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post #13591 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Garrett Adams View Post
I remember back when the weekly TV Guide ruled.
I remember when I used to deliver TV Guide weekly in the small town I grew up in.
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post #13592 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 11:06 AM
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Winter TCA Tour Notes (Streaming)
The Good Wife spinoff features F-words, partial nudity
By Lynette Rice, EW.com - Jan. 9, 2016

CBS All Access is promising plenty of “premium sensibility” for the The Good Wife spinoff. In other words, creators Robert and Michelle King say you’ll hear “people talk the way they speak in life” in The Good Fight — and that includes plenty of appropriate swearing (and some partial nudity).

I'm trying to find the right way to put this. I know there are a lot of people in this country that curse, and some curse quite a lot - it's part of their vocabulary. I've seen a number of comedies released in movies the last several years where it seems the F-word is used in every sentence. I'm not sure if it's because the people that write these shows and movies use those words a lot themselves or they try to put those words in there as many times as they can just for the sake of doing it. After a while, it gets to the point where you say to yourself "enough already" they have used it so much. That's my own personal point of view.
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post #13593 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology Notes (International)
Tired of Waiting for the Internet Repairman? Just Be Glad You’re Not in the Marshall Islands
By Feliz Solomon, TIME.com - Jan. 10, 2016

An Internet blackout in the normally well-connected Marshall Islands has been extended indefinitely as maintenance workers attempt to repair an underwater fiber optic cable that services the Pacific archipelago.

The small island country has been mostly offline for more than 10 days now, and users have reportedly suffered “Internet withdrawals” since the government forced them to quit social media “cold turkey” to save what little bandwidth has been left available during the maintenance.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. (ABC), phone and Internet communications have relied on satellite networks since the repairs began in late December. The satellites can only provide about 3% of the bandwidth usually supplied by the cable, which offers a high-speed connection that mostly carries U.S. military communiqués.

Work on the cable was originally supposed to wrap up by Jan. 8, ABC reports, but engineers have encountered setbacks.

“I’ve been told that locating the repair site is like finding a pin head in a 3-mile stretch of cable,” National Telecommunications Authority chief Tommy Kijiner Jr. said on Radio Australia, according to ABC. He added that, while there may be some frustration over the digital hiatus, “most people have been really cooperative.”

Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine reportedly told the country’s parliament during her state of the nation address last week that many Marshallese, as locals are called, were exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal.

“I guess it is human nature that people just want to check up on what’s going on with their Facebook sites but it’s been tough — people just cannot do without the speed and reliability the fiber-optic cable affords them,” telecoms chief Kijiner said. “It changes everything.”

http://time.com/4629911/internet-bla.../?xid=homepage
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post #13594 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Production)
‘Starcade’ Game Show Reboot In Works By Shout! Factory
By Denise Petski, Deadline.com - Jan. 10, 2016

Classic TV game show Starcade is making a comeback. Shout! Factory has acquired worldwide television format and ancillary rights to Starcade from JM Production company, the original game show creators, and show creators James Caruso and Mavis E. Arthur. The agreement provides Shout! Factory the rights to develop and produce a reboot of the show for television, as well as production of additional projects for a global audience. Shout! Factory will executive produce with JM Production Company.

Created by Caruso and Arthur, Starcade first aired in 1982 during the dawn of the video game era and is widely recognized as the first-ever video arcade game show, featuring great gamers competing against rivals playing the most popular games of the day in front of a live studio audience in order to win huge prizes. Alex Trebek hosted one of the first pilots for the show which was later picked up by Ted Turner to air on his then-fledgling cable station, WTBS; Starcade went on to air more than 130 episodes over three seasons on Turner.

“Starcade is a classic game show from the ‘80s and is pure nostalgic fun. We couldn’t be more excited to work with the original show creators to ‘retro-boot’ Starcade for a new generation of fans,” said Shout! Factory’s founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos. “As we continue to actively expand our reach into production and development for new series, movies, unscripted shows and specials, this deal exemplifies the type of content we plan to pursue which taps into the interests and passions of our company’s loyal fanbase.”

“We’re thrilled to be part of this Starcade revival,” said Caruso and Arthur. “We look forward to bringing the show back for all those avid Starcaders who have been waiting for years, as well as a new class of gaming heroes. Game on!”

The deal was negotiated by Shout’s Jeremy Whitham and James Caruso, the creator and executive producer of the original Starcade.

http://deadline.com/2017/01/starcade...ry-1201882385/

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post #13595 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post
I'm trying to find the right way to put this. I know there are a lot of people in this country that curse, and some curse quite a lot - it's part of their vocabulary. I've seen a number of comedies released in movies the last several years where it seems the F-word is used in every sentence. I'm not sure if it's because the people that write these shows and movies use those words a lot themselves or they try to put those words in there as many times as they can just for the sake of doing it. After a while, it gets to the point where you say to yourself "enough already" they have used it so much. That's my own personal point of view.
I will admit to dropping a few "words" here and there, but never around children or in polite company. I also don't mind very limited use of "words" if it fits with the character or the scene. I agree though that using "words" just for the sake of using them turns me off (Sausage Party anyone?) and I will not be checking out this new show.
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post #13596 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 12:12 PM
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Hmmm. Who paid for an FCC license to take up a whole analog channel to broadcast a program guide, back in the day?
To my knowledge, there has never been a dedicated over-the-air analog channel to broadcast a program guide.

