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post #13891 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spwace View Post
That's probably not the best example, as it is actually two programs back to back and is not typical of the rest of the schedule.
No, it's not, but it was the only one I had. I did check other videos on the website though and they are in fact generally longer than commercial TV. For example, Victoria was 1:51 (after excluding the intro/exit commercials) and MotorWeek clocked in at :26 (after excluding the exit commercial). Still the This Old House Hour example was only to show it was more than "a minute" as someone stated and has nothing to do with justifying the need for taxpayer funds.

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post #13892 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Minute? On the PBS affiliate I viewed, last week, "Victoria" started about 5 minutes after the hour. The previous show ended before the hour, too. My recording is set to start 3 minutes before. So, that meant a stopset over 8 minutes long. That's a lot of ads. Which, like you, I'm fine with. But let PBS run full ads. I think, even if allowed to run full commercials, they're smarter than to break up the shows like commercial television does. They're close enough now. And they make so much off of those tax-deductible ads they don't need federal funding.
Then the affiliate you watched is not normal. I do not watch my local affiliate. Three main reasons: 1) They downrez to 720p; 2) They have local bugs; 3) I get 1080i H.264 @ 12 Mbps via the national PBS sat feed.

I'm currently monitoring the sat feed and Nature started on the hour, went for a minute or so, did the sponsor break and resumed the program about 2:30 after the hour.

Several years ago PBS was supposed to start pushing H.264 high bitrate programs to affiliates via the internet. I never found out when that started, as they changed the engineering website about it so that one had to have a login. That kinda pissed me off, since it is PBS and I'm public. I actually expected the sat feed to go away, but it has not and has been updated to include the new PBS Kids. That and all of the SD programming I suspect can't be pushed to the affiliates. I'm glad that it is still there as there is both the east and west feeds and a 24/7 schedule, so there is normally a lot of times to catch repeats. I normally capture NOVA in the early morning hours.

That said, of all the times that I have been tuning in the sat feeds, never has a show started many minutes after the hour. If that is happening, it is the local affiliate that is doing it. I am keeping an eye on the programming tonight to see what is happening via the national feed.
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post #13893 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 04:29 PM
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post #13894 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 04:37 PM
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I think the number of "commercials" on a show aired on a public TV station (whether from PBS or from some other source) varies a lot according to the type of show. Cooking shows and home improvement shows tend to have quite a few plugs for specific products, while dramas and documentaries tend to just have one or two foundations and the CPB supporting them.
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post #13895 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 05:01 PM
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As mrvideo says, it'll depend on the affiliate. I know one affiliate I can get is covering promos with ads. I know this because I get about a second of the nationally-fed promo before It's suddenly covered with a local "donor." Much like when cable companies are just a hair late with local ad inserts.

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post #13896 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 07:08 PM
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Welcome to the all new PBS thread.
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post #13897 of 30401 Old 01-22-2017, 07:12 PM
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OK, here is the update:

Nature: end break 53:30-55:30; then closing credits until 56:15

Mercy Street: 1:25-1:55; then end break 53:15-53:45; then closing credits until 54:15; 55:15-56:40 meet new characters

Victoria: 0:45-2:00; then end break 53:15-55:40; closing credits until 56:12

All programs started on the hour. Another thing I do not like about prime-time airings is that PBS likes to put up the damn snipe that tells you what you are watching. I noticed it during Victoria.

Oh, and AFAIK, local affiliates to not switch the audio between DD2.0 and DD5.1. So, if your affiliate is always DD5.1, it is wrong. For example, NOVA is only DD2.0. The sat feed switches to whatever the audio really is.

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post #13898 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:04 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports/Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Spurs v. Cavaliers Gives ABC Its Best Non-Christmas NBA Ratings Of Season
By Greg Evans, Deadline.com - Jan. 22, 2017

The season two debut of NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC, with the San Antonio Spurs’ overtime win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, was the highest-rated, non-Christmas NBA game of the 2016-17 regular season across ABC and ESPN. Averaging a 2.6 metered market rating, viewership peaked with a 4.0 rating from 11-11:15 p.m. ET, according to Nielsen.

In the San Antonio market, Saturday Primetime delivered a 13.9 rating, the highest-rated game in the market this season across networks. The broadcast generated a 12.2 in the Cleveland market, the second-highest rated game in the market this season across networks.

The game delivered a streaming audience of 231,800 unique viewers, 9,146,000 total minutes streamed and an average minute audience of 59,800 viewers. This is up 31 percent, 28 percent and 14 percent, respectively, from last year’s season debut.

Next week, the defending Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors host the LA Clippers at 8:30 p.m. on ABC’s NBA Saturday Primetime.

http://deadline.com/2017/01/nba-satu...rs-1201891810/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
‘Saturday Night Live’ Ratings Rise Bigly Post-Inauguration With Host Aziz Ansari
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Jan. 22, 2017

Viewers clearly were seeking out Saturday Night Live take’s on President Donald Trump’s inauguration, lifting the late-night sketch comedy program’s ratings to its highest levels since the episode that followed the Nov. 8 Presidential elections.

There was some confusion, with Alec Baldwin quoted earlier this week that he would reprise his Trump last night, but I hear he was not supposed to be on the show as SNL, just like it did with the first show after the November elections, opted not to feature the new President as played by Baldwin. Last night’s episode, which did open with inauguration-themed skit, drew a 5.1 Live+same day rating in the metered market households and a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating in the markets with local people meters.

Hosted by Aziz Ansari with musical guest Big Sean, the show posted the highest SNL overnights since the Nov. 12 telecast hosted Dave Chappelle and musical guest A Tribe Called Quest (6.2 HH rating, 3.9 in 18-49). Last night’s episode topped SNL‘s 10 most recent outings, rebounding from the season lows hit by last week’s original hosted by Rogue One star Felicity Jones (4.3, 2.0).

Versus the same point last season, SNL originals are up +27% in 18-49 nationally (3.55 vs. 2.79) and +2.317 million persons or +27% in total viewers (10.805 million vs. 8.488 million).

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/t...wers/96901754/
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post #13899 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
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No political comments, please.

Washington Notes
Ajit Pai to Be FCC Chair
By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable

FCC senior Republican Ajit Pai has been named President Donald Trump's pick as chairman of the FCC, according to a Republican source confirming a report in Politico.

Trump met with Pai Jan. 16, which appeared a clear signal he would be getting the big chair, at least to begin with and perhaps permanently.

Because he has already been confirmed by the Senate, Pai does not need to be renominated or go through a Senate hearing. In fact, the source said the appointment had been made official--with the stroke of a pen--by early evening Friday (Jan. 20).

Pai's first public meeting as chairman—with a 2-1 majority—will be Jan. 31. It features a single, noncontroversial item: "Eliminate the requirement that commercial broadcast stations retain copies of letters and emails from the public in their public inspection file and the requirement that cable operators retain the location of the cable system’s principal headend in their public inspection file."

But look for Pai to soon start revisiting 11th-hour actions under chairman Tom Wheeler, including the FCC's signal to carriers of net neutrality issues with zero-rating plans it saw as anticompetitive and the denial of a request by noncommercial stations to review new reporting requirements, as well as the longer-arc policies like the Open Internet order and broadband privacy framework.

Of the FCC's advisory on zero rating, Pai said: "I am confident that this latest regulatory spasm will not have any impact on the Commission’s policymaking or enforcement activities following next week’s inauguration."

The Trump Administration is said to have signed off on a generally deregulatory plan for the commission that squares with Pai's philosophy.

Pai, nominated by President Barack Obama, joined the FCC May 7, 2012. He is a former FCC and Hill staffer and was associate general counsel at Verizon.

Pai graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1994 and the University of Chicago Law School in 1997, where he was an editor of the law review.

He is the son of Indian immigrants and has seen the sausage factory from all angles, working at the Justice Department, on the Hill and at the FCC in an earlier stint in the general counsel’s office. In fact, Pai calls himself the “Forest Gump” of the legal profession.

Pai is known for his passionate defense of the free market, as well as colorful statements—including the more frequent dissents—often peppered with music references.

A top D.C. communications attorney says Pai has a brilliant legal mind and the courage of his convictions. Those convictions are to a market free of what he sees as innovation and investment-chilling regs.

Back in February, Pai outlined his regulatory philosophy to B&C: "[G]overnment does best by the American consumer when we set the conditions for vibrant competition and let the private sector compete vigorously. That is ultimately the best guarantor of consumer welfare as compared to preemptive regulation that essentially freezes in place the marketplace at a moment in time."

"Without qualification, NAB supports President Trump's selection of Ajit Pai to the position of FCC chairman. Ajit Pai is a known quantity who brings integrity, good humor and a fierce intellect to the Commission," said National Association of Broadcasters President Gordon SMith. "We look forward to working with him and his colleagues on a pro-growth FCC agenda that benefits tens of millions of Americans who rely on free broadcast radio and TV for the most popular content, credible news, and lifeline local emergency alerts."

