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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2687

post #80581 of 93675
TV Notes
Ron Howard: What I learned from Andy Griffith
By Ron Howard, Los Angeles Times - Jul. 3, 2012

Early in the second season of "The Andy Griffith Show," I ventured a suggestion for a line change to make it sound more "like the way a kid would say it."

I was just 7 years old. But my idea was accepted and I remember standing frozen, thrilled at what this moment represented to me.

Andy asked me, "What you grinnin' at, youngin'?" I said it was the first idea of mine they'd ever said yes to. Without a pause, Andy responded for all to hear: "It was the first idea that was any damn good. Now let's do the scene."

That inclusiveness that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as"The Andy Griffith Show"is something I will forever be grateful for.

Andy Griffith entertained us for decades on stage, via our radios, sound systems, TVs and up there on the silver screen. Comedy, drama or music, he brought his love of performing to each creative undertaking.

He was known for ending shows by looking at the audience and saying "I appreciate it, and good night." Perhaps the greatest enduring lesson I learned from eight seasons playing Andy's son Opie on the show was that he truly understood the meaning of those words, and he meant them, and there was value in that.

Respect. At every turn he demonstrated his honest respect for people and he never seemed to expect theirs in return, but wanted to earn it.

He taught me a great deal through the examples he set and the approach to our work on the set. I learned about comedic timing, paying off characters in the third act of a story line, and the equal values of both focused rehearsal and, at particular moments, of total chaotic spontaneity.

I saw him lobby against jokes that were admittedly funny but that were at the expense of and undercut the long-term reliability of a character.

I was fortunate to witness and even participate in thousands of minutely detailed creative problem-solving interactions with Andy always tirelessly engaged.

He proved hour by hour, episode by episode that creativity and neurotic angst were in fact not inexorably linked. He led by example and we demonstrated that a cast and company could play practical jokes on one another, laugh 'til they cried and still get 12 pages of the script shot every day while producing a No. 1-rated show.

And, as I look back today, knowing that Andy's vision yielded a show that still airs daily all over the country and holds an absolutely unique place in the annals of its medium, I'm reminded of another lesson taught by example.

Do all that, and don't forget to have as many laughs as you can along the way.

Ron Howard played Sheriff Andy Taylor's son Opie on "The Andy Griffith Show" from 1960 to 1968 beginning when he was 6 years old (he was 5 when the pilot aired in 1959). The young actor was credited on the popular series as Ronny Howard. He appeared again with Griffith in the 1986 TV movie "Return to Mayberry" and last worked with him on behalf of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign on an online political comedy sketch on the Funny or Die website.

Howard went on to become one of Hollywood's top movie directors with such hits as "Splash," "Cocoon," "Parenthood," "Apollo 13," "Ransom" and "A Beautiful Mind," which won four Oscars in 2002 including director and best picture. earned from him.

post #80582 of 93675
TV Notes
'Hawaii Five-0' casting scoop: Meet McGarrett's mother!
By Sandra Gonzalez, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jul. 3, 2012

McGarrett Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
looked as shocked as we were when he found himself about to come face-to-face with his thought-to-be-dead mother on the season finale of Hawaii Five-0.
And now, some major star power as signed on to play this important role for the upcoming third season.

CBS has announced that Christine Lahti (Chicago Hope, Jack & Bobby) has signed on to play Doris McGarrett, mother to Steve McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin). She is set to appear on a recurring basis.

“The mysterious character of Doris McGarrett is a pivotal one to the mythology of our show,” executive producer Peter Lenkov said in a statement, “and we are thrilled to have a seasoned and beloved actress such as Christine to portray her. She’s a wonderful addition to the H50 family and the fans will certainly enjoy what we have in store for her. Let’s just say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
'Weeds' Premiere on Par With Season 7 Ratings, 'Episodes' Shy of Freshman Take
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 3, 2012

Following several weeks of sampling, Showtime officially debuted season premieres of Weeds and Episodes on Sunday night.

Weeds, entering its eighth and final run, brought in 805,000 viewers in its initial airing, pulling in a total of 1.33 million viewers following an encore. That number is down from last year's 1.1 million premiere, but topped its seventh season finale (556,000) and seventh season average (720,000) by significant margins.

The last season of Weeds netted just north of 3.3 million weekly viewers when taking into account encores, DVR and On Demand.

Also up against the night's stiff broadcast and cable competition was the sophomore outing for Matt LeBlanc starrer Episodes. The new season opened up to 486,000 viewers in its inaugural 10:30 p.m. broadcast, reaching 734,000 with encores. The first season of Episodes debuted to 768,000, later averaging 1.9 million across platforms.

Online sampling of the Episodes premiere has thus far reaped 820,000 views, though similar data for Weeds is not yet available.

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Tech Notes
Netflix streams more than 1 billion hours in June
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jul. 3, 2012

In a sign that its problems from late 2011 are fading and its service is becoming a more and more powerful force in home media, Netflix streamed more than 1 billion hours of video in June, the first time it has hit that number in a single month.

The news came via a Facebook post from Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, who congratulated the company's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and his content licensing team, who work out of an office in Beverly Hills.

The last time Netflix provided data on the amount of video its subscribers streamed was in the fourth quarter of 2011, when it streamed 2 billion hours over a three-month period.

Netflix has 23.2 million streaming customers worldwide, meaning each consumed an average of 43 hours, or nearly 1 1/2 hours per day.

Hastings has said that Netflix counts on growth in streaming as a key way to retain subscribers -- and avoid spending marketing dollars to replace dissatisfied customers. Netflix was hurt last summer by a surprise price increase that angered many consumers.

Some also predicted that Netflix's business might suffer as it lost access to high-profile new releases from Sony Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures with the end of its partnership with pay cable channel Starz this past winter. But the Silicon Valley video company claimed its customers would find more than enough content from other deals it has signed, most of which are for television reruns.

More than 60% of the video streamed from Netflix is television programs, not movies. And the company is moving into original programming. It began in February with the U.S. debut of the Norwegian comedy "Lilyhammer," starring Steven Van Zandt. In his post, Hastings predicted that other shows in the works for later this year and early 2013 will drive video consumption even higher.

"When 'House of Cards' and 'Arrested Development' debut, we'll blow these records away," Hastings wrote, referring to an original political drama starring Kevin Spacey and new episodes of the cult comedy. "Keep going, Ted, we need even more!"

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Tech Review
Google's Nexus 7 is the budget tablet to beat
By Edward C. Baig, USA Today's 'Personal Tech' Column - Jul. 4, 2012

Google's brand new Nexus 7 represents a clean slate for Android tablets. It also may be the answer for consumers asking, "Which tablet should I buy now?" — certainly those conscious of cost and not wedded to a bigger display.

Though you'll find decent tablet computers that run on Google's Android mobile operating system, none has truly distinguished itself so far. Android slates, even the best of them, live in the shadow of the Apple iPad. Google's software isn't as friendly for tablets as is Apple's iOS. The total number of Android apps designed for tablets is skimpy by comparison with Apple. And Android is barely even recognizable on the Kindle Fire from Amazon and the Nook Color from Barnes & Noble — both of which put their own custom user interface on top of Android.

But Nexus 7 aims to light a fire under Android tablets and comes with the latest Android software, version 4.1 Jelly Bean. In two to three weeks, the device ships to consumers who pre-ordered it. And, with a major assist from Taiwanese hardware partner Asus, it is a dandy if imperfect offering that may do well, especially given its sweet $199 price, which matches the Fire, and deeply undercuts the iPad.

The 12-ounce Nexus 7 is thin and light, fast and fluid and responsive to the touch. Switching apps is a breeze. Its rubbery back is comfortable to hold, and it feels like a tablet that costs more. I like the improvements Google has made with Jelly Bean. The battery life is good. The standard Google Chrome browser was fine.

Google sweetens the deal further by throwing in the Transformers: Dark of the Moon movie, The Bourne Dominion eBook, music from Coldplay and the Rolling Stones, and some magazines, a new category for the Google Play Store. Plus there's a $25 credit to purchase, movies, music, apps, books and magazines in Google Play.

Other Nexus 7 features:

Search: Building on its strengths in search, Google includes a potentially helpful location-based feature called Google Now, which tells you the weather or nearby bus and train schedules without you having to request it. There's also a voice search feature, similar to Apple's Siri. Sometimes Google responds to a voice query with its own clear female voice, such as when I asked it to tell me how old Barack Obama is or how the Yankees did. Other times, if answers are more ambiguous, you get standard Google search results without the voice — and they are not always on the mark. When I asked for "some nearby interesting places" from my location in New Jersey, results were given for LA and Toronto.

