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TV Notes
'Spartacus' creators promise an epic series conclusion
By Carol Memmott, USA Today - Jan. 22, 2013

The legend of Spartacus, the warrior-slave who led a bloody but doomed rebellion against the Roman Republic, took root in history 2,000 years ago. Starz ends its contribution to the legacy this year with the final season of its original series about the gladiator who became a formidable rebel leader.

Initially, series creator Steven DeKnight had hoped the series would run five to seven seasons. He now says ending with Season 3, War of the Damned (premiering Friday, 9 ET/PT), is the best possible outcome. He's also grateful the show didn't end with the death of Andy Whitfield, the Australian actor who starred as Spartacus in 2010's Season 1, Blood and Sand, before leaving the series with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

"Ending it is bittersweet," says DeKnight, "but I'm happy that we continued because we had the chance to tell the whole story. And it was very important to Andy that the story should be told. He really loved the show and wanted it to go on."

When Whitfield was diagnosed, Season 2 was postponed and production shifted to a prequel, Gods of the Arena, in order to give Whitfield time to recover. But that never happened; he died in 2011. Liam McIntyre was chosen to assume the role of Spartacus in Vengeance, Season 2, which aired last year.

DeKnight says wrapping up now will prevent the show from becoming repetitive or veering too far from the historical record. "In War of the Damned we probably stray about as far from history as we have in past seasons," DeKnight says. "Most of it is based on things that actually happened, but to get it all to work in a dramatic way through 10 episodes we had to shuffle a lot of events."

Season 3 picks up months after Vengeance (which drew about 1.5 million viewers for premiere episodes) ends. Spartacus' army numbers tens of thousands. Vengeance closed with the death of Gaius Claudius Glaber, one of Spartacus' most formidable enemies, and the rebels continue to beat the Romans on every bloody battlefield. With Rome determined to break the rebellion, all-out war is declared.

Despite the spectacular battle scenes, the major story line throughout Spartacus has centered on the evolution of its hero, says McIntyre. "Andy (in Blood and Sand) was the reluctant slave trying to lash out against the horrible things done to him," McIntyre says. "Vengeance was about him finding his new place in the world, the responsibility given to him."

Now, McIntyre says. "He's absolutely the commander-in-chief of this ragtag band of thousands, this army that's trying to do the impossible and take over and destroy the undefeatable armies of Rome."

To rout Spartacus, Roman general Marcus Crassus will join forces with the man whose name is synonymous with ancient Rome: Julius Caesar.

DeKnight asked the show's historical consultants how much the show would be breaking with history by weaving Caesar into the plot. "I was shocked when they said not at all," DeKnight says. "Caesar is the most written-about Roman, but this is one tiny sliver of history where not a lot is known about what he's doing. Lots of historians think he more than likely had some part in the war against Spartacus."

Chosen to play the 20-something Caesar is Australian actor Todd Lasance, who says he enjoyed bringing the young emperor-to-be to life. "That's the exciting part," Lasance says. "There are not going to be any comparisons, and I get to delve into a Caesar who hasn't been explored before on screen. It's a chance to set a new benchmark, I would hope, in portraying him in a period in which a lot of people don't really know about Caesar."

Lasance says that before researching Caesar, he had no idea what he was like as a young man. "I guess, naively, I had the idea that he would be in a toga, have the typical Caesar haircut and have the leaves around his head, but this Caesar couldn't be any further from that. I like the fact that the writers made him a lot more rugged, and they focused on the battlefield elements."

Starz won't officially comment, but deadline.com and other outlets have reported the network is considering a spinoff following the story of Caesar. It's a series Lasance says he'd consider, and one that DeKnight and McIntyre would love to watch. "I know there's the rumor, and I don't know anything officially, but I hope that happens," says McIntyre. "Todd's got this sort of Brad Pitt thing about him, and I'd watch any show with him in it."

But first, fans must bid farewell to Spartacus. "If you do your Wikipedia research, you know it's not the happiest ending," says McIntyre, who promises a finale of epic proportions.

"I got to see a rough cut of it. It was heartbreaking, and Steven and his team do a really good job of keeping you guessing. You never quite know, as Steven says, if it's going to go all Inglourious Basterds and kill Hitler. It's a very heart-rending story, but its also uplifting," McIntyre says. "I think they really found the right tone and went out in a huge way."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/01/22/starz-spartacus-liam-mcintyre/1852287/
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 23, 2013

NATURE: "ATTENBOROUGH'S LIFE STORIES"
PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET
Part 1 of 3.
Please, please, please watch this. Sir David Attenborough is an endangered species himself – the best natural-history TV host on the planet – and in this three-part series, he looks over his 60-year-plus career (!!!), flipping pages in his video scrapbook, showing nothing but charming or jaw-dropping or thought-provoking highlights along the way. Tonight’s opener, Life on Camera, shows how technical innovations along the years helped Attenborough and his crews get amazing, unprecedented shots of animals in the wild, all over the planet. This series is as beautiful, and inspiring, as nature itself. Collect all three. Trade with friends. Check local listings.

AMERICAN IDOL
Fox, 8:00 p.m. ET

Ratings are down, substantially, for this series for the second year in a row, as its game of musical judges’ chairs does nothing to stop the bleeding. But the 2013 version does offer two small pleasures. One is that new judges Nicky Minaj and Mariah Carey clearly get on each other’s nerves – it’s no ratings-hungry act, more of an oil-and-vinegar attention-hungry mini-competition. What I enjoy most this year, though, is watching all the Carey-obsessed fans who audition by singing a dozen notes where one would have done just nicely, a modern malady foisted upon the modern generation by the diva herself. She has to sit there and listen, a truly fitting punishment. It’s an ill wind that has blown across the pop culture landscape for decades – and they call the wind Mariah.

NOVA: "RISE OF THE DRONES"
PBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

This week’s new Nova looks at the growth, use and occasional misuse of drone aircraft. There are some stunning and sobering images included here – and some statistics to match. For a full review, see Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes. Check local listings.

INSIDE THE NFL
Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last Sunday, there were only two postseason football games. Up ahead, only the Super Bowl. On this particular installment, the features are longer, the highlights deeper, the insights even better. As a prelude to the Super Bowl, and an explanation of how the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens fought their way there, this is a must-see for sports fans.

