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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 3072

post #92131 of 93678
It's the feeling, the energy, the rush...I could go on. But once it hooks you, it hooks you good and like I said it is a lifelong demon. Some are lucky to kick it for life, some aren't and unfortunately he wasn't one of them.
post #92132 of 93678
Sigh. So glad I never tried the harder stuff. I do think it's a good experience and to have knowledge about some drugs. Hope he wasn't depressed while shooting up. I doubt it, was just having fun.
post #92133 of 93678
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Why would anybody ever start, knowing what the end result is likely to be? The addictive effects of intravenous narcotics are nearly universal and well known, especially among someone as smart as him. That's what I've never been able to comprehend.
My point entirely. Want a rush? Try skydiving. Want to feel good? Help build a Habitat for Humanity house. Want to get away from reality? Hike to a mountaintop and watch a sunset. All of those legal and far less dangerous - yeah, even the skydiving - than turning to drugs.
post #92134 of 93678
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

My point entirely. Want a rush? Try skydiving. Want to feel good? Help build a Habitat for Humanity house. Want to get away from reality? Hike to a mountaintop and watch a sunset. All of those legal and far less dangerous - yeah, even the skydiving - than turning to drugs.

Good posting!
post #92135 of 93678
TV Notes
Showtime On Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Death, Future Of His Series ‘Happyish’ Uncertain
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 2, 2013

Like all great actors whose lives are tragically cut short way too early, Philip Seymour Hoffman is leaving a number of unfinished projects behind. Only two weeks ago, Showtime unveiled its two new series for 2014, including Happyish starring Hoffman in what would’ve been his first series role. (He earned an Emmy nomination in 2005 for the HBO mini Empire Falls.) Today, Showtime issued the following statement: “Philip Seymour Hoffman was one of our generation’s finest and most brilliant actors. He was also a gifted comedic talent. It was a great privilege and pleasure to work with him and we are all absolutely devastated by this sudden loss. Our thoughts go out to his family at this very difficult time.”

Of course, the news is so sudden and shocking, it will take time for Showtime brass to make a decision on the future of Happyish. But judging by the trailer from the pilot shown at TCA, Hoffman WAS the show. Here is how Showtime topper David Nevins introduced the project last month. “Happyish is a very personal comedy starring one of the really great actors of our time, Oscar-winner Philip Seymour Hoffman. “Happyish is about the fear — in this world of 25 year old CEOs and 27 year old billionaires — of becoming culturally irrelevant at a surprisingly young age. Hoffman plays Thom Payne, a successful but self loathing creative director at a New York ad agency.”

Happyish actually got made largely because Hoffman agreed to do it. The script had been in the works at Showtime literally for more than two years but was only greenlighted to pilot last summer after Hoffman agreed to star following a very lengthy courtship. “Happyish was a script that I’ve loved for a really long time, and it took us a while to get to Philip Seymour Hoffman,” Nevins said at TCA. “‘Could we really get Phil Hoffman to it?’ ‘I don’t know.’ ‘I don’t know.’ And it was a long process, but we didn’t have to rush, and we could wait and make you know, and slowly bring him in, and totally worth it for the waiting.” Hoffman also was to executive produce Happyish, which co-stars Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans, through his Cooper’s Town banner. As a producer on the TV side, Hoffman also had transgender drama Ze, which is awaiting word on a pilot pickup at the CW.

post #92136 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Why I Wouldn't Watch the Super Bowl and Won't Support Football: Let Me Count My Reasons
By Warren J. Blumenfeld, HuffingtonPost.com - Feb. 2, 2013

While I admire the majestic Bald Eagle, and I regard the U.S. Constitution as a stunningly intelligent and inspired document, some people treat me as if I have committed patriotic heresy by challenging the long-established unofficial national game of football. Be this as it may, I simply will not watch the Super Bowl, and I cannot support or defend continuance of the sport.

In fact, I advocate for its demise.

Why? Well, let me count just some of my reasons (not necessarily in rank order):

1. Promotion and Enhancement of Hierarchical Gender Roles: Under the Friday-night high school stadium lights, amid the teaming throngs of college and university fans each Saturday during the season, and projected onto TV screens and looking down from the stands on Sundays and on Monday nights, we watch rugged men come to battle. They sprint onto the field "sporting" not-so-protective uniforms like their ancient gladiator superheroes from times long past.

Not far from the sidelines, the often scantily-clad hyper-sexualized Barbie Doll cheerleaders whip up an already intoxicated crowd to a fevered pitch. And protruding from this spectacle, we observe the clear reinscription and (re)enforcement of hegemonic masculinity and subordinated femininity comprising the bifurcated social constructions we call "gender."

2. Promotion of a Culture of Violence: What is the purpose of football? To invade and penetrate the opponent's territory and thrust into their end zone. By what means does a team accomplish this? Yes, most certainly through skill and strategy (like in soccer, La Cross, basketball and field hockey, for example). In football, though, a team mounts its invasion by brute force: by knocking over, tackling to the ground, off-balancing and banging heads like rams upon icy slopes.

I understand full well that my use of the words "invade," "penetrate," "opponent's territory," "thrust," "mount," "banging" and "end zone" carry clear rape imagery. But I ask, what messages does the game of football really send not merely to the players, but to young fans, and to society writ large?

I would ask, is it simply coincidence that so many high school, collegiate and professional football players have been charged with committing sexual assault? Is it mere coincidence that allegations of locker room bullying have increasingly surfaced? Why have so few professional football players decided to "come out of the closet" during their active careers, but rather, have waited to publicly announce in retirement? What has held them back?

3. Promotion of Traumatic Brain Injury and Other Bodily Destruction: The current class-action lawsuit filed against the National Football League by a group of over 4000 former players who have charged the league with hiding information about the consequences of concussions highlights what the medical sports community has long known: that even one slight head concussion increases the chances of permanent brain injury, including dementia and Alzheimer's. With repeated football-induced incidents of concussion, bone-crushing trauma and breaks throughout a player's career -- whether in junior or senior high, university or in the big leagues -- risk ever increases for life-long damage. Autopsies on brains of former NFL players should set any lingering doubts of this fact to rest.

We should all take heart that our president, Barack Obama, an avid sports fan and someone who watches football on TV, has this year publicly declared that if he had a son, he we not want him to play pro football.

To be clear, I see many benefits to sport generally. For players, it can, indeed, build character, enhance a sense of responsibility and it can build a collective and cooperative spirit for players and observers alike.

Over the years and only partly tongue in cheek, I have argued that if society granted males permission to touch each other affectionately in friendship, to share the intimate and emotional aspects of themselves and even to walk arm in arm or holding hands with one another as we sometime see women walking down the street -- especially in some European countries -- without people calling men's sexuality into question, then we would no longer have a need for football: a game where men bang against, tackle and pile on each other, and following a successful play, slap one another's butts.