Screen size: On the hardware side, the Nexus 7 is no match for the iPad, but then it's $300 cheaper than the least expensive of the latest Apple tablets. The 7-inch screen on the Nexus 7, however impressive, is far smaller than the near 10-inch display on the iPad and not as sharp as its super-crisp "Retina display." I found reading magazines a bit of a challenge.

Camera: The most recent iPads have rear-facing cameras to complement the front-facing one. On the Nexus 7 you get only a front camera, which you can use for Skype calls, video chats via Google+ Hangouts, and to unlock the screen through facial recognition. Fortunately, you can also unlock the screen with a passcode should your face not be recognized, as was sometimes the case with my mug.

Connectivity: The Nexus 7 also lacks any of the cellular connectivity options available on certain iPads. With Google's device it's Wi-Fi or bust. But Google has beefed up offline options, giving you the ability, for example, to dictate via voice when you are without Internet access, and to follow your location on a map you've saved through the latest version of Google Maps.

Of course, in evaluating any tablet, you must take into account the company that will for the most part supply your apps and entertainment offerings. Apple is still the undisputed apps champion and the leader in music and movies. Amazon is still the mainstay in books — though Google will quibble — and is no slouch when it comes to entertainment. Google is pushing hard on Google Play, but still has some catching up to do. Of course, you can still read your purchased Kindle books and play Amazon music on the Nexus, as with any Android tablet.

The other logical product to compare Nexus 7 to is the Kindle Fire. The two black slates look a fair bit alike, but Fire is a tad shorter and noticeably heavier. From a hardware perspective though, Nexus 7 douses Fire.

It has features that the Fire is missing, including a camera, microphone, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC (near-field communications), which is wireless technology that works with the Android Beam feature as a way to share content with other devices. NFC will also handle mobile payments, although the Google Wallet app is not yet available for the device.

Nexus 7 also boasts a superior screen and more robust (Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core) processor than the Kindle. I was impressed by the gameplay and avid graphics on the Temple Run game.

Amazon claims a big advantage for the Fire, especially for consumers who spend $79 a year for Amazon Prime. That service gives you more than 10,000 free streaming movie and TV show choices you can play on the Fire, plus a lending library with more than 150,000 free titles to borrow. And stay tuned. Amazon is almost certainly readying a next version Fire device, a hot topic on the rumor mill.

I do wish Nexus 7 provided more memory than the supplied 8 GB in the $199 version and 16GB in a model that costs $50 more. There's no SD card slot for expanding memory, or an HDMI connector for connecting the tablet to a high-definition TV. I did wirelessly stream music and movies to an HDTV by taking advantage of the $299 Nexus Q, an interesting wireless streaming black dome that Google introduced last week. But obviously not everyone is going to do that.

I didn't run a formal battery test but had no problem getting more than a full day out of the Nexus 7 over several days of mixed usage. Google claims you'll get eight hours of movie watching off a full charge and up to 10 hours of Web-viewing or book-reading time.

If you have the extra money, I'd still choose the iPad. But if you're looking for a solid smaller-screen tablet on a budget, the Nexus 7 is now the one to beat.


$199, play.google.com
PRO: Thin and light at sweet price. Jelly Bean. Excellent screen. Fast, fluid. Includes $25 spending credit.
CON: No cellular connectivity. No rear camera. Fewer tablet-specific apps. Limited storage.

post #80586 of 93675
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - The Middle
(R - Oct. 5)
8:30PM - Suburgatory
(R - Oct. 19)
9PM - Modern Family
(R - Jan. 4)
9:31PM - Modern Family
(R - Jan. 11)
10:02PM - Final Witness
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Katy Perry; Alex Pettyfer; The Offspring performs)
(R - Jun. 25)

8PM - Dogs in the City
(R - Jan. 13)
9PM - Criminal Minds
(R - Sep. 21)
10PM - Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular (LIVE)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Sacha Baron Cohen; TV host Julie Chen; Beach House performs)
(R - May 18)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Steven Tyler; Jaime King)
(R -May 8)

8PM - Betty White's Off Their Rockers
(R - May 9)
8:30PM - Up All Night
(R - Mar. 8)
9PM - Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular (LIVE)
10PM - Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Andy Samberg; Seth MacFarlane; Joe Henry performs with Lisa Hannigan)
(R - Jun. 20)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Chris Rock; TV host Cat Deeley; horse jockey Mario Gutierrez; Carly Rae Jepsen performs)
(R - Jun. 7)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Michael Ian Black; musician Father John Misty; Rachel Yamagata performs)
(R - May 3)

8PM - New Girl
(R - Nov. 15)
8:30PM - New Girl
(R - Feb. 14)
9PM - New Girl
(R - Apr. 10)
9:30PM - New Girl
(R - Apr. 24)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - A Capitol Fourth 2012 Concert (LIVE)
9:30PM - A Capitol Fourth 2012 Concert

8PM - Un Refugio Para El Amor
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No Podía Amar

8PM - America's Next Top Model
(R - Nov. 2)
9PM - America's Next Top Model
(R - Nov. 9)

8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Decisiones Extremas

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Seth MacFarlane)
(R - Jun. 26)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Aaron Sorkin)
(R - Jun. 28)

11PM - Conan (Betty White; Ken Marino; Ne-Yo; Young Jeezy performs)
(R - Feb. 28)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Group LMFAO; James Davis; Heather McDonald; comic Mo Mandel)
(R - Jun. 25)
post #80587 of 93675
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 4, 2012

Science Channel, 8:00 a.m. ET

Joss Whedon’s clever genre mash-up 2002 Fox series – part sci-fi, part Western -- gets an all-day marathon showing today on the Science Channel, beginning at 8 a.m. ET with a telecast of Serenity, the motion picture prequel made in 2005, after the series had been canceled. At 10 a.m. ET, the Firefly action starts – and is well worth visiting or revisiting. Nathan Fillion stars.

HBO, 10:00 a.m. ET

Appropriately scheduled for Independence Day, HBO repeats its entire 2008 miniseries, John Adams, starring Paul Giamatti as (Spoiler Alert!) our country’s first Vice President. Great cast – including Laura Linney as Abigail Adams, David Morse as George Washington, and Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson. And great story, too, based on the fabulous nonfiction book by screenplay co-author David McCullough. And for a more musical look at John Adams and company, check out TCM’s showing of the 1972 movie musical 1776 at 5 p.m. ET.

MeTV, 2:30 p.m. ET

Several TV networks are commemorating Andy Griffith’s death Tuesday, at age 86, by showing special programming blocks featuring the beloved actor. (For a full rundown, see Christy Slewinski’s Television & Beyond story HERE.) MeTV has a novel approach, showcasing Griffith’s guest-star appearances on other people’s shows – and this one, from 1960, is the most precious jewel in Griffith’s guest-star crown. It’s an episode of Danny Thomas’ long-running sitcom that served as a backdoor pilot for The Andy Griffith Show. Griffith plays Andy, a small-town sheriff who stops Thomas’ driving-through-town nightclub celebrity, Danny Williams, in a speed trap of sorts. Danny demands to take his case to the justice of the peace, then to the press – then finds that in this small town, they’ll all the same guy, who’s also the sheriff. You can see, in this pilot, why Thomas and company wanted to build a show and a series around Griffith – and just how instantly, effortlessly charming he was.

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tom Bergeron shifts from Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos to host this live PBS celebration from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Scheduled performers include the most recent American Idol winner, Phillip Phillips (pictured), as well as Megan Hilty from Smash, Javier Colon from The Voice, and Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara from Broadway’s Nice Work if You Can Get It. Check local listings.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

James Cagney stars in this unabashedly patriotic salute to the unabashedly patriotic entertainer George M. Cohan, whose songs are sung and danced by Cagney with great vigor. And what songs: Not only “The Yankee Doodle Boy” (better known as “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” but “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “Over There,” “Harrigan,” and “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” For the 4th of July, it’s a perfect movie musical for the 4th of July – as is the aforementioned 1776.

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TV Notes
Andy Griffith: TV Land, TCM plan tributes
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Jul. 3, 2012

Andy Griffith will be remembered with marathons on TV Land and TCM.

The actor, who died Tuesday at age 86, is best remembered for “The Andy Griffith Show,” the 1960s CBS sitcom.

TV Land will offer a marathon of episodes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Fourth of July. Doesn’t that seem appropriate? Fans can see more of Mayberry on the weekend. Episodes will air 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

TCM will offer four of Griffith’s movies on July 18. They are:

“A Face in the Crowd” (1957) at 8 p.m. The film is considered Griffith’s greatest and features his chilling performance as Lonesome Rhodes. Elia Kazan directed a cast that includes Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Walter Matthau and Lee Remick.

“No Time for Sergeants” (1958) at 10:15 p.m. Mervyn LeRoy directed the military comedy based on Ira Levin’s Broadway play. The cast includes Myron McCormick, Nick Adams, Murray Hamilton and Don Knotts. Griffith also acted in the TV and Broadway versions.

