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post #28681 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 03:44 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
Perry Mason Limited Series Starring Matthew Rhys Formally Greenlit at HBO
By Michael Ausiello, TVLine.com - Mar. 22, 2019

HBO is officially reviving Perry Mason. The pay cabler has formally ordered a limited series based on legendary fictional criminal defense lawyer, with The Americans’ Matthew Rhys taking on the title role. Sopranos vet Tim Van Patten, meanwhile, has signed on as director and EP.

As we reported back in January, Rhys — who will also serve as a producer on the aptly-titled Perry Mason — will play Mason at a time in his life when he is living check-to-check as a low-rent private investigator. He also finds himself haunted by his wartime experiences in France and is suffering the effects of a broken marriage.

Here’s the project’s logline:

1932, Los Angeles. While the rest of the country recovers from the Great Depression, this city is booming! Oil! Olympic Games! Talking Pictures! Evangelical Fervor! And a child kidnapping gone very, very wrong! Based on characters created by Erle Stanley Gardner, this limited series follows the origins of American Fiction’s most legendary criminal defense lawyer, Perry Mason. When the case of the decade breaks down his door, Mason’s relentless pursuit of the truth reveals a fractured city and just maybe, a pathway to redemption for himself.

The Emmy winner follows in the footsteps of the late Raymond Burr, who starred as Mason for nine seasons on CBS’ Perry Mason series (1957–1966) and 26 subsequent TV movies (1985–1993).

Rolin Jones (The Exorcist) and Ron Fitzgerald (Westworld) will pen the adaptation and serve as co-showrunners and EPs. Additional EPs include Robert Downey Jr., Susan Downey, Amanda Burrell and Joe Horacek.

https://tvline.com/2019/03/22/perry-...w-rhys-reboot/
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post #28682 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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TV Notes (Broadcast)
'The Conners' Renewed for Season 2 on ABC
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Mar. 22, 2019

ABC is returning to Lanford in 2019-20.

The network has renewed The Conners for a second season after the comedy turned in solid ratings for its first run. The Roseanne spinoff is among the top five new series of 2018-19 in both adults 18-49 and total viewers.

Season one of The Conners ran for 11 episodes, and sources tells The Hollywood Reporter season two will be a similar length as several castmembers also have other commitments.

Stars Sara Gilbert (who's also an executive producer), John Goodman, Laurie Metcalf, Lecy Goranson and Ames McNamara are all set to return. ABC says additional cast will be announced later, but the renewal announcement does not mention Roseanne alum Michael Fishman or newer castmembers Emma Kenney, Maya Lynne Robinson and Jayden Rey.

"We are proud to be continuing the story of the iconic Conner family," said ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke. "This team is fearless in their willingness to tackle contemporary issues with humor and heart, and I have no doubt they will continue to outdo themselves."

The pickup does not come as a big surprise, given the show's ratings and the fact that in January, Burke said the network was close to a renewal deal.

The series came out of the cancellation of Roseanne, whose revival had huge ratings in the spring of 2018 but ended after star Roseanne Barr's racist tweet about former White House adviser Valerie Jarrett. After executive producer Tom Werner struck a deal with Barr to step away from any creative or financial interest in a spinoff, ABC gave a straight-to-series order to The Conners in June.

The show came up well short of its predecessor's ratings but still put up a 2.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.5 million viewers (including a week of delayed viewing). That makes The Conners the No. 1 new comedy of 2018-19; it ranks in the top 20 among all broadcast shows for the season in the 18-49 demographic (excluding sports) and the top 30 in total viewers.

Gilbert executive produces along with Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez.

The Conners joins the final season of Modern Family, A Million Little Things, The Good Doctor and Agents of SHIELD in ABC's lineup for 2019-20.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/li...-2-abc-1196341
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post #28683 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Washington Notes

Broadcast, Cable News Gang Up on Mueller Release
By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable - Mar. 22, 2019

"Special Report" graphics blanketed screens Friday (March 22) as broadcast and cable news nets dropped regular programming to cover the submission of the "Russia probe" report from special counsel Robert Mueller to the Justice Department.

The next move in terms of making some or all of the findings public is up to a familiar figure in communications circles, Attorney General William Barr, who will reportedly review the report and summarize principle conclusions for Congress as early as this weekend.

Mueller was investigating whether Russians interfered with the 2016 election, colluded with the Trump Administration to do so, and whether the President attempted to obstruct the investigation by firing FBI director James Comey.