Warren J. Blumenfeld works at The College of Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

post #92137 of 93678
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Actor of Depth, Fearless in His Choice of Roles, Dies at 46
By Bruce Weber, The New York Times - Feb. 2, 2013

Philip Seymour Hoffman, perhaps the most ambitious and widely admired American actor of his generation, who gave three-dimensional nuance to a wide range of sidekicks, villains and leading men on screen and embraced some of the theater’s most burdensome roles on Broadway, died on Sunday at an apartment in Greenwich Village he was renting as an office. He was 46.

The death, from an apparent drug overdose, was confirmed by the police. Mr. Hoffman was found in the apartment by a friend who had become concerned after being unable to reach him. Investigators found a syringe in his arm and, nearby, an envelope containing what appeared to be heroin.

Mr. Hoffman was long known to struggle with addiction. In 2006, he said in an interview with “60 Minutes” that he had given up drugs and alcohol many years earlier, when he was 22. Last year he checked into a rehabilitation program for about 10 days after a reliance on prescription pills resulted in his briefly turning again to heroin.

“I saw him last week, and he was clean and sober, his old self,” said David Bar Katz, a playwright, and the friend who found Mr. Hoffman and called 911. “I really thought this chapter was over.”

A stocky, often sleepy-looking man with blond, generally uncombed hair who favored the rumpled clothes more associated with an out-of-work actor than a star, Mr. Hoffman did not cut the traditional figure of a leading man, though he was more than capable of leading roles.

In his final appearance on Broadway, in 2012, he put his Everyman mien to work in portraying perhaps the American theater’s most celebrated protagonist — Willy Loman, Arthur Miller’s title character in “Death of a Salesman.” At 44, he was widely seen as young for the part — the casting, by the director Mike Nichols, was meant to emphasize the flashback scenes depicting a younger, pre-disillusionment Willy — and though the production drew mixed reviews, Mr. Hoffman was nominated for a Tony Award.

“Mr. Hoffman does terminal uncertainty better than practically anyone,” Ben Brantley wrote in The New York Times, “and he’s terrific in showing the doubt that crumples Willy just when he’s trying to sell his own brand of all-American optimism.”

In supporting roles, he was nominated three times for Academy Awards — as a priest under suspicion of sexual predation in “Doubt” (2008); as a C.I.A. agent especially eloquent in high dudgeon in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (2007); and as a charismatic cult leader in “The Master” (2012).

But he won in the best actor category for “Capote” (2005). As the eccentrically sociable, brilliantly probing and unflappably gay author of “In Cold Blood,“ Mr. Hoffman flawlessly affected the real-life Truman Capote’s distinctly nasal, high-pitched voice and the naturally fey drama of his presence. Writing in The Times, A. O. Scott described the film as being about a writer’s relationship with his work.

“This makes for better drama than you might expect,” Mr. Scott wrote. “Capote’s human connections are, for the most part, secondary and instrumental, which makes Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance all the more remarkable, since he must connect with the audience without piercing the membrane of his character’s narcissism.

“Not only does Mr. Hoffman achieve an impressive physical and vocal transformation — mimicking Capote’s chirpy drawl and appearing to shrink to his elfin stature — but he also conveys, with clarity and subtlety, the complexities of Capote’s temperament.”

Mr. Hoffman appeared in more than 50 films in a career that spanned less than 25 years; in the early 1990s he had small roles in “Leap of Faith,” which starred Steve Martin as a faith healer, and “Scent of a Woman,” in which he played a prep school classmate of Chris O’Donnell, the weekend escort of a blind former military officer on a New York City jaunt, played by Al Pacino, who won an Oscar for the role.

He appeared in big-budget Hollywood films — including “Mission: Impossible III” (2006), “Moneyball” (2011) and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013) — and critically praised independent films, including “The Savages” (2007), in which he and Laura Linney, as his sister, struggle to care for their declining father; “Synecdoche, New York” (2008), Charlie Kaufman’s offbeat drama in which he played a moody theater director wrangling with his work and women; and “A Late Quartet,” about a violinist in the midst of dual crises, familial and musical.

But citing the highlights of Mr. Hoffman’s prolific work life — which included directing and acting in Off Broadway shows for the Labyrinth Theater Company, a New York City troupe, which he served for a time as artistic director — undervalues his versatility and his willingness, rare in a celebrity actor, to explore the depths of not just creepy or villainous characters, but pathetically unattractive ones. He was a chameleon of especially vivid colors in roles that called for him to be unappealing.

He played an obsequious sycophant in the Coen brothers’s cult comedy “The Big Lebowski” (1998); a former child star pathetically desperate to reclaim his celebrity in “Along Came Polly” (2004), a romantic comedy that starred Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston; a chronic masturbator in Todd Solondz’s portrait of suburban New Jersey, “Happiness” (1998); a snooty Princetonian in “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999); a weaselly tabloid reporter who gets his comeuppance (he’s glued to a wheelchair and set on fire) in “Red Dragon” (2002), an adaptation of one of Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter novels; and in the role that brought him his first renown, he was Scotty J., a shy, overweight, gay boom operator on a pornographic film in “Boogie Nights” (1997).

In addition to “Death of a Salesman,” Mr. Hoffman appeared as the anguished and violent playwright, Konstantin, in Mr. Nichols’s production of “The Seagull” at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in 2001, and on Broadway in two other long and difficult roles.

In 2000, he and John C. Reilly were in “True West,” Sam Shepard’s harrowing comic drama about the reunion of two estranged brothers; each of the two roles is substantial, but in this production, directed by Matthew Warchus, the actors each played them both, switching roles in different performances.

And in 2003, he played James Tyrone, the doomed-to-alcoholism elder son of James and Mary Tyrone (Brian Dennehy and Vanessa Redgrave) in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” Eugene O’Neill’s portrait of an epic family demise.

“The theater was very difficult for him,” Robert Falls, the director of “Long Day’s Journey,” said in an interview Sunday. “It cost him; there was an emotional cost to the work, having to do it for eight performances a week, and having to rehearse. In ‘Long Day’s Journey,’ a role about an addict who would be dead in a number of years, who was filled with self-loathing, certainly Phil had access to those emotions. But I’m not talking about a method actor. He just brought every fiber of his being to the stage. He was there — with his depth of feeling, depth of humanity — and no other actor I’ve ever worked with ever brought it like that, not at that level.”

Mr. Hoffman was born on July 23, 1967, in Fairport, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester. His mother, the former Marilyn Loucks, is a former family court judge. His father, Gordon, worked for the Xerox Corporation. His parents, who divorced when Philip was young, survive him. In his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards in 2006, Mr. Hoffman thanked many people, but in particular his mother, now known as Marilyn O’Connor, who attended. He thanked her for raising him and his three siblings on her own and for taking him to see his first play.

“Be proud, Mom, ’cause I’m proud of you, and we’re here tonight, and it’s so good,” he said with a smile.

Mr. Hoffman’s other survivors include a brother, Gordon, a screenwriter who wrote “Love Liza,” a 2002 film starring Mr. Hoffman as a man living through the aftermath of his wife’s suicide; and two sisters, Jill Hoffman DelVecchio and Emily Hoffman Barr; his longtime partner, Mimi O’Donnell, a costume designer who is the current artistic director of the Labyrinth Theater Company; and their three children, Cooper, Tallulah and Willa.