“Hearts of the West” (1975) at 12:30 a.m. Howard Zieff directed the comedy about the movie industry in the 1930s. Jeff Bridges, Donald Pleasance, Blythe Danner and Alan Arkin co-star.

“Onionhead” (1958) at 2:15 a.m. Norman Taurog directed this sentimental comedy about the Coast Guard before World War II. The cast includes Felicia Farr, Walter Matthau, Erin O’Brien, Joe Mantell, Ray Danton, James Gregory and Joey Bishop.

post #80589 of 93675
TV Notes
The Office Exclusive: Greek's Clark Duke In Talks to Join Season 9 Cast Amid Mini-Reboot
By Michael Ausiello, TVLine.com - Jul. 3, 2012

Former Greek pledge Clark Duke soon will be one of primetime’s upperclassmen.

The Kick-Ass actor is in talks to join The Office‘s upcoming ninth season as a series regular, TVLine has learned exclusively.

Details on his character are few and far between, but this much is known: he would be working at (duh) Dunder Mifflin. (If his alter ego is half as entertaining as the sexually inappropriate assistant he played on New Girl last season we’re all in).

As previously reported, The Office is set to undergo a mini-reboot this fall amid changes in front of and behind the scenes — including the departures of Fox-bound Mindy Kaling and showrunner Paul Lieberstein, as well as the possible exit of a soon-to-be spun off Rainn Wilson. Additionally, it was recently announced that B.J. Novak (Ryan) will not be returning as a regular.

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No political comments, please.

Critic's Notes
Can We Reinvent TV News (Please)?
By Jeff Jarvis, HuffingtonPost.com - Jul. 3, 2012

With his bizarro news network, Aaron Sorkin thinks he is reimagining TV news, but he is only reminiscing, wishing for the return of the mythical Uncle Walter who'll tell us all what's what. Truth is, the process we saw at work in the premier of The Newsroom -- operating without a net of knowledge, ad libbing while staying one step ahead of what's known -- was precisely the prescription for what CNN and Fox did only a few days later, screwing up the announcement of the Supreme Court's Obamacare decision because they knew too little and said too much too soon.

Let's not rely on Sorkin to reinvent TV news. But let's reinvent it, please. Because TV news does suck in so many ways: repeating what we already know; standing on its silly orthodoxies (the stand-up "report" in front of a location where nothing has happened in 12 hours); happy talk and those silly verbal fill-ins during handovers that add no information or value ("... a very troubling report this evening"); weather über alles; fluff from flacks; FIRE! and crime; militant banality; and most important, virtually no original reporting and even less investigation.

But I don't want to act like a print snob, because print's dying and TV's not. And I don't want to be an Internet snob, because my real fear is that Internet news is becoming all too much like TV news, making easy and obvious use of technologies instead of adding true value to the flow of information: blog posts that repeat and rewrite when a link to the source would better serve the public and journalists who do the real reporting; comment for the sake of comment; slideshows for the sake of slideshows (and page-views); glomming onto the latest cool thing (TV has helicopters; we have aggregation, Wordles, Twitter feeds, infographics that spend an acre to say what a paragraph could, exercises in dataviz that all look like the same supernova, and -- God help us -- videos made to mimic TV news... NO!).

I have been arguing here that we need to reinvent news -- its forms, relationships, and business models -- given the new opportunities that technology provides. But I don't want us to fall into the shiny-thing trap of TV or the priesthood of the broadcaster. I want to reimagine the possibilities and the value of news. One challenge is that we don't yet know what the Internet is and what all it can and will do. But we do know what TV is and can do. And we know that TV news makes sad use of its opportunities. So how do we reinvent it? I'd like your thoughts. Here are some of mine:

* Go ahead: summarize. We know that TV is good at repeating the news, so why not start by doing that better and more efficiently? Don't waste money and journalistic "talent" on stand-ups before long-dormant crime scenes. Don't assume you need one person to read the news and another the sports when it's all just reading. One person reading in a studio can tell us most everything that the current crew does. The next question is how that one person's script could add value: by summarizing stories cogently and precisely; by adding context; by cramming lots of information into our busy hour; by taking the effort to find the very best reports out there and curating and integrating them. Make those 22 minutes truly worthwhile. There's nothing to stop one or a few smart people from making this newscast now. But it doesn't really push the peanut down the road, it only makes better peanut butter.

* Explain. Open secret: The great strength of public radio in the U.S. isn't so much reporting or investigation but explanation. Take Adam Davidson & Co.'s brilliant work at Planet Money and on This American Life teaching us about economics. Now imagine they had visuals in front of them, even just a whiteboard to diagram the flow of money, a la the Khan Academy. Imagine having experts on call with webcams to untie particular knots. Video is an excellent medium for explanation; that's why it is being used for education. Sadly, public television has not taken up the opportunity to create a show that explains the news. Neither has cable news. Instead of a screwed-up newsflash over the Supreme Court's ACA ruling, how much better it would be to have a real explanation of the impact of the legislation and how it will work (as Reddit did). It's an opportunity out there for the taking.

* Convene. So long as TV is still a mass medium, much of its power lies in gathering and organizing people or action. The Tea Party is the proof of that. Why not use this power for good? Oh, I know, that's advocacy; it violates the Star Trek Prime Directive against interfering with the populous. To hell with that. TV could bring people together not to shout at each other but to find common ground and action. Jon Stewart, again, tried to do that with his Rally to Restore Sanity. Sadly, it didn't accomplish much; sanity has not been restored. Perhaps the goal was just too ambitious. Could local TV convene people to clean up a park or tutor kids or start a FOIA club? Can we start there?

* Create. CNN and much of mainstream media blew it because they thought cameras in the hands of the public were an opportunity to give them free content, rather than to empower that public. Al Gore's Current blew it (long before it hired Keith Olbermann). It had the chance to be an open platform for the creation and distribution of vox vid by millions. I even had this argument with Gore's co-founder: open up and make this the first true network of the net. But they were tradition- and revenue-bound, favoring instead the cable companies and their demands. Current could have been YouTube. It's now a has-been. Perhaps Cory Booker's #waywire will see a new opportunity, which I think is to add value to the public's video by finding the best, making it better, adding context, and so on.

Video will soon be coming from everywhere. Imagine a street scene in which, say, a tenth, even a hundredth of the people are wearing Google Glass, constantly and instantly able to capture and share what they see (the other 99 percent will have "phones" able to do the same): thousands, millions of cameras in a city. What would TV news look like then? The key skill is no longer sending out a crew; it's finding people near news or finding news from the people who are sharing it -- in other words, asking and listening.

* Discuss. Charlie Rose is wonderful but he doesn't scale. Online comments are in theory wonderful, but they still tend to bring out the worst. TV could find a middle ground, opening up the dialog beyond the booked-and-flacked guest on a show while also giving some form, structure, and civility to the conversation. See what local TV news anchor Sarah Hill is doing using Google+ Hangouts to open up TV. A decade ago, I envisioned a show or network that would rely on the then-new network of webcams growing to bring new expertise and new voices to TV. Now it exists. Use it.

Imagine, too, how TV could make better use of the back-channel discussion that is already occurring around it on Twitter, on Facebook, and on Google+. Reading the random tweet on air doesn't cut it. How could TV use these feeds to inform questions and answer them, to gauge reaction, to fact-check, and more?

Note that these notions -- making TV a device for creation and conversation -- transform TV from a one-way medium into a two-way platform. That's where it should head, because it finally can.

* Joke. There's a lot to be learned from the success of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. I want to teach a journalism course in humor and truth. Humor is a perfect way to call ********, which should be the mission of every news organization there is (instead, it's the motto of Howard Stern's Howard 100 News: "No more ********!"). Humor punctures pomposity. It engages the public. It adds perspective. TV does humor well.

* Fact-check. Want to add value to the flow of news? Fact-check it. Add annotations to video from sources.

* Share. It has been argued that the BBC and other state-owned TV networks should make all the video they shoot available for remixing by the public since, after all, the public already paid for it. It's a good idea. Take all that a network shoots plus all that C-SPAN captures and create tools to let the public make their own shows around it, finding the gems that wouldn't fit in 1:30 on the air, making TV from a mass medium into a far more targeted venue.

* Report. Oh, yes, there's no better way to add value than to report. There's nothing stopping TV from reporting. Yes, sometimes, cameras get in the way, but sometimes they also make it possible to get more information because they can show instead of just tell and because, as The Daily Show proves regularly, people will do anything to be on TV, even make fools of themselves. Besides, cameras are getting so small we're wearing them. They're losing their power of intimidation.

