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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2816

post #84451 of 93726
Technology/CES Notes
Samsung’s New TV Enables Two Viewers To Watch Different Shows Simultaneously
By David Lieberman, Deadline.com - Jan. 7, 2012

This surprised me. Samsung said at the International CES confab today that its new OLED TV sets make it possible for two people to watch different shows on the same screen at the same time. The company pulls off that trick when viewers wear special glasses, with earbuds, that isolate the program that the viewer wants. It seems the OLED models can handle all of those moving images because the screens refresh 1,000 times faster than conventional HDTV screens.

The company says it will show that off in addition to a voice command feature it calls S-Recommendation: Users can use natural language to ask for different programming characteristics, for example an actor they like, and the TV set will offer suggestions based on what’s available on conventional TV, online, and on the DVR.

Recommendations will adapt to a user’s tastes over time. “It’s the most powerful personalized TV experience ever created,” says Samsung Electronics America President Tim Baxter, who adds that it will “change the way you discover content.” The company plans to show off 85-inch and 110-inch ultra-HD sets along with an oven that can simultaneously cook two meals at different temperatures, a new collection of touch-screen computers, and a version of the Galaxy Note for Verizon with 4G and Android’s Jelly Bean operating system.

post #84452 of 93726
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)

8PM - Modern Family
(R - Nov. 7)
8:30PM - The Middle
(R - Oct. 17)
9PM - Happy Endings
9:30PM - Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
10PM - Private Practice
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Time Slot Premiere; Jennifer Aniston; No Doubt performs)
12:35AM - Nightline (Time Slot Premiere)

9PM - NCIS: Los Angeles
10PM - Vegas
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Journalist Brian Williams; Morrissey performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson (Billy Connolly; Meaghan Rath)

8PM - Betty White's Off Their Rockers (Season Premiere)
8:30PM - Betty White's Off Their Rockers
9PM - Go On
9:30PM - The New Normal
10PM - Parenthood
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Emma Stone; Josh Gad; The Whigs perform)
12:37AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Jeff Bridges; Marlon Wayans; author Ian Frazier; Bat for Lashes performs)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Hip hop artist Brother Ali; "The Iran Job''; Desaparecidos perform)
(R - Oct. 2)

8PM - Raising Hope
8:30PM - Ben and Kate
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - The Mindy Project

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - History Detectives
9PM - The Abolitionists: American Experience - Part One: 1820s-1838 (Season Premiere)
10PM - Frontline: The Education of Michelle Rhee

8PM - Por Ella Soy Yo
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - Hart of Dixie
(R - Oct. 23)
10PM - Emily Owens, M.D.

8PM - Rosa Diamante
9PM - La Patrona (Series Premiere)
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Author Gen. Stanley McChrystal)
11:31PM - The Colbert Show (Football player Chris Kluwe)

11PM - Conan (Kaley Cuoco; Gary Clark, Jr.; Anthony Mackie)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Animal conservationist and best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive)

Edited by dad1153 - 1/7/13 at 9:29pm
post #84453 of 93726
Winter TCA Tour Notes
J.J. Abrams defends secrecy: 'You're ruining it before it even exists'
By James Hibberd, EW.com - Jan. 7, 2013

Ever wonder why writer-producer J.J. Abrams is so ultra-secretive about his projects? And how he’s able to keep literally hundreds of cast and crew members from spilling details online?

Abrams (Fringe, Star Trek) was taking questions from a few reporters following his TV press tour panel in Pasadena on Sunday for NBC’s Revolution and the subject turned to his oft-noted penchant for secrecy. The filmmaker passionately explained why he’s so reluctant to share details about his movies and TV shows, how it can be frustrating to be evasive with fans and reporters, and how he’s able to keep lid on so much information in today’s online-driver spoiler-centric media universe.

“I will sit in a meeting before a movie with 80-some people, heads of departments, and literally say that all I ask is that we preserve the experience for the viewer,” Abrams says. “Every choice we make, every costume fitting, every pad of makeup, every set that’s built — all that stuff becomes less magical if it’s discussed and revealed and pictures are posted online. I just want to make sure that when somebody sees something in a movie they didn’t watch a 60-minute behind-the-scenethat came out two months before.”

Yet Abrams says he doesn’t bully and nag his teams on the subject. “It’s not like there are threats, it’s not like we’re begging them every day,” he says. “We just say up front that all the work we’re doing is about making this a special experience for the viewer; let’s preserve that as long as we can.

As a movie and TV fan, the director says he doesn’t quite understand why somebody would want to be spoiled in the first place, such as on his upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness. “Why do I want to see [a behind-the-scenes element of the film] if it’s something I don’t even understand yet?” Abrams says. “Let me experience it so I know what the movie is and have the opportunity to get sucked into that experience, and feel like, ‘Oh my god, that world is real, that ship is real, that battle is real’ … If I’ve [already] seen how ILM or whatever visual effects company made that look real, you’re ruining it before it even exists.”

Yet as much as Abrams believes in secrecy, he dislikes having to be so vague in the months leading up to a project’s release.

“It’s only fun to keep things quiet when it finally comes out as scheduled, because then you feel like, ‘Oh I didn’t just spend six months ruining the movie for people,’” Abrams says. “It’s not fun during the experience of withholding. Because then you sound like a coy bastard … and you’re sort of being a jerk. It’s about making sure that when you see the movie — or the show when it airs — that you didn’t read the synopsis that came out of my fat mouth because I’m answering a question that I’m grateful anyone would even ask — which is, ‘What happens?’ I would rather people experience what happens rather than being told what happens and then have it confirmed.”

post #84454 of 93726
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 8, 2013

NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET

As always, a lot is going on in this show, where there are significant developments on the work front (at the recording studio, seen in photo) and on the personal front. Especially the personal front – where there’s a new pregnancy to confront.

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
One of my favorite series of 2012 returns for a new season in 2013, kicking off with a twisted mystery (a 40-year-old satchel, found hidden behind some drywall) and the latest in a long series of inspired casting choices. This time it’s Patton Oswalt, who plays a small-town lawman to whom Raylan (the outstanding Timothy Olyphant) goes for unexpected, unorthodox assistance. Denver Post TV critic Joanne Ostrow describes Oswalt’s character perfectly, and hilariously, as “a cross between Barney Fife and Barney Rubble.” Yabba dabba do watch this episode, and this series. Justified is a true treat.

Spike, 10:00 p.m. ET
This isn’t a recommendation, necessarily, but the return of this reality-series improv-comedy hybrid certainly is worth noting. The original The Joe Schmo Show, also televised by Spike TV, was, like many cheaply made series in the reality-TV-obsessed world of 2003, a ripoff of such close-quarters competition shows as Survivor and Big Brother. The difference here was that everyone, save for one hapless contestant cast for his good nature and gullibility, was an actor playing a role – seeing just how far they could push, fool and tweak the poor “Joe Schmo” who wasn’t in on the joke. The initial run of this show, a decade ago, included one then-unknown comedienne who played a “quack” doctor – Kristen Wiig (seen in this credits photo from the 2003 edition). Wiig joined Saturday Night Live two years later, so it might be interesting to see if the current cast of this Joe Schmo reboot contains any similar future stars. At any rate, apparently it’s time enough to bring the show back without fear of having the prank exposed. Reality TV shows, like locusts, may be a plague capable of resurfacing every 10 years or so.

