Tuesday, May 22, from 9 to 10 p.m.

After the final Idol performance show, Fox will throw its Glee finale into Stern's line of fire.

Fox also announced Monday that its too-long-running medical drama House would call it a wrap on the final Monday of the TV season (May 21) with a one-hour clip-job (8 to 9 p.m.), followed by the series finale at 9.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifest...zNS_story.html
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TV Notes
Disney gives Nickelodeon a run, sparks run on new series
By Gary Levin, USA Today - Mar. 20, 2012

The race for young viewers is tightening as Disney Channel challenges the once-dominant Nickelodeon as the top home for tyke TV.

That's forcing Nick to ramp up production of new shows in a bid to stave off Disney, which Friday also unveils its full-time Disney Junior preschool network to compete with Nick Jr.

Season to date, Disney Channel's ratings among children ages 2 to 11 inched up 1%, while Nick's plummeted 22%, and Nick leads by an average of just 31,000 viewers. But that margin has been halved since January, and Disney eclipsed Nick last year among the older half of that age group.

"We've been the No. 1 network for kids for the past 17 years, and we're not planning to give that up," Nick chief Cyma Zarghami told advertisers last week. "We have no intention of letting our recent ratings slip slow down our creative momentum."

Like Disney, Nick is plotting more music-fueled movies, and several networks plan more TV spinoffs from movie and video-game franchises, meant to grab kids' shortened attention spans.

President Gary Marsh says Disney Channel has been "girding ourselves for what might be the fallout" after top hits Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place ended their runs last year, adding several new shows that have been hits among its tween audience, including Shake It Up! and A.N.T. Farm.

"We only launch a handful of shows a year, each of us," he says, and "kids are much more media snackers; they want to sample" a variety of shows.

Here's a look at some of the kids' snacks on the way:

Nickelodeon

The struggling leader is refilling its programming pipeline, putting its money on Lucas Cruikshank, the Nebraska teen who gained YouTube fame with his Fred Figglehorn videos. In addition to more episodes of Fred: The Show and a third movie, Fred Goes to Camp, next January Marvin, Marvin will star Cruikshank as an alien living with a suburban family.

The channel also is prepping a new CGI take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for fall, to be followed by a feature film; a revival of '90s game show Figure It Out; and spinoffs of video game Raving Rabbids in spring 2013 and DreamWorks' Monsters vs. Aliens, also next year.

Coming this spring: movie musical Rags, a male spin on Cinderella; the 25th Kids' Choice Awards (March 31), hosted by Will Smith; and The Legend of Korra, a sequel to cult hit Avatar: The Last Airbender (April 14, Saturdays at 11 a.m. ET/PT). In summer, look for Hollywood Heights, a 16-week, 80-episode adaptation of a daily Mexican telenovela about a rock singer and his idolizing fan. And in development are projects featuring teen X Factor finalist Rachel Crow and U.K. pop group One Direction.

Disney Channel

New shows include Phineas & Ferb companion Gravity Falls (June), about twins who spend the summer with their great-uncle in a weird Oregon town; Wander Over Yonder, a sort-of-space Western from producer Craig McCracken (Dexter's Laboratory); and Code 9, a summer hidden-camera show in which kids prank parents. Three original movies are on tap: hip-hop-flavored Let It Shine (June 15), Shake It Up: Made in Japan (August) and Girl vs. Monster (October).

Disney XD. This boy-targeted channel unveils a Marvel- programming block April 1 with Ultimate Spider-Man, and will add futuristic car cartoon Motorcity (April 30), movie spinoff Tron: Uprising and Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja (fall).

Disney Junior. This new 24-hour channel, launching in 30 million homes, includes Doc McStuffins, about a 6-year-old stuffed-animal healer, and will add Sofia the First, featuring Disney's first pint-sized princess, with a fall movie and winter 2013 series. The main Disney Channel will continue to air a Disney Junior preschool block.

Cartoon Network

The No. 3 children's network will give advertisers a first look next week at a new series based on the Annoying Orange, another YouTube phenomenon, due in summer or fall, along with a spinoff of DreamWorks movie How to Train Your Dragon, which was announced last year, and Omniverse, the latest edition in its long-running Ben 10 series.

PBS Kids

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, due this fall, marks the first sequel to the celebrated Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. It will turn that show's puppets into the parents of a new generation of animated preschoolers, with an emphasis on music.