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET
SEASON FINALE:
We know now, this year, what we didn’t know last year when American Horror Story presented its season finale: the story ends here, so no character is safe. Who’s going to survive to the end of this year’s Asylum story line? There’s no telling – and the way characters have been dropping the past few episodes, there aren’t that many left anyway. Tune in, strap in, and expect a bumpy ride – into the future, reportedly.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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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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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
‘Taste’ dishes up a rare treat for ABC
Only new show this year to finish No. 1 for night in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2013

ABC’s “The Taste” did something very few new shows have done this season: Finished as the No. 1 show of the night in its premiere.

Of course, it came against weak competition, with CBS in reruns and the other networks offering lackluster fare. Still, it’s a good start for the new reality show, a sort of “The Voice” meets “Top Chef” cooking contest.

“Taste” averaged a 2.2 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights. In a surprise that the network is sure to tout, “Taste” actually bested last fall’s season premiere of “Dancing with the Stars,” which drew a 2.1 in the same timeslot.

In a good sign for ABC, “Taste” grew from a 1.9 in its first half hour to a 2.4 in its fourth, winning its timeslot at 8 and 9.

“Taste’s” lead-out, “Private Practice,” grew 25 percent from last week to a 1.5 for its series finale.

Another finale, this the fourth-season ender for NBC’s “Parenthood,” drew a 1.7 at 10 p.m. Though that was down from last week’s 1.9 (perhaps hurt by “Practice’s” series finale), the drama did win its timeslot for the seventh straight telecast.

Fox’s “New Girl” was the night’s No. 2 show with a 2.1, growing 11 percent from last week’s series low.

Fox’s “Girl” and “The Mindy Project” beat their comedy competition on NBC, where “Go On” (1.3) and “The New Normal” (1.2) fell to season lows.

ABC led the night among 18-49s with a 1.9 average overnight rating and a 5 share. Univision was second at 1.7/4, NBC and Fox tied for third at 1.6/4, CBS fifth at 1.5/4, Telemundo sixth at 0.6/2 and CW seventh at 0.6/1.

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. ABC led with a 2.0 for “Taste,” while CBS, NBC and Univision all tied for second at 1.7, CBS for a repeat of “NCIS,” NBC for “Betty White’s Off Their Rockers” (1.6 and 1.8) and Univision for “Por Ella Soy Eva.” Fox was fifth with a 1.5 for “Raising Hope” (1.7) and “Ben and Kate” (1.2), CW sixth with a 0.7 for “Hart of Dixie”(tying a season high) and Telemundo seventh with a 0.6 for “Rosa Diamante.”

ABC was first again at 9 p.m. with a 2.3 for more “Taste,” followed by Univision with a 2.0 for “Amores Verdaderos.” Fox was third with a 1.8 for “Girl” (2.1) and “Mindy” (1.5), CBS fourth with a 1.7 for a rerun of “NCIS: Los Angeles,” NBC fifth with a 1.3 for “Go” (1.3) and “Normal” (1.2), Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for “La Patrona” and CW seventh with a 0.5 for “Emily Owens, M.D.”

NBC took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 1.7 for “Parenthood,” with ABC second with a 1.5 for “Practice.” Univision was third with a 1.3 for “Amor Bravio,” CBS fourth with a 1.1 for a repeat of “Vegas” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for “Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal” (0.8) and “El Rostro de la Venganza” (0.5).

CBS finished first for the night among households with a 6.8 average overnight rating and a 10 share. ABC was second at 3.8/6, NBC third at 3.1/5, Fox fourth at 2.1/3, Univision fifth at 2.0/3, CW sixth at 1.0/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.7/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/taste-dishes-up-a-rare-treat-for-abc/

* * * *

Nielsen/TV Notes
Fewer watch Obama’s second inauguration
By Diego Vasquez, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2013

Fewer people showed up in Washington, D.C., to see President Barack Obama being sworn in for his second term than for his first, and fewer watched on television as well.

About 6.7 million total viewers tuned in on Monday to the Big Three cable news networks, according to Nielsen.

That was less than half the audience for his 2009 inauguration, when Obama became the country’s first black president. Just shy of 17 million watched his swearing in on the Big Three cable news networks that year.

CNN led with 3.136 million viewers during the president’s oath of office and subsequent speech from 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., down by about 5 million from 2009.

MSNBC placed second with 2.273 million, off by 25 percent from four years ago. Fox News Channel was a distant third with an average 1.316 million, or almost 4 million fewer than in 2009.

Though FNC is usually the dominant news network, CNN often draws a bigger audience for breaking news. Of course, FNC’s right-leaning audience was also likely less interested in watching a Democrat be sworn in for a second term.

Among adults 25-54, CNN again finished ahead with 1.107 million viewers. MSNBC drew 706,000, while 294,000 watched on Fox.

CNN continued to lead in primetime, when the broadcast networks had tuned out of coverage, with 3.57 million viewers. FNC averaged 1.666 million viewers in primetime, while MSNBC drew 1.365 million.

Nielsen has not yet released the total number viewers for inauguration coverage on Monday, which included a number of smaller cable and Hispanic broadcast networks as well and generally lasted from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

But among the Big Four, NBC finished first with 5.081 million viewers for its inaugural, about half the 10.4 million who tuned in four years ago.

ABC was second with 3.922 million, off from 10.1 million in 2009, followed by CBS with 3.671 million, also down by half from 7 million four years ago.

The big declines were not surprising. Presidents’ second terms generally draw fewer viewers for their swearing in, because of the “been there, done that” nature of being re-elected.

And Obama’s historic swearing in drew an unusually large crowd in 2009, almost 38 million, the second-biggest ever behind only Ronald Reagan’s 1980 swearing in.

Plus this year’s inauguration took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday that many workers and children had off, meaning they were likely out of the house doing something rather than watching television.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fewer-watch-obamas-second-inauguration/
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TV Notes
Ron Howard, Les Moonves Among TV Hall of Fame Inductees
By Alexander C. Kaufman, TheWrap.com - Jan. 23, 2013

Actor-director Ron Howard, sportscaster Al Michaels, CBS chief Les Moonves, journalist Bob Schieffer and writer-producer Dick Wolf will be inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 22nd Hall of Fame, the selection committee said Wednesday.

For the first time, proceeds from the ceremony, slated for March 11 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, will benefit the Television Academy Foundation's Archive of American Television, a collection of hundreds of video interviews with TV pioneers.

In addition to the five honorees, the Hall of Fame will posthumously induct Philo T. Farnsworth, credited with inventing all-electronic television transmission.

"Each of this year's Hall of Fame inductees is incredibly deserving of this honor and is truly a legend of our industry," Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and CEO of the Academy, said in a statement. "This will be a spectacular evening, rich with stories and reminiscing."

More than 120 individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception in 1984.