TBS, 10:00 p.m. ET
After a long absence, this former ABC series returns on a new network – a cable one – but otherwise continues its very heightened brand of pleased-with-itself humor. A flashback sequence in one of this season’s new episodes made me laugh, but that’s about all. Even so, there are some adept comic performers here – and it may be the first TV show in history where the drinking games are played by the characters, not the viewers. Courteney Cox stars.

ABC, 11:35 p.m. ET
This time shift is only a half hour from Kimmel’s former midnight slot, but for him, and for ABC, it’s a step in the right direction. It replaces Nightline, which hasn’t been as valuable since Ted Koppel left, and pits Kimmel directly against NBC’s Jay Leno and CBS’s David Letterman. Another round of the late-night talk-show war begins – but notice, this time, how much less notice it’s getting.


* * * *

Critic's Notes
'Frontline': Schooling the System
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 7, 2013

There are arguably few places to go for quality long-form television journalism, and the PBS series Frontline is by far one of the most reliable sources. For 30 years, the series has consistently taken on the toughest and more complex issues in the news. The show investigated the racial divide brought about by the O.J. Simpson verdict, took a hard look at the 2008 U.S. banking collapse and most notably, reported on Al-Qaeda well before the 9/11 attacks.

The series kicks off the new year with The Education of Michelle Rhee, a story about the controversial school reformer and her tumultuous three-year stint (2007-2010) as chancellor of the District of Columbia public school system. It airs Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013 at 10 p.m. ET. (Check local listings.)

Frontline was granted full access to Rhee during her tenure, and follows her collisions with the city council, teacher unions, parents and her own central office — a bureaucracy often seeming more indifferent than responsive to the D.C. schools' ranking as one of the worst in the nation for test scoring and graduation rates.

Rhee came to the job in her mid-thirties, hand-picked by then-popular D.C. mayor Adrian Fenty. She says early in the documentary, "I am a change agent, and change doesn't come without significant push-back from the opposition." Said Fenty at the time, "This is the nation's capital ... we shouldn't have the worst school system, we should have the best."

Rhee was smart enough to know the environment she was in. The D.C. system was, in part, handicapped by the teachers' unions, which seems in footage more concerned about job security and teacher training than student achievement. She says to Frontline, "I think when you're doing the kind of work that I'm doing, when the lives and well-being of children are hanging on the balance, you can't play with that. It's not about keeping people in their jobs, it's about educating children ... if you are not performing, then you are not going to be here."

Among Rhee's controversial ideas: wrest the ability to hire and fire principals and teachers away from the school board; deploy the D.C. CAS (Comprehensive Assessment System) performance test for students; and close two dozen schools with low enrollment that she thought were draining away resources from others in the system.

Rhee — a key figure in the 2010 Davis Guggenheim documentary Waiting for Superman — became very much the crusader she envisioned that was needed not only to change the D.C. school system, but to show the nation how to transform education across the country. Her campaign even landed her on the cover of Time Magazine.

She says her experience as a middle-school teacher in inner-city Baltimore taught her the value of good teachers. "The parents didn't change, the home life didn't change, their neighborhood didn't change. What changed was the adult that was in front of them every single day in the classroom, who had the highest expectations for what they could do. And when you have those high expectations for the kids, they will meet them."

Evidence seems to support Rhee's assessment. One principal, Darren Slade, interviewed in the documentary, estimated that 20-30% of teachers in his school were under performing or unqualified.

But that's only the first half of the Michelle Rhee story.

As test scores rise throughout the system, Frontline reveals questions arising from some of Rhee's methods, which included annual cash bonuses to teachers and principals for increases in student test scores.

As the questions persist, and the backlash from the union and city council widens, in the end, Rhee's final results in D.C. aren't all that clear. We're left wondering if the title, The Education of Michelle Rhee, is more about her brand of schooling, or how she got schooled.

What does remain clear is her motivation. Rhee gives no other reason to believe otherwise when she plainly states, "What happens in our schools, when the kids are here, will make or break what their future looks like. So we should feel a tremendous amount of pressure around that."

Apart from Rhee's successes or failures, and whether you believe in her methods or not, The Education of Michelle Rhee is very much about the nature of government, and what it takes to effect change in organizations with tremendous internal inertia to overcome. And how, by nature, they resist radical change.

Even when they know they shouldn't.

post #84455 of 93726
TV Review
'Cougar Town' (TBS)
A New Dawn for a Florida Clique
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Jan. 8, 2012

“The whole point of having a child is to love it and to nurture it and to worry about it,” Courteney Cox’s character, Jules, says in the second episode of the new season of “Cougar Town.” “And eventually, if you’ve done your job right, the child doesn’t need you anymore.”

Jules is talking to her son, Travis (Dan Byrd), but fans who have followed the off-camera transmutations of the series may well think the lines are some kind of metaphor for the show itself. The new season, the fourth, which begins on Tuesday night, not only finds the show at a new network — TBS instead of ABC — but also finds it without its creators, Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel, at the helm.

Show-runner duties have been turned over to Ric Swartzlander. But to paraphrase Jules, Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Biegel must have done their jobs right because their child doesn’t need them anymore to continue to be what it has been all along: an eclectic comedy that is smarter than mainstream fare like “Last Man Standing” but still feels like comfort food.

At the beginning of each episode the show displays a map of Florida that locates the fictional town of the title, along with a cheeky label that changes each week. For the season premiere it says: “Welcome back to Cougar Town. Thanks, TBS. Can we curse on TV now?”

That’s a somewhat ominous welcome, since one of the show’s strong points has always been that it flirts with bad taste but (usually) pulls up just short of it. There is no cursing at the new address, but in the season’s first couple of episodes there is more potty humor than is usual.

Eventually, though, everyone seems to get over whatever new license the move to cable has provided and goes back to the mix of drollness and incongruity that has made “Cougar Town” a pretty good ensemble comedy. In the first six episodes no big surprises are rolled out, at least nothing comparable to Season 3, in which Jules’s fiancé, Grayson (Josh Hopkins), learned that he had a daughter from a previous relationship and, in the two-part finale, he and Jules married.

The show, which centers on a group of friends who spend seemingly every waking moment together, needs those kinds of shake-ups occasionally to avoid feeling claustrophobic, and presumably some will be coming along. But what it needs the most at the start of Season 4 is to reassure fans that Jules and Grayson’s marriage won’t deaden the show; that Christa Miller, who plays Jules’s caustic best friend, will continue to get most of the killer lines, even though her real-life husband, Mr. Lawrence, is no longer in charge; and that the show’s signature daffiness will remain intact.

All those requirements are met, and in February viewers will be rewarded with a particularly hilarious episode that reveals, through flashbacks, how the series’s core relationships and running gags began: a nice touch from one of TV’s more underappreciated sitcoms.

TBS, Tuesday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.

post #84456 of 93726
Technology/CES Notes
CES 2013: Set Makers Unveil 4K Displays
By Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 7, 2012

LAS VEGAS -- Sony unveiled a prototype 56-inch 4K “Ultra HD” OLED TV Monday at the International CES, capping a press conference during which the tech giant demonstrated that it is bullish about bringing Ultra HD -- or 4K, which is four times the picture information as today’s HDTVs -- to a wide audience.

