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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2869

post #86041 of 93655
Relocated.
Edited by dad1153 - 4/10/13 at 9:17pm
post #86042 of 93655
TV Sports
Get ready world, Dick Vitale to call NCAA
By Michael Hiestand, USA Today - Apr. 2, 2013

After being the most recognizable TV voice in his sport, Dick Vitale onSaturday will finally sit courtside to call NCAA basketball tournament action for the first time.

But if you're live in the USA -- where CBS/Turner coverage owns the NCAA TV rights -- you won't see him call the Wichita State-Louisville game, nor Monday night's title matchup.

You can, however, if you cross the border and watch from Mexico and Canada.

Vitale, alongside announcer Brad Nessler, will call the action for ESPN's international feed. Meaning, viewers in 150 countries will be repeatedly exposed to idiosyncratic renditions of "Awesome-baby!"

It almost makes sense the world will finally be exposed to Vitale. (Although overseas viewers won't hear him on Michigan-Syracuse -- Nessler and Jay Bilas call that game.)

Vitale tells USA TODAY Sports he's not going to cut back on any catchphrases just because viewers in lots of new time zones might not know what to make of them. "It's carried me for 34 years," he says. "I say this humorously, but think about it. Some people think I'm loud, that I talk a lot. But I must be doing something right. I can't go anywhere without people yelling, "Do I need a T.O., baby?' ''

Since joining ESPN in its first year in 1979, Vitale has always worked ESPN's NCAA tournament studio shows. Depending how far ESPN's on-site studios were from courts, he sometimes watched first-half action live if he then had time to hustle back to the set. Now, he says, fans stopping him for autographs or pictures pretty much make such scrambles impractical.

Vitale, 73, says producers would tell him he was connecting with viewers in his early ESPN years but he didn't really believe it -- "I didn't even know what they meant" -- until, in 1983, he first attended a Final Four for ESPN. He saw he was widely recognized. "That's about when things took off for me and I thought maybe I should stay in this instead of chasing the golden dream of getting back into college coaching."

Vitale, looking back, thinks it was a pretty smart move to join the fledgling ESPN after he had been fired in 1979 by the NBA's Detroit Pistons just 12 games into their season: "Without ESPN, I probably would have been dead by 50."

And Vitale hasn't given up on his dream of calling NCAA tournament games on U.S. TV. CBS Sports head Sean McManus in 2006 said it was a "no-brainer" to let Vitale call some CBS NCAA action, but ESPN wouldn't allow it.

Recently, Vitale and Charles Barkley, a studio analyst on CBS/Turner's NCAA coverage as well as Turner's NBA action, have lobbied for some kind of arrangement where they could call games together on ESPN and Turner -- perhaps including NCAA and NBA action. ESPN has said it's willing to allow that.

"This should happen," says Vitale. "Charles wants it badly. I want it badly. There's no downside."

Still, Vitale is willing to play the TV critic on Barkley's performance on NCAA coverage -- especially Barkley's charge that the Big Ten was "overrated" before the tournament started.

"I'm a little envious of Charles," says Vitale. "He shoots his mouth off sometimes and I shake my head. Like on that, I feel like jumping through my TV screen to say, "Charles, how many Big Ten games have you sat courtside for?' But I admire him tremendously."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/hiestand-tv/2013/04/02/dick-vitale-espn-ncaa-mens-tournament-jay-bilas-charles-barkley/2047699/
post #86043 of 93655
Legal/Business Notes
TV Broadcasters Looking Into Aereo-Dish Network Discussions
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood Esq.' Blog - Apr. 3, 2013

This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Aereo and Dish Network had held private talks with each other. The exact nature of those talks isn't known, but TV broadcasters would like to know more.

According to a petition that was filed this week in Colorado federal court, the broadcasters are seeking information including "(i) Aereo's communications with DISH; (ii) any 'actual, contemplated, considered, or proposed' business arrangements between Aereo and DISH; and (iii) 'offers or expressions of interest' by Dish in acquiring Aereo's assets."

Earlier this week, of course, digital TV distributor Aereo experienced a huge victory at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, getting the circuit judges there to affirm a lower court's denial of an injunction.

The fight now continues at the trial court and both parties are engaged in a brutal discovery process.

Aereo attempted to gain all sorts of information from broadcasters in an effort to show that the harm from Aereo's technology was overstated. The company backed by Barry Diller demanded the retransmission and licensing agreements that the TV networks have signed.

Late last month, a judge would only permit a narrow request for documents.

In turn, broadcasters including Fox, WPIX, Univision and PBS are making their own demands in the discovery process to learn the other side's secrets. Broadcasters want to know more about Aereo's expansion plans as well as the company's market and competition. And now, the broadcasters are intrigued by Aereo's potential relationship with Dish.

Talks between Aereo and Dish have raised eyebrows. As this week's cover story in The Hollywood Reporter details, Dish's licensing contract with Disney expires in September and the satellite giant is faced with losing ABC. Though neither party has expressly come out and said it, there is a possibility that Dish could decide to stream ABC anyway, without a contract but in partnership with a company like Aereo.

That possibility has even become apparent to judges.

For example, in his dissenting opinion from a majority's ruling, Second Circuit judge Denny Chin wrote, "Today's decision does not merely deny the broadcasters a licensing fee for Aereo's activity; it provides a blueprint for others to avoid the Copyright Act's licensing regime altogether."

Some analysts say that even if MPVDs like Dish don't plan to go that route, it makes sense to bluff.

"With Aereo gaining legal momentum, we think it makes sense for Aereo to talk with pay TV companies," writes Paul Gallant of Guggenheim in a report. "The more that broadcasters believe cable/satellite might actually partner with Aereo, the more leverage distributors gain in future retrans negotiations."

Dish says that any communications it has had with Aereo is off-limits for broadcasters. The company wants a Colorado court to quash the subpoena because it presents an "undue burden" and may be obtainable from Aereo. The company also says that it is improper because it seeks discovery with respect to future development plans for the Hopper, subject to pending litigation.

Finally, in a bit of a tease, Dish wants a court to reject the subpoena because it is allegedly a commercial secret.

According to a memorandum in support of a motion to quash the subpoena, "To the extent that DISH might have internally valued Aereo, assessed its impact on retransmission fees paid to the networks, or contemplated incorporating Aereo technology into DISH products, the documents would be highly confidential and proprietary."

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/tv-broadcasters-looking-aereo-dish-432748
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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 - Wife Swap: Cochran/Curry
9PM - Grey's Anatomy
10:02PM - Scandal
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Patrick Dempsey; Goran Visnjic; Seth Sentry performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Big Bang Theory
8:31PM - Two and a Half Men
9PM - Person of Interest
10:01PM - Elementary
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Martin Short; Tyler, The Creator performs)
12:37AM - Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Kunal Nayyar; actress Molly Shannon)
(R - Feb. 21)

NBC:
8PM - Community
8:30PM - Parks and Recreation
9PM - The Office
9:31PM - Go On
10:01PM - Hannibal (Series Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno (Eva Longoria; Terry Crews; performance by Cavalia's Odysseo)
12:37AM - Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Melissa McCarthy; professional wrestler Chris Jericho; Ryan Bingham performs)
1:36AM - Last Call With Carson Daly (Comics Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer; River Monsters; Damien Jurado performs)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol (LIVE)
9PM - New Girl
9:30PM - The Mindy Project

