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post #33031 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Washington Notes
Huawei is getting three more months before US ban takes effect
By Colin Lecher, TheVerge.com - Nov. 18, 2019

Huawei has been given yet another reprieve from the Trump administration’s ban on its products, according to Commerce Department documents filed today.

Earlier this year, citing concerns of electronic espionage, the United States moved to restrict the purchase of equipment from “foreign adversaries.” The decision took aim directly at Huawei, as officials expressed concern that the Chinese government could exploit the China-based company to spy on Americans. (The company has denied any wrongdoing.)

But after the initial announcement, Huawei and its subsidiaries were quickly granted licenses to continue work in the US. And after one 90-day delay ended in August, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross granted another, giving rural wireless carriers that rely on Huawei products time to change their equipment.

The delay was again set to end this week, but according to the documents, the US will grant another extension. Barring yet another change, the ban is now set to take effect after February 16th, 2020.

A Huawei spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The newest delay comes amid the continuing trade negotiations between the US and China. Despite lawmakers expressing national security concerns, President Trump has suggested that Huawei’s fate could be part of a trade deal with China.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/18/...ay-trump-china
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post #33032 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Syndication)
Nick Cannon Syndicated Talk Show Cleared for Launch on Fox Stations
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 18, 2019

A syndicated talk show starring The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon has locked in its first distribution deal — with the station group that airs his primetime hit.

Fox Television Stations will serve as the launch group for Cannon's untitled show, which comes from Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury. The show, targeted for fall 2020, will air twice daily on Fox-owned affiliates in some of the country's biggest markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

"We need to take big swings, and Nick Cannon should be a natural fit with our lineups," said Frank Cicha, executive vp programming for FoxTelevision Stations. "Plus, he can help me a lot in our Masked Singer office pool."

Cannon served as a guest host for The Wendy Williams Show, also produced by Debmar-Mercury, when Williams took an extended hiatus earlier this year after being diagnosed with Graves' disease. Debmar-Mercury and Cannon's Ncredible Entertainment will co-produce the new show.

"It's always been a dream of mine to host my own talk show, and I’m fortunate to have found great partners in Fox and Debmar-Mercury,” said Cannon. "My experience with Fox as a producer and host on both The Masked Singer, as well as the soon-to-air Nick Cannon’s Hit Viral Videos, has been exceptional. I’m looking forward to continuing our amazing track record together."

Added Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus, "Fox has been an indispensable station group partner for us and we’re excited to team with them once again. They share our strong belief in Nick, a multi-talented force of nature who will bring his fresh approach and track record of success to daytime talk. Nick has been able to build a brand name across all platforms with unique ability to connect to the audience, which is exactly what you need to do to succeed in this competitive world."

Cannon's show joins Sony's The Good Dish, a food-centric spinoff of The Dr. Oz Show, in hitting the syndication market for fall 2020 (the latter doesn't have any distribution deals lined up yet). The current season has seen one of the biggest first-run syndicated pushes in years, with seven national launches including talk shows from Kelly Clarkson and Tamron Hall and a court show headed by Jerry Springer.

Fox stations also carry Extra, TMZ, TMZ Live and The Real in syndication, all of which recently earned multi-year renewals.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...ations-1255607
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post #33033 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Business Notes (Mobile)
Legere to Step Down as T-Mobile CEO in April
By Mike Farrell Multichannel News - Nov. 18, 2019

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, perhaps as well known for hosting Twitter barbecues as securing what could be its biggest purchase to date -- Sprint -- said he will step down from that role at the end of April, upon which he will be replaced by chief operating officer Mike Sievert.

Legere, who’s long hair and penchant for magenta T-shirts emblazoned with the company logo was a refreshing departure from the staid, buttoned-down norm for telecom executives, said his departure would have no effect on the pending merger with Sprint. The deal, which received Federal Communications Commission approval on Nov. 5, currently is negotiating with several states’ Attorneys General who had previously moved to block the deal. The companies have said in the past they would not complete the transaction before those cases were settled.

“This succession news changing nothing in our plan to merge with Sprint,” Legere said on a conference call with analysts Monday. “We are not done yet, not by a long shot.”

Speculation had been high that Legere was being considered to run troubled real estate startup WeWork, rumors which Legere quashed during the conference call.

“I was never having discussions to run WeWork,” Legere said on the call, adding that his inability to comment because the succession announcement was in the works made it “an awkward couple of weeks.”

Legere was a bit coy about his plans for the future -- he said his top priorities are settling and/or winning in court the remaining AG suits, finding an appropriate Christmas gift for Sievert, and help setting up the integration of the new T-Mobile and the transition to Sivert’s leadership.

“Sometime come around May, we’ll take a look at that,” Legere said.

T-Mobile stock was down slightly in early trading Monday, priced at $77.94 each at 12:12 p.m., down 13 cents per share. Sprint stock was priced at $5.84 each at 12:12 p.m. Monday, up 1 cent per share.

Analysts were relatively unsurprised about Legere’s departure -- one said the company has been hinting about it for months.

"Part of the reason we feel less surprised, is because T-Mobile has been gently suggesting that Legere was not in it for the long haul,” Sanford Bernstein analyst Peter Supino wrote in a note to clients. “In fact, had the merger closed under a reasonable timeframe, we would be 1 year into the New T-Mobile by May 2020. We also note that recent operating results have been excellent despite the merger's drag on senior management's time. The evidence suggests that this company has its act together."

The analyst added that the combined company won’t necessarily shed Legere’s irreverent management style with a new chief.

Our initial take is that this will be as undisruptive as a CEO transition will be,” Supino wrote. “No doubt that T-Mobile loses Legere's noisy marketing style (though Sievert was previously CMO so there is less risk there than one may think), but the company gains a strong strategist who has been a big part of T-Mobile's recent success. We think T-Mobile is well past the point of needing a big personality to gain attention, as its consumer "premium value" proposition is now entrenched.”

https://www.multichannel.com/news/le...e-ceo-in-april
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post #33034 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘Saturday Night Live’ Ratings Slip With Host Harry Styles
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 17, 2019

The Nov. 16 edition of Saturday Night Live, with host and musical guest Harry Styles, has averaged a 3.9 Live+Same Day household rating in the 44 local metered markets and a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating in the 25 markets with local people meters.

That was down a bit from the most recent SNL original on Nov. 2, hosted by Kristen Stewart with musical guest Coldplay (4.1, 1.7). It also was a tenth above the lowest HH delivery since Nielsen changed its methodology in October (3.8) and off a tenth from the 18-49 L+SD rating the late-night program had logged since (1.7).

Last night’s SNL, on which Styles premiered his new single Watermelon Sugar, was the #2 show of the night in metered-market households and in 18-49 in the local people meters, behind only ABC’s Oklahoma-Baylor college football.

SNL almost triples its L+SD demo ratings with digital and linear delayed viewing factored in. About 29% of SNL’s total viewed minutes during the 2018-19 season came on digital platforms through short-form videos and full-episode views.

Besides the impeachment hearing cold open featuring Jon Hamm, which HAS amassed more than a million views overnight, here is the other videos from last night that have garnered more than 500K views by mid-morning Sunday, the opening segment of Weekend Update, also mainly about President Donald Trump’s impeachment hearing, and Styles’ performance of Watermelon Sugar: [CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE CLIP]

https://deadline.com/2019/11/saturda...ar-1202788293/
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post #33035 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘Kids Say the Darndest Things’ Down, ‘Batwoman’ Steady Up Against ‘SNF’
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Nov. 18, 2019

With a below average “Sunday Night Football” to contend with, some shows faired better than others in the TV ratings last night.

“Kids Say the Darndest Things” with Tiffany Haddish failed to build on its momentum from last week, dipping back down to a 0.6 rating among adults 18-49. The show did maintain 100% of its total viewership from last week, however. Its lead-in, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” was up on last week at a 0.8. “Shark Tank” sank to a 0.6 from a 0.8 last time around, and “The Rookie” also dipped to a 0.5, tying its series low.

Over on the CW, “Batwoman” used her cape to glide to the same 0.3 rating as last week and just over 1 million total viewers. “Supergirl” was also even at a 0.2 and 800,000 total viewers.

An underwhelming “Sunday Night Football” game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears led to a below average performance for the NFL on NBC. The game drew 13.92 million viewers in the fast national ratings. For comparison, last week’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Dallas Cowboys was drew just under 20 million. As ever, those numbers are subject to adjustment given the nature of live sports programming.

On Fox, the network’s Animation Domination lineup wasn’t boosted by an NFL overlap as it was last week, meaning “The Simpsons” was back down to its usual 0.8 rating, and “Bless the Harts” back down to a 0.6. “Bob’s Burgers” came in steady on last week at a 0.8, while “Family Guy” dipped from a 0.9 to a 0.8 also.

Finally on CBS, a substantial NFL over-run led to some inflated ratings, with “60 Minutes” scoring a 1.6 rating. “God Friended Me” scored a 0.8, “NCIS: Los Angeles” a 0.6, and “Madam Secretary” a 0.4.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/tv-...nf-1203407851/
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post #33036 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 18, 2019

BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA
CBS, 8:30 p.m. ET

Bob’s mom, Dottie, is being cared for at home now – but her preferred caregiver, Abishola, has stepped aside for Dottie’s children, Bob, Douglas and Christina. To Dottie, this is not an upgrade.

HIS DARK MATERIALS
HBO, 9:00 p.m. ET

Last week’s episode ended with a disturbing revelation – but one which made it even more clear why Ruth Wilson, who’s such an intense and powerful actress, agreed to star in this mystical mystery series. Playing her roles, she’s like a children’s poem: when she is good, she is very, very good. But when she is bad, she is… better. And now, as we all know, her Mrs. Coulter, who was pretending to be Lyra’s friend and protector, is very, very bad.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

In Memoriam
Remembrance of a Revered NBC Executive: Rick Ludwin
By Mike Hughes, TVWorthWatching.com's 'Open Mike' - Nov. 18, 2019

As "Weekend Update" ended on Saturday Night Live (11/16), a memorial photo of Rick Ludwin was shown.

That must have confused viewers. Who, exactly, was Rick Ludwin? And why didn't he look like the sort of people – musicians and actors and such – that SNL usually memorializes?

Ludwin was an NBC executive for 32 years, including key periods as head of late-night and variety shows, but left in 2012 after a falling-out with Jay Leno.

Ludwin died of organ failure on Nov. 10 at 71.

For decades, he was the one permanent force at a network that kept changing. He was, after all, the guy who saved Seinfeld.

And no, he didn't seem like someone SNL would know. He "always looked preppy and somewhat square with his neatly trimmed hair, wire-rim glasses and blue blazers," Bill Carter wrote in The Late Shift (Hyperion, 1994).

