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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3030

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TV Notes
Sarah Palin on 'Fox News Sunday'; Clint Hill on 'Face the Nation'
By Hal Boedeker, Orlando Sentinel's 'TV Guy' Blog - Nov. 22, 2013

CBS' "Face the Nation" scored big ratings with its John Kennedy assassination coverage last weekend. This weekend, Clint Hill, who was Jackie Kennedy's lead Secret Service agent in 1963, will be a guest. Hill has written "Five Days in November."

"Face the Nation" airs at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Other guests will be Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. A panel will feature Kim Strassel of The Wall Street Journal, David Sanger of The New York Times, David Rohde of Reuters and The Atlantic, and CBS' John Dickerson.

The rest of the Sunday morning guest list:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, talks to "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. She will discuss MSNBC host Martin Bashir's slam against her as "America's resident dunce" and her decision to cancel an interview with NBC's "Today." Other guests are Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. The panel will be Juan Williams, George Will, Nina Easton and Julie Pace of The Associated Press. The program will salute Ann Romney, wife of Mitt Romney, as a Power Player.

Facebook CEO and President Mark Zuckerberg will talk to ABC's "This Week" at 11 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. Other guests will be Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. The panel will be Bill Kristol, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, and ABC's Matthew Dowd and Cokie Roberts. The program will spotlight Maya Angelou.

On "MediaBuzz," the panel will weigh in on coverage of George Zimmerman's latest troubles and Dick Cheney's family feud. The program airs at 11 a.m. on Fox News Channel. The panel will be Lauren Ashburn, Lisa Bloom of "Today," David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun, John Aravosis of America Blog and Richard Grenell, a Fox News contributor.

"Fareed Zakaria GPS" talks to inventor/entrepreneur Elon Musk, former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and behavior economist Colin Camerer. The program starts at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on CNN.

James Fallows of The Atlantic will be a guest on "Reliable Sources" at 11 a.m. on CNN. Eric Deggans of NPR is the guest host. Other guests include Amy Holmes of The Blaze, Erik Wemple of The Washington Post, Vincent Duffy of Michigan Radio, Richard Prince of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education and Lauren Wolfe, director of Women Under Siege.

"State of the Union" will air at 9 a.m. and noon on CNN. The guests include Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif.; Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis. A political roundtable has AB Stoddard of The Hill, Republican consultant Alex Castellanos and Bill Burton, former deputy press secretary in the Obama White House.

NBC's "Meet the Press" will be preempted.

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TV Notes
‘Generation Cryo’ (MTV)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com

Consider it one of those accidents, happy or otherwise, that MTV’s “Generation Cryo” — about a 17-year-old girl seeking her 15 half-siblings sired by a sperm donor — happens to arrive around the same time as “Delivery Man,” a Vince Vaughn comedy about a guy who discovers he’s responsible for hundreds of progeny via a fertility clinic. Yet if the MTV show touches on some serious and thoughtful issues, including the age-old question about nature vs. nurture, as well as what really constitutes fatherhood in this context, it gets there in a semi-trite, “This journey is gonna change my life forever” way.

Perhaps that’s because the show has to go through various contortions to extend the “journey” of Breeanna, raised her first few years by a lesbian couple, beyond simply visiting the Donor Sibling Registry and seeing whether her sperm donor, the faceless No. 1096, has any interest in meeting her.

So she travels the country, interacting with other products of the same medicine cup, only some of whom want to know any more about the guy whose DNA they possess but who had nothing to do with actually raising them.

The parents are considerably more interesting than the kids, such as the dad of Jonah and Hilit, who clearly finds it hurtful to be reminded he was unable to procreate through natural means. Others are more sanguine about the process, understanding the kids’ curiosity.

Nevertheless, because this is MTV, the focus is inevitably going to be on the teenagers, so the parents are lucky to be given more voice than their counterparts in an old Charlie Brown cartoon.

With its exploration of identity and understated tone, “Generation Cryo” falls within the same general category as “Catfish,” one of MTV’s more intriguing properties — and it’s a welcome respite from some of the network’s noisier fare. The main problem here is that even when they’re not being whiny, the kids (beginning with Breeanna, our ostensible tour guide) simply aren’t articulate enough to trigger a genuine discussion about the sometimes-thorny issues surrounding procreation via test tube or the nature of being “a sperm donor kid.”

Indeed, after two of the six episodes, Breeanna doesn’t appear close to the press release claim that the series “redefines what it means to be a modern family.” But let’s hope before it’s done, some parent possesses the gumption to say, “No. 1096 didn’t rush you to the emergency room or stay up with you all night. So while I appreciate your quest for identity, kid, get over it.”

MTV, Mon. Nov. 25, 10 p.m.

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Business Notes
Wall Street would cheer Time Warner Cable sale but media watchdogs worry
By Joe Flint and Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Nov. 23, 2013

Time Warner Cable might have its own cord cut.

Two big cable operators — Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications — are interested in acquiring Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator, which boasts more than 1 million customers in Los Angeles and an additional 11 million around the country.

Any combination would reduce the menu of providers in California; Charter provides service to Long Beach, Burbank and Alhambra, and Comcast has customers in the northern and central regions of the state.

Charter’s interest in acquiring Time Warner Cable has been no secret, but Comcast, the nation’s largest pay-TV distributor with more than 21 million customers, emerged as a potential bidder on Friday.

People familiar with the matter said that Time Warner Cable reached out to Comcast in the hopes of blocking Charter, which has been lining up financing to make an offer.

Though Time Warner Cable has never publicly commented on the much smaller Charter's interest, executives there have said they would resist any deal that did not provide maximum value to their shareholders — such as a heavily leveraged bid.
A Comcast-Time Warner Cable combination would create a pay-TV juggernaut that could better compete against satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish Network and telephone companies Verizon and AT&T.

The deal also could help pay-TV providers keep a lid on rapidly rising programming costs, which have threatened the industry by prompting more consumers to cut the cable cord.

Wall Street reacted positively to reports of a merger, including the possibility that Comcast and Charter could team up to buy Time Warner Cable and then divide its holdings. That’s what happened seven years ago when Time Warner Cable and Comcast joined forces to buy Adelphia Communications.

“A combination of Charter and Comcast would make all the sense in the world,” media analyst Craig Moffett of MoffettNathanson Research said in an interview. "Time Warner Cable’s two crown jewels are New York and Los Angeles,” Moffett said, adding that one scenario would be for Charter to pick up the Los Angeles market, becoming the region’s dominant pay-TV operator. Philadelphia-based Comcast would seem most interested in Time Warner Cable’s operations in New York City.

Time Warner Cable also has been bulking up in sports programming, an area of expertise for Comcast and NBCUniversal. Comcast owns several regional sports networks around the country. Time Warner Cable operates a Lakers channel in Los Angeles and next year plans to launch a new network that will carry the Dodgers.

Although there have been informal talks between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, people close to the companies on Friday emphasized that no active negotiations were underway, and that no deal was certain.

Wall Street has been preparing for another wave of consolidation in the cable industry as distributors want to become more muscular to better compete in a technologically complex and competitive landscape. Operators also want more leverage in negotiations with major programmers such as Viacom, Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox.

In the last couple of years, powerful programmers have wrangled big rate increases, despite the efforts of the cable operators who buy that programming.

Time Warner Cable fought a bruising battle with CBS over a new distribution contract last summer. Resulting blackouts in major cities contributed to the cable company’s loss of more than 300,000 subscribers.

In addition, pay-TV providers want to add to their subscriber base and provide broadband service as more people migrate to the Internet and mobile devices.

Analysts and activists on Friday expressed concern that any combination might invite antitrust concerns and government scrutiny, particularly if Comcast tried to swallow all of Time Warner Cable.

“We believe government approval would be possible, but it would be costly, with serious risk,” Christopher C. King and David Kaut, analysts with the investment firm Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a report. “This would be a brawl.”

There are no Federal Communications Commission rules that would prohibit these deals, but regulators and lawmakers might look askance at any combination. That may be especially true in the case of Comcast because of its acquisition nearly three years ago of NBCUniversal, which makes it one of the biggest owners of entertainment content.

Media watchdogs are wary of more media consolidation, which cable operators like John Malone, whose Liberty Media earlier this year bought 27% of Charter, have insisted is necessary for cable companies’ survival.