There is a lot of interest in the new Ultra HD product category at CES. In fact, the Consumer Electronics Association estimates that roughly 50 4K TVs from at least 10 manufacturers will be unveiled this week. Sony, as well as LG, Samsung and others announced 4K TVs on Monday.

Despite the buzz, it is generally believed that this will not have a fast start, particularly as the first 4K TVs to reach the market were priced at a whopping $20,000-$25,000. CEA projects that in 2013, the average wholesale price of a 4K TV will be $7,000, and will drop to around $2,800 by 2014.

Aiming to offer 4K at a “more accessible price range,” Sony unveiled 55-inch and 65-inch Bravia 4K LED TVs, expected to be available in the spring. Pricing was not revealed.

Its first 84-inch 4K LED TV, which is currently shipping, lists for $25,000.

Sony has a broad 4K strategy. For instance, it makes 4K digital cinema projection systems for theatrical exhibition, as well as 4K camera technology for the production community. Sony Pictures is already making movies with 4K cameras, including the upcoming After Earth, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Will Smith; as well as remastering library titles in 4K.

At this stage, there isn’t a distribution system in place that would enable consumers to access a steady amount of 4K content in the home.

Sony Electronics president and COO Phil Molyneux said the company plans to “use all of the Sony assets” to get 4K to a wider audience. For starters, its 4K Bravia TVs include technology to upscale HD to 4K.

As a first step to getting native 4K to homes, it is currently offering on loan to its 84-inch 4K TVs customers an Ultra HD “media player,” which is a hard drive pre-loaded with 10 4K mastered movies from Sony Pictures, such as The Amazing Spider-Man, and additional 4K content from 3net (a joint venture of Sony, Imax and Discovery).

Sony related that it plans to introduce a 4K content distribution service using a dedicated 4K media player in the summer.

In production, Sony already offers professional 4K digital cinematography cameras; its F65 4K camera has already been used to shoot upcoming features After Earth and Oblivion. At CES, the company is is exhibiting a prototype for a 4K consumer camcorder.

Also Monday at CES, Samsung highlighted 4K, demonstrating an 85-inch and 110-inch Ultra HD LED TV. Built-in technology allows consumers to upconvert their content -- whether that be HD broadcast, downloads, streaming or Blu-Ray -- to 4K resolution, allowing them to view Ultra HD at this early stage. The 85-inch display is scheduled to ship in March; pricing was not announced.

post #84457 of 93726
TV Review
‘Africa,’ beautiful, exciting, arresting
Discovery series shows us an Africa we have not seen before
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 8, 2012

Nature documentaries tend to revolve around the same scenarios: A predator pursues its prey; herds migrate in search of vegetation; and animals of the same species battle for territory or for a mate. The trick is getting footage of creatures putting spectacular or odd new twists on the old story lines.

Discovery’s new series “Africa” pulls off this trick admirably. The premiere episode, airing tonight at 10, is full of astonishing action, shot in gorgeous high-definition video. The occasionally banal narration is the show’s only flaw.

Seven episodes long, the series kicks off with an hour shot in the Kalahari Desert, where, according to the narrator, harsh conditions have led to unusual adaptations. In the first segment, an old bull giraffe defends a stand of trees that provide both food and water.

Viewers are used to seeing herds of giraffes feeding peacefully — in fact, this segment opens with a beautiful close-up of the bull picking leaves from branches. So it’s shocking to see the bull fight off a younger rival.

The two first swing their necks at each other like flexible rubber clubs, then jab each other with their short horns, which prove to be effective in drawing blood. The battle even comes with a surprise ending.

Previous documentaries by this same team, which include Discovery’s “Life,” have sometimes shown us familiar action. This episode is remarkable for capturing so much action that not only is photogenic but feels fresh.

A young leopard tries to yank another leopard’s kill from a tree, only to find it so well wedged in place that he finds himself dangling from its legs. A troop of armored ground crickets attacks red-billed quelea nestlings in a tree. When one of the crickets is wounded by adult birds and knocked to the ground, its fellow crickets smell its blood and cannibalize it.

The latter sequence clearly benefited from some editing, since no crew would be so lucky as to get both a bird’s-eye view of the cricket falling and a ground-level view of its landing.

A nighttime sequence showing an unusually large gathering of black rhinoceroses at a watering hole is dark and relatively grainy, but it has been shot using special cameras that can capture images with only stars for lighting. In a hilarious turn of events, one male rhino apparently impresses a potential mate by placing an antler horn on its snout. His subsequent failure to follow through is the only moment in the hour that might cause some awkward silences for parents watching with younger children.

Generally, both the wide shots — with the expected oceans of dunes and golden sunsets —and the tighter shots of the animals are beautiful and sharp.

The narration could definitely have been sharper. (The screener provided for review featured a temporary narrator; the air version will be narrated by the actor Forest Whitaker, who might be better at pumping life into the flat moments.)

When that male rhino flashes his antelope horn to the female, the narration says, “She’s clearly been won over by the bling.” When she finally rejects the male by rolling to the ground, the narration says she has a headache.

Fortunately, the script mostly sticks to the facts, explaining what could otherwise be mysterious action. After a wasp digs into the sand to unearth a spider twice its size, the narrator helpfully tells us that the wasp intends to paralyze the spider so it can lay an egg in its body.

High-def nature documentaries are no longer a special event, and this continent has certainly seen its fair share of camera crews. But somehow “Africa” makes us feel we’ve entered unexplored territory.

post #84458 of 93726
Business Notes
Home video revenue stops falling
By Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jan. 8, 2012

Hollywood’s era of plummeting home entertainment revenue is finally over.

After seven straight years of falling returns driven by the collapse of DVD sales, Americans in 2012 spent more money watching movies at home than they did the previous year, according to data to be released Tuesday.

The 0.23% rise, to just over $18 billion, is tiny, and it’s a sign more that the business is “stabilizing” than that it’s booming again, in the words of Craig Kornblau, Universal Studios’ home entertainment president.

But after years of decline that saw annual revenue drop $4 billion between 2004 and 2011, it indicates that studios’ digital strategy is starting to pay off.

“What we have finally seen in 2012 is that some of the newer businesses [are] offsetting declines in the DVD business,” said Ron Sanders, Warner Bros.’ home video president. “That’s critical because whether or not our film business is profitable depends on how well it does on the home entertainment side.”

More than half of a typical movie’s revenue comes from the home entertainment market. Rapid declines in that category over the last seven years have led studios to lay off thousands of employees, slash deals with producers and make fewer films.

To be sure, 2012 did not come close to the glory days of the mid-2000s, when even box-office turkeys turned profits thanks to consumers snapping up DVDs from the checkout line at Target or Best Buy. Budgets remain tight across Hollywood, and many doubt that new technology will prompt another gold rush.

“Consumers are choosing different ways to watch our product, and we’re not going to see any one of them go back to historical levels,” said Dennis Maguire, Paramount Pictures’ home entertainment president. “But we’re going to look at all the different ways we deliver our entertainment and therefore different ways to measure success.”

For years, studio business executives have hoped that new ways to download and stream movies from the Internet would make up for declining interest in watching them on discs.