Rather, there was a dedicated cable or satellite channel called "The Prevue Channel" that various cable and satellite providers would subscribe to that would show coming attractions. Then later a computer scroll was added to the bottom third or so of the screen to display current and upcoming shows, but I don't recall it going more than a couple of hours into the future and when there was over a hundred channels it would take a very long time to see what's on all the channels as the scroll was displaying only three channels at a time. Later the top 2/3rds of the screen would display various infomercials as well as coming attractions, and more recently would include episodes of old programs. The latest move was to drop the guide part because it was just about worthless when most cable and satellite providers had over a hundred to several hundred channels, and it was far more practical to make use of an electronic guide that most satellite receivers and cable boxes provide, and what was originally The Prevue Channel is now running mostly syndicated shows and movies that have been out a while.

Anyway, since this is a cable/satellite channel, there is no separate FCC filing.

Wikipedia has a page on The Prevue Channel -> TV Guide Channel -> TV Guide Network -> TVGN -> Pop: Pop (U.S. TV network)

With digital cable and satellite, some of the information the cable/satellite provider sends to the customer is information used by receivers or cable boxes to construct an electronic program guide and, depending on the device, could be searchable and used for scheduling recordings, typically a week or more in advance. But again it is part of a signal encased in a coax or part of the information beamed down from a satellite within the band licensed to that satellite provider, not something within the over-the-air TV broadcast band.

What has been over the air since the Digital TV transition is the PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol) information that is transmitted as part of the broadcast signal. In the PSIP are various pieces of information, including the program guide for that station, but as other posts indicated, the information can be rather sketchy and can go forward as short as just a few hours.

At one time printed guides were popular, including listings in the newspapers (yes, once news was printed on paper and delivered daily, and I recall there was a special TV section of the Los Angeles Times every Sunday), magazines (most popular being TV Guide, but I recall at one time there was a cable program guide), and more recently on the web (such as www.tvguide.com and www.titantv.com, as well as the program guide various channels and networks have on their web sites). My current favorite happens to be www.titan.tv, where I have an account and have created two personal lineups, one of which I use for scanning for movies that I think I may like and for planning out my DVR recording schedule, but the actual scheduling of recordings is done by selecting titles from the program guide on the DVR that the DVR has received as part of the digital data from through the cable from Comcast.

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post #13597 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by MRM4 View Post
I'm trying to find the right way to put this. I know there are a lot of people in this country that curse, and some curse quite a lot - it's part of their vocabulary. I've seen a number of comedies released in movies the last several years where it seems the F-word is used in every sentence. I'm not sure if it's because the people that write these shows and movies use those words a lot themselves or they try to put those words in there as many times as they can just for the sake of doing it. After a while, it gets to the point where you say to yourself "enough already" they have used it so much. That's my own personal point of view.
I have been saying that for years and have gotten plenty of grief right here in HOTP. Unfortunately, now that I'm retired and have the opportunity to "eavesdrop" in the check-out line, etc., I think a lot of people do use that language in their everyday lives, even teens speaking to their parents. Heck, I know people who have a leadership role in their church who think nothing of using the F-word. When I challenge them, they blush, but that's about it. I will say that I agree in part with the "expect" aspect. There are times I did expect cursing on TGW and other shows, but as the ratings show, it wasn't needed. And yes, I know what "frakking" was a substitute for.

Cheers, Dave
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post #13598 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark12547 View Post
To my knowledge, there has never been a dedicated over-the-air analog channel to broadcast a program guide.
While there was no "dedicated channel", analog broadcasters could transmit limited program information consisting of only the name of the current program. It used the same system as closed caption and was added to the signal by the CC encoder. When digital broadcasting began, PSIP information transmitted by a stations digital channel also contained a full guide for the station's analog channel.

Not many people are aware of PSIP program guides, not so much due to broadcasters indifference as it is to poor implementation by set manufacturers.
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post #13599 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 02:10 PM
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And yes, I know what "frakking" was a substitute for.
Been using it for years in all its permutations and no self-righteous scold can say a thing.* The greatest gift the Sons of Kobol ever gave the human race.

*George Carlin was right.
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post #13600 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 02:46 PM
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Is the electronic program guide completely independent of the internet, so that it can work properly even if the internet is not available? TV needs to be careful not to put all of its eggs into the internet basket.
Dr Don passed this one on to me, hoping I had something to contribute. Although I'm no expert on ATSC 3.0 nor how DTV Stations prepare Guide Data, I have been paying attention to what's coming and have glanced at the ATSC 3.0 Specs for Link Layer Protocol (RF Waveform), new Audio Codecs and new Video Codecs.

After looking though all of the likely ATSC 3.0 Specs that might have mentioned "PSIP" or "Guide" (as in program guide), I failed to find ANYTHING under those Search Terms.....or in the List of Contents. [PSIP is how Daily/Weekly Program Guide Data is Transmitted for a particular Station within their ATSC Waveform.] I also failed to get any useful "hits" doing a Google Search for +"ATSC 3.0" +"Program Guide".