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - The 'This Old House' Hour (R - Oct. 4)
9PM - History Detectives
(R - Apr. 2)
10PM - Antiques Roadshow: Cincinnati
(R - Apr. 1)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Amor Bravio

THE CW:
8PM - The Vampire Diaries
(R - Jan. 31)
9PM - Beauty and the Beast
(R - Nov. 29)

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Pasión Prohibida
9PM - La Patrona
10PM - El Rostro de la Venganza

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Director Danny Boyle)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Dr. Francis Collins)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Charles Barkley; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis)

TBS:
11PM - Chelsea Lately (Alex Guarnaschelli; Greg Fitzsimmons; April Richardson; Ryan Stout)

FX:
11PM - Brand X with Russell Brand

Edited by dad1153 - 4/4/13 at 10:57am
post #86045 of 93655
TV Review
NBC's 'Hannibal' a riveting 'Silence of the Lambs' prequel
Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen and Laurence Fishburne shine in Bryan Fuller's take on Hannibal Lecter
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Apr. 3, 2013

Earlier this year, as we welcomed FOX's "The Following" and A&E's "Bates Motel" to a blood-soaked TV landscape that already included "Criminal Minds," "Dexter," "Luther" and other shows that at least dabble in the serial killer arts, I wondered if perhaps I was simply tired of the whole genre. We were a couple of decades removed from "Silence of the Lambs," and it seemed like every single trope of serial killer fiction had been explored, made into cliche, and rendered unpleasant.

Then I watched NBC's creepy, haunting, smart, utterly gorgeous new series "Hannibal" — yet another Hannibal Lecter project, no less — and realized that it's not the genre that had gotten tired, but the execution of it. I went into "Hannibal" (it debuts Thursday night at 10) dreading it and came away five episodes later thrilled by it.

So what makes "Hannibal" so special? Start with Bryan Fuller, adapting material from the first Lecter book, "Red Dragon," into a series about how FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his boss Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) realized that respected psychiatrist and Bureau ally Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) is in fact a cannibalistic sociopath.

Fuller's previous creations (including "Pushing Daisies," "Dead Like Me" and "Wonderfalls") have been a mixture of the whimsical with the macabre. There's little whimsy in "Hannibal," unless you count a couple of unnecessary "having an old friend for dinner" one-liners that tip their cap to the Anthony Hopkins version of the character. This is the material played, and taken, very seriously. There's dark imagination on display in the way that Graham's other targets (he chases a number of killers during the season, usually with the "help" of Dr. Lecter) treat and display their victims, but there's never a celebratory "awesome serial killers are awesome" tone to the show. It's clear that this is terrible, psychically traumatic violence that haunts Graham, Crawford and everyone else even casually touched by it. The show spends a lot of time — usually in therapy sessions between Graham and Lecter — discussing the emotions generated by killing (whether murder of an innocent victim or Graham shooting a man to stop his spree), but it's not exploitative or fetishistic. "Hannibal" is a show that's genuinely curious about what drives people to kill others, not because it seems cool — though Fuller and his writers have clearly spent a lot of time devising nightmare-inducing imagery — but because there has to be some kind of reason that these monsters exist, and that we're still fascinated by them in our popular culture.(*)

(*) In one of the bigger deviations from the previous books and movies, Freddie Lounds has been refashioned from a sleazy male tabloid reporter into a canny female blogger (played by Lara Jean Chorostecki) who's sort of the Nikki Finke of true crime journalism.

Fuller teams up with pilot director David Slade (who also helmed the gorgeous first episode of "Awake," which debuted in this timeslot about a year ago) to come up with an elegantly simple way to demonstrate both the general toll of this work on the FBI agents and what makes Will Graham special in particular. All the previous Lecter adaptations talked about how Graham (played in 1986's "Manhunter" by William Petersen and in 2002's "Red Dragon" by Ed Norton) learned to think like a serial killer; "Hannibal" actually shows it, by inserting Graham into flashbacks of the crimes being committed in place of the actual killer. There are some other visual flourishes that suggest how much this all weighs on Graham, but nothing works quite so well as simply seeing him coldly wielding a gun, knife or other instrument of death in place of the man he's trying to stop.

And Dancy is sensational as this version of Graham. There's talk of him being somewhere on the autism spectrum — "My horse is hitched to a post that is closer to Aspergers and autistics than narcissists and sociopaths," he tells Crawford — and Dancy has some experience playing that from his work on the movie "Adam"(**). But ultimately, it's a character that defies classification — another shrink describes him as "a unique cocktail of personality disorders and neuroses" — and Dancy tears into all the anger and curiosity and pain that drive such a man to both do what he does and try to stop doing it as quickly as he can.

(**) And, of course, Dancy's wife Claire Danes won every award available for playing autistic author and scientist Temple Grandin, and now plays a federal agent with her own mental health issues on "Homeland."

The character of Lecter is so much bigger than life that it's hard for even great performers to avoid being upstaged by whoever's playing him.(***) But this is a show where Graham is the unquestioned draw — which is no knock at all on Mads Mikkelsen. There's no way he's going to be able to outdo Hopkins (or Brian Cox from "Manhunter"), so he takes the character in a different, but still compelling, direction. Hard as it is to imagine given the man's extra-curricular activities, this is an understated Hannibal Lecter: a predator in a tailored suit who doesn't let you know you're in danger until it's far too late. Because he's going to spend a good chunk of time as an FBI ally, and because Fuller doesn't want Graham, Crawford and their colleagues (including "Wonderfalls" star Caroline Dhavernas as another FBI psychiatrist) to look like idiots, Lecter has to be plausible as someone they'd work alongside without suspecting something hinky. The Danish actor isn't asked to fake an American accent, and his natural speaking voice adds to Lecter's cultured, alien air and becomes part of the cover that lets him pass undetected by these professional serial killer spotters.

(***) Hopkins is in "Silence of the Lambs" for a tiny fraction of the time Jodie Foster is, yet both were nominated for, and won, Oscars in the lead performer categories. And when the "Hannibal" movie sequel was made, producers didn't blink at plowing forward without Foster, where it's hard to imagine the movie being made if Hopkins said no.

Fishburne is terrific as well, particularly later in the season when his real-life wife Gina Torres is introduced as Crawford's wife, who has a secret she's more comfortable sharing with Dr. Lecter than her own husband.

Over the course of the five episodes I've seen, Fuller and company do an impressive job of balancing Lecter's machinations, Graham's emotional problems, and the other killers that Graham and Crawford have to stop, in a way that never descends into formula. Though some bad guys are dispatched in a single episode, there's never a feeling of Serial Killer of the Week; rather, each one becomes part of the larger game Graham doesn't realize he and Lecter are playing, and a part of the show's commentary on the mentality that drives these horrifying acts.

By coming so late to the party, after "The Following" — which is inferior in every way, but which also tries to goose its audience every five minutes with "shocking" plot twists and revelations that the latest character you never expected to be a follower is, in fact, a follower — has established itself as a hit, "Hannibal" is starting behind the eight ball. It's also airing on NBC, and in a timeslot that was once the best in television for drama and is now one of the absolute worst.(****) (If NBC had genuine hope for the show to succeed, it would have tried it on Tuesdays, in relative proximity to "The Voice.") There's some hope that the brand name might be enough to bring in viewers by itself, but the last time NBC thought that about a property made most famous in the early '90s, it was "The Firm," which was banished to Saturdays in short order.