Mr. Hoffman became an actor in high school after a wrestling injury halted his athletic aspirations. He played Radar in a school production of “MASH,” a performance that was skilled enough that the school’s drama director decided to put on “Death of a Salesman”; in 1984, as a senior, he played Willy Loman. After graduating, he spent a summer at the Circle in the Square Theater School in Manhattan and later graduated from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.

Mr. Hoffman’s other notable film roles included one of two brothers (Ethan Hawke was the other) who contrive to rob their parents’ jewelry store, a crime that goes grotesquely wrong, in Sidney Lumet’s 2007 thriller “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”; as a rogue disc jockey in “Pirate Radio” (2009); and the campaign manager of a politician in “The Ides of March” (2011).

His principal works in progress were “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2,” in which he plays the head game-maker Plutarch Heavensbee. He had largely completed his work on the first film, but was scheduled for seven more shooting days on the second, according to a person who was briefed on the situation and spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality strictures.

The films, directed by Francis Lawrence, are set for release by Lionsgate, the first on Nov. 21 of this year, the second on Nov. 20, 2015.

As a director, Mr. Hoffman worked with Stephen Adly Guirgis, a Labyrinth colleague, on several well-received Off Broadway plays, including “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings,” “Jesus Hopped the A Train,” “Our Lady of 121st Street” and “The Little Flower of East Orange” — all tempestuous works about urban life — and a fantasy biblical discourse, “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.”

Also for Labyrinth, he played the title role in Robert Glaudini’s “Jack Goes Boating,” about the tentative love life of a pot-smoking limousine driver; Mr. Hoffman reprised the role in a 2010 adaptation, a film he also directed.

Labyrinth members were in a state of shock yesterday. “I had no indication at all,” the actor Felix Solis said in an interview. “He was our hero; he was our leader.”

On Sunday afternoon outside the building where Mr. Hoffman died, more than 100 people had gathered to mourn. The body was removed at about 6:40 p.m.; police officers formed a barricade to prevent people from taking pictures.

“He’s a local — he’s a fixture in this neighborhood,” said Christian McCulloch, 39, who said that he lives nearby. “You see him with his kids in the coffee shops. He is so sweet. It’s desperately sad.”

post #92138 of 93678
The same reason people continue to smoke cigarettes. They think they are bullet proof.
post #92139 of 93678
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 Bachelor (120 min.)
10PM - Castle
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Shailene Woodley and Theo James; Zedd performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

8PM - How I Met Your Mother
8:30PM - 2 Broke Girls
9PM - Mike & Molly
9:30PM - Mom
10PM - Intelligence
* * * *
11:35PM - Late Show with David Letterman (Will Arnett; Broken Bells performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (Larry King; comic Henry Cho)

8PM - Hollywood Game Night
9PM - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful (Special, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (Jimmy Fallon; Betty White; Bonnie Raitt performs)
12:36AM - Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: The Best of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (Bruce Springsteen, Robin Thicke and Eddie Vedde)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Writer Terence Winter; Albert Hammond Jr. performs; comic Brody Stevens)

8PM - Almost Human
9PM - The Following

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: Detroit
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Eugene
(R - Jan. 30, 2012)
10PM - POV: American Promise (120 min.)

8PM - Por Siempre Mi Amor
9PM - Lo Que la Vida Me Robó
10PM - Qué Pobres Tan Ricos

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

8PM - La Impostora
9PM - La Reina del Sur
10PM - Santa Diabla

11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
11:31PM - The Colbert Report (Author Jennifer Senior)
12:01AM - @ Midnight (Doug Benson; Seth Herzog; Megan Neuringer)

11PM - Conan (The cast of "That Awkward Moment'': Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller; musician Neko Case)
Midnight - The Pete Holmes Show (Rob Corddry)
(R - Nov. 12)

11PM - Chelsea Lately (Michelle Monaghan; comic Natasha Leggero; comic Sarah Tiana; comic Whitney Cummings)

Check Local Listings - Arsenio (Magic Johnson; Cookie Johnson; LaLa Anthony)
post #92140 of 93678
TV Notes
'Seinfeld' reunion was real; was it spectacular?
By Trey Barrineau, USA Today - Feb. 2, 2013

Jerry Seinfeld's highly anticipated "secret project" was unveiled on Super Bowl Sunday, and it's ...an episode of his Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee entitled The Over-Cheer in which he reunites with two beloved Seinfeld characters -- George (Jason Alexander) and Newman the mailman (Wayne Knight), Jerry's longtime nemesis.

The 90-second promo for the six-minute Web video aired on Fox just before Bruno Mars' halftime show. It features Seinfeld and Alexander seated in a booth at Tom's Restaurant in Manhattan (the stand-in for Monk's on the long-running NBC sitcom) discussing why George wasn't invited to this year's big Super Bowl party at "the Wassersteins." (It seems George over-cheered at their gathering two years ago when the New York Giants won the big game, then "availed himself of the toilet in their master bedroom.")

Newman shows up near the end, toting a box of danish for the Wassersteins' Super Bowl get-together.

In a statement released after the segment aired, Seinfeld explained the origins of the reunion project.

"Fox approached (Seinfeld co-creator) Larry (David) and me about doing some kind of Seinfeld reunion for the halftime broadcast because of the New York connection," he said. "So we thought throwing Jerry, George and Newman into a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was a fun way to do it. Larry and I wrote the script in one sitting, just like old times, and working with him, Jason and Wayne was a total blast as it always was."

post #92141 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Super Bowl 2014 Halftime Review: 'A Barnburner of A Bar-Mitzvah'
By Scott Brown, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 2, 2013

It was a night of shattered illusions. We learned that hype, no matter how testosterone-infused, doesn’t always culminate in something worth missing Downton Abbey for. We learned that professional football players can, in fact, make Pee Wee league boo-boos, that Dinobots have good agents, that Bob Dylan now looks like a drag-king character cut from Inside Llewyn Davis. We learned that Maserati isn’t an Italian luxury car manufacturer at all, but some sort of Little League fight club dedicated to bringing down The System, with the little girl from Beasts of the Southern Wild as its Tyler Durden.

And we learned that even as dizzyingly talented, dynamically swivel-hipped a performer as Bruno Mars can be made to look a little -- how to put this -- wedding band-ish, if the stagecraft framing him is a confinement, not an amplification.

That’s not actually as harsh a critique as it sounds. Mars himself was impeccable. Countless walk-ups were written about how hard the little pop polymath with the Thomas Pynchon name and the hair of a collectible maquette would have to work to earn the respect of 20 million semi-drunk sports fans breathlessly awaiting a GoDaddy commercial they might successfully masturbate to — and, failing that, a somewhat interesting football game. (Dead ball on both counts, I’m afraid.) But Mars, as countless other walkups predicted, delivered a fluid, frictionless set based on old-fashioned showsmanship. He hopscotched from hit to hit, exploding out of a “Billionaire”-anchored drum solo into “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Treasure,” and “Runaway Baby.” (At which point, some pasty, aging streakers somehow made it onto the field, and performed a pretty tight karaoke of “Give It Away” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’m fairly sure one of them was Weird Al Yankovic.)