Barr is a familiar face, both at the DOJ, where he was attorney general under George H.W. Bush, and in communications circles, where he was a Verizon Communications executive and a member of the Time Warner board. Barr filed an affidavit in the AT&T-Time Warner legal case (Justice unsuccessfully challenged the deal and is still challenging it), taking issue with DOJ antitrust chief Makan Delrahim's characterization of a meeting about the deal where Barr was also in attendance.

News nets will be on Barr watch this weekend, since the Attorney General said some conclusions could be shared with Congress as early as that, according to CNN.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said DOJ had informed him and ranking member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) that the report had been submitted.

He said that signaled that there was no disagreement between Barr and Mueller over what should happen next, otherwise he would have to have been informed of that disagreement.

“I will work with Ranking Member Feinstein and our House Judiciary Committee colleagues to ensure as much transparency as possible, consistent with the law," he said.

One prominent Republican said the report should be made public, and ASAP.

“After nearly two years, the special counsel has concluded his investigation, and I look forward to reviewing Attorney General Barr’s report carefully, when it becomes available," said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. "I fully expect the Justice Department to release the special counsel’s report to this committee and to the public without delay and to the maximum extent permitted by law.”

“Now that Robert Mueller has completed his investigation, it’s clear that Attorney General Barr must hand over all of his findings and documentation to Congress," said People for the American Way executive VP Marge Baker. "To the greatest extent possible, Americans deserve to see the results of an investigation into the attempts to subvert our democracy. Our elected representatives have a constitutional obligation to review every single aspect of the Mueller investigation and to make sure that the public knows exactly what role the president and his allies played in Russia’s campaign to meddle in our elections."

“The Mueller report should be released to the public. This decision is not about politics but about protecting our democracy. Now is the time to do the right thing," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). "The American people deserve the truth.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, signaled he was convinced, as is the President, that there was no collusion, and said making the conclusions public would help that process.

"Now that he’s wrapped up his investigation, Attorney General Barr must provide Congress and the American people with the findings to finally put an end to the speculation and innuendo that has loomed over this administration since its earliest days," he said.

"As Donald Trump said, 'Let it come out,'" said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). "I call on the Trump administration to make Special Counsel Mueller's full report public as soon as possible. No one, including the president, is above the law.”

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...ueller-release
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post #28684 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
NCAA Tournament Ratings Down In CBS’ Primetime Tipoff
By Lisa de Moraes, Deadline.com - Mar. 22, 2019

CBS’ opening night of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was way down in preliminary numbers Thursday. Compared with last year’s equally preliminary fast-affiliate ratings, the network was off 41% for the night in the 18-49 age bracket (1.0 vs. 1.7) and 31% in total viewers (3.9 million vs. 5.6 million).

The first-round matchups on the network Thursday were Kentucky-Abilene Christian (1.0, 3.90M) in the early slot and Wofford-Seton Hall (1.0, 3.80M) later. Tonight’s primetime CBS schedule includes No. 1 Duke.

Meanwhile, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy (1.4, 6.89M) was easily Thursday’s No. 1 non-basketball show, though it equaled its series low in the demo. The network’s Station 19 (0.9, 5.60M) dominated its 9 PM hour in both metrics, tying the basketball in the demo and gaining in both measurements week to week, and growing a tenth in the demo from the previous week’s match of a series low. For the People (0.5, 3.16M) matched last week’s low in the demo.

NBC’s Superstore (0.9, 3.89M) matched its best numbers in a year, after which A.P. Bio (0.5, 2.33M) earned its best total viewer stats in a year. Will & Grace (0.7, 2.96M) and Law & Order: SVU (0.8, 4.27M) grew week to week.

Fox’s Gotham (0.6, 2.23M) and The Orville (0.6, 2.95M) equaled their series demo lows.

CBS (1.0, 3851M) took the night in the demo with hoops coverage. ABC (0.9, 5.22M), however, topped in total viewers with its most-watched Thursday in about four months. NBC (0.7, 3.32M) ranked No. 3, followed by Fox (0.6, 2.59M) and CW (0.3, 1.24M), with Supernatural (0.4, 1.47M) and Legacies (0.3, 1.01M).

https://deadline.com/2019/03/ncaa-to...my-1202580769/
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post #28685 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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TV/Critic's Notes
Everything I Learned About Sex, I Learned From Black '90s Sitcoms
How A Different World and Fresh Prince's fictional characters provided needed insights into the realities of sex, love, and relationships
By Maud Alcorn, TVGuide.com - Mar. 22, 2019

I'm old enough to know quite a lot about sex. I'm also young enough to still lucidly remember my introduction to it. It wasn't elegant, romantic, or even textbook. It was pulled clumsily from sweet fantasies and uncomfortable realities, a collision of naive yearning and rude awakenings. I was always curious about sex as a kid — less so from a physical standpoint, and more so as a romantic ideal — but my exposure to even a basic understanding of sex was limited to small doses very early on. I would hear whispers about things my cousins did that were considered "fast." I saw movie after movie of girl meeting boy, losing her virginity, and being left to pick up the pieces. I even got to read about the raunchy escapades in Zane's urban erotica my mother hid in her closet. I found myself listening to a very loud and continuous cultural conversation, but I didn't just want to listen, I wanted to be apart of it. But there was no one for me to ask.