“Ajit Pai brings with him a deep and broad intellectual understanding of the issues facing the FCC. He will be among the most experienced and substantive FCC chairs in the agency's history," said former FCC Republican commissioner Robert McDowell. "He has a clear and unambiguous governing philosophy. He will work to implement public policy according to his principles as soon as he can."

Free Press saw it rather differently.

“Ajit Pai has been on the wrong side of just about every major issue that has come before the FCC during his tenure," said Free Press president Craig Aaron. "He’s never met a mega-merger he didn’t like or a public safeguard he didn’t try to undermine. He’s been an inveterate opponent of Net Neutrality, expanded broadband access for low-income families, broadband privacy, prison phone justice, media diversity and more.

“Pai has been an effective obstructionist who looks out for the corporate interests he used to represent in the private sector. If the new president really wanted an FCC chairman who'd stand up against the runaway media consolidation that Trump himself decried in the AT&T/Time Warner deal, Pai would have been his last choice — though corporate lobbyists across the capital are probably thrilled."

“We need an FCC that protects consumers, promotes competition, and spurs innovation,” said Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). “I will vigorously oppose any efforts by leadership at the FCC to undo net neutrality and broadband privacy rules, undermine E-Rate, or roll back any fundamental consumer protections.”

One group said Pai had been on the correct side of various issues.

"Since becoming a commissioner in 2012, Commissioner Pai has been on the right side of a number of issues supported by MMTC, including a host of practical approaches to advancing diversity and inclusion, relaxation of the broadcast foreign investment rules, and authorization of FM translators for struggling AM stations," said Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council president Kim Keenan. "His proposals for incentivizing broadband investment in underserved communities are grounded in the best work of Jack Kemp. Moreover, he has demonstrated a willingness to consider moving away from “silos” in communication industries toward platform neutrality – a theme that originated with former FCC Chairman Bill Kennard. This outlook has the potential to open the doors to ownership opportunities for people of color.

"Ajit Pai has demonstrated that he is an innovative, knowledgeable, and fair Commissioner whose door is open to hear all sides of an issue. We look forward to working with him as we continue our 30-year mission of promoting policies that advance diversity in media, telecom, and tech ownership; close the digital divide; and ensure equal access to opportunity for all Americans."

"It's good news heralding the return of a more market-oriented communications policy and a more transparent, efficient, and modest FCC that Ajit Pai will be the next Chairman," said Free State Foundation president Randolph May. "I'm excited about the opportunities ahead to reorient communications policy."

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/new...c-chair/162659
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post #13900 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:15 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Review (Streaming)
Jason Momoa Heads To The Canadian ‘Frontier’ For Dull Historical Drama
By Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx.com

When you’re an actor like Jason Momoa who is 6’4″, jacked, pierced, tattooed, and have an abundance of charisma to go with your physical attributes, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you make an impression in every room you enter, and when you’re right for a part, you’re incredibly right for it. But the number of roles tailor made for a magnetic, multi-ethnic giant are few and far between, which is why Momoa’s had an uneven career in the years since his time on Game of Thrones as warrior king Khal Drogo came to an end.

He played Conan the Barbarian in an unloved movie reboot, was the quietly menacing highlight of Sundance’s sleepy, short-lived drama The Red Road, and had a 3-second cameo as Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The latter role will, of course, be beefed up in Justice League, and even more in an Aquaman solo film, but that still leaves Momoa with lots of downtime, and few tailor-made roles, when he’s not playing the King of Atlantis.

So you can’t necessarily blame Momoa for squinting at the script for Frontier — a Canadian historical drama (and co-production with Discovery Channel Canada) that debuted on Netflix last Friday (I’ve seen the first two episodes) — and seeing a potential fit in Declan Harp, the half-Irish, half-Native American 18th century fur trader at the center of most of the show’s plotting. As Harp, Momoa gets to wear a long coat, work with knives, intimidate everyone he meets and otherwise dominate the action.

The problem is that, as with The Red Road, Momoa dominates the material, and most of his co-stars, too much, through no fault of his own. Harp is so much more interesting than everyone else on screen that it’s hard to blame the creative team (which includes San Andreas director Brad Peyton, and writers Rob and Peter Blackie) for treating him nearly the way Homer Simpson wanted the Itchy & Scratchy writers to treat Poochie: “Whenever Poochie’s not on-screen, all the other characters should be asking, ‘Where’s Poochie?'” There are occasionally conversations that have nothing to do with Harp, and they’re generally to the show’s detriment. Momoa has a few brief appearances in the debut episode, which has to introduce a host of other characters — notably Alun Armstrong as Lord Benton, the imperious, Harp-hating local representative of the Hudson Bay Company; Landon Liboiron (alum of Netflix’s Hemlock Grove) as Michael Smyth, an Irish stowaway forced by Benton to infiltrate Harp’s gang; Zahn McClarnon (so great in Fargo season 2, struggling to do more with less here) as Harp’s sidekick Samoset (Zahn McClarnon; Christian McKay as shady, drunken priest Father Coffin; and Zoe Boyle as local barkeep Grace Emberly — and establish their positions vis a vis both Harp and the beaver pelt trade as a whole, and the hour suffers for his long absences.

The second episode, involving the abduction of a local tribal leader’s son as part of a strong-arm treaty negotiation tactic, has more of Harp, and more of him involved directly in what’s happening, rather than existing as a threat or savior for the other characters to discuss. Yet even with Momoa and McClarnon being more central to the action, it’s middling historical drama at best, like the early days of AMC’s Turn or Hell on Wheels.

TV development often comes in pairs: two Chicago hospital dramas at the same time, or two about super-powered slackers who work at big box stores. (It can also come in more than pairs, as we’ve seen with the half-dozen time travel shows this season.) Still, the idea of two shows debuting in the same month on the subject of mysterious, violent iconoclasts going up against British colonial trading outfits? That feels a bit esoteric a coincidence, but here we are with both Frontier and FX’s Taboo, where Tom Hardy takes on the East India Company. Taboo is weird and aggro but ultimately dull, while Frontier has a lower ceiling but a higher floor, by not trying to be much more than it is, even if it what it is also lacks excitement whenever its highest-profile castmember isn’t around.

It’s hard to blame Momoa for taking the gig. Even as he’s becoming part of a mega-budget superhero franchise, his overall work options still seem limited, especially if he and/or casting directors only see him as a tough guy. (He’s done a couple of Drunk History episodes; could he make like The Rock and turn his size to his comic advantage?) Still, “Jason Momoa does historical epic for Netflix” sounds a lot more exciting in theory than Frontier is in execution.

http://uproxx.com/sepinwall/jason-mo...etflix-review/
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post #13901 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:18 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Business Notes (Study)
Moffett Casts More Doubt on Value of DirecTV Now Subs
By Jeff Baumgartner, Multichannel News

Though DirecTV Now subs gained in Q4 helped to bring balance to AT&T’s declining traditional pay TV sub base, the true value of the new OTT-TV service remains questionable, a top industry analyst believes.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is self-evidently better to have an OTT business that is successful in acquiring customers than to have one that is not,” MoffettNathanson’s Craig Moffett wrote in a note issued Friday. “Still, from a value creation perspective, this result must be judged a disappointing one.”

Moffett’s blog post – titled AT&T Pre-Announced Subscriber Metrics: Beauty is in The Eye of The Beholder -- arrived soon after AT&T filed an 8-K pre-announcing Q4 subscriber results, including word that AT&T added more than 200,000 video subs in the period, “entirely driven” by DirecTV Now, the OTT-TV service that launched in late November.

Moffett has been critical of the customer lifetime value of DirecTV Now, estimating that it was a loss of $355 on the original $35 per month price that AT&T noted prior to the official launch, compared to a customer lifetime value of nearly $2,500 for a traditional satellite TV sub. AT&T, meanwhile, hasn't revealed all its cards yet, holding that the new online platform will deliver value in multiple ways -- not just in subs for DirecTV Now -- because it will serve as the “foundation” of how the company will deliver video services in the future.

AT&T offered its “Go Big” 100-plus channel tier for $35 per month under a promotion that ended earlier this month for new subs, and also offers other plans. Moffett said he’d be “hard pressed” to believe that many DirecTV Now subs who came in the door in Q4 were for the service’s other tiers, such as “Just Right” ($50/month for 80+ channels) or “Live a Little” ($35/month for 60+ channels) when presented with the original Go Big offer.

“Reporting the traditional video and OTT together in a single “video subscriber” metric may be a useful convenience, but the value of a DirecTV and DIRECTV NOW subscriber is not remotely the same,” Moffett wrote. “The value erosion just from the positive net additions of DIRECTV NOW subscribers likely exceeds $70M. Any foregone subscribers from the traditional platform would represent a much larger value loss.”

He also wondered if some of the early technical issues and outages that have hit DirecTV Now in its early days might also cause churn to be higher than what the firm had initially forecasted (2.8%).

