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post #28141 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 02:50 AM
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Does Jussie Smollett's career/reputation count?
Oh snap!! <laughs>
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post #28142 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 08:25 AM
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"Jussie Smollett's character to be removed from 'Empire', producers say; actor charged with felony out on bond"


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Jussie Smollett is maintaining his innocence, reportedly telling cast mates that he would never do something like this, according to the website TMZ.

https://abc7chicago.com/jussie-smoll...s-say/5150777/
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post #28143 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 10:26 AM
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You can say alot about twitter BUT when something like this Kraft thing happens some of the twitter comments are better than anything written on tv shows.
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post #28144 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Legal Notes
R. Kelly charged in Cook County with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
By Megan Crepeau and Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune - Feb. 22, 2019

In a bombshell development, R&B superstar R. Kelly was indicted Friday on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, court records show.

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx confirmed that Kelly had been charged while announcing she would hold a news conference at 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, a county judge issued a warrant for Kelly’s arrest Friday morning, according to the records.

It was not immediately clear how many alleged victims were involved, but three of the indictments referred to a minor between the ages of 13 and 16, according to the charges.

The charges come after damning allegations in a recent documentary series spurred Foxx to make an unusual public plea last month for any Kelly accusers to come forward, and a recent groundswell of social media backlash called for a boycott of Kelly’s music.

High-profile attorney Michael Avenatti said last week that he had given Foxx’s office a VHS tape showing Kelly engaging in sex years ago with an underage girl.

This marks the second time that Kelly has been charged with a sex crime by Cook County prosecutors. Armed with a sex tape then as well, prosecutors accused the singer of child pornography, but following a sensational trial in 2008, a jury acquitted him of charges alleging he filmed himself having sex with his goddaughter, a girl estimated to have been as young as 13.

Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg, has consistently denied allegations of wrongdoing and expressed confidence the singer would be cleared of any possible charges.

CNN has reported that it has seen the tape that Avenatti gave to Cook County prosecutors. The New Yorker and other media outlets also reported on the surfacing of the sex tape.

The charges come weeks after Foxx called on any Kelly accusers to come forward, citing “deeply, deeply disturbing” allegations in the documentary series detailing long-standing accusations of sexual misconduct against the singer.

The six-hour documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” aired on the Lifetime channel and alleged that he has manipulated young women into joining a “sex cult,” forcing them to stay with him against their will and keeping them under his control.

Foxx’s office said it has been inundated with tips after the top prosecutor urged victims to come forward.

While the allegations against Kelly have been long-standing, the singer has largely continued to enjoy widespread support. However, his scheduled performance at the UIC Pavilion last year was canceled after a public outcry, and the recent documentary has helped bring the troubling allegations into the social media spotlight.

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/...222-story.html
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post #28145 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports/Legal Notes (Football)
Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with solicitation of prostitution
By ESPN News Staff - Feb. 22, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.

Jupiter police told reporters that the 77-year-old Kraft hasn't been arrested. A warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. Kraft has denied wrongdoing.

Jupiter police said details about the charges against Kraft will not be released until next week.

The charge comes amid a widespread crackdown on sex trafficking in the area surrounding Palm Beach County. About 200 arrest warrants have been issued in recent days and more are expected. Police said they secretly planted undercover cameras in targeted massage parlors and videotaped the interactions between men and the female employees.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Kraft said they "categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further."

The Patriots won the Super Bowl earlier this month in Atlanta, their sixth NFL title in the past 18 seasons.

Jupiter Police Chief Daniel Kerr said he was shocked to learn Kraft, who is worth $6 billion, was paying for sex inside a strip-mall massage parlor, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

"We are as equally stunned as everyone else," Kerr said.

The Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office, which would prosecute the case, had no comment.

Kraft lives in Massachusetts and has a home in the Palm Beach area. He is a frequent guest of President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club. Though a Democrat, Kraft is friendly with Trump.

Kraft's wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, died in 2011. He has been dating 39-year-old actress Ricki Noel Lander since 2012.

The NFL did not immediately respond to a message Friday seeking comment.

Owners are subject to the NFL's personal conduct policy, and owners and league employees are held to an even higher standard than players.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was suspended for six games in 2014 after he was arrested on drug charges. He was also fined $500,000.

Most people charged for the first time with soliciting a prostitute in Florida are allowed to enter a diversion program, said attorney David Weinstein, a former prosecutor. Kraft would have to perform 100 hours of community service and pay to attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking.

Kraft, who made his initial fortune through a packaging company, was a Patriots season-ticket holder when he purchased the team's previous stadium in 1988, then used his leverage to buy the team for $172 million in 1994 to keep it from moving to St. Louis.

He hired Bill Belichick to be his coach in 2000, and the team subsequently drafted quarterback Tom Brady, launching their nearly two decades of success.

Under Kraft, the Patriots have been the most successful team in pro sports, having made it to 10 Super Bowls, winning six, including this year against the Los Angeles Rams.

But there also have been issues involving team actions under Belichick.

In 2007, the Patriots were caught filming signals from New York Jets coaches; New England was suspected of doing so against other teams as well, and that was confirmed later on. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined the Patriots $250,000 and stripped them of their 2008 first-round draft pick. Belichick was fined $500,000, the most an NFL coach ever was fined.

In the 2014 AFC championship game, the team -- specifically Brady -- was accused by the Colts of doctoring footballs.

The NFL concluded that Patriots employees were involved in deflating the footballs and Brady was "at least generally aware" it was being done. After lengthy legal battles, Brady served a four-game suspension at the beginning of the 2016 season and the Patriots were fined $1 million -- the heftiest for a team in league history. New England was stripped of a first-round and a fourth-round draft choice.

Neither Kraft nor Belichick was implicated after the investigation.

http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/2...n-prostitution
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post #28146 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
‘Young Sheldon’ Renewed For Two More Seasons By CBS
By Nellie Andreeva and Denise Petski, Deadline.com - Feb. 22, 2019

CBS has renewed its soon-to-be No.1 comedy series Young Sheldon for two additional seasons, beginning with the 2019-2020 broadcast season. With the pickup, the network has secured both of Chuck Lorre’s current comedy series slated to go beyond this season for 2 more years, after a similar 2-season pickup for veteran Mom earlier this month.

The Big Bang Theory spinoff is television’s No. 2 most-watched comedy, behind only its lead-in and precursor, Big Bang, averaging over 14.5 million viewers each week. And with Big Bang ending its run in May after 12 seasons, Young Sheldon had been tipped to possibly succeed it on the schedule next season.

“Thanks to Chuck Lorre’s and Steve Molaro’s outstanding creative leadership, Young Sheldon has been a powerful performer for the Network with an audience that towers over most of the television landscape,” Kelly Kahl, President, CBS Entertainment, said today in making the renewal announcement.

Added Thom Sherman, Senior EVP of Programming, “The Coopers are portrayed by an amazing cast, and we are looking forward to having the gifted writing staff mine even more of Sheldon’s hilarious backstory and the warm family dynamic that has made this comedy a favorite with audiences for the past two seasons.”

Young Sheldon stars Iain Armitage as younger version of the character played by Jim Parsons on Big Bang. It features Big Bang‘s Sheldon Cooper (Armitage), at age 10, living with his family in east Texas and going to high school. Zoe Perry, Lance Barber, Annie Potts, Raegan Revord and Montana Jordan co-star.

Chuck Lorre, Steven Molaro, Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak are the executive producers for Chuck Lorre Productions, Inc. in association with Warner Bros. Television.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/young-s...20-1202562775/
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post #28147 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Critic's Notes (Gaming)
When did cutscenes start looking worse than actual video games?
By Sam Byford, TheVerge.com - Feb. 22, 2019

I started playing video games around the time when they were transitioning to 3D and making use of CDs, which meant that the capacity to store beautiful visuals far outstripped the hardware’s ability to render them in real time. The upshot of this was that big-budget games often didn’t look great while you were playing them, but every now and then, you’d be treated to a lavishly rendered cutscene that would not only blow you away with its detail and artistry, but provide crucial context for what the regular graphics were actually meant to look like.

The canonical example of this is Square Enix’s Final Fantasy games for the original PlayStation. Last week, Final Fantasy VIII celebrated its 20th anniversary, while IX was re-released for the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One — I know, VIII got robbed — and the subject happened to be on my mind this week as I played through one of 2019’s newest, highest-budget, most visually stunning games. What I’m saying is that Anthem’s cutscenes look really bad.

