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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 2942

post #88231 of 93719
TV Notes
'Naked and Afraid' competition on Discovery strips survival down
By Celine Wright, Los Angeles Times - Jul. 13, 2013

Discovery Channel producer Steve Rankin made headlines when he was bit by a deadly pit viper in early May. After being rushed to the hospital from the remote Costa Rican wilderness, and after several serious surgeries, he is lucky to still have his foot.

Rankin was scouting locations for his new show, “Naked and Afraid,” which drew an impressive 4.1 million total viewers to its premiere in June. His injury mirrored those possible in the extreme survival series, which casts two survival experts (one man, one woman) naked into a remote area for 21 days.

Cast member Laura Zerra didn't hear about Rankin’s injury, as she was already on her way to Panama to film her own segment of the series, but even if she did hear, it wouldn’t have changed her mind.

“Absolutely not” she says. “I’ve had really close encounters, but it’s all part of it. There’s more likelihood to get hit by a car crossing the street.”

Having the survivors naked “really strips the survival back down to the absolute basics,” says Rankin. And you sort of feel like you’re watching something you shouldn’t, but you can’t turn away.

The nudity is actually what convinced Zerra that she wouldn’t — couldn’t — make a mistake like Rankin's accident. “It’s an awareness thing, and I feel like I would have been less aware with clothes on anyway," she says.

The cast members are left in the wilderness with nothing but a small camera crew, personal cameras and one item of their choosing. Shoes are expressly forbidden. Previous contestants have taken a knife, a fire starter and even swimming goggles as their solitary item.

Zerra, 27, taught backcountry skills for years and has also dabbled in butchery and taxidermy. She calls hersefl the "black sheep" of her family.

“Survival is all about utilizing what’s around you, and certain things are hard to replace,” she says, “Metal is one of them, because there’s no substitute for a knife or cooking items.”

She doesn't like to waste, and she tries to eat locally, which wasn’t an issue during her episode, as she truly had no other choice.

“Walking into a grocery store was like a spiritual experience when I got back,” says Zerra. “We’re so spoiled, and we don’t even realize it.”

But this is reality television, and if someone’s health is compromised, there will be medical intervention.

“It’s always in the back of your mind, but somehow you don’t feel like you’re really going to get help,” says Zerra, who called the experience "as real as you could make anything.”

The show airs on the Discovery Channel on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

post #88232 of 93719
TV Notes
HBO's 'The Newsroom' returns for season 2
Aaron Sorkin makes some tweaks, but the cable news drama remains too smug for its own good
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Jul. 11, 2013

I've lost track of the number of times in the last year when a major news event — or, rather, the news media majorly bungling its coverage of that event — inspired my Twitter feed to explode with comments about how "The Newsroom" would turn this into an episode two seasons from now. With each mention, there was a clear sense that these repeated, institutionalized screw-ups — the misreading of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, the torrent of erroneous information about the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing, cable news completely ignoring the riveting, made-for-TV drama that was the recent Texas state legislature filibuster — were only proving "Newsroom" creator Aaron Sorkin correct in his thesis that the Fourth Estate has been badly failing the American people. Yet each one also came laced with jokes about the amazing power of 20/20 hindsight, about "News Night" producer Jim Harper conveniently having a second cousin once removed connected to the story, and about which Coldplay song would accompany the montage about a tragedy poorly-covered by the press.

That's the double-edged sword that is "The Newsroom," which returns to HBO on Sunday night at 10. By having his noble, fictional TV news team reporting on two-year-old stories, Sorkin has a chance to address the sins he feels have been committed by the people who both make and cover the news in this country. But with this series, Sorkin usually does it in a fashion so smug — to use an adjective he's self-aware enough to at times apply to his heroes — that it can feel embarrassing to agree with the things his characters do and say.

Because even if you can somehow put aside the show's political leanings(*) — as he's demonstrated on "The West Wing," "The American President" and elsewhere, Sorkin is one of the most passionate and vocal liberal voices in a very liberal business, and in the first season used "The Newsroom" to attack the Tea Party almost as vigorously as he went after the ineptitude of CNN, MSNBC and Fox News — "The Newsroom" has a lot of smart, pointed things to say about the decrepit condition of TV news, and about the general lack of civility, communication and cooperation in our national politics, regardless of which party you prefer. But the message is frequently undercut by the messengers.

(*) Which we will try our best to do, given the No Politics rule here on the blog, but which a show like this makes all but impossible to stick by. All I can ask is that you try to be respectful in your disagreements with both the show and other commenters — remembering that the first of those rules is to TALK ABOUT THE SHOW, NOT EACH OTHER.

In one storyline of the new season, "News Night" producer Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) decides to go on the road for a few weeks with the Romney presidential campaign in the fall of 2011. His scenes wind up less an attack on Romney than on the way any modern political campaign neuters the press corps covering it, until every reporter is reciting, without comment or question, the same set of talking points handed to them by the campaign staff. Yet the reason for Jim being on the Romney bus in the first place is tied to the show's cringe-inducing attempts at romantic comedy, where by the mid-point of this new season, it's safe to describe Jim as one point in an irritating love hexagon. And his behavior in pointing out the way the campaign and the press are both doing their jobs badly comes across as so patronizing that he seems in need of perpetual eye-rolling.

In fairness to Sorkin, he has other characters on-hand — including Grace Gummer as a campaign veteran annoyed that Jim has parachuted in to cause trouble for the regulars — point out this and other problematic behavior for his heroes. We're all meant to agree with Jim, with heroic anchorman Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) and all the rest even as they make their points in the most pompous way imaginable, but Sorkin at least gives internal voice to the idea that they're making good points badly.

Sorkin has also made at least a few other tweaks in response to the very loud and frequent criticisms to the first season, and they're apparent from the opening moments of the premiere. The season 1 opening credits sequence was a montage of great moments in the history of TV journalism, linking Will McAvoy to the grand tradition of Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite and all the rest, and creating a sense of self-importance that nearly crippled "The Newsroom" from jump. The new credits are a simpler, more modest series of images of activity in and around the "News Night" studio, and even the music is a more sedate version of last year's inspirational Thomas Newman-penned theme song. The original sequence demanded your awe and respect; the new one simply suggests serious issues are about to be discussed.

Beyond that, the new season is framed by a series of legal depositions about a Sorkin-invented military scandal that "News Night" royally screwed up in reporting. The show's fictional characters have never co-existed easily alongside real politicians and events, and the idea of the team having made a giant mistake — even if early signs point to newcomer Jerry Dantana (Hamish Linklater) being the cause of that mistake, rather than Will, Jim or executive producer MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) — also goes a long way towards suggesting these characters are not omniscient, infallible crusaders, but people just as capable of making errors as their enemies.