“Any deal would have very negative consequences for consumers,” warned S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, a Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy organization.

A Comcast-Time Warner Cable pairing would be an “unthinkable deal,” Turner said, because it would give Comcast control of about one-third of the nation’s video and broadband customers.

Charter would also be problematic for Turner.

“Charter and John Malone have stated quite clearly that they think the best way to grow value for their company is by imposing very draconian data caps on their broadband Internet customers,” Turner said.

Time Warner Cable, which has a market capitalization of $35 billion, has previously rebuffed approaches from the much smaller Charter, which has a market cap of $13 billion. Comcast’s market value is nearly $130 billion.

Stocks of all three companies got a lift Friday. Time Warner Cable jumped 10% to $132.92 a share; Charter climbed 6% to $134.66 a share and Comcast closed up 4% to $49.52 a share.

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TV Notes
ABC's Amy Robach: 'My cancer had spread'
By Olivia Baker, USA Today - Nov. 22, 2013

Some questioned ABC News' Amy Robach's decision to aggressively treat her breast cancer with a bilateral mastectomy, but she is now saying, "I got very lucky."

That's because it was only through the surgery that her doctor found a second, previously undetected malignancy, she tells colleagues in a note posted to ABC News on Friday.

"No MRI, no mammogram, no sonogram had found it," she writes.

Additionally, last week's surgery found that her cancer had spread to her sentinel lymph node, "but not beyond, so I will have more treatments ahead of me, but none that will take me out of work.

"My prognosis is good," Robach, 40, says. "As of right now, I plan to head back into the building Monday, Dec. 2, and I couldn't be more excited to get back to work.

"Physically and emotionally, I have been through the ringer, but I am emerging on the other side so much stronger," she adds. "I have a greater appreciation for life, for health and for how such simple acts of kindness can be so incredibly powerful. I am looking through a different lens now."

"Just how it all happened has us still reeling," her co-worker Robin Roberts told Closer Weekly at the Reeve Foundation Gala in New York on Thursday night. "But she's home from the hospital, we've been talking with her. She's eager to continue working as much as she can through the long process, but she's in great spirits, and the surgery went well, and we can't wait to have her back."

Roberts revealed to the magazine that Robach initially resisted getting screened. "She came to me before going on the air to do the mammogram, and I told her about how … it could help people. And little did we know, she was going to be the one who was going to be helped," Roberts said. "So it has made me relive that time and what a great opportunity we had to educate people.

"I just can't believe it: A year ago, she was there for me," said Roberts, who underwent a bone-marrow transplant in October 2012. "I was home on bed rest, and now I'm here for her."

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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
8PM - 2013 American Music Awards (LIVE, 3 hrs.)

7PM - 60 Minutes
8PM - The Amazing Race
9PM - The Good Wife
10PM - The Mentalist

7PM - Football Night in America (80 min., LIVE)
8:20PM - NFL Football: Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (LIVE)

7PM - NFL Football: Dallas Cowboy at New York Giants (continued from 4:25PM, LIVE)
7:30PM - The OT (LIVE)
8PM - The Simpsons
8:30PM - Bob's Burgers
9PM - Family Guy
9:30PM - American Dad

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Carol Burnett: The Mark Twain Prize (120 min.)
10PM - Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (120 min.)
(R - Feb. 19, 2012)

7PM - Aquí y Ahora - Jenni Rivera: Recordando una Dama
8PM - Mira Quién Baila (Season Finale, 125 min.)
10:05PM - Sal y Pimienta

6PM - Movie: The Princess and the Frog (2009)
8PM - Movie: Avatar (2009)
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Hi, I am Tee Jay and I am perennially 3 weeks behind on TV on my DVR due to the extreme amount of recording I do. It does give me a chance to read the larger reactions that occur from TV.
I cannot help but notice that almost all of the quality (shows I like) are on cable. I watch SOA and marvel at the complexities of the court intrigue. I watch Mad Men and cheer at the end of most episodes for the journey of the characters that I have been privileged to be on. I cannot wait for Justified's straight shooting philosophy to be espoused. Breaking Bad broke my expectations for writing, direction and acting in a weekly series. The Americans gives pause to just who and what I think of "others". Walking Dead is the ultimate "What Would You Do?"
What I am trying to say is that cable networks deal in smaller numbers so quality is more important to snag eyeballs than than the traditional networks. The big 4 only seem to care about numbers whereas cable is looking for trends.
I record the majority of my stuff from Big 4 but the really good programming comes from cable. (Looking at you FXX, FX, AMC and to a lesser degree USA)

Lucky to be a couch potato
Tee Jay 1952
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Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 24, 2013

ABC, 8:00 p.m. ET

This year’s live AMAs boasts, as usual, an eager lineup of top performers poised to grab the spotlight, especially to promote CD holiday sales. Justin Timberlake is here, and One Direction and plenty of others, but the primary scene-stealers are bound to be Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga. What can these two do, wear – or not wear – to have the Internet all abuzz tomorrow morning? I wouldn’t put it past Lady Gaga to wear a Miley Cyrus dress – not one loaned by her, but one made from her. As for Miley Cyrus? No idea whatsoever. The most shocking thing she could do, perhaps, would be to walk onstage in a demure outfit and perform a sweet ballad, with no gimmicks whatsoever. (For perspective, and reflection, here’s a picture from last year’s awards show: an onstage duet featuring Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.

PBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

The star of The Carol Burnett Show, the beloved CBS variety series that ran for a dozen successful seasons back in the Sixties and Seventies, is honored as the recipient of this year’s Mark Twain Prize. She’s a very deserving recipient, and is toasted by an appropriate bevy of adoring celebrity peers and acolytes (Julie Andrews, Tony Bennett, Tiny Fey, Amy Poehler) – but when is this organization going to recognize, and give the Mark Twain Prize, to another CBS variety act that premiered earlier the same year Burnett first appeared in 1967? I’m referring, of course, to the Smothers Brothers, whose political and social commentary, and persistence in taking on sacred cows, surely makes them ideal representatives of the true spirit of Mark Twain. Just putting it out there. Check local listings.

BBC America, 8:00 p.m. ET

Yesterday, the 50th-anniversary episode of Doctor Who, simulcast around the globe. Today, the premiere of The Eleventh Doctor, the latest in the series of documentary salutes to the various incarnations of this long-running British institution. Doctor No. 11 is played by Matt Smith – and since the Doctor is supposed to have a total of only 12 incarnations, this documentary series, like the series itself, should come to an end very soon. But it won’t. Expect a loophole of cosmic proportions. Literally.

CBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

This series continues to amaze, and to find renewed energy by pitting former law-firm allies against one another, in court and out. What a way to revitalize an already excellent TV franchise in its fifth season: As on occasional seasons of Survivor, suddenly shuffle the team members. Former friends, and even lovers, are now on the opposite sides of the table. Sometimes even literally.

AMC, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode was a highly dramatic entry from left field. It was a flashback episode devoted solely to a currently dormant recurring character, David Morrissey’s The Governor, showing what happened to him after the destruction of his seemingly idyllic city (which was anything but). Basically, it was a stand-alone futuristic episode of The Fugitive, with the Governor as a worn-out Richard Kimble, wandering around eluding zombies instead of a persistent Lieutenant Gerard. The episode ended with the same image from the end of the previous episode, with the Governor outside the gates of the prison fortress housing our regular “family” of zombie fighters. But is he there with ill intent, or seeking protection and absolution? Or, given this show’s chilling history, is it a little of both?


* * * *

Critic's Notes
This Mean Girl Is A Guy
By Eric Gould, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 24, 2013

Jamie King, leader of the pack at a prestigious Australian girls school, has decided her name isn't chic enough, and has started using an apostrophe in the middle, as in "Ja'mie," telling the camera it's pronounced "Je-MAY." She's the queen bee of her elite private girls school, and she's full of ingratiating compliments for the headmaster and a ton of foul-mouthed insults for anyone who crosses her.

That isn't the most noticeable thing about this dislikable mean girl. It's that the character is written and played by Australian Chris Lilley, veteran of last year's HBO import Angry Boys. Lilley's a transfixing chameleon, with his obvious male frame and jaw remarkably disappearing beneath Ja'mie's hair-flipping and girlish hand-waving.