That finally happened in 2012, as the rapidly growing number of televisions connected to the Internet and the widespread adoption of tablets and smartphones gave consumers reason to buy or rent from Netflix Inc., Apple Inc.’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc.

Over the last several years, while sales of DVDs fell, the only growth categories were those that generate the least profit for studios: inexpensive rentals from Netflix and Redbox.

In 2012, spending on DVD subscriptions dropped 28%, while the growth of kiosk rentals was 16% compared with 31% in 2011, according to the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry trade association.

More profitable digital movie purchases, meanwhile, shot up 35%, more than triple the growth rate of the category in 2011.

“The operating margins for studios are growing even faster than the overall home entertainment business, thanks to Blu-ray and digital, which are growing dramatically,” Lionsgate President Steve Beeks said.

Spending on high-definition Blu-ray discs, which generate larger profits for studios than standard DVDs, rose 10% in 2012. That’s half as much as the category’s 20% rise in 2011 but still significant at a time when sales of standard DVDs remain in free fall (the Digital Entertainment Group declined to specify how much DVD revenue dropped last year).

During the fourth quarter, total home entertainment spending dropped 1.5%, driven by slowdowns in the growth of Redbox kiosk rentals and Netflix online subscription streaming.

Online purchases of digital copies jumped 50% that quarter. But those purchases accounted for only about 5% of overall home entertainment spending.

To grow that number further, studios and electronics manufacturers are expected to announce plans at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week to promote Ultraviolet, a technology that allows consumers to store digital copies of movies in the cloud.

It’s one of several steps that movie makers are taking to reduce reluctance among less tech-savvy consumers to buy and watch movies online. Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s online movie store Vudu and Best Buy Co.’s CinemaNow have recently announced plans to charge consumers only $2 to convert DVDs they own into digital Ultraviolet copies from their home computers. Previously that could be done only at Wal-Mart locations, an offering that didn’t prove too popular.

Studios are also likely to accelerate a trend that started last year in which movies are offered for sale online before they can be bought on DVD, a strategy meant to encourage fans to go digital.

“This is the era of experimentation,” Kornblau said. “We’ll all be experimenting with timing and pricing to try and goose consumers’ interest in growing digital libraries.”

post #84459 of 93726
Business/Technology Notes
Vudu lets users beef up digital film collection
By Mike Snider, USA Today - Jan. 8, 2013

Walmart wants to help you build your digital movie collection.

A new Vudu to go app -- available in the iOS app store and Android marketplace -- will expand the features of the Walmart-owned video streaming service. When the service is officially upgraded next month, consumers simply insert their movie discs into their computer drive and the app will recognize the films.

Users can then pay $2 to convert the DVD or Blu-ray Disc into an Ultraviolet digital copy stored in their cloud-based collection (for $5 a DVD can be upgraded to high-definition) – no actual upload is needed. The locker can then be accessed from more than 300 smartphones, tablets and other devices.

More than 100,000 films are eligible. Studios on board so far: DreamWorks Animation, Lionsgate, Paramount, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Fox, Universal and Warner.

Walmart already lets users bring their movie discs into stores for authentication. These new features go into effect next month, says Walmart spokesperson Sarah Spencer. "We know from our customers they love movies and they have told us they still want to be able to buy the physical DVD but they are looking for more value," she says. "They want to be able to watch it on all the screens that they own."

Walmart even lets customers bring in VHS movies and get the digital rights to an online copy, she says.

Also next month, the retailer is launching a new Facebook Walmart Entertainment App that will let users share rankings and comments about movies and get exclusive bonus features from films. There will also be votes on what films will be available for online purchase and what makes the $5 bargain bins in stores.

post #84460 of 93726
'Pretty Little Liars' is back tonight (8 p.m. on ABC Family): 'What does _____ return mean for the girls?'
post #84461 of 93726
This is wierd....
Brennaman & Billick get seahawks/falcons game not Albert, Moose, Goose.
Buck & Aikman naturally get packers/49ers.
post #84462 of 93726
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Review
‘Africa,’ beautiful, exciting, arresting
Discovery series shows us an Africa we have not seen before
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 8, 2012

When that male rhino flashes his antelope horn to the female, the narration says, “She’s clearly been won over by the bling.” When she finally rejects the male by rolling to the ground, the narration says she has a headache.

Ahh, so THAT'S why the American version replaced Attenborough's narration. He wouldn't be caught dead saying that. rolleyes.gif
post #84463 of 93726
Originally Posted by lobosrul View Post

Ahh, so THAT'S why the American version replaced Attenborough's narration. He wouldn't be caught dead saying that. rolleyes.gif
From reading the article I got the impression that those comments were made by a "stand-in" narrator for the screener and not by Whitaker who will be doing the on-air version of the program. If so, the writer shouldn't even have made the comment since the TV audience will never hear it, he was just looking for a cheap thrill line in the article.

I'm curious how Discovery is editing these as I'm guessing that the "Eye To Eye" segments that run at the end are being chopped, or maybe compiled into that 7th episode which does not exist in the BBC airing. The first "Eye To Eye" deals with filming the giraffe fight(fascinating) and the black rhinos at night. The segment ran about 10 mins to fill out a 59 min runtime for the episode.

Looks like someone forgot to tell the guide data suppliers, Titan Tv and TMS still show Attenborough as the narrator.

David Attenborough is in the Kalahari scrublands to look at how life survives there.

Edited by keenan - 1/8/13 at 3:29pm
post #84464 of 93726
MONDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #84465 of 93726
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Loser’ tops ‘Bachelor’ in reality faceoff
NBC weight loss show draws a 2.4 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 8, 2013

In the battle of veteran reality shows last night, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” beat ABC’s “The Bachelor” by a thin margin, lifting lead-out “Deception” to a timeslot victory and NBC to a nightly win.

“Loser” averaged a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, just ahead of “Bachelor’s” 2.3.

“Loser” was off 20 percent from Sunday night’s 3.0 premiere, but it matched the rating for the second episode of last season.

“Bachelor” slid 4 percent from last year’s debut.

With a solid lead-in from “Loser,” the new drama “Deception” averaged a 2.0 at 10 p.m., topping ABC’s original episode of “Castle” by 0.1. That’s a good rating for a show at that hour, though it did decline slightly (from a 2.1 to a 1.9) in its second half hour.

“Castle” grew 12 percent from its most recent original in December, up from a 1.7.

The series finale of “The Mob Doctor” on Fox drew a 0.9 at 9 p.m., on par with its season average.

Of course, the real ratings action took place on cable last night, where ESPN aired the Bowl Championship Series national title game. It’s expected to dominate the night when cable ratings are released later today.

NBC was first for the night with a 2.2 average overnight rating and a 6 share, with ABC a close second at 2.1/5. Univision was third at 1.5/4, CBS fourth at 1.4/4, Fox fifth at 0.9/2, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1 and CW seventh at 0.4/1.

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-six percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. NBC led with a 2.3 for “Loser,” followed by ABC with a 2.1 for “Bachelor.” CBS and Univision tied for third at 1.5, CBS for repeats of “How I Met Your Mother” and “2 Broke Girls” and Univision for “Por Ella Soy Eva,” with Fox fifth with a 0.9 for “Bones,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.5 for “Rosa Diamante” and CW seventh with a 0.4 for a “Hart of Dixie” rerun.