When I’m actually playing Anthem, it looks incredible. It might be the most technically advanced game ever to grace my PC’s monitor, with amazing lighting and motion effects that convincingly simulate the experience of piloting an Iron Man suit through the world of Avatar. The narrative-driven segments in the hub world, meanwhile, feature beautifully drawn characters with excellent acting and facial animation. I can’t say enough good things about this game’s graphics.

But when there’s a break for a story beat, things look notably worse. Anthem’s cutscenes are meant to be epic, cinematic moments that depict events beyond the scope of the game’s regular action. But they’re delivered as compressed, low-resolution video files that run at a slower frame rate. It’s incredibly jarring to see crisp 1440p gameplay with pristine effects, and then feel like you’ve been dragged back to watch a Starship Troopers trailer from Apple’s QuickTime website in 2003.

Anthem is far from alone in this. I’ve found the same thing about most big-budget PC games I’ve played in recent years, from Resident Evil 2 to Far Cry 5. And look, I get it. The sheer amount of stuff going on in these scenes means it would often be impossible to render them in real time with the same assets, and saving the sequences as video files lets them be played instantly without having to load all the assets. (Though I will say that avoiding load times does not seem to have been a priority with Anthem’s development.) Games’ install sizes are continuing to balloon, too, and you can’t assume everyone’s going to care about cutscene image quality. It’s also generally less noticeable if you’re playing on a console with a 1080p TV.

The fact is, though, that these cutscenes look significantly worse than the actual game itself, and this seems bizarre considering how much incredible talent has been poured into Anthem’s visual presentation. Could EA and BioWare not at least have provided the option to download the video files at a higher bitrate for people with hard drive space to spare?

Even if they did, I think it’s fair to say the days of cutscenes wowing us are at an end. Games just look too good in real time these days for anything to seem so wildly implausible as, say, this CGI sequence from Final Fantasy VIII did at the time. This was a time when, don’t forget, Pixar had only just released its second movie:

I don’t know, maybe you had to be there. But still. “One day, games will look almost as good as this,” I thought to myself back then. “So imagine what the cutscenes will be like!”

Now, of course, games actually look way better than that, which is something to be grateful for. But I can’t say I’m not disappointed that the cutscenes somehow tend to look worse. There are some notable counter-examples, like the impressive real-time set pieces in Uncharted 4 or the anime sequences in Persona 5, but for the most part, the art of the cutscene appears to be slowly dying.

Ultimately, it’s for the best that we don’t need pre-rendered video for our games to look incredible. I just don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask that the pre-rendered video doesn’t look noticeably worse.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/22/1...al-fantasy-cgi
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post #28148 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Primetime Ratings: Comedies Pace CBS to Win
By Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable - Feb. 22, 2019

CBS earned top spot in Thursday ratings, with comedy Mom leading to a 1.3 in viewers 18-49, per the Nielsen overnights, and a 6 share. In second was ABC at 1.1/5.

Univision did a massive number, as the live awards show Premio Lo Nuestro 2019 led to a 1.0/4.

The Big Bang Theory fell 12% to 2.3 on CBS and Young Sheldon dropped 10% to 1.8. Mom gained 18% to 1.3 and Fam went up 13% to 0.9, before SWAT fell 11% to 0.8.

ABC had Grey’s Anatomy up 21% to 1.7 and A Million Little Things up 10% to 1.1, then How to Get Away With Murder dropped 17% to 0.5.

NBC got a 0.9/4. The Titan Games did a 1.1 and Brooklyn Nine-Nine a 0.8, then Will & Grace a 0.7. All three were flat. Law & Order: SVU went north 13% to 0.9.

Fox rated a 0.7/3. Gotham got a 0.6 and The Orville a 0.7, both shows flat.

Telemundo did a 0.4/2.

The CW scored a 0.2/1. A Charmed repeat led into Legacies, which was down 50% to 0.2.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...ace-cbs-to-win
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post #28149 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Cable)
'Wynonna Earp' Production Delayed as IDW Seeks Funding for Season 4
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Feb. 22, 2019

Syfy cult favorite Wynonna Earp has hit a speed bump.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that production on season four has been delayed due to financial challenges mounting the series from producers IDW Entertainment.

Syfy licenses Wynonna Earp from IDW Entertainment, which pays for the cost of production and owns the rights to the series. Syfy handed out an early season four renewal for the genre drama in July and IDW is contractually obligated to deliver the series to the NBCUniversal-owned cable network.

"Syfy ordered season four of Wynonna Earp from IDW and is completely committed to the series. This has not changed," Syfy said in a statement to THR.

As things stand now, sources say IDW pushed production. A new start date remains unclear. THR has reached out to IDW for comment and will update this story when/if there is an update from them.

The news comes as Wynonna Earp trended worldwide on Thursday night and into Friday morning after series star Melanie Scrofano tweeted that the series was not currently in production and questioned what was going on. (The tweets have subsequently been deleted.) That prompted showrunner Emily Andras to respond with a tweet of her own: "Don't **** with my family."

In the meantime, diehard fans of the series — aka Earpers — have been vocal about raising awareness to save the show. IDW Entertainment is a comic book publisher and TV production company. Company president David Ozer exited in August to become an independent producer. Last June, Ted Adams stepped down as CEO of the company for a sabbatical, although he is expected to return in a creative role. And earlier this year, Chris Ryall exited as editor-in-chief of IDW Publishing after 14 years, with former editor John Barber returning to the company in April to replace him.

IDW Entertainment's TV slate also includes Hulu-turned-Netflix's long-gestating Locke & Key and V-Wars, starring Ian Somerhalder.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...ason-4-1189056
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post #28150 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Technology/Business Notes
Roku Set to Become $1B Company in 2019, Plans Course for International Expansion
By Daniel Frankel, Multichannel News - Feb. 22, 2019

Driven by the rapid growth of its advertising supported video platform, Roku reported a 46% rise in fourth quarter revenue to $275.7 million, beating analysts forecast.

Capping a 2018 during which the Silicon Valley OTT company saw its stock price grow to $76.48 in October, before nadiring out at $27.17 in December, Roku finished up with a 45% rise in total revenue to $742.5 million.

As of mid-day NASDAQ trading on Friday, Roku shares are up more than 20% since its Thursday earnings report to nearly $63 a share.

Now, the question is, is Roku’s stock up there to stay?

Truely, it has been a wild ride for the company, which last year began selling more advertising on its platform than it did OTT gadgets, which put the company in business way back in the early 2000s.

Platform revenue increased 85% year over year for Roku in 2018, reaching $416.9 million, which accounted for more than 56% of total revenue. In the fourth quarter, platform revenue reached an all time high for the company, $151.4 million, a whopping 77% year over year increase.

This is being driven by rapid growth of the Roku user and engagement. Roku added 7.8 million active accounts in 2018, reaching 27.1 million at year end. Total hours spent streaming on the platform increased by 9.2 billion to 24 billion. Average revenue per user (ARPU) increased by $4.17 to $17.95.

Roku’s gross profit was up 66% for the year to $332.1 million.

Beyond being the market leader in OTT devices that you hook up to your TV’s HDMI port, the Roku operating system drives one in four smart TVs.

During Thursday’s earnings call, CEO Anthony Wood even discussed international expansion plans.

“We believe many of the assets we built for the U.S. market will help us expand into other markets. And clearly streaming is a global opportunity with one billion households worldwide. And that put us more International than domestic subs,” Wood told investors.

With ad-supported Roku Channel driving so much growth and expansion potential, how did the stock fall so far?

Concerns about tariffs on Chinese electronics factored into the company’s steep slide from October through early January. But more than that, it was concern that much larger technology companies like Apple would swoop in very quickly vanquish Roku in key markets like smart TVs.

As CES got underway in early January, for example, Citron Research labeled Roku “uninvestable” after Apple signed a deal to enable Samsung smart TVs to access the iTunes store.

Then again, Apple TV has competed in the OTT device market for a decade alongside Roku, and the latter has managed to carve out the leadership position.

https://www.multichannel.com/news/ro...dollar-company
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post #28151 of 31926 Old 02-22-2019, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Ryan Murphy's L.A. 'Love Letter' Hollywood Greenlit at Netflix
By Kimberly Roots, TVLine.com - Feb. 22, 2019

Ryan Murphy says he’s creating “a love letter to Tinseltown” with Hollywood, his newest project to garner a green light at Netflix.