The six-person selection committee -- made up of television and talent executives -- is chaired by Warner Bros. Television President Peter Roth.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/les-moonves-bob-schieffer-among-tv-hall-fame-inductees-74321
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TV Review
‘Nova: Rise of the Drones' (PBS)
Questioning Its Marvels and Morals
By Mike Hale, The New York Times - Jan. 23, 2013

Welcoming President Obama to his second term, PBS has scheduled “Rise of the Drones,” an examination of one of the more controversial items on his agenda, as Wednesday night’s installment of “Nova.”

Though the program’s focus is technology rather than politics or military ethics, and it has the peppy, isn’t-science-great tone typical of “Nova,” it doesn’t ignore the debate surrounding America’s extensive use of remotely piloted aircraft to launch covert missile attacks on targets in Pakistan and other countries. Experts in military design and tactics point out that no one really knows how many civilians are being killed by the strikes and that the bloodless nature of the drone allows the United States to carry out a major air war without calling it a war.

But rather than dwelling on such questions, “Rise of the Drones” quickly moves on to its next gee-whiz moment. If the problem is that the drones’ pilots can make mistakes because they have too narrow a field of view, check out the new Argus camera: 1.8 billion pixels, able to show an entire small city while simultaneously zooming in on up to 65 individual spots and picking out objects as small as six inches long.

The program is full of things like the Argus that are sufficiently amazing or at least intriguing to distract you momentarily from the larger moral questions. (It is pointed out that unmanned planes are used primarily for surveillance, and we’re told that the Air Force already has the ability to archive all of the video being fed to it by its thousands of drones: Big Brother with wings.)

We’re given a history of the process of taking pilots out of the cockpit equation, beginning in World War II, and introduced to Abe Karem, an engineer who, in too-good-to-be-true fashion, designed and built the predecessors of today’s Predator drones in his garage. Working in the early 1980s with a few thousand dollars borrowed from his family, he never imagined, he says, that his unmanned aircraft would someday be armed.

He probably didn’t imagine how they would be controlled, either, and one of the most interesting places the program takes us is inside a room where actual Predator drones are piloted. Unlike the sleek or at least commodious chambers depicted in spy thrillers, it’s a storage container in the New Mexico desert where a pilot and a spotter squeeze, space-module style, into chairs facing intimidating banks of computer monitors stacked three high, like stock traders or extremely spoiled video game players.

“Rise of the Drones” argues, convincingly, that the move to remotely piloted aircraft is inevitable and accelerating — the Air Force is training more drone pilots than cockpit pilots. Glimpses of the automated future include a look at the X-47B, a full-size, unmanned jet that is already flying and could soon be able to land and take off on aircraft carriers (“Battlestar Galactica” fans will be reminded of Cylon Raiders), and fascinating scenes of small helicopter drones that can fly in formation or find their way through buildings, exhibiting a pilotlike intelligence.

There is a possibly paranoid science-fiction element to this, reflected in the program’s title — a heavy-handed reference to the third “Terminator” movie, “Rise of the Machines.” But not to worry, one of the show’s experts tells us: “We should be so lucky” as to develop aircraft with an ability to think.

Viewers may not be quite so sanguine or think that they’re lucky to have an item like the Switchblade, a long-range, remotely guided missile that fits in a small backpack. “It’s a tool our customers are very excited about,” says a spokesman for AeroVironment, the California company that produces it. Apparently luck, in this case, means not being on the bad side of those customers.

NOVA: RISE OF THE DRONES
On PBS stations on Wednesday night (check local listings).


http://tv.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/arts/television/nova-rise-of-the-drones-on-pbs.html?ref=television
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TV Notes
AMC sets a date for 'Mad Men' premiere
By USA Today Staff - Jan. 23, 2013

Emmy-winning drama Mad Men will be back for Season 6 on April 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

The '60s Madison Avenue drama will open with a special two-hour premiere written by creator and executive producer Matthew Weiner. The next week Mad Men will return to its regular 10 p.m. time slot on AMC.

"To be able to continue exploring the stories of these characters for a sixth season is an amazing opportunity," Weiner said. "We love mining this world and look forward to bringing the audience stories that we hope will continue to both surprise and entertain them."

No word on how and in what year — always a mystery kept by the network and prpoducers — the new season will start out. But in advance of the season, AMC will be offering previous episodes for viewers to refresh their memory, beginning Feb. 11 on demand.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2013/01/23/amc-sets-mad-men-date/1857939/
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TV Notes
'The Amazing Race': New cast (including relatives of John Wayne and Daniel Boone) and twist revealed!
By Dalton Ross, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Jan. 23, 2012

Sitcom star Lisa Whelchel and former baseball MVP Jeff Kent may not be appearing, but The Amazing Race will trot out a few semi-celebrities of its own when the 22nd season of the reality hit premieres Feb. 17 on CBS. And the teams will have a new twist to contend with at the very start.

Headlining the cast are Jennifer Kuhle and Caroline Cutbirth of the country band Stealing Angels. Kuhle is the granddaughter of John Wayne while Cutbirth is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone. They will be competing against former NHL player Bates Battaglia and his brother Anthony, as well as YouTube channel hosts Joey Graceffa and Meghan Camarena. Also among the 11 new teams of two competing is a pair of twin doctors, two roller derby moms, and a father and son who both have survived cancer. (The full cast list is below.)

Teams this season will travel over 30,000 miles through nine countries on five different continents. Along the way they will, according to CBS, Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
“skydive from 10,000 feet in Bora Bora, participate in a Shemozzle race in New Zealand, hunt for scorpions with the Bushmen of Botswana and scale the treacherous north face of the Eiger Mountain in Switzerland.”

They also will have a new twist thrown at them. While in the past the first team to arrive at the initial Pit Stop has earned an Express Pass that allows them to skip any task of their choosing, the team that arrives before all others at this season’s first Pit Stop will receive two Express Passes — one to keep for themselves and another one that must be given to another team of their choosing before the end of the fourth leg. It has the power of making one other team very happy, and several others unhappy over not receiving it.