NBC and ABC tied for first at 9 p.m., each with a 2.4 rating, NBC for more “Loser” and ABC for more “Bachelor.” CBS and Univision tied for third at 1.7, CBS for reruns of “2 Broke Girls” and “Mike & Molly” and Univision for “Amores Verdaderos,” with Fox fifth with a 0.9 for “Mob,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for “Corazon Valiente” and CW seventh with a 0.3 for a repeat of “Beauty and the Beast.”

At 10 p.m. NBC was first with a 2.0 for “Deception,” with ABC second with a 1.9 for “Castle.” Univision was third with a 1.3 for “Amor Bravio,” CBS fourth with a 1.1 for a repeat of “Hawaii Five-0″ and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for “Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal” (0.7) and “El Rostro de la Venganza” (0.4).

ABC finished first for the night among households with a 5.0 average overnight rating and a 7 share. NBC was second at 3.9/6, CBS third at 3.7/5, Fox fourth at 2.4/3, Univision fifth at 1.9/3, Telemundo sixth at 0.8/1 and CW seventh at 0.6/1.

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TV/Nielsen Notes
Late-Night Ratings Are Becoming a Three-Way Race
By bill Carter, The New York Times - Jan. 8, 2013

And Jimmy makes three.

Starting on Tuesday night, all three traditional broadcast networks will, for the first time, go head-to-head at 11:35 with entertainment-talk shows, as Jimmy Kimmel on ABC joins Jay Leno on NBC and David Letterman on CBS.

“Yes, I’m helping to further cheapen the medium,” Mr. Kimmel said in a telephone interview.

The truth is, Mr. Kimmel has worked doggedly for a decade to carve out his own identity in late night. And over the last several years, especially in 2012, Mr. Kimmel has begun to emerge as a well-respected, distinctive late-night star, one ABC finally deemed ready for the big stage, the show right after the late local newscasts.

The decision to move Mr. Kimmel from his midnight start time meant displacing the award-winning late-night news program “Nightline.” But ABC’s management has, since 2002, been seeking to switch to entertainment in late night, for the simple reason that the advertising money is so much greater for an entertainment show. ABC tried to woo both Mr. Letterman and Mr. Leno over that period, while Mr. Kimmel persevered, improving his monologue skills, polishing his performing style and making increasingly clever use of videos that stamped his show as an original rather than an imitation.

“Creatively, he’s ahead,” said Robert Morton, who produced Mr. Letterman at NBC and later CBS, as well as the more recent late-night series on TBS that starred George Lopez. Mr. Kimmel, he added, “has a more viral presence than the others and he is strong in social media.”

The change at ABC was accomplished without any of the emotional bloodletting that accompanied NBC’s two efforts to update “Tonight”: first when Mr. Leno outmaneuvered Mr. Letterman and grabbed the chair left by the genre’s biggest star, Johnny Carson, and then when NBC tapped Conan O’Brien to succeed Mr. Leno — a move that ended calamitously, with Mr. O’Brien ousted, Mr. Leno restored, and both men’s careers damaged.

In contrast, Mr. Kimmel is sliding into the 11:35 slot with minimal drama. Not that there weren’t moments of frustration that accompanied the wait.

“I was on 10 years of probation,” Mr. Kimmel said. “We always told ABC we were ready to move up whenever we got the call. But I didn’t have to push them. It was not one of those things where I said, ‘I’m not going to sign my contract unless we get 11:35.’ They did this on their own.”

Jill Leiderman, Mr. Kimmel’s executive producer for the last seven years, said: “Jimmy earned this through his diligence and hard work. He is now polished. He’s become a signature voice. He’s a younger presence.”

That point is not insignificant. At 45, Mr. Kimmel is much younger than Mr. Letterman (65) and Mr. Leno (62). According to one prevailing line of speculation about why ABC finally promoted Mr. Kimmel, the network wanted to establish him with younger viewers who have been defecting from the two aging superstars before NBC eventually installs its own rising late-night comic, Jimmy Fallon, 38, as Mr. Leno’s successor at “Tonight.”

ABC may also have circumvented a raid by another network. “No one had formally approached me because I’ve been under contract the whole time,” Mr. Kimmel said. “But there has definitely been some sniffing around.”

The last year has been by far the most prominent of Mr. Kimmel’s career. He hosted the Emmy Awards; served as the entertainment for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner; got engaged (to his head writer, Molly McNearney); and saluted Mr. Letterman (his childhood idol) on the Kennedy Center Honors program. His show’s ratings also gained about 7 percent, to an average of just under two million viewers a night.

At the Kennedy Center show, the possibility that the two late-night stars would soon become head-to-head competitors never came up, Mr. Kimmel said, noting, “I don’t think Dave cares.”

He is convinced that Mr. Leno cares, however, and the fractiousness between the two has taken on the dimensions of a feud. Mr. Kimmel no longer modulates his shots at Mr. Leno (in a Rolling Stone interview this month he said, “As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done: He totally sold out.”)

Executives who work on Mr. Kimmel’s show have noted that NBC has increased its promotional efforts on behalf of Mr. Leno and that in recent weeks “Tonight” has moved its formal starting time to 11:34.

Mr. Leno tends to avoid responding to swats from competitors but usually doubles down on his competitive instincts.Mr. Morton predicted “a booking battle in L.A.,” with Mr. Kimmel and Mr. Leno fighting for the shrinking pool of A-level guests.

For his first week at the new time, Mr. Kimmel seems to have loaded the stage. On Tuesday Jennifer Aniston will be the main guest, with the band No Doubt playing. Later in the week Sofia Vergara, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Bruno Mars, and Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers will turn up.

But Mr. Kimmel said the earlier show will mostly resemble the one he has been doing at midnight — aside from a new set. Familiar comedy segments will be part of the mix, though new ones will be added. “I don’t think anyone will notice any difference other than the set,” he said. “And hopefully they will be awake this time when we’re on.”

But Ms. Leiderman said there would be one significant format change: “Instead of one long act of comedy, there will now be two long acts of comedy.” That is typical of the network 11:35 format, but Ms. Leiderman said that there would be more comedy over all, and that, unlike his competitors, Mr. Kimmel would not necessarily do a second comedy act behind his desk.

“He may be staying at the monologue mark,” she said, referring to his place onstage, making his work seem like an extended monologue on some occasions.

Mr. Kimmel said he might come up with yet another way to provide viewers with more of him. “I’m going to try to put on a hundred pounds through the course of the year,” he said. “That’s going to be my thing this year.”

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Winter/TCA Tour Notes
Fox at TCA: 'Following's' Violence, 'American Idol' Feuds and More
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 8, 2013

Fox took the spotlight Tuesday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, facing writers about its disappointing start to the 2012-13 season.

We all screw up -- just look at my fall," entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly quipped, referencing his dead-on-arrival drama The Mob Doctor and an acclaimed but anemic comedy block. His network used the day to address all of it, as well as preview the serial-killer drama The Following and a rebooted 12th season of American Idol. Here's a rundown on the day's sessions and big announcements.