That was sort of why people figured he favored Jay Leno over David Letterman in the late-night competition. "Ludwin had essentially the same kind of regular, nice-guy personal style that Jay had," Carter wrote.

But he seemed to like everyone else, too. "Rick lives for late-night," one person told Carter. "It's his whole life."

And from that spot, he made the move that brought the network a fortune: Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David pitched him an idea for a series. They got a go-ahead, Ludwin once said, and "went away to that diner you see in the show, to work on the script."

The resulting pilot was shown to a test audience. The resulting summary is printed in former NBC programming executive Warren Littlefield's Top of the Rock (Doubleday, 2012). It described "lukewarm reactions among adults and teens, and very low reactions among kids," then concluded: "PILOT PERFORMANCE: WEAK."

NBC showed it on a low-viewer night (July 5, 1989) and let it die. But Littlefield, Ludwin, and some others liked it. Someone in the finance department had a suggestion: Within Ludwin's budget, do one less Bob Hope variety special and use the money for four Seinfeld episodes. "I let Rick Ludwin break the news to Bob Hope," Littlefield said.

Those episodes still drew doubts. "People were afraid it was too New York," Ludwin said. "Some thought it was too Jewish."

Ludwin – not Jewish and from Ohio – disagreed. Nielsen figures showed that those episodes (neatly tucked after Cheers reruns in the summer of 1990) were equally popular in New York, Chicago, and Seattle. Seinfeld stuck around and became – many people (including me) feel – the best TV comedy ever.

Ludwin was around for many of other key moves. When it came to late-night, I disagreed with one of his standards: No matter how good a musician is, there's no music until the end of the show.

But his basic approach worked well: Leno eventually topped Letterman because of the sheer quantity of his comedy, including longer monologs and long bits after the first commercial.

After Ludwin's death, there were on-air tributes by Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, and Conan O'Brien. A tweet from John Mulaney, a comedian and former SNL writer, called him "kind and thoughtful, in an arena where that can be rare."

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=19153
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post #33037 of 33420 Old 11-18-2019, 11:27 AM
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NFL scheduling changes for Week 13 Sunday December 1.

Oakland at Kansas City has moved from 1:00 PM ET on CBS to 4:25 PM ET on CBS.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh has moved from 4:25 PM ET on CBS to 1:00 PM ET on CBS.

================================================== ==


In related news since they have NFL Radio....

SiriusXM is having a FREE PREVIEW for car, online, app 11/22-12/3 - they still need to improve sound quality but free is free.

Available channels:
https://www.siriusxm.com/servlet/Sat...&ssbinary=true

===============================================n related news since they have NFL Radio....=====


& in more related news....the nfl playoff machine is now active -- YAY !!

http://www.espn.com/nfl/playoffs/machine


Last edited by dcowboy7; 11-19-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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post #33038 of 33420 Old 11-19-2019, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Critic's Notes
'Stumptown,' 'Evil' and 'Emergence' are the three broadcast shows worth your time
By Kelly Lawler, USA Today - Nov. 19, 2019

The TV world has been buzzing this fall with the debuts of Apple TV+ and Disney+, two new streaming services joining a world that already has too much TV. But that doesn't mean broadcast TV is dead. Far from it.

Three of the best new shows this fall are airing on ABC and CBS, and they're worth your time – and a DVR season pass or a watch on Hulu or CBS All Access – at least as much as fancy "Star Wars" shows or Jennifer Aniston soaps.

ABC's "Emergence" and "Stumptown," along with CBS's "Evil," are smart, well-crafted series that are not only good but getting good-enough ratings. ("Evil" has already been renewed for a second 13-episode season). That's a difficult feat for broadcast dramas, but these series have done it, somehow, with super-powered kids, Portland, Oregon, humor and a lot of priests. What else do you need for your TV diet?

"Emergence" is a network version of "Stranger Things": A Long Island, New York, police chief (the great Allison Tolman) discovers a mysterious superpowered young girl with memory loss, chased by men in suits. "Stumptown," based on a graphic novel, stars Cobie Smulders ("How I Met Your Mother") as a down-and-out private detective in Portland. "Evil" is a religious variation of "The X-Files," in which a priest-in-training (Mike Colter, "Luke Cage"), a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers, "Westworld") and a tech specialist (Aasif Maandvi, "The Daily Show") investigate whether demonic possessions, miracles and prophets are legitimate or hoaxes. (One's a believer, and two are skeptics, to keep things level-headed.)

Although the three series are quite different, they all have perfectly cast leading women. Smulders, always a gem on "HIMYM" and criminally underutilized in her few Marvel films, finally gets to flaunt her talents in a lead role.

Dex Parios, the ad-hoc detective she plays, is a type you've seen before – a messy personal life, a history of trauma, a hard-edged personality but fiercely protective of her loved ones – but Smulders makes her seem new and fresh. Dex has a surprisingly strong moral compass and sense of duty that seems at odds with her penchant for punk rock.

The series relies on a case-of-the-week format, and so far it's managed to be compelling but not overly complex. The supporting cast, which includes Jake Johnson and Michael Ealy, is also delightful. The characters genuinely like one another, and many times that makes for a more pleasurable watch than tense police dramas.

Tolman, of ABC's canceled-too-soon "Downward Dog" and the first season of FX's "Fargo," is also a strong leading actor who just needed the right project. "Emergence" feels, at times, like the latest in broadcast TV's long line of "Lost" remakes, but the writers make it more family drama than supernatural caper, which helps strike the right tone and balance. Jo's job as a cop makes the unraveling of the central mystery far more expedient, so the series can concentrate on the emotional ramifications of the sci-fi revelations rather than trying to make every mystery more confusing than the one before. A steady diet of questions and answers keeps the series chugging along easily, as does the cute kid (Alexa Swinton).

Perhaps requiring a bigger leap of faith than an indestructible little girl is "Evil," from Robert and Michelle King, the creators of "The Good Wife," and led by Herbers as Dr. Kristen Bouchard. She and Colter definitely have Scully and Mulder vibes and nearly as much chemistry. The series mixes religious oddities of the week with a bigger, season-long arc involving an evil Michael Emerson (as creepy as he ever was on "Lost") and debates about science versus faith. The series is also genuinely scary at times, especially in a Halloween episode with a new twist on the somewhat tired exorcism story. Parts of the story can lean into the fantastical, but Herbers, with her expressive eyes and cool dialogue delivery, is a grounding constant.

Investing in a new broadcast show can always be a risky proposition when it comes to quality and cancellation risk. But this year the trio demonstrates the big-network platform is not yet dead, creatively speaking, and hopefully we'll be seeing a lot more of Dex, Jo and Kristen in seasons to come.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/enter...me/4113401002/
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post #33039 of 33420 Old 11-19-2019, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Vikings Sequel Series Lands at Netflix; Valhalla to Follow Leif Erikson, Others
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Nov. 19, 2019

The offshoot of History’s Vikings is officially happening — and it it’s happening on Netflix.

The streaming giant announced on Tuesday that it has greenlit Vikings: Valhalla, an original MGM Television series from Vikings creator Michael Hirst that will continue the storytelling of his epic saga.

Picking up 100 years after the events of the original series (which will launch the first half of its sixth and final season on Wednesday, Dec. 4), Vikings: Valhalla will dramatize the adventures of the most famous Vikings who ever lived – Leif Erikson, Freydis, Harald Harada and the Norman King William the Conqueror (who was a Viking descendant). “These men and women will blaze new paths as they fight for survival in an ever-changing and evolving Europe,” reads the synopsis.

Jeb Stuart (The Fugitive, Die Hard) has been handpicked by Hirst to serve as showrunner for the follow-up, which will use much of the same crew as Vikings as it films in Ireland. Morgan O’Sullivan (Vikings, Penny Dreadful) will also serve as an EP.

“I am beyond excited that we are announcing the continuation of our Vikings saga,” Hirst said in a statement. “I know that the millions of our fans across the globe will be thrilled by the belief being shown in our show by MGM and Netflix. Jeb Stuart, a truly wonderful writer, will bring new storylines and a powerful visceral vision to stories about some of the most famous Vikings known to history.”

Channing Dungey, VP of original series at Netflix, also issued a statement saying, “Vikings: Valhalla promises to be everything that fans love about the franchise: heart-pounding, unstoppable action rooted in rich characters and dramatic storytelling that shines the light on family, loyalty and power. We are thrilled to bring the next iteration of the Vikings saga to life.”

https://tvline.com/2019/11/19/viking...dered-netflix/
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post #33040 of 33420 Old 11-19-2019, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Business/Washington Notes
DOJ to 'Terminate' Paramount Consent Decrees
By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable - Nov. 19, 2019

A new Terminator sequel is in the works. But this one is being produced by the Justice Department.

In a move that could change the video and movie distribution landscape, the Justice Department is planning to eliminate the Paramount consent decrees. Those decrees date from the 1940s and prevent studios from owning their own theaters and from block booking (forcing theaters to accept several films from the same studio in a block) and some other practices, which will still be subject to antitrust laws, just not the decrees.

"[T]he Antitrust Division will be asking the court to terminate the Paramount consent decrees, except for a two-year sunset period on the bans on block booking and circuit dealing," antitrust chief Makan Delrahim told the American Bar Association in a speech Monday (Nov. 18). "The sunset period will allow the defendants and movie theatres a period of transition to adjust to any licensing proposals that seek to change the theatre-by-theatre and film-by-film licensing structure currently mandated by the decrees."

Delrahim made it clear the move was to meet a changing content distribution environment.

"Antitrust enforcers were not cast to decide in perpetuity what’s in and what’s out with respect to innovation in an industry," he said. "With new streaming businesses and new business models, it is our hope that the termination of the Paramount decrees clears the way for consumer-friendly innovation."

It could be a potential boon, or even game changer, for video streaming and competition to traditional movie distribution.

When the decrees go away, a Netflix or Amazon could buy theaters and potentially give their subs the option for an in-theater experience for some of their streamed fare, perhaps as a subscription series for high-profile Amazon or Netflix originals as an add-on to the basic sub fee, or on an ad hoc basis for an additional per-screening fee.

Open Markets saw that prospect as a potential for more anticompetitive conduct by edge player giants.

"The Justice Department’s decision to lift the 1948 rules governing America's movie and theater markets gives giant corporations like Amazon and Netflix license to buy up theater chains and use them to choke rival studios off from the market," said OM executive director Barry Lynn. "The original 'Paramount' consent decree for decades ensured an open and competitive market for films and documentaries, in ways that promoted the vibrancy of American arts and American democracy. The DOJ's decision, coming atop its approval of Disney's purchase of Fox, has created a market structure that serves only the biggest of the big and will stifle creativity, entrepreneurship, and free expression.