AT&T shares were up 52 cents (1.27%) to $41.52 each in mid-day trading Friday.

http://www.multichannel.com/news/con...ow-subs/410325
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post #13902 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology Notes (Mobile)
Samsung blames both design, manufacturing flaws behind Galaxy Note 7 explosions
By Edward C. Baig, USA Today - Jan. 22, 2017

NEW YORK—Following an investigation that took months, Samsung Electronics has revealed the root causes behind those exploding Note 7 phones: design and manufacturing flaws associated with the lithium-ion batteries used in the phones, which were produced by Samsung’s battery suppliers.

The company released the findings at a press conference in Seoul late Sunday.

Samsung conducted its own internal investigation to determine why some of the devices caught fire, and hired the UL safety consulting firm and the Exponent engineering and scientific consulting firm to conduct their own independent tests. Another independent firm, Germany's TUV Rheinland, was brought on to assess Samsung's factories and logistics.

The Note 7 debacle has been a black eye for Samsung. The phones had to be recalled not once, but twice, before ultimately being put out to pasture. The episode damaged the Samsung brand and cost the company at least $5.3 billion.

Samsung certainly doesn't want any hangover effect as it readies its next big flagship phone, likely the Galaxy S8 that is expected to be released in the spring.

“It was a very tough several months for us. Clearly its impact to the consumers, its impact on channel partners and impact on our employees is not insignificant and we embrace that and we own that,” Tim Baxter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Samsung Electronics America told USA TODAY in an interview. “We’ve learned quite a bit about crisis management in the past few months.”

Added Samsung’s Korea-based mobile chief DJ Koh, who also spoke to USA TODAY, “We are working around the clock to get back our business, to deliver the best product and get our customers' trust back.”

Samsung has been successful in getting the faulty phones back—the company says 97% of the Note 7 phones have been returned, with more than half of the remaining 3% off the network. That's far above typical product recall return rates.

As part of its investigation, Samsung assigned more than 700 R&D engineers to try to replicate the Note 7 failures, along the way testing more than 200,000 Note 7 phones, and more than 30,000 standalone batteries.

Samsung uncovered separate design and manufacturing flaws within the batteries, and placed blame on two suppliers that make them. Samsung wouldn't identify those companies, though the Wall Street Journal named Samsung SDI (a different company within the Samsung universe) and ATL, a Chinese supplier.

Some Note 7s used what is being identified as Battery A, and some used Battery B. While Samsung dictates the basic battery requirements—energy capacity, voltages, currents, external dimensions, etc.—the battery partners themselves have leeway in the materials they use and in the way they apply their own intellectual property.

That not only meant that Battery A and Battery B were different from one another, but that the problems that surfaced in each also proved to be distinct.

In simple terms, lithium-ion batteries are made by taking two electrodes, one positive, one negative, and placing a separator in between to keep them from touching and causing a short circuit.

Samsung concluded that the defect associated with Battery A was a design flaw with the battery manufacturer in question not supplying sufficient space in the battery’s pouch to allow electrodes to remain straight. Instead they were bent, resulting in an electrode “deflection” in the upper right corner of the battery that was considered the main cause of the problem. The deflection can stress or weaken the separators, leading to a failure.

Battery B, on the other hand, was blamed on a manufacturing defect, related to an abnormal welding process that led to improper contact between a positive tab or terminal and a negative electrode.

There were other contributing factors that some of the independent testing firms uncovered. On Battery B, for example, there was supposed to be an insulation tape that covers the weld; in some instances, the tape was missing.

The initial Note 7 recall involved phones with Battery A. Since Battery B didn’t have the same issues as Battery A, Samsung thought it was in the clear when the replacement Notes had Battery B. Of course, the problems inherent to Battery B surfaced soon enough and it turned out that this second battery producer couldn't handle the demands that being the sole Note 7 supplier put on them.

While Samsung ultimately placed blame on the partners for the design and manufacturing flaws, "Ultimately we take responsibility for this. It’s our product, we set the specifications…and it’s up to us to catch the problem before it leaves in one of our devices,” says Samsung Electronics America senior vice president Justin Denison.

To help prevent a repeat episode from occurring, Samsung is implementing an 8-point battery safety check that will include a durability test, visual inspection, x-ray test and other tests.

“Even with an incident like the Note, the failure rate is low—one out of tens of thousands,” says Dr. Gerbrand Ceder, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, UC Berkeley, who joined a Samsung battery advisory group. “Most of the time we all carry lithium-ion batteries around and they are safe. But we should remain vigilant to keep on improving that safety and enforcing it….I think there is always awareness that because of their high energy content, one should be cautious with them.”

Samsung says it is sticking with the battery suppliers in question and that no heads have rolled as a result of the Note debacle. “Everybody involved with the Note launch has been involved with the Note crisis,” Baxter says. "That’s where the focus of the organization has been and continues to be.”

The company also insists that the problems that occurred with the Note 7s were isolated to the batteries and wasn't caused by any decisions to rush to market—the Note 7 having launched a couple of weeks before the iPhone 7. Samsung historically launches its Galaxy S flagship phones in the spring, and its Notes devices in mid-to-late August, just as it was with the Note 7. Bloomberg had written in September that a rush to take advantage of what was expected to be a "dull" iPhone began the Note crisis.

Samsung hasn’t said what the future is for the Note brand itself. But as part of the damage control, Samsung has been reaching out to the Note customers who have been its most loyal; more than 10,000 customers have said they want to learn more about what happened. Samsung plans to run an advertising campaign in the spring that will communicate quality and assurance. And the company plans to apply what it has learned during the Note debacle to the release of the S8 or whatever its new phone turns out to be.

“The recovery process takes time. But we’ve also seen those that do well not only recover but elevate beyond where they were. That’s what we aspire to do,” Baxter says.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/c...ions/96841962/
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TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)
Archie and Betty and Veronica and Zombies
How a 76-year-old gang of teenagers wound up fighting the undead, meeting the Ramones, and starring in a sex-infused murder-mystery show on the CW.
By Abraham Riesman, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Jan. 23, 2017

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is sitting in a booth at Pop Tate’s Chock’lit Shoppe, the diner hangout of one of pop culture’s most venerable quartets: hapless Archie, earnest Betty, entitled Veronica, and behatted eccentric Jughead. He’s picking a weapon for Archie.

It’s a gray autumn day in a bleak suburb of Vancouver, where the reedy 43-year-old writer/producer is dropping by the set of Riverdale, his eerie, modernized, television take on the Archie Comics mythos. In the show, the foursome sets out to solve the murder of one of their classmates. Late in the first season, Archie — for reasons that I’ll leave unsaid — finds himself holding someone else’s knife. This afternoon, the prop master is presenting the bespectacled showrunner with two blade options and recommending the smaller one.

“Once it’s in the neck, you could even, maybe, have it not all the way in,” the prop master suggests. There’s a yet-more-macabre reason to go with the smaller option, according to the prop master: “I think the makeup people will have a hard time hiding the big one and getting that body into the barrel.”

“Yeah, no, I agree,” Aguirre-Sacasa says, nodding enthusiastically. “Smaller is better. I like that.”

Knives in necks? Bodies in barrels? What on Earth has happened to our dear Archiekins? How has this purehearted paragon of normality, longed for by preteens in the grocery aisle for nearly a century, found himself leading a prime-time drama about the corpse-laden secrets of his once-idyllic burg? Seeing the reflexive look of shock on my face, Aguirre-Sacasa assures me that the gruesome and the heartwarming are not mutually exclusive.

“People say, ‘I hear you're doing dark Archie,’” he says. “We're not doing dark Archie. We're doing an Archie that mixes dark and light.”

As it turns out, Archie Comics has been experimenting with this mixture for the better part of a revolutionary decade, successfully embracing new narrative approaches to tales about their 76-year-old teenagers. In recent years, the gang has done battle with zombies, extraterrestrial serial killers, and flying sharks; they’ve navigated unsatisfying marriages; they’ve explored unconventional sexual identities and mourned fallen companions; they even traveled through time to play at CBGB with the Ramones. In doing so, the brand has garnered acclaim, attention, and a newfound coolness that had eluded it for the previous half-century. The Archie Renaissance is, improbably, upon us.

Cole Sprouse, the actor who plays Jughead in Riverdale, nails the reason why Archie has undergone such a turnaround. Occupying that same booth at Pop’s, he gazes straight ahead with the passion of the converted and says, “The archetypes of Archie are like a theater troupe that just kinda fits themselves into any sort of situation.” As Riverdale demonstrates, these simple, antiquated characters have improbably become among the most adaptable — and enduring — in American popular culture. The theme song to the beloved 1960s Archie cartoon declared, “Everything’s Archie,” but the current Archie regime has set out to prove that Archie can be everything.

* * * *

“As soon as I knew who my mom was and my dad was, I knew who Archie was,” 57-year-old Jon Goldwater says with hands behind his sizable skull, leaning back in his capacious, memorabilia-lined office at Archie headquarters, in Pelham, New York. He’s the co-CEO of Archie Comics (we’ll get to the “co-” part in a bit), and though he has the confident gravitas that comes from decades as a seasoned mogul, his business wasn’t supposed to be comics. “The door was never fully opened for me to come into Archie,” he says. “It was never, ‘Hey, get ready, you're taking the ship.’”