In the "ATSC 3.0 Transition and Deployment Guide", v1.1, dtg 19Oct2016, the old ATSC 1.0 version of the PSIP Spec [ATSC A/65] WAS mentioned as being what would continue to be used in ATSC 3.0 [see pg 46-47], although the delivery format would be somewhat different since ATSC 3.0 uses IP type protocols. It also said that OTA and/or Internet Source would be used by DTV's for DISPLAY of Program Guide Information....same as current implementations [see Accessibility para on pg40]:
http://info.gatesair.com/atsc-3.0-guide-download

FYI: Program Guide Data Transmission in OTA PSIP is a MANDATORY ATSC Requirement [and hence ALSO ATSC 3.0....unless superseded by future changes to ATSC 3.0 Specs]. Unfortunately, most Stations provided the absolute MINIMUM amount of data in their PSIP [for JUST that ONE Station]. With SMART DTV's grabbing Program Data over their Internet connections, there is even less interest in STATION PERSONNEL performing this task to fill in their PSIP....over and above whatever they ALREADY do (probably using DIFFERENT S/W App) to send Program Guide Data for THEIR Station to the Company that pulls together Program Guide Data for ALL Stations and distributes to CABLE/SAT Systems via Internet. [Was TRIBUNE....now GRACENOTE.] Hmm....sounds like the two S/W Programs failed to TALK to each other very well....if at ALL....there is really NO EXCUSE for the OTA Program Guide Data being any different than "short form" version displayed on Cable DVR/STB's. BTW: The SAME COLLECTIVE Program Guide Data can be downloaded or periodically queried for FREE via Internet to populate PC Based Program Guide Display Programs and DTV Viewers, incl. Microsoft Media Center.

Although no longer available, from 2006-2013, the GemStar TVGOS (TV Guide On-Screen....later bought by Macrovision and eventually Rovi) provided a COLLECTIVE Program Guide Data for a particular DMA [obtained from SAME National Program Guide Collator], which was provided (via Internet) to one (and perhaps more than one) Local DTV Station, which would include it as a Private TVGOS Data Broadcast Sub-Channel. A FEW DTV's could strip out that Sub-Channel from the Composite MPEG2 Data Stream and use it to populate a COLLECTIVE TVGOS Program Guide App....but ONLY UPDATED WHEN tuned to that particular Station(s)....for a fairly significant period of time...much more than a few seconds.

TVGOS was a HUGE improvement compared to OTA PSIP....but DTV Mfr's STOPPED Paying for TVGOS, so the Data to populate the Sub-Channels went away shortly after SMART DTV's became available....which resulted in many Very Angry TV Owners....until they too bought a new SMART DTV. TVGOS had limitations, since it didn't work if a user couldn't receive the [usually one and only] TVGOS Station in their market. [And I don't know how well it worked if a viewer was between TVGOS Stations in different DMA's.]

Today, SMART DTV's obtain COLLECTIVE Program Guide Data via their Internet Connection....nearly the same way as is done to populate Cable Boxes. I don't even KNOW whether they all even have the ABILITY to Display OTA PSIP Program Guide Data anymore. Fol. describes history of Electronic Program Guides:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_program_guide

BTW: Transmission of Program Guide via PSIP in OTA Broadcasts is INHERENTLY DEFECTIVE.....from what I've seen, DTV/STB's only collect Guide Data [very, very slowly] for the Station currently being watched and have to CHANGE to ANOTHER Station to BEGIN to collect [very, very slowly] the current Program Guide Data for THAT Station....and STAY THERE for quite some time before going on to the NEXT Station, ad nauseum. At the MINIMUM, I think that there should be COLLECTIVE Program Guide Data transmitted by ALL ATSC 3.0 Transmitters [although may vary from Station to Station depending on WHERE they are located in the DMA], so a viewer doesn't have to WAIT to receive CURRENT Program Guide Data whenever changing channels. [Alternatively, it would have helped if DTV Stations had included a low-data rate Video Sub-Channel, showing what's on with a very brief description for the next 2-3 hours, eventually scrolling thru ALL Sub-Channels in the DMA....like Cable systems used to have on one of their Analog Channels.]

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post #13601 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 03:03 PM
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Winter TCA Tour Notes (Streaming)
The Good Wife spinoff features F-words, partial nudity
By Lynette Rice, EW.com - Jan. 9, 2016

CBS All Access is promising plenty of “premium sensibility” for the The Good Wife spinoff. In other words, creators Robert and Michelle King say you’ll hear “people talk the way they speak in life” in The Good Fight — and that includes plenty of appropriate swearing (and some partial nudity).

In the premiere episode that debuts Feb. 19, Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) will drop an F-bomb after she learns she’s flat broke because of an investment gone bad.

“These are educated people,” Michelle King told reporters Monday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Pasadena, California on Monday. “They are cultured, elegant. What you hear will not sound drastically different. Bu they will use swear words that you would have expected in The Good Wife.”

Since the premiere episode will simultaneously bow on CBS, the Kings presented a “cleaner” version for broadcast. “But you won’t lose contact,” Robert King added. “It’s hard for a character to say friggin’ when you know they want to say ‘f—ing.'”
Why?

Look CBS you are not fooling anyone. You can try and rebrand as an "edgy" premium network to justify the lame streaming service you hope people will buy into, but you are still CBS. You haven't been edgy in decades and your audience isn't expecting HBO.

If you watched The Good Wife you did so based on characters and writing style that worked for network viewing. That audience is not asking for it to be more adult. Adding it will probably cheapen what you had and turn off the audience who were quite happy with what came before.

I don't think anyone has said "Gee, I was going to pay money to watch The Good Fight, but the show just doesn't say f*** enough for my liking."

Looking forward to naked Orion slave girls and Gorns decapitating Starfleet redshirts! That will change my mind about paying a subscription fee to watch a Trek series on a network I never watch.
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post #13602 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 03:32 PM
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Looking forward to naked Orion slave girls and Gorns decapitating Starfleet redshirts! That will change my mind about paying a subscription fee to watch a Trek series on a network I never watch.
I would probably watch that.
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post #13603 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 03:58 PM
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Why?
I don't think anyone has said "Gee, I was going to pay money to watch The Good Fight, but the show just doesn't say f*** enough for my liking."
I watched the trailer, and plan to watch it. Assuming I can see it w/o paying. BB-OTT was available, so I assume this will be also.