Here’s the full cast of season 22 of ‘The Amazing Race.’ Also make sure to check out our photo gallery of all the teams. And for more reality ramblings, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

The Amazing Race cast:

Name: Idries Abdur-Rahman
Age: 35
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Current occupation: OB/GYN Physician

Name: Jamil Abdur-Rahman
Age: 35
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Current occupation: OB/GYN Physician

Connection: Twin Doctors
______________________________________________________________________

Name: Max Bichler
Age: 30
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Current occupation: Cigar Sales

Name: Katie Bichler
Age: 24
Hometown: Buffalo, N.Y.
Current occupation: Pharmacist

Connection: Newlyweds
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Mona Egender
Age: 33
Hometown: Castle Pines, Colo.
Current occupation: Captioner/Roller Derby Player

Name: Beth Bandimere
Age: 36
Hometown: Arvada, Colo.
Current occupation: Tech Support/Roller Derby Player

Connection: Roller Derby Moms
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Bates Battaglia
Age: 36
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Current occupation: Former Professional Hockey Player
(Played for the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs)

Name: Anthony Battaglia
Age: 33
Hometown: Raleigh, N.C.
Current occupation: Professional Hockey Player
(Currently plays for the Huntsville Havoc)

Connection: Hockey Brothers
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Chuck McCall
Age: 46
Hometown: Daphne, Ala.
Current occupation: Retail Manager/Taxidermist

Name: Wynona McCall
Age: 49
Hometown: Daphne, Ala.
Current occupation: Cosmetologist/Hairstylist

Connection: Married
________________________________________________________________________

Name: David O’Leary
Age: 58
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Current occupation: Investment Properties

Name: Connor O’Leary
Age: 21
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Current occupation: Professional Cyclist

Connection: Father/Son (Both Cancer Survivors)
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Caroline Cutbirth
Age: 29
Hometown: Austin, Texas
Current occupation: Singer/Songwriter (Band Member of “Stealing Angels”)
*Caroline is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone

Name: Jennifer Kuhle
Age: 30
Hometown: Nashville
Current occupation: Songwriter (Band Member of “Stealing Angels”)
*Jennifer is the granddaughter of John Wayne

Connection: Friends/Country Singers
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Joey Graceffa
Age: 21
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current occupation: YouTube Host
Internet Personality Joey’s YouTube Channel

Name: Meghan Camarena
Age: 25
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current occupation: YouTube Host
Internet Personality Meghan’s YouTube Channel

Connection: Friends/YouTube Hosts
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Pamela Chien
Age: 29
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current occupation: Art Director and Fitness Instructor

Name: Winnie Sung
Age: 29
Hometown: Los Angeles
Current occupation: Senior Project Manager

Connection: Best Friends
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Jessica Hoel
Age: 26
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Current occupation: Account Manager

Name: John Erck
Age: 27
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Calif.
Current Occupation: Entrepreneur/Computer Programmer

Connection: Dating
________________________________________________________________________

Name: Matthew Davis
Age: 25
Hometown: Gaffney, S.C.
Current occupation: Firefighter

Name: Daniel Moss
Age: 24
Hometown: Gaffney, S.C.
Current occupation: Firefighter

Connection: Best Friends/Firefighters


http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/01/23/amazing-race-22-new-cast/
Edited by dad1153 - 1/23/13 at 10:55am
post #84759 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvideo View Post

I spent 3.5 weeks at my daughter's place in Mesa, over the Xmas/New Years timeframe, viewing the channels they had via their Cox cable connection. I saw that ad several times (and I do not watch ESPN) and whichever channels had it, the orchestra volume did reduce.
On DirecTV the sound did reduce
post #84760 of 93678
Nielsen Notes (Cable)
Lifetime's 'Prosecuting Casey Anthony' Pulls 3.3 Million Viewers
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter - Jan. 23, 2013

Prosecuting Casey Anthony, the Lifetime movie starring Rob Lowe as the Florida lawyer who tried to convict Anthony of murder in 2011, brought the network its strongest numbers since November's Liz & Dick.

The movie pulled 3.3 million viewers on Friday night, falling shy of Liz & Dick's 3.5 million haul. It's also a drop from Lifetime's previous true crime offering starring Lowe. Last January's Drew Peterson: Untouchable brought in 5.8 million viewers.

In the key demos, Prosecuting Casey Anthony brought in 1.5 million adults 25-54, 1.3 million adults 18-49, 1.1 million women 25-54 and 921 women 18-49.

Lifetime followed the film with a one-hour documentary special Beyond the Headlines: Prosecuting Casey Anthony. That averaged 2.4 million viewers.

Prosecuting Casey Anthony tops the Jan. 1 premiere of Dance Moms (2.8 million) for the network's top broadcast of 2013 thus far.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/lifetimes-prosecuting-casey-anthony-pulls-414755
post #84761 of 93678
TV Notes
'The Office' Documentary Crew Revealed: Jenna Fischer Talks Series End
By HuffingtonPost.com Staff - Jan. 23, 2013

"The Office" documentary crew will start to come out from behind the camera, according to Jenna Fischer. While speaking with Jeff Probst on "The Jeff Probst Show," Fischer revealed the crew will be revealed on the Thursday, Jan. 24 episode of the NBC comedy.

"This week is the episode in which you will see behind the scenes of the documentary for the first time," Fischer said in an interview airing on Thursday, Jan. 24. "We're going to pull back the curtain, and you know the show's premise is we are a paper company that's being documented by a documentary film crew; you're gonna start meeting members of that documentary crew starting this week."

While looking back on her time in Hollywood, Fischer revealed her one-time rival: Alyson Hannigan.

"I had been knocking around Los Angeles for eight years going to various auditions and I would do eight auditions for a new television show and then at the very end they would offer the role to Alyson Hannigan," Fischer said. "She was my biggest competition ... I would get to the final audition and I'd go, 'I know I've got this one' and then she'd walk in the door and I'd go 'nope.'"

Watch the clip from Fischer's interview on "The Jeff Probst Show" below. [CLICK LINK]

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/the-office-documentary-crew-jenna-fischer_n_2535159.html?utm_hp_ref=tv
post #84762 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post


Fewer watch Obama’s second inauguration
By Diego Vasquez, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2013
Democrat be sworn in for a second term.

Among adults 25-54, CNN again finished ahead with 1.107 million viewers. MSNBC drew 706,000, while 294,000 watched on Fox.

CNN continued to lead in primetime, when the broadcast networks had tuned out of coverage, with 3.57 million viewers. FNC averaged 1.666 million viewers in primetime, while MSNBC drew 1.365 million.

Nielsen has not yet released the total number viewers for inauguration coverage on Monday, which included a number of smaller cable and Hispanic broadcast networks as well and generally lasted from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

But among the Big Four, NBC finished first with 5.081 million viewers for its inaugural, about half the 10.4 million who tuned in four years ago.

ABC was second with 3.922 million, off from 10.1 million in 2009, followed by CBS with 3.671 million, also down by half from 7 million four years ago.