And it's Lilley's jaw-dropping channeling of all things inappropriate and girly adolescent that is the main draw here as the series, Ja'mie: Private School Girl, premieres Sunday, Nov. 24, on HBO (10:30 p.m. ET).

That's because Ja'mie herself is generally a sad and uninteresting back-stabbing manipulator. She treats her sister badly, throws around gay insults, uses her parents' credit card to order an iPad they forbade her to use, and revels in her own mean girl self-absorption.

Ja'mie's schtick is especially reprehensible for her bullying style. But what's captivating is Lilley's full commitment to the drag costumes and the character study, similar to his approach with several wildly disparate characters in Angry Boys (which included teen farm boys and a reform school matron). Lilley is pitch-perfect in presenting Ja'mie's everyday self-importance -- and her insecurity.

Ja'mie is a character Lilley has recycled from his 2007-08 Australian mockumentary Summer Heights High, which ran on Comedy Central and HBO in this country. His usual strong suit is the multiple personas he plays, as he did in that comedy series and in Angry Boys.

He's sticking to the singular Ja'mie character here for this short series of six episodes, and that's likely to his benefit, delving brutally deep into an unctuous character and all her sharp facets. Just when you think Lilley might run out of material (he writes and produces here), he surprises with more squirmy smart turns that uncover the pecking order of social groups, and why we submit ourselves to their leaders.

There are some especially awkward moments when Ja'mie tries to get boys to notice her, and a particularly hilarious scene when she goes into an interpretive dance routine about her plan to go to Africa and do charity work. Of course, she admits, in an aside, that the main draw of Africa for her is that food will be scarce and that she will lose weight, helping her attain her real dream: being skinny enough to be a fashion model.

Another bonus is the supporting cast, which never reacts to Lilley as anything other than an annoying teenage girl.

Even if you don't care for the main character (and really, how could you?), Ja'mie: Private School Girl is worthwhile for seeing a performer investing himself completely to find nuance and vulnerability in the most comically revealing ways.

And "she's" a guy.

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SATURDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Critic's/Business Notes
Are Black TV Shows and Films Encouraging More Racially Sensitive Advertising?
By Lande Yoosuf, HuffingtonPost.com - Nov. 24, 2013

The media is undergoing an interesting transformation lately. Almost daily, I'm reading articles from websites such as Shadow and Act, The Hollywood Reporter or Indie Wire that share developments of movies and TV shows premiering with cast members of color. Just this past weekend "The Best Man Holiday" doubled the projected Box Office ticket sales. I'm not sure when the tidal wave began, but I will take a guess that it started after the astronomical success of shows like Scandal, The Housewives of Atlanta shows and the film "Think Like a Man" among several others that prevailed when given a chance in the mainstream battle field of ratings competition.

I always wondered how this would impact advertising, which is another equally powerful force alongside the likes of TV and film. I noticed several commercials aggressively targeting African American women while watching my imaginary bff Kerry Washington during Scandal the other week. Are companies taking a culturally sensitive approach in marketing to people of color now that folks are becoming more vocal about it?

I recently had an interesting call with Denene Jonielle Rodney of Zebra Strategies, a boutique company that specializes on performing marketing research and focus groups for minority advertising. Her role as a "cultural sensitivity consultant" places her in some interesting scenarios. She shared with me some of her own personal experiences dealing with the advertising industry's desire to reflect today's version of American society.

Zebra Strategies came from a place while I was in the advertising industry. I felt that people were just not aware of things outside of their race or comfort zone. And I thought that I could offer a guide or ability to navigate those issues. I've been finding more and more is that once we get into this really really multicultural society where people have different interests that's not necessarily race or ethnicity based, the need to have an understanding has become more and more apparent. When you look at Paula Deen, when you look at Mountain Dew, when you look at Mary J. Blige with Burger King singing about chicken...this is stuff in my practice that I see, I try to divert my clients from being put in that position.

No...I think by nature of who we are as African Americans, Africans, as African Caribbeans, we always have to be aware of other people's values and issues. We know about golfing, we know about tennis, we know about American food. We know about different ethnicities. We know a little bit about Hispanics, we know about Indians. But I don't find that same level of interest reciprocated. When I look at some clients and when I deal with advertising agencies, you get some surface stuff. But to me, some of the things we deal with are basic. If I'm talking to a client and they're telling me, "oh we want to do some research. Why are there Hispanics in here that are not white?" And for them not to figure out how ignorant that sounds...something's missing here.

I was talking to some white colleagues of mine about people being curious, and she said "maybe these people don't have access to be curious." So my question is, what are the challenges that make access? We have to learn how to create access to what's important to us and what's important to our culture. But then what happens is that they don't do it, so there's always a divide. There's always some secret conversation going on.

If there are people around you that are not the same ethnicity of you, I think you can just have a conversation. Maybe it means saying something as simple as wanting to learn more about their culture. I'll reading specific novelists, eating at an ethnic restaurant...just being curious about something outside of yourself. And I think that's at least a start.

I think African Americans are more culturally and racially sensitive. I think there are more nuances obviously around race. But also around socioeconomic issues. I had a client that asked me to talk to a lower-income African-American black population about what they thought poverty was. And many of them took offense to that. Because to them, poverty is not about richness in money. It's sort of about richness in experience. I tend to find...when we look at other ethnicities, there is more sensitivity, but not as much as it is with African Americans.

I think so. I think generally race impacts everything. We know if we go into Bloomingdales, we're going to be followed around. It makes us sort of sensitive generally. When you're in an environment where people are looking at the color of your skin, you know you're going to be a little nervous and a little sensitive. That's just the way it goes.

I think African American women tend to have a little bit more sensitivity in how they are portrayed in the media.

I've done research with beauty clients that are trying to work with African American women. And when they talk about the fact that they don't see positive images of themselves in the media...that's kind of powerful. We know what we see on reality TV, but other than Michelle Obama, what's really representing us in a way that we can feel good about?

When we look at traditional advertising to African American women, around hair, makeup and beauty, we still don't see people of different hues. Now we're starting to see different hair textures, but when we look at some of the ads...some commercials have African American women in them and their hair isn't styled properly. There needs to be some kind of effort made. So I think when we look at the images of black women in media, and we look at black women in advertising in general, I think that there's some interesting connections there. Especially around beauty.

I think black people want to be reflected positively. I don't think that's a big deal. When they see an ad, they want to feel good about it. And I think that when they watch television, they want to feel good about it. They don't want to be embarrassed. They don't want to say "my goodness, all these girls do is fight on TV". Or...they don't want to see Mary J. Blige singing about chicken. We're already sensitive when we're looking at things revolving around racial stereotypes. And it's become even more heightened when you have the tea party reinforcing racial stereotypes from 50-60 years ago. They want to be represented in a way where they can feel pride. For me personally, I don't want to see ads that involve music and dancing. There must be a different way to communicate with us.

Kind of. When a client hires you, you can't say something like 'why did you come up with something that's so profoundly stupid?' Because I would get fired.

I did some testing for a liquor product that is very popular among black people. And I thought the ad was ridiculous. Why? Because of course the black guy was pop locking in the ad. And it's like 'come on, what do you we have here? Modern Step and Fetch?" We tested the ad, and one of the guys described the ad as "coonery". When you describe something as coonery, that's horrible. And you know...no one in the room caught that? Yes, I was the only black person in the back room and no one caught it. Coonery is not a word that everyone would know. But if someone is using a word to describe something you're presenting, and it's a word that you don't know...wouldn't you at least write that word down and figure out what it is?" I don't know what the answer is. In my mind, is that they just don't connect? Or that they just don't pay attention? Or that they just don't care? Or they just don't know? I don't know.

But what happens is, in not asking those questions, in not following up, in not trying to learn something outside of their comfort zone, you see stuff like the Mountain Dew ad with Ashton Kutcher. That's an example of people being clueless.

I would say that the onus is really on the marketers. Why shouldn't you be a more evolved person? Why shouldn't you learn about something outside of what you're more comfortable with? It makes you a citizen of the world, it allows you to converse in different environments. And to me, nothing is more affirming that to have someone to tell you something about your culture, your ethnicity, your race that makes you feel like, "oh my gosh! They understand me."