The Following: Creator Kevin Williamson addressed violence on TV, particularly in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, and the woes of making a thriller for a broadcast audience. "How do you make something scary when you're writing toward a commercial break? That's been my struggle," he told reporters of broadcast's limitations, noting that he sought out the thrills that came with those of his favorite show, Fox's 24. In addition, he recalled an early fascination with Edgar Allan Poe, whose works inspire the cult in the Kevin Bacon drama."He had a very fascinating life, he was a very damaged writer... It's been a project percolating in my head for many, many years," he told reporters.

American Idol: Producers and new judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj chalked up any behind-the-scenes tension on the reality juggernaut to passion, with Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell calling it "authentic." "This is American Idol, it's bigger than some stupid trumped up thing; it's about the next superstar that will come from this show," Carey said. As for the glut of singing competition series, Darnell noted that there are too many on the air and "they're taking each other down a little bit." Still, he expressed confidence in Idol's latest reboot that also includes Keith Urban. "This is still the king of the shows, this is the only one that makes stars. Period."

Executive session: Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly did not dance around the network's dismal fall. In his panel, he said that he remains invested in the critically adored -- if little watched -- Tuesday comedy block as well as The X Factor, which he argues was significantly stonger in its rebooted second season. Meanwhile, he revealed that he sees Fox's The Following as its way to compete with cablers again. "Before there was cable, Fox was cable ... We were the edge of what was bold," he reminded reporters.

Tuesday comedy block: Featuring the stars of New Girl, Ben and Kate, Raising Hope and The Mindy Project, the talent addressed everything from Nick and Jess' New Girl romance (co-star Jake Johnson loves it), Nat Faxon's Oscar and the hilarity that was New Girl's "Gave me cookie, got me cookie" line. Mindy Kaling, meanwhile, used the opportunity to announce that scene-stealer Ike Barinholtz has been promoted from recurring to series regular as the freshman show continues its midseason revamp.

For more from TCA, stay tuned to THR.com, including a Party Diary going inside Fox's Tuesday festivities with the casts of Glee, Bones, Touch and more.


* * * *

Winter/TCA Tour Notes
'American Idol' at TCA: 'Putting the 'Fun' Back in Dysfunction'
By Shirley Halperin, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 8, 2013

American Idol officially kicked off on Tuesday morning at the 2013 TCA in Pasadena. That's where new judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban took the stage to face the critics -- and there were plenty of them: those who had stuck by the show for more than a decade, hoping to find the next superstar, as its tagline boldly stated.

This year, the slogan has changed to "Everyone Dreams, Idol Delivers," but where the press was concerned: the new batch of contestants take a backseat to the drama of the judges' panel.

Indeed, it took about three questions before the much-blogged about "feud" was mentioned. The two who clashed -- Carey and Minaj -- smiled some, deflected a lot, but in the end, had a couple of nice things to say about each other.

"This is a very passionate panel, there are a lot of strong personalities," said Carey who noted that at the start of the process it became clear that there could be "differences of opinion." As for the North Carolina rumble, which leaked out via cell phone video, "The fighting is what it is," Carey continued. "This is American Idol -- it's bigger than all that. It's bigger than some stupid trumped-up thing."

That's not to say that anything about the clash was staged. In fact, Fox president of alternative programming Mike Darnell went out of his way to emphasize, "It's authentic." Added executive producer Nigel Lythgoe: "Two of them were always angry." And FremantleMedia's Trish Kinane pointed out that the Idol audience was asking -- even begging -- the producers for one thing above all else: "They told us they wanted honesty," she said.

With that in mind, Minaj and Carey were both asked to say something nice about each other. Minaj went first: "I say nice things about Mariah all the time, she's one of my favorite artists of all-time she's really shaped a generation of singers. To be on a panel with her, it's kind of crazy because these singers aspire to be a Mariah Carey. So I feel excited to see them so excited."

Replied Carey, pointing out that the two of them worked together early in Minaj's career: "That was obviously a sweet thing to say. .. I know and feel that she's going to go very far and am grateful for anything nice that she or anyone says about me."

But when it comes to their jobs: finding promising talent and launching a music career, they take that responsibility very seriously and it shows. Perhaps no better example was offered than when Minaj recounted her own experiences watching the show at home. "I didn't like when people would be overtly passive," she said. "We're here to do a job. I don't put someone through because of a great story or because there's something going on that may make people cry. ... I didn't really have a problem saying no because we're looking for the best of the best. It brothers me when someone says yes and don't deserve it."

Hallelujah to that! But in the end, it was Mariah Carey who nailed the Idol dynamic in one punchline: "We're putting the 'fun' back in dysfunction."

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Winter/TCA Tour Notes
'Bones' Gets Ninth Season
By Tim Molloy, TheWrap.com - Jan. 8, 2013

Fox has renewed "Bones" for a ninth season, the network announced Tuesday.

“After more than 150 episodes, 'Bones' continues to be one of television’s most dynamic and consistent dramas,” said Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly. “We at Fox, along with millions of zealous fans, look forward to seeing where the incredible creative team takes the series next season.”

The show returns with a special two-hour winter premiere on Monday at 8 p.m.

The series, from Far Field Productions and Josephson Entertainment in association with 20th Century Fox Television, was created by Hart Hanson.


* * * *

Winter/TCA Tour Notes
Fox Plans 'Twin Peaks'-Like Project From M. Night Shyamalan

Laura Palmer is rolling over in her plastic wrap: Fox is developing "Wayward Pines," a "Twin Peaks"-like, ten-to-twelve episode series from M. Night Shyamalan, the network annonced Tuesday.

Fox is also developing another limited-run series called "Blood Brothers" from producers for "Band of Brothers," "The Glades," and "Touched."

Fox is calling both series "long-form event series," meaning they are longer than traditional miniseries but aren't planned as ongoing series. Fox will announce its first event series pilot pickups later this year, with plans to debut them in 2014.

“With top-notch auspices and feature-quality production plans, 'Wayward Pines' and 'Blood Brothers' represent exactly the kind of high-impact, 10- to 12-part events we set out to develop when we entered the limited series business,” said Kevin Reilly, chairman of entertainment for Fox. “These two series are the first of many big ideas, big names and big talent that you can anticipate will be on our air in the next 12-24 months.”

Based on the best-selling novel, “Pines,” by Blake Crouch, Pines is described by Fox as an "intense, mind-bending thriller evocative of the classic cult hit 'Twin Peaks.'" It finds Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arriving in bucolic Wayward Pines, Idado, in search of two missing federal agents. Would you believe he uncovers more mysteries along the way?

The project is based on a spec script written by Chad Hodge (“The Playboy Club”) and executive-produced by Shyamalan, Hodge, Donald De Line (“Green Lantern,” “The Italian Job”) and Ashwin Rajan (“After Earth”).

"Blood Brothers," meanwhile, is billed as the true story of the West Point Class of 1861. It follows comrades who find themselves on opposite of the Civil War. The project is written and executive produced by Bruce C. McKenna (“Band of Brothers,” “The Pacific”) and also executive produced by Gary Randall (“The Glades,” “Saving Grace”) and Timothy Scott Bogart (“Majors & Minors,” “Touched”). It comes from Boardwalk Entertainment Group and Fox Television Studios.