I grew up in what I consider a stereotypically black family, where children, and anyone who was yet to be deemed "grown," were to be seen not heard. There were no family meetings because this was not a democracy. The adults in my life had no time to listen to innocent questions, let alone the difficult ones. Even the bare bones medical explanations my school thought were important enough to mention in their limited sex education classes were seen as down right taboo in my home. Even today as a grown woman — one required to bring dishes to family functions, and even give the youngins money for the ice cream truck — it's still hard for me to bring up pivotal conversations.

Once a teenager, my body hastily caught up to my mind, and I couldn't wait for my world to actually include the experiences I'd been learning about secondhand. I wanted more than what my level of understanding of sex and relationships could provide. Between "sexual education classes" that glorified abstinence and ignored pretty much everything else, and a house where I was fearful about even mentioning a boy's name, there wasn't anywhere left for me to turn when I had questions about sex, relationships, or even just maturing into a woman. I was left to my own devices to try to find answers as I went, because while the developing body, hormones, and googly eyes were readily available, the information was not.

I went to a high school where one of my classmates was on her third child by junior year. Some boys were already several years deep into their lifelong conquest to forever be "getting some." They were not just experienced, they were well-versed and the gossip mill put them in places and conversations my inexperience could never reach. Why would my crush with absolutely perfect eyelashes who had been sleeping with girls and women alike for the better part of 10 years want this awkward, inexperienced girl who didn't even have her first kiss until 13? I was beginning to feel the pressure to forge my own escapades. Fortunately for me, before I began to remold myself as the Zane of my high school, I was hit with an unexpected dose of reality from a fictional character.

That first connection, the first inkling that a fictional character might understand me better than my parents or even my advanced level friends happened during the episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air where Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) took drastic measures to avoid admitting that he was a virgin. I typically watched for Will Smith because, I mean, he was and is Will Smith, but this Very Special Episode was what I needed more than sitcom beat jokes. Carlton's hapless ruse involved possibly fathering the child of his ex-girlfriend. He jumped through hoops and even agreed to marry this young woman to perpetuate the lie that he too had conquered the ugly beast of virginity. He so desperately wanted to fit in, he rushed into decisions that would alter the course of his life forever — raising a family is expensive, emotional, and forever. Although I'd never be driven to this level of lying, I saw myself in Carlton. Sometimes you want to, for once, not stand outside of spaces you crave to know. Wouldn't it be nice to have a turn to join in conversations that consumed your mind? To actually be able to have something to contribute? Or even better, not feel the need to fast-forward through fake life experiences that would eventually come? I was ready for a different outlook.

Fresh Prince was still relevant, but also outdated by time I used it as a roadmap into my own sexual discovery and expression; most of the shows I watched at this time were. In fact, I couldn't really tell you about what shows were popular to teens in the early 2000s. I submersed myself in '90s black sitcoms, and I did not mind drowning in it. I saw these characters as my friends. They were my points of reference, and more often than not, taught me a valuable lesson for each side-splitting laugh they provided. These lessons were sometimes easy and light hearted. Eddie (Darius McCrary) from Family Matters would fall for a "dog" of a girl, and my chunky and awkward heart would flutter at the thought maybe someone would look past my flaws. Or Moesha (Brandy) would be able to get her crush's attention without compromising her sexual boundaries. There would always be a happy ending until there wasn't. My fictional best friends, mothers, and siblings had moments where things weren't alright, and I used their turmoil as a North Star when navigating all the times sex and relationships had left me standing on the outside.

Of all of these time honored classics, it was A Different World that provided me the most accurate blueprint to who I could be and the kind of sex and relationships I could have. When I discovered A Different World, it was at a time when I had the opportunity to turn my theoretical knowledge into practical experience. But watching the show quickly put a halt to that, at least for a while. I remember being terrified of my first date years before it ever occurred because when Freddie (played by Cree Summers, who I secretly identified with although I tried my hardest to be Whitley) fell for her crush on the show and he turned out to be a rapist. I learned right alongside Dwayne (Kadeem Hardison) that coercion from a guy on a date could be sexual assault. There were episodes about pregnancy scares, heartbreaks, unrequited love, and about a still extremely taboo topic today, HIV. A Different World was where I got to see myself in almost every episode, and the reflection looking back was confused despite all of their worldly experiences.