The Hub

This fledgling channel, a joint venture of Discovery and toymaker Hasbro, this summer will add Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot, on the American Greetings franchise's 30th anniversary, and Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, based on the trading-card game. Fall brings Littlest Pet Shop and Spooksville, based on the youth horror-novel series. Hedging its bets, on April 2 the Hub also begins airing a block of weeknight classic sitcom repeats, including Mork & Mindy and The Facts of Life.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...ngs/53658872/1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Oprah's OWN Laying Off 30 in Restructuring
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Mar. 19, 2012

Oprah Winfrey's OWN is laying off 30 people in a restructuring that continues the troubles of her ratings-deprived, turnover-plagued network. The restructuring also gives Discovery Communications more input into the network it established with Winfrey.

The layoffs in New York and Los Angeles are among the first dramatic moves by Winfrey since she appointed herself CEO in July,

The network has burned through money at a faster rate than expected while earning lower ratings last year than the network it replaced, Discovery Health.

Discovery will soon realize that they are stuck in a money pit . They soon will want to stop throwing money in a hole .
The Death Spiral Of the OWN Network has begun !
post #77647 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastslappy View Post

The Death Spiral Of the OWN Network has begun!

"Begun?"  It's already been spiraling for quite a while.  These latest developments are just a sign that it's accelerating.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Out of step: ABC's 'Dancing' debut drops
Averages a 3.5 in 18-49s, down 13 percent from last fall
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 20, 2012

Mondays are now the most competitive night of the week with the addition of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," which led to some interesting results last night.

Airing against NBC's hit show "The Voice" for the first time this season, "Dancing" bowed to its lowest premiere rating ever.

But it may have hurt its competitor a bit too. "Voice" slid to a season low last night in the shows' shared 8 to 10 p.m. timeslot.

"Dancing" averaged a 3.5 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen, down 13 percent from last fall's bow and its lowest-rated debut in 14 seasons, but still a solid number. It ranked third on the night.

In total viewers "Dancing" dominated as usual, averaging 18.5 million, down 500,000 from last fall. It beat "Voice" by almost 7 million.

"Voice," meanwhile, slid 13 percent from last week among 18-49s to a season-low 4.5 against the new competition, though it was still easily the night's top program in the demo.

CBS's comedy lineup, at least the first hour of it, also seemed to suffer against the stronger competition. Both "How I Met Your Mother" and "2 Broke Girls" were down from their most recent outings. And Fox's "House" slid 20 percent from its most recent outing four weeks ago to a season-low 2.0.

NBC was first for the night among 18-49s with a 3.8 average overnight rating and a 10 share. ABC and CBS tied for second at 3.1/8, Fox was fourth at 1.8/5, Univision fifth at 1.6/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.3/1.

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

At 8 p.m. NBC led with a 4.3 for "Voice," with ABC and CBS tied for second at 3.4, ABC for "Dancing" and CBS for "How I Met Your Mother" (3.4) and "2 Broke Girls" (3.4). Fox was fourth with a 2.0 for "House," Univision fifth with a 1.7 for "Una Familia con Suerte," Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for "Una Maid en Manhattan" and CW seventh with a 0.3 for a repeat of "America's Next Top Model."

NBC led again at 9 p.m. with a 4.7 for more "Voice," followed by ABC with a 3.6 for another hour of "Dancing." CBS was third with a 3.5 for "Two and a Half Men" (3.8) and "Mike & Molly" (3.2), Univision fourth with a 1.6 for "Abismo de Pasion," Fox fifth with a 1.5 for "Alcatraz," Telemundo sixth with a 0.7 for "Corazon Valiente" and CW seventh with a 0.2 for a "Hart of Dixie" rerun.

At 10 p.m. CBS took the lead with a 2.5 for "Hawaii Five-0," while ABC remained in second place with a 2.4 for "Castle." NBC was third with a 2.3 for "Smash," Univision fourth with a 1.6 for "La Que No Podia Amar" and Telemundo fifth with a 0.5 for "Relaciones Peligrosas."

ABC led the night among households with a 10.4 average overnight rating and a 16 share. NBC was second at 6.1/9, CBS third at 6.0/9, Fox fourth at 3.4/5, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.7/1 and CW seventh at 0.5/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ebut-drops.asp
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MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media INsight's Blog
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TV Notes
Starz renews 'Magic City' before it debuts
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Mar. 20, 2012

HBO the last few years has developed a pattern where it renews most of its series within two days of their premiere. Chris Albrecht, who used to run HBO, is trying to do his old home one better from his new position as CEO of Starz, renewing shows before they've even debuted.