Now it's becoming an economic issue because mistakes are happening, things are happening. If Paula Deen could reverse the hands of time, she would've been in there, doing her diversity work, understanding the cultural sensitivities of some of the things she's doing, because it cost her a lot of a money. And that's the bottom line. It's become an economic thing now.

I think there's definitely been a large focus, but it's been to the Hispanic market. It's the fastest growing population. I think there's generally a thought that "we can get to the African American market through general market stuff", which you can to some extent--but there are times in categories such as health and beauty where you have to kind of target directly to them.

When I first started my business, I would get requests like, "oh we just want you to get a Hispanic group together. Give us two Hispanics." Now, it's become more specific. They want Puerto Rican, Dominican, we want Spanish dominant, English dominant. Within the Hispanic community, there are a lot of sub sections. And finally, we're getting some attention for ethnic Hispanics--which includes black Hispanic. I think the Hispanic community is trying to figure that out now. And because they're trying to understand how that works, race has an interesting hierarchy. As an outsider, that's a loaded issue. In Puerto Rico alone, there are about 20 different names for people of different hues. Many Dominicans will say that they're Native American instead of black. When I look at Hispanic programming, I watch and wonder, "where are the brown people?" I think it'll be interesting to see how advertisers navigate that stuff because the whole idea of race is so loaded. Even if you put a brown skinned person in a Spanish-speaking ad, a brown-skinned person might not appreciate it because they're told that their complexion is bad and their hair is bad.

Sure, definitely. There was a Cheerios commercial. And you see a little girl that asks her mother a question, then the mother says "go to your father" and the father was black. It was interesting to see. There's all of these racist, ridiculous responses to the ad on Youtube. People were going crazy. I think Cheerios took a big chance in doing that. There might be people that say, "I'll never buy Cheerios again" because they had a multiracial couple on screen. We know that there are people trying to hold back this whole multicultural movement that's happening. I think the reaction to the Cheerios ad definitely demonstrates that. If you look at stats, there's info stating that 40 percent of the population is going to be multiracial within this century.

In regards to Banana Republic, they are definitely a more cosmopolitan brand. So obviously they won't get the same kind of reaction that Cheerios is going to have. Even though they sent out a nice press release, there's someone in that marketing department that probably had some concerns about the controversy the ad was going to create. Who wants to deal with that? There's a tug and a pull of being culturally appropriate vs. reflecting this country's changing demographics and not getting into a racial or ethnic debate. The train is going. You can either get on or off the train. People of different races are building bridges in understanding each other.

I'm always excited when people are curious about things outside of their comfort zone, so I would say...for me, it would be marketers and advertising agencies that made a real effort to learn something about different cultures, different people's experiences, and to do so without judgment.

Lande Yoosuf is an Entrepreneur, Media Personality, Casting Producer and Writer.

post #90880 of 93656
TV Reviews
‘Breaking the Faith,’ ‘Best Funeral Ever’ (TLC)
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com

TLC and Hot Snakes Media have already made out pretty well with “Breaking Amish,” so they have understandably turned their attention to even more exotic religious fare: “Breaking the Faith,” set around the polygamous cult headed by Warren Jeffs – convicted of child sexual assault – and efforts to extract women living under those conditions. Ratcheting up the drama with “Blair Witch Project”-style shaky camerawork, it’s undeniably compelling, if overly massaged. Meanwhile, another new show, “Best Funeral Ever,” displays the sillier side of the Discovery network’s twisted personality, as well as its tendency to gravitate toward the extreme edges of a carefully shaped reality.

“Breaking the Faith” introduces a small group of apostates who have fled Jeffs’ cult, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, seeking to liberate young women living under its twisted hierarchy. Essentially brainwashed by their upbringings, not all of them are either quick to leave or ready to believe the worst about the elders, including the rape of child brides.

Frankly, if you’ve watched “Big Love,” a lot of this will seem extremely familiar, except for the fact the performances and line readings aren’t as good.

Revelations about “Breaking Amish” and spinoffs have documented how Hot Snakes uses these real folks in staged settings and situations, so there’s a reason to take the elevated drama here – particularly the concerns about Jeffs’ God Squad, both during the initial escape and in its aftermath – with a grain of salt. It’s also convenient that the nine protagonists all fall between the ages of 18 and 21, tapping into an MTV-style younger audience.

That said, the producers have cleverly punctuated the program with news footage and taped interviews or recordings featuring Jeffs — whose disembodied voice oozes with creepiness — grounding it all with a sense of authenticity and jeopardy.

While “Breaking the Faith” taps into the serious part of TLC’s carnie sideshow profile, “Best Funeral Ever” — despite the obvious relationship with death — is a much lighter construct. In fact, watching the series merely reinforces a sense that the network exercised unusual and perhaps unnecessary restraint by delaying its premiere last December, motivated by sensitivity regarding the school shootings in Newtown, Conn.

A year later it’s not like mass killing has gone out of style, but the show is so broad as to be unconnected with such events, focusing as it does on reality TV’s odd-occupation niche – here, a Dallas outfit, the Golden Gate Funeral Home, which puts together elaborate theme funerals known as “home-going celebrations.”

In the premiere, these strange events include a brief bowling sendoff to open the program, and a wedding-themed funeral where the idea is to ceremonially blend the cremated ashes (pardon, “cremains,” as proprietor John Beckwith Jr. corrects one of his staff) of a deceased couple in the same urn.

It’s relatively harmless, really, if marred by the obligatory squabbling staff and suspense-free build-up to whether the event will come off without a hitch, like half the shows on Bravo.

Put side by side, the two series reflect tonally different but complementary sides of TLC’s personality that fit well enough with its brand, such as it is. And if neither of them is likely to have much of a life beyond these initial runs, as they say, cremains to cremains, dust to dust.

TLC, Sun. Nov. 24, 10 p.m.

TLC, Mon. Dec. 2, 10 p.m.

post #90881 of 93656
TV Notes
HBO's 'Getting On' may hit a little too close to the home
HBO gambles that setting a comedy in an extended-care facility won't hit a dead end with aging baby boomers.
By Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times - Nov. 23, 2013

Most of the actors on the set of HBO's newest program, "Getting On," are over 70. The show, which premieres Sunday, takes place in the Billy Barnes Extended Care Unit of the beleaguered Mt. Palms hospital in Long Beach.

Elderly women are cared for under sallow fluorescent lights among sanitized hues of beige and muted pink. The staff is at the breaking point thanks to the burdens of the healthcare bureaucracy.

Doesn't that sound funny?

If you take your comedy black, like your coffee, it's a laugh riot. Created by Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer, "Getting On" is adapted from a BBC series of the same name. It features a cast of edgy female comedy vets including Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne"), Alex Borstein ("Family Guy") and Niecy Nash ("Reno 911!").

Olsen and Scheffer are the team behind the HBO hit "Big Love," which dealt with another taboo subject: polygamy. For a polygamy palate cleanser, the men chose aging, the elderly, death and dying. And HBO said, let's do this.

The show is one of a trio of fall programs that have had the courage — or foolhardiness — to take on a topic that much of American culture famously avoids. In addition to "Getting On," dying also framed Showtime's documentary series "Time of Death," which unflinchingly chronicled the last days of its subjects, and Netflix's scripted drama "Derek," where the specter of death hovers over the residents of an old folks home.

It's no accident these programs sprouted up on subscription TV services where niche shows can thrive and ratings matter less. But are viewers, many of them baby boomers who will all be 50 or older next year, ready to face their mortality?

"How do you deal with old people who are dying and deal with those themes, and then make an audience want to go there with you?" Scheffer asks. "If it's really close to us, how do we heal? By laughing about it."

Scheffer and Olsen hope that the viewing world will laugh with them. But historically speaking, when treated realistically, the end days of life is a ratings-killer.

"The closer you get to being elderly and/or dying, the less interesting you are for advertisers, except for sellers of walk-in bathtubs and the Neptune Society," says Leo Braudy, a Bing professor of English and American literature at USC. "And why would people who will soon be in an extended-care ward want to watch other people in an extended-care ward?"

Olsen and Scheffer are both boomers and lost their mothers in the last two years. Both women were in boarding-care facilities, so the men are all too familiar with what it's like.

"Is it really that daring? Is it really that different?" asks Olsen on the set of "Getting On" earlier this year. "The answer outside the bubble is, 'Yes it is.' But to us living inside the bubble, it seems as common as day."