The big declines were not surprising. Presidents’ second terms generally draw fewer viewers for their swearing in, because of the “been there, done that” nature of being re-elected.

And Obama’s historic swearing in drew an unusually large crowd in 2009, almost 38 million, the second-biggest ever behind only Ronald Reagan’s 1980 swearing in.

Plus this year’s inauguration took place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday that many workers and children had off, meaning they were likely out of the house doing something rather than watching television.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/fewer-watch-obamas-second-inauguration/

I wonder if Florida's Theme Parks had a banner day. On the day of his first inauguration I spent the day at EPCOT and it was PACKED. I later read that on that day all four Disney Parks had their greatest attendance for what was an off season school and workday. biggrin.gif
post #84763 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntocoast View Post

I wonder if Florida's Theme Parks had a banner day. On the day of his first inauguration I spent the day at EPCOT and it was PACKED. I later read that on that day all four Disney Parks had their greatest attendance for what was an off season school and workday. biggrin.gif

It was MLK day which is a no school and for a portion of the work force a holiday day.
post #84764 of 93678
It wasn't MLK Day four years ago when I visited EPCOT, and I have a feeling A LOT of the people there called themselves and/or their kids in "sick"! biggrin.gif
post #84765 of 93678
Don't try going skiing on the MLK weekend - unless you like standing in lift lines all day. It's a long weekend for many working folks - of course the resorts are going to be jammed.
post #84766 of 93678
"Strike Back" is an excellent show. I have seen every episode and enjoyed each one. "Banshee" looks to be a fine show, as well.
post #84767 of 93678
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)

ABC:
8PM - Last Resort (Season Finale)
9PM - Grey's Anatomy
10:02PM - Scandal
(R - May 10)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Matt Damon)
12:35AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Nov. 1)
8:31PM - Two and a Half Men
(R - Oct. 11)
9:01PM - Person of Interest
(R - Oct. 4)
10:01PM - Elementary
(R - Nov. 15)
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Denzel Washington; Pauley Perrette; Paul Banks performs)
(R - Oct. 29)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Quentin Tarantino)
(R - Dec. 20)

NBC:
8PM - 30 Rock
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9PM - The Office
9:31PM - 1600 Penn
10:01PM - Rock Center with Brian Williams
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Dustin Hoffman; fitness trainer Jillian Michaels; Kenny Loggins and Blue Sky Riders perform)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Arnold Schwarzenegger; Maggie Q; Michael Kiwanuka performs)
(R - Jan. 17)
1:36AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Melissa Benoist; musician Selah Sue; Metric performs)
(R - Nov. 1)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol
9PM - Glee

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour
9PM - Frontline: The Untouchable
(R - Jan. 22)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Corpus Christi
(R - Jan. 21)

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

THE CW:
8PM - The Vampire Diaries
9PM - Beauty and the Beast

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Pasión Prohibida
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - Pablo Escobar: El Patron del Mal (Series Finale)
10:30PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Christopher Walken)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Akhil Reed Amar)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Adam Scott; Mo Mandel)

E!:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Scott Caan; Greg Fitzsimmons; Natasha Leggero; Ross Mathews)

FX:
11PM - Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell
post #84768 of 93678
TV Notes
'Ben and Kate' Pulled From Fox Schedule
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Jan. 23, 2013

Fox has pulled its freshman comedy "Ben and Kate" from its schedule, effective immediately, the network said Wednesday.

The series, which has aired 13 episodes so far and aired Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., will return at a later date to be determined, the network added.

For the time being, one-hour installments of "Raising Hope" will run Tuesdays at 8 p.m. to cover the programming hole through the February sweeps (except for Feb. 19, when a "New Girl" repeat will air at 8:30).

The season premiere of "Hell's Kitchen" will air Tuesday, March 12 at 8 p.m. The Gordon Ramsay reality hit will occupy the Tuesdays at 8-9 p.m. slot from there on in, preceding "New Girl" and "The Mindy Project."

"Raising Hope" will air its season premiere with a one-hour episode on Thursday, March 28, following "American Idol."

The series, which stars Dakota Johnson as Type-A single mother Kate and Nat Faxon as her laid-back brother Ben, who moves in with his sister to help care for her daughter, premiered in September with a lukewarm 2.0 rating/6 share in the 18-49 demographic most important advertisers and 4.2 million total viewers. Its most recent episode, airing this week, posted a 1.2/3 -- a modest improvement over the previous week -- with 2.6 million total viewers.

During the Television Critics Association winter press tour in January, Fox entertainment chief Kevin Reilly expressed disappointment that the network's Tuesday night comedy block hadn't been a bigger ratings hit so far, noting that he believes in the quality of the shows but that audiences may need time to find them.

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/article/ben-and-kate-pulled-fox-schedule-74391
post #84769 of 93678
Business Notes
Netflix Shares Soar As Q4 Earnings Trounce Expectations
By David Lieberman, TheWrap.com - Jan. 23, 2013

Shares are up more than 30% in after-market trading following the company’s report of a Q4 profit — in contrast to the Street’s expectation for a loss. Netflix reported net income of $7.9M, down 77.6% vs the period last year, on revenues of $945.2M, +8%. Analysts expected revenues to come in lower at $934.1M. But the profit number was the big surprise: It amounts to 13 cents a share — a contrast to forecasts for a 13 cent loss. Investors also will be surprised by the subscription numbers. Netflix ended 2012 with 27.15M domestic streaming customers, an increase of 2.05M vs the previous quarter. That’s well ahead of company guidance, and analyst predictions for a 1.7M increase. International also was strong with 6.12M subscribers, +1.81M — beating the company’s most optimistic forecast for +1.44M. The good news extended to domestic DVD rentals. Netflix says 8.22M people subscribe, a loss of 380,000; the company had said it might lose at least 458,000. “The fact that our growth remains this strong despite intensifying competition, and our already substantial U.S. market penetration, underlines the large opportunity ahead,” CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells say in their quarterly note to shareholders.

Related: Netflix CEO Says Company Is On “Probation” Despite Subscription Growth

The letter also says that execs have had “constructive conversations” with billionaire Carl Icahn, who recently bought 10% of the stock and urged Hastings to consider selling Netflix. But it adds that the company has ”no further news about his intentions.” Hastings also says that February 1, when Netflix releases 13 episodes of its original series House Of Cards, will be “a defining moment in the development of Internet TV.”

http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/netflix-shares-soar-as-q4-earnings-trounce-expectations/
post #84770 of 93678
TV Notes
TBS Orders Bam Margera Reality Series
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jan. 23, 2013

Jackass' Bam Margera is heading to TBS.