The production, which got a straight-to-series commitment at the streaming video service, comes from Murphy and Ian Brennan, with whom he collaborated on Glee and Scream Queens. The pair also work together on the upcoming Ben Platt-led comedy The Politician, also for Netflix.

Netflix and Murphy jointly announced the series order Friday via social media.

Per Murphy’s Instagram post, the show will begin shooting in summer 2019. No word yet on casting.

In addition to Hollywood and The Politician, Murphy also has set up Ratched, a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel starring Sarah Paulson as the titular nurse, at the streamer.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/22/ryan-m...order-netflix/
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TV Sports/Legal Notes (Football)
Patriots owner Robert Kraft charged with solicitation of prostitution
By ESPN News Staff - Feb. 22, 2019

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft is being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution after he was twice videotaped paying for a sex act at an illicit massage parlor, police in Florida said Friday.

Jupiter police told reporters that the 77-year-old Kraft hasn't been arrested. A warrant will be issued and his attorneys will be notified. Kraft has denied wrongdoing.
77?
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77?
Viagra™ -- It's a wonder drug.
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Viagra™ -- It's a wonder drug.
Ah, the Viagra Defense.
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TV/Business Notes (Broadcast)
Oscars Ratings Drop Sees ABC Offering Advertisers Guarantees For First Time
By Dominic Patten and Dade Hayes, Deadline.com - Feb. 22, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: The Academy Awards looks to be going without a designated host on Sunday for the first time since 1989, but broadcaster ABC actually had to break some new ground this year to keep big-ticket advertisers happy in the era of plummeting ratings.

Even before the host and category chaos that have hobbled the ceremony the past few weeks, the Disney-owned network found itself forced to guarantee a ratings threshold to keep the deepest-pocketed buyers happy.

“The Oscars are still a very big deal but people aren’t stupid, and year after year of declining ratings are getting us to a danger zone,” an insider told Deadline of the need for the guarantees after several years of record-low demo and viewership results for the Academy Awards.

“We are right on the edge of that danger zone, not close, but on it, and that makes advertisers very nervous,” the source added, noting it was long-term advertisers like car companies, beer companies and consumer technology companies that got the threshold guarantees and the make-goods baked in if necessary.

Down double digits from 2017 and falling to a new all-time low, the 90th Oscars snagged 26.5 million viewers and a weakened 6.8/24 among adults 18-49.

“It’s very unlikely that things will fall so radically this year that they’ll drop beneath those thresholds, but the fact is that there finally had to be such guarantees was a wake-up call to everyone,” another exec said to us of the standards ABC agreed to for the notoriously long running Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences show.

ABC emphatically rejected the notion that it has put any kind of numbers forward, even a conservative threshold.

“The Oscars is one of the most highly sought out live events in the industry. Historically, we have never guaranteed Oscars, and this year is no different,” Doug Hochstadt, Revenue Yield Management, Disney Advertising Sales, said in a statement provided to Deadline.

Seeking to raise the bar on that last commercial pod, ABC have been advocating for years for the Oscars’ to be a more succinct show. No matter that the broadcaster pays north of $85 million annually for the ceremony, ABC have only an advisory capacity and any final decision, as we saw with the now abandoned not for airtime categories plan, is up to AMPAS.

Having said that, when it comes to the bottom line, ABC sold out its ad inventory for the 91st Oscars earlier this month. Samsung, Google, General Motors, Walmart, Verizon and McDonald’s among those who will have spots on Sunday weaving their messages among promos for Disney movies like Captain Marvel and ABC shows like Whiskey Cavalier.

Sentiment about bang for advertisers’ buck on the Oscar telecast has been mixed among media buyers and market analysts, though the prevailing view is that despite plenty of erosion, the Oscars are still beachfront property.

One senior executive at a rival network took note of the plunging ratings, which dropped 19% in 2018 compared with the prior year. But the normal rules of guarantees and make-goods do not necessarily apply to major live events like the Oscars or the Super Bowl, the executive added. “In today’s landscape, these are long-term relationships between buyers and networks and there are so many more levers to pull in terms of keeping brands satisfied with what they are spending.”

Well, Yes and No, as this unique Oscar year reveals. Still, at least when it comes to the ceremony indecision and fumbling of the initial Kevin Hart host pick, ABC’s official position is pure NP.

The net has continued to take the stance that the network’s president Karey Burke put forward during TCA winter press tour a few weeks ago, which was essentially that controversy has been great for awareness. Advertising rates, notably, have not been affected. A 30-second spot went for nearly $2.2 million, fractionally higher than last year’s level, and ABC says it sold out of its inventory by early February.

Sunday is expected to be the single-biggest revenue day of the year for the Disney-owned network.

A report by Kantar Media about the 2018 Oscar broadcast found that the network sold $149 million in ads, including spots during red-carpet coverage. Unlike the NFL or other live-event mainstays like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the Academy limits the number of ads during the show. The commercial load has been in the 12-minute range per hour over the past several years, which is a few minutes lower than the typical broadcast network average.

Jerry Daniello, senior VP of entertainment brand solutions for Disney Advertising Sales, said the Hart controversy, the “host/no-host” dilemma and the public flip-flop over cinematography, editing and other trophies “has not affected advertiser interest.”

Instead, he said, “It has sparked more creative ways of how to surround the programming with brand messages.”

When the Academy floated the idea of relegating some key categories to commercial breaks, “there were a lot of conversations” with advertisers exploring ways to have them “surround” those breaks in a way that would tie in with the categories, Daniello said. After a storm of industry protest, the Academy reversed its decision and will include all categories live on the air.

Sixteen advertisers will debut new creative materials or entirely new campaigns during the broadcast, ABC says, a record high in recent years. Director Ridley Scott handled a spot for Hennessy’s first-ever Oscar ad, and Charlize Theron will add some A-list glamour to a Budweiser ad. Walmart, a frequent Oscar-night presence, is taking a new tack with a half-dozen 15-second ads focusing on below-the-line industry figures like a stuntperson, a production assistant and a hair and makeup artist.

“At these prices, and at the value that you get, the advertising is not going to be run-of-the-mill, things you saw last week,” according to Fred Chassé, senior VP at Analytic Partners, a consultant to brand marketers. “For a lot of marketers, there will be a hit to ROI,” he said.

Jeff Greenfield, co-founder and COO at ad tracker C3 Metrics, believes bean counters are looking at the show the wrong way if they judge investments purely on ROI for a given spot on the linear broadcast.

“These not a one-screen type of thing,” he said. “Consumers are not stuck on the TV screen. They are always looking across digital and that gives you so many more opportunities.”

Despite the relentlessly downbeat media narrative around the show, he said, “People are still going to tune in, whether it’s on TV or on their phones.”

Kevin Krim, CEO of EDO, a TV measurement and analytics company founded by Daniel Nadler and Edward Norton, says the company found that viewers of ads during last year’s ceremony were 77% more likely to engage online with an advertiser compared with those who saw an equivalent ad during ABC’s regular primetime shows.

“The ratings have been trending downward, but engagement is still high,” he told Deadline in an interview.

Added Greenfield of C3, “At the end of the day, these are still the Oscars.”

Until they aren’t anymore.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/oscars-...es-1202562868/
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TV Review (Broadcast)
‘Whiskey Cavalier’: This Eighties Throwback Lets You See It Sweat
By Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone - Feb. 22, 2019

If you’re the kind of person who still pays close attention to what the traditional broadcast networks are doing, you may have noticed that this has been the most uninspiring season for the Big Four in a very long time. Even with the very recent success of This Is Us on NBC, it feels like the networks have completely given up on the idea of competing with cable and streaming when it comes to drama. They know audiences aren’t expecting complexity from them, so they’ve stopped trying to offer it. Instead, everything’s either an outright remake of a show from decades past, or a close enough approximation that a time traveler from the Seventies might only be confused by the technology and more explicit sex references.

ABC’s new Whiskey Cavalier (it premieres Sunday, Feb. 24th, right after the Oscars and again in its regular time slot, Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET; ★★★ out of five) is itself trying very hard — at times much too hard — to be the best new show of 1986. But to its credit, the Scott Foley/Lauren Cohan spy series is at least trying to be the type of show the networks haven’t made much of in a long time. It’s a light-comic action-drama where the emphasis is on the chemistry between the two leads, with plot and everything else as a bonus. This was a hugely popular Eighties subgenre — see: Moonlighting, Remington Steele, Hart to Hart, Scarecrow and Mrs. King and more — but most shows of recent vintage that have tried it (say, Chuck or Castle) have added enough narrative gimmicks to work beyond the will-they-or-won’t-they of it all.