The six-episode season was filmed in the deserted shell of St. Luke Medical Center in Pasadena. Empty, drafty and derelict, like the hospital version of "The Shining" hotel, St. Luke became the show's nerve center. One wing is set-dressed with ominous implements of medical care: rows of adjustable beds, twisted black cords attached to flashing boxes for monitoring hearts, cheap plastic trays, bowls crusted with old oatmeal, bed pans, jars of Vaseline and bottles of baby powder.

Olsen and Scheffer, who were domestic partners for nearly 20 years before getting married, nonchalantly navigate the disquieting space and are deferential to their elderly extras. The most difficult thing about making "Getting On," after all, is taking audiences into a world that makes many people uncomfortable without being exploitive.

"I think the potential is for trivializing the conditions, experiences and lives of the people and families that are cared for in chronic-care units," says Lon S. Schneider, a professor of gerontology at USC's Davis School of Gerontology. "And of possibly glamorizing and almost romanticizing the kind of jobs that the professionals at these places do. These are products of a remarkably broken healthcare system."

Olsen, Scheffer and the cast have given that pitfall serious thought. Before filming began, the lead actresses spent two weeks trailing staff in nursing homes and hospitals, and the writing does not shy away from the troubling aspects of the work.

Borstein's character, Nurse Dawn, is overextended and erratic. She's torn between her desire to be good to the women in her care and a need to live up to rigid corporate expectations. She is shown texting while a patient passes quietly away early on in the show.

"It's such a fine line, what we're doing," Borstein says. "We need Mark and Will to tell us if we go too far. Now it feels like you're exploiting someone, now it feels cheap to be cheap, there's an art to making this right."

Metcalf plays Dr. Jenna James, a burned-out physician who feels insulted by her assignment to the Billy Barnes unit. She wanted to be a medical-research star and is obsessed with collecting and analyzing feces, an ongoing metaphor for the show's bleak environment. The correct way to pick up an errant sample off a waiting room chair dominates an entire episode.

Only Nash's character, Nurse DiDi, seems normal, but her kindness and pragmatism go largely unnoticed by her co-workers.

"I feel like the gift God gave me was the ability to make everything funny," Nash says. "I'm not proud of the fact that I chuckle at funerals, that I find the funny in a sad or dark moment, but that's what this is about."

Scheffer calls the show a "docu-comedy" because it's filmed in an off-the-cuff manner with cameras following the characters around as they experiment with blocking and occasionally improv lines. And, in what many would consider heretical by Hollywood standards, the actors do not get their hair or makeup done. The existing overhead fluorescent bulbs serve as the only lighting set up.

"The three of us have joked that we are three of the bravest actresses in TV right now with no hair and no makeup," Metcalf says. "It's a luxury to not have to worry about it, but it's also a kick in the face — being willing to look like you've had a hard day on your feet."

"This show is really about faces and hearts," says Olsen, adding that getting actresses to audition without makeup was a true challenge. "There is such beauty in those unadorned faces. The beauty of seeing life's struggle on those faces is so much of what this show is about."

Where: HBO
When: 10 p.m. Sunday

post #90882 of 93656
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Business Notes
Wall Street would cheer Time Warner Cable sale but media watchdogs worry
By Joe Flint and Meg James, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Nov. 23, 2013

Time Warner Cable might have its own cord cut.

Two big cable operators — Comcast Corp. and Charter Communications — are interested in acquiring Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest cable operator, which boasts more than 1 million customers in Los Angeles and an additional 11 million around the country.

Yay! This can only mean good things to those who already have no competitive market! I can't wait for even less chance of competition rolling into town. rolleyes.gif
post #90883 of 93656
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

Yay! This can only mean good things to those who already have no competitive market! I can't wait for even less chance of competition rolling into town. rolleyes.gif
Competition? Cable? What is this "competition" thing you speak of?
post #90884 of 93656
I think the plan is that eventually all the cable companies will merge to create one unstoppable titan capable of paying off everyone powerful enough to block any chance of anyone else being able to offer a rival product and then build a giant EM shield over the entire country to block any news of how much other people pay for services from leaking in.

Kind of like the giant dome in Highlander 2. biggrin.gif
post #90885 of 93656
post #90886 of 93656
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

I think the plan is that eventually all the cable companies will merge to create one unstoppable titan capable of paying off everyone powerful enough to block any chance of anyone else being able to offer a rival product and then build a giant EM shield over the entire country to block any news of how much other people pay for services from leaking in.

Kind of like the giant dome in Highlander 2. biggrin.gif

and then dish and directv can be come one and take on cable. Cable has lot's of areas with old system that don't lot's room.
post #90887 of 93656
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 - Dancing With the Stars (120 min., LIVE)
10:01PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Demi Lovato; Emile Hirsch; AFI performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
9PM - Mike & Molly
9:30PM - Mom
10PM - Hostages
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Josh Hutcherson; sportscaster Christopher "Mad Dog'' Russo; Sky Ferreira performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Mark Harmon; chef Wolfgang Puck)

8PM - The Voice (120 min., LIVE)
10:01PM - The Blacklist
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Bette Midler; Michael Bublé performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (Kelly Ripa; Stephen Moyer; Mazzy Star performs; Jake Clemons performs with The Roots)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Singer Tony Lucca; Blue Hawaii performs; Alexa Meade)
(R - Oct. 28)

8PM - Almost Human
9PM - Sleepy Hollow

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: San Diego (R - Jan. 31, 2011)
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: San Diego
(R - Feb. 7, 2011)
10PM - Independent Lens: Young Lakota

8PM - Corazon Indomable
9PM - Lo Que la Vida Me Robó
10PM - Mentir Para Vivir

8PM - Hart of Dixie
9PM - Beauty and the Beast

8PM - Marido en Alquiler
9PM - La Reina del Sur
10PM - Santa Diabla

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Geoffrey Rush)
(R - Nov. 14)
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian)
(R - Nov. 14)

11PM - Conan (Mike Tyson, Katie Aselton, Spin Doctors perform)
(R - Sep. 4)
Midnight - Pete Holmes Show (Joe Mande; Noah Garfinkel)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Comic Liz Carey; comic Loni Love; comic Gary Valentine)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Mario Lopez; Blake Leeper; juicy j)
post #90888 of 93656
Technology/Business Notes
H-P's sales are lackluster; its stock swings are not
By John Shinal, USA Today - Nov. 24, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard shareholders may be in for a wild ride after the company reports fiscal fourth-quarter results Tuesday.

The hardware giant's last three earnings reports have triggered sustained double-digit-percentage price swings in H-P's stock.

In February and May, that was good news, as investors bid up the company's shares amid signs CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan was reviving the company's fortunes.

But H-P's August report was a disappointment: The company missed Wall Street estimates after sales fell in all but one of its six business units.

That prompted a one-day stock drop of more than 12% and triggered a two-month share price slide that wiped out one-fifth of the company's market value by early October.

Yet the shares have bounced back. After closing trading last week at just over $25, they've gained almost 70% this year and are now priced almost exactly where they were before that nasty August surprise.

For a venerable technology icon with a market cap of $49 billion, that's some crazy trading action.

The share volatility reflects uncertainty among investors over whether Whitman, who oversaw dramatic growth during her decade-long tenure as eBay CEO, can get the lumbering, 74-year-old H-P growing again.

During her two years and two months in H-P's top job, Whitman has steadied a firm that looked ready to implode after its board ousted her predecessor, Leo Apotheker, after he was widely seen to have overpaid for software maker Autonomy — $10.3 billion in 2011.

H-P is once again operating in the black, earning net income of $3.7 billion for the first nine months of this fiscal year, reversing a massive $5.8 billion loss for the same period a year earlier.

During the same time, the company's operations have generated almost $8.8 billion in cash flow, 35% more than a year ago.

That's allowed H-P to keep paying handsome stock dividends that keep income investors happy.

Whitman has done it by improving the company's efficiency and slashing costs, with operating expenses dropping 18% for the first nine months of the fiscal year. For the quarter ended in July, those expenses were 34% lower.

Yet Whitman has been unable to re-ignite growth, as falling sales of PCs have now spread to related H-P businesses such as printers, services and other hardware.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company has been hurt by a lack of smartphones and tablets as consumers embrace those handheld devices, and by increased competition from Cisco Systems and other hardware makers.