The cable network on Wednesday ordered Bam's Bad Ass Game Show, described as an "over the top" competition series. The six-episode, half-hour show will launch in 2014.

Here is how the show will work, according to the release: "Competitors will vie for $10,000 by facing off against each other in incredibly demented, potentially dangerous and occasionally painful challenges, like answering trivia questions while dangling above a pool of trash-filled water or dropping a watermelon on a target after being shot out of a cannon. The loser of each challenge is eliminated until there's only one contestant left standing to take home the cash prize."

Margera's friends and colleagues will be on hand to help.

Bam's Bad Ass Game Show comes from Bill's Market & Television Productions. David A. Hurwitz (Fear Factor), Noah Bonnett (Total Blackout) and Margera are executive producers.

TBS continues to add to its unscripted slate, with Bad Ass Game Show joining new series from Howie Mandel and Mark Burnett.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tbs-orders-bam-margera-reality-414918
post #84771 of 93678
TV Notes
How Katie Couric landed the Manti Te'o exclusive
By Patrick Kevin Day, Los Angeles Times - Jan. 23, 2013

This week, Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o sat down for his first on-camera interview to discuss the controversy surrounding his girlfriend hoax. But he wasn't sitting across from Oprah Winfrey, the current queen of the sports world exclusive. He was talking to Katie Couric.

So how did Couric manage to beat out Winfrey for the juicy get? After all, Winfrey just snagged international coverage and a reported audience of 28 million worldwide for her exclusive two-part sit-down with disgraced cycling star Lance Armstrong.

Some reports have suggested that the key factor was high-powered publicist and crisis management expert Matthew Hiltzik, who has had Couric as a client for seven and a half years and has been representing Te'o since just after the story of his girlfriend hoax broke in early January.

However, a person close to the situation denied that both parties having the same representation was the deciding factor. Instead, they said that the audience reach from Couric's employer, ABC News, and its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Co., made her the best choice.

The interview with Couric, which was taped Tuesday, was featured on "Good Morning America" Wednesday morning and will be on "World News Tonight" and "Nightline" Wednesday night, in addition to Couric's daytime talk show, "Katie," on Thursday. (check local listings)

Online, the interview was featured on both ABC News' website and Yahoo! (which have an online partnership and have a reported 85 million unique users a month), as well as ESPN.com, which is 80% owned by Disney. Te'o's only other interview since the story broke was with ESPN.com, which had been investigating the Te'o girlfriend story before Deadspin broke it earlier this month.

In fact, it may have been the media hoopla surrounding Winfrey's Armstrong interview that also hurt her, as the Te'o interview occurred right on the heels of the Armstrong event and risked being overshadowed.

In the Couric interview, Te'o admits that he briefly lied to the media about the existence of his supposed girlfriend, even after he had learned that she was not actually a real person. The girl, who he had never met in person, supposedly died of cancer on Sept. 12.

But on Dec. 6 he learned that she had never really existed, and was a hoax allegedly perpetrated by Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, an Antelope Valley man who used a classmate's pictures to represent the woman "Lennay Kekua." Two days later, Te'o was on TV discussing his placing as a finalist for the Heisman Trophy and mentioned the girlfriend.

"Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on Sept. 12. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on Sept. 12," Te'o told Couric in the interview. "Now I get a phone call on Dec. 6, saying that she's alive and then I'm going be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?"

When reached for comment on the deal, Hiltzik deferred to a quote Te'o's mother, Ottilia Te'o, gave to the media, in which she said, "I’ve watched Katie on television, and she represents somebody that I felt I could trust and share our story with. We have a comfort level with her."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-katie-couric-manti-teo-exclusive-20130123,0,817987.story
post #84772 of 93678
WEDNESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #84773 of 93678
8PM - Last Resort (Season Finale)

They mean Series Finale right/
post #84774 of 93678
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Mild week-two decline for ‘American Idol’
Off 10 percent from last week's debut to a 5.4 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 24, 2013

As expected, “American Idol” fell from last week’s season premiere, but not too far.

The show was down 10 percent in its second Wednesday outing last night, leading Fox to victory in primetime.

“Idol” averaged a 5.4 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen overnights, down from a 6.0 for last week’s debut.

It grew from a 4.8 in its first half hour at 8 p.m. to a 5.7 in its last at 9:30 p.m.

The show was off 16 percent from the same night last year.

Among total viewers, “Idol” averaged 16 million viewers, falling 11 percent from last week.

Elsewhere on the night, ABC’s “Modern Family” was the evening’s No. 2 show among 18-49s behind “Idol,” though it slid 5 percent from last week to a season-low 4.1.

CBS’s “CSI” posted a season-high 2.7 at 10 p.m., up 17 percent from last week.

The CW’s “Supernatural” was up 6 percent week to week in total viewers, to 2.1 million.

Fox finished first for the night among 18-49s with a 5.4 average overnight rating and a 15 share. ABC was second at 2.4/7, CBS third at 2.4/6, Univision fourth at 1.6/4, CW fifth at 1.0/3, NBC sixth at 0.8/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.6/2.

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. Fox was first with a 5.3 for “Idol,” followed by ABC with a 2.2 for “The Middle” (2.5) and “The Neighbors” (1.9), up 9 percent and 6 percent, respectively, from last week. Univision was third with a 1.6 for “Por Ella Soy Eva,” CBS fourth with a 1.5 for a repeat of “Criminal Minds,” CW fifth with a 1.1 for “Arrow,” NBC sixth with a 0.8 for reruns of “Whitney” and “Guys With Kids,” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.5 for “Pasion Prohibida.”

Fox led again at 9 p.m. with a 5.6 for more “Idol,” while ABC remained second with a 3.2 for “Family” (4.1) and “Suburgatory” (2.3). CBS was third with a 3.0 for a new “Criminal Minds,” Univision fourth with a 1.9 for “Amores Verdaderos,” CW fifth with a 0.9 for “Supernatural,” NBC sixth with a 0.7 for a repeat of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.6 for “La Patrona.”

CBS took the lead at 10 p.m. with a 2.7 for “CSI,” with ABC second with a 1.8 for “Nashville,” off 18 percent from last week. Univision was third with a 1.4 for “Amor Bravio,” NBC fourth with a 0.8 for a repeat of “Chicago Fire” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.6 for “Pablo Escobar: El patron del Mal” (0.7) and “El Rostro de la Venganza.”