Nothing hammered this idea home more than when Tisha Campbell appeared as Josie Webb, a new classmate who shared that she had less than a year's life expectancy after contracting HIV from her boyfriend. Up until watching this episode, I knew about STIs and I didn't know anyone who was dealing with one, at least not openly. Sex as a whole, I was learning, and anxiously waiting to enjoy, but I was looking at the whole experience through rose-colored glasses. I was so focused on the act, the love, the feel good of it all that I missed the even more perplexing realities. I was so misinformed, I barely thought about the side effects or repercussions that could come with sex, even when you have it with someone who is right for you. STIs were no longer bogeymen or an old wives' tale that I could just shunt to the back of my mind with an eye roll; they were real. They existed and they ran rampantly in communities, specifically my community, and I, for the first time, I was grateful for my second-hand experience instead of cursing it. I was able to experience the parable, without ever having to suffer the consequences of it. And for the first time, being a late bloomer felt like a gift.

I could look back at these shows as an adult in 2019 and easily poke a million holes in them. They had their unsavory moments, from sexism to colorism. But even through that critical lens, the greater truth is that these shows shaped me into who I am. All the lessons I learned from Fresh Prince, Family Matters and Moesha I would have run into eventually, but for the same reason your parents or peers crack open their painful journeys to share cautionary tales, these shows made it so I wouldn't have to approach these issues blind. I was provided a seat at a table that people in my real life saw as unneeded, but was actually one that would help me to keep the conversations going, even if at first the conversations were just with myself. Regardless whether I or anyone else acknowledges it, the conversation about sex and dating will forever be happening and evolving. There will another girl overflowing with hormones, another a boy lying about conquest he never had, and black and brown kids will still be searching for answers to questions they're afraid to ask. I hope they won't have to string together an understanding haphazardly through TV, pop culture, and their equally inexperienced peers like I did, but if they do, I'd tell them to start with A Different World.

https://www.tvguide.com/news/90s-sit...-fresh-prince/
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post #28686 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 04:24 PM
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I switched my old Win7 desktop PC to Linux Mint about 3 years ago. Lately I've been using a spare SSD on that PC to distro-hop trying to figure out what I want to put on my main desktop PC. Last week I was on Ubuntu Budgie. It looked great but something about it didn't click with me. Right now I'm on Arch switching between Deepin and Cinnamon desktops. I still want try out Pantheon and KDE Plasma on Arch before I wipe it again and install something else.
I have Ubuntu Studio which much better for doing development. I have Mint on a Toshiba laptop that originally had Vista on it. I also have Ubuntu on an Nvidia Jetson TX2 using my 55" 4K TV as a monitor.
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post #28687 of 32473 Old 03-22-2019, 04:26 PM
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I've found that every new version of windows I used has always been better than the previous version. And yes, that even includes Windows Vista. And Windows 10 has certainly been no exception.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and then vote with their wallets.

I happen to dislike Win 10, and I will be running Win 7 (with WMC) for many more years.

Hopefully, no government agent will come into my house and confiscate my OS.
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I've got a number of computers around the house, desktop and laptop. My OS of preference is Linux Mint. I greatly resent the fact that I have to be able to dual boot all of them because some programs only offer windows and Mac versions. I HATE windows with a passion.
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Hopefully, no government agent will come into my house and confiscate my OS.
I'd be more worried about Microsoft disabling it.
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Streaming/Business Notes (International)
Netflix tests a mobile-only plan in select countries that costs $3
By Naman Ramachandran, Variety.com - Mar. 22, 2019

Streaming giant Netflix is testing a mobile-only subscription in India that costs half of its basic plan. Netflix India’s monthly plans begin at INR500 ($7.27), and the mobile-only plan is being trialed at INR250 ($3.63) per month.

“We are always looking for ways to make Netflix more enjoyable and accessible,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “We will be testing different options in select countries, where members can, for example, watch Netflix on their mobile device for a lower price and subscribe in shorter increments of time.”

The spokesperson emphasized that the experimental nature of Netflix’s new Indian pricing tier. “Not everyone will see these options, and we may never roll out these specific plans beyond the tests,” the spokesperson said.

Thanks to cheap data plans, Indians increasingly consume streaming content on their mobile devices.

Netflix launched a similar half-price mobile plan in Malaysia last November, and said at the time that it would also try out the idea in a few other territories that it declined to identify.