Even H-P's software business, which was posting double-digit annual sales growth when Whitman became CEO, has stalled, with sales rising a mere 1% for the July quarter.

The software meltdown is due in large part to the disastrous Autonomy deal. In November, H-P took an $8.8 billion write-down on the transaction, generating a massive net loss, while accusing the British-based maker of data analytics software of "serious accounting improprieties."

That accounting charge may have been necessary, but the accusation likely didn't help promote confidence among H-P's potential software customers.

Amid a drop in sales of hardware and services to corporate customers — both segments posted year-over-year revenue declines of 9% in the July quarter — Whitman has been promoting H-P's business of hosting other company's data on its servers, a service known as cloud computing.

Last week, she appeared onstage with Marc Benioff, CEO of fast-growing cloud-computing giant Salesforce.com, at the latter company's user conference to announce a new partnership involving H-P servers.

Also last week, a report surfaced that H-P was in talks with Sharp about a partnership that could see the Asian electronics giant producing H-P-branded photocopiers.

Still, it will take time for any new partnerships to help boost H-P's flagging top line.

Analysts expect H-P's fourth-quarter sales fell almost 7% to $28 billion, while sales for the fiscal year dropped nearly 8% to $111 billion.

Wall Street is also pessimistic about Whitman's ability to generate growth in the upcoming fiscal year, with analysts expecting another 3% revenue decline.

Next-year's expectations may well be revised after analysts hear what Whitman and other H-P executives have to say on a conference call Tuesday.

If recent history is any guide, H-P shareholders may want to buckle up before Wednesday's trading begins.

post #90889 of 93656
TV Notes
Broadcasters Hope Midseason Replacements Will Keep Them Afloat
Most freshman series have flopped
By Anthony Crupi, AdWeek.com - Nov. 24, 2013

As November sweeps begin to recede in the rearview mirror, the Big Four networks are eager to put some distance between themselves and the first two months of the 2013-14 TV season.

While it hasn’t been an unmitigated disaster—ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox can each lay claim to at least one new hit—the vast majority of freshman series have proven to be flops.

That said, the embrace of limited series (industry argot for the 13-episode arcs popularized by the cable networks) and an “always on” programming strategy has broadcasters prepared for the worst.

So, while a half-dozen new series this season have already been canceled—and another four may as well be—there are plenty of midseason entries ready to plug the gaps.

Fourth-place ABC has no fewer than five series lined up for midseason. Buyers are particularly taken with the atmospheric and unsettling serialized drama Resurrection, which joins ABC’s Sunday night lineup March 9. The talk of the upfront, this meditative mystery is also the night’s priciest new series, commanding as much as $142,000 per 30-second spot.

Also on deck: Killer Women (Jan. 7), a Tarantino Lite procedural that will square off against NBC’s Chicago Fire and CBS’ Person of Interest at 10 p.m. Tuesdays, and Mixology, a comedy from the writers of The Hangover that will replace Super Fun Night in the plum post-Modern Family slot.

NBC boasts three of the top five shows on network TV, and while that enviable cluster of hits has kept the Peacock in first place, it may prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. “While things certainly look better at the top of the leaderboard, the bottom is literally dropping out,” said Michael Nathanson of MoffettNathanson Research.

Thursday night remains an unholy mess—all told, only four NBC series are averaging a 2.0 or better. (CBS has 15.) That said, buyers have warmed to the upcoming comedy About a Boy, which was originally developed for Fox a decade ago. And Chicago PD (Jan. 8) also appears to be a sound investment.

The World Series has helped second-place Fox grow its C3 rating 17 percent to a 2.5, and the Super Bowl will cover a lot of blemishes. But benching Dads and The Mindy Project and shifting Glee to the 8 p.m. slot suggests the network is unsure about how to proceed with its hobbled Tuesday night comedy block. If this is the case, it’s hard to say where the freshman sitcom Surviving Jack will land…and after Fox shut down production on Us & Them, there’s no guarantee the Alexis Bledel vehicle will ever see the light of day.

Meanwhile, Fox’s drama prospects continue to shine, with Rake set to debut after American Idol on Thursday, Jan. 23.

Lastly, with but a single hole to patch, CBS will slot Intelligence (Jan. 13) in the Monday 10 p.m. space vacated by Hostages.

post #90890 of 93656
TV Notes
A boy and his dog and James Brolin
The heartwarming holiday tale 'Christmas with Tucker'
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 25, 2013

Turkey Day is still 72 hours away, but Hallmark’s focus has been firmly on Christmas for weeks now.

Hallmark Channel has been airing Christmas movies since early November, and tonight sister network Hallmark Movie Channel rolls out an original film of its own, “Christmas with Tucker,” airing at 9 p.m.

“Tucker” stars James Brolin as the grandfather of a boy who deals with his father’s death by adopting a neighbor’s dog. The movie is a prequel to the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie “A Dog Named Christmas,” which aired in 2009.

Hallmark Channel has long had ratings success with its series of original holiday movies, so much so that it begins airing them nearly two months before Christmas.

This year the new wrinkle is adding Hallmark Movie Channel to the holiday mix. The network also has a series of holiday movies on tap, including older films like “Holiday Affair,” “Babes in Toyland” and “It Happened on 5th Avenue.”

The original holiday movies do quite well for Hallmark Channel, usually finishing among the day’s top cable programs in women 25-54 and in households.

Hallmark Movie Channel, which is available in just under 52 million households, 34 million fewer than Hallmark Channel, will draw much lower ratings. On Nov. 14 “Affair” averaged 323,000 total viewers, according to Nielsen, ranking 20th on the network for the week.

post #90891 of 93656
Technology/Business Notes
‘See It’ Button Should Be the Game-Changer Pay TV Desperately Needs
By Andrew Wallenstein, Variety.com - Nov. 24, 2013

TV Everywhere may finally live up to its name, thanks to a new initiative from Comcast.

The nation’s largest cable operator chose Twitter to be the first partner for its new See It feature, which embeds buttons in tweets that can make live or VOD content available to watch and record. Beginning this week, See It will slowly roll out across select programming from Comcast-owned NBCUniversal beginning with two Syfy series, “Haven” and “Naked Vegas.”

With the proper execution, See It could prove a shot in the arm for TV Everywhere, the pay-TV initiative aimed at bringing programming once restricted to TV sets to digital platforms, where more and more video consumption is taking place. TV Everywhere has struggled to find traction with subscribers due to inconsistent deployment and marketing. (For a refresher on just how challenging TV Everywhere has been, read this account from last week’s Streaming Media conference.)

While the functionality of See It will be limited to Comcast subscribers using Twitter at launch, the long-term goal of the video distributor is to make the social-media upstart just the first of many partners for the feature.

If Comcast can convince a critical mass of fellow pay-TV services and major content publishers to implement See It, the ubiquity of that button could be harnessed to provide more visibility for content that’s fighting for attention in an ocean of apps.

With well over 20 million subscribers scattered across the U.S., and considerable TV and movie assets to call its own under the NBCU umbrella, Comcast can’t be matched in its ability to spread something like See It across the media and tech sectors.

See It has been in development at Comcast since 2010, shortly after Apple introduced the iPad. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts showcased a remote-control app at the Cable Show shortly after the market launch of the Apple tablet, which allows Comcast subs to change channels. He also hinted that social media could provide a navigation framework that would let subscribers make programming choices based on what their friends were watching, which is what See It essentially embodies.

Starting with Twitter is a no-brainer. While not as big in scale as Facebook, the service has been closely aligned with the TV industry in recent years to capitalize on the preponderance of TV-related conversation that takes place on the platform. Given such an orientation, Twitter may be the best place to trigger the maximum number of impulse opportunities to bring people to watch a show. What’s more, Twitter often enough serves up those opportunities in real time, giving TV networks a Nielsen boost.

Cable news nets like CNN and MSNBC may benefit most. At a time when those networks are facing increasing competition from social media and websites that break news, a cable newsie can effectively elbow its way into the conversation and reclaim audience by literally inserting its feed into the places where they find themselves crowded out.

In time, Twitter may be just one of many places to offer See It buttons, and not just in a social media context. A newspaper website that mentions “The Voice,” for instance, could embed a button from a participating publisher that allows a user to access a specific episode.