"This decision also proves that Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim grossly misled the American people when he said he would engage in principle-based enforcement of America's antimonopoly laws, including a tougher opposition to vertical integration by dominant platforms and network monopolies," it said.

But in his speech, Delrahim said this did not mean open season for anticompetitive conduct.

"To be clear, terminating the Paramount decrees does not mean that the practices addressed in them are now considered per se lawful under the antitrust laws," he said. "They are not insulated from antitrust scrutiny. Rather, consistent with modern antitrust law, the Division will review the vertical practices initially prohibited by the Paramount decrees using the rule of reason. If credible evidence shows a practice harms consumer welfare, antitrust enforcers remain ready to act."

That is the same argument the FCC made for eliminating the net neutrality rules, which was that anticompetitive conduct would still be subject to DOJ and Federal Trade Commission enforcement.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...onsent-decrees
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post #33041 of 33420 Old 11-19-2019, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
‘The Lord Of the Rings’ Series Gets Early Season 2 Renewal By Amazon, Sets Season 1 Hiatus
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 18, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: As pre-production on Amazon Studios’ high-profile Lord Of the Rings TV series is gearing up in New Zealand, the streamer is moving ahead with an early Season 2 renewal for the sprawling adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels. As part of that, Amazon has commissioned the reassembling of the writers room to break the second season. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke confirmed to Deadline the news that the second season of LOTR is already in the works during the company’s holiday party Sunday night at the H Club in Hollywood.

Amazon Studios acquired global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings in a blockbuster November 2017 deal. It included a multi-season commitment to a LOTR series as well as a potential spinoff series. Still, each consecutive season after the first has to be formally greenlighted by the streaming network.

The early Season 2 pickup is good news for fans as it will allow for a shorter break between the end of Season 1 and the premiere of Season 2 on Prime Video,, which is available in 240-plus countries and territories.

In conjunction with the early renewal, the LOTR series will go on a 4-5-month hiatus after filming the first two episodes from Season 1, directed by J.A. Bayona. The writing team of the series, led by showrunners and executive producers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay, will use the time to map out and write the bulk of Season 2 scripts.

Taking a break after the opening episode or two is standard practice for shows with straight-to-series orders as it allows producers and executives to step back and evaluate the footage much like they would do with a pilot. By going on a longer than normal hiatus, LOTR will be ready with Season 2 scripts so it could possibly film some Season 2 footage during the Season 1 shoot or even film the remainder of Season 1 and Season 2 back-to-back.

That was a strategy used by Peter Jackson in shooting his blockbuster LOTR movie trilogy, also in New Zealand. That is considered a sensible approach for big-budget productions like LOTR as it helps find efficiencies because every filming ramp-up is expensive. Additionally, by extending the hiatus, the series, which, in keeping with the Tolkien mythology is expected to shoot primarily outdoors, will return to production after the winter season in New Zealand is over.

Set in Middle Earth, the TV series will explore new storylines preceding J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The lead cast, which is yet to be confirmed by Amazon, is believed to include Will Poulter, Markella Kavenagh and Joseph Mawle.

The Lord of the Rings series is produced by Amazon Studios. In addition to showrunners Payne and McKay, executive producers include Bayona and his producing partner Belén Atienza, Lindsey Weber, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, Sharon Tal Yguado as well as writers Gennifer Hutchison; Jason Cahill and Justin Doble.

Bryan Cogman and Stephany Folsom are consulting producers, Ron Ames a producer, Helen Shang a co-producer, and Glenise Mullins a writing consultant.

The rest of the series’ creative team includes costume designer: Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad), production designer: Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), visual effects supervisor: Jason Smith (The Revenant), Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.

https://deadline.com/2019/11/the-lor...ed-1202788730/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: CBS Comedies Rise, 'The Voice' Leads Monday
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 19, 2019

CBS comedies The Neighborhood and Bob Hearts Abishola hit season highs in total viewers Monday night. NBC topped primetime on the broadcast networks in adults 18-49 thanks to The Voice.

Fox's 911 took the week off, leaving the 8 p.m. hour a little more open than usual. That helped The Neighborhood (6.55 million viewers) and Bob Hearts Abishola (6.09 million) reach their biggest same-day audiences of the season. The Neighborhood also recorded a same-day season high in adults 18-49 with a 1.0 rating, while Bob tied its second best mark of the season at 0.8. Dramas All Rise (5.34 million viewers) and Bull (5.81 million) also improved week to week in total viewers; both held steady in the 18-49 demographic at 0.6.

The Voice's 1.2 in adults 18-49 (even with a week ago) and 7.65 million viewers (up slightly from 7.59 million) were the best marks of the night on the broadcast networks. Bluff City Law followed with a 0.5 in the demo and 3.64 million viewers, in line with its last outing.

ABC's preliminary ratings are likely somewhat inflated thanks to Los Angeles and Kansas City affiliates preempting regular programming for Monday Night Football. Currently Dancing With the Stars and The Good Doctor are both at 0.9 in adults 18-49. The CW's All American and Black Lightning each drew 0.2s in the demo, as they have for the past several weeks. Fox aired reruns of 911 and Prodigal Son.

NBC averaged a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 in primetime. ABC is currently second at 0.9, pending updates. CBS' 0.7 was good for third. Fox and Telemundo tied at 0.5, just ahead of Univision's 0.4. The CW drew a 0.2.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...8-2019-1256151
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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Back to Life’ Renewed for Season 2 at Showtime
By Will Thorne, Variety.com - Nov. 19, 2019

Showtime has handed a second season order to “Back to Life,” only nine days after the limited comedy series debuted in the U.S.

“Back to Life” was created and written by Daisy Haggard and Laura Solon, with Haggard starring as Miri Matteson who, after 18 years behind bars, returns home and stumbles back into adult life in the coastal town she once knew, while the mystery of her past looms large.

The renewal announcement was made by Showtime presidents of entertainment Gary Levine and Jana Winograde.

“‘Back to Life’ is a charming, funny and introspective comedy that resonates beautifully with Showtime viewers,” said Winograde in a statement. “With such sharp writing and sensitive, winning performances from Daisy and the cast, we are confident that this gem from across the pond has even more delights to share with us in season two.”

Season 2 of the series, which hails from “Fleabag” producers Harry and Jack Williams of Two Brothers Pictures, will be a co-production between Showtime and BBC Three. The show originally premiered in the U.K. back in April, and will wrap up its first six-episode season on Showtime on Nov. 24.

“Laura and I are delighted that Showtime and the BBC are giving us a chance to continue Miri’s story,” said Haggard. “There’s so much more to tell, and we are incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to do that!”

“Back to Life” also stars Geraldine James, Richard Durden, Jo Martin, Jamie Michie, Christine Bottomley, Adeel Akhtar and Liam Williams. Haggard, Solon and Sarah Hammond all exec produce, alongside Harry and Jack Williams.

“The reception that ‘Back to Life’ has received has been amazing,” added Harry Williams, managing director at Two Brothers Pictures. “Daisy and Laura are those rare writers that can make you laugh and cry in equal measure – which is a wonderful quality. We can’t wait for fans to see what they have in store for Miri this time around.”

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/bac...me-1203408908/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Nov. 19, 2019

THIS IS US
NBC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Don’t expect tonight’s episode to be full of happy happy joy joy. Its title comes from one of Leonard Cohen’s saddest songs: “So Long Marianne.”

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE
Movies!, 10:30 p.m. ET

I don’t know if you can get MOVIES! on your cable system, because I don’t know what your cable system is, or even if you have cable. But if you have MOVIES!, and can find it, watch it tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET. That’s when this little-known movie channel presents one of my favorite comedy films: 1944’s Arsenic and Old Lace, a sassy-smart film version of the classic stage comedy. Cary Grant, in one of his most broadly comic roles, plays a drama critic whose elderly aunts turn out to be mass murderers, poisoning gentlemen callers and having their equally deranged live-in relative, who thinks he’s Teddy Roosevelt, burying their bodies in the basement. What’s funny about that? Everything. Co-stars in this Frank Capra comedy include include Peter Lorre, Edward Everett Horton, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Josephine Hull and Jean Adair. Watch it – preferably while drinking a glass of wine. Elderberry, if possible…


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/

* * * *

TV Review (Broadcast)
'For Sama' is an Emotional, Riveting, and Unique Home Movie
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Nov. 19, 2019

Sama al-Kateab doesn't know it yet, but she's got one of the world's most riveting and sobering baby books.

It's a full-length film, titled For Sama, and premiering Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET in the PBS Frontline series (check local listings).

Like most baby books, For Sama was put together by Sama's mother, who, in this case, is Waad al-Kateab.

The film covers the five years Waad and her husband Hamza lived and worked in Aleppo, Syria, as sympathizers with the rebel force that took over part of the city and briefly dared to dream it could eventually wrestle all of Syria away from President Bashar al-Assad.

While Syria remains in turmoil, that particular band of rebels eventually was driven from their newly won turf by al-Assad's forces, with the help of Russian warplanes that turned most of that city into rubble.

Waad came to Aleppo as a teenager to study economics at Aleppo University. The uprising began in her fourth year, powered largely by activist students protesting what they saw as widespread corruption and injustice under the al-Assad regime.

Waad joined the rebellion, hoping to help those oppressed by al-Assad. She began filming life around Aleppo, including her own, and she became a citizen journalist, sending out dispatches that detailed life in a time of war.

A frequent subject in her reports was Hamza al-Kateab, a doctor at a local hospital and an activist himself.

They fell in love and married. Shortly thereafter, Waad became pregnant with Sama, who was born into a world where the sound of exploding artillery shells was more common than the chirping of birds.

A number of segments in For Sama look as if the camera operator has been grabbed and tossed aside. They're choppy, jerky, out of focus. A shot of a person becomes a shot of the sky or the ground. Background voices become more urgent and more indistinct.

This is deliberate. Al-Kateab wants to convey the chaos and terror of living in a place where nothing and no one is safe or immune.

When most of the apartments are struck by bombs from warplanes, she and Sama move into a small makeshift room in the hospital. The walls all have sandbags to protect against shrapnel from exploding shells.

Eventually, that is not enough. As regime troops slowly take back the rebel-held part of the city, airstrikes destroy eight of its nine hospitals.

For Sama repeatedly captures scenes of families and victims pouring into the remaining hospital, or sometimes being carried in. We see the dead separated from the living. Mothers come in and scoop up the covered bodies of their dead children, cradling them as they walk home for burial. The corridors, floors, and fixtures of the hospital are slippery with blood.