Fox was also first for the night among households with a 9.3 average overnight rating and a 14 share. CBS was second at 6.4/10, ABC third at 4.5/7, Univision fourth at 2.0/3, NBC fifth at 1.8/3, CW sixth at 1.6/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.7/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/a-mild-week-two-decline-for-american-idol/
post #84775 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

8PM - Last Resort (Season Finale)
They mean Series Finale right/
Realistically yes, but shows aren't officially and 100% cancelled until May when the new schedules for the Fall are announced. It's only a Series Finale when it's announced a show is definitely ending (like "Private Practice" on Tuesday, or the upcoming final episode of "30 Rock"). Until then, technically, "Last Resort" is still alive and is airing a Season Finale tonight. But yeah, it's a Series Finale.
post #84776 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 24, 2013

30 ROCK
NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

This penultimate episode of 30 Rock has Liz (Tina Fey) reeling after the news that her series – TGS, the show-within-a-show on this show – has been canceled. She may or may not handle it well, but we don’t have to worry about Fey. After eight years in late-night TV on Saturday Night Live and seven years in prime time on 30 Rock, the woman deserves a break. And lots of applause.

ROAD TO MOROCCO
TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1942 comedy, one of the very best of the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road pictures, is a great place to begin if you’ve yet to see one of these. Be prepared for a very modern-feeling, fourth-wall-breaking romp. This time out, Hope and Crosby play stowaways who end up in a desert city, competing for the attention and love of a gorgeous princess. And that princess is played by Dorothy Lamour, so she’s worth the effort. Also co-starring: Anthony Quinn.

GLEE
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET
SERIES RETURN:
After a post-holiday hiatus, this series returns with a new episode – one that’s built not around a music competition, but about the school’s Sadie Hawkins dance. Among the musical selections in this episode: “No Scrubs” and “Baby Got Back.” Make of that what you will.

ARCHER
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this new episode, the voice of a new character, playing an old, and very competitive, friend of Archer’s, may sound familiar. That’s because it is. The voice is that of guest star Timothy Olyphant, from Deadwood and the current Justified, taking time out to have fun as a fellow secret agent.

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE!
ABC, 11:35 p.m. ET

Every night for years, almost without fail, Jimmy Kimmel has ended his show by apologizing to Matt Damon for being bumped – a running gag so long, and so effective, it’s a marathon-running gag. And tonight, now that Kimmel has moved to 11:35 p.m. ET, Damon finally has been booked on the show officially. He’s appeared in viral videos for the show, and appeared in other playful cameos, but this makes it official. Unless the monologue runs long, and Kimmel bumps him.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

Critic's Notes
'Spartacus: War of the Damned' Ready for its Last Stabs at Gory Glory
By Ed Bark, TVWorthWatching.com - Jan. 24, 2013

Intent on toppling the Roman empire with his "mongrel horde" — as one foe puts it — here comes Spartacus for his final blood bath.

The Starz network's most popular original series remains gratuitously gruesome to behold, but not as much crazed campy fun in its climactic thrusts. Spartacus: War of the Damned (Friday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. ET) goes about its business in a brutal, business-like way. And there are only so many ways you can kill a man, even though Spartacus' doubleheader beheading of two Roman officials earns some grudging style points.

The series has been through some wrenching off-screen trauma since bursting into view in January 2010 as Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Its original star, Andy Whitfield, died of cancer in September 2011. While anticipating his full recovery, Starz marked time with a six-episode prequel, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena.

Fellow Australian actor Liam McIntyre (left) eventually was hired to succeed Whitfield as the star of last year's Spartacus: Vengeance. He resumes the role in the 10-episode War of the Damned, which Starz has announced will be the end game.

Only Manu Bennett as the gladiator Crixus remains from the charter Blood and Sand cast. Still sorely missed are John Hannah and Lucy Lawless as the scheming, preening Quintus Lentulus Batiatus and his wife, Lucretia. They're among the many, many dead along with another Spartacus stalwart, original gladiator trainer Doctore Oenomaus (Peter Mensah).

The video game-ish violence, and explicit sex and language remain intact, of course. And Starz is the first network in my memory to include an f-bomb in its print publicity materials. It's from the voluptuous warrior Saxa (Ellen Hollman), and won't be recycled here. Let's go instead with this self-assured vow. "I stand as any **** should. Hard and sure of purpose," a young, formative Julius Caesar (Todd Lasance) says within the pages of Starz's glossy, hardcover picture book.

Caesar, amoral and seriously in debt, is recruited by Spartacus' new arch enemy, Crassus (Simon Merrells), He seems a bit skimpily built for the task, but yearns to add battlefield street cred to his enormous wealth. Crassus' baby-faced son, Tiberius (Christian Antidormi), likewise thirsts to "stand awash in the blood of our enemies." These kids.

Friday's season opener begins amid a typically gruesome battle, with Spartacus a full-blown, howling killing machine in command of his loyal troops.

Crixus stands firmly beside him, as do Sexa and Gannicus (Dustin Clare). Following the carnage, Spartacus prepares for more. He pledges to "give further warnings to the fools in Rome seeking to grind us beneath heel." (Characters tend to drop the word "the" from their vocabularies, be they freedom-fighters or those who would enslave them. "My knife to bear upon beard," Caesar tells a topless slave girl early in Episode 2. And so on.)

Spartacus is barren of girlfriends in these first two hours. But Crixus is not. His main squeeze Naevia (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) turns him on by saying, "Kill many Romans and return to my arms with their blood hardened upon you." Yowsa.

Creator/writer/co-executive producer Steven S. DeKnight seeks to cloak all of this in deep social meaning. In a letter to TV writers, he says the series addresses "a simmering concern that was relevant, and I felt desperately needed to be dramatized: the increasing gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The very rich and the very poor. The Romans would represent the millionaires and billionaires, while Spartacus and his rebels would stand in for the economic slave class toiling for a crust of financial bread from their 'masters.' The later events of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Arab Spring reflected what I was attempting to explore in our series."

Yeah, sure. I guess that could go for Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, too.

Spartacus in fact is what it is — a broadly drawn, visceral feast of blood, guts, lust and lower-rung language. War of the Damned doesn't spare any of it en route to its no doubt hellish conclusion. But the characters aren't as compelling as they once were, rendering the fight scenes even more voyeuristic. Spartacus lives only to inflict punishment in the memory of his now long-deceased wife, Sura.

"Only a city could hold us now," he says of his growing legions. "And we shall tear one from the flesh of Rome."

The spirit is willing. And the flesh just keeps on bleeding.