I'll be the first to say (so you don't need to) that that's a crappy, incomplete list, not nearly imaginative enough. So beat me. Inspire us. Reimagine the possibilities. Remake TV. Just please don't make it this: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

Jeff Jarvis is the author of 'Public Parts' and 'What Would Google Do?'

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TV Notes
By golly, England’s having a moment
It's the in country right now, with the Olympics and a PBS special
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 3, 2012

This is certainly the year for England in pop culture.

Queen Elizabeth II recently celebrated her 50-year anniversary on the throne. The Olympics take place in London later this month. "Downton Abbey" is the buzziest British show in years. And British singer Adele was this year's big winner at the Grammys.

So PBS's four-part documentary "Michael Wood's Story of England," a history of the storied country, seems particularly timely. It premieres Tuesday and will air Tuesday nights through July 24. (check your local listings)

The series, which originally aired on the BBC, approaches the subject via a unique idea, examining England's history by focusing in on one town, Kibworth, which is located north of Oxford.

Kibworth certainly doesn't have the name recognition of Oxford or London, but it has some equally interesting background.

Wood interviews dozens of Kibworth residents, and he examines a series of archeological digs taking place in the town that have helped to uncover previously unknown facts about its geography and social history.

Wood details the rise of a group of Kibworth "nonconformists" who helped challenge religious authority in England, and he tries to find the real story behind a mound of ground rumored to be the burial site of an Anglo-Saxon chieftain.

PBS probably won't see any appreciable viewership gains for "England," but it should draw in both "Downton" and Olympic enthusiasts alike. And it certainly helps bolster the public broadcaster's image, since all things English are so very in right now.

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Business Notes
FX Lands Off-Net Rights To ‘Mike & Molly’ For Bargain Basement Price Of $750,000
By Nikki Finke and Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jul. 4, 2012

Insiders tell Deadline that FX as recently as last week wasn’t even going after the off-network cable syndication rights to the CBS comedy Mike & Molly from Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution. “We were not in the bidding and had no intention to be, based on how crazy-high pricing on sitcoms has been lately,” an executive explains. Conventional wisdom in the syndication community had the sitcom going to TBS in yet another Time Warner synergistic deal. But now the sitcom will debut on FX in September 2014, and the network has cable syndication exclusivity and the ability to air the series in all dayparts. Mike & Molly now joins fellow comedies Two And A Half Men and How I Met Your Mother on the FX roster. So what happened? The bargain basement price.

According to sources, the license fee is under $1 million an episode, with insiders detailing that it sold for as low as $750,000 an episode. ”We came into the bidding at the very end of last week when we got a sense of where the marketplace was,” one executive explains to Deadline. “We felt that this was a very good show that was going to go for a reasonable price and could not resist the value proposition.” Indeed, the price for Mike & Molly looked like pennies compared to the record-setting off-network sale of fellow Warner Bros comedy series Two Broke Girls‘ reported $1.7M an episode license fee. “It was a very good deal for us,” another exec tells us.

Two weeks ago, Warner Bros TV took both shows out. But because there was stronger interest in freshman Two Broke Girls, the studio opted to focus on it first. That sparked a bidding war won by TBS. At the same time, Warner Bros also sold both sitcoms in broadcast syndication to the CBS stations. Mike & Molly‘s cable sale was next. But it didn’t create the bidding frenzy that Two Broke Girls triggered. Ergo the more moderate license fee. True, Mike & Molly doesn’t seem like a good fit with FX programing on the surface. “But our pre-10 o’clock shows are different than our after-10 o’clock shows,” an exec insists.

Ever since Seinfeld set the off-network sale record with a $1 million license fee per episode seemingly eons ago, successful sitcom syndications have been fewer but pricier. Warner Bros’ The Big Bang Theory set a new record by selling to TBS in 2010 for $1.5 million an episode. 20th TV’s Modern Family went for close to that to USA. So don’t expect prices to come down now.

post #80593 of 93675
Joey Chestnut will win his 6th in a row Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest @ Coney Island NY today.

ESPN3@noon / ESPNHD@3:00pm.
post #80594 of 93675
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Joey Chestnut will win his 6th in a row Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest @ Coney Island NY today.

ESPN3@noon / ESPNHD@3:00pm.

A waste of bandwidth - especially the HD feed - in my opinion.
post #80595 of 93675
TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #80596 of 93675
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Joey Chestnut will win his 6th in a row Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest @ Coney Island NY today.
ESPN3@noon / ESPNHD@3:00pm.

Play-by-play Guy: "Looks like one competitor may have bitten his cheek!
Color Guy: "That's something you never want to see!

I may have paraphrased this as I was laughing too hard to hear it exactly. tongue.gif

Here's what they ought to do with this thing: Wait an hour, then take a blood sample from each of the competitors. Guy with the highest insulin reading wins!
post #80597 of 93675
A couple of years ago there was a poll on ESPN during the hot dog eating contest about whether competitive eating was a sport.  The noes beat the yeses by something like 86% to 14%.  Even among those who watch it the great majority still don't consider it a sport, so they must consider it entertainment.  It's the one hour per year that I watch ESPN.
post #80598 of 93675
TV Review
Willie Nelson’s hair and Santa Ana's battle map are among ‘America’s Lost Treasures’
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - Jul. 4, 2012

Shows about “stuff” are like doctor dramas, food shows and sports talk. There is no way we will ever get enough.

Because we all have “stuff,” we also enjoy looking at other people’s stuff, and comparing. Not in a competitive sense, necessarily, but more to reassure ourselves that gathering stuff is normal and even healthy.

Our stuff becomes a running history of our lives — and if it happens to say something more, or be worth a couple of bucks, so much the better.

“America’s Lost Treasures,” perhaps because it’s on National Geographic rather than, well, some other cable channels, has slightly loftier aspirations.

Each week in the 10-part series that starts Wednesday night, hosts Curt Doussett and Kinga Philipps will visit another city, where they will invite local folks to bring their favorite treasure.

Curt and Kinga will each pick three of the most interesting items and will research each one, checking its back story where possible and getting an assessment of its value.

Eventually they will each pick one item, and the curator of the National Geographic Museum in Washington will decide which is the more interesting.

That item will become part of a display in the museum next year and the owner will get $10,000.

It’s a friendly competition where the viewer wins either way, because the show in effect lets the viewer pick through the most interesting stuff the hosts find.

The idea of visiting different cities also works out exceptionally well, because stuff is one of those things that still tends to have a regional flavor.

The crowd from the premiere episode in Austin, for instance, brings a lot of cowboy stuff, Wild West stuff and guns.

Okay, it also has the guy who obtained a single strand of Willie Nelson’s hair and has mounted it in a glass case.

So how do you put a price on that, pardner?

As with any audition show, the early stages bring out some characters who mostly just want to be on TV.

But the stuff Doussett and Philipps choose stands on its own — a saddle from Jim Shoulders, the “Babe Ruth of Rodeo,” a Colt revolver owned by a Texas Ranger, a hand-drawn battle map from Mexican general Santa Ana.

It’s all quite genial, and the owners of the stuff have the enthusiasm you’d expect.

These aren’t the professionals from “storage wars,” who are just looking to turn a quick buck. These are people who really like their stuff — and as a result, we like it, too.

Network / Air Date: Wednesdays at 9 p.m., National Geographic
Rating: ★★★ (out of five)

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Nielsen Overnights
‘Hell’s Kitchen’, ‘America’s Got Talent’ Down, CBS Takes Night With Repeats
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 4, 2012

On Fox there were some contestant tears last night on Hell’s Kitchen (1.9/7) but Gordon Ramsey held it together even though the show was down 17% from last week. On MasterChef (2.0/7), eyes stayed dry but the show was also down, 13% from last week.

Fox took the night among adults 18-49 but CBS’ repeats won in total viewers with an audience of 6.6 million. CBS went with NCIS (1.0/4), NCIS: Los Angeles (0.8/3) and 48 Hours Mystery (1.1/3) ABC also ran repeats with Wipeout (0.9/3) and Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (0.7/2)

Leading into the 4th of July holiday, Tuesday evening started off on NBC with an America’s Got Talent (1.0/4) repeat. Then it was a new America’s Got Talent (2.3/8) live from New York for the second night. The competition show was down 28% from last week as it held its first results night of the season. The reality show Love In The Wild (1.3/4) was down 19% from last week.


* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
The Newsroom Takes a Ratings Hit
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (NY Magazine) - Jul. 3, 2012

HBO has already renewed The Newsroom for a second season, but that's no reason to stop obsessively tracking the show's ratings, just like they do in the real world of cable news. And while we'll try to not get too dramatic over week-to-week fluctuations, the week two numbers for the show weren't that great. Per Nielsen, episode two of Aaron Sorkin's latest TV endeavor fell to 1.7 million viewers Sunday, down roughly 20 percent from its premiere. Among viewers under 50, the drop-off was more dramatic, with Newsroom plummeting 30 percent (from a 1.0 rating in the demo to a 0.7) and losing to The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Army Wives, and some random movie on FX.