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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
8:30PM - The Neighbors
9PM - Modern Family
9:30PM - Suburgatory
10PM - Nashville
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Ryan Gosling; Brad Paisley performs)
12:35AM - Nightline

8PM - I Get That A Lot (Special)
9PM - People's Choice Awards 2013 (120 min., LIVE)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Josh Brolin; director Kathryn Bigelow; Ray Wylie Hubbard performs)
12:37AM - Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Steven Wright; Genesis Rodriguez)

8PM - Whitney
8:30PM - Guys with Kids
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago Fire
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Animal handler Dave Salmoni; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (William H. Macy; Ginnifer Goodwin; TV host Rachael Ray)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Adam Carolla; rapper Murs; Fun performs)
(R - Oct. 3)

8PM - Stars in Danger: The High Dive (120 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature - Cuba: The Accidental Eden (R - Sep. 26, 2010)
9PM - NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals
10PM - Life on Fire: Volcano Doctors

8PM - Por Ella Soy Eva
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

8PM - Arrow
(R - Dec. 12)
9PM - Supernatural
(R - Oct. 17)

8PM - Rosa Diamante
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Jeff Bridges)
11:30PM - The Colbert Report (Author Neil Shubin)

11PM - Conan (Ricky Gervais; Deepak Chopra; Imagine Dragons)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Guests TBA)
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 2, 2013

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

In this new episode, all three Heck kids get solid story lines. Axl and Sue (Charlie McDermott, Eden Sher) are paired at school on an in-class presentation project, while Brick (Atticus Shaffer) is advised by the school therapist (guest star Dave Foley, funny as always) on how to make friends.

ABC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Better late than never: This ABC sitcom, one of the best comedies on television, presents its New Year’s Eve episode. The extended family descends upon Palm Springs for the night

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

These post-season editions are my favorite episodes of this series. With fewer games to analyze and preview, the content is deeper, the conversations more fluid, and the conflicts among analysts even more obvious and energized.

ABC, 10:00 p.m. ET

Juliette (Hayden Panettiere), in this new episode, questions why Rayna (Connie Britton) is so eager to have them go out on a joint tour together. “You hate me,” Juliette tells her, but Rayna corrects her: “I only hate sunburns and hangovers,” she says. “This is just business.” Welcome to Nashville, 2013.

FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

The ending of last week’s episode was the most outrageous cliffhanger ending of any episode all year – you might call it the cremation of the crop. But this week, other characters are still around to carry the story line, including the Monsignor (Joseph Fiennes), whose daily newspaper delivers some bad news indeed.

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Winter TCA Tour Notes
'The Following's' Kevin Williamson quizzed on violence
By Yvonne Villareal, Los Angeles Times - Jan. 8, 2013

Once upon a midnight dreary, Kevin Williamson became weak and weary--fielding questions on the violence seen in Fox’s upcoming horror drama “The Following.”

The creator and executive producer, who is also behind the CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” and slasher flick “Scream,” was hit with questions Tuesday about the drama’s dark and brutal content during the Television Critics Assn. press tour—a topic he, surprisingly, didn’t seem quite prepared to discuss, trailing off or saying he couldn’t hear questions. (At one point, in what seemed a bid to distract from the weighty topic that had overrun the panel, its leads Kevin Bacon and James Purefoy gave each other a playful smooch after a reporter brought up their palpable chemistry. )

“The Following” centers on a former FBI agent Ryan Hardy, played by Kevin Bacon, who is enlisted to track down an Edgar Allan Poe-inspired serial-killer (James Purefoy) after he’s escaped prison and amassed a legion of murderous disciples.

VIDEO TIMELINE: Upcoming winter shows

“There are some moments that are squeamish,” Williamson said of the show’s amped up violence. “It’s not for the faint of heart. But it’s not the sum of the show.”

Minutes later, when asked about the aftermath of the recent Connecticut shootings and the role media may play in the violence, Williamson offered this:

“I think we all worry about it,” he said. “Who wasn’t affected by Sandy Hook? I’m still disturbed when I think of Aurora … We’re all traumatized by it. It just gets too real. But I’m writing fiction. I’m a storyteller.”

Williamson also asserted the wicked acts the writers drum up go beyond just shock value.

“You can stab them or you can stab them – so you have to think how can you change it up,” he said. “You have this madman who is inspiring people to challenge themselves and find their own story … We don’t sit around thinking of ways to kill people. I’m sitting around thinking of the drama. Yes, it’s a horrific, scary show, but you know …”

Williamson said the idea for the series had been percolating for more than a decade and, in some ways, was inspired by the Columbine tragedy and the Gainesville, Fla., murders, along with fictional stories such as “Silence of the Lambs”. He went on to say the show attempts to shine a light on what drives people to commit such deplorable deeds.

“Joe can sort of pinpoint what’s missing in their life, what the hole is, and he can fill it,” he said.

“The Following” premieres Jan. 21 at 9 p.m.

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Winter/TCA Tour Notes
Fox “Not Trying To Out-Do Adult Swim” In Net’s Animation Push
By the Deadline.com Team - Jan. 8, 2013

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

No other broadcast network has had nearly the success in programming primetime animation as Fox, from The Simpsons to King Of The Hill to Family Guy and beyond. But Fox isn’t content to rest on those laurels, as it made clear during an afternoon TCA session hyping its forthcoming alternative-themed Animation Domination High-Def experimental block that’s scheduled to launch on July 27. It will run Saturday late-nights over 90 minutes (11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.), initially rolling out six 15-minute series that will try to rival Cartoon Network‘s Adult Swim in the experimental space. But while the head of the overall initiative, Nick Weidenfeld, tried to minimize comparisons to Adult Swim — over which he was head of development for eight years — he told critics today that it ain’t about trying to out-do Adult Swim on its turf. “I’m not sure I’d call it competition with Adult Swim,” he said. “They do action programming on Saturday night, so I think there’s space for interesting animated comedy to exist…I think if we’re competing with anyone, it’s with the Internet and with ourselves more than any other network.” The initial shows on Saturday night will include offerings like Axe Cop, based on an Internet sensation about what comes from the imagination of a five-year-old boy, and High School USA!, about a group of super-positive high school kids.

One of the possible hopes with the Animation Domination entries is that one or more of them could break out and get developed as a Sunday night primetime comedy series in its own right, as happened with a show called The Simpsons when it spun from The Tracey Ullman Show way back in the late 1980s. Weidenfeld admitted that was one of the long-range goals of the initiative. “That’s one path we could go down, for sure,” he said of using the Saturday block as a feeder. “But at the same time, the stuff we’re making isn’t exactly the same fare as the broader Sunday shows. And we haven’t been given a directive to do that. It’s more about finding a new model and a new outlet for animation.”


* * * *

Winter/TCA Tour Notes
Mindy Kaling Weighs In On Changes To Her Fox Series

During a TCA panel promoting the Fox comedies New Girl, The Mindy Project, Ben and Kate and Raising Hope, Mindy Kaling was asked to address recent cast alterations designed to punch up the remainder of her show’s rookie campaign. It included the demotion of regular Anna Camp to recurring status due to the show’s increased workplace focus and the promotion of Ike Barinholtz to regular. “Ike becoming a series regular was good for the show,” Kaling said.