Goldwater’s father, John (with an h), was a Jewish shipping entrepreneur from East Harlem who sensed, in 1939, that a cataclysm was coming in Europe — one which would be bad for business. So he decided to get into the hottest sector of the day’s entertainment industry: comic books. Superman had debuted the previous year, and cheap, four-color tales of derring-do were flying off newsstands. His friend and partner, Louis Silberkleit, was game and, along with Silberkleit’s bookkeeper, Maurice Coyne, the trio formed MLJ Magazines, putting out superhero titles about now-obscure figures like the Shield and the Wizard.

It wasn’t until two years later that they came up with their most iconic creation: teenage goofball Archie Andrews. A co-creation of Goldwater and writer/artist Bob Montana, Archie was partly inspired by real people in each of their lives, but was also something of a shameless rip-off of Andy Rooney’s hit Andy Hardy films. The boy was a near-instant hit.

Within just a few years, the company changed its name to Archie Comics and built a robust dramatis personae around their titular kid. He was locked in an eternal love triangle, perpetually sought by a fair-haired, girl-next-door type named Betty Cooper and a vivacious, condescending socialite named Veronica Lodge. Hanging around those young lovers were figures such as a jackass named Reggie, a gentle giant named Moose, an old-crone teacher named Miss Grundy, and a weirdo named Jughead. They dwelled in the small burg of Riverdale, its geographic location deliberately unclear so as to make every reader (well, at least white readers) potentially see themselves hanging with the crew.

The short-form adventures of that gang of knuckleheads were, by the early 1960s, assembly-line narrative products, subject to strict factory guidelines for the writers and artists who manufactured them. Illustrator Dan DeCarlo laid out the house style that is still recognizable: thick lines, slapstick poses, eyes like fermatas. Their stories — published in an array of anthology titles whose contents were only barely distinguishable from one another — were targeted at nascently literate preteens. But the shallowness belied a kind of mass-market artistic genius. The pantheon of Archie’s greatest creators — men like Frank Doyle, Samm Schwartz, Bob Bolling, and Harry Lucey — was able to generate thousands upon thousands of stories while working within a tightly circumscribed set of rules.

Because you couldn’t change the fundamental nature of the characters, you could only mix things up with new combinations of them and new narrative instigations. This structure was perhaps best summed up by literary historian Bart Beaty in his fascinating 2015 tome Twelve-Cent Archie: “To paraphrase Anton Chekhov, if a bowling ball is shown on the first page, it must be dropped on someone’s foot on the final page, because in the world of Archie, any newly introduced element necessarily suggests its own outcome — if it is breakable, it will be broken; if it is round, it will be tripped over.”

Perhaps the kids would go skiing or surfing (Riverdale’s locational vagueness allowed for both), perhaps one would come up with a get-rich-quick scheme or buy a mockably audacious hat, perhaps they’d plan to go on a romantic encounter or sabotage someone else’s, perhaps they’d even stumble into some magical realism and turn invisible or be cursed. After familiar and vividly drawn slapstick business, everyone would get their character-appropriate comeuppance and the reset button would be hit for the next strip. A loyal customer always knew what they were going to find beneath the flimsy covers of Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica, and the like.

Throughout these stories, Archie, despite being the flagship character, would act as something of a cipher, one to whom things happen rather than the other way around — and who among us doesn’t narcissistically see ourselves in that role? And if you weren’t into the core characters, the company offered you spinoff series about supporting characters like teenage witch Sabrina or female rockers Josie and the Pussycats. The comics were reliable best sellers, reaching their cultural apex in 1968 with the debut of The Archie Show, a Saturday-morning cartoon that, bizarrely enough, spawned a number-one hit single in the form of the downright diabetic “Sugar, Sugar.”

However, though the stories never ceased, they quietly and gradually dimmed in relevance. The formal rigidity that had once been a marketable virtue ossified into a creative disability. “They were very, very guarded about what you could and couldn't do with an Archie comic,” recalls comics writer Mark Waid, who worked for the company in the early 1990s. “Any sense of risk, any sense of taking a chance? That wasn't gonna happen.”

On the rare occasions when they did take such risks, they were cringeworthy failures, like the 1990 live-action made-for-TV movie Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again, in which the characters reunite as grown-ups. The zingers were horrifically archaic and the CIA might want to consider using Jughead’s rap version of “Sugar, Sugar” as an instrument of torture. The comics made impotent stabs at the Zeitgeist. Take, for example, a 1996 cover that depicted Archie and company playing in an alt-rock outfit while grinning blissfully, which was not that particular musical trend’s emotional vibe. “The Archies are going for an alternative sound!” Veronica cries. Her dad yells back, “Oh, yeah! How about silence!” Ba-dum-ching?

In other words, Archie Comics had lost its ability to perform the clever market adaptation that had allowed it to come into existence in the first place. The brand’s importance to children became negligible in the age of SpongeBob SquarePants and Bratz. It was conceivable that Archie Andrews might disappear — and, heartbreakingly, few would have even noticed his absence.

* * * *

Luckily for Archie, he had a long-lost sibling of sorts. When Jon Goldwater was growing up in the 1960s, that ship was steered by his father, John, with a tight grip. “My dad was a tough guy,” Goldwater recalls. “He just was a very tough businessman. Even at home, you know, it was his house. Put it that way. And when I went to visit the company, it was his company.” The elder Goldwater ruled alongside his old friend Silberkleit, cranking out comics that he’d bring to his son in towering piles. “Every time I went to his office, I really felt like I was stepping into a magical place,” he says.

Nevertheless, by the time Jon was of working age, it had already been decided that he wouldn’t be the one to inherit the kingdom — that honor would go to John’s son from a previous marriage, Richard Goldwater. In 1983, their father and Silberkleit retired, leaving Richard in charge alongside Silberkleit’s son, Michael. By then, Jon had contentedly gone off on a long career in music management and was, as he puts it, “completely on the outside” of the firm his father had built.

Then, in 2007, he had a conversation with his half-brother. Richard told Jon he was dying, and that the prodigal son might have to return and buy in to their dad’s company. In a tragic coincidence, Michael Silberkleit and Richard both died of cancer within a year of each other, leaving the company under the temporary stewardship of veteran employee Victor Gorelick — but without the dynastic foundation it had rested upon for nearly 70 years. Into that vacuum stepped two people who, in short order, settled into a titanic legal battle: Goldwater, and Michael’s widow, Nancy Silberkleit. In 2009, they became co-CEOs of the company and immediately clashed over its creative direction.

Goldwater thought the brand had become, as he puts it, “irrelevant,” and was particularly shaken by an interaction he had a few weeks into his tenure while taking a train to Manhattan. “I took a couple of Archie books with me, and a woman sits down next to me on the train and she sees the Archie books and she goes, ‘Archie! Wow, they still make those?’” he recalls. “I was like, We really need to get to work here.” By contrast, Silberkleit — a schoolteacher by trade — felt that the company needed to double down on its existing reputation as a producer of kids’ stuff by putting out comics that encouraged literacy and combated bullying.

That ideological clash was overshadowed by their fights over workplace conduct and corporate decision-making and a blizzard of vicious administrative and legal actions swept across Archie Comics from 2011 to 2016. Goldwater sued Silberkleit for an estimated $32.5 million; Silberkleit sued Goldwater for $100 million, claiming Goldwater was merely trying to cut her out of the business. The lawsuit is now settled, though the terms of the agreement are secret. Silberkleit remains a de jure — but largely powerless — co-CEO, speaking out against bullying and, in 2013, running unsuccessfully for mayor of her hometown of Rye, New York.

And yet, amidst this backstage chaos, Goldwater executed a stunning turnaround in the company’s fortunes. He organized a creative summit of Archie employees a few months after he started, in order to lay out his editorial philosophy. “Guys, the time has come to be fearless,” Goldwater remembers telling his new subordinates. “Whatever ideas you have, come to me. No idea's a bad idea. Doesn't mean we're going to use it. But we need completely out-of-the-box ideas.”

The first such idea stemmed from a project that had begun during the brief Gorelick interregnum. The company had published a brief pair of stories that were published during Goldwater’s ascent, one that imagined Archie marrying Betty and the other depicting similar nuptials to Veronica. They got attention in mainstream media outlets and Goldwater saw an opportunity. “I caught a very lucky break with the marriage thing, because that was like lightning in a bottle,” he says, his voice bright. “I saw there was a market for people who were interested in a different story.”

He commissioned an ongoing series called Life With Archie, which depicted the futures of the different marriages in two parallel universes that looked very much like our own — sweater-vests and gumball machines were replaced with drab suits and smartphones. Life’s alchemy lay in its ability to balance the familiar with the innovative: Although the gang was all there, rendered in DeCarlo’s house style, the tales featured empathic and nuanced narratives about the challenges that couples face when the thrill of the chase has long worn off and the responsibilities of adulthood dissolve childish high jinks.