Albrecht did it back in the fall with Kelsey Grammer in "Boss," and how he's done it with "Magic City," which won't even debut until April 6 but already has an order for a 10-episode second season.

"Magic City" was created by screenwriter Mitch Glazer and is set in and around a Miami resort hotel in the late '50s. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the hotel's owner, struggling to keep the place open under pressure from unions, changing times, and his wiseguy business partner (Danny Huston). Olga Kurylenko (the Bond girl from "Quantum of Solace") plays his trophy wife.

Magic City' is a beautifully written, superbly acted, and visually stunning series, and we feel the quality of the work accomplished deserves a second season, Albrecht said in a statement. It has already been sold in more than 70 territories worldwide, and represents the kind of premium entertainment the Starz brand is seeking to create.

The similar gamble on "Boss" didn't seem to work out too well, as the show's ratings were well below the bar that Starz's signature series "Spartacus" has set on Friday nights. Back at the TV critics January press tour, Albrecht was asked whether he had any regrets about renewing before seeing any kind of ratings data. He noted that as a pay cable network, they don't have any advertisers to please, so their decisions are made for other reasons.

"I think I would absolutely make the same decision again," he said, noting that Starz doesn't produce pilot episodes the way the other channels do, so he almost views first seasons as an extended pilot process. "The way I'm looking at the shows is if we look at the material and we say, 'You know what? This is what we set out to do. This is good, and the team is in place to continue to make it good and, hopefully, better,' then we're going to support that show into a second season. Because I think that, given the serialized nature of television, given the way that the different windows play, I think it's the right thing for STARZ to do. And it's very easy to bail and pull the plug, but that's, I don't think, the way that we want to establish ourselves."

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...fore-it-debuts
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yay for blu....

Centris: Blu-ray Player Household Penetration Reaches 26%

About one in four homes had a Blu-ray Disc player or capable consumer electronic device in the fourth quarter of 2011, up 47% from the same period in 2010, according to new research.

Horsham, Pa.-based Centris Research disclosed the finding in a quarterly report outlining communication and technology penetration in the home. The Blu-ray data mirrors weekly Home Media Magazine research figures, including that 23% of total disc sales ($36.9 million) revenue came from the high-definition format for the week ended Feb. 25.

It is the Blu-ray market that continues to drive packaged media sales and generate higher margins for studios than standard DVD, disc rentals, transactional video-on-demand and electronic sellthrough. The format is also a foundation in Hollywood's effort to launch cloud-based digital locker UltraViolet.

Surprisingly, the number of households with a DVD player increased 4% to 91% in the period, compared with 87% in the previous year. The data underscores the notion that average consumer demand for optical disc entertainment remains strong.

In addition, the report - based on 2,000 Internet survey respondents monthly - found that household penetration of time delayed TV programming via digital video recorders (DVR) also increased 4% to 38% from 36% in 2010.

The report also found that HDTV penetration increased 6% to 63%, while high-definition TV service from multichannel video program distributors increased 11% to 42% of households. Households with a TV rose 1% to nearly 100% market penetration.

The [data] shows that U.S. households continue to purchase a broad range of technologies, said Bill Beaumont, president of Centris.

http://www.homemediamagazine.com/blu...aches-26-26721
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Critic's Notes
The Greatest TV Drama of the Past 25 Years, Round Two: Mad Men vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
By Stephen Karam, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

Vulture is holding the ultimate Drama Derby to determine the greatest TV drama of the past 25 years. Each day a different notable writer will be charged with determining the winner of a round of the bracket, until New York Magazine TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz judges the finals on March 23. Today's battle: Playwright Stephen Karam judges Mad Men versus Buffy the Vampire Slayer. You can place your own vote on Facebook or tweet your opinion with the #dramaderby hashtag.

Buffy kicks ass. Literally. For seven years, her primary occupation was obliterating vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness with an astonishing array of flip-kicks, all with nary a blonde hair out of place. Plucky, sassy, and sexy, Buffy’s powers enabled her to destroy a demon in mid-air, land arms akimbo, and still have sufficient wind to deliver a game-ending, withering retort. Pitting a Slayer against any opponent seems unfair. But, as mere mortals go, Don Draper is a more than worthy opponent. While he isn’t adept at defeating the supernatural, the man has been busy battling his own personal demons during the first four seasons of Mad Men, also with nary a hair out of place. So let the (admittedly absurd) death match between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mad Men begin.