(****) NBC, Thursdays at 10, 1981-2009: "Hill Street Blues," "L.A. Law," "ER." NBC, Thursdays at 10, 2009-present: "Southland," "The Jay Leno Show," "The Marriage Ref," "The Apprentice," "30 Rock" and "Outsourced," "Prime Suspect," "The Firm," "Awake," "Rock Center," "Do No Harm," and now "Hannibal." Some good shows in there, but the earth has absolutely been salted.

It would be a shame if "Hannibal" got caught up in its network's ongoing troubles, or a sense of "been there, done that" from fans of this type of story. "Hannibal" is the last of this season's serial killer shows. It's also, by a very wide margin, the best.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/review-nbcs-hannibal-a-riveting-silence-of-the-lambs-prequel
post #86046 of 93655
TV Review
‘Vice' (HBO)
By Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter

Given that Real Time With Bill Maher fills an unscripted need at HBO, it’s probably no surprise that Maher’s POV would make him a producer for the television premiere of Vice, a newsmagazine that has a lot more sharp right angles than anything you’ll see on 48 Hours or Dateline. If you’ve been to the Vice website, you should be familiar with its brand of provocative, let’s-go-find-danger-or-something-weird journalism. It just took awhile for someone to realize this might make an interesting 30 minutes of television.

And Vice , airing at 11 p.m. Fridays beginning April 5, certainly delivers that, even if the stories they cover ultimately don't have a point other than something along the lines of, “Holy ****, this is crazy.”

That’s not to criticize Vice at all because the show, at least when it gets into the big issues (Pakistan vs. India, women trying to flee North Korea, the insanity that is political life in the Philippines -- stories featured in the first two episodes), certainly gives off the vibe that it’s trying a lot harder than its more well-heeled cousins at CNN and the networks.

And much of that perception is true. Yes, you’ll find more tattoos on the Vice correspondents than you will at, say, CBS, but there’s a base earnestness that convinces you pretty quickly that they’re not out in the world trying to play hipster journalist, they’re out in the world trying to enlighten people about how screwed up it is.

Now, that realization certainly won’t come as a shocker to people who are news junkies and troll The New York Times, BBC News, Al Jazeera or blogs across the world. But Vice is in many ways the perfect television vehicle to get information to a younger generation. Why? Because the show isn’t trying to one-up Wolf Blitzer or sit around in blazers talking to members of Congress who want to spin something. It’s on a plane, heading to the Philippines to highlight a staggering number of political assassinations and, along the way, illuminating the gun culture of the country and how the only way to get elected is to have a small army -- literally -- at your disposal.

Vice has two segments per 30-minute episode, and in that one – titled “Assassination Nation” -- it managed to tell a very compelling and surprisingly broad story about the political realities of the country. And it accomplished that without seeming musty or some retread story put in the “news wheel” of every cable channel on the planet.

Part of the appeal is that Vice founder Shane Smith and his small collection of “immersive” reporters are likable, relatable and make this brand of journalism more personable. The success of the show is that those helping tell the stories have zero interest in being seen as some kind of old-school journalistic icons, nor do they seem interested in the more modern Anderson Cooper varietal where there’s an element of heroism involved.

When the Vice reporters are out in the world, they invariably are doing something dangerous and look appropriately afraid of the consequences. Taking out the hero-storyteller angle is long overdue and refreshing, so that’s in Vice’s favor, particularly when it seems like they chose a story merely because it would put them in peril.

When a Philippines military commander spoke of the Muslim “terrorists” in the BIFM who train young kids to kill in remote village bases, he tells a Vice reporter, “You can go at your own risk” -- and the immediate reaction is, “No thanks.”

So yes, there’s that raw, unedited and dangerous feel to the storytelling -- which, if you’re cynical, can seem as constructed as a more polished, edited story that ABC might air -- but the reports are long enough (at least triple what news channels normally devote to most stories) to assuage any fears that there’s posing going on. The Vice team might note that they got a Taliban interview after some backroom negotiations “and quite frankly serious situations where we weren’t allowed to bring our cameras,” but the end result is both informative and revealing without being preening and superficial.

This isn’t look-at-me journalism with a fitted Gap T-shirt. It’s more of a "holy hell, can you believe this?" approach that fights perfectly on a cable channel trying to do something different.

VICE
The Bottom Line: A raw, in-your-face newsmagazine that gets into the middle of the action from around the globe without having its correspondents play hero while doing it.
Premieres: Friday, April 5 (HBO)


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/vice-tv-review-431808
post #86047 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

And I don't see the point of moving the show to New York, since the Tonight Show has always had more of a west coast, Hollywood feel.
"Always"?  Even when it was actually shot in New York during Steve Allen's and Jack Paar's tenures as host and during the first few years of Johnny Carson's?

It changed its feel when Carson relocated and it can change its feel again, so that's not an issue.
post #86048 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

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)

CBS:
8PM - Two and a Half Men
8:31PM - Rules of Engagement
9PM - Person of Interest
10:01PM - Elementary

??? "Rules..." is on Monday nights. This Thursday is the regular "Big Bang Theory" - "2 1/2 Men" duo.
post #86049 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Legal/Business Notes
TV Broadcasters Looking Into Aereo-Dish Network Discussions
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood Esq.' Blog - Apr. 3, 2013



In turn, broadcasters including Fox, WPIX, Univision and PBS are making their own demands in the discovery process to learn the other side's secrets. Broadcasters want to know more about Aereo's expansion plans as well as the company's market and competition. And now, the broadcasters are intrigued by Aereo's potential relationship with Dish.


You know what bothers me the most in this lawsuit? It's the fact that PBS, a broadcaster that depends upon public donations and direct/indirect government subsidies to help make it work, is taking the anti-consumer side of things. So much for it being an alternative to those big bad media conglomerates. I hope people will remember this during the next fund raising period. I know I will. mad.gif
post #86050 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

You know what bothers me the most in this lawsuit? It's the fact that PBS, a broadcaster that depends upon public donations and direct/indirect government subsidies to help make it work, is taking the anti-consumer side of things. So much for it being an alternative to those big bad media conglomerates. I hope people will remember this during the next fund raising period. I know I will. mad.gif
Don't forget advertising. They might call it a "grant" but corporations now get everything short of an actual commercial. AND those companies get to write off the advertising. PBS gets to go to the well in three ways. I swear they only do the "telethons" just to make it look good. Never seen a local telethon raise enough money to cover the crew they had to pay to put it on.
post #86051 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Don't forget advertising. They might call it a "grant" but corporations now get everything short of an actual commercial. AND those companies get to write off the advertising. PBS gets to go to the well in three ways. I swear they only do the "telethons" just to make it look good. Never seen a local telethon raise enough money to cover the crew they had to pay to put it on.

And let's just admit that the programming they choose to show for the telethons suck. In my area it's doo-wop or some other music show that I'd rather gouge my eyes out than watch.
post #86052 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayan View Post

And let's just admit that the programming they choose to show for the telethons suck. In my area it's doo-wop or some other music show that I'd rather gouge my eyes out than watch.

I don’t mind those programs the first time around, but too often they show the same ones year after year.
post #86053 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

You know what bothers me the most in this lawsuit? It's the fact that PBS, a broadcaster that depends upon public donations and direct/indirect government subsidies to help make it work, is taking the anti-consumer side of things. So much for it being an alternative to those big bad media conglomerates. I hope people will remember this during the next fund raising period. I know I will. mad.gif

PBS gets paid by cable and satellite companies for carriage, just as commercial networks do--it's a revenue stream they seem to think they need to continue their existence, along with corporate grants, govt. subsidies, and pledge drives. Would you prefer the BBC model where public broadcasting is paid for by an annual license fee paid by tv owners (think in terms of your annual auto registration fee)?