David Lee is prominent in the trailer. But not on the list of actors. False advertising? The story seems to be about a "new firm". Which is his bailiwick.
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post #13604 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 05:08 PM
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Look CBS you are not fooling anyone. You can try and rebrand as an "edgy" premium network to justify the lame streaming service you hope people will buy into, but you are still CBS. You haven't been edgy in decades and your audience isn't expecting HBO.
There was a time I would have argued with this, but CBS is losing me as a fan more and more. We actually watch 18 of their current shows, including daytime, but there are only 5 we'd miss and all are recorded. Many we watch out of habit, even NCIS is getting long in the tooth for us. And I'm noticing more politics, though that might just be because many network shows in general are more current with their plots, or at least sub-plots.

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post #13605 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 06:03 PM
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There was a time I would have argued with this, but CBS is losing me as a fan more and more. We actually watch 18 of their current shows, including daytime, but there are only 5 we'd miss and all are recorded. Many we watch out of habit, even NCIS is getting long in the tooth for us. And I'm noticing more politics, though that might just be because many network shows in general are more current with their plots, or at least sub-plots.
Changing the content rating of an established franchise for an audience that was just fine with makes no sense. You know what to expect on CBS just as you know what to expect on HBO. Made even more ridiculous by the fact it will be sat next to all the other past CBS properties that never tried to be TV-MA but the audience still watched.

CBS have a built-in audience and one show is not going to change anyone's preconceptions of the programming. Especially when it's done in a way that isn't really breaking the mold. It's just cracking an exisitng one that already worked. It just comes across as a desperate subscription ploy to me.


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post #13606 of 30392 Old 01-10-2017, 10:19 PM
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Technology/Critic's Notes (CES 2017)
RCA accidentally made a cool TV because it doesn't connect to the internet
By Andrew Marino, TheVerge.com's 'Circuit Breaker' Blog - Jan. 7, 2017

[...]but hey, a broken clock is right twice a day.
Not true. Let's see... a digital clock is right 0 times a day. The odds are its display will not be lit. A mechanical analog 24hr clock is only right once a day.

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post #13607 of 30392 Old 01-11-2017, 02:54 AM
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Changing the content rating of an established franchise for an audience that was just fine with makes no sense. You know what to expect on CBS just as you know what to expect on HBO. Made even more ridiculous by the fact it will be sat next to all the other past CBS properties that never tried to be TV-MA but the audience still watched.
I would agree with you if The Good Wife was a family friendly show. I don't have a problem with the spin-off of a show about adultery being rated TV-MA on a pay service.
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post #13608 of 30392 Old 01-11-2017, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘New Celebrity Apprentice’ slides in second week
Arnold Schwarzenegger program draws a 1.1 in 18-49s
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 10, 2017

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s second week helming “The New Celebrity Apprentice” came with a big challenge.

He, and the rest of the broadcast networks, faced the college football national championship game on ESPN, a good one that saw Clemson upset Alabama in the final minutes.

Opposite that tough competition, “Apprentice” declined from last week’s debut.

The show averaged a 1.1 adults 18-49 rating from 9 to 11 p.m., according to Nielsen overnights, off 15 percent from a 1.3 for last week’s bow.

The show finished well behind the broadcast leader in the timeslot, ABC, which averaged a 2.1 for week two of “The Bachelor.”

Clearly college football didn’t take a toll on everything on broadcast – “Bachelor” held 100 percent of last week’s rating, though it also skews heavily female, and women tend to watch less football than men.

ABC easily won the night, although the series premiere of “Big Fan” at 10 p.m. dropped more than half of “Bachelor’s” lead-in. The new game show averaged a 0.9, just a tenth ahead of a repeat of “The Wall” on NBC.

CBS aired nearly all repeats, with a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” the network’s top show of the night (1.6). Its only original, “The Odd Couple,” managed a 1.0.

Fox didn’t have any originals, broadcasting a repeat of “Showtime at the Apollo,” after announcing earlier in the day that it will make another new “Showtime” special with Steve Harvey to air Feb. 1.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

ABC’s “The Bachelor,” 8-10 p.m., 2.1 rating.

Top show of the night in 18-34s
ABC’s “The Bachelor,” 8-10 p.m., 2.2 rating.

Top show of the night in total viewers
CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” 8-8:30 p.m., 8.54 million.


[CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE COMPLETE LIST OF MONDAY'S OVERNIGHT RATINGS]

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/new...s-second-week/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes (Cable)
For Samantha Bee, new timeslot, same mission
The left-leaning late-night host took on Trump in her first season
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 11, 2016

Anyone who’s ever watched “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” which returns from hiatus tonight at 10:30 p.m. on TBS, knows the former “Daily Show” correspondent is no fan of Donald Trump.

While Bee could be tough on Hillary Clinton too, she saved her most biting material for Trump throughout last year’s campaign.

After he won, she even had conservative host Glenn Beck, a Trump foe, on to lament together in a funny episode right before the holidays.

But as Bee returns days before Trump’s inauguration, it’s clear what will be on her agenda for the coming year, and none of it’s good for the president elect.

During her first season, Bee built a steady and loyal audience, averaging more than 700,000 total viewers. She benefitted from a strong lead-in from “Family Guy” repeats, too.