Despite their disparate genres — one show features a sexy woman who slays vampires; the other, a man who slays sexy women — both shows share key strengths and weaknesses. Chief among their joint assets is their ability to marry deft drama with rhythmically charged, unexpected comedy. Buffy’s comic chops are more readily apparent, and creator Joss Whedon unabashedly announces the camp factor in his show’s title and no doubt loses many adult viewers in the process. That’s a shame, because once you accept that Sunnydale, California, is located above the mouth of Hell, the show is more adept at capturing humanity than most naturalistic dramas.

That’s partly because Whedon knows the rocky road of adolescence can be a kind of hell on Earth, where every cruel joke and gym class has the potential to plunge you into the emotional abyss. The show sneakily uses the horror and teen genres to upend our expectations about both, painting an amusing and frequently poignant look at adolescent angst. Buffy and her friends struggle to connect with their parents, to fit in, and to find a date for the prom — all while struggling to prevent the apocalypse. It’s an ingenious concoction that works.

In its best moments, Buffy’s action-packed episodes are also packed full of surprising laughs thanks to Whedon’s silly-but-sharp wordplay. Take “Graduation Day, Part Two,” the show’s third-season finale, in which Buffy’s trusted friends Cordelia and Oz (a cheerleader and werewolf, respectively; just accept it) respond to her risky strategy to thwart the Mayor, who’s actually an evil demon determined to take over the world (again, accept):

Cordelia: I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan.

Oz: We attack the Mayor with hummus.

(Pause as everyone takes this in.)
Cordelia: I stand corrected.

Or consider season five’s “Real Me,” in which Buffy learns an unlikable female vampire named Harmony has recruited followers in an attempt to kill her:

Buffy: Harmony has minions?
Xander: Yeah, that was pretty much my reaction.
Buffy: I'm sorry, I'm sorry, it's just ... Harmony has minions!
Xander: And Ruffles have ridges. Buffy, there's actually a more serious side to all this.
Buffy: I sure hope so, 'cause I'm having trouble breathing …

Buffy’s breakthrough badinage felt fresh because it effortlessly meshed top-notch teen-talk with matters more preternatural. (Buffy’s sister, Dawn, after witnessing her kill several demons: “I’m telling Mom you slayed in front of me.”)

Scoring a well-timed laugh in the midst of Sturm und Drang is one of Mad Men’s strengths as well. Note the economy and rhythm in office manager Joan’s hilarious reprimand upon learning that a fumbling new secretary, Sandy, has mishandled two crucial messages:

Joan: Sandra, everyone makes mistakes, but the fact that you’re the kind of person who cannot accept blame is egregious.
Sandy: I don’t know what that means.
Joan: It means I can’t believe I hired you.

Other times, the show radiates Wildean wit, its characters competing in a game of epigrammatic tennis:

Peggy: I know what men think of you: That you’re looking for a husband and you’re fun. And not in that order.
Joan: Peggy, this isn’t China. There’s no money in virginity.

For all of Mad Men’s laughs, creator Matthew Weiner takes the opposite tack from Whedon's — he roots his show in drama, using a slick opening sequence to signal that “sexy seriousness” will be the prevailing tone. Dissonant chords announce the arrival of the now-iconic plummeting Hitchcockian man, a suicidal, suited silhouette. It’s all so damn beautiful. The entire show might very well work sans plot as a kind of period porn, a parade of curvaceous women, broad-shouldered men in impossibly tailored suits, original Rothkos on the walls, and Saarinen Tulip Desks. Some of the pleasure of watching Mad Men undeniably comes from the gray-green-taupe aesthetic; it’s like watching figures from a contemplative Hopper painting shake free of the canvas and come to life.

But after four seasons, it’s safe to say that the satisfying drama of Mad Men is the true secret to its success. The narrative joys are many: Pete Campbell’s rise from lowly account man to partner; Roger Sterling’s multiple falls from grace; Joan’s struggle to advance in a man’s world; hell, I’ve even enjoyed the journey of Joan’s creepy husband (known to those at Vulture as Dr. Rape) from medical resident to Vietnam soldier.