None of this is a secret. Waad notes that her dispatches are widely read. Hamza often goes on news shows via Skype to talk about what is happening. They report how regime troops slaughter civilians attempting to flee. They show children trying to escape chlorine gas, an indiscriminate killer.

And yet, Waad tells the camera, no one seems able to come in and help. The rebels, once full of hope, are gradually squeezed back to nothing.

As all this unfolds, over several years, Waad tells the camera she is making this film mostly because she wants Sama one day to have this record of what was happening with her parents when she was too young to understand or remember.

She wants Sama to know they fought for something they considered right and good, even if this time they did not win, and even though it left all of them in constant danger.

The film thus becomes its own statement of hope and defiance, and the same can be said for Sama herself, whom we see often and who is an extraordinarily cute kid.

If For Sama has a deeply personal underpinning, it also serves as a good primer for American audiences on the Syrian conflict. It comes from one perspective, of course, but it lays out the players and the conflicts in an understandable way, something that often gets lost in the widespread perception that the whole situation is an indecipherable carnival of horrors.

The al-Kateabs now live in London. The lingering question for them, it might be fair to surmise, is whether Sama will one day watch her film and be able to say the land of her birth has risen above these worst possible moments.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=19158
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Technology Notes/Review (Gaming)
Google Stadia: the best of cloud gaming is still just a beta
A beta worth waiting longer for
By Sean Hollister, TheVerge.com - Nov. 18, 2019

Google Stadia works.

That’s what you came here to find out, and I won’t bury the lede: on Tuesday, November 19th, Google will launch a cloud service that truly lets you play big-budget games without discs or downloads, consoles or gaming PCs. That’s because Stadia lets you stream the games you buy on servers in the cloud, and it’s more reliable than any service I’ve tested in a decade covering the technology.

If you’re expecting it to look or work as well as a high-end gaming PC or even a high-end game console, or if you’re hoping for a killer app, you may come away disappointed. But the overarching reaction I had while playing Stadia was the same I have with half-decent headphones: I’d happily keep playing if I wasn’t already spoiled.

All you need is a decent internet connection, a good Wi-Fi router, and your pick of Google’s Chromecast Ultra dongle, Pixel phone, or the Chrome web browser on a laptop or desktop. Oh, and a lot of patience. Despite the charm and an improved slate of games, Google’s cloud gaming service isn’t anywhere near what the company initially promised in March. It’s effectively a beta that Google is charging real money for, and you should wait until 2020 for that to change.

I‘m not going to restate my entire editorial about Google’s incredibly awkward launch, but I think it’d be helpful to tell you what Stadia is and isn’t so we can review it fairly.

Today, Stadia is a $130 one-time purchase, plus $10 a month (after a three-month trial), plus $20 to $60 per premium game;

--for early access to a service that lets you play a limited selection of 22 games you can mostly already buy everywhere else;
--except here, you can stream them directly from the cloud;
--on your TV with the included Chromecast Ultra dongle at “4K” resolution with high dynamic range (HDR);
--with the included wireless Stadia Controller, which is roughly equivalent to an Xbox One or Sony DualShock controller, except it only works wirelessly with Chromecast;
or on Google Pixel phones at “1080p” resolution, assuming you also buy a controller clip (or phone stand) and plug it in with USB-C;
--or via the Chrome web browser at “1080p” resolution, with any wired gamepad or mouse and keyboard of your choice;
--with the ability to seamlessly swap between phone and PC, or somewhat less seamlessly between TV, phone, and PC to pick up where you left off on a different device
--except without voice chat, captures, or Google Assistant on phone*;
--and without the ability to see achievements or share captures from any platform whatsoever, including TV and Chrome;

*In fact, Stadia reviewers weren’t able to try these things on any platform, though Google claims they’ll work on day one.

Sometime in 2020, Stadia will be a free service, plus the cost of games;

--for a catalog of as many as 44 confirmed titles, including standouts Cyberpunk 2077 and possibly Baldur’s Gate III;
--with an optional $10 / month Stadia Pro subscription to play them at 4K with HDR via your own Chromecast Ultra or Chrome web browser;
--with an optional $70 Stadia Controller that can theoretically hop between phone, PC, and TV without having to be turned off, re-paired or plugged in;
--which also lets you listen and chat with your Bluetooth headphones, not just a wired 3.5mm set;
--with achievements, the ability to instantly share gameplay captures to YouTube, and cross-platform voice chat;
--an unspecified amount of YouTube integration will enable some of Stadia’s promised features that didn’t make launch (see below).

Someday, Google has promised or suggested:

--You’ll be able to click on a YouTube ad for a game to jump straight into that game
--You’ll be able to live-stream to YouTube in 4K at the same time you’re playing in 4K
--You’ll be able to share a link to an exact moment in a game with friends or followers so they can try it instantly
--Streamers will be able to let viewers line up to instantly join their game
--You’ll be able to see your friend’s actual screens in some games to help you coordinate
--The controller’s dedicated Google Assistant button will be able to help you beat games
--Future games will combine the power of multiple Stadia servers to do things impossible on console or PC, like a single shared world for every single player, advanced physics, fully destructible worlds, huge numbers of NPCs, etc.
--Google will release its own games for Stadia with some of these features
--Other Android phones and perhaps iPhones will get in on the action
--Cross-platform multiplayer may happen

That’s practically half the Stadia review right there, because a lot of the features Google promised in March simply don’t exist yet. So let’s focus on what does exist: a service that lets you play entire games over the internet on TVs, phones, and web browsers, which is still fairly impressive all by itself.

Stadia is a service where, if your Destiny 2 buddies might need you for a raid, you might legitimately be able to contribute no matter where you are or what you’re doing — as long as there’s good Wi-Fi on tap. I fired up a session on the TV with the Stadia Controller while we were just blasting tiny minions, swapped to a desktop with a mouse and keyboard when I needed better aim for a boss fight, and seamlessly resumed the game on a smartphone before walking down the hall to grab a snack — all while playing with a colleague 5,000-plus miles away in London — without any major hitches.

Now, there’s next to no chance I’d actually be able to do that with friends because Destiny 2 has no cross-platform multiplayer (or adjustable FOV, in case you’re wondering). They’re probably going to play it on the consoles and PCs they already own. Bungie does let you sync your progress between Stadia, PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam — which is a huge point in its favor — but I doubt I’d convince anyone to switch when Destiny 2 looks so much worse on Stadia than other platforms.

Did you notice that I wrote “4K” and “1080p” in scare quotes earlier? For days, I’ve been trying and failing to get Google to admit that its servers aren’t actually rendering intensive games at what I would consider 4K. For instance, here’s a picture I carefully took with my iPhone 11 Pro when playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the highest settings Stadia seems to deliver today: [CLICK LINK AT BOTTOM TO SEE COMPARISON PICS]

And here’s a similar picture from my gaming PC with a GeForce GTX 1080, a video card that, theoretically, has slightly less oomph (9 teraflops versus 10.7 teraflops) than Stadia’s servers should offer. Tap to enlarge (or download) these pics to compare for yourself:

What you’re looking at here isn’t bad streaming; the stream is 4K. Not only that, but it’s also some of the best streaming image quality I’ve seen, without loads of the nasty compression artifacts that make other cloud gaming services look like there’s an ugly haze between you and much of the game. But where’s the sharp detail in Lara Croft’s character model? And where are the high-resolution textures? Google told me that Stadia is designed to run games at the highest resolution with all of the settings turned up, but clearly, that isn’t happening here.

With Destiny 2, it’s even more obvious that the game isn’t running at the highest settings. On a Chromecast Ultra, a “4K” stream looked closer to 1080p, and my colleague Tom Warren and I swore that the 1080p streams we were getting in the Chrome web browser looked more like 720p.

Initially, Google told us that it was using the highest-resolution, highest-fidelity build of Destiny 2 available. But Bungie later confirmed that our eyes weren’t deceiving us. “When streaming at 4K, we render at a native 1080p and then upsample and apply a variety of techniques to increase the overall quality of effect,” a Bungie rep said, adding that D2 runs at the PC equivalent of medium settings. That explains why the Xbox One X build, which runs at a native 4K and with higher-res assets, looks so much better than Stadia.

Frankly, those two games are the only graphically intensive ones we had time to test since Stadia’s launch lineup was a little bit lacking until Sunday evening and reviewers only got to try seven of the 12 original games. Stadia early adopters will point out that the new list of 22 games is more than most next-gen consoles come with, but there’s nothing next-gen about any of these games. It’s just a list of solid titles you can sink your teeth into for many hours if you haven’t played them already.

I can’t truly tell you whether Google Stadia will work for you with as much fidelity as you see above because I live in Silicon Valley, a mere 45-minute drive from Google’s headquarters, with a fairly good 150 Mbps Comcast internet connection and an excellent Wi-Fi router at my disposal. I’m likely close enough to the company’s West Coast data centers that I’m probably akin to a best-case Stadia user.

But I have to give Google some benefit of the doubt because we’ve never seen a cloud gaming launch on this scale: 14 different territories at once, including the continental US, UK, and Canada, with Google’s extensive cloud infrastructure and ISP partnerships backing it up. Stadia also seems remarkably good at maintaining image quality and latency in the face of bandwidth constraints.

I artificially forced my Wi-Fi down to 35 Mbps, 30 Mbps, 25 Mbps, 20 Mbps, 15 Mbps, 10 Mbps, and 5 Mbps speeds, and I found that games stayed playable down to 15 Mbps, even 10 Mbps if they weren’t fast-paced. Over a wired Ethernet cable, I was surprised by how accurate I could be with a mouse and keyboard after very little practice.

Nvidia’s invite-only GeForce Now beta has been my benchmark for cloud gaming, but I still view it as a major handicap for games like the brutally hard Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice because Nvidia’s service seems to handle bandwidth dips comparatively poorly. (I did beat Genichiro over the internet, but I view it as one of my finest accomplishments.)

That said, Stadia doesn’t seem to know what to do with a truly volatile network: over my local Starbucks’ speedy but congested Google Wi-Fi connection, Stadia tried to maintain visual quality and wound up stuttering to death, while GeForce Now looked like soup but let me keep playing. I also tricked Stadia into playing over a 90 Mbps LTE cellular connection where it ranged from totally playable to annoyingly stuttery, which is probably why Google doesn’t officially support cellular connections at all.

* * * *

Everywhere, there are signs that Stadia is unfinished, half-baked, and not fully thought-out, but that’s clear nowhere more than the Stadia Controller. Physically, it’s a pleasingly familiar, comfortable blend of Sony’s DualShock 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One gamepads. It borrows Sony’s stippled texture and oblong grips, but its analog sticks look and feel far more like Microsoft’s superior ones. Plus, there are Switch Pro-like face buttons for good measure. It has smoother triggers than Sony, too.