What’s more, the series also contained a surprisingly engrossing sci-fi subplot about the two universes crossing over. The series was weirder and smarter than anything Archie Comics had put out in recent memory, and Goldwater coordinated a publicity blitz that brought it to the attention of older readers who, like that woman on the train, may not have even known that their beloved characters were still around.

The next victory was a political one. Longtime Archie writer/artist Dan Parent had wanted to introduce a gay character to Riverdale, but, as he puts it, “Under the old guard, that wasn't going to happen.” However, hearing his new boss’s request for the unprecedented, he cautiously pitched the notion. Goldwater’s response was blunt: “I immediately said to Dan, ‘Great. That's great. Of course, we have to,’” Goldwater says. “‘It's Riverdale, we're inclusive. Let's do it.’”

The winsome and openly gay Kevin Keller rode into town in 2010’s Veronica No. 202 astride another successful publicity play, subsequently earning the company an award from GLAAD for its efforts. Meanwhile, the company won less-visible successes by shifting its bookstore-distribution methods and becoming the first comics company to put out digital versions of its comics on the same day they were released in print. Victory after victory was scored and comics-industry watchers raised their eyebrows.

There was one ambitious project that didn’t materialize, but whose gestation led to the most consequential turn in Goldwater’s tenure: an Archie musical. Goldwater shopped the concept around during the early years of his reign, and Aguirre-Sacasa — then a TV writer who was on the verge of working for Glee — leapt at the chance to pitch a script for it. He met up with Goldwater in Manhattan’s Theater District and feverishly told the co-CEO about his long-standing Archie fandom, even going so far as to show a photo of himself dressed as Archie during his undergraduate days at McGill. The musical didn’t get off the ground, but Aguirre-Sacasa tracked Goldwater down a little while later at New York Comic Con and asked if he could at least write a comic for the company. Goldwater asked what he’d do; the younger man offered a crossover comic where the Riverdale gang meets the Glee ensemble. They made it happen, and a very lucrative partnership was born.

In the booth at Pop’s, Aguirre-Sacasa bears an Archie watch and a phone case depicting Kevin and Veronica; he later speaks of being ribbed by his fellow Glee writers for constantly wearing a Jughead fleece and setting his ringtone to “Sugar, Sugar.” “Over the years, people have said, ‘Roberto, Why are you obsessed with the Archie characters?’” Aguirre-Sacasa says, his emphatic voice bounding with the momentum of an evangelist. “The best thing that I could say is that, when I was a kid and I read Archies, I so wanted to be friends with them.” The son of a Nicaraguan diplomat, Aguirre-Sacasa was raised in the gritty landscape of 1980s Washington, D.C., and started losing himself in the Archie idyll at an early age. “I was a little bit of a misfit,” he says, “and it seemed like everyone in Riverdale, even if they were mean to each other, they still loved each other.”

He never stopped thinking about the characters, even going so far as to stage an elaborate play about Archie Andrews while studying at the Yale School of Drama in the early ‘00s. It was a strange, three-act tale in which Archie interacts with celebrity kidnappers Leopold and Loeb in the 1920s, then leaps in time to work for a horror-comics publisher in the ’50s, and finally jumps to the present and gets a job at Pixar. What it gained national attention for, though, was its depiction of Archie as a gay man — a heresy for Archie Comics under Richard Goldwater and Michael Silberkleit’s regime. Aguirre-Sacasa received a cease-and-desist letter from the company.

How joyous, then, that Aguirre-Sacasa found, in Jon Goldwater, a fellow Archie revisionist. The pair tumbled into a thick friendship, and when the protégé pitched the tycoon on a series that would follow the Riverdale gang as they weathered a zombie apocalypse, Goldwater gave it the green light without hesitation, and an acclaimed series, cheekily titled Afterlife With Archie was born. The story — illustrated by Italian impressionist Francesco Francavilla — was a critical and sales smash, in no small part because it never let its premise devolve into silliness or cheap shocks. The story was surprisingly earnest and, therefore, movingly frightening for anyone who had an attachment to these characters.

Aguirre-Sacasa and artist Robert Hack soon started another horror series, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and in 2014, his golden-boy status was cemented when Goldwater named him Chief Creative Officer. Under his tenure, the comics have only gotten more ambitious, publishing surprisingly good stories bearing titles like Archie vs. Sharknado; Archie vs. Predator; Archie Meets Ramones; and most famously, the 2014 conclusion of Life With Archie, in which Archie dies saving Kevin Keller from an assassination attempt. Sleek, modern reboots of Archie and Jughead followed. Both were critical hits, and the latter abruptly became a minor progressive landmark when it canonically declared Jughead to be asexual, a sexual identity never before depicted with a character of that renown.

Archie Comics wasn’t a total stranger to wild ideas: Jon’s father had overseen stories where everyone became superheroes or cavemen or secret agents; the characters were licensed out for some supremely odd evangelical-Christian comics in the 1970s; and there had been an unexpectedly cool mini-series about Archie meeting Marvel Comics’ vigilante antihero the Punisher in the ’90s. But Aguirre-Sacasa and Goldwater have made such experimentation the rule, not the exception. They still put out digests containing old strips and new ones done in the old style, and Goldwater says those digests still make up a large share of the company’s revenue. But there’s no mistaking the goal that he and Aguirre-Sacasa seek: a breakthrough that once again liberates the Archie characters from the comics page and ensconces them in the American imagination. That plan of attack begins with Riverdale.

* * * *

The log line Aguirre-Sacasa tends to use for Riverdale is “Archie meets Twin Peaks,” mostly because of the central narrative conceit. The show rotates around the mysterious murder of Jason Blossom, a minor existing character from the Archie mythos who comes from a family whose wealth dwarfs even that of Veronica. Jason was a dick, so nearly everyone has a potential motive, and his death unearths a wealth of other secrets: Betty’s (Lili Reinhart) mother is foisting prescription pills on her, Veronica’s (Camila Mendes) family is involved in shady dealings with organized crime, Jughead is nursing a mysterious grudge, and Archie (KJ Apa) has been having an illicit affair with Miss Grundy (Sarah Habel) — here portrayed as a sexy, 30-something cougar in heart-shaped shades.

In fact, everyone’s sexy in Riverdale, from the chronically shirtless Archie to slender Betty and Veronica, who share a gratuitous girl-on-girl kiss in the pilot. Riverdale is very much a prime-time teen soap, evoking Beverly Hills, 90210 (conspicuously, Archie’s dad is played by none other than Luke Perry) and more recent forebears like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. Much of the action takes place in the semidarkness, with youthful skin illuminated by neon and moonbeams.

As you might suspect, given all that, Riverdale regularly wades into the dangerous waters of camp. At one point, Betty threatens to boil someone alive in a Jacuzzi while wearing a black wig and lingerie; Grundy’s high bun, church-clothes sweater, and thick-framed glasses make her look like an undersexed librarian in a Skinemax feature; and Betty and her scheming mother have screaming matches that wouldn’t be out of place in Mommie Dearest. That’s not a complaint, as these facets offer pure delight. That said, Aguirre-Sacasa gets a little nervous when I ask him whether the campiness is intentional: “Listen. It's a little bit of a high-wire act,” he says. “I don't think that a little camp is bad, but you still want things to be real.”

Real is a strong word. Earnest is a better one. The danger inherent in the pitch for Riverdale is that it could become a series of winking, deconstructionist jabs at the silly shallowness of the Archie legendarium. That is in no way what Aguirre-Sacasa has created, and as long as the superfan remains in charge of the show, it’s hard to imagine that changing. Jughead may not wear his crown or wolf down burgers, but he remains a compelling outsider; Betty and Veronica are not grinning sexpots, but they’re still frenemies trying to navigate romance; and Archie … well, Archie’s still the all-American, carrot-topped ****-up who carries the weight of the world with boastful charm and awkward dignity.

What Goldwater and Aguirre-Sacasa have realized and demonstrated is that those traits, so simple to describe and yet so deeply etched in popular culture, are what has kept these characters alive in uninterrupted publication for nearly eight decades — a run matched only by the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Mickey Mouse. On one hand, the characters are archetypal representations of love, rivalry, and youthful hubris, concepts that are eternal and universal. But at the same time, they’re all just specific enough in their visual and behavioral quirks to remain boldly unique. That uncanny balance of the general and the specific allows the ensemble to teleport into nearly any environment and still be who they are. At least so far, the two men at the top of Archie Comics have figured out how to save their beloved intellectual property by changing the characters enough to make them relevant but not so much as to make them unrecognizable.

The characters are also a romantic vision of another time, though not in the way you might think. Sure, there’s a way in which the Riverdale gang harkens back to an invented, Pleasantville-esque period of American consensus and stability. But the time that we seek through Archie and his pals isn’t a historical time, but rather a personal one: adolescence. When you’re a child, you thumb through an Archie digest and, like the young Aguirre-Sacasa, dream of how great it’ll be to be a teenager. When you pick up one of Goldwater’s revamped Archie comics as an adult, you’re dreaming of how great it was to be a teenager. Either way, you’re pining for those axial days of high school.