The most crucial story lines, however, belong to Peggy Olson and Don Draper, whose emotional journeys both climaxed beautifully in the show’s best episode to date, season four’s “The Suitcase.” Peggy is held captive in the office by Don, who fears being alone while awaiting imminent news of a dying friend. After Don has irrevocably ruined Peggy’s evening, the two of them, alone under the fluorescent lights of Sterling Cooper, trade breakdowns. The episode is quiet, unflashy, and stunning. Weiner gives us a chance to collectively catch our breaths and remember just how far these two have come. Peggy arrived as Don’s secretary and rose to become a valued creative employee and is now something even more — a confidant. Don and Peggy are hopelessly alone and inexorably linked.

Mad Men’s treatment of death has something in common with Buffy's, as both series use the topic to motivate memorable drama (such as Anna Draper’s death in “The Suitcase”) as well as to land a quick laugh. In fact, for several-episode stretches on both shows, death can produce more punch lines than poignancy (i.e., on Mad Men, there’s Roger’s constant fatalism and Ida’s desktop death; on Buffy, apocalypse jokes are pretty much de rigueur). This is smart, because the moment death does cut close to home, it cuts deep. On Mad Men, the death of not only Anna, but also the fathers of both Betty and Pete proved affecting. And in one of Buffy’s best episodes, “The Body,” Whedon similarly pulls the rug out from under us. Buffy discovers her mother dead in her living room — not the victim of any supernatural forces, but rather of a brain hemorrhage. None of the one-liners we’d grown accustomed to arrive to make things better. The two-minute uninterrupted shot that charts Buffy’s discovery of her mother’s body — and the shaky 911 call and CPR attempt that follow — is devastating. Suddenly Buffy’s mom was, jarringly, just a body. The show didn’t spare its heroine the suffering of our earthly world simply because she’s fighting the demons of another.

For all their shared strengths, both shows have periodically gotten bogged down in backstory. Don Draper’s secret past (he stole his name/identity from a fallen comrade in Korea after going AWOL) is somehow never as interesting as the show’s creators think it is. Whenever the show zooms in on the who-is-the-real–Don Draper question for too long, I zone out; the show feels like it’s awkwardly merging with an episode of Lost or The Fugitive. Buffy committed a similar crime with its season-four decision to focus on the operations of “The Initiative,” an underground military organization in which commandos capture supernatural creatures to be studied by scientists for covert government operations. This time you don’t have to accept; the insertion of secret military operations into a show that was more Scooby Doo than NCIS caused the show to suffer a temporary identity crisis.

Mad Men also gets a demerit for its melodramatically pitched moments in which Don’s alluring bulls***lessness is betrayed by grandiloquent monologues. The worst offender was season one’s “Kodak Carousel speech,”* in which Don wins over his clients by talking for a really long time about Nostalgia. The pitch was written with such a heavy hand (and further underlined with manipulative music) that the moment unintentionally became less about Don’s genius and more about viewers wondering ... wait, isn’t this is same music they used during Bob Saget’s lesson speeches at the end of every Full House episode?

Another forgivable fault is the arc of Don’s (now ex-) wife, Betty, whose depression became oppressive in the last season. While I have stopped thinking that January Jones is a lackluster actress and started to appreciate that her complete lack of affect has its own effect, there were nonetheless times in which I wanted to take this insufferably spoiled woman and lock her in a room with Buffy’s unforgiving Cordelia, who would serve her some useful advice: “Embrace the pain, spank your inner moppet, whatever, but get over it.” Even truthful despair can become banal if it isn’t periodically interrupted by hope. Then again, Buffy, like Betty, fell into a depression in season six (it’s complicated, but: Buffy died and was in heaven, but her friends brought her back to Earth via a powerful spell, and that was very hard for her — just allow it). Buffy’s gloom resulted in tedious plotlines even more problematic than those found in Mad Men, largely because Buffy, unlike Betty, is the show’s emotional glue. And in its seven-year run, Buffy occasionally suffered from something virtually unseen in Mad Men: bad acting. David Boreanaz (Angel) improved as the first season went on (he learned how to smolder in five ways instead of just two), but Buffy’s egregiously dull love interest Riley Finn was — to use a word coined by a friend — “borgeous.”

Buffy also lacks the overall narrative power of Mad Men. Where Buffy is quick to whip out new monsters and themed episodes each week to entertain, Mad Men is patient in its plotting. From the pilot right up until season four’s finale, Mad Men builds momentum so subtly you don’t even realize it’s happening. Weiner enables us to feel the slow passage of time via strategically placed narrative landmarks. (Lucky Strike was the first client we see Don handling, and the show took four full seasons to arrive at the dissolving of that client relationship.)