But while Mars and his band, the Hooligans, resplendent in gilt throwback blazers, were note-perfect and full of flubbery energy (so much bouncing!), the view from the rafters (not to mention Twitter) revealed nothing so much as a real barnburner of a bar-mitzvah: Musicians, arrayed mostly in straight lines, exhorting a clutch of partygoers to have the good time they shouldn’t need any exhorting to have. Massive LED screens slobbered photons all over everyone and everything, but could not disguise the near-total lack of mega-staging and choreographic refulgence needed to overcome the black-hole gravity of the venue. No one was expecting another Beyonce-ized, shoot-the-lights-on kind of spectacle -- with Mars, the focus was always going to be the music itself.

But the designers and directors ran too far in the opposite direction, and after a splashy opening, the band looked stranded in an inky ocean of underlit benignity, bopping gamely in a void. After “Give It Away,” an energetic but off-key insertion, Mars took center-stadium for a yearning, pellucid “Just the Way You Are.” It was just the tipsy tens of millions of us... and Bruno. Sharing a moment together. And it was nice. But it wasn’t intimate, which is what it felt like the shapers were going for. Like a blind date with a great guy our parents picked out, the whole thing felt ceremonial and remote.

In other words: Still light years better than the abysmal game that bookended it.

post #92142 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Super Bowl Ads: Who Scored, And Who Wasted Their Money
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Feb. 2, 2013

Advance marketing campaigns have largely leeched the thrill of discovery out of Super Bowl advertising, since many of the spots were exposed before the game. Of course, that logic seems less assailable given that the game itself was essentially over on the first play of the second half, making viewing optional if you really gave a damn about who wins.

The level of perceived creativity in Super Bowl advertising has taken on a life of its own, which has led to the content generally being overrated. Moreover, one of the biggest sponsor categories — movie studios — are invariably challenged to come up with genuinely breakthrough creative, since a trailer is pretty much a trailer, the only difference here being the size of the stage and cost of the platform.

That said, watching the game like a regular fan (including a couple of pale ales just to complete the effect), here’s a set of knee-jerk reactions about the in-game advertising, assessing who scored — in a creative sense, if not necessarily a moving-product one — and who could have put those millions of dollars to better use.

Because they’re of special interest to Hollywood — and really belong in a separate class — we’ll break the movies out separately, followed by the rest of the field. In general, there were relatively few standouts, but also few outright howlers, with car companies conjuring some of the most memorable spots, for both good and ill. As always, when it comes to the size of a corporate footprint at the Super Bowl, there’s Budweiser, and then everybody else:


Need for Speed (DreamWorks):
Pretty smart, doing an ad for a high-testosterone movie without built-in sequel recognition that virtually omits any dialogue. Essentially reduced the project to its adrenaline-rush core.

Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount): If I could sit through another one of these movies, that spot would probably make me want to watch this one.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony): The special effects look fine, but for some reason as I watched it, I kept thinking about the first “Spider-Man 3.”

24: Live Another Day (Fox): I know, it’s a TV show, but the ad certainly looked like a movie trailer — and made me laugh for all the wrong reasons. Jack Bauer, trust me, you don’t want to go out this way, dude.


German engineers sprouting wings each time one of their cars hits 100,000 miles — including wings of varying sizes in the men’s room? Genius.

Chevy: The company’s spot about World Cancer Day was just beautiful — haunting, touching, a little movie, played out in 30 seconds.

Hyundai Genesis: Who can’t relate to the idea of a dad trying to protect his kid — and a car’s breaking system stepping in when he’s not available? Perfect way of pushing the product in a light yet highly identifiable manner. Too bad it’s other spot, with Johnny Galecki, was a waste.

SodaStream: Although this has always struck me as a completely unnecessary product, the company’s “banned” Scarlett Johansson ad was a winner well before kick off, going viral thanks to the NFL forcing a change because the company dared to mention fellow Super Bowl sponsor Pepsi. And it’s a good thing, too, since the spot didn’t air until the fourth quarter, when the outcome of the game was long since decided, and wasn’t particularly imaginative.

Budweiser: Unabashedly patriotic and designed to make viewers cry, the notion of every returning soldier receiving a hero’s welcome was enough to trump the inherent manipulation in the way it was mounted and produced. Ditto for the adorable-puppy-meets-Clydesdale ad.

Microsoft: A thoughtful look at how technology is changing — and improving — the world, while not-so-subtly linking Microsoft to those innovations.

Beats Music: Ellen DeGeneres seemed like the right talent for a playful spot pushing the music service.

RadioShack: A dizzying wave of ’80s nostalgia used to sell the stores’ new look. Clever.


Adorable kid finds out she’s getting a new baby. What’s not to like?

Coca-Cola: Old-fashioned and heart-tugging, America in all its diversity is united in its love for sugary brown water. And in reality, very little else. Got it — and much better than the second spot, with the young kid running (and running and running) for a touchdown.

Time Warner Cable: One of those weird fever dreams — “True Blood?” “Ray Donovan?” Diddy? — that kind of strangely worked.

Toyota Highlander: Hard to go wrong with the Muppets. But a modest winner at best.

Kia: As much as I enjoyed Laurence Fishburne’s “The Matrix” spoof, I also found it mildly depressing that he would do it.

Jaguar: Nicely produced spot featuring British actors explaining why they’re cast as villains in movies — and like to drive Jaguar. Although probably not as much of a recognition factor for a lot of viewers as the company would have liked to really make this pop.


Wonderful Pistachios:
What a criminal waste of Stephen Colbert as a pitchman.

Maserati: That ad with the kid was terribly dramatic, but I have no idea what the hell it has to do with cars.

Bud Light: Kudos to the idea of doing a serialized spot — with Don Cheadle and Arnold Schwarzenegger, no less — but the payoff to this reality-TV spoof felt like a missed opportunity. While I suspect it will score well in public polling, kind of a creative mess, conceptually.

GoDaddy: Someone quits their job on TV, in this economy, and that’s fodder for a commercial? Never thought I’d say this, but go back to teasing that you’re going to show naked women — or the other spot with the running bodybuilders.

Audi: I’m sure they thought the Doberhuahua spot and its “Don’t compromise” message was crowd-pleasing, but as executed, all they did was stumble into a possible plot for the next Kevin James and/or Adam Sandler movie.

CarMax and Geico: Hey, I love “Rudy” as much as the next guy — and for that matter, talking pigs — but what was the point?

Subway: Olympians eat at Subway, huh? Right, and rainbows fly out of the butts of German engineers.

Chobani: So if I buy your yogurt, a bear is going to break into my house to get it? Does anybody ever think these spots through?