I think charging for a product without paying for it, as is the case with Aereo if you boil it down to the truth, is anti consumer.

For that matter the whole consumerist movement has actually hurt consumers due to the high cost of complying with ill-advised rules and regulations and primarily benefitted class-action lawsuit attorneys.
post #86054 of 93655
'The Walking Dead': Three cast members upped to series regulars
by Sandra Gonzalez
The Walking Dead has promoted three actors for its entirely-too-far-away season 4.

EW confirms that Emily Kinney, Chad Coleman, and Sonequa Martin-Green (that’s Beth, Tyreese and Sasha, to you and I) have been upped to series regulars for next season. They join David Morrissey (the Governor) at the recently-promoted table.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/04/03/the-walking-dead-three-cast-members-upped-to-series-regulars/?hpt=hp_t5
post #86055 of 93655
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Apr. 4, 2013

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
HBO2, 6:30 p.m. ET

Just in case you’re determined to watch NBC’s new Hannibal series tonight, which is a new prequel to Silence of the Lambs – you might want to refresh your memories of the original. HBO2 is televising the classic 1991 movie, starring Anthony Hopkins as cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Jodie Foster co-stars, in a role that won’t appear in the NBC version.

THE BIG BANG THEORY
CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight’s all-new episode has the scientists tackling a new challenge: going through the university process of applying for tenure. I usually fund it easy to laugh at this series – but trust me, there’s nothing funny about the tenure process. Nothing. Arrgh.

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

Yesterday’s performance theme was “Rock Songs (No Ballads),” though one contestant tonight will be singing a sad song – unless the judges exercise their “save” option. Meanwhile, don’t worry about Candice Glover, again.

NEW GIRL
Fox, 9:00 p.m. ET

Jess and Nick decide to go out on an actual, official date. They’re determined to enjoy it – but their roommates are just as determined to sabotage it.

HANNIBAL
NBC, 10:00 p.m. ET[
SERIES PREMIERE:
There was a Hannibal movie made in 2001, which starred Anthony Hopkins in a cinematic sequel to Silence of the Lambs – but this is a TV show, not a movie, and a prequel, not a sequel. And despite the involvement of series creator Bryan Fuller, who generated the delightful Pushing Daisies and the winsome Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me, this new series is much darker than those shows – and much less satisfying. After The Following and Cult and Dexter, and the current Bates Motel, this series may just be too grisly, too late. For a full review, see Ed Bark’s Uncle Barky’s Bytes.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
post #86056 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

CBS:
8PM - Two and a Half Men
8:31PM - Rules of Engagement
9PM - Person of Interest
10:01PM - Elementary

??? "Rules..." is on Monday nights. This Thursday is the regular "Big Bang Theory" - "2 1/2 Men" duo.

Sorry, my bad! tongue.gif It's fixed.
post #86057 of 93655
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 #86058 of 93655
Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Strong premiere for ABC sitcom ‘Parents’
New show draws a 2.9 in 18-49s behind 'Modern Family'
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 4, 2013

With a big lead-in from “Modern Family,” ABC’s new comedy “How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life)” bowed to promising numbers last night, posting the highest rating in its timeslot for the network since November.

“Parents” averaged a 2.9 adults 18-49 at 9:30 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, holding 70 percent of “Family’s” 4.1 lead-in.

That’s a decent percentage these days, at a time when lead-ins don’t offer quite the guaranteed eyeballs they used to with DVRs and other viewing options available. In fact, it was the best retention for any show behind family in two years.

It matched the premiere for “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23” in the same timeslot this time last year.

“Parents’” rating may adjust down when final numbers are released later today, though, because it included a one-minute runover from “Family,” which undoubtedly boosted its rating.

“Family” was up a considerable 28 percent over last week, when it averaged a season-low 3.2. The ABC comedy was easily the night’s top show on broadcast.

Fox’s “American Idol” continued its downward ratings trend, falling a tenth from last week to a 3.0, its lowest Wednesday rating of the season. “Idol” does usually increase by a tenth when final numbers are released later in the day.

“Idol” still lifted Fox to its 12th straight victory on Wednesday.

Fox led the night among 18-49s with a 3.0 average overnight rating and a 9 share. CBS was second at 2.4/7, ABC third at 2.3/7, Univision fourth at 1.7/5, NBC fifth at 1.5/4, CW 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-seven percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

At 8 p.m. Fox was first with a 2.9 for “Idol,” followed by CBS with a 2.4 for “Survivor.” ABC was third with a 1.9 for “The Middle” (2.0, up 11 percent from last week) and the relocated “Suburgatory” (1.8), which took over “The Neighbors’” slot to make way for “Parents.” “Neighbors” aired its season finale last week.

Univision took fourth with a 1.6 for “Porque el Amor Manda,” NBC fifth with a 1.4 for “Dateline,” CW sixth with a 0.9 for “Arrow” and Telemundo seventh with a 0.4 for “Pasion Prohibida.”

ABC took the lead at 9 p.m. with a 3.5 for “Family” (4.1) and “Parents” (2.9), while Fox slipped to second with a 3.2 for “Idol.” CBS was third with a 2.8 for “Criminal Minds,” Univision fourth with a 1.8 for “Amores Verdaderos,” NBC fifth with a 1.6 for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Telemundo sixth with a 0.9 for “La Patrona” and CW seventh with a 0.8 for “Supernatural.”

At 10 p.m. CBS was first with a 2.1 for “CSI,” with ABC second with a 1.7 for “Nashville.” NBC and Univision tied for third at 1.6, NBC for “Chicago Fire” and Univision for “Amor Bravio,” and Telemundo was fifth with a 0.5 for “El Rostro de le Venganza.”

Fox also finished first for the night among households with a 7.0 average overnight rating and an 11 share. CBS was second at 6.2/10, ABC third at 4.5/7, NBC fourth at 4.3/7, Univision fifth at 1.9/3, CW sixth at 1.4/2 and Telemundo seventh at 0.8/1.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/strong-premiere-for-abc-sitcom-parents/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes
For ‘New Girl,’ a sophomore slump
Ratings for the hit comedy have fallen sharply in year two
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 4, 2013

Season two has not been kind to last year’s breakout broadcast hits.

Ratings for CBS’s “2 Broke Girls,” ABC’s “Once Upon a Time” and Fox’s “New Girl,” which airs a special one-time-only Thursday night episode tonight behind “American Idol” at 9 p.m., are down sharply this year.

“Girl” is off the most, 28 percent, from a 3.2 Nielsen adults 18-49 rating last season to a 2.3 this year in its usual Tuesday 9 p.m. slot. “Broke” has fallen 14 percent, from a 4.2 to a 3.6, and “Time” is down 12 percent, from a 3.3 to a 2.9.

True, ratings for most broadcast shows are down this season, and for some shows that is attributable to greater DVR usage this year.

But that’s not the case for these programs. “Girl” and “Broke” are seeing the exact same seven-day DVR playback lift this year as they did last year, and “Time” is actually seeing a slightly smaller bump.

With DVR viewership steady and live ratings down, it really is a case of the shows losing some of that first-season audience.

That could be for a variety of reasons, including tougher timeslot competition and creative woes. “Broke’s” bawdy one-liners have gotten tiresome, and “Time” seems stuck in the same old storyline.