Meanwhile, Disney’s (formerly Fox’s) Hotstar, the market leader in the Indian OTT space, announced a new subscription tier, effective Friday. Priced at INR365 ($5.30) annually, the new Hotstar VIP subscription provides access to originals, labeled Hotstar Specials; the Indian Premier League cricket tournament; the cricket World Cup; English Premier League soccer matches; and serials before they are aired on Disney’s Star television network.

The first Hotstar Special, “Roar of the Lion,” featuring cricket superstar Mahendra Singh Dhoni, bowed on Tuesday. Indian remakes of “The Office,” “Criminal Justice” and “Hostages” will stream soon.

https://variety.com/2019/digital/asi...ia-1203169961/
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From the DUH! file.

Technology/Research Notes (Mobile)

Study confirms AT&T’s fake 5G E network is no faster than Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint 4G
By Cameron Faulkner, TheVerge.com - Mar. 22, 2019

AT&T’s 5G E network isn’t actually 5G. You probably knew that, but since we’ll never get tired of dunking on it, a new study (via Ars Technica) now shows that 5G E isn’t just misleading, it proves that AT&T’s current 4G LTE speeds can actually be slower than other carriers who employ similar LTE Advanced and Advanced Pro technologies. Perhaps this is why AT&T is trying to sweep the lie under the rug.

The study by Opensignal measured and compared download speeds from AT&T’s 5G E network to the results from other carriers’ 4G LTE services. From Ars Technica:

OpenSignal data is based on crowdsourced speed tests that can be performed by anyone using OpenSignal’s apps for iPhone and Android. OpenSignal told us today’s report is based on tests on 1,057,522 devices nationwide, across all four carriers, between January 28 and February 26.

Only certain phones are capable of AT&T’s 5G E speeds and, as expected, they are faster than the slower AT&T 4G offerings available on lower-spec phones. But even at its fastest download speeds (28.8 Mbps) AT&T’s 5G E placed third out of the four carriers, with Verizon coming in first, T-Mobile in second, and Sprint in last. You can see the chart below that compares them.

Even more damning for 5G E: Opensignal notes that when the same 5G E-compatible phones are used on different networks, there isn’t a discernible difference in speed. It’s almost as if there’s nothing special at all about 5G E.



AT&T defended 5G E in a comment to Ars Technica, saying that “OpenSignal’s note reveals their methodology is flawed,” and that “Speed-test data purporting to show the ‘real-world experience of 5G Evolution’ without verifying the capable devices were tested in a 5G Evolution coverage area as shown by the indicator does not accurately represent the 5G Evolution user experience.” We’ve reached out for further comment.

The goal of Opensignal’s study is to “quantify the real-world experience of 5G E,” and seeing the numbers drives home that AT&T’s fake 5G network is just plain LTE. I think my colleague Chaim Gartenberg said it best back in early 2017:

What AT&T is referring to as “5G Evolution” may be faster than its current 4G networks, but calling it 5G is a meaningless marketing move designed to confuse customers and make AT&T seem like it has a technological leg up on the cutting edge of wireless technology. It is, plainly speaking, bull****.

AT&T is, like the other carriers, at work on a real 5G network. If you’re eagerly awaiting true 5G connectivity, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon each plan to launch their respective services in 2019. But effectively, there’s no such thing as a network for 5G phones right now.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/22/1...work-lte-study
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Media Notes (Streaming)
New Criterion Channel Unveils Initial Programming Lineup
By Gregg Kilday, The Hollywood Reporter - Mar. 22, 2019

The Criterion Channel, the new streaming service built around the Criterion Collection of classic and contemporary films that launches April 8, unveiled its initial lineup today. The new service steps into the void that was left behind when WarnerMedia shut down FilmStruck, which also featured the Criterion Collection of films, Nov. 27.

While it is centered on the library of films that constitutes the Criterion Collection and Janus Films, the new streaming services is also licensing studio and indie films from an array of suppliers, including Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Lionsgate, IFC Films, Kino Lorber, Cohen Media, Milestone Film and Video, Oscilloscope, Cinema Guild, Strand Releasing, Shout Factory, Film Movement and Grasshopper Films.

The service, which will be available on desktop browsers and through apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS and Android and Android TV devices, is offering subscribers who sign up by April 7 an extended, 30-day free trial starting April 8; a prelaunch members-only Movie of the Week every Wednesday between now and April 8; and a charter-subscriber rate of $9.99 a month ($89.99 annually). Once the service launches, the rate will be $10.99 a month ($99.99 annually).