M&M and Butterfingers: Apparently the candy industry just decided to be weird this year. Although did the latter really imply a chocolate-peanut butter-candy bar three-way? Kinky, but still….


“We will build your car” is a powerful message, but A) this looked exactly like the Clint Eastwood spot and B) Bob Dylan strikes me as a rather awkward spokesman to deliver it. Too many people will find themselves thinking, like I did, less about the loving imagery than, “Wow, why would Dylan do this?”

Honda: Having Bruce Willis deliver a car safety message wasn’t a bad idea, but why not just play it straight, instead of mucking it up with the Fred Armisen gag?

T-Mobile: Great for the Tim Tebow lovers out there, but kind of a waste for those who felt he was overexposed about three seasons ago.

Doritos: OK, the kid using the “time machine” to steal the guy’s Doritos was kind of funny, but it didn’t feel particularly special.

Chevy: So the Silverado truck will get a Bull laid? Cheeky, but — pardon the expression — where’s the beef?

TurboTax: While I like the idea of trying to dissect the sociology of the Super Bowl, trying to convince me to go worry about my taxes while I have a big plate of bean dip isn’t particularly appetizing or interesting.

Squarespace and Sonos: Not a bad idea trying to highlight what a strange universe the Web often is, but the spot left me with absolutely no idea what the company’s product does. And ditto for the second one.

WeatherTech: Despite the appealing “Made in America” message, not particularly well done.

Heinz: Probably effective, but “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands” strikes me as just a trifle too simplistic to be worthy of a Super Bowl campaign.

Oikos: Kind of fun to do a “Full House” reunion in the context of a commercial, but this just felt so … flat.

post #92143 of 93678
So many in our society are addicted to alcohol, drug legal and illegal, gambling, sex, whatever. When one see a high profile person died it does bring more eyeballs. Having work as a substance abuse counselor and witness the destruction people bring upon themselves it's no surprise he relapsed. There are a variety of reason addicts suffer with crisis and long-term management issues that range from finding immediate medical help to seeking help to preventing a return to their addiction. It's sad but easily for seen path he and so many more addict's take thinking they can now control there addiction this time..
Edited by biggiE48 - 2/3/14 at 5:29pm
post #92144 of 93678
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Critic's Notes
Why I Wouldn't Watch the Super Bowl and Won't Support Football: Let Me Count My Reasons
By Warren J. Blumenfeld, HuffingtonPost.com - Feb. 2, 2013


This guy is just an old fuddy duddy.
post #92145 of 93678
Originally Posted by Aliens View Post

I you used a real antenna, like Antennas Direct or Channel Master, you would be able to receive signals from Curiosity on Mars. tongue.gifsmile.gif

With all of the information available on AVS, I'm surprised anyone would use a Terk. I bought this sleek looking, long range Terk antenna from Circuit City back in the 90s and I got better reception with a coat hanger. I returned it and got a Channel Master. I now have an Antennas Direct DB8.

I use the Terk TV 5 because it works. It picks up my 3 PBS channels that are 30 miles away. I don't get any dropouts in the 18 channels I receive.
post #92146 of 93678
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

This guy (Warren J. Blumenfeld, HuffingtonPost.com) is just an old fuddy duddy.
post #92147 of 93678
Game got a 47.6 = 5th highest overnight ever.

Really high NY # in there really helped.

Seattle has a 92 share. eek.gif
Edited by dcowboy7 - 2/3/14 at 9:08am
post #92148 of 93678
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 #92149 of 93678
Nielsen Overnights
Early Super Bowl ratings: No record likely for New Jersey blowout
By James Hibberd, EW.com's 'Inside TV' Blog - Feb. 3, 2013

The biggest Super Bowl blowout since 1993 likely had an impact on the big game’s viewership, according to early numbers provided by Fox.

The 43-8 Seattle Seahawks victory in Super Bowl XLVIII drained some suspense from the annual telecast, with preliminary ratings strongly suggesting the game did not deliver record viewership this year. The overnight household ratings put the game at a 47.6, which is still the 5th-best showing of all time. Of the last six years, however, five Super Bowl telecasts set new record highs (last year broke the streak). In fact, the last four Super Bowls have been the four most watched TV programs in U.S. history (the long-running holder for most-watched TV program, the M*A*S*H finale in 1983, now ranks fifth). Last night’s 47.6 is down 1 percent from the preliminary rating of last year’s game, which was itself below the previous two years.

The top markets were Kansas City and Seattle. New York City had its best Super Bowl rating since 1987.

More accurate total viewership numbers will be released this afternoon which could change the results, including whether last night was a record telecast. Updates to come. In the meantime, here’s Annie Barrett’s rundown of the best and worst Super Bowl ads.

Historical chart: [CLICK LINK BELOW]


* * * *

Nielsen Overnights
'New Girl' Super Bowl ratings: 25.8 million watched

The ratings for Fox’s New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine post-Super Bowl episodes are in.

Both comedies had their biggest audiences ever Sunday night thanks to the huge NFL lead-in (but you expected that, right?). New Girl had a delirious 25.8 million viewers and an 11.8 rating among adults 18-49; Brooklyn had 14.8 million viewers and a 6.7 rating. That makes New Girl, which featured a guest-star appearance by Prince, the highest-rated scripted entertainment telecast in the adult demo on broadcast TV in three years (since Fox’s post-Super Bowl Glee).

How do those numbers stack up to previous post-Bowl entertainment shows? Really good for New Girl, though arguably disappointing for Brooklyn (see chart below). The best comparison for both is probably the last sitcom to run after the big game — NBC’s The Office in 2009 — which New Girl topped. The comedies were probably not helped by the Seahawks blowout since suspenseful games result in more fans sticking around to the very end and into the post-game show.

This is how post-game shows have stacked up in recent years among total viewers:

2014: Fox New Girl 25.8 million / Brooklyn Nine-Nine 14.8 million
2013: CBS Elementary 20.9 million
2012: NBC The Voice 37.6 million
2011: Fox Glee 26.9 million
2010: CBS Undercover Boss 38.7 million
2009: NBC The Office 22.9 million
2008: Fox House 29 million
2007: CBS Criminal Minds 26.1 million
2006: ABC Grey’s Anatomy 37.9 million

post #92150 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Feb. 3, 2014

CBS, 8:00 p.m. ET

Last week, this show spent time with Cristin Millotti, in flashbacks showing her character’s life and how close it came to intertwining with that of Josh Radnor’s Ted – significant, since she eventually will become the show’s titular mother. But on tonight’s new show, the focus shifts to Ted, who, on the weekend of friend Barney’s wedding, spends the night on the beach with ex-girlfriend, and Barney’s bride-to-be, Robin (Cobie Smulders). But don’t worry: they while away the hours recalling, and ranking, Ted’s other ex-girlfriends.

NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET
NBC seems to have thrown all its new episodes of this series into the first weeks of the year, so that tonight’s show actually serves as its Season 2 finale. With luck, there will be a Season 3, because this celebrity game show, hosted by Jane Lynch, recalls the more innocent and playful TV days of What’s My Line? And Hollywood Squares. Tonight’s celebrity contestants include Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Faison, as well as Penny Marshall and Fame co-star Chris Colfer.