Functionally, it arrives with two practically useless buttons (Google Assistant and screen capture, both of which are barely functional at launch), a currently disabled Bluetooth radio, and it can’t control PC or phone sessions using its Wi-Fi-based direct-to-server connection, even though its internal Wi-Fi radio was pitched as the way you could seamlessly switch from one Stadia platform to another.

When I noticed that latency seems worse on a Chromecast with a wireless gamepad than on a phone with the pad plugged in over USB-C, I wondered if that small part of the Stadia idea might be flawed. When I plugged in wired headphones into its 3.5mm jack, the volume was far too low, and there’s static that shouldn’t be there. When I came back to my Pixel hours later, which was still plugged into the gamepad, I realized it drained a huge chunk of the phone’s battery. Apparently, it never shut itself off. When I hit the Stadia button, I was impressed by how it reaches over the network to fire up the Chromecast and my TV simultaneously — until I realized that Google doesn’t have any way to turn my TV off.

The truly impressive gamepad experiences I had while testing Stadia didn’t use the Stadia Controller at all, but Google does deserve credit for one: I loved how Stadia natively supported my 8BitDo SF30 Pro, right down to its rarely used rumble motor. I also loved just how good it felt to pick up an Xbox 360 gamepad and play Destiny 2 at 4K 60 fps on a Windows PC again, after days of training myself to adapt to a lesser experience.

There’s no reason anyone should buy into Stadia right now. Google has made sure of that, partly by underdelivering at launch and partly with a pricing scheme that sees you paying three times (for hardware, for the service, for games) just to be an early adopter.

But the nice thing is that no one’s forcing you to, either. Early adopters know who they are, and they’ll hopefully be subsidizing a better experience for the rest of us while helping Google work out the kinks. The technology works reasonably well, and Google’s gadgets can all be automatically updated over the air.

I can’t imagine many gamers paying three ways for Stadia today, but I could definitely see them paying once. They’ll want to know whether to buy a new console or upgrade their PC for Cyberpunk 2077 next April... and maybe decide to instead spend $60 on a Stadia copy they’ll only play in their Chrome web browser, using what will then be a free Google PC in the cloud. Maybe they see an ad on YouTube, press a button, instantly start playing, and get hooked. Maybe a streamer shares an epic gameplay moment they relive for themselves. Maybe the immediate gratification of a single game becomes the gateway for more.

Maybe Stadia isn’t another Daydream but part of a much bigger play. That’d be clever.

* * * *

GOOGLE STADIA FOUNDER'S EDITION

GOOD STUFF:

--It really works
--Clearer picture than early rivals
--Seamless transitions between a PC and phone

BAD STUFF:
--4K doesn’t look like 4K
--Chrome web version lacks fidelity
--Gobs of features are missing at launch
--Doesn’t work over LTE

VERGE SCORE: 5 (out of 10)


https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/18/...s-chrome-pixel
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TV Notes (Cable)
'Blue's Clues & You' Renewed at Nickelodeon After Strong Premiere
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 19, 2019

Nickelodeon has the renewed preschool series Blues Clues & You for a second season.

The pickup for the updated version of the 1990s series Blue's Clues follows a strong showing in the ratings for its first few episodes. The Viacom-owned cable network has ordered 20 more episodes of the show, equaling the number of installments for its first season.

Blue's Clues & You features human host Josh (Josh Dela Cruz) and animated puppy Blue as they search for clues to solve a puzzle in each episode. Blue leaves her paw print on the clues, encouraging the show's target audience of young kids to play along and interact with what's onscreen.

The series premiered Nov. 11 and drew solid ratings for its first week, averaging 647,000 total viewers, up 34 percent from the time-period average for the prior four weeks. More than a third of those viewers (257,000) come from the under-5 age group, the target audience for preschool programming. That was up 38 percent from the previous four weeks.

Original Blue's Clues host Steve Burns (who was involved in choosing Dela Cruz to host the new series) also appears on Blue's Clues & You and will return in the second season. Donovan Patton and Carolyn Fe will also have roles in season two.

Blue's Clues & You is part of a set of preschool shows on Nick that includes PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Abby Hatcher, Butterbean's Cafe, Peppa Pig, Nella the Princess Knight and Bubble Guppies.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...emiere-1256278
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Netflix and David Fincher Developing a Chinatown Prequel Series
By Mekeisha Madden Toby, TVGuide.com - Nov. 18, 2019

Chinatown is finally coming to TV. Deadline reports that Netflix has teamed up with filmmaker David Fincher and Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne to pen a pilot script for a prequel series of the 1974 classic.

Fincher, Towne, and Josh Donen will executive-produce the small-screen take on the tale, which will focus on a youthful Jake Gittes in Los Angeles as he adjusts to life as a private investigator. Netflix declined to comment.

Jack Nicholson of course starred as Gittes in the original film and the less successful and memorable 1990 sequel, The Two Jakes. In the first movie, Gittes is hired to expose an adulterer but becomes wrapped up in a world that is much more sinister.

Donen previously worked on Fincher's other Netflix series House of Cards and Mindhunter. Netflix wants Fincher to direct the pilot, according to Deadline, but that is not part of the current deal. Forty-five years ago, Towne wrote Chinatown, the late Robert Evans produced it, and Roman Polanski directed.

When Fincher made House of Cards for Netflix, he was one of the first big-named filmmakers to make the leap to TV. Now he's working on another series for the streaming service titled Mank. It's a drama that spotlights the battles between Citizen Kane screenwriters Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. The show will be shot in black and white and star Gary Oldman.

https://www.tvguide.com/news/netflix...david-fincher/
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TV Review (Cable)
‘Mad About You’ Revival: Banter, Bickering, and Boredom
Twenty years after the show’s finale, Paul and Jamie Buchman return to TV as angsty empty-nesters in a not-so-necessary limited series
By Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone - Nov. 18, 2019

Before there was Must-See TV, there was Mad About You.

Twenty-five years ago this fall, NBC assembled the foundation of what would be one of the best and most popular programming blocs in TV history. Seinfeld was already entrenched at 9 P.M., while Mad About You — a sitcom starring Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt as the happily married Paul and Jamie Buchman — was entering its second season leading off what had long been TV’s most profitable night (and its third season overall). To that duo, NBC added powerhouse hospital drama ER and a comedy about six twentysomething friends called, well, Friends. The newcomers were such instant phenomenons that room had to be created for potential new hits. So for the sake of the likes of The Single Guy, Caroline in the City, and Veronica’s Closet, the Buchmans drew the short straw. The show ran another four seasons — Hunt won Emmys for each of those four, in fact — while bouncing around less-heralded nights on the schedule, filling holes as needed. It concluded with a divisive final season where Paul and Jamie, now parents(*), edged near divorce, then actually split up in a time-hopping finale before reconciling when daughter Mabel was an adult. We were promised that they would live happily ever after.

(*) Mad About You wasn’t the first TV series primarily about a childless married couple — Reiser once hoped to end the show either without the Buchmans having kids, or with Paul meeting his new baby for the first time — but it was still an anomaly when it debuted in 1992. It remains so 27 years later, even as social stigmas about not having children have faded a bit. The most prominent show to check the same boxes in the years since was King of Queens, and that ended back in 2007.

In Peak TV, what is dead may never die, and the zombie television trend has finally come for Mad About You, which has Paul and Jamie still happily married all these years later(**), and dealing with empty-nest anxiety after Mabel (now played by Abby Quinn) begins her freshman year of college. And in what feels like a sadly appropriate echo of the series’ nomad status in its later seasons, this revival — perhaps we should call it Mad About, Nu? — returns not on NBC, not on another broadcast network, not on TV Land nor Pop, not on a familiar streaming service that might be looking to add to its library of episodes from the Nineties. No, the only home Mad About You could find all these years later — despite bringing back Reiser, Hunt, and several of their former co-stars (John Pankow, Richard Kind, and Anne Ramsay all make appearances as, respectively, Paul’s cousin Ira, Paul’s friend Mark, and Jamie’s sister Lisa) was on Spectrum Cable. Not a Spectrum subscriber? No Buchmans for you!

(**) Among the downsides to TV’s current obsession with revivals is the way many of them have to work around series finales that were quite definitive back in the day. Will & Grace and Roseanne at least threw in jokes about how things originally ended. Mad About You simply pretends its old finale never happened, and doesn’t discuss it at all.

In an era where every half-remembered show is being resurrected, the difficulty that this one — once popular, critically acclaimed, and award-winning — had in finding a new home might suggest there’s not much demand for it. (It’s either that or the fact that its rights are owned by a studio, Sony, that doesn’t have its own affiliated TV network — nor its own streaming channel, having sold its stake in Crackle earlier this year.) Nor do the revival’s early episodes suggest there is much need for this to exist.

The revival kicks off with Mabel heading off to begin life at NYU, and thus with Jamie freaking out about her baby moving away. As sage building superintendent Mr. Wicker (Jerry Adler) points out, the campus is literally five blocks from the Buchmans’ palatial apartment, and Mabel’s parents swing by her dorm room so often and easily, she might as well still be at home.

That the stakes are so small isn’t a problem in and of itself. The original series was, like Seinfeld, often a show about nothing — early episodes involved the Buchmans shopping for a couch, or getting locked in the bathroom — that got by on the easy chemistry between Reiser and Hunt. It’s that Mabel’s relative absence puts both of her parents into a tizzy, so that the Buchmans are at their most frantic the first time we’re seeing them after 20 years. The early episodes feel sweaty — sometimes literally, like a subplot about Jamie experiencing the symptoms of menopause at the worst possible moments — in a way that doesn’t serve Reiser and Hunt well.

New showrunner Peter Tolan (who was working on The Larry Sanders Show during Mad About You‘s original run, and later co-created Rescue Me) also tries to land Paul and Jamie in a contemporary context, with mixed success. On the one hand, Mark’s new wife — and Jamie’s new best friend — Tonya (Kecia Lewis) is not only a good straight woman for all the Buchman mania, but a welcome African-American face on a show that, like most of NBC’s Nineties sitcoms, presented a very white vision of New York. (For that matter, most of the new characters we meet — like Kimia Behpoornia as the editor at Paul’s production company — are people of color.) But attempts to do a culture clash between our aging heroes and a woke new generation — like Paul being called out as sexist by Mabel’s film class, or former acclaimed documentarian Paul now having to pay the bills making commercials for senior-friendly products like a pocket catheter — go over as clumsily as you might expect(***).

(***) Reiser was granted better material in this area with his guest stint on Season Two of Netflix’s The Kominsky Method, where he played the much older — with a gray ponytail to compensate for his disappearing hairline — boyfriend of Michael Douglas’ daughter. Season Two of that show was mostly a disappointment, but Reiser was a hoot.