Of course, actual teen-dom is, for the most part, awful, and no teenager would see their life reflected in an old-school Archie strip. As such, the long-standing irony of Archie stories has been that, as Waid, who writes the rebooted Archie series, succinctly puts it, “They were comics about teenagers that teenagers didn't read.” Given that fact, Riverdale might actually be taking the most ambitious risk of the new Archie era — by situating itself in a teen-aimed genre on a teen-friendly network, it’s the first major Archie project actually aimed at teens. Archie is about to encounter beasts even more fearsome than Predators and Punishers: adolescents with short attention spans and lots of Snapchatting to get done before bedtime.

Which brings us to the most utopian aspect of Riverdale: Everyone actually puts down their phones and talks. Social media is an afterthought; in-person interaction and hard-fought empathy is what the citizens spend their time on. On that fall day in Canada, in a soundstage tucked away from the chill, you can find Kevin, Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Archie sitting in the student lounge. Their town is coming apart at the seams, high-stakes paranoia abounds, and they can’t agree on how to get back to the safety they once knew. But whatever their fears and differences, here they are in their high school, talking to one another and figuring out how to heal. In Riverdale, hearts and bones may break, but friendship never does.

This is what Aguirre-Sacasa sees, and hopes you’ll see, too. He and Goldwater have ambitions for spinoffs, cartoons, and even an Archie musical, all rooted in a camaraderie that began at the height of the Second World War. “Betty and Veronica might be fighting over Archie, but by the end of the story, they're going off to Pop's to have a milkshake,” he says. “Reggie is Archie's arch-nemesis but really, all he's going to probably do is put itching powder in his jock strap. You're never going to walk into Riverdale High and be afraid that Columbine is going to happen. There's something that's the platonic ideal of high school that I think people gravitate towards. These kids will always be there for each other, no matter what.” And, perhaps, for us.

http://www.vulture.com/2017/01/archi...-cw-c-v-r.html
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TV/Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
For once-promising ‘Quantico,’ a second chance
ABC drama returns on a new night, the network hoping it revives
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2016

It’s become a pattern with a number of new dramas over the past few seasons.

A show has a strong first year. It follows it up with a lackluster second, leading the network to wonder whether the first season was a fluke or the second was.

“Nashville,” “Blindspot,” “Elementary,” “Rosewood” and more have all fallen prey to this problem, and it appears that ABC’s “Quantico,” which returns from its winter hiatus tonight at 10 p.m., may be the latest victim.

“Quantico” posted decent numbers last season, its first, and became a DVR powerhouse, regularly matching its live audience via playback.

This season “Quantico’s” DVR audience has been just as dedicated, but its live-plus-same-day-playback ratings have plummeted by 40 percent, to a 0.7 rating.

Of course, it was also saddled with a less-than-stellar new lead-in in “Secrets & Lies,” which suffered similar ratings declines after more than a year off the air.

ABC is hoping that moving “Quantico” to a new timeslot will help. The show’s going from Sundays at 10 to Mondays at 10, where it will follow “The Bachelor,” one of the network’s top shows.

If that can’t give “Quantico” a boost, well, it may not make it to season three, no matter how strong the DVR gains.

[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/pro...second-chance/
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TV Review (Broadcast)
A Reexamination of the Kitty Genovese Case on PBS’ ‘The Witness’
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Jan. 23, 2017

The Witness may be the last thing the mainstream media’s reputation needs right about now.

The new PBS documentary, which airs Monday at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings), reexamines one of the most enduring bad stories in the history of New York crime: the 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese.

A New York Times story soon after her death reported that 38 people in her Kew Gardens neighborhood heard Genovese scream when a man named Winston Moses attacked her with a knife – and that no one even called the police.

To millions of people in and outside the city, this was a smoking gun moment, proving that urban America, even in a seemingly respectable part of town, had become cold and indifferent.

It was a chilling extension of the long-argued notion that the decency and human values nurtured and sustained in small towns cannot survive in big impersonal cities.

The Genovese story seemed to confirm all of that, which is doubtless why it remains depressingly vivid more than 50 years after Kitty Genovese died.

Vivid does not, however, always mean accurate, and The Witness details the 11-year effort by Bill Genovese, Kitty’s younger brother, to determine what about the story was true and what was not.

The passage of time has naturally silenced many of the original players in the story, including Kew Gardens residents and the journalists who covered the story.

Or, Bill Genovese finds, didn’t cover it.

His conclusion, which seems well documented, is that the original Times story distorted the events and responses of that night badly enough that its conclusion was shaky, if not downright wrong.

No other newspapers challenged it because, as newsman Gabe Pressman and others tell Genovese, it was the Times. You didn’t question the Times or go around double-checking its reported sources.

The Witness appropriately notes that The Times itself eventually did some questioning and double-checking of its own. A 2004 Times story, on the 40th anniversary of the murder, found serious errors in the original story.

Genovese’s findings support the revisionist view.

Contrary to the original story, for instance, he finds that Genovese didn’t die alone. A friend from the building, Sophie Farrar, heard her screams and came out to find her.

Farrar’s son Michael tells Bill Genovese that Sophie Farrar told the Times reporter that’s what happened – and he wrote the opposite in his story. After that, Michael Farrar said, his mother decided there was no point in talking further to the media.

That’s disturbing. More disturbing for the media is a note from a past revisitation in which the Times reporter admits he left out mitigating information about witnesses because it was a better story without it.

So Bill Genovese’s findings aren’t the first challenge to the original Kitty Genovese story. As documented by filmmaker James Solomon, however, they’re still compelling – particularly given the obstacles in re-examining a case where few original figures are alive.

In the broader picture, The Witness adds another bit of tarnish to the credibility of the media. Fifty years ago or not, the Genovese story became an American Statement because those who read it trusted the source.

Turns out they should have been more skeptical, which is not good news at a time when the highest officials in the land are pounding daily at media credibility.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=13130
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
MONDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid - Jan. 23, 2017

ABC:
8PM - The Bachelor (120 min.)
10:01PM - Quantico (Time Slot Premiere)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Dennis Quaid; comic Bill Burr; Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Kevin Can Wait
8:30PM - Man With a Plan
9PM - 2 Broke Girls
9:30PM - The Big Bang Theory
(R - Sep. 19)
10PM - Scorpion
* * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Charlie Rose; Hayden Panettiere; TV personality Jack Maxwell)
(R - Jan. 6)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt; Allison Janney; Owen Wilson)
(R - Sep. 27)

NBC:
8PM - The New Celebrity Apprentice (120 min.)
10PM - Timeless
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Cate Blanchett; Hugh Dancy; Cobi performs)
12:37AM - Late Night with Seth Meyers (Idina Menzel; Melissa Benoist; Kane Brown performs; Darren King sits in with the 8G Band)
1:37AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (William Shatner and Henry Winkler; Wolf Parade performs; chef guest Bruce Kalman)
(R - Sep. 12)

FOX:
8PM - Gotham
9PM - Lucifer

THE CW:
8PM - Supergirl
9PM - Jane the Virgin

PBS:
8PM - Antiques Roadshow: The Civil War Years
9PM - Antiques Roadshow: Santa Clara
(R - Apr. 27, 2015)
10M - Independent Lens: The Witness (90 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Despertar Contigo
9PM - Vino el Amor
10PM - El Color de la Pasión

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - Silvana Sin Lana
9PM - La Doña
10PM - El Chema

HBO:
9PM - The Young Pope (Episode 4)
10PM - Beware the Slenderman (2016, 120 min.)

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Author Matt Taibbi)
11:31PM - At Midnight with Chris Hardwick (Kevin Nealon; Rich Eisen; Jade Catta-Preta)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (Howie Mandel; comic Daniel Sloss)


http://tvschedule.zap2it.com/tvlisti...=1485221444486
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post #13907 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 08:20 AM
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TV/Critic's Notes (Advertising)
What If Matthew McConaughey’s Lincoln Commercials Are About Some Guy Who Is Losing His Mind?
By Brian Grubb, Uproxx.com

Matthew McConaughey has been making commercials for Lincoln for over three years now. This means a few things. One, it means advertising is weird, because who would’ve ever imagined this becoming one of our longest running, most successful ad campaigns, especially before the whole True Detective “Time is a flat circle” thing set the world on fire. There was a time, not long ago, when Matthew McConaughey was thought of as a shirtless, bongo-playing hippie who hung out at the beach, and Lincoln was thought of as a car driven by rich old uncles who play golf three days a week. We’ve all come a long way.

And two, it means we’ve now seen enough of these commercials to start noticing a pattern or two. The most obvious pattern is “Wow, Matthew McConaughey is an odd dude,” which is extremely true. But I was watching these all again and something started rattling around in my brain. What if this isn’t “Matthew McConaughey” in these commercials? What if he’s actually just playing a character in them, the same character all the way through, and that character is slowly losing his mind? What if this is all heading somewhere?