TCM, 8:00 p.m. ET

Beginning with this 1954 musical, TCM tonight is presenting all five nominees for that year's best costume design in color films. A Star is Born, starring Judy Garland, is of particular interest. In 1983, American Film Institute made it the first film it treated to a top-to-bottom restoration, a treatment TCM itself applied, once again, in 2010. Take advantage of those efforts, because this is as complete, and reverently televised, a version (in Screen ratio as well as restored content) as you’re likely to see anywhere.

Showtime, 9:30 p.m. ET

This 2013 documentary tells the story of David Steinberg, a comedy narrative more than worthy of such a long-term examination. His personal story stretches from Second City to Curb Your Enthusiasm, from The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour to his own Inside Comedy talk show. I haven’t seen this documentary, so I’m not sure it’s the one for which I was interviewed a while back – or, even it is, whether any of my remarks made the final cut. But I’ll say it here, in case I don’t say it on-screen: David Steinberg played a pivotal role in the history of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and is a very smart, very funny comedian, director, and interviewer.

Showtime, 11:00 p.m. ET
The only mistake Showtime has made in renewing David Steinberg’s talk show with comics for a third season is this: Steinberg, by now, has more than earned a more prominent, high-profile prime-time programming slot. As is, tonight’s Season 3 premiere doesn’t begin until 11 p.m. ET. Now granted, it comes right after a prime-time documentary about Steinberg – but still. When your Season 3 premiere features Jimmy Fallon and Zach Galifianakis, both of whom respond to Steinberg by giving him respect and wonderful stories of their early influences and experiences as comedians, attention must be paid.


* * * *

Critic's Notes
David Steinberg Gets, and Deserves, Showtime Double-Bill Showcase

David Steinberg gets a well-deserved double dose of attention Monday night on Showtime: a documentary profile, and the season premiere of his Inside Comedy series…

The 9:30 p.m. ET documentary is called Quality Balls – The David Steinberg Story. Its testicular title comes from an admiring quote by Jerry Seinfeld, who used the term to describe Steinberg’s standup comedy style.

And indeed, that style, when the 71-year-old comic was in his mid-20s and appearing on CBS’s The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, resulted in a religious “sermonette” routine so controversial, it generated more negative mail to the network than any program had received in the history of broadcasting. When Steinberg returned to perform a second sermonette, CBS refused to televise it – then fired the Smothers Brothers and pulled their show from the schedule.

That controversy, based on the synopsis, is part of the Quality Balls documentary. (I don’t know if I am, because I don’t know if this is the Canadian documentary for which I was interviewed about Steinberg, or whether, if so, I made the final cut.) Also in this documentary is Steinberg’s long-awaited return to stand-up, and an overview of some of his many impressive credits as a TV comedy director. Not only did he direct episodes of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm, but his resume includes episodes of Weeds, The Comeback, Friends, Mad about You, Designing Women, Newhart, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, and a lot more.

Most impressive of all, though, is his work as host of TV talk shows devoted specifically to talking with other comedians. He did this first on TV Land’s Sit Down Comedy with David Steinberg (from 2005-07), and, more recently, for Showtime’s outstanding Inside Comedy series, for which he’s elicited stories and memories from, among others, Mel Brooks, Bill Maher, Carol Burnett, Tina Fey, Don Rickles, Judd Apatow, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin and Louis C.K.

Monday’s Season 3 premiere of Inside Comedy, at 11p.m. ET following the Quality Balls documentary, features Jimmy Fallon and Zach Galifianakis. (Fallon returned the favor by having Steinberg as a Late Night with Jimmy Fallon guest last Friday.)

Both Fallon and Galifianakis open up instantly and easily to Steinberg, and it’s an ease that comes from mutual respect. Steinberg gets what they’re doing, and what drives them – and they, in turn, can connect with, or even be in awe of, Steinberg’s past and present accomplishments.

Fallon, for example, is on the eve of taking over hosting chores at NBC’s Tonight Show – a job Johnny Carson once offered to Steinberg, as a fill-in Monday guest host, after he’d appeared as a guest on Carson’s show only a handful of times. As a result, between being a frequent last-second fill-in guest and an occasional guest host, Steinberg ended up clocking more Tonight Show appearances during Carson’s reign than anyone but Bob Hope.

Fallon would do well – very well indeed – to pay attention to how Steinberg acts as host. Yes, as he interviews his guests, he’s always listening for a place to inject a funny ad lib or observation. But he’s also listening, period, and doing follow-ups, and offering stories from his own past that urge his guests into revealing even more about themselves.

Quality Balls, yes. But quality interviewing skills, too – and it all comes from doing, supremely well, the same peculiar, difficult occupation as his guests.

Quality TV, too.

Edited by dad1153 - 2/3/14 at 11:50am
post #92151 of 93678
Critic's Notes
Teacher and Troll Both Start With ‘T’
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Feb. 2, 2013

By all accounts, young people are gravitating away from watching television in the traditional way, but that’s not stopping Nickelodeon from going after very young people. On Monday afternoon at 1, the channel unveils “Wallykazam!,” an animated series full of early literacy lessons for preschoolers. It’s a “Sesame Street” approach transplanted to a land of magic and kid-friendly mythical beings.

The stars are a blue troll named Wally Trollman and his pet dragon, Norville, a polka-dot creature that apparently has been spending a lot of time around dogs, because he fetches and does other doglike things. Each episode focuses on a different letter or sound. In the premiere, “Naptime for Borgelorp,” the letter S gets the call, and words that start with it are endowed with magical powers. Among the important lessons learned: You wouldn’t want to eat sand, but you can eat a sandwich.

Teachable moments about spelling and pronunciation are woven into gently comic stories featuring Wally, Norville and assorted other characters, like Bobgoblin, a troublemaking sort. Will little ones get something out of all this? “A panel of kindergarten teachers representing diverse areas of the country and child populations consulted on ‘Wallykazam!’,” the show’s press material says.

Edited by dad1153 - 2/3/14 at 12:00pm
post #92152 of 93678
TV Notes
HLN Ends ‘Showbiz Tonight’
By The Deadline.com Team - Feb. 3, 2013

Albie Hecht continues his march through HLN, today whacking Showbiz Tonight in the midst of trophy season. The entire staff — about a HLN Logodozen strong — is out, excluding host A.J. Hammer, who will stay on to cover entertainment news for Hecht’s new vision of the network. The final broadcast will be Thursday when nobody will notice, much less care, as all eyes will be on Jay Leno’s final show at 11:35 PM that night.

As with Leno’s team, laid-off Showbiz Tonight staffers are being encouraged to apply for other jobs at their network. “I want to thank the entire Showbiz Tonight crew for their many years of tireless dedication and work,” writes Hecht in a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser, which first reported the whacking that happened just shy of the show’s ninth anniversary on HLN. Showbiz Tonight debuted February 21, 2005.