But “Girl” is the exception. It has improved creatively this season, fleshing out its characters and giving the show an interesting wrinkle with the Jess-Nick relationship.

Rather than drag out a will-they-or-won’t-they plot for years to come, “Girl” is tackling the love connection early, and it’s help bring a focus to a show that seemed too fluffy in season one. That may be why viewership fell to start the season; viewers didn’t have anything to invest in last year.

Still, it looks as though there will be complications to the romance. Jess’ ex-boyfriend, played by Dermot Mulroney, also shows up tonight.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/for-new-girl-a-sophomore-slump/
post #86059 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

PBS gets paid by cable and satellite companies for carriage, just as commercial networks do--it's a revenue stream they seem to think they need to continue their existence, along with corporate grants, govt. subsidies, and pledge drives. Would you prefer the BBC model where public broadcasting is paid for by an annual license fee paid by tv owners (think in terms of your annual auto registration fee)?

I think charging for a product without paying for it, as is the case with Aereo if you boil it down to the truth, is anti consumer.

For that matter the whole consumerist movement has actually hurt consumers due to the high cost of complying with ill-advised rules and regulations and primarily benefitted class-action lawsuit attorneys.

PBS notwithstanding, there was a time when a single company sponsored a show (For example The FBI was sponsored by Ford Motor Company, Lassie was sponsored by Campbell Soup Company and Kraft Suspense Theatre was sponsored by (who else?) Kraft Foods). Their Commercials dominated the show, and there were less than ten minutes of commercials per hour. Today no show has a single sponsor, and the number of commercials often exceeds 20 minutes per hour. mad.gif Is it any wonder people resort to recording a TV Show (Or wait until it comes out on DVD) and watching it later so they can skip the commercials? You'd think the advertisers would get the message, enough is enough! But they don't and Television continues to go to H-e-(Double Hockey Sticks) in a handbasket.
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TV Notes
‘Arrested Development’ Gets Premiere Date On Netflix, Order Increased To 15 Episodes
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Apr. 4, 2013

Emmy-winning comedy Arrested Development will premiere new originals on Sunday, May 26, on Netflix. All episodes from the show’s upcoming fourth season will be available simultaneously on the launch date, a strategy Netflix has used for all of its original series, most recently the first season of House Of Cards. As for the size of Arrested Development‘s fourth season, it keeps growing, with the final number now set at 15 episodes. As we reported in December, during production on the originally commissioned 10 new episodes, Arrested creator/executive producer Mitch Hurwitz shot more material than planned and also came up with ideas for additional scenes and storylines. Hurwitz and Arrested producers 20th Century Fox TV and Imagine TV approached Netflix, which agreed to expand the order. In January, Netflix announced that a 14-episode fourth season of Arrested will premiere sometime in May.

Arrested Development will be available to all Netflix members instantly at 12:01 AM PDT on May 26 in territories where Netflix is available — U.S., Canada, the UK, Ireland, Latin America, Brazil and the Nordics. “Arrested Development is now widely viewed as one of the top TV comedies of all time and Mitch Hurwitz is bringing it to Netflix in a brand new way, crafted for the on-demand generation that has come to discover the show in the years since it last appeared on TV,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix. “The highly anticipated return of this show is sure to make history all over again.” Said Hurwitz, “Ted said that? Wow.Well don’t print this obviously, but he’s going to be immensely disappointed”. He then added that “in truth we are doing something very ambitious that can only be done with Netflix as partners and on their platform. Finally my simple wish for the show is coming true: that it be broadcast every second around the clock to every television, computer or mobile device in existence.”

Arrested Development centers around Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) and his eccentric family comprised of his son George Michael (Michael Cera), his father George Bluth Sr (Jeffrey Tambor), his mother Lucille (Jessica Walter), his brothers George Oscar Bluth II (Will Arnett), Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) and sister Lindsay Funke (Portia de Rossi), and Lindsay’s husband Tobias (David Cross) and their daughter Maeby (Alia Shawkat). Season 4 picks up the family seven years after the original series ended, with each new episode dedicated to a different character’s point of view. Hurwitz, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Jim Vallely and Troy Miller executive produce.

http://www.deadline.com/2013/04/arrested-development-gets-premiere-date-on-netflix-order-increased-to-15-episodes/
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TV Notes
Investigation Discovery Launches 'Southern Fried Homicide,' 14 More New Shows
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Apr. 4, 2013

Investigation Discovery presented its largest-ever slate of original programming on Thursday, announcing 15 new shows, along with the return of 22 series.

Among the new offerings: "Southern Fried Homicide," which promises to deliver "salacious stories from south of the Mason-Dixon Line," where "evil creeps in like vines on a time-worn plantation." "Olympus Has Fallen" actress and Louisiana native Shanna Forrestall will host -- or, rather, as Investigation Discovery puts it "serve as the gatekeeper."

Also of note among the new offerings: "Surviving Evil," which will feature "dramatically and emotional [sic] stories of women who fought back against their attackers and survived against amazing odds." The series will be hosted by "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" alum Charisma Carpenter, who will draw on her experience as an assault survivor.

Carpenter's real-life experience, during which she and a pair of friends were violently attacked by an armed, rogue police officer, will serve as the first story of the series.

As if that's not enough, TV icon Jerry Springer will climb aboard to host the new series "Tabloid," which "peels back the curtain to probe the most bizarre larger-than-life stories you can’t possibly imagine."

And don't worry; "On the Case With Paula Zahn," "Redrum" and "Wives With Knives" will be returning for new seasons as well.

Here's the full list of Investigation Discovery's new and returning series: [CLICK LINK BELOW]

http://www.thewrap.com/tv/column-post/investigation-discovery-launches-southern-fried-homicide-14-other-new-shows-84091
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TV Notes
'Hannibal's' Bryan Fuller on the Rise of the Horror Genre, Violence on TV
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Apr. 4, 2013

Zombies, serial killers and deranged insane asylums: horror is definitely having its day on television, and NBC is joining the blood-splattered party with Bryan Fuller's Hannibal.

Based on the Thomas Harris books, Hannibal stars Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, the criminal profiler who is on the hunt for a serial killer (or two) who enlists the help of renowned psychologist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen).

The series premieres Thursday, four days after a record 12.4 million people tuned in for the third season finale of AMC's The Walking Dead and as Fox is achieving a rare midseason success with its Kevin Bacon serial killer drama The Following, which has already earned a second-season renewal. That's not to mention FX's anthology American Horror Story, which featured a darker Asylum-themed second season filled with its own brand of serial killers, as well as A&E's Psycho origin story Bates Motel, which is off to a strong start.

"One of the reasons that horror is finding an audience on television now is that it really wasn't represented before," Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) told The Hollywood Reporter during a recent conference call with reporters. "In the last 15 years that I've been working in television, I pitched many a horror series and had been told horror does not work on television. What that basically means is that it doesn't work until somebody proves that it does work."

Fuller -- whose most recent endeavor into the horror genre was Mockingbird Lane, a hyper-stylized dramatic take on CBS' The Munsters for NBC -- said AMC proved "beyond a shadow of a doubt" that there is an appetite for the genre.

"It was just a matter of it hadn't been represented before -- and now it has and it was successful so that success changes the perception of a genre," said Fuller, who noted he's been reading Fangoria magazine since he was 10.

Fuller noted that television's uptick in horror offerings comes at a time when television is merely reflecting society's views on violence. "We're reflecting where people's heads are in a certain way and that's part of the arts' responsibility in its role in society," Fuller said. "Entertainment has a very strange and cloudy mirror that it holds up to society."