The session gave the stars of the four sitcoms a chance to practice their one-liners and hone their charm chops. The funniest member of the panel? No contest. It was Lucas Neff from Raising Hope, whose response to a question about how he manages to stay in character when co-star Cloris Leachman goes off-script had the room breaking up — even the typically poker-faced critics. “You know, they pay me,” Neff replied, “and that’s usually my main incentive. The checks are (the incentive), because I’d like to keep getting them. Because I’ve not had checks before, and that was awful. And I’d like to keep getting them.” As for how he stays in character, he reasoned that it’s pretty easy. “They have this word ‘Action’,” Neff continued, “and when they say it, I go to that place. It’s an internal thing. All actors have it. We all have this place inside of us, and we all have to go there.”

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 2, 2013

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

These post-season editions are my favorite episodes of this series. With fewer games to analyze and preview, the content is deeper, the conversations more fluid, and the conflicts among analysts even more obvious and energized.
Actually 9:00pm et.

Supposedly the super bowl is sold out....avg spot was an all time high about $3.75 million but some went for $4m.
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

This is wierd....
Brennaman & Billick get seahawks/falcons game not Albert, Moose, Goose.
Buck & Aikman naturally get packers/49ers.

That's because Albert, Moose, and Goose are Fox's #2 team. Has been that way for several years now.
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post

That's because Albert, Moose, and Goose are Fox's #2 team. Has been that way for several years now.

Right....thats why its wierd that they arent doing a game but the #3 crew is.
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Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

These post-season editions are my favorite episodes of this series. With fewer games to analyze and preview, the content is deeper, the conversations more fluid, and the conflicts among analysts even more obvious and energized."



Isn't that the truth.  This once interesting sports show has descended into more silliness than analysis and commentary in the last few years.  They spend more time on made up questions, silly antics and poor guest appearances than true football insight.  All of which is a shame because Simms and Collingsworth both have plenty of talent to share (James Brown, not so much).   At least they got rid of Sapp this year, which was an improvement.

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Originally Posted by flint350 View Post

Isn't that the truth.  This once interesting sports show has descended into more silliness than analysis and commentary in the last few years.  They spend more time on made up questions, silly antics and poor guest appearances than true football insight.  All of which is a shame because Simms and Collingsworth both have plenty of talent to share (James Brown, not so much).   At least they got rid of Sapp this year, which was an improvement.

What I'd like to see is a return to a full-on, hour-long NFL Films highlight show. Over the years, first on HBO and now on Showtime, there has been less and less of that gorgeous slo-mo NFL Films footage on 'Inside the NFL' and more mindless blathering from the hosts. It's gotten so bad they don't even show highlights from several of the games (or maybe just a few seconds worth, a play or two, in their "whiparound" segment right at the end). There's more than enough analysis and prediction verbal diarrhea from ESPN and NFL Network during the week. Is it too much to ask that this formerly great show return to its roots - footage of the actual games? I don't even bother with it anymore.
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TUESDAY'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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Winter TCA Tour Notes
'X Factor': Fox explains what went wrong in season 2
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jan. 8, 2013

Though Fox’s The X Factor performed solidly in the ratings while delivering 40 hours of programming last fall, the show struggled with the perception of failure — both critically and in terms of the show’s ratings, which declined from the first season. There’s no doubt Fox hoped for more strength from the heavily hyped show, and executives gave a couple hints Tuesday about what they thought missed the mark.

The network’s entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly, talking to critics at a Fox press event, staunchly defended the show. “I thought The X Factor was excellent this year,” he said. “Last year, the ratings were a little bit higher, but I think it was a better show this year. The talent was good. The production was good. I think some of the new elements that were added were good.”

And new judge Britney Spears? “I think Britney did a really good job,” Reilly said. “People remain fascinated with her. Maybe some people were waiting for more drastic displays of some nature that never came.”

That said, only Simon Cowell is confirmed to return. L.A. Reid is stepping down. You can bet there’s going to be more changes, as well.

Fox’s reality guru Mike Darnell, who’s hands-on with the network’s reality programming, gave a more measured assessment to a huddle of reporters after the lively American Panel panel. “I thought the talent was amazing,” Darnell said. “Carly Rose was one of the best singers we had on any of these shows. I thought the judges worked. What didn’t work was the schedule. I know no one wants to believe that. It was the worst schedule that one of theses shows has had. We had baseball [preemption], which is normal. We had a had a rain delay [one week] where we only aired half an episode. We had Halloween. We had The Voice air against us on our premiere. It was one thing after another. It’s hard for any show to survive that.”

“I guess you could argue some of the performances and visuals were over the top,” he admitted. “But that’s what X Factor is. I like that it separates it from the other [singing] shows.”

And what about the new hosts, Mario Lopez and Khole Kardashian?

“I think the hosts were okay,” Darnell said. “I think Mario knows how to be a host. I think Khole was new. And I thought for someone new she did okay. She never hosted before.”

As for NBC running The Voice against Factor‘s premiere, it sounds like that bit of scheduling aggression won’t go unanswered. “It went in the file for later reference,” Reilly said, drawing laughs. “The score will be settled at some point. I don’t know when. It’s fine. That’s their network. They’re free to do what they want with it. But slightly on the cheesy side? Yeah.”

Which is funny. Though “slightly on the cheesy side” could also describe Factor‘s second season.

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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
'Cougar Town' Shy of Recent TBS Comedies in Network Debut
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 9, 2013

Cougar Town opened up shop on TBS on Tuesday night with its first episode since leaving original network ABC last year.

The premiere pulled 2.2 million viewers, with 1.3 million of them in the key adults 18-49 demographic. That's just shy of recent TBS comedy debut Men at Work, which opened to 2.65 million viewers and 1.6 million in the demo when it launched this summer.

Cougar Town's peak ratings last season on ABC were around 4.4 million viewers with a 1.6 rating among adults.


* * * *

TV Notes
NBC's 'Days of Our Lives' Renewed Through 2014
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 9, 2013

Days of Our Lives is staying put on NBC.

The long-running soap, which celebrates its 12,000th episode Jan. 11, has been renewed through September 2014, it was announced Wednesday by NBC entertainment president Jennifer Salke.

“We are thrilled to announce that Days of our Lives is not going anywhere. It is NBC's longest-running drama series by far and is one of the most historic brands in television,” said Salke. “We commend Ken Corday and the entire creative team on continuing to keep the stories and characters fresh, exciting and relevant year after year.”

"Days of our Lives has maintained a loyal and dedicated fan base for more than four decades and continues to reach a new generation of viewers,” said Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television. “We appreciate NBC’s support over the years and, as the show celebrates this significant milestone, we are thrilled that the show will continue to be a part of the NBC family.”

On Sunday during Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, NBC entertainment chief Bob Greenblatt expressed confidence that Days of Our Lives would remain on the schedule.

“I think Days is going to stick around,” he said. “I don’t know that I’m at liberty to say that officially yet, but it’s not going anywhere.”

Days of Our Lives launched as a half-hour drama in 1965 before being expanded to a one-hour a decade later. Days of Our Lives is produced by Corday Productions with Sony TV. Corday is EP with co-EPs Greg Meng and Lisa De Cazotte. Gary Tomlin and Christopher Whitesell are head writers.

This comes after it was announced that the online revivals of All My Children and One Life to Live was back in the works.

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