The April lineup will kick off with a spotlight on Columbia Noir, featuring 11 film noir classics from Columbia Pictures, including films by Fritz Lang, Jacques Tourneur, Don Siegel and Blake Edwards; Directed by David Lynch, with four features, including Eraserhead and The Elephant Man and a selection of shorts; Screenwriter: Suso Cecchi d’Amico, a seven-film tribute to the Italian screenwriter that includes Bicycle Thieves and Rocco and His Brothers; and another seven-film series on the extraordinary French actress Simone Signoret.

The new Criterion Channel will also include the original Criterion programming that debuted on FilmStruck, such as Adventures in Moviegoing, in which filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Barry Jenkins and Mira Nair share their favorite films, and Meet the Filmmakers.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...lineup-1196677
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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
Jack Davenport to Star With Lucy Liu on CBS All Access’ ‘Why Women Kill’
By Margeaux Sippell, TheWrap.com - Mar. 22, 2019

“Smash” alum Jack Davenport is set to star opposite “Elementary” actress Lucy Liu on the dark comedic drama series “Why Women Kill” via CBS All Access, a spokesperson for CBS told TheWrap on Friday.

The series shares the same creator as “Desperate Housewives,” with Marc Cherry of Imagine Television Studios and CBS TV Studios at the helm.

Taking place across three decades, the series follows the lives of three women: a ’60s housewife (Ginnifer Goodwin), an ’80s socialite (Liu) and a lawyer in 2018 (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). As each woman deals with infidelity in their marriages, the series examines how the roles of women have changed while their reactions to betrayal haven’t.

Davenport will play Karl, seen in 1982. Karl is described as handsome, well-mannered and “endlessly amused by his wife” Simone (Liu), whose extravagance he indulges. “He knows he’s a supporting player in his wife’s life, but happy to play his part,” according to a character description, and he’s devastated when Simone uncovers a part of his life that he has tried to keep hidden from her.

Davenport is perhaps best known to American audiences for his role as Norrington in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and as Derek Wills on the TV series “Smash.” He also starred in “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and recently appeared in indie film “A United Kingdom” with Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo, as well as “The Wilde Wedding,” alongside Glenn Close and John Malkovich. In addition to “Smash,” his TV credits include Showtime’s “White Famous,” “Flash Forward” and “Swingtown.” Davenport is repped by Gersh, Thruline Entertainment and Hamilton Hodell.

“Why Women Kill” is produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Television Studios, with Cherry executive producing along with Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo, and Acme Productions’ Michael Hanel and Mindy Schultheis. Marc Webb will direct as well as executive produce.

Deadline first reported the news.

https://www.thewrap.com/jack-davenpo...hy-women-kill/
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TV/Business Notes (Carriage Dispute)
Viacom, AT&T Continue Negotiations as Blackout Looms
By Mike Farrell, Multichannel News - Mar. 22, 2019

AT&T and Viacom executives were hunkered down late Friday at DirecTV’s El Segundo, Calif., headquarters, trying to hammer out a carriage deal for AT&T’s four distribution platforms and avoid a blackout of the programmer’s two dozen networks.

While there are no indications where negotiations will ultimately land, it is at encouraging that the parties are still talking.

Viacom has been warning AT&T customers for about a week that they may lose access to networks like Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV and others unless they can work out a carriage deal with the distributor. At stake is carriage on AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Now, Uverse and AT&T Watch platforms with about 24 million subscribers.

AT&T has said it would take an “assertive” stance when it came to programming agreements, noting that customers aren’t willing to pay more for programming g they don’t watch. AT&T has said it wants to reach a deal, but in the same breath notes that viewership at Viacom channels is down 40% in some cases.

Viacom has struggled with poor ratings, as has the rest of the programming industry, but has recently experienced a turnaround as it has shifted focus to its six core networks. Viacom has also said it has offered AT&T a deal that would keep its costs down.

Whether that is enough will be proven by midnight. Most analysts believe that both sides have too much to lose — up to $2 billion in lost affiliate fees and ad revenue for Viacom if it were dropped by AT&T. For AT&T, dropping the popular network could result in heavy subscriber losses at its satellite TV unit, which already has shed more than 1 million customers in 2018.

In a note to clients, Wolfe Research managing director Marci Ryvicker wrote that she believed AT&T was being “irrational,” adding that Viacom channels make up a low teens percentage of the distributor's viewership.

“Which means should Viacom nets go dark, then AT&T clearly doesn’t care about churn, which is probably one of the largest sunk costs we can think of for distributors,” Ryvicker wrote. “Dropping Viacom will give other content providers leverage, in our view. Should Viacom be dropped, we think AT&T loses leverage with other content players – we don’t see how it can afford to lose any other content.”

Sanford Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger estimated that DirecTV could lose as many as 3.1 million subscribers in a Viacom blackout and still come out ahead.