Last November, about a month after taking over as GM and EVP at HLN, former Spike TV founder Hecht made some scheduling moves, replacing Kyra Phillips-anchored Raising America with a repeat of previous day’s Showbiz Tonight. (The Ryan Smith-anchored Evening Express was replaced by What Would You Do? — the ABC News show to which HLN bought cable TV rerun rights about a year ago.) “We have a real opportunity to grow the HLN brand; let’s get started,” Hecht said in a memo to staffers back then.

post #92153 of 93678
TV Notes
Scott Bakula to Star in CBS’s ‘NCIS’ Spinoff
By Tim Kenneally TheWrap.com - Feb. 3, 2013

Scott Bakula is taking a quantum leap to CBS.

Bakula has been tapped to star in the network’s planted “NCIS” spinoff, which will be set in New Orleans.

The planted spinoff, which will air as a two-part “NCIS” episode in the spring, will center on the NCIS New Orleans office, which handles cases from Pensacola through Mississippi and Louisiana to the Texas panhandle.

Bakula, who recently earned an Emmy nomination for his work on the HBO Liberace biopic “Behind the Candelabra,” will play NCIS special agent Pride, who embodies New Orleans. He’s driven by the need to do what’s right and does it all with warmth, passion, strength and humor. He’s described as a unique federal agent working in one of this country’s most unique cities.

“NCIS” executive producer Gary Glasberg will executive produce the spinoff, as will series star and executive producer Mark Harmon.

Bakula’s most recent series was TNT’s ‘Men of a Certain Age.”

post #92154 of 93678
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
'Seinfeld' reunion was real; was it spectacular?
By Trey Barrineau, USA Today - Feb. 2, 2013

Jerry Seinfeld's highly anticipated "secret project" was unveiled on Super Bowl Sunday, and it's ...an episode of his Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee entitled The Over-Cheer in which he reunites with two beloved Seinfeld characters -- George (Jason Alexander) and Newman the mailman (Wayne Knight), Jerry's longtime nemesis.

The 90-second promo for the six-minute Web video aired on Fox just before Bruno Mars' halftime show. It features Seinfeld and Alexander seated in a booth at Tom's Restaurant in Manhattan (the stand-in for Monk's on the long-running NBC sitcom) discussing why George wasn't invited to this year's big Super Bowl party at "the Wassersteins." (It seems George over-cheered at their gathering two years ago when the New York Giants won the big game, then "availed himself of the toilet in their master bedroom.")

Newman shows up near the end, toting a box of danish for the Wassersteins' Super Bowl get-together.

In a statement released after the segment aired, Seinfeld explained the origins of the reunion project.

"Fox approached (Seinfeld co-creator) Larry (David) and me about doing some kind of Seinfeld reunion for the halftime broadcast because of the New York connection," he said. "So we thought throwing Jerry, George and Newman into a Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee was a fun way to do it. Larry and I wrote the script in one sitting, just like old times, and working with him, Jason and Wayne was a total blast as it always was."


Does that mean at least Jerry and George got out of jail? biggrin.gif
post #92155 of 93678
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

TV Notes
HLN Ends ‘Showbiz Tonight’
By The Deadline.com Team - Feb. 3, 2013
“We have a real opportunity to grow the HLN brand; let’s get started,” Hecht said in a memo to staffers back then.


Why don't they just go back to providing HEADLINE NEWS?
post #92156 of 93678
Originally Posted by chitchatjf View Post

Why don't they just go back to providing HEADLINE NEWS?
Because your phone can do a better job biggrin.gif
post #92157 of 93678
Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
'Downton Abbey' Wins Super Bowl Runner-Up Race For Third Year
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Feb. 3, 2013

The race for second place again goes to Downton Abbey. PBS' ratings darling, which has gone head-to-head with the Super Bowl for three years running, again topped all non-NFL offerings on U.S. TV Sunday night.

Masterpiece Classic's outing of Downton Abbey, which it plugged alongside Sherlock with the promotional hashtag #DramaBowlPBS, averaged 6.8 million viewers during its 9 p.m. ET premiere. That makes it a touch bigger than last year's Super Bowl night haul of 6.6 million viewers.

Each year Downton Abbey has aired against the Super Bowl, it has enjoyed runner-up status on all of TV in both total viewers and adults 18-49 -- though demographics mean little to the ad-free public broadcaster.

At 10 p.m., PBS closed the third season of Sherlock. The drama averaged 3 million viewers in its third and final episode. That's shy of its U.S. series high -- 4 million viewers on Jan. 19 -- but up from last week's 2.9 million viewers.

post #92158 of 93678
Technology/Business Notes
Survey: Many Amazon Prime users may quit if price rises
By Alistair Barr, USA Today - Feb. 3, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO — Many Amazon Prime users would cancel their subscription if the cost of the shipping program increased, according to a recent survey, highlighting the risk the Internet retailer is taking in announcing a possible price hike.

During a conference call with analysts on Thursday, following disappointing quarterly results, Amazon said it may increase the cost of Prime in the U.S. by $20 to $40. The service, which includes free two-day shipping on most products from Amazon.com, currently costs $79 a year in the U.S.

Bizrate Insights surveyed Amazon Prime members in recent days and asked whether they would renew at different price points. Almost 200 responded and 46% of those said the current $79 price was too high.

About 24% of those surveyed were happy with $79 a year but said they would not renew if the price was $89. More than 15% said $99 was too much, the survey found.

Almost 5% said $109 was too much and 3% said $119 would cause them to cancel. Less than 8% of Amazon Prime members who responded to the poll said that they would pay any amount for the program, according to Bizrate, a unit of online price-comparison firm Shopzilla.

Amazon lured millions of shoppers by having the lowest prices, so it is always a risk when the world's largest Internet retailer raises prices, or even considers such a move. However, the company is struggling to keep a lid on transportation and fuel costs, so an increase in the cost of Prime will help cover those expenses.

Amazon is also moving away from its low priced strategy to focus more on convenience in some new parts of its business, such as the company's AmazonFresh grocery delivery service.

"We would not describe the move as a big risk, but there is some risk, as with any 25% to 50% price increase in something like this," said Michael Levin of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, or CIRP.

USA Tpday's Jan. 30 story about possible Prime price hikes was posted on a customer discussion forum on Amazon's website. About half of the 18 shoppers who commented as of Feb. 3 said they would cancel Prime, or would consider quitting, if the price increases.

Amazon shares fell 5% to $340.86 during afternoon trading on Monday, adding to losses of about 10% on Friday. The stock is now trading at its lowest levels since October.

Amazon spokeswoman Julie Law noted that Amazon has not raised the cost of Prime in almost a decade, even as fuel and transportation costs have climbed. "We believe Prime will still be a great value," she added.

CIRP surveyed 300 Amazon customers in the three months leading up to Nov. 15, 2013 and estimated that almost 10 million, or 58%, of the company's Prime subscribers had been members for less than a year.

That presents a bigger risk for Amazon because newer Prime members may be less loyal than older ones, CIRP said.