Whiskey Cavalier has no interest in distractions or misdirection. The entire show (created by Dave Hemingson, working with an eclectic group of producers including Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence and Key & Peele director Peter Atencio) is interested almost exclusively in the banter, bickering and low-simmering heat between its two attractive leads. Their dynamic — Cohan’s CIA agent Frankie is the cold and ruthless one, while Foley’s FBI agent Will(*) is the emotional hot mess in the wake of a bad breakup — is something of a gender role reversal, but only if you haven’t seen Chuck or Castle or several dozen other shows that have done this flip since the days when it might have been surprising. They begin as professional rivals but are soon (with minimal justification beyond “they’re the stars of the show”) working together, along with a cast of comic-relief sidekicks played by, among others, Tyler James Williams, Ana Ortiz and Josh Hopkins.

(*) The series’ title comes from Will’s radio call sign (his last name is Chase), despite the show clearly being a two-hander between him and Frankie. How do you not find a way to name the series after both of them? This shouldn’t be hard, yet somehow it always seems like it is.

The two leads spark off each other well enough and are solid fits for their respective roles. Foley’s played so many parts over his career that either lean into his handsome alpha-maleness (The Unit, Scandal) or invert it for laughs (including a stint on Scrubs) that he can nimbly toggle back and forth between Will at his most lethal and at his sappiest. Cohan’s best known for gritting her teeth against the many miseries inflicted on her on The Walking Dead, but she’s lively and energetic in the same way so many TWD alums have been in recent years when other roles have allowed them to smile.

The series gets good value out of filming on location in Europe, and the action scenes are pretty good, albeit not a patch on what Foley’s ex-wife Jennifer Garner was doing on this network’s Alias close to 20 years ago. In most ways, it’s a decent approximation of the types of shows it’s paying homage to. But very often it’s also straining. In the opening episode, Williams’ character quips at the leads, “Lotta sexual tension in the car,” spelling out what was already obvious. And the second episode climaxes with our heroes in a heart-to-heart during a potentially deadly situation, which is way too soon for that kind of moment to happen and feel like it matters (not to mention too soon to depart from their usual bickering).

Shoot the whole thing on a studio backlot and maybe delete the scene in the second episode where Frankie has to remove a corpse’s eyeball (mostly off-camera), and almost nothing about Whiskey Cavalier would have to change to exist in the era of the series that inspired it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: There’s a reason the phrase “they don’t make ’em like they used to” is said with nostalgia. This is a show like they used to make ’em. But it’s also one that needs to relax a bit and trust that its leads are as appealing together as the other characters keep telling us that they are.

https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/tv-r...review-792183/
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Obituary
Clark James Gable, Former ‘Cheaters’ Host, Dies at 30
By Reid Nakamura, TheWrap.com - Feb. 22, 2019

Clark James Gable, the grandson of the 1930s Hollywood star Clark Gable and former host of the syndicated reality series “Cheaters,” has died at the age of 30, according to his family.

“It’s is with an extremely heavy heart we say goodbye to my beautiful son Clark,” his mother Tracy Yarro Scheff wrote on Instagram on Friday. “He passed this morning. I will always be next to you my beautiful son.”

No cause of death was made public.

Gable’s sister, actress Kayley Gable also shared the news of her brother’s death on Facebook, writing, “My brother was found unresponsive this morning by his fiancé and didn’t wake up .. I LOVE YOU CLARKIE I’m so sorry we couldn’t save you my heart is broken and shattered RIP.”

Gable served as host of the series “Cheaters” for three seasons beginning in 2012, until longtime host Joey Greco returned to the show in 2015. His acting credits include the films “Sunset at Dawn,” “Heckle” and “Looking for Clarissa.”

https://www.thewrap.com/clark-james-...st-dies-at-30/
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TV/Production Notes (Broadcast)
New York Undercover: Malik Yoba to Reprise Starring Role in ABC Revival
By Dave Nemetz, TVLine.com - Feb. 22, 2019

One key member of the Fourth Precinct will be back on the beat in ABC’s New York Undercover revival: Original cast member Malik Yoba is returning to reprise his starring role, according to our sister site Deadline.

Yoba will once again play J.C. Williams in the revival. But while J.C. was a young undercover detective during the show’s original Fox run, now he’ll be overseeing the unit and training the next generation of detectives.

New York Undercover, from Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf, originally ran on Fox from 1994 to 1998, with Yoba as the only main cast member to appear in all four seasons. Wolf will once again serve as an executive producer on the revival, which picks up 20 years after the events of the original series and will follow Det. Nat Gilmore and Det. Melissa Ortiz “as they investigate the city’s most dangerous criminals from Harlem to Battery Park.” The revival earned a pilot order from the Eye network in December.

Since New York Undercover ended, Yoba has made frequent appearances on the small screen, with regular roles on Empire, Designated Survivor, Revolution and Alphas. Recently, he guest-starred on CBS’ God Friended Me and Fox’s Gotham.

https://tvline.com/2019/02/22/new-yo...alik-yoba-abc/
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Obituary
Comedian Brody Stevens Dead at 48 of Apparent Suicide
By Gary Trock and Mike Walters, TheBlast.com - Feb. 22, 2019

Comedian Brody Stevens died Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, The Blast has confirmed.

Sources close to the investigation tell us he was found just before 1:00 PM. We’re told the cause of death is being investigated as a suicide by hanging.

According to our sources, LAPD was dispatched to the scene and investigators spoke with his family. The Blast obtained audio from the emergency dispatchers, where officials described the scene as a “hanging.”

A rep for Brody Stevens tells The Blast, “Brody was an inspiring voice who was a friend to many in the comedy community. He pushed creative boundaries and his passion for his work and his love of baseball were contagious. He was beloved by many and will be greatly missed. We respectfully ask for privacy at this time.”

After hearing of his passing, comedian Patton Oswalt said, “If you are depressed or feeling suicidal please please please please please reach out to ANYONE. I never get to see Brody Stevens again I can’t stand this.”

Sources close to Stevens’ circle tell us in the last few months he was very devoted to his mother in Palm Springs. We’re told he had also confided in friends recently that he took himself off his medications because he felt they “dulled” his creativity as a comic.

Stevens was very well known as a stand-up comic from Los Angeles and for his oddball comedy and constant shout-outs to the “818” in the San Fernando Valley. He regularly performed at clubs around Los Angeles, including The Comedy Store.

He also had some bit parts in movies, including a scene as a police officer in “The Hangover.”

Stevens had been very open about his issues with depression in the past, and recently expressed disappointment over negative reactions to a comedy special he had taped.

R.I.P.

https://theblast.com/comedian-brody-...-dead-suicide/
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Technology Notes (Mobile)
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is a phone without a network
By Chaim Gartenberg, TheVerge.com - Feb. 22, 2019

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G was the final announcement at the company’s big Unpacked event — a phone promising mobile internet speeds dramatically faster than today’s LTE networks. But there’s one big problem: there are no 5G networks in the United States for the S10 5G to actually work with, and we’re not sure when that will meaningfully change.

The fact that Samsung didn’t offer a release date or price for the S10 5G is easy to explain. When Samsung sells the S10 5G is wholly dependent on when its carrier partners, and especially Verizon — the phone is exclusive to Verizon to start — have a 5G network that’s ready for it. And as of the S10 5G’s unveiling, there are simply no 5G networks from US carriers that are ready for a phone. In fact, none of the carriers have even announced formal plans or dates when they’ll launch any publicly available 5G products.

That’s why even though the ultra-futuristic Galaxy Fold has a release date, the S10 5G doesn’t yet.

Even though Verizon might argue that it already has a 5G network, it doesn’t have a 5G network for phones. While the company did technically announce its preliminary 5G TF network to replace wired landline internet connections last fall, it’s not compatible with any Verizon mobile 5G devices. (Verizon has actually halted rolling out its home network offering until later in 2019 when the actual 5G standard equipment is ready.)

And as far as that actual, standards-based 5G NR network is concerned, the carrier has announced next to nothing about its plans.