Sorkin got rightly dinged a lot for the way he turned MacKenzie and the other female characters into clowns whose primary function was to fall down and/or find things to apologize to the men about. We see a bit more of MacKenzie being professionally competent this season — and when she messes up, it's in more interesting ways, like when she dismisses the attempts of junior staffer Neal (Dev Patel) to get "News Night" to report on the early days of Occupy Wall Street — but Sorkin's main corrective here is to start making the men also fall down and have great difficulty with modern technology. Even Olivia Munn's financial reporter Sloan Sabbith, the show's best-drawn female character in season 1 — thanks to the surprisingly effective melding of Sorkin's sense of humor and Munn's dry delivery — stumbles a bit in year 2 thanks to a bizarre infatuation with producer Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski).

But though Sorkin is able to address some of season 1's deficits, he still retains his other blind spots. His hatred of the internet rings out loud and clear in an almost self-parodic subplot where Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill) has to grovel in front of a "Sex and the City" fan-fiction author (I am not making that up, much as I wish that I was). His belief in our need of Great Men with a capital G and M is unswerving, even if he allows other characters to make fun of Will each time he suggests that he is one. And the man who once penned "The American President" now finds himself unable to write a single romantic storyline in which the audience might want to root for any combination of characters to actually get together.

And yet... and yet... and yet, he is Aaron Sorkin, which means he is also among the most gifted wordsmiths this medium has ever known. And though "The Newsroom," like "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" before it, is mostly Bad Sorkin on display, there are also those occasional flashes of Good Sorkin that make it worth sifting through the rest of the mess to find. And a lot of what Sorkin is criticizing about 21st century politics and the reporters who cover it is a valid subject — it just happens to be one where Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert usually covered it first, funnier and better when the events actually happened two years ago.

Part of what "The Newsroom" is criticizing is a media landscape where the audience has the option to only listen to people with whom they already agree. Without opposing viewpoints being genuinely and fairly articulated for all to hear, we're a nation suffering a deeper and deeper schism, where two seemingly reasonable people can hear two radically different interpretations of the same event and have no idea what the other one just heard. But there are times where you can agree with the ideology of a TV show and still not enjoy much of it. The last year suggested to me that Aaron Sorkin is right in a lot of what he had to say on "The Newsroom." I just wish he was saying it in a less sanctimonious, more entertaining series.

Edited by dad1153 - 7/13/13 at 10:42pm
post #88233 of 93719
I watched the Naked and Afraid: The Jungle Curse and I really liked the two people. It looks like they're different people on each episode? That sucks, I want the original cast back tongue.gif

Their names are Shane Lewis and Kim Shelton. That was a really cool show.
post #88234 of 93719
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
'Naked and Afraid' competition on Discovery strips survival down
By Celine Wright, Los Angeles Times - Jul. 13, 2013

Zerra, 27, taught backcountry skills for years and has also dabbled in butchery and taxidermy. She calls hersefl the "black sheep" of her family.

“Survival is all about utilizing what’s around you, and certain things are hard to replace,” she says, “Metal is one of them, because there’s no substitute for a knife or cooking items.”

Nope there are no substitutes for metal knives and cooking utensils. Just ask all the indigenous tribes around the world whose cultures have survived for thousands of years by utilizing what's around them. rolleyes.gif
post #88235 of 93719
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Nope there are no substitutes for metal knives and cooking utensils. Just ask all the indigenous tribes around the world whose cultures have survived for thousands of years by utilizing what's around them. rolleyes.gif

LOL, you're right.
post #88236 of 93719
TV Notes
Jimmy Kimmel Marries Molly McNearney
By Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter - Jul. 13, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel has tied the knot.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host married his longtime girlfriend, Molly McNearney, Saturday in Ojai, Calif., People first reported.

Kimmel, 45, proposed last year while the couple vacationed in South Africa. McNearney, 35, is the co-head writer of Kimmel’s show.

Wedding guests reportedly included Kimmel’s late night nemesis Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Howard Stern, Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. Guests were asked to make charitable donations in lieu of gifts.

The wedding is the latest in a big year for Kimmel, which has also included the move of his show to the coveted 11:35 p.m. time slot.

post #88237 of 93719
TV Notes
'Glee' star Cory Monteith found dead in hotel in Canada
By Stave Almasy, CNN.com - Jul. 13, 2013

Cory Monteith, who played heart throb Finn Hudson in the Fox hit "Glee," was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room Saturday, Vancouver police said. He was 31.

Police said the cause of death was not immediately apparent, but they ruled out foul play.

Monteith spent time in rehab early this year, checking into a drug addiction treatment facility in April.

He had been frank about his struggles with substance abuse, telling Parade magazine in 2011 that he began using drugs at 13, and by 19 went into rehab after his mother and friends intervened.

Monteith had been on the musical comedy show since it began in 2009.

In 2011, he won a Teen Choice award for top actor in a comedy. The show's cast won a Screen Actors Guild award for an ensemble in a comedy the prior year.

post #88238 of 93719
Critic's Notes
'Big Brother 15': Don't boycott the show because of the houseguests' comments
By Andrea Reiher, Zap2It.com - Jul. 13, 2013

There has been much public backlash about the comments some of the "Big Brother 15" contestants have made while in the house, most notably against Aaryn Gries, the young woman from Texas.

She has been heard on the live feeds making racist remarks about both the black contestants and the Korean contestant and homophobic slurs against the gay contestant. And while obviously the things she says are hurtful and wrong, it does not mean we should be boycotting "Big Brother," like houseguest Candice Stewart's mom is calling for.

First of all, "Big Brother's" ratings have been in a steady decline for years. It's an aging show, plus the summer months are no longer a TV wasteland. More competition means less viewers. All a boycott is going to do is kill the show off that much faster.

If that's your goal, then fine. But if you're a fan of the show, boycotting is not the answer. In fact, calling for these houseguests' removal from the show is not the answer either.

The whole point of "Big Brother" is that it's a social experiment meets a competition show. It's unlike other reality competition shows because it happens while it airs and viewers can have 24/7 access to the house (minus competitions and ceremonies that do not air on the live feeds).

The point is to have unfettered access to people who have mostly forgotten they're on a TV show and that's exactly what we're getting. Sure, it's ugly. But admit it -- the drama is one reason we watch this show. Do we tune in specifically for race-based drama? No. But CBS casts people who will have friction and cause drama and that's exactly what we got.