The heavy guns on Bravo and Lifetime may also be contributing to the show's continued gender gap: Newsroom ranked No. 33 among cable series Sunday among women under 50, but it was No. 6 with men of the same age. Another factor this week was likely intense competition from the BET Awards, which featured a Whitney Houston tribute and lured 7.4 million viewers (down a tick from last year's Bieber-boosted 7.7 million). If The Newsroom were on a broadcast network, this week's declines would be cause for modest concern, particularly since last week's premiere numbers were more "good" than "great." But HBO has trained its subscribers to look for multiple repeats of its shows throughout the week or to view via its HBO On Demand or HBO GO platforms, so until all those numbers are in, it's really impossible to know whether this week's drop-off is a sign of viewers opting out, or simply deciding to watch the show on their own timetable.

Edited by dad1153 - 7/4/12 at 8:34pm
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Q&A/TV Sports
The digital challenge that is London
Viewers will expect digital and social media elements in ad campaigns
By Diego Vasquez, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 3, 2012

Since the last Summer Olympics four years ago, the world of social media has exploded. People now follow their favorite athletes on Twitter, post about them on Tumblr and compile boards devoted to them on Pinterest. And, in another difference from four years ago, they're doing a lot of that on their mobile phones or tablet devices. For advertisers, that means a real challenge heading into these Games. They must respond to this newly interactive world with campaigns that resonate not just on television but across digital and social media as well. That's led analysts to dub this the first truly digital Olympics. In addition to the new media aspects of advertisers' campaigns, NBC will air every Olympic event live online as it happens, with 3,500 hours of streaming coverage, a first for the Games. Al Diguido, former chief executive officer at the agency Zeta Interactive, talks to Media Life about why Olympic fans are so digitally engaged, what advertisers' biggest challenges will be, and how they're already engaging people on social media.

How does the Olympics compare to other sporting events in terms of digital and social media campaigns by advertisers?

This year's Olympics has the potential to be the first to set a standard for digital and social media marketing. Only the Super Bowl has greater attention from a digital and social media standpoint.

The challenge for marketers is much more than engaging the mass audience on game day. With the Olympics, the potential to engage their customers on a daily basis for multiple weeks is unprecedented. This is a gargantuan challenge to keep messaging fresh, relevant and entertaining for this extended period.

We have all experienced the boredom of seeing the sponsor run the same campaign over and over and over again. The end result of this tedium is that we think poorly about the brand. The 2012 London Olympics will no doubt be studied weeks after the Olympics to determine which brand did the best job of keeping the largest audience of their customers and prospect engaged throughout the games.

Achieving this gold medal status from a marketing standpoint will demand incredible innovation and ingenuity. Brands will need to make decisions based on the ebb and flow of the stories that make up the Olympic buzz. All of these real-time decisions will determine which brands will accomplish the goals that they are striving for.

To be clear, it is not only the athletes that are being tested on a world stage. Never before have marketers faced with multiple consumer channels and challenges been required to be at the top of their interactive game. It will be fun to watch on every level.

What are some ways that advertisers will leverage the Olympics in their social media activities in the coming weeks?

Marketers believe that this may be the most connected Olympics in the history of the games. Most marketers understand that their customers and prospects will be leveraging their mobile devices to keep in contact with what is happening at the games at all times.

While they may not have the time each day to watch every waking hour of broadcast coverage, they can still connect with real-time event updates and features on athletes competing in the games.

Like other Olympic sponsors, Samsung is offering real-time event results via mobile devices and leveraging their "genome project" that provides insight on the commonalities of the user with Olympians–lots of games and quizzes to keep the social community engaged with the brand.

Coke has a wide variety of apps and other interactive strategies around their "eight pack of athletes." Users can upload pictures and send best wishes to their favorite athletes. On Facebook, users can download the Coca-Cola Olympic torch tour. Coke is also providing users with a musical strategy, behind-the-scenes footage on the "London Beat" [documentary].

Most marketers are extending their broadcast and on-package messaging into social media venues, understanding that in order to keep their brand top of mind with consumers they must stretch beyond broadcast messaging into the social media realm.

What social media opportunities are available to advertisers now that were not two and four years ago?

If we think back to four years ago, the social media channel was just beginning to engage with a consumer audience of scale. Most of these media opportunities were in their infancy. Beyond Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook, there were relatively few venues of size.

Today, Pinterest and Tumblr continue to grow in popularity. The opportunity to reach a wider group of consumers across a greater group of social communities is definitely the biggest difference between this Olympics and the last one.

Marketing folks are much more understanding of how to engage consumers within the social media channels than they were four years ago. Most believed that their social media strategy was nothing more than a "billboard" during the last Olympics. Creative directors, editors, designers are all working on new and innovative ways to engage, entertain and inform via social media channels this time around.

The channel having grown measurably in its importance as part of the marketing mix now demands full attention and focus in order to leverage the tools and strategies that will engage the social media visitor with meaningful and enticing content.

Unlike broadcast channels, social media provides the marketer with a real-time understanding on whether content is being consumed and/or acted upon. It is that real-time data that keeps the marketer moving forward to optimize content with social media members to drive the engagement and transaction desired.

How will the expanded digital reach of the Olympics, with every event being streamed live online, impact advertisers?

Once again, this live video streaming of events will challenge marketers to build programs that extend their brand sponsorship online so as to capture and engage the consumer in real time.

Gone are the days that a network Olympic sponsorship would suffice in terms of reaching a high concentration of the desired audience. There will be no embargoed content and/or news. If Michael Phelps wins a medal, the world will know when it happens.

As such, a sponsor or marketer needs to make sure that his brand is represented at those real-time special moments when the world stops for a moment to cheer and/or congratulate an athlete.

It means that marketers must realize that for many of their consumers, the streaming video that they receive on their telephone, iPad or desktop may be their primary viewing venue. As such, it's best for the marketer to provide their own "digital framing" around those streams to stay top-of-mind for these broadcasts. It will be interesting to see the impact that such real-time video streaming with have on late-night broadcast audience and ratings.

Do sports advertisements employ digital and social media more than other genres? Why or why not?

Sports content, and more specifically Olympic content, has a way of crossing so many diverse socio-economic consumer segments that it has the ability to generate huge attention, interest and engagement with mass audiences. Spectator sports in general–NBA Finals, Super Bowl, Indy 500, etc.–all drive huge audience numbers in all media channels.

Those who have the greatest affinity to sports events also represent some of the most information-ravenous consumers in the marketplace. They scour the internet for the latest information and insight. Within social media venues they assemble in record numbers based on their intense loyalty and passion for their teams and/or favorite athletes.

In order for the marketer to break through and be viewed as credible in brand positioning, they must engage, entertain and incent consumers leveraging the full digital and social media toolkit. For sports fans to become engaged with a brand, that brand needs a cool factor, a campaign that goes well beyond being innovative and entertaining. Sports fans want to associate with brands that are a cut above all others in terms of their brand appeal.

Brands that engage and entertain with innovative messaging online and with social media channels have the best chance of building preference with their audience.

Advertising within sports programming is attempting to create the same fierce loyalty and passion for a brand as the consumer has for their favorite team and/or athlete. Such a connection between brand and consumer is rarely seen in other genres.

You say that companies will get an afterglow effect from their online messaging to a community of interested Olympic viewers. What does that mean? Can you give an example?

Smart marketers know that that their customers are using multiple channels to connect with content, whether it is the Olympics and/or any other type of information and/or content.

In order to sustain brand awareness and build brand preference a brand needs to extend their reach to every possible intersection between content and the consumer that they can, cost effectively and efficiently. They can ill-afford to miss a brand-building opportunity because they have decided that the online or social media venue is "not as important" as other customer channels.

The reverse is true–brands that do a solid job of engaging with their consumers online will gain a greater affinity when the consumer views a consistent brand message via broadcast venues.

For example, Visa's beautiful "Go World Change" montage of Olympic highlights, whether it is displayed on YouTube and/or during a network broadcast, reminds the consumer of all of the great brand attributes around the Visa brand. Each ad at every touch point builds onto the other to create a powerful 360-degree platform of messaging that builds affinity and loyalty to the brand.

Marketers are searching for the optimal way to optimize messaging at each venue to build greater affinity and staying power for their brand post-Olympics.

What are some of the most innovative digital/social media ad campaigns you've seen for the Olympics?

So far there really haven't been any campaigns that have been all that special or memorable. My sense is that brands don't want to "show their cards" as yet, from a competitive standpoint.

I hope to see campaigns that leverage cross-channel awareness, or brands that run network TV spots and drive viewers to the social media channels and vice-versa. Brands that do a great job on Facebook, Twitter, etc., tying back to network coverage of the events.