Buffy’s characters also have linear emotional journeys, of course, but the show often settles for an episode in which crafting an entertaining 48 minutes takes precedence over pushing individual characters’ plotlines forward. In fairness, being less structured allowed Whedon to fashion more unique episodes, such as the musical extravaganza “Once More With Feeling” (which is, to quote one objective YouTube commenter — “the best episode of anything ever”).

But Weiner’s patience is the more impressive skill, as is his ruthless editing. Mad Men could easily rely on padding its episodes with gratuitous nods to the sixties historical/sociological event-of-the-week. And yet, he consistently shows restraint (even when dealing with the death of JFK) and keeps his focus tightly on his characters.

Weiner’s ruthless editing is also evident in his ability to write beloved characters off the show. Buffy died twice in seven years, yet she always came back to life. Mad Men is unafraid to bid a firm adieu to those we love and love to hate (Sal, Joey, Lois, Ida, et al.); no one feels safe.

And even if the chief reason Mad Men has less fat and fewer wasted moments is thanks to its shorter seasons (Mad Men has twelve episodes versus Buffy’s 22), for me, the scales still tip firmly in Mad Men’s favor. Yet somehow choosing a winner between two distinct and deserving shows and two powerful adversaries still feels akin to deciding whether vanilla is officially better than chocolate.

So I thought about Buffy and Don’s primary strengths. Buffy consistently and reliably assails her opponents with physical force and witty repartee. Don’s battle tactics, however, are frighteningly unpredictable. This makes him far more dangerous. A particularly piercing example pops into mind: the way Don dealt with Jimmy Barrett’s wife. In the season two episode “The Benefactor,” Jimmy — a jerk comic starring in one of Don’s commercials — insults a firm client, leaving Don with the unenviable task of getting Jimmy to apologize. Predictably, he turns on his charm to win over Jimmy’s wife, Bobbie, who turns out to be a fearsome opponent in and of herself. She thinks she has Don outsmarted, and even celebrates her upper hand with a little blackmail:

Bobbie: I think an apology … has to be worth $25,000. Say it’s a bonus.
Then Don does the unthinkable: He grabs Bobbie, thrusts his hand under her dress, and — while his fingers are still seemingly deep inside her — gravely instructs:
Don: Believe me … I will ruin you. Do what I say.

Don’s dark side has proven to be, at times, pitch black, his character more coldblooded than any vampire. Buffy is a Slayer, but Don Draper is a lady-killer. An alluring, volatile character like Don in a superiorly plotted show yields superlative television. Mad Men wins by a perfectly pomaded hair. R.I.P., Buffy.

BUFFY ANNE SUMMERS

1981 – 2002

BELOVED SISTER
DEVOTED FRIEND

SHE SAVED THE WORLD
A LOT

WINNER: MAD MEN

Stephen Karam is the author of the plays Sons of the Prophet and Speech & Debate.

http://www.vulture.com/2012/03/drama...-vs-buffy.html
post #77653 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Oprah's OWN Laying Off 30 in Restructuring

The Drain Circling is picking up speed very Quickly

http://bottomline.msnbc.msn.com/_new...ng-on-your-own
post #77654 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Surprisingly, the number of households with a DVD player increased 4% to 91% in the period, compared with 87% in the previous year. The data underscores the notion that average consumer demand for optical disc entertainment remains strong.

Well Blu-ray players play DVD so are they counting those as "DVD players"? Also most computers have DVD players. Does that count? I never use mine for playing DVDs though. Same with the XBOX 360. It plays DVDs but I very rarely use it as a DVD player. How are the defining "DVD player"? If that 4% increase is due to people getting a PC/laptop with a DVD player but they don't use the DVD player to watch DVDs then the increase doesn't really mean anything.
post #77655 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Well Blu-ray players play DVD so are they counting those as "DVD players"? Also most computers have DVD players. Does that count? I never use mine for playing DVDs though. Same with the XBOX 360. It plays DVDs but I very rarely use it as a DVD player. How are the defining "DVD player"? If that 4% increase is due to people getting a PC/laptop with a DVD player but they don't use the DVD player to watch DVDs then the increase doesn't really mean anything.

Quote:


a Blu-ray Disc player or capable consumer electronic device

One would assume the same metric was used for DVD players.
post #77656 of 93678
TV Notes
Olivia Wilde to Return for 'House' Series Finale
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

A familiar face will be dropping by Princeton-Plainsboro when House wraps up its eight-season run on Fox.