Now, this is undeniably a stupid idea. Quite stupid, in fact. I’ll gladly cop to that. But if you’re willing to give it a chance and take a stroll with me through the history of the campaign, I think we can have some fun with it all anyway. Buckle in. Things are gonna get strange.

[CLICK LINK BELOW TO SEE COMMERCIALS AND ANALYSIS OF EACH ONE]

http://uproxx.com/tv/matthew-mcconau...n-commercials/
People tend to forget that, 3 years before True Detective, McConaughey starred in The Lincoln Lawyer. His role helped cinch his coming stardom in not only True Detective but his Oscar winning Dallas Buyers Club. I have always paired his Lincoln commercials with the movie.... It just makes sense, to me....
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post #13908 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 10:18 AM
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People tend to forget that, 3 years before True Detective, McConaughey starred in The Lincoln Lawyer. His role helped cinch his coming stardom in not only True Detective but his Oscar winning Dallas Buyers Club. I have always paired his Lincoln commercials with the movie.... It just makes sense, to me....
Yep, I'm sure that had something to do with him taking the gig. MM doesn't really strike me as a Lincoln driving kinda' guy. But since his contract probably involves him getting one for free, hey, why not? A steering wheel is just a flat circle.
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post #13909 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 01:27 PM
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TV Review (Streaming)
Jason Momoa Heads To The Canadian ‘Frontier’ For Dull Historical Drama
By Alan Sepinwall, Uproxx.com

When you’re an actor like Jason Momoa who is 6’4″, jacked, pierced, tattooed, and have an abundance of charisma to go with your physical attributes, it’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you make an impression in every room you enter, and when you’re right for a part, you’re incredibly right for it. But the number of roles tailor made for a magnetic, multi-ethnic giant are few and far between, which is why Momoa’s had an uneven career in the years since his time on Game of Thrones as warrior king Khal Drogo came to an end.

He played Conan the Barbarian in an unloved movie reboot, was the quietly menacing highlight of Sundance’s sleepy, short-lived drama The Red Road, and had a 3-second cameo as Aquaman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The latter role will, of course, be beefed up in Justice League, and even more in an Aquaman solo film, but that still leaves Momoa with lots of downtime, and few tailor-made roles, when he’s not playing the King of Atlantis.
It's like all TV critics just pretend that Momoa never existed until he did ten episodes of Game of Thrones. That's it, just ten, and he wasn't even a lead character.

Prior to that he spent five years on Stargate Atlantis. Which might not have been seen as "cool" as Thrones was but the show was still very successful worldwide and his character was pretty good too. He certainly had more to do and in a wider range of stories than any other show since.

But I guess SG:A is just far too nerdy for mainstream TV critics to admit they might have watched and acknowledge his earlier role.
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post #13910 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 01:53 PM
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But I guess SG:A is just far too nerdy for mainstream TV critics to admit they might have watched and acknowledge his earlier role.
It wasn't too nerdy for me; I rather like nerdy. Rather, it was too derivative. (I'm not a mainstream TV critic, although I'd play on on TV if I could.) The only Stargate show I liked after the original left Showtime was SG: Universe. I thought that one had more potential than any of the others for several reasons, chief among them it wasn't so nerdy.
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post #13911 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 02:12 PM
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It wasn't too nerdy for me; I rather like nerdy. Rather, it was too derivative. (I'm not a mainstream TV critic, although I'd play on on TV if I could.) The only Stargate show I liked after the original left Showtime was SG: Universe. I thought that one had more potential than any of the others for several reasons, chief among them it wasn't so nerdy.
I'd agree that SGA was too derivative, but SGU was also too derivative of that other show that it really wanted to be and failed miserably to do so all through the first season.


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post #13912 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 03:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Viewers find ‘Hunted’ after big AFC title game
New reality show posts a 4.0 in 18-49s, best this season
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Jan. 23, 2017

Viewers didn’t have to try all that hard to hunt down the series premiere of CBS’s latest reality show. The network ran commercials for “Hunted” ad nauseum during Sunday night’s AFC championship game.

And the promotions evidently helped. While “Hunted” lost a great deal of its lead-in audience, it still had the best premiere of the season for any new show on CBS among adults 18-49.

“Hunted” averaged a 4.0 18-49 rating from 10 to 11 p.m. Sunday night, according to Nielsen time-adjusted fast nationals.

That marked the best debut for any new program this season.

Of course, “Hunted,” about a group of regular people being hunted down by investigators and ex-military personnel, had a huge lead-in.

From 7 to 10 p.m., the AFC title game averaged a 13.4 rating. That appears to be bigger than the NFC championship earlier in the afternoon on Fox, though again final ratings won’t be out until later.

The game faced little competition, with the other networks opting largely for repeats.

Fox did air an original episode of “Son of Zorn,” which scored a respectable 1.5 opposite the Patriots-Steelers game.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

CBS’s “NFL Football,” 7-10 p.m., 13.4 rating.

Top show of the night in 18-34s
CBS’s “NFL Football,” 7-10 p.m., 10.8 rating.

Top show of the night in total viewers
CBS’s “NFL Football,” 7-10 p.m., 41.25 million.


[CLICK LINK BELOW TO READ COMPLETE LIST OF SUNDAY OVERNIGHTS]

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/vie...fc-title-game/

* * * *

Nielsen Notes (Broadcast)
NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ soars with DVR playback
By Media Life Magazine Staff - Jan. 23, 2016

Ratings for NBC’s "The Blacklist" have fallen off since its peak, but the show remains a hit with DVR viewers.

The Jan. 5 episode of "Blacklist" posted a 2.1 rating among viewers 18-49 with seven-day DVR playback factored in, according to Nielsen. That was up 1.1 ratings points from its original 1.0 live-plus-same-day DVR playback rating.

Its 110 percent growth was the highest percentage growth during the week ended Jan. 8. Only one other show that week was able to at least double its 18-49 rating. That was ABC’s "Conviction," which went from a 0.5 rating to a 1.0.

In terms of overall ratings growth, CBS’s "The Big Bang Theory" added 1.9 points through DVR playback for a 5.5 L+7 rating. ABC’s "Modern Family" was second for the week with an additional 1.6 ratings points (2.4 to a 4.0).

‘Blacklist’ also strong among total viewers

"The Blacklist" also saw significant DVR growth among total viewers. It added 4.34 million through DVR playback for an L+7 total of 9.55 million. That was the second-most growth of the week behind "Big Bang Theory," which added 5.16 million viewers.

CBS has a strong DVR week among total viewers. It claimed eight of the week’s top 10 programs in terms of growth among total viewers.

[CLICK LINK BELOW FOR TOP TEN LISTS OF DVR'ed SHOWS FOR THE WEEK]

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/nbc...-dvr-playback/
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Obituary
‘Entertainment Tonight’ Senior Producer Bonnie Tiegel Dies
By Reid Nakamura, TheWrap.com - Jan. 23, 2017

“Entertainment Tonight” senior producer Bonnie Tiegel has died, the entertainment news program announced on Monday.

Tiegel, who produced the show for more than 20 years, died in Los Angeles on Monday surrounded by friends and family, according to the “Entertainment Tonight” website.

“Our entire ‘Entertainment Tonight’ family is mourning the loss of our dear friend and colleague Bonnie Tiegel,” the program said in a statement. “For over 20 years, Bonnie has been the heart and soul of our show and a respected member of the Hollywood community. Her energy, laughter and love will be immensely missed by all who knew her.”

“Bonnie was a mainstay of our show for decades, a four-time Emmy winner who loved celebrity news and covered it with joy and verve,” the announcement of Tiegel’s passing read.

“Her exuberant personality will be profoundly missed not only by those of us who worked with her daily, but by those who encountered her over the years on the red carpet, at awards shows and behind the scenes at every event that matters to the entertainment industry.”

Tiegel is survived by her husband Eliot, her son Kenny and her three granddaughters.

http://www.thewrap.com/entertainment...e-tiegel-dies/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Viewers find ‘Hunted’ after big AFC title game
“Hunted” averaged a 4.0 18-49 rating from 10 to 11 p.m. Sunday night, according to Nielsen time-adjusted fast nationals.
That marked the best debut for any new program this season.
Interestingly, there isn't any thread on the AVS programming forum about this show.

I thought it was about the worst show CBS ever presented. Just awful.
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post #13915 of 30401 Old 01-23-2017, 04:53 PM
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Interestingly, there isn't any thread on the AVS programming forum about this show.

I thought it was about the worst show CBS ever presented. Just awful.
When I first heard the title "Hunted" I thought it was yet another remake. This time of the UK drama "Hunted" with Melissa George. So I was probably going to avoid it just based on that.

Then I realized it was based on the other UK show called "Hunted" which is a game show. So I definitely decided I was going to avoid it.