Do we think CBS either planned for or could have prevented this season's ugliness? No. We really doubt that at any point in the casting process, CBS is so forward as to ask contestants, "Are you racist?" We further doubt that any contestant (even one who is making fun of the minorities in the house) would answer, "Why yes, I am."

This is an incredibly hard thing to screen for, mostly because nobody ever really thinks they're racist. You've heard it yourself if you watch the live feeds -- Aaryn doesn't think she's done anything wrong. She has actually declared, "I'm not racist."

So, CBS could not have prevented this (or purposely looked for it). But once someone is in the game, he or she is free to say whatever he or she wants. That's free speech. Other than a few things, like yelling, "Fire!" in a crowded movie theater, people are pretty much free to say whatever they want in this country.

Which also means we're free to report about and condemn said statements.

Let's not forget that this is nothing new, either. Some of this year's contestants are some of the worst offenders we've seen, but let's not act like past contestants on this show have been perfect angels. Remember Jeff Schroeder and his rants against gay people?

We also don't think CBS is in any way condoning the contestants' statements by keeping them on the show. CBS has actually gone out of its way to make it clear the network doesn't condone the actions or statements made by Aaryn or GinaMarie or whomever.

Frankly, we think both CBS and the media could do a better job of drawing attention to the other comments that have happened in the house. Yes, racism is bad, but hate speech is hate speech, so where are the segments about the use of gay slurs? Where are the segments about Spencer and Jeremy freely tossing around the c-word in reference to the female contestants? As a woman, their attitudes toward my gender offend me.

One may argue that these other comments haven't affected the game, which was Julie Chen's explanation for why CBS finally aired the racial stuff. But we would argue they had the perfect opportunity to address the misogyny when Jeremy wiped his bare butt with Elissa's hat. And the contestants have talked about gay rights -- they could easily have edited a package about how the use of the f-word affects gay contestant Andy.

Aaryn has really become the face of this scandal and while she is definitely saying some ugly things in the house, she's not the only one. If you're going to air the ugliness, let's be fair about it.

Finally, it's not as if these people will go unpunished. We've seen their employers drop them from contracts, fire them, or release statements condemning their comments. Plus, they are going to be in for a very rude awakening when they exit the "Big Brother" house -- it's certainly not the type of fame they were looking for, we would imagine.

Honestly, I think keeping these people in the house for all the world to see is actually a good thing. Racism and homophobia and misogyny are major problems in our society, so a living, breathing example of how it's not just your 80-year-old grandpa making these comments is drawing attention to the fact that it still exists and is hurtful and unacceptable.

Aaryn (or GinaMarie or Spencer) may not be out committing hate crimes, and that's great, but hate speech is hate speech. There are plenty of ways to talk about someone you dislike without bring his or her race, sexual orientation or gender into it. Plenty of ways.

Demanding they be ousted from the house flies completely in the face of the point of "Big Brother" and calling for a boycott will just hurt the show.

As fans, we should be excited that this season isn't boring and we should hope that this opens the eyes of the contestants (and viewers) to the fact that such comments aren't funny or acceptable.

"Big Brother" airs Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights on CBS.

post #88239 of 93719
TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SUNDAY Network Primetime Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET)

7PM - America's Funniest Home Videos
(R - Feb. 10)
8PM - Celebrity Wife Swap: Andy Dick/Lorenzo Lamas
9PM - Whodunnit?
10PM - Castle
(R - Jan. 14)

7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - Big Brother SD
9PM - The Good Wife
(R - Mar. 31)
10PM - The Mentalist
(R - Jan. 27)

7PM - America's Got Talent (120 min.)
(R - Jul. 9)
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - May 1)
10PM - Crossing Line

7PM - The Cleveland Show
(R - Mar. 7)
7:30PM - The Simpsons
(R - Dec. 9)
8PM - The Simpsons
(R - Apr. 28)
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
(R - Apr. 29)
9PM - Family Guy
(R - Apr. 14)
9:30PM - American Dad
(R - Feb. 10)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Secrets of Chastworth
9PM - Masterpiece Mystery! - Endeavour, Series 1: Fugue (90 min.)
10:30PM - Call the Midwife
(R - Feb. 17)

5:55PM - Fútbol - CONCACAF Copa de Oro: Martinica vs. México (LIVE)
8PM - Parodiando (135 min.)
10:15PM - Sal y Pimienta

6PM - Movie: Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
8PM - La Voz Kids (120 min.)
10PM - Acceso Total: La Voz Kids
post #88240 of 93719
TV Notes
First Bill Cosby special in 30 years hits Comedy Central
By Lindsay Deutsch, USA Today - Jul. 12, 2013

Friday was Bill Cosby's 76th birthday, so it's only appropriate that he give his fans a gift. Thankfully it's not a sweater.

For the first time in 30 years, the comedian and groundbreaking actor will star in a TV concert special. Far From Finished hits Comedy Central on Nov. 24.

Cosby's reason for returning? "Because... funny is funny," Cosby said in a statement.

In 1983, Cosby performed Bill Cosby: Himself, a routine that covered the banality of family life with topics like weekends, dentists and raising children. In the now-classic stand-up (and sit-down) act, Cosby performed mostly while seated on a chair in the middle of a bare stage.

The act laid the groundwork for what he's best known for, the Emmy-winning The Cosby Show, which premiered on NBC in 1984 and starred the Huxtable family, an upper-middle-class African-American family in Brooklyn.

Far From Finished is compiled from Cosby's stand-up material from earlier this summer and will be directed by Robert Townsend.

Can't wait to watch the new routine? Cosby's 1983 classic is available on YouTube (Part 1, part 2). Need to be convinced it's worth it? Read a 30th anniversary tribute of the performance from comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Larry Wilmore and Ray Romano at GQ.

And for even more Cosby action, check out the sweater tournament he's hosting on his website. Vote for your favorite Cosby sweater and you'll be entered to win one of his books. (And check out all 131 of them over at Buzzfeed.) The winner will be announced Monday on the Today show.

post #88241 of 93719
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Nope there are no substitutes for metal knives and cooking utensils. Just ask all the indigenous tribes around the world whose cultures have survived for thousands of years by utilizing what's around them. rolleyes.gif
I feel sorry for some of those folks she has "taught" as they may up end starving to death because they forgot their Williams-Sonoma flatware.
post #88242 of 93719
Legal/Business Notes
Tennis Channel Asks for New Hearing in Comcast Carriage Dispute
By Ted Johnson, Variety.com - Jul. 12, 2013

The Tennis Channel is asking a D.C. appellate court for a rehearing of its claim that Comcast unfaierly placed the channel in a less desirable tier than Golf Channel and other channels in which it holds an interest.