From my vantage point, it doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense for a marketer to keep both of these strategies–television and online–in silos in terms of measuring impact and performance. I want to see marketers weave the two together and win as a result of an integrated and coordinated execution that shows a real understanding of the fact that it is one consumer viewing from multiple channels.

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Technology Notes/Analysis
Building and dismantling the Windows advantage
By Horace Dideu, ASYMCO.com - Jul. 4, 2012

When the Macintosh was launched in 1984, computers running the MS-DOS operating system were nearing a dominant position in the market. Having launched in 1981 as the IBM PC, they were quickly cloned and four years later “PCs” were selling at the rate of 2 million/yr. The Mac only managed 372k units in its first year.

In other words, PC was outselling the Mac by a factor of nearly 6. It turned out to be a high point. The ratio by which the PC outsold the Mac only increased from there.

When Windows 95 launched in 1995 it negated most of the advantages of the ease of use of the Macintosh and the PC market took off. The ratio reached 56 in 2004 when 182.5 million PCs were sold vs. 3.25 million Macs.

During the second half of the 90s it was already clear that Windows won the PC platform war. Windows had an advantage that seemed unsurmountable.

I should point out that this ratio between platforms is not just an exercise in arithmetic. It’s a measure of leverage. The advantage of dominance is realized in an ecosystem which creates lock-in and additional economies in marketing. Ecosystems become self-perpetuating and there is a tendency toward monopoly. The stronger you are, the stronger you get.

Then, in 2004, something happened.

Although PC volumes continued to grow, they did so more slowly and the Mac grew faster. What coincided with this was the emergence of portable computing. The MacBook became easily differentiable as a “better” laptop. It was not faster, did not have more storage or any key metrics being used to sell PCs. It was just better as an integrated product. The integration manifested itself through a sense of quality and robustness as well as intangibles like aesthetics and “feel”. I wrote about this a few years ago.

As a result the Mac began to whittle down the advantage Windows had. The ratio of Windows to Mac units shipped fell to below 20, a level that was last reached before Windows 95 launched. It’s as if the Mac reversed the Windows advantage. This was an amazing turnaround for the Mac.

But the story does not end there.

If we consider all the devices Apple sells, the whittling becomes even more significant and the multiple drops to below 2. Seen this way, Post-PC devices wiped out of leverage faster than it was originally built. They not only reversed the advantage but cancelled it altogether.

Considering the near future, it’s safe to expect a “parity” of iOS+OS X vs. Windows within one or two years. The install base may remain larger for some time longer but the sales rate of alternatives will swamp it in due course.

The consequences are dire for Microsoft. The wiping out of any platform advantage around Windows will render it vulnerable to direct competition. This is not something it had to worry about before. Windows will have to compete not only for users, but for developer talent, investment by enterprises and the implicit goodwill it has had for more than a decade.

It will, most importantly, have a psychological effect. Realizing that Windows is not a hegemony will unleash market forces that nobody can predict.


post #80602 of 93675
TV Notes
United States of TV
A tour of shows set all across America
By Robert Isenberg, MSN.com - Jul. 4, 2012

TV is made is Southern California, and sometimes New York. So guess what? Most TV shows take place in California or New York.

But not all TV. As it turns out, every state in the Union has at least one show to represent it. Whether that show is a sitcom or a reality series, TV helps us understand just how big and diverse our nation is. Take "Homicide" and "Treme": Both shows were created by the same people, but they represent completely different cities and cultures.

This Independence Day, we decided to celebrate our massive, colorful country by celebrating the various series that illustrate our 50 states. Some places get more airtime than others. Some get a better rep. But wherever you go, a studio has been there first.

Happy Birthday, America!

Alabama: "Big Shrimpin" (History Channel)

It's hard work, but is there an accent more relaxing than an Alabaman's?

Alaska: "Deadliest Catch" (Discovery)

Tough, grizzled, cold. Alaskans don't mess around.

Arizona: "Medium" (NBC/CBS)

Ahh, Arizona, the land of psychic cops. Must be something in that dry air.

Arkansas: "19 Kids and Counting" (TLC)

Michelle, Jim Bob and a brood of 19 Duggars. Arkansas may need new poster children.

California: "Californication" (Showtime)

Sex, drugs, blogging. Madcap dysfunction never looked as cool as it does in SoCal.

Colorado: "Community" (NBC)

No mountains. No skiing. Filmed in California. But the fleecey fashion is dead-on.

Connecticut: "Gilmore Girls" (The WB)

Fast-talking and impossibly well- educated, the Gilmore girls were small-town New England at its cutest.

Delaware: "The Pretender" (NBC)

Who would guess there are so many professions to impersonate in Delaware?

Florida: "Nip/Tuck" (FX)

Florida means sun, beaches and incredibly shady surgeons. Retire with a whole new face!

Georgia: "The Walking Dead" (AMC)

Leave it to a zombie drama to show off Georgia's beautiful scenery, diverse population and abundant firearms.

Hawaii: "Hawaii Five-0" (CBS)

Putting the "aloha" in international kidnapping plots!

Idaho: "Napoleon Dynamite" (FOX)

There's a lot of empty, out there in Idaho. But nobody makes boring look so fun.

Illinois: "ER" (NBC)

Known as the Windy City, Chicago is also a hotbed of topical medical issues -- improbably, none of which seem related to hot dogs or deep-dish pizza.

Indiana: "Parks and Recreation" (NBC)

Flat landscape, colorful people. Really colorful people.

Iowa: "American Pickers" (History)

A state full of garage scavengers? Perhaps the least-represented state in America, Iowa is about due for a prime-time series.

Kansas: "Jericho" (CBS)

Life in the plains sure gets weird after a nuclear holocaust. But no, Toto, we're still in Kansas.

Kentucky: "Justified" (FX)

Sometimes, y'all gotta take matters into your own hands. This here's shotgun country ... and rocket launcher country ... and cool hat country ...

Louisiana: "True Blood" (HBO)

Louisiana's got plenty more than the Big Easy. Take Bon Temps, a quaint little town full of vampires. 'Round here, even the undead have joie de vivre.

Maine: "Once Upon a Time" (ABC)

Little-known fact: Maine is actually just a magical portal to medieval fairy tales.

Maryland: "The Wire" (HBO)

Maryland is a state of such vivid urban realism that it will ruin television forever.

Massachusetts: "Dawson's Creek" (The WB)

The part of Massachusetts that isn't Boston is pensive, quiet and full of subtle relationships.

Michigan: "Hung" (HBO)

Tough economic times in Motor City. But with a little innovation and anatomical freakishness, a Michigan man can still go far.

Minnesota: "Coach" (ABC)

The land of 10,000 hilarious football gags. To this day, "Dauber" is still the most Scandinavian-looking character ever to appear on television.

Mississippi: "In the Heat of the Night" (NBC)

Back in 1988, Mississippi was sultry and slow, with unsteady race relations. Luckily, Detective Tibbs could help solve one of those problems. Oh, sorry: MISTER Tibbs!

Missouri: "Grace Under Fire" (ABC)

Brett Butler was the only performer ever to set a sitcom in Missouri (kind of). How about a provocative crime drama called "The Arch"?

Montana: "Buckskin" (NBC)

Life was hard in 1880s Montana, especially through the lens of a 1960s TV Western. "Buckskin" is pretty much the only series ever set in the Treasure State.

Nebraska: "The Young Riders" (ABC)

Life was hard in 1850s Nebraska, especially through the lens of an early 1990s TV Western. "The Young Riders" is pretty much the only series ever set in the Cornhusker State.

Nevada: "Reno 911" (Comedy Central)

There is nothing crazier than Las Vegas at night. Nothing, that is, except the Reno police force during the day.

New Hampshire: "The Brotherhood of Poland, New Hampshire" (CBS)

Folks are pretty private up in New Hampshire. "Brotherhood" was canceled after five episodes.

New Jersey: "The Sopranos"

Tough talk, family issues, dubious haircuts. Fuggetaboutit.

New Mexico: "Breaking Bad" (AMC)

Aside from the failing education system, gang warfare and desert meth labs, New Mexico is as sunny as ever.

New York: "Girls" (HBO)

Bright lights, big city, totally broke. New York never hurt so good. (Wait, is that derivative?)

North Carolina: "Eastbound & Down" (HBO)

Let's just say that Kenny Powers is not the desired mascot for North Carolina. And yet, here he be.

North Dakota: "My Secret Identity" (MCA Television)

The only show ever made about North Dakota concerned a 14-year-old with superpowers. It lasted one season in 1988. It was produced in Canada.

Ohio: "Glee" (FOX)

What you never knew about Ohio is that its youth is absolutely rabid for musical theater. Also, the capital is Columbus.