And then I realized it was actually like the failed game show from the darker days of Syfy called "Chase." At which point I started to wonder why anyone decided to remake a UK show that was essentially a remake of a US show that wasn't very good to begin with and was also a remake of a Japanese show. And at that point my brain began to dissolve.




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I thought it was about the worst show CBS ever presented. Just awful.
I have to agree. I dislike reality game shows in general, but wanted to give this one a shot. I was so disappointed and sorry I stuck it out to the end.
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post #13917 of 30401 Old 01-24-2017, 12:22 AM
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I just saw a FOX commercial for APB premiering early Feb. Uhh... Wouldn't it have been better to just stick with Almost Human... ? o.0

My Summer Motto: "When Nature turns off the damn heat I'll turn off my A/C"
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TV Notes (Daytime)
Days of Our Lives: Dena Higley Out as Head Writer, GH Vet Ron Carlivati In
By Matt Webb Mitovich, TVLine.com - Jan. 23, 2017

While it awaits word on its fate, Days of Our Lives is making some major changes.

As rumors swirl — and get slightly quelled — that NBC might scrub the long-running soap, it has been announced that series vet Dena Higley will step down as co-head writer.

Seizing the show’s reins as head writer will be Ron Carlivati, whose credits include extended runs at ABC’s One Life to Live (where in 2008 his writing team won the Daytime Emmy) and, from January 2012 to July 2015, General Hospital.

Days‘ other co-head writer, Ryan Quan, will remain with the sudser under the title of creative consultant. Soap Opera Digest first broke the news.

“We look forward to the fresh and compelling stories these changes will bring to Salem,” the show said in a statement.

Fretting over Days‘ fate was amplified by NBC’s recent hire of Megyn Kelly, calling into question where the network might carve out an hour for the Fox News vet’s new daytime program. “We don’t make a decision for another couple months,” NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told TVLine at the Television Critics Association winter press tour last week.

Current contracts for the Days cast and producers only run through the end of 2017, so the clock is ticking on a possible renewal. But Greenblatt says NBC would make an effort to give Days fans plenty of notice if they do decide to pull the plug: “Unfortunately, soap operas are written so far ahead… But yeah, we would try to be respectful.”

http://tvline.com/2017/01/23/days-of...na-higley-out/
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Stephen Colbert to host 2017 Emmys, already making Trump jokes
By James Hibberd, EW.com - Jan. 23, 2017

Stephen Colbert has been tapped to host the Emmys this year.

CBS announced The Late Show host will host the 69th annual primetime ceremony next fall.

The hiring assures that the first Emmys of Donald Trump’s presidency won’t lack for jokes about the commander-in-chief.

In fact, Colbert wasted no time, issuing this statement: “This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period. Both in person and around the globe.” (Which is, of course, riffing on Trump press secretary Sean Spicer’s claim that the president’s inauguration was the most-watched ever).

The move also could be seen as a sign of support for the network’s late-night talent — Colbert endured some rocky ratings since taking over the series from David Letterman in 2015, but Trump’s inauguration week pushed the former Colbert Report host to near-record numbers.

Added CBS executive Jack Sussman: “Stephen is the ultimate master of ceremonies with award-winning creative talents, and as we’ve seen the past few months, he has a fearless passion for live television.”

Colbert previously hosted the 39th Annual Kennedy Center Honors on CBS. His CBS late-night colleague, James Corden, will host the Grammy Awards on Feb. 12. The Emmy telecast — and choosing the host — rotates among the four major broadcast networks each year; last year’s ceremony on ABC was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

The primetime Emmys will be broadcast Sept. 17 live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Nominations will be announced July 13.

http://ew.com/tv/2017/01/23/stephen-...st-2017-emmys/
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Critic/Winter's TCA Tour Notes
Social turmoil, revivals, and movie stars: Trends from the 2017 TV winter press tour
By Kristi Tunquist, The Oregonian

PASADENA, California - After two weeks of back-to-back press conferences covering more than 100 new and returning shows, one inescapable trend emerged from the Television Critics Association 2017 winter press tour: There are a whole heck of a lot of TV shows, providers and platforms out there.

OK, we knew that already. But the larger question remains -- are there enough viewers to keep this flood of shows afloat?

A study conducted by the FX cable network showed there were 455 original scripted TV series in 2016, an increase of eight percent over 2015.

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks and FX Productions, has talked a lot about our current "Peak TV" era, and the danger that the sheer volume of programs will overwhelm viewers, with good shows getting lost in the crush.

"When you have 500 shows, 600 shows, 700 scripted shows," Landgraf told TV critics and journalists in Pasadena, the worry is being able to "have shows that can galvanize conversations that can cross party lines and cross regions."

That's a concern that seems even more immediate as TV creators and stars - who are, in general, liberal folks - continue to grapple with the election of Donald Trump as president and the message that there are people who feel their voices weren't being heard.

Judging from what creators and stars had to say about new shows - which were given the green light before Trump's surprise win in November - and returning series, the divisions and disputes that have become part of the national narrative will be reflected in TV in the future.

And contemporary issues aside, when we're talking about TV, we're still talking about showbiz, and a world where society's concerns take a backseat to what the market will bear.

Revive a familiar TV brand? TV's all over it. Get some stars in the mix? Sounds great!

With all that to consider, no wonder trends coming to TV combine serious matters, and entertainment as usual. Based on what we've heard at during the press tour, here's an overview of what's coming:

Social turmoil seeps into TV: From series like "Shots Fired," a crime story about race, police and shootings in a Southern town (premiering on Fox March 22) to "APB," another law-and-order drama about a billionaire who takes control of a Chicago police district (also coming to Fox, on Feb. 6), TV is rife with stories that echo conflicts in the news.

And the ways a Trump presidency - and the cultural climate that may come with it - will factor into TV shows' messages was an unavoidable subject.

For the star and creative team behind "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee," the freshman comedy-meets-commentary weekly show on TBS, the rise of Trump is a fact that's still getting absorbed into the show's DNA.

"The Daily Show" grad Bee recalled that on election night, as the news of Trump's victory was rolling in, "We were all pulling up our sweaters over our faces."

When a reporter asked Bee and Jo Miller, "Full Frontal" executive producer, if they had mixed feelings, along the lines of while Trump's election might be bad for the country, it could be great for comedy, both answered with a subdued "No."

"I mean, it's not fun," Miller said. "It broke me for weeks. It's not fun covering that. It's not fun. We had a blast covering Ted Cruz. That was fun."

Haven't we met somewhere before?: TV keeps going back to the well of ideas, reviving shows that left long ago, and trying to wring new life out of well-worn properties.

Examples include new episodes of "Twin Peaks," coming to Showtime on May 21; a revival of "Prison Break" (never mind that some major characters died in the original), coming to Fox April 4; "24: Legacy," a reboot with a new hero, played by Corey Hawkins (debuting after the Super Bowl on Fox Feb. 5); "Taken," a prequel to the Liam Neeson movies, which debuts on NBC Feb. 27; and new episodes of sitcom favorite "Will & Grace," debuting in the 2017-2018 season on NBC.

But the weirdest example of all may be "Riverdale," a new drama on The CW (premiering Jan. 26), that takes characters from Archie comics and gives them a dark, "Twin Peaks"-style spin. In place of the old-school Archie Andrews bubble-gum adventures, "Riverdale" finds Archie having an affair with his teacher, Miss Grundy; Kevin, a character who's gay (something unheard on back in the Archie olden days); a murder mystery; and Betty, Veronica, Jughead and the rest acting a lot more like teen-melodrama secret-keepers than the soda-sipping kids of yesteryear.

Stars keep coming to TV: Big names have been paying attention to the success such big-screen performers as Matthew McConaughey ("True Detective') and Billy Bob Thornton ("Fargo") have been having in the TV realm. The next few months bring us such stars as Robert De Niro (playing Bernie Madoff in HBO's TV movie, "The Wizard of Lies," coming in May); Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley and Laura Dern in the HBO limited series "Big Little Lies" (Feb. 19); joining movie stars Jude Law, already starring in HBO's "The Young Pope," and Tom Hardy, in FX's "Taboo."

Portland connections: You never know where the Rose City might turn up. In a panel for "Brockmire," the IFC comedy (premiering April 5) about a washed-up baseball announcer who gets a job with a low-rent team in a Podunk town, star Hank Azaria commented that they took inspiration from "The Battered Bastards of Baseball," a documentary about the Portland Mavericks, a single-A baseball team owned by Bing Russell, father of actor Kurt Russell.

And after the panel for "Big Little Lies," as the stars were being whisked away, executive producer Bruna Papandrea - who, with Witherspoon, produced "Wild," the movie version of Portland-based author Cheryl Strayed's memoir, which starred Witherspoon - said development is "100 percent" continuing on "Tiny Beautiful Things," a proposed HBO series adapted from Strayed's collection of essays, written when Strayed was the "Dear Sugar" advice columnist for The Rumpus web site.

http://www.oregonlive.com/tv/2017/01...rt_river_index
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