Smartly, Comcast isn’t keeping the proprietary technology to itself. The point is to license it to any programmer or distributor on the market, with the hope that it leads more consumers of digital content to watch TV programming rather than to be distracted from it: If users are too busy talking about a TV show on Twitter to actually watch it, See It can help close that gap.

It’s not often a cable operator creates mass-market technology worth getting excited about. Even better for Comcast and the pay-TV industry, See It can reinforce the value of their core product.

It was the 2012 Olympics that gave the pay-TV biz a great opportunity to showcase the promise of TV Everywhere, a promise that has gone largely unfulfilled. Comcast would be smart to have See It in action for this year’s Winter Games in Sochi, where new technology could find a perfect time to shine during a TV event tailor-made for social-driven tune-in.

post #90892 of 93656

Maybe baseball should copy that then so they can get more people to watch other then just old people. tongue.gif

Most watched shows since labor day:

1. FOX Sunday National (mostly Packers-49ers), 9/8 28.5 million
2. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Cowboys), 10/6 28.3 million
3. FOX Sunday National (mostly Eagles-Broncos), 9/29 27.0 million
4. NBC Sunday Night Football (Chiefs-Broncos), 11/17 26.9 million
5. NBC Sunday Night Football (Broncos-Colts), 10/20 26.9 million
6. FOX Sunday National (mostly 49ers-Saints), 11/17 26.9 million
7. FOX Sunday National (mostly Saints-Patriots), 10/13 26.7 million
8. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Giants), 9/15 26.4 million
9. CBS Sunday National (mostly Colts-49ers), 9/22 25.6 million
10. FOX Sunday National (mostly Redskins-Broncos), 10/27 25.5 million
11. NBC Sunday Night Football (Giants-Cowboys), 9/8 25.4 million
12. CBS Sunday National (mostly Ravens-Steelers & Texans-Chiefs), 10/20 25.3 million
13. NBC Thursday Night Kickoff Game (Ravens-Broncos), 9/5 25.1 million
14. CBS Sunday National (mostly Broncos-Chargers), 11/10 24.1 million
15. CBS Sunday National (mostly Steelers-Patriots), 11/3 24.0 million
16. NBC Sunday Night Football (Redskins-Cowboys), 10/13 22.1 million
17. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Redskins-Packers & Saints-Buccaneers), 9/15 21.9 million
18. NBC Sunday Night Football (Cowboys-Saints), 11/10 21.1 million
19. FOX Sunday Single (mostly Packers-Bengals, Giants-Panthers & Rams-Cowboys), 9/22 20.9 million
20. NBC Sunday Night Football (49ers-Seahawks), 9/15 20.5 million
21. NBC Sunday Night Football (Bears-Steelers), 9/22 20.5 million
22. NBC Sunday Night Football (Patriots-Falcons), 9/29 20.5 million
post #90893 of 93656
Speaking of....

The Week 14 Carolina Panthers/New Orleans Saints game on Sunday, December 8 was flexed to 8:30 PM ET on NBC SNF.

Atlanta Falcons/Green Bay Packers game moves to 1:00 PM ET on FOX.

No surprise there Cam Newton vs Drew Brees.
post #90894 of 93656
Nice to see Mr Seward just now figuring this out. OOooo, the commercials make up A THIRD of the program time. No wonder he's no longer with the Wall Street Journal. Can't wait to read his take on Olympics coverage.
post #90895 of 93656
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post

Speaking of....

The Week 14 Carolina Panthers/New Orleans Saints game on Sunday, December 8 was flexed to 8:30 PM ET on NBC SNF.

Atlanta Falcons/Green Bay Packers game moves to 1:00 PM ET on FOX.

No surprise there Cam Newton vs Drew Brees.

Can't they change the Redskins/Giants game? LOL
post #90896 of 93656
Originally Posted by DrLar View Post

Can't they change the Redskins/Giants game? LOL
Sorry, too late for that. At least the Thursday game (Steelers/Ravens) should be good. Wonder if Al&Chris will bring out the turducken at the end of the game? I think they did it last year.
post #90897 of 93656
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 25, 2013

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

How I Met Your Mother has an odd gimmick this time: Every line of dialogue is spoken in a rhyme. And while this season’s stories have been thin, to say the least – at least they’re all a lot more fun than Beauty and the Beast.

Disney Channel, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight through Wednesday in this time slot, Disney is presenting all three Toy Story movies. The computer-animated fun begins with this groundbreaking 1995 effort, which changed movie animation by both developing and showcasing a bold new technique for full-length movie cartoons. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen provide the voices, respectively, for Woody the cowboy and astronaut Buzz Lightyear.

Encore, 8:00 p.m. ET

This movie is now 30 years old. That’s hard to believe, but the fact that this 1983 film launched the career of Tom Cruise, a star so bright he’s still a major factor in Hollywood three decades later, is much easier to comprehend. The moment he slides across the floor in his socks – and his briefs – he’s in orbit, among the brightest stars in the show-business galaxy.

CBS, 9:00 p.m. ET

Here’s an impressive guest star turn, arriving just before the end of the November ratings sweeps. Susan Sarandon guest stars, playing a cranky author who, somewhat improbably, warms up to Molly (Melissa McCarthy), just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

This documentary imbues the term “couch potato” with a whole new meaning – and those potatoes, under the wrong circumstances, could end up being fried.


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Critic's Notes
HBO’S 'Toxic Hot Seat' Is A Two-For-One Corporate Expose
By David Scali, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 25, 2013

There is no mistaking the message of this crisp, linear documentary. We’ve known since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) that chemicals can pose an insidious, invisible threat to land, sea, and air. The danger that walks like a zombie through this two-hour special is more specific. Hint: Look at the subtitle. You are sitting on it, dear television couch potato. Almost certainly, your sofa has been treated with fire retardant chemicals. If you wish to check, look for a label that cites “Technical Bulletin 117.” If you find it, you’re safe. Right?

Furniture fire retardants were a terrific idea back in the mid-1970s, when something like 40 percent of U.S. adult males still smoked cigarettes. Doze off, drop your smoldering butt into the La-Z-Boy, and within seconds, you and your loved ones could be engulfed in flames. Household fires were a regular occurrence, and smokers caused nearly all of them.

The chemical industry rose to the challenge by conjuring up concoctions that – when impregnated into furniture fabrics, draperies, and pajamas – would make them difficult to ignite and very slow to burn. It was another ingenious technological fix. Trouble is, we know that wherever technology goes, so goes that great parable of technology, Frankenstein. Many of those fire retardant chemicals can cause cancer when breathed or absorbed through the skin. And when they burn, they produce a toxic cloud that far too often sickens or kills firefighters. One is known as tris, short for tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane.

The good guys in Toxic Hot Seat, which premieres on HBO tonight (Monday, Nov. 25, 9 p.m. ET), are firefighters, moms, investigative journalists (I thought they’d all been fired by now … get them!) at the Chicago Tribune, underfunded EPA regulators, and the good people of California and their redux governor, Jerry Brown.

The bad guys are the chemical industry and their lobbyists – or, as one talking head puts it none too subtly, “Money versus People.” But the story, as the documentary itself offers evidence of, may be as much about technological hubris and regulatory lag as about cold-hearted profitmaking.

But producer/directors James Redford and Kirby Walker don’t want to go there. They want to rake some muck themselves. A story that pits moms and firefighters and muckraking journalists against Corporate America is worth cheering for. Okay, maybe not if you’re Republican, especially the part about why we should expand the EPA. Red Staters may find themselves smoldering in their seats at this particular piece of HBO advocacy.

As if the chemical industry weren’t bad enough for the black hat corner, the program also delivers the most reviled industry of all – Big Tobacco! According to Toxic Hot Seat, one feasible solution to the flammable furniture problem was to force the tobacco companies to produce self-extinguishing cigarettes (or, more precisely, to stop treating them chemically to stay lit). Instead, the cigarette companies and their lobbyists pushed for furniture – instead of cigarettes – that wouldn’t burn, and the laws to enforce them.

It’s an intriguing thesis, even a plausible one, given the stakes for the cigarette producers. For the chemical companies, who surely felt good about making homes safer from fire, the profits from those couches have been small potatoes.