Overall, 7% of Amazon Prime members indicated that they probably would not renew their membership. Of those who had been members less than a year, 10% said they would probably not renew. In contrast, only 3% of Amazon Prime members that have had their membership for more than a year said they probably would not renew, CIRP's survey found.

"Amazon Prime Members who joined in the past year represent a different risk to Amazon," Levin said.

These shoppers have not renewed their original membership and have not yet had the chance to weigh the value of free shipping and other benefits, such as free streaming video, against the cost, he added.

Amazon's Prime program will likely grow more slowly if the company raises the price, but it will also gain members who will spend more on Amazon.com, Levin said.

Amazon may be betting on the psychological effect of Prime and other shopping membership programs, such as Costco's warehouse club. When consumers pay up-front for these subscriptions, they often use them more to make sure that they are getting their money's worth.

Indeed, Amazon's Law said Prime users order more items across more categories than other customers. That increased usage is another reason why the company is considering increasing the price of the program, she added.

post #92159 of 93678
TV Notes
Turner’s Adult Swim Block Expands To 8 PM
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Feb. 3, 2013

Already a force to be reckoned with in late-night, Turner’s Adult Swim is making a big play in primetime. Currently airing from 9 PT to 6 AM, Adult Swim will add an extra hour to start at 8 PM effective March 31. In part to offset the loss of an hour to Adult Swim, Cartoon Network will be introducing a new portfolio of original content online at CartoonNetwork.com and other branded digital platforms. In another change for Turner’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media portfolio of networks, Boomerang, the 24-hour commercial-free channel airing classic cartoons, will be introducing ads.

The new 8-9 hour of Adult Swim will kick off with back-to-back reruns of King of the Hill, leading to The Cleveland Show reruns at 9 PM. Adult Swim, best known for such animated/live-action originals as Robot Chicken, Childrens Hospital and Rick and Morty, ranks as No.1 in adults 18-34 on basic cable and is coming off its most-watched year ever. “As Adult Swim continues to succeed with record ratings and connects with its audiences more than ever, it is imperative that we find a way to grow this part of the business that keeps the essence of what has made it successful and competitive,” said Stuart Snyder, president and COO of AYAKM. Cartoon Network will continue to run its two-hour “early prime” schedule of animated programming, including Regular Show and Adventure Time, from 6-8 p.m., with on-air messaging inviting kids and families to turn to Cartoon Network’s digital platforms for a new slate of original content that will include shorts, interstitials, short-form and traditional series plus, free gaming opportunities. The initial slate will be announced prior to March 31.

post #92160 of 93678
Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)/TV Sports
Super Bowl XLVIII Is Most-Watched TV Show in U.S. History
By Rick Kissell, Variety.com - Feb. 3, 2013

It produced a lopsided result, but Sunday’s telecast of the Super Bowl on Fox drew a record 111.5 million viewers, according to updated Nielsen estimates — a reversal of preliminary numbers which showed the game was merely fifth all-time.

Sunday’s game figured to rate even higher, but the Seattle Seahawks jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and ended up winning 43-8 — one of the most noncompetitive Super Bowls on record. It was a dream matchup of the NFL’s top-rated offense (Denver Broncos) and its highest-rated defense (Seattle), and held in the nation’s largest market for the first time.

Sure enough, the household rating/share at kickoff (44.5/70) ranks as the highest on record and a sizable 12% above last year, suggesting that a more competitive game would have resulted in even higher viewership

Sunday’s big haul means the Super Bowl has established the all-time U.S. viewership high in six of the last seven years. The previous record holders for most-watched events in U.S. TV history were 2012′s Super Bowl, seen by 111.3 million, and the 2010 game, with 111 million viewers.

Last year’s game on CBS between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers ended up averaging 108.69 million viewers.

(Sunday’s average viewership was actually 112.6 million if you include the 528,000 who watched on digital platforms via FOX Sports GO and FOXSports.com and the 561,000 who watched the Spanish-language feed on FOX Deportes.)

Fox used the Super Bowl to funnel new viewers into comedies “New Girl” and “Brooklyn Nine,” with the former (10:23-10:54 p.m. ET) averaging an 11.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 25.6 million viewers overall — the best numbers for any scripted entertainment program on television since “Glee” did an 11.2 following the Super Bowl three years ago. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (10:54-1:25 p.m.) averaged a 6.7 in 18-49 and 14.8 million viewers overall.

The halftime act of Brunos Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which ran from roughly 8:05 to 8:35 p.m. ET, also set a record: 115.3 million. The previous highs were for Beyonce last year (110.8 million) and Madonna two years ago (114.0).

Sunday’s game from East Rutherford, N.J., was the first held in the New York area, and that helped produce a huge 50.5 overnight household rating for WNYW Fox 5 in Gotham — the highest there since the 1987 Super Bowl between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos earned a 53.4. The blowout also scored a 56.7 rating in Seattle and a 51.4 in Denver.

The top-rated market in the overnights was actually Kansas City (58.1 rating), whose Chiefs are a rival of the Broncos and likely loved the night’s result.

According to Twitter, more than 24.9 million Tweets were made during the live telecast of the game — more than the 24.1 million during last year’s game (which also featured a blackout that delayed the game for nearly half an hour). By comparison, the previous week’s Grammy Awards on CBS attracted roughly 15.2 million Tweets during the East Coast airing of the show.

The highest Tweets-per-minute were generated by Percy Harvin’s 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the third quarter (381,605 TPM) and Jermaine Kearse’s 23-yard TD pass From Russell Wilson with 3:11 remaining in the third quarter (271,775 TPM). The end of the halftime show, which featured Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, averaged 229,533 TPM.

Nielsen SocialGuide reported Monday that 15.3 million people saw Tweets about the Super Bowl, viewing an average of 120 about the game, halftime show or brands advertised on Fox. The number of unique authors (5.6 million, each sending on average 4.5 Tweets) was up 6% from last year.

And on Facebook, more than 50 million people had more than 185 million interactions (posts, comments and likes) related to the Super Bowl. The Harvin kickoff return and Kearse touchdown catch were also the most popular here, followed by Malcolm Smith’s interception of Peyton Manning run back for a touchdown in the second quarter and then the final seconds of the game. The fifth most popular moment on Facebook, the lone bright spot for the Broncos, was Demaryius Thomas’ touchdown to make it 36-6.

Elsewhere in primetime on Sunday, the other nets were scrounging for crumbs, with Telemundo able to pull a 2 share in adults 18-49 while ABC, CBS, NBC and Univision all did a 1. The top programs came in the 10 p.m. hour and benefited from the conclusion of the game. ABC’s “Shark Tank” (1.1 rating/3 share in adults 18-49, 3.7 million viewers overall) led among adults 18-49, and CBS’ encore of “NCIS” (0.9/2 in 18-49, 6.8 million viewers overall) drew the largest overall audience.

At PBS, “Downton Abbey” averaged 6.8 million viewers in the 9 p.m. hour, up a bit from the 6.6 million it drew against last year’s Super Bowl. It was the most-watched non-sports program in its timeslot.

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