In May, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit overturned FCC rulings that Comcast should put Tennis Channel on equal footing with Golf Channel and NBC Sports Network. The agency concluded that Comcast was in violation of program carriage provisions of the Cable Act, but the appellate judges said that the FCC “failed to identify adequate evidence of unlawful discrimination.”

The Tennis Channel, which is an intervenor in the case, as it is the FCC the issued the ruling against Comcast, took issue with the appellate court conclusions. It filed its request for rehearing on Friday.

“By requiring evidence that the defendant suffered an economic loss, the panel departed from this Court’s prior anti-discrimination decisions, ignored congressional intent, and erroneously rejected extensive findings made by the Federal Communications Commission,” Tennis Channel said in its filing.

The protracted dispute is being watched closely in the cable business, as so few carriage disputes of this type have advanced so far in litigation.

Tennis Channel, in its 75-page brief, said that even though Comcast said its refusal to move Tennis Channel to a less expensive and more broadly distributed tier were for economic reasons, “the FCC found that Comcast in fact made no effort to analyze the benefits its distribution business could obtain from Tennis Channel’s proposal for broader carriage.”

Comcast has contended that they made a valid business deal and that Tennis Channel “received exactly the carriage it bargained for and agreed to.”

post #88243 of 93719
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Nope there are no substitutes for metal knives and cooking utensils. Just ask all the indigenous tribes around the world whose cultures have survived for thousands of years by utilizing what's around them. rolleyes.gif

OMG! The Microwave is down, WE'RE GOING TO STARVE!!! frown.gif
post #88244 of 93719
lol wow biggrin.gif
post #88245 of 93719
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 14, 2013

TCM, 8:00 a.m. ET

Nowadays it’s common for an enterprising Hollywood writer-producer to acquire rights to a TV series made in another country, and adapt it with a new version tailored for American audiences. But long before Norman Lear helped pioneer that process for TV with All in the Family, movie studios were doing the same thing. This 1960 Western, for example, is an adaptation of a fabulous “Eastern”: Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 The Seven Samurai (shown at 2:30AM the same night). And who are some of the stars of this Americanized entry? Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Eli Wallach, to name just five of the titular tough guys.

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode ended with two significant plot twists. One, Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Pastor Mike was revealed to be living under an assumed name, after fleeing a town where he was involved in a case with an assault on another young woman.
And two, at the very end of the show, Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Linden (Mireille Enos) got into her car to discover a desperate Pastor Mike in her back seat, putting a knife to her throat and ordering her to “Drive.”
So either The Killing, for once, has identified the killer early, or else this is another of the show’s increasingly annoying red herrings. And if Linden and her partner have wrongly fingered yet another prime suspect, they’re even worse cops than the guy on Hannibal.

Showtime, 9:00 p.m. ET

The more this season’s shows focus on Debra (Jennifer Carpenter), and her continuing breakdown after Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
committing murder to protect her brother,
the less satisfying and believable things get. But the more Charlotte Rampling, as a visiting police psychologist, probes the psyche of Michael C. Hall’s Dexter, the better this show becomes. So watching, for now, is a mixed bag – but it’s the final season, so who can stay away?

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET
Aaron Sorkin’s TV news drama series is back, with two immediate changes. The opening credit sequence is new, and so is the story structure, with this entire season devoted to one ongoing plot about a volatile news story gone wrong. Some people, even fans of Sorkin’s previous efforts, hate this show, and even enjoy hating it – but I’m still in the “enjoying it” camp. Jeff Daniels stars. For a full review, see or hear my report for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Showtime, 10:00 p.m. ET

Jon Voight, as Ray’s out-of-prison dad, manages to hurt, destroy, infect or annoy just about anything he touches – except for his son’s wife and kids, which infuriates Ray (Liev Schreiber) to no end. Sometimes, Voight’s Mickey Donovan is a terror. Other times, as when he uses a public library computer to access porn sites, he’s a riot. What a role for Voight – and what a great job he does with it.

post #88246 of 93719
TV Notes
Cultivating Class, Helped by Celebrity
Ovation Channel Focuses on Arts Programming
By Robert Ito, The New York Times - Jul. 14, 2013

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — In the coming mini-series “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” Daniel Radcliffe plays a man fresh out of medical school who is sent to run a hospital in a remote Russian village in 1917. He is called upon to saw off limbs, deliver babies and prescribe salves to a never-ending queue of syphilitic peasants, but this inexperienced doctor has help: His older self, played by Jon Hamm, pops in from time to time to offer medical advice and swipe morphine from the dispensary. Their relationship, if one can call it that given that they’re the same person, is a strained one, shifting between combative and testy to Oedipal. At one point, the two share a tub.

“I did. I got to take a bath with Jon Hamm,” Mr. Radcliffe said, speaking by telephone from London. “I got to wrestle him, and throw a punch at him, too, which was all fun.”

In many ways, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook” is the perfect fit for an arts channel like Ovation, or for just about any other arts channel — if there were any other arts channels on American television. The four-part series is based on a collection of short stories by Mikhail Bulgakov, so it has literary cred. The cast, largely British, is accomplished, and the series itself is a semi-autobiographical period piece, albeit one with copious amounts of blood and open sores. And then, of course, there’s Mr. Radcliffe and Mr. Hamm, sure to lure in fans highbrow and otherwise.

Set to be shown on Ovation this fall, “Young Doctor” is part of a push by this 24-hour arts channel to increase its production of original programming to 223 hours this year from 46 last year. But will these shows breathe new life into this tiny channel? It’s a crucial question facing Ovation in the wake of Time Warner Cable’s decision in December to drop it from its national lineup, cutting off access to some seven million homes. A large number of those dropped viewers live in New York City, one of the largest and presumably art-savviest TV markets in the country, and Ovation is working to get back on the cable company’s lineup. Time Warner’s vote of no confidence hasn’t slowed Ovation’s rush to add 25 original new shows, including “The Art of...,” a weekly series arguing that tattoos, among other things, can be art, and “Cinema Confidential,” an Actors Studio-esque look at filmmakers and their most famous projects.

No, the people at Ovation are optimistic, even though two other better-known, better-financed arts outlets — Bravo and A&E — ditched their roster of cultural programming years ago in favor of reality shows about hirsute bounty hunters and New Jersey housewives.