Now, just after Samsung’s announcement of the phone, Verizon did say that it has plans to have its mobile 5G network in at least 30 cities by the end of 2019. But that’s a pretty broad timescale for not a lot of coverage, especially considering that Samsung is promising that the S10 5G will go on sale sometime “in the first half of 2019.”

Hans Vestberg, Verizon’s CEO, suggested in an investor call that the S10 5G is “not too far away,” but also said that “it’s not going to be tomorrow,” either. Not exactly the most encouraging sentiment for Samsung to have coming from its exclusive launch partner. It suggests there won’t be a lot of places where you can actually take advantage of the fastest 5G networks with this phone — which echoes what we heard from carriers in November about how millimeter wave technology will work.

But the S10 5G really highlights the issue with 5G phones in general, one that will only be exacerbated when Mobile World Congress brings even more 5G phone announcements this weekend: none of these networks are really ready. Verizon’s issues are already chronicled above, but its competitors aren’t much better off.

AT&T technically launched its 5G network in a few cities at the end of December, but it’s still working on rolling out coverage. At this point, AT&T only offers a single device (the Nighthawk 5G hotspot) in select regions of 12 cities, assuming you’re specifically selected by AT&T to receive a device and service. It’s much closer to a private beta test than any real, serious launch.

And while T-Mobile and Sprint have talked a lot about their 5G plans and cities, neither company has actually publicly launched a 5G network at all, or even announced a date when they will (although the two carriers are arguing that 5G growth is an important factor in their pending merger.)

It invites the question: why did Samsung show off the S10 5G at all at the event, knowing that none of this is close to ready? If Samsung wanted to show off the future of phones, the Galaxy Fold already served the role far better (and has a promised 5G variant to boot). And without a price or release date, the S10 5G just serves as a distraction from the regular S10 lineup that Samsung is starting to sell in just a few days by promising a faster, better version down the line. If you want to have the latest and greatest phone, buying an S10 is a tough sell knowing that there’s a 5G version on its way in just a few months.

But it’s not as tough a sell now that you know one inconvenient truth: the Galaxy S10 5G is a phone without a network.

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbrea...h-release-date
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TV Notes/Q&A (Cable)
Better Days for ‘Better Things’ With the Women in Charge
By Aisha Harris, The New York Times - Feb. 21, 2019

Season 3 of “Better Things,” beginning Feb. 28 on FX (10:00 p.m.), feels like the long-awaited return of an old familiar friend.

Sam (Pamela Adlon, one of the creators) continues to come to terms with aging; Sam’s oldest daughter, Max (Mikey Madison), has boy troubles; Frankie (Hannah Alligood) and Duke (Olivia Edward) bicker and deal with puberty. Sam’s mom, Phyllis (Celia Imrie), ignores her steadily declining mental health.

The show, a semi-autobiographical depiction of Adlon’s life, is still silly, touching, absurdist, invigorating. The ’60s and ’70s pop/rock throwbacks can still pack a gut punch at the right moment. (The first episode ends with Sam and Frankie reading “A Raisin in the Sun” aloud together over Rod Stewart’s “Mandolin Wind.”)

But these episodes almost didn’t happen: Near the end of Season 2, in 2017, a New York Times article profiled several women who accused Louis C.K., Adlon’s longtime writing partner and the co-creator of “Better Things,” of sexual misconduct.

C.K. later admitted the allegations were true and was removed from the show as a producer. “Better Things” had already been renewed for a third season before the allegations came to light, but Adlon initially told John Landgraf, the CEO of FX, she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue: “My heart wasn’t in it,” she said recently.

“He said to me, ‘Well, I’m not going to force you to do anything, but I want you to do your show. I want you to.’ And he never pushed,” she continued.

Adlon opted to proceed, though not without some anxiety about being the sole person in charge of the show after sharing those duties with C.K.

“It was scary, and I’d never been in a writer’s room before, let alone run one,” she said.

“The things that I didn’t think would happen are: I survived, I wrote 12 drafts of television, I shot 12 episodes of television and now I’m finishing post [production] on them.”

In a recent phone interview, Adlon and the actresses who play her daughters — Madison, 19; Alligood, 15; and Edward, 12 — reflected on the benefits of working on a set “loaded with women” and their relationships with one another, onscreen and off.

Then, after the girls left the call, Adlon talked about the subject everybody asks about, which also happens to be the thing she least likes to discuss: Louis C.K. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.

How have your dynamics on set changed since the first season?
MIKEY MADISON
There was always a sense of freedom, creatively, on this particular set, and as time has progressed, I feel like even more so. We’re able to come up with ideas and take liberties.

HANNAH ALLIGOOD Once you’ve spent this much time with your cast and crew, you kind of become a family.

PAMELA ADLON When we wrapped Season 1 and we were doing [the last scene when we’re driving] on the freeway — when we finished, do you remember what happened?

OLIVIA EDWARD We were all crying.

MADISON It was very emotional. I met some of them when I was 15, and I’ll be 20 in March. I feel like I’ve known everyone for so long, and just that first season, I would wake up every morning just so excited to go to set. I still do.

ADLON It killed me. I was getting emotional every time we went back out onto the freeway, when Mikey would go to play the song, “Only Women Bleed.” We were listening to it and singing along to it, which of course heightens your experience. I kept having to cover my mouth with my hands, because I was sobbing. Oh, God, it was so intense.

When we realized that it was a wrap, we all stood there in a heap just bawling. And Mikey and Hannah were like, inconsolable.

One of the themes you’ve always dealt with on the show, but especially in Season 3, is aging and how it can conjure up the past. Do you think a natural part of growing older is having to deal emotionally with things that feel unfinished?
ADLON
You know how they say, right before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes? You’re reflecting on your life, if you’re lucky enough to take the time and slow down and be in that kind of place. I’m at a place where I’m asking my mom lots of questions about the past, because I don’t want her to forget, you know? I want the information now. You’re unpacking memories and experiences, and I have the great opportunity to put a lot of that in my show.

In one scene this season, Sam chats with an older man about his late wife while on set shooting a zombie movie.
ADLON
Oh, God, I love that you brought up that scene, Aisha. It’s one of those scenes that, when we’re coming down to the wire and we’re losing time, it’s like, “Well, does this really push the story forward?” Because we only had a few days to shoot in Pomona and I was like, “I have to shoot this scene.” This conversation was so important and beautiful, to just see this man reflecting about his life. You’ve got a whole lifetime of memories, and he says, “Well, it feels a little short to be a whole anything.” But that’s what life is.

There’s also what you’ve called your “#MeToo response,” when Sam decides to speak up about the dangerous working conditions on the movie. Have you had conversations with each other around #MeToo, and what it means to be women or young girls in this industry?
ALLIGOOD
Because I’m still a minor, I still have a parent on set. And our set is really, really safe anyway, and I feel so comfortable there, that I really haven’t felt unsafe at all. And I love our cast and our crew; it’s just a really good environment.

MADISON Before we started filming this season, there was a meeting for all the adults, and I was included because I was 18. We had a big seminar with the entire crew before we started —

ADLON It was a two-hour HR meeting.

MADISON It was interesting and also kind of sad, because they were saying things like, “This is inappropriate, and you cannot do this to a co-worker,” giving examples. It’s so heartbreaking that this happens to people on set. Pamela, your show has been the first set that I’ve pretty much ever been on, and the show is about women, for women, with incredibly supportive people surrounding me. I’ve always felt very loved and protected throughout this entire experience.

ADLON The girls are luckier now, because it’s a time where everybody is being watched and everybody’s on point. They have to be on point. You know, I wasn’t so lucky. I started when I was young a long time ago, and people were still getting up to stuff. So that’s why I was able to put this in the show this season, of taking the production out to task for being abusive with people’s time and potentially hurting them.

Are there any moments from this season that are your favorites? Olivia, you get to hurl a bunch of expletives in one episode.
EDWARD
I love every time someone brings this up, because it was something that I would never be able to do. It was a funny scene, and I had to try very hard not to start laughing. I will say: I memorized my lines in advance.

ADLON Oh, she was so ready.

ALLIGOOD How much did you practice?

EDWARD I actually didn’t practice. I think I just memorized it, and I remember laughing the entire time, reading. Once I got up to that scene, I started on the floor laughing, because it was just so funny.