Starting with the fourth episode, though, Mabel is mostly relegated to the sidelines, and the show is better for it. That’s not a knock on Abby Quinn, who — like Janeane Garofalo as the adult Mabel in the original finale — does a nice job of evoking both her fictional parents. But once the show and her parents accept that Mabel is doing just fine at school and doesn’t need to be checked in on as much, things calm down significantly, and the focus returns to where the series was always at its best: on the ways that Paul and Jamie do and don’t get along. The fourth episode, for instance, sees Jamie reviving an argument they’ve been having for over 25 years about why Paul never thinks to get her a toothpick when he gets one himself as they leave a restaurant. It’s completely pointless, but also the exact kind of fight many veteran couples will recognize the rough shape of.

The later episodes aren’t hugely funny — I felt something resembling a laugh from a spit-take Hunt does in an episode featuring the return of Paul’s mother Sylvia (Cynthia Harris) — but they’re pleasantly nostalgic in a way the frantic earlier ones never quite achieve. It’s about what you might have hoped for from a Mad About You revival, even if the whole thing feels unnecessary — particularly confined to such an out-of-the-way corner of the Peak TV universe. Being on cable finally allows the Buchmans to swear on occasion, but the Venn diagram of Mad fans waiting to hear Jamie say, “I don’t give a ****” probably doesn’t have a ton of overlap with those who also subscribe to Spectrum.

‘Mad About You’ The first six episodes of Mad About You premiere November 20th on Spectrum On Demand, with additional episodes arriving on December 18th. I’ve seen the first six. ★★1/2 (out of five)

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-r...review-913524/
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TV Sports
College Football Schedule
By lsufootball.net Staff

TEAMS : / TIME (Central Time): / NETWORK(S):

TUESDAY, NOV. 19:


--Eastern Michigan at Northern Illinois / 6:30 pm / ESPN2, ESPN Video
--Ohio at Bowling Green / 6:30 pm / ESPNU, ESPN Video

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 20:

--Akron at Miami Ohio / 6:30 pm / ESPNU, ESPN Video
--Toledo at Buffalo / 6:30 pm / ESPN2, ESPN Video
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY 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)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid - Nov. 20, 2019

ABC:
8PM - The Goldbergs
8:30PM - Schooled
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Single Parents
10PM - Stumptown
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Garth Brooks talks and performs; comic Mike Birbiglia)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor
9PM - SEAL Team
10PM - S.W.A.T.
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (LIVE: Journalist John Heilemann; journalist Alex Wagner; Stephen Colbert: The Newest Zealander)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Julie Andrews; Kristen Bell)

NBC:
8PM - Chicago Med
9PM - Chicago Fire
10PM - Chicago PD
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Singer Dolly Parton; Kacey Musgraves talks and performs)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Adam Driver; Jonathan Groff; Hozier performs; Jon Theodore sits in with the 8G Band)
1:38AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Ginnifer Goodwin; comic Chase Bernstein)

FOX:
8PM - The Masked Singer
9:01PM - Almost Family

THE CW:
8PM - Riverdale
9PM - Nancy Drew

PBS:
8PM - Nature: Bears
9PM - NOVA: The Violence Paradox (120 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
9PM - Cuna de Lobos
10PM - El Dragón

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Exatlón Estados Unidos (120 min.)
9PM - El Final del Paraíso
10PM - El Señor de Los Cielos

ESPN:
7:30PM - NBA Basketball: Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks (LIVE)
10PM - NBA Basketball: Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Clippers (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7:30PM - College Football: Toledo at Buffalo (LIVE)
10:30PM - SportsCenter (90 min., LIVE)

ESPN U:
7:30PM - College Football: Akron at Miami (Ohio) (LIVE)

BRAVO:
8PM - The Real Housewives of New Jersey
9PM - The Real Housewives of Dallas
10PM - The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Behind the Episode 1003
* * * *
11PM - Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen (Reality stars Carson Kressley and Teresa Giudice)
11:30PM - Blind Date

NBCSN:
8PM - NHL Hockey: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers (LIVE)
10:45PM - NHL Overtime (45 min., LIVE)

TNT:
8PM - All Elite Wrestling: Dynamite (120 min., LIVE)

USA:
8PM - WWE NXT (128 min.)

VH1:
8PM - Black Ink Crew
9:01PM - Martha & Snoop's Potluck Party Challenge

BET:
9PM - Tyler Perry's The Oval
10PM - Tyler Perry's Sistas
* * * *
11PM - Copwatch America

GSN:
9PM - America Says: Chicago Crew vs. Back to School

MSNBC:
9PM - MSNBC-Washington Post Democratic Debate (120 min., LIVE)

MTV:
9PM - The Challenge (91 min.)

CBSSN:
10PM - College Basketball: BYU at Boise State (LIVE)

FXX:
10PM - It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Season Finale, 60 min.)

TBS:
10:30PM - Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Conan (Dax Shepard)
11:30PM - Full Frontal With Samantha Bee (Special)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Trevor Noah - Votegasm 2020: The Roughin' Before the Stuffin' (35 min., LIVE)
11:35PM - Lights Out With David Spade (Michael Rapaport, Liza Treyger & Tony Rock)


http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/?aid=gapzap

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I love this tweet from michael mulvihill - some of the comments are really great too:

Top Five Shows Of Last Week Among Women 18-49:

1. CBS NFL National (4:25pm)
2. Sunday Night Football
3. Monday Night Football
4. FOX NFL Single (1pm)
5. Thursday Night Football

https://twitter.com/mulvihill79/stat...16180498989056

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Technology Notes
Alexa wants us to ditch our remotes for voice
By Jefferson Graham, USA Today - Nov. 20, 2019

Amazon wants to see more consumers using their voices to control their TVs this holiday season.

This week, it announced a new $35 product, the Fire TV Blaster, which acts as a universal remote of sorts, by enabling TVs that don't have voice access to respond to Alexa. It will be available Dec. 11.

The advantages of voice versus clicking are substantial, says Amazon vice-president Sandeep Gupta, who stopped by the Los Angeles USA TODAY bureau for a Talking Tech audio interview.

Voice is a more "flexible," experience and completes the task with less bother, he says. For example, say the viewer wanted to watch "Stranger Things" on Netflix.

Old way: Turn on the TV, use the remote to go to the input for streaming, open the Netflix app, search for "Stranger Things," then click play.

Amazon's way: "Alexa, play 'Stranger Things.'"

"We can do it all in one single command," says Gupta. "The same thing that took us five other steps to do."

But how does Alexa know which episode to bring you to? "Stranger Things" has three seasons of content.

Gupta says if you've never seen the show before, it will start you at episode 1, or if you have viewed, take you to the next episode in the series to watch.

Amazon's popular Fire TV streaming products (the No. 2 and No. 3 best-selling products in last year's Black Friday holiday promotions) can currently be paired with an Amazon Echo speaker to bring in voice controls on smart TVs with voice functionality.

For those who don't have them, in comes the Blaster. Amazon notes that you'll need an Echo and Fire TV streaming player, all three, to work as advertised. Echo and Fire TV streamers started at around $25 in last year's holiday promos.

The Blaster uses Infrared (IR) to control TVs, soundbars, satellite and cable boxes.

For those who already have an Echo and Fire TV, the Blaster will add hands-free voice control to what you could already have with the Alexa voice remote.

Amazon released the $119 Fire TV Cube in 2018, which offers many similar features but has the addition of a built-in speaker.

Consumers can pick up the Blaster for a third of the price, sans the speaker and advanced home theater tools.

Popular voice Alexa commands for TV:

—Turn on and off the TV.
—Raise the volume
—Pause
—Go back, go forward.
—Show me 4K movies


You can request comedies, dramas or movies by naming the actor.

The feature it can't do, one consumers would easily crave, is "Alexa, skip the commercials."

"No," says Gupta, flatly.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...on/4243489002/
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Nielsen Notes
Syndication Ratings: Holzhauer's Return Sends 'Jeopardy!' to Top of Charts
By Paige Albiniak, Broadcasting & Cable - Nov. 20, 2019

Week one of Jeopardy!’s Tournament of Champions, which featured the return of super-contestant James Holzhauer in the week ended Nov. 10, sent the show to a season-high 6.7 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 10% from the prior week.

That’s the show’s biggest rating since the week ended June 9, which included Holzhauer’s June 3 loss to Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, whom he returned to defeat in the November tournament.

Holzhauer will be featured in ABC’s Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament, which will see him face off against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in primetime when it kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 7.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which is paired with sister series Jeopardy! in many large markets, added 7% to hit a new season-high 6.3. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud remained in third place for a third straight week, even though the Steve Harvey-led game added 3% to a 6.0.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.5 for a seventh straight week.

Even with the Holzhauer boost, Jeopardy! was no match for CTD’s syndie leader, Judge Judy, which grew 6% to a new season-high 7.1, its biggest number since the week ended May 19, and extended its overall syndication lead for a 15th straight week. Judy has now led all syndies every week since the week ending July 7.

Judge Judy Sheindlin brain-child Hot Bench grew 10% to a new season-high 2.2, its best number since the week ending June 16 and ranking it as the third-highest show in daytime behind only Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 8% to a 1.4, while its Judge Mathis maintained a 0.9.

Fox’s recently renewed Divorce Court faded 14% to a 0.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence was on par with the prior week’s 0.5.

Also in first run, Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute remained at its series-low 0.8 for a ninth straight week.

Talk shows were steady to down after a strong showing in the prior week.

Dr. Phil held steady at its season-high 2.6 for second week and took first place in talk for the 166th straight week with five ties.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.1.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan remained at its season-high 2.1, claiming the number-two slot among talkers for the 37th straight week, including one tie.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 5% to a 1.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Maury flatlined at a 1.1 for the eighth consecutive week. CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 9% to a 1.0, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which was unchanged at a 1.0. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated version of Jerry Springer all were flat at a 0.9, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.3, respectively.

Among the rookies, NBCU’s The Kelly Clarkson Show, which was renewed for season two on Monday, and Disney’s Tamron Hall both held their ground at a 1.4 and a 1.0, respectively, in their ninth week on the air.

Clarkson continued to rank fourth among the veteran talkers behind only Phil, Live and Ellen. Hall held at its season high for a sixth straight week. SPT’s Mel Robbins also stayed at a 0.4 for the fifth consecutive week.

Jerry Springer’s Judge Jerry jumped 11% to a 1.0. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s Protection Court both were flat at a 0.5 and 0.3, respectively.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which also has been renewed for a second season, was unchanged at a 0.9 in its eighth week on the air. SPT’s off-GSN America Says stayed at a 0.6 for the fourth straight week.