“They’re very successful networks now, and God bless ’em for having their success, but I felt that they gave up too soon,” Ovation’s chief creative officer, Robert Weiss, said at the channel’s headquarters here. (A&E is currently seen in more than 99 million homes, Ovation in 47 million.) “If we can’t figure out a way to make the only arts network on television successful, both creatively and commercially, that’s pretty sad.”

If a 24-hour arts channel is to thrive, Mr. Weiss said, it has to find a balance between the gravitas of, say, “Masterpiece Theater,” and the lowbrow fun of “So You Think You Can Dance.” “We want to be classy, but still accessible,” he said.

This balancing act has been around since the earliest days of television, said Lynn Spigel, author of “TV by Design: Modern Art and the Rise of Network Television” and a professor at Northwestern University. “There’s always been this idea that people wouldn’t see art as appealing, and wouldn’t want to hear lectures on TV,” she said. “It’s not that they didn’t like art, but there was this assumption that they wanted it delivered to them in formats that were entertaining. The idea is to get people to think of art as part of everyday life, and not just this pill you have to swallow.”

When Time Warner dropped Ovation, “morale took a hit,” Mr. Weiss said. “Look, they have their business reasons,” he added. “But you know what? It only made me more determined.”

This month, the first two shows in Ovation’s push will reach the air, “Culture Pop,” an “Entertainment Tonight”-like news roundup of goings-on in the national arts scene, and “The Art of....” Also in the works is a series, still untitled and uncast, about celebrities holding forth on their favorite art and artists. The idea is to find a star who really likes, for instance, early Italian Mannerist sculpture, then use that star power to lure viewers into watching a show about early Italian Mannerist sculpture.

Which is sort of what happened with “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” albeit in a more organic way. When Mr. Hamm initially approached Mr. Radcliffe about a film adaptation of the Bulgakov stories last year, he discovered that Mr. Radcliffe was already well acquainted with that Russian novelist’s works.

“I’ve been a huge Bulgakov fan since I was about 17 or 18, when I first read ‘The Master and Margarita,’ ” Mr. Radcliffe said. “I became immediately obsessed with that book, and subsequently read ‘A Country Doctor’s Notebook.’ I had actually entertained the notion of trying to adapt it myself at one point, but when it became apparent that somebody had not only done the job for me, but done a lot better than I ever could have, I was delighted.”

And if a few more people tune in to see the Bulgakov series just because Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm are in it, well, that’s fine with Mr. Radcliffe, not to mention Ovation. “It’s a fact of the world we’re living in today,” Mr. Radcliffe said. “One of the things that was exciting about doing ‘Equus’ was that there would be a new generation of people coming to that play who might not have otherwise come to it. So if this series helps prolong the legacy of Mikhail Bulgakov, then that’s a pretty good achievement in my eyes.”

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Technology Notes
With a TV Guide gone from the air, look online
By Rob Pegoraro, USA Today - Jul. 14, 2013

Question. I miss the TV Guide On Screen feature that went dark a few months ago. Is there anything in the works to replace it?

This was an underrated, under-supported system that allowed digital TVs to get show schedules from a broadcast data feed and display them in a simple program grid.

TV Guide on Screen was developed by Gemstar-TV Guide and began appearing in 2006 on digital sets and video recorders from such vendors as LG, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony and Toshiba. A year later, Macrovision (previously best known for developing the technology that made videotaped copies of some movie releases unwatchably scrambled) bought Gemstar and continued to develop the system.

Then last November, the company, since renamed to Rovi, sent a brief and unenlightening message to "TVGOS" users through their sets' guide apps that it would shut down the entire operation.

"In order to deliver the broadcast guide service, Rovi has relied on over-the-air traditional broadcast data service providers," wrote spokeswoman Linda Quach in an e-mail explaining that the Santa Clara, Calif., firm's deals with CBS and a PBS subsidiary had expired. "We no longer have agreements in place with these broadcast data service providers."

The shutdown concluded across the United States by the end of April. Many owners of TVGOS hardware probably never noticed, since they use cable or satellite services that feature their own program guides. But a few now have unusable hardware: Some older video recorders used the TVGOS signal to set their clocks but don't allow any manual input of the date and time.

Some still have TVGOS, courtesy of it continuing to be available over the Internet. I'm one of those lucky purchasers, owing solely to the fact that our Sony TV came with that option when we bought it in 2009; a year earlier, and we'd be out of luck too.

If your TV has lost your onscreen guide, you will probably have better luck clicking around its onscreen settings with your remote in search of an Internet-download option than going to its vendor's site for help. My checks at a few either revealed bland confirmations of the TVGOS shutdown or no information at all.

Rovi, for its part, has yet to post a notice about it on its support site or its blog.

Even without that service, a digital TV can display details about what you're watching right now through an over-the-air system called the "Program and System Information Protocol." It's part of the core DTV specification and isn't going away. It even allows a station to send out data about upcoming programs, but few stations use that option.

This is a lost opportunity for the industry. Done right, Rovi's system could have made a lot of TV devices smarter, but many manufacturers ignored it entirely. For example, the failure of most DVD recorders to support TVGOS — instead consigning their owners to programming recordings VCR-style by punching in dates and times — helped doom that category of hardware.

It also points to a larger issue for the consumer-electronics industry. Now that so many of our gadgets rely on networked services for core functions, the worry that these services might stop one day can become its own sort of existential electronic dread.

Tip: "MHL" is yet another TV abbreviation you (may) need to remember

Your options for connecting other video devices to a TV have coalesced in recent years to just two: HDMI, an all-digital connection that transfers both audio and video, and composite, a trio of analog video cables that must be coupled with some kind of audio connector. And the latter rarely comes into play anymore unless you're dealing with old or malfunctioning hardware.

But a couple of years ago, support for a different kind of connection called MHL, short for "Mobile High-Definition Link," started appearing on the HDMI ports of some new sets--and on the micro-USB ports on certain non-Apple smartphones.

The idea here is to ease plugging those mobile devices into televisions: This standard lets a TV charge the phone or tablet and relay remote-control commands to it. You can also plug an MHL-compatible phone into a non-MHL set with an adapter cable, at the cost of losing the remote-control capability.

But over time, MHL may also be more useful as a cheap way to plug in aftermarket devices such as Roku's Streaming Stick, a thumb-sized device that brings Web multimedia to TVs without Internet connectivity of their own.