While NBC's Hannibal will not shy away from the graphic violence depicted in Harris' books and their big-screen adaptations featuring the iconic cannibal, Fuller said the network has been willing to work with him in what he can and cannot depict.

"They recognize that they are doing a horror show and the show is called Hannibal; they've put us on at 10 o'clock for a reason -- so we can maximize what we can show to honor the genre and also provide fans of the genre certain ingredients that they are expecting to see," he said, noting the network has imposed certain limits.

"I would love to be going a lot further but NBC keeps reminding me where the line is," he added. "Eye gouging, seeing people's intestines being removed from their bodies in great noodly clumps -- those types of things they tend to say no to."

"As an artist in the role of executive producing the show, I want to please the core audience more than anyone and it's NBC's responsibility that we don't go so far that we alienate members of the audience who are willing to stick through some of the horror elements," Fuller said. "You can't drop a bucket of blood on [the audience] and expect them to have a good time."

Hannibal airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on NBC.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/hannibals-bryan-fuller-rise-horror-432241
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Technology/Business Notes
The Big Bet at Intel Corp. That Could Change TV
Step aside, Apple: This Silicon Valley chip-maker is ready to invade the cable biz this year. But is the plan inspired or insane?
By Andrew Wallenstein, Variety.com - Apr. 3, 2013

Employees at Intel Corp. are free to roam almost anywhere across the vast Santa Clara, Calif., campus they call home. Certain laboratories are off-limits of course; that’s understandable when the assembly of microprocessors could be contaminated by a human eyelash. But there is one other building where a standard-issue Intel ID isn’t going to get you past the guards inside the 80,000-ft. square space, one of the oldest edifices at the company’s headquarters. Only 300 of the more than 100,000 people who work for Intel have clearance. And they’ve been instructed not to talk.

If there’s anything conspicuously different about the structure, it’s the massive 32-foot satellite that sits atop an adjoining parking garage. Dishes that size are typically found on the premises of a breed of company nothing like Intel: pay-TV distributors who need the kind of equipment that can sweep the entire hemisphere to acquire all national TV signals. Without this kind of hardware, it would take 48 separate satellites to accomplish the same task. The Intel of old would have no use for a tool like this one.

Having the only clue of the work he’s done to date be visible to his Silicon Valley neighbors has a deeper meaning for Erik Huggers, head of the division housed inside, Intel Media, one he hopes will soon resonate among U.S. consumers.

“When you think Intel, you think something inside, a component of something sitting in your computing device,” he said. “I think there’s an opportunity for the company for the first time to have the perception of ‘Intel outside.’ If we succeed, I do think it will change the perception of Intel dramatically.”

Huggers has walled off Intel Media from the rest of the company for most of the past two years because he believes achieving his goal requires developing a start-up culture separate from the one the chip manufacturer has cultivated for itself. There’s also a more practical concern: He doesn’t want anyone to get a glimpse of the product Intel Media is solely devoted to creating until it is ready.

But full disclosure became an inevitability a little over a year ago when the first press leaks began to shed light on just what Intel was developing. By the end of 2012, in the walk-up to the Consumer Electronics Show, the leaks became a stream so steady that the company was essentially forced to confirm what anyone who cared by then pretty much already knew: Intel intended to invade the pay-TV business with a nationwide multichannel TV service of its own.

The move could be deemed either inspired or insane, depending on your point of view. It’s a direct challenge to leading pay-TV providers like cable operator Comcast and satcaster DirecTV, which may often be characterized as vulnerable but aren’t actually showing signs of weakness right now. Intel is making a headlong leap into a business where Google has barely stuck a toe in the form of Google Fiber, which has rolled out its own broadband network in two Midwest cities. And though everyone expects Apple to rock this competitive field with some sort of solution of its own, what it is doing exactly and when it will arrive is completely undefined.

The notion that a Silicon Valley hardware stalwart would make a play for the living room seemed so preposterous it was still a little
shocking to see Huggers go public in March with additional details about his plans at an industry conference. Most salient was his vow that Intel would start selling a device that would deliver video to TVs via broadband by the end of the year. He’d gone farther than any other tech giant rumored to be considering similar services, from AT&T to Sony: actually committing to coming to market.

What made the move all the more unlikely is that Intel isn’t the innovative force it was when the company first came on the scene in 1968. Today it’s seen as still sturdy but kinda stodgy. Consumers have a vague awareness of the brand left over from the days before its fortunes faded right alongside the company with which it is most associated: Microsoft, which used Intel’s chips to power so many of the machines operating Windows.

The bigger knock against Intel is its terrible track record when it comes to diversifying beyond its comfort zone creating chips for PCs and servers.

And yet the maturation of that business makes branching out a must. “I do believe there’s a big-picture plan at Intel to avoid missing the next big shift,” said Doug Freedman, an analyst who covers Intel for RBC Capital Markets.

And while sources at several leading conglomerates confirm that Intel is in discussions with them to secure content, no deals have been announced (though Bloomberg News reported March 26 that the company has gotten closer with several major cable groups). To make those deals happen, Huggers has enlisted some media-biz insiders with impeccable credentials to consult on the project, including attorney Ken Ziffren, former MTV Networks affiliate sales chief Nicole Browning and TV programming exec Garth Ancier. But the absence of carriage contracts isn’t a confidence-builder. “Intel has nothing if they don’t get the programmers on board,” noted Richard Greenfield, who also analyzes the tech sector for BTIG Research.

Bottom line: If Intel is going to launch a product with a breadth of content on par with the cable, satellite and telco giants with which it hopes to compete, it could cost billions of dollars in carriage fees. Huggers declined to specify how much the company, which has a market capitalization of approximately $100 billion, is spending on the project, but made clear this is not some skunkworks lark. “We’re ambitious,” he said. “We wouldn’t be investing the way we’re investing if we thought we were going to be a niche player.”

Huggers understands how improbable Intel’s foray is. But that’s exactly the challenge that enticed him away from his previous post leading digital media at the BBC — another crusty monolith that didn’t seem too well-poised for a technological revolution until it happened on his watch. He’s eager to do it again in a bid to redefine what Intel is.

“We know this is very left field, we know this is crazy, but as a company we understand we must become more user-experience-driven,” he admitted.

Here’s a precis of what little is known at this point: Intel intends to allow subscribers to purchase a package of broadcast and cable channels that will be supplemented by various VOD options. The package will also be available across mobile devices.

Intel has ruled out trying to offer a la carte channels. The programming partners (think Time Warner, News Corp., Disney, Viacom, etc.) it needs to field a competitive service would never go for that. But the company has also hinted there could be more flexibility in the bundles of channels offered, as opposed to the standard basic-cable package.

Interestingly, Intel has also made clear that its new device is not expected to come in at a lower price point than most other pay-TV services, despite the presumption establishing an alternative to cable would hinge on being cheaper. Instead, Intel’s value-add is a user experience touted as a quantum leap over the traditional multichannel set-ups that have been rendered anachronistic by innovators like Apple and Netflix.

While a cable distributor is bound to the geographic limits of its own pipes, Intel is pursuing what’s known as a virtual MSO or MVPD model capable of delivering programming to anyone in the U.S. with a broadband connection. Intel is the only company to commit to pursuing the virtual MSO model, but plenty of others have reportedly flirted with the possibility, including Microsoft and Dish Network. They’ll no doubt have an eye on Intel.