TBS decided to move her from Mondays, where she started, to Wednesday, where she did a trial run in the fall and did well.

Bee has also amassed more than 500,000 followers on YouTube and earned critical acclaim for her anti-Trump screeds. That comedy’s not for everyone – after all, millions of people voted for Trump – but Bee’s audience loves it and her for her refusal to bite her tongue.

[CLICK LINK BELOW AND SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE WEEK AHEAD'S TOP DRAWS ON NETWORK AND CABLE TV, WRITTEN FOR MEDIA LIFE MAGAZINE BY "HOTP'S" OWN DAD1153! ]

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/sam...eslot-mission/
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Technology/Critic's Notes (Pop Culture)
How Netflix Is Deepening Our Cultural Echo Chambers
By Farjad Manhoo, The New York Times' 'State of the Art' Column - Jan. 10, 2016

When “One Day at a Time” started its run on CBS in December 1975, it became an instant hit and remained so for almost a decade.

In its first year, “One Day at a Time,” a sitcom about working-class families created by the TV impresario Norman Lear, regularly attracted 17 million viewers every week, according to Nielsen. Mr. Lear’s other comedies were even bigger hits: One out of every three households with a television watched “All in the Family,” for instance.

Last week, a new version of “One Day at a Time” started on Netflix. Critics praised the remake for its explorations of single parenthood and class struggle, a theme that has faded from TV since Mr. Lear’s heyday.

Yet, well-intentioned and charming as the new streaming version may be, there’s a crucial aspect of the old “One Day at a Time” that it will almost certainly fail to replicate: broad cultural reach.

The two versions of “One Day at a Time” are noteworthy bookends in the history of television, and, by extension, the history of mass culture in America. The shows are separated by 40 years of technological advances — a progression from the over-the-air broadcast era in which Mr. Lear made it big, to the cable age of MTV and CNN and HBO, to, finally, the modern era of streaming services like Netflix. Each new technology allowed a leap forward in choice, flexibility and quality; the “Golden Age of TV” offers so much choice that some critics wonder if it’s become overwhelming.

It’s not just TV, either. Across the entertainment business, from music to movies to video games, technology has flooded us with a profusion of cultural choice.

More good stuff to watch and listen to isn’t bad. But the new “One Day at a Time” offers a chance to reflect on what we have lost in embracing tech-abetted abundance. Last year’s presidential election and its aftermath were dominated by discussions of echo chambers and polarization; as I’ve argued before, we’re all splitting into our own self-constructed bubbles of reality.

What’s less discussed is the polarization of culture, and the new echo chambers within which we hear about and experience today’s cultural hits. There will never again be a show like “One Day at a Time” or “All in the Family” — shows that derived their power not solely from their content, which might not hold up to today’s more high-minded affairs, but also from their ubiquity. There’s just about nothing as popular today as old sitcoms were; the only bits of shared culture that come close are periodic sporting events, viral videos, memes and occasional paroxysms of political outrage (see Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech and the aftermath).

Instead, we’re returning to the cultural era that predated radio and TV, an era in which entertainment was fragmented and bespoke, and satisfying a niche was a greater economic imperative than entertaining the mainstream.

“We’re back to normal, in a way, because before there was broadcasting, there wasn’t much of a shared culture,” said Lance Strate, a professor of communication at Fordham University. “For most of the history of civilization, there was nothing like TV. It was a really odd moment in history to have so many people watching the same thing at the same time.”

That’s not to romanticize the TV era. At its peak, broadcast TV was derided for its shallowness, for its crass commercialism, for the way it celebrated conformity and rejected heterodoxy, and mostly for often not being very creative or entertaining. Neil Postman wrote that we were using TV to “amuse ourselves to death,” and Newton N. Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President John F. Kennedy, famously called it a “vast wasteland.”

Yet for a brief while, from the 1950s to the late 1980s, broadcast television served cultural, social and political roles far greater than the banality of its content would suggest. Because it featured little choice, TV offered something else: the raw material for a shared culture. Television was the thing just about everyone else was watching at the same time as you. In its enforced similitude, it became a kind of social glue, stitching together a new national identity across a vast, growing and otherwise diverse nation.

“What we gained was a shared identity and shared experience,” Mr. Strate said. “The famous example was Kennedy’s funeral, where the nation mourned together in a way that had never happened before. But it was also our experience watching ‘I Love Lucy’ and ‘All in the Family’ that created a shared set of references that everyone knew.”

As the broadcast era morphed into one of cable and then streaming, TV was transformed from a wasteland into a bubbling sea of creativity. But it has become a sea in which everyone swims in smaller schools.

Only around 12 percent of television households, or about 14 million to 15 million people, regularly tuned into “NCIS” and “The Big Bang Theory,” the two most popular network shows of the 2015-16 season, according to Nielsen. Before 2000, those ratings would not even have qualified them as Top 10 shows. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is the biggest prestige drama on cable, but its record-breaking finale drew only around nine million viewers.

Netflix does not release viewership numbers, but a few independent measurement companies have come up with ways to estimate them. One such company, Symphony Advanced Media, said Netflix’s biggest original drama last year, “Stranger Things,” was seen by about 14 million adults in the month after it first aired. “Fuller House,” Netflix’s reboot of the broadcast sitcom “Full House,” attracted an audience of nearly 16 million. (These numbers are for the entire season, not for single episodes.)

For perspective, during much of the 1980s, a broadcast show that attracted 14 million to 16 million would have been in danger of cancellation. (Symphony does not yet have audience numbers for the new “One Day at a Time.”)