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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
'Big Brother 15': Don't boycott the show because of the houseguests' comments
By Andrea Reiher, Zap2It.com - Jul. 13, 2013

Since it isnt in HD shouldnt this be posted in the SDTV hot off the press thread. biggrin.gif
post #88249 of 93719
SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #88250 of 93719
Critic's Notes
Cory Monteith Was Invaluable To Glee. Where Does the Show Go Now?
By Lauren Hoffman, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jul. 14, 2013

Regardless of the cause, Cory Monteith’s death is a tragic one. He was young and talented — a gifted drummer, an awkward-as-hell dancer, and a reliable nailer of power ballads. And he was Finn Hudson, Glee’s main testament to the life-changing power of music, arguably the show’s primary message.

The loss of Finn alters the show’s landscape permanently and irrevocably. There’s a part of me that thinks, “Is it too soon to consider what the show will look like now that he’s gone?” But as Vulture’s Glee recapper for the past two seasons, I think that considering the question is a respectful act; it speaks to his invaluable contribution. And Glee’s cast and creative team don’t have the luxury of declaring it too soon to move forward; filming on season five is currently scheduled to begin in a week or so, and the writers have been at work for a while now. While Ryan Murphy hasn’t said much publicly about what this year holds, he negotiated a two-season renewal for Glee last spring, and consensus is that he wouldn’t have been able to do so without some sort of master plan (or at the very least, a general sense) of how this next chunk of story plays out.

This isn’t a reshuffling of the deck, then. It’s 52 pickup. Whenever Glee has been at a loss for story in the past, it’s circled back to three key relationships: Kurt and Blaine, Brittany and Santana, and Finn and Rachel. Monteith’s death and Heather Morris’s departure further destabilize a show already on shaky ground as it struggles to take on a more mature tone following the graduation of several of its main characters from high school. Deftly tackling the narrative challenge of Finn’s departure from the show seems an almost impossible task. If the season begins with Finn glibly written out (“Oh, he moved to L.A. with Mercedes!”) it will be criticized for insensitivity; if Finn’s storyline mirrors Monteith’s passing more closely, it will be criticized for exploitation.

Glee has always encouraged viewers to suspend disbelief when it comes to the fact that its main cast is a bunch of 20-something year old adults pretending to be teens. They’ve done this by emphasizing the characters rather than the actors (consider, for example, the fact that the entire cast did a world tour completely in character) and by near-obsessive control of the cast’s collective public image.

Sure, there have been drunk appearances at award shows and magazine spreads of questionable taste, but for a cast of late Millennials (Monteith was 31), heady on fame or something close to it for the first time, they come off as reasonably wholesome. Even Monteith’s own stint in rehab this spring was spun by the powers that be at Glee not as a scandal, but as a responsible choice by someone taking control of his own well-being (and rightly so). Glee’s promise of youth and escape is seen clearly in its return to Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” in multiple episodes, almost as an anthem. “You and I,” Glee promises, “We’ll be young forever.”

That image of squeaky-clean youth is shattered now, and that seems irreversible. Glee works as escapist television, and it almost always flounders when it tries to be something bigger. Season four’s misbegotten school shooting, prostate cancer, teen molestation, and eating disorder storylines – all either insensitively handled or dropped without explanation – are undeniable proof of that.

Monteith’s final performance on Glee was a reprise of “Don’t Stop Believin,’” the same song that closed the pilot. It’s just a coincidence, although it’s hard not to lend it more significance than it perhaps deserves. Either way, Cory Monteith’s death means it will be a little harder to believe in Glee from now on.

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

8PM - The Bachelorette (120 min.)
10:01PM - Mistresses
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Armie Hammer; comic Adam Carolla; Ciara perform)
(R - Jul. 2)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
(R - Jan. 14)
8:30PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Feb. 11)
9PM - 2 Broke Girls
(R - Oct. 15)
9:30PM - Mike & Molly
(R - Feb. 18)
10PM - Under the Dome
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Bruce Willis; Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig; Valerie Simpson performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Julie Chen; comic Michael Palascak)

8PM - America Ninja Warrior
9PM - Get Out Alive With Bear Grylls
10PM - Siberia
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Journalist Savannah Guthrie; comic Anthony Jeselnik; Johnnyswim performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Kristen Wiig; TV host Nick Cannon; Adam Ant performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Davey Havok, The Exquisite Corpse Project, Kitten)

8PM - Raising Hope
(R - Jan. 8)
8:30PM - Raising Hope
(R - Sep. 27)
9PM - New Girl
(R - Feb. 26)
9:30PM - The Mindy Project
(R - Jan. 29)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Vintage Rochester
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Chattanoga, TN
(R - Apr. 13, 2009)
10PM - POV: Only the Young (90 min.)

8PM - Porque el Amor Manda
9PM - Amores Verdaderos
10PM - Qué Bonito Amor

8PM - The iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party (120 min.)

8PM - Dama y Obrero
9PM - Marido en Alquiler
10PM - El Señor de los Cielos

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Writer Aaron Sorkin)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Jeremy Scahill)

11PM - Conan (Charlie Day; Brittney Griner)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Jason Derulo; Jeff Wild; Natasha Leggero; Brad Wollack)
post #88252 of 93719
TV Review
Innuendo flies on new 'Whose Line'
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Jul. 14, 2013

Fans of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" when it aired on ABC from 1998-2006 will probably be satisfied with the new "Whose Line ..." on The CW unless they are easily offended.

The old "Whose Line ..." could be bawdy, but this new iteration, debuting with back-to-back episodes at 8 p.m. Tuesday on Pittsburgh's WPCW, seems more calculated to titillate.

Many of the "Whose Line ..." regulars are back, including Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles. Drew Carey is not back as the host; those duties now go to Aisha Tyler ("The Talk," "Archer"), who whoops it up as the innuendo flies during assorted improv challenges.

For the game "things-you-can-say-about-your-favorite-pair-of-shoes-but-not-your-partner," Mr. Brady suggests, "I don't like it when I'm inside of you and you squeak."

Mr. Stiles contributes, "Hmmm, these used to fit tighter."

Mr. Brady returns with another line: "The tongue keeps getting in the way."

A fourth chair features rotating players, including Keegan Michael Key from Comedy Central's "Key & Peele." Each episode also includes a guest star -- Kevin McHale from "Glee," Candice Accola from "The Vampire Diaries" -- who plays along.

"Whose Line" remains an unpredictable, often funny and entertaining way to pass a half-hour, but with a raunchier tone, this show may no longer have the broad appeal it previously enjoyed; and that may be OK with The CW, which targets a young-skewing niche audience anyway.