Juenger wrote in a research note that Viacom’s audiences are down about 50% since 2011 (versus total industry down 40%), while affiliate fee payments to the networks are down just 2% since 2014. The Nickelodeon networks, he estimated, are down 58%.

Ryvicker countered that Nick still controls half of the kids’ market, which becomes even more valuable as programmers increasingly take their content direct to consumer.

“So what happens when DIsney starts phasing out content for Disney+?,” she asked.

Juenger added that if AT&T doesn’t drop Viacom completely, they should at least negotiate a significant price decrease and consider putting Nickelodeon on a newly created kids/ family tier.

“Only 40% of US households have kids, and only a fraction of them are watching,” Juenger wrote.

https://www.multichannel.com/news/vi...blackout-looms
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TV/Production Notes (Cable)
‘Death Is My BFF’ Series Based On Books In The Works At Syfy
By Denise Petski, Deadline.com - Mar. 22, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Death Is My Best Friend, based on Katarina Tonks’ hit Wattpad book series, is being adapted for television. The project, from writer Lindsey Rosin (Cruel Intentions), Greg Silverman’s Stampede and Sony Pictures TV, is in very early development at Syfy, Deadline has confirmed.

Penned by Rosin, Death Is My BFF, the series, tells the coming-of-age story of Faith Williams, an ordinary teenage girl who on the eve of her 18th birthday discovers that she is the product of a prophecy, which makes her responsible for protecting the balance of all good and evil on earth. This task is soon complicated by the Angel of Death, an insatiable, sarcastic and undeniably sexy Grim Reaper, who has been tasked with collecting Faith’s soul and delivering it to the underworld. Now, Faith must fend off Death’s advances while also fighting evil spirits – all while attempting to navigate the drama of her senior year of high school, fight her own personal battle with anxiety and live up to the full potential of her extraordinary soul.

Greg Silverman and Paul Shapiro of Stampede will executive produce with Aron Levitz and Eric Lehrman of Wattpad.

As Deadline previously reported, Sony TV had acquired the rights to the book series, which bowed via Wattpad, the Toronto-based storytelling app that combines crowdsourced content and other material. Shapiro, now head of television for Stampede, had brought the project to Sony under his All In Media banner.

“Everyone at Stampede is a champion of new and original voices in publishing and media, and we’re tremendously excited to develop Katarina’s voice for television with Lindsey Rosin’s writing and our partners at Syfy, Sony Television and Wattpad Studios,” Stampede said in a statement. “She’s a truly unique storyteller and one to watch.”

Tonks’ Death Is My BFF series of stories have more than 62 million reads to date on Wattpad.

Rosin co-wrote and co-executive produced with Jordan Ross and Roger Kumble the Cruel Intentions TV sequel, which was ordered to pilot at NBC and had Sarah Michelle Gellar reprise her role. Along with Ross, she also was behind Cruel Intentions: The Unauthorized Musical Parody. She also has fashion designer drama Threads set at ABC with Random Hill and ABC Studios. Rosin is repped by Underground, ICM Partners and Tara Kole at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown.

“’Death Is My BFF” demonstrates the possibilities of storytelling on Wattpad, where writers like Katarina can build a global audience and get noticed by Hollywood,” said Aron Levitz, Head of Wattpad Studios. “This project is a validation of the fans who made “Death Is My BFF” a hit on Wattpad, and we’re thrilled to work with Stampede and Sony Pictures Television to develop this story for new fans everywhere.”

Wattpad is repped by UTA.

https://deadline.com/2019/03/death-i...fy-1202580803/
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No political comments, please.

TV/Washington Notes

Broadcast, Cable News Gang Up on Mueller Release
By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable - Mar. 22, 2019

"Special Report" graphics blanketed screens Friday (March 22) as broadcast and cable news nets dropped regular programming to cover the submission of the "Russia probe" report from special counsel Robert Mueller to the Justice Department.

https://www.broadcastingcable.com/ne...ueller-release
And more ridiculous -- literally content-free -- "coverage" there never was, seeing as the only thing there was to "cover", was a cover letter.

Somebody wake me when some actual content from the report is disclosed.
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TV Review (Broadcast)
NBC’s ‘Abby’s’ isn’t Cheers — but it’s not bad either
By Robert Rorke, New York Post - Mar. 22, 2019

It’s no “Cheers,” but “Abby’s,” NBC’s new bar comedy starring Natalie Morales, is not the worst place to spend a Thursday night.