We are not yet at the nadir of the broadcast era; cord-cutting is accelerating but has still not become a mainstream practice, and streaming services only just surpassed majority penetration. So these trends have a ways more to go. As people pull back from broadcast and cable TV and jump deeper into streaming, we’re bound to see more shows with smaller audiences.

“This is just generally true with how blockbusters across the media are going,” said James G. Webster, a professor of the School of Communication at Northwestern. “Some big ones could get bigger than ever, but generally the audience for everything else is just peanuts.”

A spokesman for Netflix pointed out that even if audiences were smaller than in the past, its shows still had impact. “Making a Murderer” set off a re-examination of a widely criticized murder trial, for instance, while “Orange Is the New Black” was one of the first shows to feature a transgender actor, Laverne Cox.

I buy this argument; obviously, powerful cultural products can produce an impact even if they’re not seen by everyone.

But I suspect the impacts, like the viewership, tend to be restricted along the same social and cultural echo chambers into which we’ve split ourselves in the first place. Those effects do not approach the vast ways that TV once remade the culture: how everyone of a certain age knows the idioms of “Seinfeld” (“It shrinks?”), or followed the “Cheers” romance of Diane and Sam, or how a show like “All in the Family” inspired a national conversation about the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.

It’s possible we’re not at the end of the story. Some youngsters might argue that the internet has produced its own kind of culture, one that will become a fount of shared references for years to come. What if “Chewbacca Mom” and the blue and black/white and gold dress that broke the internet one day become part of our library of globally recognized references, like the corniest catchphrases of television’s past, whether from “Seinfeld” or “Diff’rent Strokes”?

That could happen. At the risk of alienating the kids, though, I’ll offer this rejoinder: “What you talkin’ about, Willis?”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/t...echnology&_r=0
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TV Notes (Production)
Coen Brothers to Write and Direct Their First-Ever TV Series, ‘Buster Scruggs’
By Justin Kroll, Variety.com - Jan. 10, 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Joel and Ethan Coen are the latest auteurs moving into television, with a new event anthology set in the Old West.

Annapurna Television is partnering with the Coen brothers on a limited series Western called “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” Sources tell Variety that Annapurna intends to pursue an innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical.

Joel and Ethan Coen wrote the script from an original idea and will direct the project.

The Coens will produce “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” through their Mike Zoss Productions label. Megan Ellison and Annapurna Television’s president of television, Sue Naegle, will serve as executive producers.

“We are very excited to be working with Megan and Sue on this project,” the Coen brothers said in a statement to Variety.

It’s still unclear how theatrical distribution could play a part in the project, but the intent is to shoot “Buster Scruggs” as a miniseries. According to sources, the scope of the project seemed too challenging to be covered in one feature film.

The idea is similar to Imagine Entertainment’s adaptation of the “The Dark Tower” series. Imagine partners Brian Grazer and Ron Howard had planned to do something over both theatrical and television, but ended up sticking with one feature film, which Sony will release later this year.

Plot details of “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” are unknown, though it will intertwine six different story lines. The brothers are no strangers to the genre, with “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men” on their resume.

The brothers join a list of elite directors who have crossed over to television to further develop stories that could not make it to the big screen. Among many others, David O. Russell is currently working on a series for Amazon starring Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro, and J.J. Abrams is writing and directing a limited series with Meryl Streep that is currently being shopped.

The Coens most recently wrote and directed “Hail, Caesar!” and also penned the script for George Clooney’s next directorial effort, “Suburbicon.” They are repped by UTA.

After making a mark in the film industry, Annapurna is now making strides in television and is in pre-production on a limited series adaptation of the novel “Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple, with Julia Roberts attached to star.

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/th...gs-1201941064/
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Technology/Business Notes
Is Marissa Mayer a failure?
By Farjad Manhoo, The New York Times' 'State of the Art' Column - Jan. 10, 2016

SAN FRANCISCO — Is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer a failure? Or was she just handed a Sisyphean task?

"Both," says Aswath Damodaran, professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. "She was given the impossible job (of turning around the troubled Internet pioneer). But at the same time, she took it on, said she would change things, and failed."

As Yahoo's dismantling proceeds — Verizon is still on track to buy its digital assets for $4.8 billion while the remaining Alibaba-invested company gets renamed Altbaba — questions arise about both the tenure and future of the Google-trained white knight that had promised to ride to the rescue.

On the one hand, under Mayer, 41, Yahoo stock soared 180% since she was named CEO in 2012, from $15 to $42.

"If my broker could do that for me every time, I'd call him a genius," says Michael McDermott, professor of business management at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. "Given a very difficult if not impossible situation, I'd say she did OK."

Mayer was in many ways brought in to right a sinking ship. She was Yahoo's seventh CEO, a list that included former Warner Bros. executive Terry Semel "who couldn't even be bothered to move to Silicon Valley from Los Angeles for the job," says Paul Saffo, longtime tech-world observer and forecaster.

"The company was in such chaotic shape (when Mayer joined) that you would have needed someone with the temperament and intuition of Steve Jobs to even have a chance at a turnaround," Saffo says. "Her biggest mistake might have been taking the job. It was a suicide mission."

But on the other hand, everything from repeated hacking scandals, ill-advised acquisitions such as the $1.1-billion purchase of social media site Tumblr and high-salary but underutilized hires such as Katie Couric and former New York Times tech columnist David Pogue all point to a spotty chief executive tenure that could stain Mayer's resume.