When: 8 and 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on The CW

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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Jul. 8, 2013

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

The Johnny Carson vintage interviews presented tonight include a 1983 interview with Michael Caine (at 8:48 p.m. ET), whose 1966 comedy The Wrong Box follows immediately at 9 p.m. ET. Other Carson interviews tonight, hosted by a properly reverential Conan O’Brien: Shelley Winters from 1975 (at 8 p.m. ET), followed at 12-minute intervals by Ronald Reagan (1975, five years before being elected President of the United States), Robin Williams (from 1981), Jonathan Winters (from 1988), and Caine.

IFC, 8:00 p.m. ET

I watched this 1983 movie again, for the first time in years, after putting it in Best Bets a few months ago. And my, 30 years on, was it delightful to watch. I especially enjoyed how the comedy, starring Tom Cruise as a suburban Chicago teenager who takes advantage of his parents’ temporary absence, and is himself taken advantage of in the bargain. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars as the young hooker with a heart of something less soft than gold, and among a strong group of future stars, Joe Pantoliano has the most fun as “Guido the Killer Pimp.” And watching Cruise rise to stardom with this single role is, of course, both impressive and entertaining.

CBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

In this week’s new episode, as the town residents remain trapped under glass by a mysterious bubble, things start to get in very short supply. One thing people are running out of: medicine. Another thing: patience. Dean Norris stars.

PBS, 10:00 p.m. ET

This new film, by Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims, follows three teenage Southern California friends – two boys, one girl – as they follow their passions (skateboarding, among other things) and face the future. Which, as this study shows, is more imposing than promising. Check local listings.

Comedy Central, 11:00 p.m. ET

First Jon Stewart took off for the summer to make a film, and then his replacement, John Oliver, got a break as The Daily Show took a two-week vacation. But it returns tonight, as does Oliver – whose guest tonight is Aaron Sorkin, whose HBO series The Newsroom also returned, last night, for its second season.

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No political comments, please.

Nielsen Notes (Cable)
About 11 Million Watch George Zimmerman Verdict Saturday Night on Cable News Networks
By Lisa De Moraes, Deadline.com - Jul. 15, 2013

Cable news networks’ ratings skyrocketed Saturday at 10-11PM ET when the verdict was read in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Fox News Channel led the pack with an average of 3,682 million viewers, followed by CNN’s 3.407 million. CNN was tops in the 25-54 year old demo: 1.1716 million to FNC’s 1.113 mil. HLN ran a distant third in total viewers with 2.2 million — 980,000 of them in the demo and MSNBC brought up the rear with 1.3 million viewers — about half a mil in the demo. A six-woman jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin:

FNC: 3,682,000 total viewers (1,113,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 3,407,000 total viewers (1,716,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 1,298,000 total viewers (510,000 in 25-54)
HLN: 2,203,000 total viewers (980,000 in 25-54)

Saturday night, between 10 PM and 1 AM ET, FNC logged an average of 2.7 million viewers. That’s a big hike compared to the 629,000 viewers the network has averaged in that block of time this calendar year to date. In the demo, FNC clocked 896,000 viewers, compared to its year-to-date average of 124,000.

CNN’s story, however, is even more dramatic: 2.42 million who tuned in to that struggling network during that same three-hour period where it has averaged only 384,000 viewers this calendar year to date. And CNN usually wins the block of time in the demo – but with an average of just 135,000 viewers. Last Saturday it averaged 1.24 million in the demo – speaking to CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s recent statement he thought the network had struck the right balance in its coverage of the Zimmerman trial.

HLN snared 1.4 million viewers between 10 PM Saturday and 1 AM Sunday with Zimmerman trial coverage – a big hike but much smaller than CNN’s when you consider MSNBC had been averaging 330,000 viewers at that time, which is only 54,000 behind CNN. In the demo, MSNBC copped 690,000 viewers – less than half CNN’s tally, though here too they two nets had been running closely calendar year to date.

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TV Notes
Jenny McCarthy Joins 'The View' as Co-Host
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Jul. 15, 2013

Jenny McCarthy is joining "The View" as co-host, Barbara Walters and ABC announced Monday, confirming a decision that was widely expected.

McCarthy starts on Monday, Sept. 9, the kick-off to season 17. McCarthy has appeared on the daytime talk show 17 times, eight as guest host. It had been speculated that McCarthy would join the table, since Elisabeth Hasselback left last week and Walters plans to retire next summer.

Co-host Sherri Shepherd kinda-sorta confirmed the hiring last week, perhaps accidentally.

“We are delighted that Jenny will be joining us as a permanent co-host on ‘The View’ starting in September," Walters said. "Jenny brings us intelligence as well as warmth and humor. She can be serious and outrageous. She has connected with our audience and offers a fresh point of view. Jenny will be a great addition to the show as we usher in an exciting new chapter for ‘The View'."

“I'm beyond thrilled to be joining Barbara and the other amazing women at the table," McCarthy said. She continued, "I'd like to thank ABC for this great opportunity. I'd also like to give a big thank you to VH1 for their support and for allowing me to fulfill this lifelong dream. I look forward to helping make hot topics a little bit hotter, and showing my mom that my interrupting skills have finally paid off."

McCarthy has recently been hosting a VH1 late-night talk show, “The Jenny McCarthy Show.” She writes a blog and advice column, “Ask Jenny,” for her hometown paper, the Chicago Sun-Times, answering reader questions about love, sex, single parenting and fitness.

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TV Notes
VH1 Renews 'Hit the Floor' for Season 2
By Philiana Ng, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Jul. 15, 2013

VH1 is bringing back Hit the Floor for another season.

The cable network has renewed the scripted drama, centered on a group of professional basketball dancers, for a sophomore run, it was announced Monday.

According to VH1, Hit the Floor is the highest-rated freshman scripted cable series among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, where it averages a 1.2 rating. The series draws an average of 1.9 million total viewers.

“We always knew that Hit the Floor was a strong project from the beginning and we are thrilled that so many of our viewers agree with us, “ said Jill Holmes, VH1’s senior vp of West Coast production and development. “With creator James LaRosa at the helm, everyone in front of and behind the camera has created a compelling, addictive series with high energy dance numbers, and we can’t wait to continue the storyline that’s made it the #1 cable show in its time period among adults.”

Hit the Floor follows fictional basketball team Los Angeles Devils, whose players share the fame, money, sex and power with their dancers, the Devil Girls. Hit the Floor stars Dean Cain, Kimberly Elise, Charlotte Ross, Taylour Paige, Logan Browning, Valery Ortiz, Katherine Bailess, Jonathan McDaniel, McKinley Freeman, Rob Riley and Don Stark. Maggie Malina's In Cahoots Media produces with Queen Latifah's Flavor Unit Productions.