CTD’s Inside Edition led the magazines with a 4% gain to a new season-high 2.9. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 4% from a season high set in the prior week to a 2.7. NBCU’s Access Hollywood held steady at its season-high 1.4 for a fourth consecutive week. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was preempted in the top-six markets for Fox’s Thursday Night Football, was penalized 10% from the prior week’s season high to a 0.9.

CTD’s DailyMailTV eased 11% from its season high to a 0.8. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2 for the 19th straight week.

Week two of Debmar-Mercury’s five-week trial run of Central Ave on Fox stations in select markets averaged a 0.8 raitng/2 share, down 27% from both its lead- in and year-ago time period average. Among women 25-54, Central Ave averaged a 0.6/2, off 25% from its lead-ins and down 14% from its November 2018 time periods.

On the crime beat, NBCU’s Dateline delivered a 9% increase to a 1.2. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol followed with a steady 1.0, while the lone scripted strip in syndication, NBCU’s Chicago PD, came in flat at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory warmed up 7% to a 3.1. Disney’s Last Man Standing stayed at a 1.9. Disney’s Modern Family fell 18% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 8% to a 1.3, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs, which was unchanged. Disney’s Family Guy grew 9% to a 1.2. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Mom, both of which improved 13%, and Disney’s Black-ish, which was steady.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...-top-of-charts

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Technology/Critic's Notes
How to choose the right TV for your home
The features to look for from QLED to OLED, HDR10+ to Dolby Vision
By Jon Porter, TheVerge.com - Nov. 20, 2019

Buying a new TV can feel like a uniquely stressful experience for any number of reasons. Most people tend to hold on to a TV for far longer than, say, they’ll keep a phone, so it feels like there’s more pressure to make the right choice. There’s also a terrifying amount of jargon to sift through, with little real information about which features actually lead to a better viewing experience.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula for buying the right TV. As with phones, you can’t just look at a TV’s spec sheet and know how it’s going to perform. Even if you could, everyone’s TV needs are different.

You could try to find a review online — there are some great sites that specialize in TV reviews like Rtings and HDTVTest — but although they’re useful, it’s impossible for them to cover everything. And even checking out a TV in a showroom doesn’t give you the whole story about how a set will perform in your home.

So instead, what we’re going to do with this guide is introduce you to all of the key features in modern TVs. We’ll lay out which features could be important to you, and which ones you’re probably safe to ignore. Think of this guide as a glossary: it won’t hold all of the answers, but it should arm you with the knowledge to make a better decision for yourself.

What resolution do I need?
If you’re buying a TV in 2019, you should probably be buying a 4K set. These TVs have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is enough to fit in four 1080p TVs’ worth of pixels. If you’re buying a smaller TV under 40 inches, then you might find that you’re only able to buy a 1080p model, but if it’s an option and your budget allows it, then you should definitely opt for 4K.

There are big ongoing arguments about whether your brain can actually perceive the full 4K resolution at the kinds of distances from which people watch TVs. But honestly, these conversations aren’t productive. 4K TVs don’t just have more pixels; they also tend to have wider dynamic ranges and color gamuts, which make for better viewing experiences, regardless of where you’re sitting or how big your TV is.

Maybe at some point in the future, we’ll transition to 8K (four times more than 4K), but that future is so far away that there’s not much point in trying to future-proof yourself by buying an 8K set now. Sure, maybe one day you’ll be able to watch 8K content on it. But by that time, there’ll probably be other things that are outdated about your TV, whether it’s the ports it uses, the apps it runs, or some other future features that haven’t even emerged yet.

What size is best?
There are various formulas that are recommended for choosing the best-sized TV for your house. Samsung, for example, recommends that you buy a TV that has a diagonal viewing distance of half of your viewing distance in inches. So if you sit 10 feet (120 inches) away from your TV, then you’d want a 60-inch TV.

But it’s more complicated than that, as anyone with a tiny or weirdly shaped living room can attest to. Sometimes you just need something that’s a little smaller, regardless of how far away you’re sitting from your TV.

The unfortunate reality is that many TV brands tend to prioritize their bigger sets for their most advanced technologies before allowing those features to trickle down to the smaller cheaper sets. OLED TVs (which we’ll get to in the next section) are a good example. At the moment, they’re currently unavailable in any size smaller than 55 inches — although there are indications that this could change in the future.

So if your budget and space allow, it’s often worthwhile to err on the larger side when buying a TV.

OLED or LCD or QLED?
One of the bigger decisions you have to make when buying a TV is what type of panel you want. These days, your choice is basically between OLED and LCD. (The latter is a category that also includes QLED.) Plasma TVs haven’t been around for at least half a decade, and MicroLED sets are unlikely to be widely available for years.

OLED is generally thought of as the more premium of the two technologies, not least because, in most cases, it’s a lot more expensive. Because it doesn’t have a backlight, each pixel is capable of outputting their own light or turning off entirely. That gives OLED displays really dark black levels, which provides a great sense of depth. In addition, viewing angles on OLED TVs are excellent.

What’s also nice about OLEDs is that basically every model on the market, regardless of manufacturer, uses the same panels produced by LG Display. This means that the picture quality is consistently good regardless of which manufacturer’s OLED TV you buy. The image quality isn’t identical, of course, but unless terms like “tone mapping” and “motion handling” mean anything to you, then you’re unlikely to care too much about the distinctions. The bar is generally very high for OLEDs.

But they’re not perfect. OLEDs can’t get as bright as LCDs, which means that they can suffer more from reflections in bright rooms. You’re also likely to hear about a problem called “burn-in,” which is when an image shown on an OLED TV over long periods can become permanently “etched” on the TV. However, Rtings’ latest report says that this won’t be a problem for most people, unless you’re someone who watches a lot of similar content over time, such as a channel that always has the same logo in the same place on the screen.

The vast majority of TVs on the market today are LCDs. Quality varies a lot more among LCD TVs, and there are also different types that are worth understanding. When it comes to LCD TVs, manufacturers tend to use either IPS or VA panels. IPS panels have better viewing angles, and VA panels have better contrast. (TN panels are common in PC monitors, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them used in a TV.)

You’ll sometimes see LCD TVs referred to as LED TVs, but at this point, the two terms are fairly interchangeable. An LED TV just means that it uses an array of LED lights as a backlight to illuminate its LCD layer, and on some models, these will selectively dim parts of the image to achieve better contrast between light and dark areas. (This is particularly important for HDR content, which I’ll get to in a bit.) Direct LED backlit (aka full-array local-dimming) TVs are better than edge backlit TVs here, and the more “dimming zones” they have, the better. Sony’s Z9D TV, for example, has over 600 individual dimming zones, but it’s much more common to see TVs with a hundred or less. Generally, anything above 50 dimming zones is good.

Finally, there are QLED TVs, which tend to be priced comparably with OLED TVs. These are fundamentally still LCD TVs, and they still use a backlight, but they rely on quantum dots to produce their pixels, which manufacturer Samsung claims means that its TVs are brighter and show more vibrant colors. They can’t achieve the same black levels as OLED TVs (they still use a backlight, after all), but QLED TVs excel in bright living rooms because of the increased amount of light they’re able to put out. In the same way that LG manufactures OLED panels, Samsung sells these panels to other TV manufacturers to use.

I’m not going to claim that either OLED or QLED is the better premium technology; they both have different strengths depending on how bright your room is. LCD TVs can still look stunning, but they vary a lot more depending on panel type and what kind of backlight they use.

What about the operating system?
These days, almost every TV is a smart TV. But there are a lot of differences between the operating systems of each TV as well as which apps are available for them. Sony TVs run Android, Samsung uses Tizen, LG uses webOS, TCL and Hisense use Roku TV, and there’s also Amazon’s Fire TV operating system, which is built into some Toshiba and Insignia TVs.

So there are a lot of choices out there. One thing to know is that none of these operating systems are a complete car crash that should be avoided at any cost. One approach is to work out which streaming services you rely on the most, and make sure they’re available for the operating system of your choice. And if your choice isn’t available, it’s not the end of the world if you have to buy an external streaming box. It’s a little messier to have to juggle two remotes, but it’s hardly a deal-breaker.

Bear in mind that newer streaming services like Disney+ will tend to come to streaming boxes before they come built into TVs. So you might end up having to use an accessory, even if you have the most feature-complete TV operating system.

Which TV features do you really need?
The four big defining factors of modern TVs are resolution, size, panel types, and operating systems. However, there are numerous other terms you’ll come across as you browse TV listings. This next section will attempt to explain the most important of these as well as outlining when you might want to pay attention to a feature and when it can be safely ignored.

HDR
HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is a feature that came of age around the same time as 4K TVs. Essentially, HDR TVs are able to display a wider range of brightnesses compared to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) TVs, going from darker blacks to brighter whites. When done well, this gives an image more vibrancy and punch, and depending on the content, it can have more of a benefit to how an image looks than 4K.

For the best HDR experience, you’ll need an HDR TV playing HDR content. Similar to how 4K TVs can upscale 1080p content, some HDR TVs can upscale SDR, with varying degrees of success. You can find HDR content on most major streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

There are several different HDR formats to look out for. The baseline is HDR10, which is the minimum you should opt for. HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) is also important if you want to future-proof your TV, as this is the format that HDR content will eventually be broadcast in over the air.

Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are more advanced HDR standards. They add support for something called “dynamic metadata,” which benefits any films or TV shows that contain both very bright scenes and very dark scenes. Dolby Vision is the much more common of the two, and the competition between them has been characterized as a mini format war.

I’d put Dolby Vision support in the “nice to have” category. It’s an improvement, but it’s more marginal compared to the step up to HDR in the first place. Considering the lack of HDR10+ content around at the moment, I don’t think it’s something that should be at the top of your priorities list.

If you’re looking for Dolby Vision content, then there’s plenty to be found on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, and Apple TV+. HDR10+ content is mainly located on Amazon for now. Both formats can also be found on Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, but Dolby Vision is far more common there.

The bad news is that the quality of a TV’s HDR can be annoyingly hard to quantify. There are plenty of awful TVs that will technically do HDR and are happy to boast about it. The best HDR TVs are able to go really bright and can produce really dark black levels, but it’s rare that manufacturers will provide this kind of information in their publicly available specs. Look out for the maximum brightness of a TV listed in “nits,” where 1,000 nits is considered a good baseline for HDR on an LCD display, while OLEDs tend to max out at just over 500 Don’t worry, though, the HDR is just as good (if not better) because of the darker black levels.

In sum: HDR10 good, Dolby Vision better, and not all HDR TVs are made equal.

HDMI
For the past decade, HDMI has been the only connector you really need on the back of your TV. But as screen resolutions increase and new features get developed, numerous new versions of HDMI have been developed.