A decade ago, I published an academic study of three industries that Americans love to hate: chemicals, tobacco, and nuclear power. If Walker and Redford could have worked nukes in here, they’d have hit the trifecta.

Edited by dad1153 - 11/26/13 at 12:14am
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SUNDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
Rockin’ crowd for ABC’s American Music Awards
Surges to a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating, up 32 percent
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 25, 2013

Against one of the highest-rated “Sunday Night Football” games of the season, ABC’s American Music Awards surged to a four-year high.

The program averaged a 4.5 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, up 32 percent from last year.

It marked the highest-rated ceremony since 2009 in the demo, and it drew 12.9 million total viewers, the second-biggest audience for the show in 11 years.

The AMAs also jumped to a nine-year high among teens 12-17, up 86 percent from last year, to a 5.4 rating.

The big numbers are likely attributable to the large number of buzzy performers on the show, including Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus.

The big audience came despite facing a very strong “SNF” game on NBC. The Denver Broncos-New England Patriots game averaged a 17.0 household rating, according to metered-market numbers, up 0.4 from last week and becoming the most-watched primetime NFL game in 17 years.

It also marked the highest-rated November “SNF” game since the franchise moved to NBC.

Elsewhere last night several scripted shows also saw viewership jump. Fox’s “The Simpsons” was up 61 percent from last week in 18-49s to a 2.9 at 8 p.m., getting a lift from the strong NFL lead-in at 7:30.

CBS’s “The Mentalist” drew its best audience in total viewers since January, 10.62 million, and was up a tenth from last week in 18-49s to a 1.5, its second-best of the season, as the identity of Red John was finally unveiled.

NBC led the night among 18-49s with a 7.0 average overnight rating and a 17 share. ABC and Fox tied for second at 3.7/9, CBS was fourth at 1.5/4, Univision fifth at 1.2/3 and Telemundo sixth at 0.7/2.

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-eight percent of Nielsen households have DVRs.

Also, ratings for NBC’s and Fox’s NFL coverage are approximate as fast nationals measure timeslot and not actual program data.

Fox started the night in the lead with a 6.7 at 7 p.m. for NFL overrun, followed by NBC with a 3.1 for “Football Night in America.” CBS was third with a 1.6 for “60 Minutes,” ABC fourth with a 1.4 for “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” Univision fifth with a 0.8 for “Aqui y Ahora” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.4 for the end of the movie “The Princess and the Frog.”

NBC took the lead at 8 p.m. with a 7.8 for NFL pregame and the start of “SNF,” and ABC moved to second with a 4.2 for the first hour of the AMAs. Fox was third with a 2.4 for “Simpsons” (2.9) and “Bob’s Burgers” (1.9), CBS fourth with a 1.5 for “The Amazing Race,” Univision fifth with a 1.4 for “Mira Quien Baila” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.6 for the start of the movie “Avatar.”

At 9 p.m. NBC was first with a 9.3 for football, while ABC remained second with a 4.5 for the AMAs. Fox was third with a 2.0 for “Family Guy” (2.2) and “American Dad” (1.8), Univision fourth with a 1.6 for more “Baila,” CBS fifth with a 1.3 for “The Good Wife” and Telemundo sixth with a 0.8 for its movie.

NBC led again at 10 p.m. with an 8.0 for football, followed again by ABC with a 4.6 for the AMAs. CBS was third with a 1.5 for “Mentalist,” Univision fourth with a 1.1 for “Sal y Pimienta” and Telemundo fifth with a 0.8 for the end of its movie.

Among households, NBC finished first for the night with an 11.3 average overnight rating and a 17 share. ABC was second at 6.6/10, CBS third at 6.2/9, Fox fourth at 5.7/8, Univision fifth at 1.8/3 and Telemundo sixth at 0.6/1.


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TV Review
‘Generation Cryo,’ a search to join in on
Young people hunt for the identity of their sperm donor father
By Tom Conroy, Media Life Magazine - Nov. 25, 2013

Frequently, when we watch documentaries or reality shows, we feel sorry for the people who are giving us a too intimate look at their personal lives. Less frequently, we’re nonetheless grateful that they’re doing it.

MTV’s six-part documentary series “Generation Cryo” (tonight at 10 p.m.) is one of those rare cases in which the self-exposure is rewarding not only to the average viewer but potentially to other people in similar situations. The story of a teenage girl who is meeting her half siblings while searching for the identity of the sperm donor who fathered them, the show is full of illuminating insights into the lives of unusual families. It also has built-in suspense that keeps us involved.

In the premiere episode, 17-year-old Breeanna, speaking into a camera, explains that she’s the daughter of a lesbian couple who used a sperm donor. The women split up when Bree’s biological mother, Debra, started dating men again, and Bree splits her time between her mothers’ two houses.

By consulting a “donor sibling registry,” Bree has learned that she has at least 15 half siblings. In the first episode, she goes to Atlanta to meet two of them, Hilit and Jonah, both 17. (The show also teaches us that around 1995, names beginning with J were very popular.)

Arriving on a Friday, Bree shares a sabbath dinner with the family, who recite Hebrew prayers before dinner. She tells her video diary, “My mom’s really going to appreciate it because she wanted me tell her how them Jews do.” The kids compare notes. Jonah and Hilit have already met nine of their half siblings. Bree says that her biological mother is more comfortable with Bree’s search than her other mother is.

Bree is nervous about asking Jonah to provide a DNA sample — a male child would provide a closer match. But the tensest moment comes when Jonah and Hilit’s father, Eric, talks about why he’s uncomfortable with the possibility of his kids’ forming a relationship with “some guy.”

He tells the children and his wife, “I went through a grieving process of accepting that I couldn’t produce kids.”

“It was intense,” Bree tells the camera. “I’ve never heard that before, because we’re lesbians.”

Bree doesn’t read the DNA test results until the second episode, while visiting two other half sibs, Jayme and Jesse, both 18, in Ojai, Calif. Jonah and Hilit join them.

They learn the names of three possible matches, one of whom they contact through Facebook. It’s fascinating to watch them work out the phrasing of their message.

Jayme and Jesse’s mother, Janis, who had the children when she was in her late 30s and was involved with a man who was uninterested in raising a family, is eager to meet the donor. She says that she went through a lot of applications and that the donor was someone she would have dated.

Since the cryo-bank that took the donor’s sample is nearby, the sibs visit to file a request to meet the donor, who has the option of saying no or not replying at all.

Later, Bree flies to Boston, where she meets Jesse, 18, whose parents managed to naturally conceive his sister three years after he was born. He says that friends and family members have taunted him about his origins.
generation cyro2

They meet up with their half brother Julian, 19, who tells them that he thinks it’s “immoral” to try to find the identity of the donor if he wants to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, Bree and Jesse start to do some online detective work based on the information in the donor’s profile.

The variety of family relationships is matched by the variety of ways the individuals have come to terms with their special situations. But even people who were raised in the most conventional homes will hear echoes of their own experiences.

By the end of the second episode, most viewers will be hooked. Whatever the outcome, Bree seems to have the self-possession and humor to handle it.

Early on, she tells her friends that her quest is “almost like a ‘Wizard of Oz’ thing —even though it turned out that Oz was, like, some dumbass, they needed to meet him to get home.”

Although viewers are tired of hearing reality-show subjects talk about their “journey,” this is one worth following.

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TV Notes
A&E’s ‘Longmire’ Officially Renewed For Third Season
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 25, 2013

It took awhile but A&E and Warner Horizon finally closed a deal for a 10-episode third season of the network’s most-watched drama series ever, Longmire. The announcement comes after Longmire executive producer John Coveny tweeted back in August, shortly after the series’ second-season finale: “The call just came: SEASON 3 for #Longmire is a GO!.”

In its second season, Longmire averaged 3.7 million total viewers with the season finale episode August 26 delivering a season high of 4.4 million total viewers. “Longmire has become one of the most compelling dramas on television with a devoted audience and we are so proud of the show,” said A&E GM David McKillop. Longmire, a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country, is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor as Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, WYO, along with Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Bailey Chase, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley. Greer Shephard, Michael M. Robin, Hunt Baldwin and John Coveny serve as executive producers.

While Longmire was renewed, its companion, veteran The Glades, was cancelled after four seasons.

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