Olivia Wilde, who exited the Fox medical drama last fall, will return as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley in the series closer airing May 21, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

Wilde's last episode, "Charity Case," saw House (Hugh Laurie) firing "Thirteen," but it was believed that he did it as a favor to her. The hour, written by Sara Hess and directed by Greg Yaitanes, averaged 8.3 million viewers when it aired in October.

VIDEO: Best and Worst Alien Movies

The actress joined House in 2007, but took time off last season from the television series to focus on her movie career.

"It's been an extraordinary time on the show for me, my work has gotten so much better from being on the show, from learning from Hugh and all the other actors and our amazing writing staff," said Wilde in October. "I see it as a chapter, a really important chapter, in my life."

TV Line first reported the news.

http://www.hitfix.com/blogs/whats-al...fore-it-debuts

* * * *

TV Notes
'The Voice's' Adam Levine Circling FX's 'American Horror Story'
By Lesley Goldberg The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

FX's American Horror Story continues to boost the star power for its upcoming second season.

The Voice coach Adam Levine is in talks to join the horror anthology series from Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

As first reported by EW, Levine would play half of a contemporary character referred to as "The Lovers" in American Horror Story's sophomore season.

For Levine, the role would mark The Voice coach's first entry into scripted series, with the FX drama working around the Maroon 5 frontman's summer concert schedule.

He would join cast members Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe in the new season -- with the previously announced stars returning to play entirely new characters that Murphy has described as the opposite of their initial role.

"It's very fun to take a group of actors that you love and say, 'Come play again,' " Murphy said this month at PaleyFest. "Every year in the series is about a different haunting, so everybody will be playing the opposite of what they played, which is fun."

Details on Season 2 of AHS remain slim, with Murphy announcing in December following the freshman-season finale that the series would reboot itself every year.

"There are so many great genre subsets of horror. Our only rule on the show is no werewolves and no vampires," Murphy said of what viewers won't see during Season 2. "I feel that a supernatural element will always be a part of the show, but I don't think we're interested in that the same way. We're trying to do something much more historically accurate."

The potential casting would bring Levine closer into the Glee fold, with the singer-songwriter launching a record label this year and signing Glee co-star Matthew Morrison.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...r-story-302157
post #77657 of 93678
TV-on-DVD Notes
'Game of Thrones' DVD sales set HBO record
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

Another good sign for upcoming season of HBO's Game of Thrones: Sales of the first season DVD set are going through the roof.

HBO has moved about 350,000 units in the first week since the show's March 6 release. That's the biggest first-seven-day tally for any TV series title in the network's history including popular shows like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and True Blood.

With the Thrones second season trailer also setting network records, the fantasy drama seems poised to return to higher ratings than ever when it premieres April 1.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/03/16/ga...et-hbo-record/
post #77658 of 93678
Grandpa, what's a DVD?
post #77659 of 93678
TV Notes
Charlie Sheen's 'Two And A Half Men' Character Returning In April ... Sort Of
By Maggie Furlong, HuffingtonPost.com - Mar. 20, 2012

"Two and a Half Men" fans haven't seen the last of Charlie Harper, the now-deceased (and dust-busted) character that ex-castmember Charlie Sheen made famous.

But Sheen isn't returning to his former TV home. Instead, CBS has announced that they've cast someone else to play his ghost ... and it's not who you'd expect.

"Harry's Law" star Kathy Bates will stop by the CBS show (both "Men" and "Law" are Warner Bros. productions) in the April 30 episode as the ghost of Sheen's Charlie Harper. That ghost will be visiting Charlie's brother Alan (Jon Cryer), who'll suffer a minor heart attack in the episode.

Sheen's character was killed off of the series at the start of this season after the actor's very public battle with series creator Chuck Lorre. They've had fun winking and nodding about Sheen's issues ever since, but we can't wait to see what excuse they'll have for why he looks so different in the afterlife.

"Men," now in its ninth season, has been revitalized in many ways this year with Sheen's departure and Ashton Kutcher's arrival, although it's still unknown whether or not Kutcher (or the show) will return for a tenth season.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...cards-headline
post #77660 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiontail60 View Post

Grandpa, what's a DVD?

Degrading Video Downgrade boy... now scoot!
post #77661 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV-on-DVD Notes
'Game of Thrones' DVD sales set HBO record
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

HBO has moved about 350,000 units in the first week since the show's March 6 release.