There’s a school of thought that believes the incumbent pay-TV providers are ripe for disruption given rising subscription prices, increasing programming blackouts and numerous other criticisms. However, for all the talk about cord-cutting, there’s very little evidence that consumers are so dissatisfied that they’re disconnecting — though it may very well take a viable alternative to emerge to bring about that tipping point. That’s where Intel comes in.

Good luck finding the front door at Intel Media; the division’s secretive ways are such that the only way into the building is through the employee parking garage. As we begin a tour that represents the first time a journalist has ever been admitted into its intentionally darkened doors — the company plans to add a bona fide entrance around the time the mystery product is ready — Huggers admitted he was so intent on making Intel Media a world apart from its owners that he initially sought to put down stakes outside Santa Clara. “I found something in Palo Alto, beautiful location,” he confided, before disclosing that Intel CEO Paul Otellini nixed the idea. As he remembers Otellini saying, “’Palo Alto? That’s too tony for us. We’ll allow you to be different, but not Palo Alto different.”

With all the secrecy surrounding his work, one might expect Huggers has carved out a lair several stories below the earth’s surface where his team can toil. Instead, Huggers has gutted and refurbished a building with the intent of infusing it with an energy that might seem otherwise absent at Intel, a massive cube farm seemingly colored entirely in shades of gray.

But although the cubicle walls are lower and their colors a good deal brighter, the central area where the designers, engineers and programmers of Intel Media work is a bit of a letdown. Still, by Intel standards, it’s radical chic.

Adjoining the work area are several staging areas decked out like mock living rooms, where the natural conditions for the TV-viewing experience Intel hopes to understand are recreated. Just weeks away from turning 40, Huggers surveys the workspace beaming with pride; this is where he leads biweekly all-hands-on meetings that double as pep rallies for the division’s local ranks and for developers looking on remotely from places as far-flung as China.

Huggers began his career in his native Netherlands back in 1995 as the head of interactive for Endemol, the unscripted production giant that calls that country home. By 1998 he had transitioned to Microsoft, where after a few years working on MSN overseas he spent too many more working in the U.S. on streaming media products for Windows that went nowhere.

But it was at the BBC beginning in 2007 where Huggers really came into its own.

He took over digital strategy for a global brand that wasn’t particularly renown for having one, and turned the broadcaster into a pioneer during a period when many media companies were still finding their way. BBC’s iPlayer was his masterstroke, a digital service that brought together feeds from BBC’s many TV and radio properties into an easy-to-use experience that allowed consumers to access content they may have missed going back seven days.

He also was instrumental in the development of YouView, a set-top-box that unites broadcast and broadband content into a seamless user interface. While the product has a rather long, tortured history that led to its spinoff as a freestanding unit, Huggers gets credit for being one of its earliest champions.

“I think he had quite a big impact on pushing the BBC toward online, much earlier than many other companies,” said Colin Dixon, a British new-media analyst.

When Otellini reached out to Huggers in late 2010, he wasn’t quite clear what a semiconductor company wanted with someone from the media business. But as the CEO schooled him on silicon 101, Huggers found himself willing to move his wife and two children across the Pond for the chance to make his mark in a bigger market.

Huggers didn’t get off to a great start as head of Intel’s digital home group, a division charged with getting Intel chips in all sorts of set-top boxes and smart TVs. Five months into the job, he had convinced himself that there was no point to the existence of his unit. Moreover, he came to the realization that a greater opportunity awaited Intel in a media world where most of his staff didn’t have the skill set to meet the challenge.

“I had to explain, ‘I don’t think this is a good business, we have to get out of this thing,’” he recalled, a faint accent betraying his Euro origins. “I was proposing to make my job redundant. I was proposing to find new jobs for 1,200 employees.”

In Huggers’ brief time at Intel, he came to see silicon less as the be all and end all of business and more as the means to an end. Instead of just selling off the company’s technology as usual, he wanted to use it to power a device Intel would manufacture itself to deliver the kind of TV user experience wholly absent in the U.S. but not altogether different than the one he had begun to broach at BBC. While plenty of companies were providing some measure of innovation in that space, Huggers reasoned, none had really cracked it at scale, which left an opening in the marketplace. If he could get the corporation to invest in a new team for him to assemble, there was an opportunity to take Intel into an entirely new market.

But Huggers may have also been calculating that it wasn’t just the sheer brilliance of his vision that would win over Intel management. While there’s still a very big business in the manufacturing of chips for PCs and servers that has been Intel’s bread and butter for decades, there’s plenty of pressure on the company to find new paths. Efforts to do just that in recent years have come up short, principally in the mobile market where Intel was late to the game. Rivals ARM Holdings and Qualcomm have become the processing powers behind most smartphones and tablets. Intel is also seeing increased competition in other areas it once dominated, which has left management hungry to get ahead of the curve lest Intel falls behind again.

But entering the TV business may bring some with long memories at Intel some misgivings because this isn’t the company’s first time at the Hollywood rodeo. Intel suffered a resounding failure in 2006 with Viiv, a technology platform rolled out with considerable marketing support aimed at positioning the PCs it powered as devices for enjoying TV and movies — years before consumers were ready to watch anything that wasn’t on the boob tube or in a movie theater.

Huggers knew it wouldn’t be an easy sell to the Intel board. “It didn’t give me pause, but I’m sure it gave some of them pause,” he said. “There was a healthy debate. I was clear that this was not for the faint of heart.”

But he was able to persuade Intel to roll the dice and hire hundreds of employees, most of whom he felt had to come from outside Intel, which would have to make way for a new culture to bloom in its midst (most of the 1,200 staffers from the digital home group were reassigned to other jobs at the firm).

Huggers began putting together an all-star team from many different disciplines hailing from companies ranging from Netflix to AT&T. Marketing the Intel device is going to be a crucial piece of the puzzle, and for that he turned to Courtnee Westendorf, who spent more than a decade at Apple helping launch everything from iTunes to iPhone before moving on to Disney.

“Being contacted to work at Intel caught me off guard,” she said. “But meeting with Eric changed my perspective. He’s a storyteller, he comes from entertainment. He was able to paint a vision for me that drew me in.”

Intel is not yet saying what it will call the device but is indicating it will have its own separate brand name. However, it’s a likely bet that Intel will figure the technology that powers the device into the marketing, just as it’s promoted countless other products.

Another potential marketing challenge: Intel has confirmed that the device will come with a camera that will recognize which viewer in a household is watching so as to personalize the programming (and presumably advertising) to individual tastes. Big Brother-ish as it might seem, the company has made clear the feature can be turned off, and isn’t exactly unprecedented either, considering the XBox’s Kinect.

Perhaps a parallel can be drawn between Intel and the Xbox creator with which it is often mentioned in the same breath: Microsoft. There was a time not so long ago when the identity of that company began and ended with Windows, and that product is still inextricably tied to its fortunes. But who could have ever foreseen that a videogame console, Xbox, could have become as central to that business as it has. Who’s to say Intel couldn’t find itself making a similar right turn.

All it takes is the lightning strike of one well-timed, well-executed product to transform a company so closely identified with microchips to be seen as something entirely different. Dixon believes Huggers has the ability to connect with consumers with game-changing implications.

“TiVo was so popular with users because its interface was so cool,” he said. “That’s what you’re going to get out of Erik.”