Oklahoma: "Saving Grace" (TNT)

Oklahoma is God's country. Literally -- if you're an alcoholic detective, an earthy angel will arrive to turn your life around. That's how the seraphim roll in Oklahoma City.

Oregon: "Portlandia" (IFC)

Playful mayors! Adult hide-and-seek! Put a bird on it! The '90s live on in Portland!

Pennsylvania: "The Office" (NBC)

Once a crossroads of industry, now a dead-end of cubicles.

Rhode Island: "Family Guy" (FOX)

Nothing about "Family Guy" screams "Rhode Island." Except for Pawtucket Pat beer, which, despite being a cartoon, looks eerily tasty.

South Carolina: "Army Wives" (Lifetime)

Fact: South Carolina is home to eight military bases. Also, the state is replete with breathtakingly beautiful housewives.

South Dakota: "Deadwood" (HBO)

A hundred and forty years ago, South Dakota was just a lawless, backwater territory with a gun-battle problem. Today, it's home to Wall Drug.

Tennessee: "Nashville" (ABC, premieres this Fall)

Will "Nashville" do justice to the capital of bluegrass and rockabilly culture? We'll just have to see.

Texas: "Friday Night Lights" (NBC)

Everything's bigger in Texas: The sky, the linebackers and the TV adaptations of major motion pictures.

Utah: "Big Love" (HBO)

They don't swear. They don't drink. But, man, can they get in serious trouble. Polygamy, casinos, murder attempts -- everybody's got a different path to the Celestial kKingdom.

Vermont: "Newhart" (CBS)

What a cool dream, to open a B&B in rural Vermont, where all the townies are kooky and the guests even kookier. Unfortunately, it was a dream.

Virginia: "Homeland" (Showtime)

As far as prime-time TV is concerned, Virginia consists of (a) Langley, where the CIA is based, and (b) several bridges leading to Washington, D.C.

Washington: "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC)

Mellow, lots of relationships, ethnically diverse. But the best part of Washington State: The musical interludes.

West Virginia: "Coal" (Spike)

There's coal in them thar hills. Wild, wonderful, tough, brooding.

Wisconsin: "Picket Fences" (CBS)

Rural antics were never so thoughtful or wholesome. Maybe the sweetest possible ode to Midwestern life.

Wyoming: "Longmire" (A&E)

Remember the good old days, when a man could strut around with a rifle and call a spade a spade? Still alive and well in Wyoming.

Washington, D.C.: "The West Wing" (NBC)

When TV takes on the Beltway, it's always about politicians, secret agents, and news newspeople. Nobody did it better than "The West Wing."

Robert Isenberg is a writer and stage performer based in Pittsburgh. His documentary, "The Trail," will premiere in August.

Edited by dad1153 - 7/4/12 at 9:51pm
post #80603 of 93675
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
THURSDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Duets (LIVE)
9PM - Wipeout
10PM - Rookie Blue
* * * *
11:35PM - Nightline (LIVE)
Midnight - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Louis C.K.; Zoe Kazan; Katy Perry performs)
(R - Jun. 26)

8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Sep. 22)
8:31PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Oct. 6)
9PM - Person of Interest
(R - Oct. 27)
10PM - The Mentalist
(R - Mar. 8)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Adam Sandler; Jerry Douglas performs)
(R - Jun. 13)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Billy Bob Thornton; Sonya Walger)
(R May 22)

8PM - The Office
(R - Mar. 8)
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
(R - Jan. 12)
9PM - Saving Hope
10PM - Rock Center with Brian Williams
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Tom Cruise; skydivers Felix Baumgartner and Joe Kittinger; Kool and the Gang performs)
(R - Jun. 8)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Ben Stiller; chef Anthony Bourdain; Japandroids perform)
(R - Jun. 8)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Jenny McCarthy; Jessie Baylin performs)
(R - May 7)

8PM - Take Me Out
8:58PM - The Choice (62 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Jan. 5)
9PM - Frontline - Money, Power and Wall Street: The Crisis Spreads
(R - May 31)
10PM - POV: The Dark City

8PM - Un Refugio para el Amor
9PM - Abismo de Pasión
10PM - La Que No Podía Amar

8PM - Breaking Pointe (Season Finale)
9PM - The Vampire Diaries
(R - Oct. 27)

8PM - Una Maid en Manhattan
9PM - Corazón Valiente
10PM - Decisiones Extremas

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Andrew Garfield)
(R - Jun. 27)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Philanthropist Melinda Gates)
(R - Jun. 27)

11PM - Conan (Megan Mullally; Steven Ho; Mona performs)
(R - Mar. 1)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Oliver Stone)
(R - Jun. 27)

11PM - Brand X with Russell Brand
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 5, 2012

Encore, 8:00 p.m. ET

This is the golden anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise, which is still going strong. Sean Connery starred as 007 in this first cinematic adaptation of an Ian Fleming novel, and the majority of the reason the Bond phenomenon caught on was due to his rugged appeal and cool, ranging on cold, reactions under fire, as well as under the sheets. But give some credit, too, to the original “Bond girl,” back when calling them girls was unquestionably accepted. Playing the role of Honey Ryder, and first seen emerging from the ocean wearing a bikini and sporting a knife, was Ursula Andress.

FLIX, 8:00 p.m. ET

John Cassavetes wrote and directed this 1974 character study, partly improvised, about a wife and mother who fears she’s going mad, and the husband who tries to cope with her mental instability. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk star – and they’re so good, and Cassavetes’ camerawork so mobile and fluid, much of this film seems more like a documentary.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET
Spike Lee is tonight’s guest programmer
, and he’s selected a roster of films that share a certain intensity. His evening begins with this 1951 Billy Wilder film, exposing the cynicism, manipulation and competitiveness of broadcast news back when the reigning news medium was radio. Kirk Douglas stars as a reporter who capitalizes on a mine cave-in to grab the spotlight for himself as well. Other Lee selections include 1955’s The Night of the Hunter at 10 p.m. ET, 1954’s On the Waterfront at 11:45 p.m. ET, and the capper, which turns out to be scheduled very serendipitously indeed. (See today’s final BEST BETS item below.)

FX, 10:30 p.m. ET

Tonight’s hilarious episode has Louie (Louis C.K.) accepting a dinner invitation at a friend’s house, only to arrive and learn he’s been set up with an unofficial blind date. She’s played by Melissa Leo, and her character takes an instant dislike to Louie, and isn’t shy about saying what she thinks. But oddly, for the outspoken Louie, that doesn’t necessarily make her less attractive. Their chemistry is volatile, unpredictable and hilarious – and so is this episode.

TCM, 1:45 a.m. ET

Spike Lee’s final choice as tonight’s TCM guest programmer, selected months ago, has special resonance this week. It’s the 1957 movie that made a star of Andy Griffith, who died Tuesday. Elia Kazan directed this film, released three years before The Andy Griith Show. It tells of an aimless, unknown folksinger – Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, played by Griffith – who becomes a national singing and TV star, and reacts to fame less than graciously. The screenplay was written by Budd Schulberg, whose ability to predict, and comment cynically upon, the future of television makes this a worthy precursor of Paddy Chayefsky’s Network. Co-stars include Patricia Neal, Lee Remick and Walter Matthau.

post #80605 of 93675
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
United States of TV
A tour of shows set all across America
By Robert Isenberg, MSN.com - Jul. 4, 2012
TV is made is Southern California, and sometimes New York. So guess what? Most TV shows take place in California or New York.
But not all TV. As it turns out, every state in the Union has at least one show to represent it. Whether that show is a sitcom or a reality series, TV helps us understand just how big and diverse our nation is. Take "Homicide" and "Treme": Both shows were created by the same people, but they represent completely different cities and cultures.
This Independence Day, we decided to celebrate our massive, colorful country by celebrating the various series that illustrate our 50 states. Some places get more airtime than others. Some get a better rep. But wherever you go, a studio has been there first.
Happy Birthday, America!

This was kinda neat! Reminding me there actually was (not real) show in my little state of Delaware! I LIKED The Pretender!
post #80606 of 93675
Originally Posted by Carl Jones View Post

This was kinda neat! Reminding me there actually was (not real) show in my little state of Delaware! I LIKED The Pretender!
I liked it a lot, as well.

The funny part is, there was a news story at one point about a guy who managed to fake being things like a stokebroker or a doctor several years back. He was a real "pretender".