Actual #s:

679,557 -- blu
517,860 -- dvd
1,197,417 -- total units

It was the #2 blu & #3 dvd of the week but #1 in revenue for both formats because of the higher boxset $$.

as vader says "impressive....most impressive."
post #77662 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Actual #s:

679,557 -- blu
517,860 -- dvd
1,197,417 -- total units

It was the #2 blu & #3 dvd of the week but #1 in revenue for both formats because of the higher boxset $$.

as vader says "impressive....most impressive."

The numbers ARE impressive, but then so is the set -- very lushly appointed. Unfortunately my disc #1 locks up the blu-ray players I have, so has to be sent back, but the packaging was handsome to gaze upon, no doubt...
post #77663 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Oprah's OWN Laying Off 30 in Restructuring
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Mar. 19, 2012

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/ow...ucturing-36373

That's not fun to hear.

I was unfamiliar that OWN was a pay channel of some sorts. I'm sure OWN being a pay channel is one reason for their down turn. I personally would not pay for it
post #77664 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young C View Post

That's not fun to hear.

I was unfamiliar that OWN was a pay channel of some sorts. I'm sure OWN being a pay channel is one reason for their down turn. I personally would not pay for it

It's a basic cable channel like any other. It's not a premium channel like HBO or Showtime.
post #77665 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpiontail60 View Post

Grandpa, what's a DVD?

Deadly Venereal Disease
post #77666 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Mad Men vs. Buffy the Vampire Slayer[/b]
By Stephen Karam, New York Magazine's 'Vulture' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

WINNER: MAD MEN

To put it bluntly, that guy is an idiot. Those two shows should not even be going up against each other. I don't care if it is round two, or 999. Not the same genre.
post #77667 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

To put it bluntly, that guy is an idiot. Those two shows should not even be going up against each other. I don't care if it is round two, or 999. Not the same genre.

I gave even reading the darn things , the pairings are just stupid
post #77668 of 93678
Technology Notes
100 million TVs will be Internet-connected by 2016
By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Mar. 20, 2012

Soon, the living room TV will become as hyper-connected as the people watching it.

A new report from researcher NPD In-Stat predicts that 100 million homes in North America and Western Europe will own television sets that blend traditional programs with Internet content by 2016. These new hybrid devices, capable of displaying interactive content related to TV shows, are a bid to hold the viewer's attention in a device-cluttered world.

"The TV people figured out nobody's just watching TV anymore," said Gerry Kaufhold, NPD In-Stat's digital entertainment research director. "They're watching TV with a tablet or a smartphone or a laptop in their hands. They've completely lost control."

Indeed, more than 60% of viewers check their email or surf the Web while watching TV, according to Nielsen's 2011 consumer usage report. Programmers realize they need to do something to draw the viewer's eyes back to the TV screen -- even as they develop apps for tablets and smartphones to deliver content related to the show that's airing.

"The level of engagement with the TV show goes down unless you've got something on the handheld device that ties them back to the TV show, somehow," Kaufhold said.

A tablet application developed for Simon Cowell's reality series "The X Factor" synchronizes the device with the singing competition and allows viewers to rate performances, vote and interact with other fans.

"Two things are starting to percolate in the television industry," Kaufhold said. "First is the awareness that it's not just about the big screen anymore. You've got to get something to these second screens. Second is how can we control as much of the screen real estate as possible."

Kaufhold pointed to a European connected TV standard (known as Hybrid Broadcast Broadband TV) as a bellwether of things to come in North America.

Broadcaster France Televisions will use the new hybrid standard during the French Open, which begins in May. Tennis fans can push a single button on their remote controls to bring up an interactive screen that will display real-time scores of other matches, bios of tournament players and news, photos and Twitter streams describing the action.

Kaufhold said he could see the same technology being employed for such high-interest competitions as the online NCAA mens' basketball championship.

In the U.S., only about 12 million U.S. households have their Web-capable TVs connected to the Internet, although NPD In-Stat estimates about 25 million U.S. TV households own a set with the built-in network capability.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ente...d-by-2016.html
post #77669 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastslappy View Post

I gave even reading the darn things , the pairings are just stupid

Huh? I think a word is missing. Did you mean to write: I gave up even reading ...
post #77670 of 93678
I wouldn't mind trying to watch a tv "event", such as the oscars, while having an ipad with one of my favorite comedians commenting on the event. Kind of like watching it with the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys. Who knows, I might like it.

The problem is, besides the odd sporting event, everything I watch is time-shifted.
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