Hit the Floor marks VH1's second scripted series following Single Ladies, which will return for its third season in 2014. The series marksthe network's latest attempt to grow into a home for originals as it continues to find success with unscripted fare, including docuseries T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, which was recently picked up for a third season.

Hit the Floor wraps up season one July 29.

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TV Review
Behind Jaw-Dropping Thrills, Heartbreaking Tales
Kevin Pearce Is the Subject of Lucy Walker’s ‘Crash Reel’
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Jul. 15, 2013

Some documentarians don’t know when to stop, stretching what should be a relatively short film with a small point to feature length. The strength of “The Crash Reel,” an engrossing, unsettling documentary Monday night on HBO, is that the filmmaker, Lucy Walker, knows when not to stop.

The film chronicles the injury and recovery of Kevin Pearce, a gravity-defying snowboarder whose career was derailed by a devastating accident in December 2009 while he was training for the Olympics.

Standard procedure would have been to make “The Crash Reel” a triumph-over-adversity film, stopping at the point where Mr. Pearce is finally able to get back on his snowboard. But Ms. Walker uses that moment to pivot to a disturbing look at high-risk sports and the traumatic brain injuries associated with them, as well as the slippery question of what drives athletes to keep trying to go higher, faster and more extreme.

Mr. Pearce, now in his mid-20s, is of a generation that loves to film itself, which gave Ms. Walker a wealth of footage from which to recreate his idyllic-looking pre-injury life: a handsome young man and his friends, pushing the boundaries of their relatively new sport and eating up the fame that came with it. There is footage, too, of the accident in Park City, Utah, in which Mr. Pearce, coming out of an aerial move, hit his head on the hard-packed snow of the halfpipe so forcefully that it seems improbable he survived. When, during his recovery, he finally speaks again, it comes as a shock.

The unheralded stars of the film are the members of Mr. Pearce’s family, whose support is heartening and whose emotional pain, particularly when Mr. Pearce begins to talk about returning to snowboarding, is made very real. Ms. Walker makes lovely, restrained use of Mr. Pearce’s brother David, who has Down syndrome and was especially traumatized by Kevin’s accident.

And after setting up the glossy image that snowboarding and other extreme sports like to market — fun-loving, gonzo athletes doing the impossible and living a life any kid would crave — Ms. Walker knocks it down, having an assortment of athletes rattle off their injuries. Events conspire to underscore the point: even as the film is taking shape, yet another star sustains a catastrophic fall.

Ms. Walker doesn’t go too deeply into the questions all this raises, but at least she broaches them. Are the sponsors of these athletes promoting recklessness by encouraging stars to push the limits? Is television coverage — all those spectacular slow-motion shots — doing the same? Are athletes who have suffered one brain injury even competent to decide for themselves whether to continue in their sport? Are those who make money off these sports exploiting an innate human desire to push limits?

“I don’t sometimes like what I’m doing,” Shaun White, the gold-medal-winning snowboarder, says. “I do it because I need the satisfaction and the fulfillment to make me feel better about myself, like I’ve achieved some new level that I never dreamed of. We make cars faster. We make trains faster. We innovate. We do that. It’s just what we do.”

HBO, Monday night at 9, Eastern and Pacific times; 8, Central time.

post #88258 of 93719
SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
post #88259 of 93719
TV Notes
‘Kris,’ now with fewer Kardashians
Mom from the popular E! clan launches her own talk show
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jul. 15, 2013

On “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Kris Jenner has to fight with daughters Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall and Kylie for the camera’s attention.

But for the next six weeks she’ll have the camera all to herself. Jenner’s new limited-run syndicated talk show, “Kris,” is launching on six Fox Television Stations affiliates.

If the show does well, it could be picked up for the 2014 season, following the same strategy as “Bethenny,” the talk show hosted by former “Real Housewives of New York” star Bethenny Frankel, which will get a full launch this fall after a successful six-week run last summer.

Whether Jenner, a frequent talk show guest herself, will have any skill or talent at interviewing people remains to be seen, but she’s certainly comfortable on screen.

She and her kids have starred on the E! series “Kardashians” for the past eight seasons, and Jenner’s second-oldest daughter, Kim, even allowed the network’s cameras to film her wedding two years ago.

Jenner, who also serves as her kids’ manager, is a tabloid fixture, and many dismiss her as a pushy stage mom.

But viewers seem to like her and the kids. “Kardashians’” eighth-season premiere averaged more than 3 million viewers last month, and it remains E!’s top-rated program.

And Jenner may just deliver the tabloid scoop of the summer if she can convince Kim and her baby daddy, Kanye West, to appear on the show with their new baby, North.

Yes, the child’s name is North West. Expect Jenner to address that on the show as well.

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Nielsen Overnights
Fox Encores Win Night, ‘Celebrity Wife Swap’ & Whodunnit?’ Up, ‘Crossing Lines Hits New Low
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Jul. 15, 2013

Starting off with a “Viewer discretion” advisory, last night’s Big Brother (1.7/5) was full of milk-related challenges and the usual intrigue. It also had some changes unrelated to its content. Running from 8:30 to 9:30 PM last night, the veteran reality show was out of its regular slot due to overruns earlier in the night pushing CBS’s Sunday schedule off by around half an hour. Leaving the ratings a mess, the start of the network’s primetime line-up was pushed back about 20 minutes in the Central and East Coast time zones late night because the John Deere Classic Final golf tournament cut into the 60 Minutes encore that was suppose to start at 7 PM. As they stand, the melded fast nationals have BB as the highest rated show of the night and the most watched with 5.39 million viewers. Everything else on CBS except BB was encores on Sunday

Fox also had a lot of encores with a full night of repeats of its Animation Block on Sunday. However, helped by a Family Guy (1.5/5) repeat as the second highest rated show of the night and an American Dad (1.4/4) encore as No. 3, the network won the night among adults 18-49 while CBS was tops in total viewers with 4.910 million watching

Crossing Lines (0.5/2) was NBC’s only original on Sunday. Up slightly in viewership to 2.911 million from last week’s 2.897 million, the freshman Euro-based crime show fell 17% from last week to hit a new low last night among adults 18-49

ABC started its Sunday primetime with an America’s Funniest Homes Videos (0.9/3) encore followed Celebrity Wife Swap (1.2/4) at 8 PM and Whodunnit? (1.1/3) at 9 PM before ending with a Castle (0.7/2) repeat. With the families of Andy Dick and Lorenzo Lamas changing places last night, Wife Swap was up a surging 33% from last week’s series low. Lead-out Whodunnit? was also up, rising 10% in the key demo from its July 7 show.

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