GRADE: C+

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogPostDetails.aspx?postId=4161
post #84777 of 93678
TV Notes
Undercover Boss: Why It Makes Me Mad
By Maddy Lederman, HuffingtonPost.com - Jan. 22, 2013

In the CBS' reality show, Undercover Boss, a boss gets a glimpse of the day-to-day operations in their own company. Now in it's fourth season, I've finally had enough.

At the time of this writing, the most recent episode featured Paul Damico of Moe's Southwestern Grill. I don't mean to pick on Paul (and I'm sure he doesn't mind extra attention to his fast food chain, which I'd never heard of before this show). While the bosses are different every episode, the journey is more or less the same, and I don't know about anyone else, but it pisses me off. Here's why:

As the show opens, we're introduced to Paul and his family who live in a McMansion and have everything the American dream has to offer. Paul and his wife seem nice and hard-working. No problem so far. Every boss has reasons for going undercover, and according to the show's website, "Paul wants to make sure that the employees of the company are not falling short of the brand standards. Paul looks forward to the opportunity to change some associates lives just like his father's boss helped their family when his brother was in need of a liver transplant." No problem there either. Sounds like a heart-felt story of giving back.

Paul goes undercover as a rockabilly-styled, failed steakhouse owner. I dug the fake tattoos that were part of his disguise. He learns of the struggles and ambitions of his employees working in a few different Moe's around the country. One young manager tells Paul she worries about her kids' future more than her own. At the end of the show, Paul reveals himself as the boss, and the employees are amazed to find out who he really is. He rewards them with advancement opportunities and/or cash, if he thinks they deserve it. Paul's gifts included $40,000 for the young manager to start a college fund for each of her kids and then $15,000 so she "wouldn't have to worry." A line worker got $35,000 to buy a car and to pay for his daughter's day care while he is at work.

This moment is always emotional. Tears are shed and lives are changed for the lucky employees that happen to be on the show, but for me there's no catharsis. I can't help but think of every other employee at Moe's. I'm guessing Paul has hundreds, if not thousands, of employees all facing similar challenges. These Undercover Bosses insult our intelligence by acting as if they had no idea that people working for them could be going through such tough times. Paul's gift implies that he knows his young manager will have great difficulty sending her kids to college on the salary she makes at Moe's. The line worker naturally cannot afford a car or daycare.

Giving these gifts, Paul was brought to tears by how good it felt to help these people, but if Paul really wants to help them, can he pay a better wage? Then they might be able to save for their children's college education, or get a car, or pay for daycare. If it felt so good to help these few and the company is so successful, why not really do something about the problem? These are rhetorical questions: we know corporations are motivated by the bottom line, but this is the hypocrisy the show presents. It's not that heart-warming at a second glance.

Undercover Bosses imply that it is some kind of a special treat to earn a living wage, or to have time off for a needed surgery or a vacation, or to have a reasonable work schedule to plan childcare around. These were gifts bestowed on employees by bosses in past episodes. The employees chosen for the show do benefit from this help and, if nothing else, the show is good for that, but it blatantly exploits these "feel good" scenarios for publicity and accentuates greater problems than it solves.

What do you think?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maddy-lederman/undercover-boss-_b_2511898.html?utm_hp_ref=tv
post #84778 of 93678
Didn't ABC already give it the ax? as in no chance in coming back?

http://www.deadline.com/2012/11/last-resort-666-park-ave-cancelled-abc/
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Realistically yes, but shows aren't officially and 100% cancelled until May when the new schedules for the Fall are announced. It's only a Series Finale when it's announced a show is definitely ending (like "Private Practice" on Tuesday, or the upcoming final episode of "30 Rock"). Until then, technically, "Last Resort" is still alive and is airing a Season Finale tonight. But yeah, it's a Series Finale.
post #84779 of 93678
Quote:
Originally Posted by borntocoast View Post

Cord Cutters RULE biggrin.gif

You have your own thread!! Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time smile.gif.
post #84780 of 93678
TV Sports/Business Notes
Time Warner Cable's split personality with TV sports
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Jan. 23, 2013

Few cable companies have been as vocal about the rising costs of sports programming as Time Warner Cable.

"What was a minor problem is turning into an astronomical problem," Time Warner Cable chief executive Glenn Britt told the Wall Street Journal just over a year ago. "The ultimate solution is to get that programming on some sort of smaller packaging scheme."

But Britt's words don't match up with Time Warner Cable's actions. As of late, few cable companies have been as instrumental in driving up sports costs as Time Warner Cable.

The latest example of Time Warner Cable's split personality is its tentative agreement with the Dodgers. The cable operator, which has over 2 million subscribers in the region, is finalizing a TV contract worth $7 billion to $8 billion that will run between 20 and 25 years. The Dodgers will get their own channel that Time Warner Cable will help manage and distribute.

The Dodgers currently are on Prime Ticket, a cable channel owned by Fox Sports, a unit of News Corp. Fox Sports wanted to keep the Dodgers but its offer topped out at around $6 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

For Time Warner Cable, the accord comes less than two years after it outbid another Fox channel -- Fox Sports West -- for the Lakers. That contract was for $3.6 billion for 20 years with an option for another five years.

Executives at Time Warner Cable have said the company was getting into the sports game as a defensive move. In short, it wanted to cut out the middle-man -- often Fox Sports -- and deal directly with the teams for content.

That has meant outbidding incumbents, having to create new sports channels and charging other pay-TV distributors a premium to carry them. The bulk of those costs ultimately get passed on to consumers.

While Time Warner Cable has taken some franchises away from Fox Sports in Los Angeles, in San Diego the strategy backfired. Fox held onto the rights to the Padres despite a big bid from Time Warner Cable. The end result: Fox raised the price of its sports channel there to cover the costs of its new deal, and Time Warner Cable refuses to carry the network.

"They do seem to be talking out of both sides of their mouth," said sports industry consultant Marc Ganis. "Time Warner Cable has at one moment railed against excessive rights fees being paid and in the next moment pays an exorbitant rights fee and demands a massive subscription fee."Ganis said Fox, which owns 21 regional sports networks and is launching a national service as well, has at least had a consistent strategy. Time Warner Cable, Ganis cracked, is "schizophrenic."

Britt has previously advocated that sports channels be sold separately from other programming so consumers who are not big fans don't get stuck with the bill. Ganis wonders if the Dodgers deal may lead to that.

"Is the Federal Communications Commission going to finally demand a la carte programming because Time Warner Cable persists in battling Fox?" he asked.

That is the greatest fear of the companies that own sports networks, because it would mean less subscription and advertising revenue. Wonder where Britt falls on the issue these days?

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-time-warner-cable-dodgers-20130123,0,387086.story
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