Season 3 of “Better Things” was announced right before the Louis C.K. revelations came out. Pamela, what was your vision for the season at the beginning, and did it change once you knew he was no longer going to be a part of it?
ADLON
When I was shooting Season 2, I would get ideas. I would be like, “If we get a Season 3, I should do this or that.” So I’m always scribbling down and having thoughts about places that story could go. But when the article came out, my “White Rock” episode aired the same night, which really [expletive] sucked. Because that was a beautiful episode, and it just kind of got lost. And then the gorgeous “Graduation” episode aired the following week.

My head fell apart, because it was kind of a cataclysmic situation. So for me, it was about rebuilding, putting my head back on. He can’t be a producer on the show, you can’t write this show with him, but his name’s still on the show as a co-creator.

I had to kind of start over with everything. I got an attorney; I never had one before. I have now a business manager; I had to change accountants. I had to think about making a writer’s room.

So, where did I want to go with this season? What I really wanted to do was say, “Sam’s a mess. Max is a mess. Phil’s a mess. Frankie’s a mess. Duke’s a mess. Sunny’s a mess.” I wanted to see these women kind of unraveling. I wanted [the theme of the season to be about] the changes of your life, and honoring that. Which is very much kind of a vintage “Better Things” thing.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/21/a...-louis-ck.html
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TV Reviews (Broadcast)
Go without ‘Enemy Within;’ some fun in spy show ‘Whiskey Cavalier’
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The premise of NBC’s latest conspiracy thriller seems a lot like a distaff version of the network’s “The Blacklist”: Law enforcement hires a perceived villain, a woman this time, to help them take out worse bad guys.

Why order such a similar show? Maybe because “The Blacklist” is aging and will soon end?

“The Enemy Within” (10 p.m. Monday, WPXI-TV) is patently ridiculous in myriad ways. Jennifer Carpenter (“Dexter”) stars as former CIA operative Erica Shepherd, a convicted traitor who gives Hannibal Lecter-style studied silence and side-eye to the point that another character in the show points out the Lecter similarity.

Of course, it turns out Erica’s betrayal was not diabolical, but the excuse she offers is weak and only proves the whole series is based on a preposterous contrivance.

‘Whiskey Cavalier’

ABC’s light “Spy vs. Spy”-style drama feels as “broadcast network” as “The Enemy Within,” but it takes itself less seriously, so it’s more fun and easier to recommend thanks to game performances by stars Scott Foley (“Scandal”) and Lauren Cohan (“The Walking Dead”) and supporting players Tyler James Williams (“Everybody Hates Chris”) and Ana Ortiz (“Ugly Betty”).

Mr. Foley stars as Will Chase (code name: “Whiskey Cavalier”), an FBI agent who clashes with CIA agent Frankie Trowbridge (aka “Fiery Tribune”). He’s sensitive, she’s damaged, and naturally they have instant chemistry.

Viewers have seen all these elements before, but in “Whiskey Cavalier” they’re deployed in a fun, fast-moving way that the show and the charm of its leads is hard to resist.

“Whiskey Cavalier,” which gets a sneak peek after the Oscars Sunday (approximately 11:35 p.m., WTAE-TV), has its time slot debut at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

https://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-r...s/201902190157
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post #28163 of 31926 Old 02-23-2019, 04:23 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Review (Cable)
The Grim, Caustic Appeal of Flack
Anna Paquin stars as a celebrity publicist specializing in scandal in Pop TV’s splashy, sporadically insightful drama.
By Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic - Feb. 22, 2019

In the superb fifth episode of Flack, Pop TV’s new imported drama, Bradley Whitford plays Calvin Cooper, a charismatic, troublesome actor flying from New York to London. Sitting next to him in his business-class pod is Robyn (Anna Paquin), a publicist who’s trying to rein in Calvin’s destructive behavior. As the flight waits for takeoff, Calvin hits on other passengers, sets off the bathroom smoke detectors, and genially grills Robyn about her life. Then he gets an unexpected voicemail from the police. The flight promptly takes off, leaving Calvin and Robyn stranded on a seven-hour flight while they try to do damage control on a potential scandal that Calvin describes as “about as not good as you can ****ing get.”

It’s the kind of bottle episode that earns this name, with a setup that makes everything happening feel tense and claustrophobic. Flack presents Calvin’s confession to Robyn in silence, so the exact nature of his transgressions—involving material on a laptop that his housekeeper has taken for repairs—is unclear. Robyn, ruthlessly efficient when it comes to crisis communications, goes into emergency mode, trying to mastermind a solution from 35,000 feet without the assistance of her cellphone or her colleagues or her cocaine. But her prolonged enclosure in the air gives her too much time to think about the dynamics of her job, and to wonder: When is something too dirty to clean up?

There are a handful of these revelatory moments in Flack, a six-episode show that’s part Veep, part The Devil Wears Prada, and part Scandal, with a lot of Britcomic nihilism thrown into the mix. Set in London, the show revolves around Robyn’s job fixing celebrity messes, burying real scandals under fake ones, and spinning atrocious antics into tabloid gold. The first scene sees her gamely performing CPR on a closeted, superstar soccer player’s underage, overdosed hookup; after reviving him, Robyn snorts a mystery line on her way out of the hotel room to reward herself for a job well done. Later, it’s revealed that Robyn’s troubled mother ended her own life a year prior, and that Robyn’s gift for tidying up other people’s messes stems from an insatiable need to fix things, to be in control.

One day there might be a television show about a complicated woman with a morally problematic profession whose personal life isn’t a train wreck. Flack, however, is not that show. Like Homeland, it seems stuck on the idea that only a hopelessly damaged woman could do such grim work, which the series itself then contradicts by making Robyn’s efficiency in the face of her onerous tasks seem oddly satisfying. Flack’s ideas about women are sometimes tediously rote, and its writing, while snappy and caustically funny, tends to rely on long, Sorkinian expository monologues that always feel overly theatrical on television. (Oliver Lansley, who created the show, is an actor and a playwright.) And yet the series also touches on subjects and themes that feel vital and underplayed in drama right now. Like: What compels people to do awful things? Does the nature of celebrity itself create monsters? Is genuine rehabilitation for people in the public eye even possible?

In its best moments, Flack is a bleak workplace comedy studded with talent. Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda) revels in her role as Robyn’s boss at the PR shop Mills Paulson—she plays a monstrous, serpentine bully in the Miranda Priestly mold who spells out her agency’s moral compass in no uncertain terms. (“I don’t care if you lie,” she hisses, “or get innocent people sent to prison, or go round kicking away the crutches of polio-ridden children. As long as you’re in control.”) Robyn is the good cop to Lydia Wilson’s irresistibly obnoxious Eve, a glacial blonde with geometrically defined bangs and flawless one-liners. Rebecca Benson plays Melody, a sweet, unpaid intern at Mills Paulson whose naivété inevitably throws Robyn’s cynicism into sharper relief.

Outside the office, Flack engages in the most exasperating kinds of story lines about women written by men, namely those involving fertility and reproduction. Pregnancy, babies, and the anxieties around both make up the single most repetitive theme in the series, with Robyn’s status as a 30-something woman apparently superseding any other characteristics she might have. Her sister, Ruth (the excellent Genevieve Angelson), has two kids at 29, and Ruth’s unglamorous, staid lifestyle is supposed to make Robyn look like more of a hot mess by comparison. It’s the kind of false binary (pick one life or the other) that feels both tired and counterproductive at this point, not least because Ruth’s stifling existence only ends up making the challenges of Robyn’s toxic job seem more interesting.

Episode by episode, Flack explores the various crests and troughs of celebrity antics, and how reliably they make for good story lines both on television and in the tabloids. There’s the beloved chef who can’t stop cheating on his wife. The comedian under fire for making transphobic jokes. The 17-year-old singer trying to revive her career with a manufactured sex tape. The “natural” beauty blogger who’s secretly had a face lift. In the fifth episode, Calvin points out to Robyn that airlines are mandated to have ashtrays in bathrooms even though people aren’t allowed to smoke, because they’ll unfailingly try to anyway. “Such,” he says, “is the inevitability of human weakness.” But with stars, the show seems to wonder, is it really inevitable? Or is the elaborate media ecosystem that’s been constructed over centuries set up to reward certain types of personalities, and—in turn—certain kinds of behavior?