"Her flaw was that she should have recognized a few years ago that she was throwing good money after bad, and if she'd done so she would have likely got twice what she's getting now for Yahoo assets," Damodaran says. In fact, Yahoo's stock topped out at nearly $52 in the fall of 2014.

"But, ultimately, people are human," he says. "You offer someone millions to take a job, and of course they're going to say yes."

Tech world watchers echo a few similar refrains when asked about Mayer and her Yahoo tenure, namely that she was noticeably lacking in the kind of experience required to take on the challenge and that, in the end, the job required a borderline genius.

While Mayer had been an early employee and fast-rising star at Google, "she had no experience as a CEO, and being a tech company CEO requires deep intuition about where things are going. Like when Jobs said everyone has a phone with a stylus, but we're not going to do that," Saffo says.

Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994 as a curated guide to the burgeoning World Wide Web. Yahoo's homepage was among the first true online sources for news. But Google's arrival signaled a sea change for search companies, one that placed a priority on the power of algorithms over curation.

"Marissa was sticking with Yahoo's DNA and hiring big names, but that was never going to help in the battle with Google," says Saffo.

Making matters worse was an internal culture that seemed to create tension and the wrong kind of competition between layers of vice presidents. In the past few years, Yahoo was hit by a number of lawsuits from male employees who claimed they not only were discriminated against, but that all managers were forced to stack-rank their employees for the purpose of incessant firings.

Mayer and her team "were just not very good at listening, and in any turnaround you have to do an awful lot of listening," says Rita Gunther McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School. "That wasn't her strong suit."

While Yahoo was a "basket case" upon Mayer's arrival, McGrath notes that among the CEO's poor decisions was one "to go around her own cyber security team," a move that ultimately led to more than a billion users having their information hacked.

On Monday, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that Mayer, who will have earned more than $300 million as Yahoo CEO and should receive $55 million if terminated, will be stepping down from Yahoo's board of directors along with five others when the Verizon sale goes through.

Mayer will not be on the new Altbaba company's board, and there is only speculation as to what the executive could do next.

Just how much her Yahoo misadventure will taint her career is also a subject of debate.

"Was there a lot of hubris in her time at Yahoo, of course, but sometimes hubris can pay off," Damodaran says. "I could imagine some small tech company snapping her up as CEO. She's had experience in that position now, and in many ways tech companies like hiring big names."

Saffo says he believes that things might not be so simple. Despite some efforts, Silicon Valley suffers from a reputation as being a predominantly white and male enclave, with few minorities and women in executive positions and in crucial investor roles.

"Marissa took on an impossible mission, and you can't criticize someone for being a risk-taker," he says. "But Silicon Valley has a bit of a double standard when it comes to women. So, will she be judged as a risk-taker who failed, or as a woman who failed?"

Mayer also could be about to head off the "Glass Cliff," a phenomenon first identified by two British professors who found that companies are more likely to appoint women and minorities in leadership roles when the firms are not doing well.

“When things are dire, boards somehow think that bringing in a woman will be better for team building, because they’ll listen better and have better social intelligence," McDermott says. "Then they get fired because of performance or because the business model can’t be turned around. And then the company brings in a tough guy."

Yahoo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/te...ref=technology

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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Jan. 10, 2016

Tarek and Christina El Moussa may be headed towards divorce, but that won’t change HGTV show “Flip or Flop’s” television schedule.

“HGTV respects any decision that Tarek and Christina make about their personal relationship,” the cable channel told TheWrap today. “‘Flip or Flop’ will continue to air on HGTV as scheduled.”

It’s possible that HGTV is being purposely cagey here. When asked to clarify if their statement means that production on new “Flip or Flop” episodes could be altered, an HGTV spokesperson declined further comment. The network had previously stated that they planned to continue to work with the El Moussas and that production of “Flip or Flop” would continue as scheduled — so either the Communications team there doesn’t want to repeat themselves, or executives are leaving the door open for possible production planning changes after all.

Tarek filed for divorce from his wife on Tuesday. The pair ended their seven-year marriage just two weeks before the premiere of the eighth season of their hit home renovation series.

The couple first announced the split on Dec. 12, saying their decision to end their relationship largely stemmed from a domestic incident this past May that involved a gun and resulted in Orange County police getting involved.

The O.C. Sheriff’s Dept. told TheWrap that Christina El Moussa was “crying and shaking” during the incident while Tarek El Moussa was seen by witnesses to have “run out of his back door, jump over his fence and walk northbound into the hiking trails of the Chino Hills State Park.”

The parents of two small children told officials that Tarek El Moussa had not made any threats during the incident and was not suicidal, though he did agree to relinquish his firearms for 30 days.

“Like many couples, we have had challenges in our marriage,” the couple’s statement to People read at the time. “We had an unfortunate misunderstanding about six months ago and the police were called to our house in an abundance of caution. There was no violence and no charges were filed.”

“Flip or Flop” features the real estate agent couple’s attempts to buy cheap houses, renovate them, and sell them for a profit.

http://www.thewrap.com/hgtv-flip-or-...e-tv-schedule/
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TV Review (Cable)
Animated 'Jeff & Some Aliens' is in familiar 'out there' territory
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times - Jan. 10, 2016

A segment sprung or salvaged from the late animated sketch show “TripTank,” “Jeff & Some Aliens” has successfully been magnified to sitcom size. It premieres in its new big form Wednesday on Comedy Central.

Co-created by Sean Donnelly and Alessandro Minoli, it features Brett Gelman, a familiar figure in fringe comedy, as Jeff, who lives in a tumble-down tract house and has a trio of aliens for roommates, in the small but notable tradition of “My Favorite Martian,” “Alf” and “Mork & Mindy.”