For all the focus on whether Huggers will be able to close deals to bring in programmers, there’s another major consideration to take into account: the edge a virtual MSO maintains in reach over geographically bound cable operators it loses in control because it doesn’t own its own distribution network. And that could potentially prove problematic; if Intel is too successful, cable companies could impose caps on usage that would make a virtual-MSO play financially prohibitive to subscribers. And yet don’t be surprised should Intel manage to get a foothold in the marketplace that cable operators strike a deal to make an authenticated version of their programming available via a virtual-MSO device, similar to an arrangement recently reached between Time Warner Cable and Roku.

Another source of concern springs from within Intel: Otellini is exiting the company in May, which raises the prospect that whoever replaces him may feel the company’s R&D dollars are better spent elsewhere. But Huggers isn’t worried. “Because we’re governed by a board with all the senior stakeholders that matter including the chairman who is electing the next CEO, I have no concerns whatsoever,” he said.

Intel has the deep pockets and the technological savvy to bring such a product to market, but until there is a product on which to lay eyes, it may be premature to render a verdict on its prospects.

“The either-or is it goes the way of other Intel ventures outside their core expertise, which is not very far, and it’s a big hole they’ll put a lot of money into and come up empty,” said Freedman. “The other side of the coin is, I can see where it could be transformative.”

It’s that other side of the coin that drew Huggers to a challenge that will allow him to innovate in a way he’d really only just begun to while at the BBC. For him, the upside is clear. “I think this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be part of the transformation of an iconic Silicon Valley company.”

http://variety.com/2013/tv/news/intel-the-big-bet-that-could-change-tv-1200332075/
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TV Review
‘Casino Confidential,’ a weak hand
This new TLC reality series works hard but fails to deliver
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Apr. 4, 2013

Sometimes the elephant in the room is that there’s no elephant in the room.

TLC’s new documentary series “Casino Confidential” is set at Binion’s Casino, which, like most of the older casinos located in downtown Las Vegas, seems to be living in the shadows of the bigger, glitzier operations on the Strip. If the show were frankly presented as an examination of small-time Vegas, it might be funny or at least charming.

But the narration continually refers to the place as “legendary.” If this is a subtle signal that it’s past its prime, it’s too subtle. By ignoring the non-elephantine nature of the subject, the documentary makes Binion’s seem sadder. The action we see isn’t vivid enough to distract us from the undertone of sorrow.

Premiering with two episodes tonight at 8, “Casino Confidential” looks at all the various departments at the casino, all led by Glenn, the director of operations, who seems to share the show’s sunny outlook on Binion’s. He says his “lifelong dream” was to run a downtown casino because “this is where it all started.” Presumably, if one of the larger, more prestigious Strip casinos offered him the same job, he’d throw their lucrative offer right back in their faces. Denial, as they say, is not just a river that runs through the Luxor.

In the first episode, Glenn and his staff have to find some extra dealers for a poker tournament at the casino. They turn to Jana, a voluptuous Midwesterner who works at the craps and blackjack tables, which are, we learn, less demanding than poker dealing.

To draw younger gamblers, the casino dresses the female dealers as cowgirls. We all remember those old Westerns in which the women wore cropped tops, short shorts and tiny Stetsons.

Though Mark, the conservative, bespectacled shift manager, tells Jana she’ll need to be sharp to work the poker tournament, she evidently gets tipsy at the casino’s bar the night before. For some reason she decides to insult a woman at the bar who’s dressed as a showgirl, taking a break from her job of posing for pictures with tourists on the downtown streets.

Jana thinks the woman is too big to dress in the skimpy outfit. “How many rolls do you have in there?” she asks, pointing at the woman’s belly. “It’s like a bakery.”

In the episode’s other major subplot, a young couple get married at the hotel. As the groom parties in the bar with his friends, security has to come over and chase away a pair of what Mark calls “ladies of the evening” who get too friendly.

The groom and his friends meet up with the bride and her friends in a suite, which they trash. We get to see the two poor cleaning women who have to make it presentable for the wedding night.

The actual ceremony is performed by an Elvis impersonator.

The second episode has a more coherent theme, revolving around Glenn’s efforts to attract a younger clientele. He tells the managers to stop wearing suits and provides them all with pastel T-shirts.

To promote the casino, Glenn hires a 16-year-old girl named Hayley Lager, who is said to be a driving prodigy and whose father is a executive at the casino. She poses for photos with tourists and then spins out her car in a local race.

A local farm girl named Kim, whose personality, according to Mark, is perfect for their desired clientele, applies for a job as a blackjack dealer. When she fails at that, Mark tries her out as a cocktail waitress. When she says she never had ambitions to be a waitress, he gives her a shot as a poker dealer. Most of us job seekers can’t even get anyone to look at our résumés.

Finally, the security team has to arrest a young Canadian man who takes off his shirt and, when asked to get dressed, pulls down his pants.

In the last decade or so, scripted shows like “Entourage” and reality shows like “The Real World” have shown us a Las Vegas filled with A-list celebrities and attractive young people partying in throbbing nightclubs. “Casino Confidential” shows us a different Vegas but pretends otherwise.

If the show’s producers simply couldn’t get a more fashionable casino to cooperate, they should have played the hand they were dealt instead of bluffing. As is, “Casino Confidential” goes bust.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/casino-confidential-deals-a-weak-hand/
post #86065 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mhufnagel View Post

You know what bothers me the most in this lawsuit? It's the fact that PBS, a broadcaster that depends upon public donations and direct/indirect government subsidies to help make it work, is taking the anti-consumer side of things. So much for it being an alternative to those big bad media conglomerates. I hope people will remember this during the next fund raising period. I know I will. mad.gif

PBS gets paid by cable and satellite companies for carriage, just as commercial networks do--it's a revenue stream they seem to think they need to continue their existence, along with corporate grants, govt. subsidies, and pledge drives.

PBS stations do not get paid by cable or satellite companies. Non-commercial stations (such as local PBS stations) may not seek retransmission consent and may only invoke must-carry status.
post #86066 of 93655
Film Critic Roger Ebert has died frown.gif.
post #86067 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Technology/Business Notes
The Big Bet at Intel Corp. That Could Change TV
By Andrew Wallenstein, Variety.com - Apr. 3, 2013

If there’s anything conspicuously different about the structure, it’s the massive 32-foot satellite that sits atop an adjoining parking garage.

Now there's a problem. The satellite should be in geosynchronous orbit not on a rooftop. wink.gif
post #86068 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S View Post



I think charging for a product without paying for it, as is the case with Aereo if you boil it down to the truth, is anti consumer.

Aereo isn't charging for a product. They're charging people a service fee to receive those channels using Aereo's equipment. Is Tivo breaking the law by selling ota dvr's with either a monthly or a lifetime fee? Are contractors who install roof-top antennas breaking the law? I mean they're basically charging someone to pick-up ota signals? Does it matter if it's a one time charge or a monthly charge? What would happen if a large amount of people "cut the cord" and went ota? Would the networks and their affiliate's petition congress to allow them to scramble the ota signal? Sure the networks own the programming, but they don't own the ota bandwith. If they freely send out that programming ota, then they shouldn't have a right to say in what manner and with what equipment you can pick it up.

I personally feel that when congress allowed re-trans fees for local stations, the whole system went to hell.
post #86069 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayan View Post

Film Critic Roger Ebert has died frown.gif.
Yes, I just saw that. He and Gene Siskel made a great team. Now they're together again.
post #86070 of 93655
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nayan View Post

Film Critic Roger Ebert has died frown.gif.

I was about to post about this frown.gif

My family grew up on his reviews. Rest in Peace Mr. Ebert
Cancer is a terrible.
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