That Flack is set in England, a country whose tabloids engage in the kinds of seamy schemes that rival anything they themselves publish, seems apt. Many of the show’s best jokes involve British cultural references, which slightly complicates its mass appeal. (As Robyn placates the cheated-on wife of the priapic celebrity chef, the woman sets out her terms for staying with him in a flat northern accent: “Six months. I want a cookbook. And I wanna do Strict-leh.”) The gleeful immorality of the journalists Robyn tangoes with reinforces the idea that the system itself is rotten from within, and that anyone mired in it for too long gets implicated. Robyn has her red lines. But by the time she reaches them, Flack insinuates, she might already have gone past the point of no return.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertai...review/583291/
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TV Review (Cable)
So You Want to be a Wildlife Filmmaker? These Are the Stories of the People Who Made ‘Dynasties’
By Alex Strachan, TVWorthWatching.com's 'TV That Matters' - Feb. 22, 2019

A change of pace doesn’t always mean faster. Dynasties’ five hour-long life stories of five individual animals have now aired in the US, following their BBC One debut late last year, and it was evident from the start that each hour-long episode – filmed in a single location over a two- to four-year period – would have a different rhythm and pace than traditional nature programs.

Dynasties was always going to be different from earlier David Attenborough spectacles like Planet Earth and Blue Planet. By focusing on a single family group of animals over an extended period of time, Dynasties would bend and twist to the rhythms of life, and pack a real emotional punch. Survival of the fittest is never more urgent than when it affects individual animals viewers have grown to know and care about, even if only for a moment. There were times when Dynasties was both profound and poignant, and hard to watch. Life in the wild is a struggle, and there are never any guarantees that the noble — whether lion or penguin — will win out over the ignoble in the end.

(New editions of Planet Earth and Blue Planet are on the drawing board, by the way, following the next in the BBC-Attenborough canon, One Planet: Seven Worlds. Film composer Hans Zimmer confirmed earlier this week that he’ll be composing the theme for One Planet, as he did for Planet Earth II; no word yet if Radiohead will follow, as they did on Blue Planet II).

If any of Dynasties was hard to watch for the viewer, imagine what it must’ve been like for the camera operators, sound technicians, location managers, and field producers who followed each family group for months and years at a time, for the sense of achievement, if not the pay exactly.

Their stories, and the rollercoaster of emotions that rocketed them from highs to lows with an almost capricious regularity, form the core of The Making of Dynasties, which will air this weekend exclusively on BBC America (Sat., 9 p.m. ET).

As with the original program itself, The Making of Dynasties doesn’t dwell on the obvious — the bugs, the heat or, in the case of Antarctica, the cold — but rather the emotional, inner story of what it’s like to, say, witness an African wild dog grow from infancy to become a strapping, adolescent would-be hunter and clan leader, only to stand by helplessly while it’s snatched, screaming, by a gargantuan, Antediluvian crocodile after pausing at a riverbank to drink.

It’s hard not to admire the physical and mental toughness of these filmmakers as they spend long days and nights outdoors in places that haven’t changed in millions of years in some cases — there’s no room service on the ice sheets of the Antarctic Peninsular, or in Mana Pools National Park on the banks of the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe, for that matter.

There’s Will Lawson, field producer of the Antarctic episode about penguins, rocked to his core at the sheer power and rugged beauty of the Earth’s most remote region, admitting softly to the camera, “I am absolutely speechless,” and 10,000 kilometers away, in Senegal on the edge of the Sahara Desert, Rosie Thomas, producer-director of the episode about chimpanzees, struggling with her emotions as she admits. “It’s heartbreaking to see this chimp that was so powerful has just become so weak.”

Many nature programs, even those that claim to take themselves seriously, make the mistake of anthropomorphizing their subjects — deliberately giving animals human characteristics — in the belief that will make the program an easier sell with viewers.

As this hour of Dynasties shows, for the filmmakers themselves, these animals proved relatable in their own right, on their own terms. It’s easy to relate to any living creature when their very lives are at stake. There’s no need to "Disney-fy" the story. When the aging leader of a chimpanzee clan vanishes for several days after being badly injured in a fight with a younger, would-be alpha male, cameraman John Brown is shaken to his core. “We saw him not only nearly lose his position in the hierarchy but we saw him nearly lose his life,” he says to the camera. “The injuries he sustained in the last coup would have been enough to kill me. . . .

“We’re still looking.”

The confessional to the camera, a type of aside used as a stylistic, storytelling device, is a tried and true staple of reality TV. Watching Dynasties, though — not just The Making of Dynasties but the entire series – is a reminder of how much more trenchant and relevant documentary is than reality TV. Here, the personal confessionals really mean something.

Seeing these cameramen and women in isolation, sharing their innermost thoughts, creates a sense of intimacy, emotions close to the surface for all to see. The Making of Dynasties provides depth and added perspective to what was already a rich and deeply textured series.

“It’s tough, actually,” Nick Lyon, director of the African painted wolves episode, admits. “Because you spend day in and day out with these animals, for months and months and months, and their lives become very important to you. The stories can be incredible but it’s actually an emotional rollercoaster to see what’s happening with them.”

There are many moments in The Making of Dynasties that will surprise even those viewers who hung onto every word of every episode.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the most dramatic revelations of life behind the scenes emerge in the Antarctica episode, where three intrepid filmmakers – Lawson and camera operators Stefan Christmann and Lindsay McCrae – spent an entire Antarctic winter, in months of round-the-clock outdoor darkness, hunkered down inside an isolated German research station, Neumayer Station III, with just half a dozen German researchers to keep them company. A violent polar storm descends on them, on a scale witnessed by few human beings. Antarctic storms are more violent and powerful than any hurricane. There were times, Lawson admitted, when the sheer noise and violent stresses against a German-made structure designed to withstand just about anything, made him think the entire research station was about to come apart at the seams, taking them with it.

“We were told the likelihood of us being evacuated [in the event of an emergency] was less than 10 percent,” Lawson told the BBC’s RadioTimes. “So, yes, that massive level of isolation was very apparent.”

The best nature programs give voice to endangered animals that can’t speak for themselves. As The Making of Dynasties shows, the conservationists and filmmakers behind the camera have some interesting stories of their own. The Making of Dynasties ends not with the Northern Lights but the Southern Lights, as seen from Antarctica.

“That is absolutely amazing,” Will Lawson says, nearly overcome by emotion in the black pitch of the Antarctic night, as clouds of green and amber light play overhead. “Oh my God.”

And how.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=17810
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY 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 - Feb. 23, 2019

ABC:
8PM - NBA Countdown (LIVE)
8:31PM - NBA Basketball: Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors (LIVE)

CBS:
8PM - Ransom
9PM - 48 Hours: Killer App
(R)
10PM - 48 Hours: Portrait of a Killer

NBC:
8PM - NHL Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers (LIVE)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live: Claire Foy hosts; Anderson Paak performs (93 min.)
(R)

FOX:
8PM - 9-1-1
(R)
9PM - Proven Innocent
(R)
* * * *
11PM - Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back
(R)

PBS:
8PM - Austin City Limits: Robert Plant
(R)

UNIVISION:
7:55PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: América vs. Lobos BUAP (LIVE)
9:55PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: Pachuca vs. Chivas de Guadalajara (LIVE)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Movie: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)
8:30PM - Movie: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

NBCSN:
8PM - Motocross Racing, Monster Energy Supercross: Detroit (3 hrs.)
* * * *
Midnight - IBSF World Cup Bobsleigh and Skeleton: Women's Bobsled

CBSSN:
8PM - College Basketball: Fresno State at Nevada (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - PBR Bull Riding: Iron Cowboy (120 min.)

ESPN:
8PM - College Basketball: Kansas at Texas Tech (LIVE)
10PM - College Basketball: BYU at Gonzaga (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
8PM - College Basketball: Memphis at Wichita State (LIVE)
10PM - College Basketball: Oregon at UCLA (LIVE)

ESPN U:
8PM - College Basketball: East Carolina at Tulane (LIVE)
10PM - College Basketball: San Diego State at UNLV (LIVE)
* * * *
Midnight - College Basketball: Tennessee at LSU

HALLMARK:
8PM - Movie: Love on the Menu (2019)

LIFETIME:
8PM - Movie: Who's Stalking Me? (2019)

NICKELODEON:
8PM - Henry Danger (28 min.)
8:28PM - Cousins for Life (29 min.)
8:57PM - Knight Squad (33 min.)