If you’re buying a 4K TV, then most sets these days will come with HDMI version 2.0 ports. This is the HDMI version that most accessories currently use. It can do 4K content at 60 frames per second, and it’s fine for most people.

If you want to future-proof your set, or if you plan to do a lot of gaming on your TV, then it might be worth keeping an eye out for one with HDMI 2.1 ports. This standard has a bunch of new features, including support for Variable Refresh Rates (VRR), a technology that reduces screen tearing when you’re playing games. That’s not so important nowadays since the only consumer device that makes use of it is the Xbox One X. But with a new generation of consoles on their way next year, that could change very soon.

In sum: HDMI 2.1 is great if you want to future-proof, but for now, HDMI 2.0 is all most people need.

Sound
Sound is an aspect of TVs that’s not discussed very much, and it’s probably because most modern TVs are terrible at it. Unless you’re buying a TV with a built-in soundbar or front-facing speaker, then it’s likely to be hidden and producing sound by firing it downward from the rear of the set.

Soundbars and soundbases are a great upgrade for your TV’s sound, and most modern models tend to connect over HDMI using what’s called an Audio Return Channel (HDMI-ARC).
So if you care about sound, then either get a TV with a built-in front-facing speaker or soundbar, or make sure it has an HDMI-ARC port so you can use an external speaker. HDMI-ARC support for Dolby Atmos passthrough is a nice to have, but it’s only relevant if your speaker system supports the audio standard.

Should I buy a curved TV?
Lol, no. Oh, and while we’re at it, don’t bother hunting around for a 3D TV. Most manufacturers stopped producing both of these years ago.

How much should I expect to pay?
This is going to be the most contentious part of this guide, and there’s no easy answer. If you’re getting a high-end TV, then the $1,000 mark is a good place to start. This is the price that 55-inch OLED TVs have been known to drop to in a good sale, and you can also get a very good LCD at this price.

If you start to go cheaper, then the compromises set in. We wouldn’t say there’s a hard minimum for how much you should pay for a TV, but pay close attention to its specs once you get down to $500 or less.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to save some money, then buying a slightly older model TV can be a great option. 4K HDR TVs have been the norm for a few years now, and unless you absolutely need newly released features like HDMI 2.1, then you’re not sacrificing too much if you buy last year’s TV. Just be aware that you might not get as many years of support from your apps. Hulu’s updated app recently dropped support for at least one 2016 LG OLED, for example. In that case, it’s smart to budget for a set-top box, such as a Roku, Fire TV, or Apple TV, in addition to your new TV.

Conclusion
I’d love to be able to tell you that there’s a magic combination of specs that you can look out for to guarantee you’re buying a good TV. But unfortunately, there’s just a lot about TV quality that can’t be quantified on a spec sheet. LCD TVs range from the atrocious to the sublime, and HDR performance is so nebulous that you really have to see it for yourself.

But armed with enough first-hand reviews and an understanding of the features you should be looking for, you should be more than equipped to find something that will last you the better part of a decade.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/20/...s-backlighting
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Ratings: Emergence Hits New Lows Returning From Latest Preemption
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Nov. 20, 2019

ABC’s Emergence returned from its latest, willy-nilly scheduling preemption to just 2.3 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating, dropping 32 and 43 percent from its previous outing to easily mark series lows.

Of the Alphabet network’s Tuesday sitcoms, The Conners (5.7 mil/1.0, read recap), Bless This Mess (3.4 mil/0.6) and mixed-ish (2.6 mil/0.6) all held onto last week’s season lows in the demo, while black-ish (2.4 mil/0.6) ticked up.

Elsewhere on Tuesday…

NBC | The Voice (8.3 mil/1.3, read recap) was steady week-to-week, while This Is Us (7.3 mil/1.5, read post mortem) and New Amsterdam (5.5 mil/0.8, read post mortem) both ticked up with their fall finales.

CBS | NCIS (11 mil/1.0) dipped, FBI (8.8 mil/0.8) rebounded from last week’s series low, and New Orleans (6.9 mil/0.7) also ticked up.

THE CW | The Flash (1.3 mil/0.5) ticked up, while Arrow (742K/0.2, read recap) was steady.

FOX | The Resident (3.9 mil/0.8) ticked up, while Empire (2.7 mil/0.7) was steady.

The Live+Same Day numbers reported in our daily-ish ratings column do not reflect a show’s overall performance, given the increases in delayed playback via DVR and streaming platforms. These Live+Same Day numbers instead are used to illustrate any trends or high/low superlatives. Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

https://tvline.com/2019/11/20/emerge...n-1-episode-7/
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Joan Allen Joins Julianne Moore & Clive Owen In Apple Limited Series ‘Lisey’s Story’
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Nov. 20, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Joan Allen is set to co-star opposite Julianne Moore and Clive Owen in Lisey’s Story, Apple’s eight-hour limited series written and executive produced by Stephen King, from J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

Lisey’s Story is a deeply personal thriller that follows Lisey (Moore) two years after the death of her husband (Owen). A series of events causes Lisey to begin facing certain realities about her husband that she had repressed and forgotten.

Allen will play Amanda, the oldest of Lisey’s (Moore) sisters.

King wrote every episode of the series, which is based on his bestselling 2006 novel. King and Moore executive produce alongside Bad Robot’s Abrams’ and Ben Stephenson. Pablo Larraín will direct the series.

Three-time Oscar nominee and two time Tony winner Allen was most recently seen on Broadway this past season in Waverly Gallery opposite Elaine May. She is repped by ICM Partners.

https://deadline.com/2019/11/joan-al...ry-1202790991/
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TV/Production Notes (Digital)
Lara Logan to Host Series on Fox Nation
By Michael Malone, Multichannel News - Nov. 20, 2019

Lara Logan will host a four-part docu-series on Fox Nation. Featuring 16 total episodes, No Agenda with Lara Logan will focus on media bias, immigration, socialism and veterans.

Fox Nation is a subscription-based streaming service that launched a year ago.

No Agenda with Lara Logan will feature four 90-minute installments, each comprised of four episodes, that will be released simultaneously on the platform. It premieres in January. Logan will report “from the front lines of America’s political and ideological war zones and dive into a number of hot-button issues with on-the-ground coverage and expert interviews,” said Fox Nation.

“As we continue to expand Fox Nation, this series is the exact kind of compelling content we want to deliver to our subscribers and super fans,” said John Finley, executive VP of Fox Nation.

Logan was a reporter on 60 Minutes and chief foreign affairs correspondent at CBS News.

“This series is what American people tell me they want everywhere I go —honest, independent journalism that will not bow to propagandists and political operatives who use the media as a weapon to silence, punish and bully,” said Logan. “I am so proud to be part of this team.”

https://www.multichannel.com/news/la...-on-fox-nation
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TV Notes (Streaming)
Zombie Drama 'Black Summer' Renewed for Season 2 on Netflix
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Nov. 20, 2019

The zombie apocalypse will continue on Netflix.

The streamer has ordered a second season of Black Summer, a spinoff of former Syfy series Z Nation. Like the first season, which debuted on Netflix in April, season two will run for eight episodes. It's set to begin production in Canada next year; a premiere date hasn't been set.

Black Summer stars Jaime King (who will also be a producer on season two) as Rose, a mother who is separated from her daughter during the early days of a zombie uprising. Rose will stop at nothing to find her, joining a small group of refugees and braving a hostile new world in her quest.

Returning castmembers for season two include Justin Chu Cary and Christine Lee. Additional cast will be announced later.

Netflix ordered the spinoff in summer 2018, not long before Z Nation began its fifth and final season. Syfy canceled the show, a low-cost production from The Asylum, the company behind Sharknado, in December 2018.

Season two of Black Summer is a Netflix Studio production. Z Nation creator Karl Schaefer and John Hyams created the series and executive produce with Abram Cox. Hyams will serve as showrunner in season two.

The show is part of a genre lineup on Netflix that includes (among others) the streamer's most popular series, Stranger Things, The Witcher, Daybreak, The Umbrella Academy and The Haunting.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...etflix-1256578
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johansson to host Saturday Night Live
By Dan Snierson, EW.com - Nov. 20, 2019

Saturday Night Live will turn the show over to J. Lo and ScarJo next month.

NBC’s veteran late-night sketch series announced on Wednesday that Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett Johansson will host the Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 shows, respectively. Both women are no strangers to the SNL stage. Lopez, who stars in Hustlers, is returning for her third hosting gig. Meanwhile, Johansson, who stars in Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit — and is engaged to Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost — joins the not-yet-a-thing Six Timers Club.

DaBaby will serve as the musical guest on Dec. 7, while Niall Horan will perform on the Dec. 14 show.

NBC had previously revealed that former SNL standout Eddie Murphy would return to host for the first time in 35 years on Dec. 21. Lizzo will serve as musical guest for that Christmas show.

https://ew.com/tv/2019/11/20/jennife...n-to-host-snl/
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Obituary
Bob Kingsley, celebrated country radio host, dies at age 80
By Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean - Nov. 17, 2019

Bob Kingsley, a celebrated voice in country radio that impacted airwaves for 60 years, died Thursday at his home in Weatherford, Texas, after a battle with cancer. He was 80 years old.

Kingsley began his widespread influence on country radio in 1978 as the host of popular syndicated program “American Country Countdown.” He maintained the role in 2006, helping shape a generation of country music listeners.

“I listened to Kingsley every Sunday,” Kenny Chesney told the Tennessean, “as a child and as a college kid driving from Knoxville to Johnson City. I had heroes in country music and Bob Kingsley brought those heroes closer to me. He made them real, made them human.

“He was a friend,” Chesney continued. “Not just an associate within the business, but a true friend. He was also a true friend of the genre of country music and it will never be the same without his voice. I am going to miss him.”

Kingsley joined the Air Force at age 18, cutting his teeth as an on-air personality on Armed Forces Radio before working at stations in Texas and Los Angeles. As host of “American Country Countdown,” Kingsley expanded the show from a weekly countdown to also include holiday specials and album release programs with artists such as Chesney, George Jones, Alabama and Taylor Swift.

He launched “Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40” in 2006 alongside business partner and wife of 30 years, Nan Kingsley. The show runs today on an estimated 320 stations, a news release said.

Kingsley entered the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998 and National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016. Kingsley’s legacy extends to the Grand Ole Opry, where he’s the namesake and first recipient of the Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award. Presented each year since 2014, this honor benefits the Opry Trust Fund.

"All of our greatest memories have his name attached to them," Garth Brooks said in 2014.

He is survived by his wife, Nan, whom he lived and worked with on their Bluestem Ranch in Texas.

A celebration of Kingsley's life will be held at the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Nov. 14th. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Kingsley’s name to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum or the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/enter...80/4009765002/
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