All voiced by Minoli, the aliens are broadly speaking a Moe, a Larry and a Joe: tough, sensitive, dumb. (They look a little the way “sea monkeys” used to be pictured on the back of comic books, except for the briefs the aliens wear, which somehow make them look more rather than less naked).

Envoys from the Galactic Council, they’ve come to learn whether the planet should be saved or destroyed, and to that end are studying Jeff, a serial loser in permanently stained clothing, who has been determined to be the world’s most average human.

He seems at least a little bit below average, frankly — hopefully — but if his actions are usually self-defeating, his impulses are basically good. And if the humor is often gross or violent or sexually inappropriate in ways that surely would make some viewers uncomfortable — I am not always at ease on its side of the line myself — its conclusions are conventionally moral. The harm Jeff does is almost entirely to himself, and he does some good in the bargain.

The series has temperamental ties to other Comedy Central comedies of bad behavior — “Workaholics,” “Idiotsitter” and “Another Period” — and owes something ultimately to the unsettling and widely influential Adult Swim aesthetic. Indeed, in a world that currently contains “Rick and Morty,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “Bojack Horseman,” “Animals” and “Son of Zorn,” not to mention the venerable “South Park” and “The Simpsons,” nothing in “Jeff & Some Aliens” looks particularly radical or ground-breaking.

Still, the three episodes I’ve seen are well plotted and performed. The animation straightens and smartens the look of the “TripTank” original without sacrificing its baseline crudeness or its crudity — that's a good thing — and the cast includes such mainstream talents as Alicia Silverstone, Malcolm McDowell and Richard Kind, as Jeff's father, a sweet soul who calls his son “honey.” (“Honey, on a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you like jazz?”)

If the situations are familiar sitcom starters — taking a date to a restaurant you can’t pay for, say, or pretending to be someone you are not equipped to pretend to be — the complications have a tinge of the horror story about them. You might end up trading your life energy, Dorian Gray-style, to impress your old girlfriend, or murdering an old lady after spitting on her, according to an alien tradition, in order to balance some cosmic scales and keep humanity from “boil[ing] in a pool of liquefied flesh.” Yet things tend to work out here. It’s a dark comedy, but not an entirely hopeless one.

‘Jeff & Some Aliens’
Where: Comedy Central
When: 10:30 p.m. Wednesday


http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...111-story.html
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‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says

Won't be much of a loss. They buy run down properties and then bitch and moan about the run-away reno costs for unseen problems. Guess they never heard of home inspection or calling a structural engineer before buying.
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TV Notes (Cable)
‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Jan. 10, 2016

Tarek and Christina El Moussa may be headed towards divorce, but that won’t change HGTV show “Flip or Flop’s” television schedule.

“HGTV respects any decision that Tarek and Christina make about their personal relationship,” the cable channel told TheWrap today. “‘Flip or Flop’ will continue to air on HGTV as scheduled.”
Hard to watch the show in the same way again. The two of them being married was part of the appeal when they argued over design decisions. Not so much now. They own several businesses together and I guess they figure they can keep the show together.
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‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says

Won't be much of a loss. They buy run down properties and then bitch and moan about the run-away reno costs for unseen problems. Guess they never heard of home inspection or calling a structural engineer before buying.
All of those shows on HGTV and DIY follow the same formula. You know they are going to uncover hidden problems, and that once workable budget will be blown out of the water. Then you have the staged fights and so on. But I confess that I do watch some of those on HGTV because I like to get ideas for my own home.

I can't watch those shows on DIY because of the phony cheerleading.
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post #13617 of 30392 Old 01-11-2017, 09:29 AM
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‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says

Won't be much of a loss. They buy run down properties and then bitch and moan about the run-away reno costs for unseen problems. Guess they never heard of home inspection or calling a structural engineer before buying.
They are limited on what they are allowed to do. A lot of their properties are auction and must be purchased without ever being allowed into the house or even on the property that much. Others, they can't do structural engineering because that is to invasive for a house they don't own. When allowed on the property, they do a walk through every time and explore/probe to the extent allowed.

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I can't watch those shows on DIY because of the phony cheerleading.
The only one's I watch on DIY are Renovation Realities and First Time Flippers. Total lessons in what not to do . I watch HGTV too.

I need a Yarn Daddy. It's like a Sugar Daddy, except he sends expensive yarn. I have expensive yarn tastes.
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‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says

Won't be much of a loss. They buy run down properties and then bitch and moan about the run-away reno costs for unseen problems. Guess they never heard of home inspection or calling a structural engineer before buying.
Guess you never heard of a script either!

Of course they find problems, it's well known the show (like other DIY/renovation shows such as Property Brothers and House Hunters) films scenes to provide specific issues to argue about and reshoot others for "dramatic" effect.

For most of them I've only watched for the before and after shots. So they could just edit the shows down to five minutes and it would be enough for me.


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Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post
TV Notes (Cable)
‘Flip or Flop’ Divorce Won’t Change Our Schedule, HGTV Says
By Tony Maglio, TheWrap.com - Jan. 10, 2016
I take all of them with a grain of salt and just watch for their entertainment/ideas value. I believe the budgets have a lot of wiggle room in them and much of the angst over supposedly unseen problems is staged. The one we enjoy the most is "Fixer Upper" followed by "Property Brothers". We pretty much watch "Flip or Flop" to fill our days with recorded material and because we enjoy seeing people pay ridiculous sums for such small houses. It is one I would not miss.
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Cheers, Dave
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