What I thought was really cool was that "The Center" was actually a water treatment plant in Canada:


They don't build them like that anymore...
post #80607 of 93675
Originally Posted by Carl Jones View Post

Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
United States of TV
A tour of shows set all across America
By Robert Isenberg, MSN.com - Jul. 4, 2012
TV is made is Southern California, and sometimes New York. So guess what? Most TV shows take place in California or New York.
But not all TV. As it turns out, every state in the Union has at least one show to represent it. Whether that show is a sitcom or a reality series, TV helps us understand just how big and diverse our nation is. Take "Homicide" and "Treme": Both shows were created by the same people, but they represent completely different cities and cultures.
This Independence Day, we decided to celebrate our massive, colorful country by celebrating the various series that illustrate our 50 states. Some places get more airtime than others. Some get a better rep. But wherever you go, a studio has been there first.
Happy Birthday, America!
This was kinda neat! Reminding me there actually was (not real) show in my little state of Delaware! I LIKED The Pretender!
Yes, "Parks and Recreation" is set in Indiana but so is another hit comedy, "The Middle" set in fictional Orson, Indiana. And then there was "One Day at a Time" years ago set in the non-fictional city of Indianapolis. smile.gif
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TV Notes
Preschoolers get six new shows on NBC in partnership with Sprout channel
By Brenna Walton, New York Daily News - Jul. 5, 2012

Preschoolers will have six new shows to watch on Saturday mornings starting this weekend on NBC.

The Peacock Network will launch “NBC Kids” Saturday, a new three-hour block from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that aims to address developmental needs of preschool children and to promote healthy lifestyles.

When Comcast acquired NBC Universal last year, it joined forces with Sprout, the first 24-hour channel for kids ages 2-5 and their families.

The channel has been available via Comcast since its 2005 launch, but “NBC Kids” will be the first opportunity to see these shows for families who aren’t customers of the cable provider.

The shows, some animated, some live action and some a combination of both, will all have educational themes.

“The discussions we’ve had with NBC since the Comcast deal happened have been about looking for opportunities to really focus on a theme for the three-hour Saturday morning block, and this was it,” says Sandy Wax, president of Sprout.

The launch of “NBC Kids” follows Sprout’s highest-ever quarterly audience gain, 56%. The channel has been available in 55 million homes, and the NBC deal will put its programs in 110 million homes.

Here is the lineup of new shows :

“Noodle and Doodle” (10 a.m.) stars Noodle, a lovable puppet who likes to help in the kitchen, and Doodle, a virtual electronic friend. The two lead viewers at home in making arts and crafts projects and healthy recipes.

“Pajanimals” (10:30 a.m.) features Muppet-like characters and is designed to help parents and caregivers establish a bedtime routine for children.

“Poppy Cat” (11 a.m.) is about a curious feline who loves to explore magical destinations with her colorful mix of animal friends. It’s told from the point of view of Lara, a young girl with a vivid imagination and extraordinary storytelling ability who is also Poppy’s owner.

“Justin Time” (11:30 a.m.) centers on Justin, a young boy who imagines himself traveling around the world at different points in world history.

“Lazy Town” (noon) is designed to encourage healthy eating and exercise through a mix of live and animated characters, who spur kids through play to be active and make positive life choices.

“The Wiggles” (12:30 p.m.) is an extension of the stage show of the music group of the same name, which has been called a major force in modernizing children’s entertainment with intelligently constructed characters and audience dialogue that’s easy to follow and never patronizing.

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Technology Notes
Apple Said to Plan Smaller IPad to Vie With Google Nexus
By Peter Burrows and Adam Satariano, Bloomberg - Jul. 4, 2012

Apple Inc. plans to debut a smaller, cheaper iPad by year-end, two people with knowledge of the plans said, to help maintain dominance of the tablet market as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. prepare competing handheld devices.

The new model will have a screen that’s 7 inches to 8 inches diagonally, less than the current 9.7-inch version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because Apple hasn’t made its plans public. The product, which Apple may announce by October, won’t have the high-definition screen featured on the iPad that was released in March, one of the people said.

A smaller, less expensive iPad could undercut the ambitions of Google, Microsoft and Amazon.com Inc. to gain traction in the advancing tablet market, said Shaw Wu, an analyst at Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. The new device will probably have a price closer to Google’s Nexus 7 tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, both of which have 7-inch screens and cost $199.

“It would be the competitors’ worst nightmare,” Wu said in an interview. “The ball is in Apple’s court.”

Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment yesterday.

Since the iPad went on sale in April 2010, Apple has dominated the tablet market, which is predicted by DisplaySearch to reach $66.4 billion this year. Apple has 61 percent of the market, according to Gartner Inc.

Apple’s rivals are eager to gain a toehold. Google said on June 27 that it will sell a tablet-style device called the Nexus 7. Earlier in the month, Microsoft announced a tablet called Surface that will have a similar screen size as the current iPad. Amazon’s Kindle Fire was released last year.

Google Strategy

The entrants’ best chance of success has been to focus on markets where Apple had no toehold, said Jan Dawson, an analyst at Ovum Ltd. The Surface comes in two models that are most likely to appeal to buyers who want to continue using Microsoft’s Windows software, Dawson said. While Microsoft has not disclosed pricing or timing for either, the higher-end version will probably be pricier than the iPad and targeted more at an emerging class of laptop PCs called Ultrabooks, he said. The latest iPad ranges in price from $499 to $829.

Google’s Nexus 7 could stack up well against Amazon’s Kindle Fire, which went on sale in November. The Nexus 7, manufactured by Asustek Computer Inc. (2357), has a faster processor and better battery life than the Kindle Fire, as well as a front-facing camera.

Still, competing with a lower-priced iPad will be more challenging, Wu said. Apple benefits from having more than 225,000 apps that have been tailored specifically for the current iPad.

Apple Retail

The company also boasts more than 360 retail stores where the device can be purchased and tested by consumers. Google said the Nexus 7 will be available only from its online store, while Microsoft will sell its tablets online and at its smaller chain of 20 stores.

Apple has considered introducing a smaller tablet since the original iPad was released, one person said. That approach has worked for Apple’s iPod, which is the world’s top music player and comes in various sizes and colors.

Yet Apple co-founder Steve Jobs spoke skeptically of smaller tablets before his death in October. He said in 2010 that the iPad’s current size was the minimum required to ensure a good user-experience and enable attractive software applications.

The screen of the small model will have the same number of pixels as those in the iPad before it was upgraded to the so- called Retina Display earlier this year, one person said.

Fatter Margins

Apple also may be at an advantage profit-wise. The gross margin on the latest iPad is about 37 percent, according to Wu. Apple could earn a similar profit on a smaller iPad because it will probably use the cheaper screen, Wu said. Apple can also charge more for the device without sacrificing sales, he said.

“This isn’t like the old days, when it cost thousands of dollars more to buy an Apple product,” Wu said. “Fifty or a hundred bucks wouldn’t be enough to make someone switch.”

Amazon, by contrast, loses money on every Kindle Fire it sells, with the aim of profiting from sales of books and other digital media. At the $199 price of the Nexus 7, Google’s plan should be to break even on the hardware, in exchange for the opportunity to win advertising and related revenue, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner Inc.

Apple’s plans to release a smaller sized iPad were reported previously in blogs, including DigiTimes.

Microsoft’s Stakes

The stakes are high for Microsoft and Google to succeed at hardware sales. Both companies have risked alienating long-time hardware partners, such as Samsung Electronics Co., by selling their own tablets, Gartenberg said.

“How does Samsung make money in tablets, when Google is partnering with Asus to make a product that makes no money?” he asked.

A failure to gain traction with the Nexus 7 and Surface, respectively, might also undermine the credibility of Google’s Android strategy and of Microsoft’s introduction of the next version of the Windows operating system, Wu said. If Google and Microsoft can’t make a must-have product around their own software, consumers may be harder to convince that hardware manufacturers could do it, he said.

“They’re really sticking their necks out this time, putting their own brands on this front and center,” Wu said.

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Business/Legal Notes
Europe Rejects ACTA Anti-Piracy Trade Agreement
By Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 4, 2012

BERLIN - The European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to reject the ACTA treaty designed to crack down on online piracy and other intellectual property theft worldwide.

In a vote of 478 against to just 39 in favor, with 149 abstentions, EU politicians killed ACTA, responding to critics who complained the treaty had been negotiated in secret and could be used to violate freedom of expression rights across Europe.

Supporters of the treaty had suggested postponing the crucial voting at the Parliament plenary on Wednesday, but members of the parliament decided not to delay the decision any further.

Anti-ACTA politicians were out in force Wednesday, with many wearing anti-ACTA T-shirts and hoisting banners condemning the treaty.

The EU's No vote was a bygone conclusion after five European Parliamentary committees, including the powerful International Trade Committee, recommended rejecting the treaty and a majority of the parties represented at the EU Parliament came out against ACTA.

ACTA was highly controversial in Europe and thousands of Europeans marched in protest against the treaty. Millions more signed petitions calling for the EU to dump ACTA. The anti-ACTA factions hailed Wednesday's vote as a major victory for Internet freedom.

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