A&E:
9PM - Live PD (3 hrs., LIVE)

BBC AMERICA:
9PM - Planet Earth: Dynasties - The Making of (Special)

OWN:
9PM - Iyanla, Fix My Life
10PM - Love & Marriage: Huntsville

PARAMOUNT:
9PM - Bellator MMA Live: Dublin (2 hrs. 15 min., LIVE)

HBO:
10PM - Movie: O.G. (2018)

SHOWTIME EXTREME:
10PM - Boxing: James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr. (2 1/2 hrs., LIVE)

ADULT SWIM:
11PM - Dragon Ball Super
11:30PM - Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
Midnight - My Hero Academia
12:30AM - Sword Art Online: Alicization
1AM - Megalo Box
1:30AM - JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable
2AM - Black Cover
2:30AM - Hunter X Hunter
3AM - Naruto: Shippuden
(R)
3:30AM - Attack on Titan
(R)


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

Last edited by DrDon; 02-23-2019 at 07:07 AM. Reason: Changed ESPN2 listing from "Football" to "Basketball"
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^^

In addition, there are two AAF games, today:

Arizona at Salt Lake, 3pm, B/R Live streaming

Memphis at Orlando, 8pm, NFLN
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Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
^^

In addition, there are two AAF games, today:

Arizona at Salt Lake, 3pm, B/R Live streaming

Memphis at Orlando, 8pm, NFLN
Watch while you can.

from profootballtalk; If Kaplan’s report is accurate (and there’s no reason to dispute that it is at this point), the message is clear: The AAF nearly disappeared after one week of play, and it could in theory disappear after any week of play.

https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.co...af-investment/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
‘Last Man Standing’ Keeps Friday Ratings Hold While CBS Scores Double Win
By Patrick Hipes, Deadline.com - Feb. 23, 2019

Fox’s Last Man Standing (0.9 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic, 4.61 million viewers) fell two tenths from last week but still ended Friday as the night’s top-rated show in primetime. But a drama lineup led by back-to-back fresh episodes of Hawaii Five-0 (0.8. 7.07M at 9 PM and the night’s most-watched show, and 0.8, 6.95M at 10 PM) gave CBS the nightly win in both the demo and total viewers.

CBS’ night started with MacGyver (0.8, 6.57M), a tenth behind Standing in the demo but tops in the hour in viewers in a time slot that included the first of back-to-back episodes of The Blacklist (0.6, 4.34M at 8, a season viewer high, and 0.6, 3.99M at 9) on NBC, and Fresh Off the Boat (0.6, 3.08M), down a tenth, on ABC.

Elsewhere for Fox, The Cool Kids (0.7, 3.80M) returned to a series low at 8:30 PM. At 9, Proven Innocent (0.4, 2.09M), the new legal drama from Fox and Danny Strong, dipped a tenth in its second week and a full half-point from its Standing lead-in.

ABC wrapped its comedy block with an even Speechless (0.5, 2.28M) at 8:30 which led in to a two-hour 20/20 (0.7, 3.79M). The newsmag again topped NBC’s rival Dateline (0.5, 3.09M) head to head at 10, with the latter returning from a week off to match its previous demo number.

The CW aired reruns.

Overall, CBS (0.8, 6.86M) won the night followed in the demo by Fox (0.7, 3.55M), which was No. 3 in viewers after NBC (0.6, 3.81M), which tied with ABC (0.6, 3.05M) in the demo. The CW (0.2, 890,000) followed.

https://deadline.com/2019/02/last-ma...bs-1202563396/
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TV/Legal Notes (Cable)
Former Fox News Medical Contributor Keith Ablow Accused of Sexually Exploiting 3 Patients
By Matt Lopez, TheWrap.com - Feb. 23, 2019

Keith Ablow, a prominent Boston-area psychiatrist, best-selling self-help author and former Fox News contributor, has been accused of sexually exploiting three patients, according to a report Thursday from the Boston Globe.

The Globe cited lawsuits filed by three separate women over the span of one year. According to the women’s suits, Ablow abused his position while treating them for depression by engaging in physically harmful and manipulative sexual relationships.

Ablow denied the allegations of the three women in a tweet posted Thursday afternoon. “Categorically, completely deny the allegations lodged against me. I look forward to the court proceedings and will continue to offer excellent care to any patient who needs my help,” he wrote.

“He began to hit me when we engaged in sexual activities,” one plaintiff wrote in a sworn affidavit filed with her lawsuit. “He would have me on my knees and begin to beat me with his hands on my breasts, occasionally saying, ‘I own you,’ or ‘You are my slave.'”

According to The Globe, Albow used a controversial treatment for depression on the women which relied heavily on infusions of Ketamine, an anesthetic that can induce a trance-like state, memory loss and hallucinations.

The Globe cited one expert who said it appeared Ablow was using Ketamine in conjunction with talk therapy to gain control over a third patient, a woman from Ohio. “The patient appears to have become very dependent on this medication and dependent on Dr. Ablow to supply it,” wrote chairman of the psychiatry department at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons Jeffrey Lieberman in an expert testimony filed with the lawsuits.

Lexington psychoanalyst, Andrea Celenza, who was hired by the plaintiffs as an expert witness, said that Ablow’s behavior in the case of one of the women “was sadomasochistic, anti-therapeutic, and constitutes a perverse use of his status and power,” she wrote in a letter filed with the lawsuits.

Persuaded by Albow, each of the three women moved away from their home state to be closer to the doctor’s office. The Ohio woman, in her affidavit, said he offered discounts for the Ketamine infusions and promised to arrange job interviews if she agreed to relocate.

Three women who worked for Albow also wrote affidavits that were included in the lawsuits. The affidavits said that Ablow often came off as threatening and would display his handgun or give subtle hints that he would take action if they provided anyone with negative information about his practice.

“Dr. Ablow has been a respected and highly regarded psychiatrist who has for decades helped countless patients,” Ablow’s attorney A. Bernard Guekguezian told The Globe. “He denies any and all allegations of improper behavior or substandard care in their entirety.”

https://www.thewrap.com/former-fox-n...ng-3-patients/
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Technology Notes (Gaming)
Microsoft reportedly plans to discuss next-gen Xbox consoles at E3 2019
By Nick Statt, TheVerge.com - Feb. 22, 2019

Sony may have decided to skip the video game industry’s largest annual expo this year, but Microsoft plans to be back at E3 2019 with its usual blow-out press conference. And now, French gaming news outlet JeuxVideo is reporting that Microsoft plans to discuss its next-gen Xbox lineup as well.

We likely won’t get pricing details or product names, the report states, but we’ll certainly get some official confirmation of the two devices Microsoft is planning to release next year. The news lines up with the company’s slow and steady approach to unveiling its future console roadmap following the launch of the Xbox One X in fall 2017.

At last year’s E3, Microsoft unveiled the next iteration of Halo, to be called Halo Infinite, and also confirmed the rumors that it was officially working on a game streaming service for Xbox consoles that would also work across Windows PCs and mobile phones. (A report from just yesterday also has that cloud service coming to the Nintendo Switch.) In contrast to Sony’s more tight-lipped approach to next-gen hardware and services, Microsoft has already come out and revealed the name of the cloud service to be xCloud, with public trials starting this year.

Last December, the codenames for Microsoft’s new consoles apparently leaked, with one called Anaconda and another Lockheart under a new two-console development strategy codenamed “Scarlett.” Microsoft is reportedly taking its existing Xbox One S / One X “good/better” approach and apply that to its new generation as well, so there will be two console options for people at launch.

Other rumors have the higher-end Anaconda containing a solid state drive, and the lower-end Lockheart potentially coming in a disc-less variant to complement xCloud alongside a new disc-to-digital initiative that would let consumers transfer over physical libraries. Additionally, JeuxVideo is reporting that, as rumored, the newest Xbox devices will be fully backwards compatible with the current generation of hardware, and that Halo Infinite will be a launch title across the Xbox One X / One S and the new consoles.

So we may know a fair bit about Microsoft’s approach here, and it makes a lot of sense now that E3 2019 will be the company’s big opportunity to kick off the next-gen conversation, especially with Sony absent. (We know much less about Sony’s next-gen approach, but we still have enough information to speculate what the PlayStation 5 will be like.) Both Microsoft and Sony’s new hardware items are expected to launch in the fall of 2020, marking seven full years of the current generation.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/22/1...e3-2019-reveal
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