Like the Ted Danson comedy, various aimless denizens of a San Diego neighborhood call Abby’s home. Beth (Jessica Chaffin) is a frazzled mom who treats the bar as a confessional booth for her home life. Fred (Neil Flynn) is a lifer who stops by so often you get the impression he has no place else to go. Abby seems to recognize the neediness of her patrons without holding it against them. Without betraying much of her inner life, she provides a refuge for these misfits from an often ridiculous world.

Enter Bill (Nelson Franklin), her new landlord. The thing about Abby’s is that it’s not a real bar; it’s a makeshift enterprise set up in the backyard in the house where Abby lives — the show is largely filmed outdoors on the Universal Studios lot, behind the permanent set of Edie Britt’s (Nicollette Sheridan) Wisteria Lane house from ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

When Bill inherits the house, he wanders into the yard and has a lot of obvious questions — and makes some demands to allow the good times continue to roll, such as Abby’s need to get insurance for the place. He radiates a kind of stodgy disapproval but Abby senses he’s a keeper when he finds a place to hang the bar dartboard.

As the first three episodes make clear, “Abby’s” is about how Bill finds a place in this made-up world. While the actors, some of whom trained in the Upright Citizens Brigade sketch comedy group, seem to finding their way in the first two episodes, the cast pulls it all together by the third. Here, Bill has to work up the courage to ask his ex-wife for the season tickets to the Padres games that he gave up in their divorce (they have been languishing, unused, in the glove compartment of her car).

Sensing his lack of resolve, the barflies cheer him on, fully acknowledging that they’d love to a go to a game or 12. Like Hickey’s bar in “The Iceman Cometh,” the regulars at Abby’s feel a lot more confident when they’ve knocked back a few than they do outside in the “real” world and the episode yields surprising results.

Morales is the perfect choice to play Abby. A real bartender herself in her early showbiz days, she’s a natural listener whose broad grin would put the most uncomfortable person at ease. The script makes rather too much out of her bisexuality so the character’s sense of discretion only adds to her allure. Franklin is the real breakout as the awkward Bill, still smarting from his divorce with a Netflix profile that amusingly reveals an affinity for brokenhearted teenage girl films. Here is a guy aching to belong to the kind of membership Abby’s has to offer. As someone at the bar says early on, “Once you’re family, you never drink alone again.”

“Abby’s” premieres Thursday, March 28 at 9:30 p.m. on NBC.
Rating: ★★1/2 (out of four)


https://nypost.com/2019/03/22/nbcs-a...ot-bad-either/

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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Mar. 23, 2019

2019 NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
Various Networks, 12:00 p.m. ET

If you don’t like college basketball, it’s a good day to take a break from TV. (I’m doing my taxes today, so my TV is off anyway – except for the Gator game.) But if you’re into March Madness, you’ve already seen an upset, and today’s the start of second-round play, when upsets traditionally are even more likely. Today, three networks, not four, provide coverage. At CBS, LSU vs. Maryland starts things off at noon ET, followed on the same broadcast network by three more games: Kentucky vs. Wofford at 2:30 p.m. ET, Michigan vs. Florida at 5 p.m. ET, and Michigan vs. Minnesota at 7:30 p.m. ET. On cable, coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on TNT, with Florida State vs. Murray State, followed at 8:30 p.m. ET, on the same network, by Purdue vs. Villanova. TBS also has two games on tap: Gonzaga vs. Baylor at 7 p.m. ET, followed at 9:30 p.m. ET by Kansas vs. Auburn.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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TV Review (Streaming)
'The Dirt': Delightfully disreputable biopic of hair-metal heroes Mötley Crüe
By Rafer Guzmán, Newsday - Mar. 22, 2019

THE SERIES "The Dirt"

WHEN | WHERE Starts streaming Friday on Netflix

WHAT IT’S ABOUT In the early 1980s, four rock-star hopefuls calling themselves Mötley Crüe combined heavy-metal bombast with androgynous fashion and punked-up tempos to create something both familiar and fresh. With energetic hits like “Live Wire” and “Girls, Girls, Girls,” Mötley Crüe took the reins of hair-metal, a much-maligned genre that nevertheless became the soundtrack for a generation.

When it comes to Mötley Crüe's legacy, however, the music arguably takes a back seat to the debauchery. “The Dirt,” the band's 2001 autobiography, details the alcohol intake, drug use and groupie-abuse that cemented Mötley Crüe’s reputation as some of rock's hardest partyers. The film adaptation of “The Dirt,” nearly 20 years in development, is now a reality thanks to Netflix.

MY SAY For rock fans unimpressed by last year’s bland biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” (about Queen frontman Freddie Mercury), “The Dirt” makes the perfect antidote. It’s a funny, foul-mouthed, whirlwind ride through one of the last great eras in rock history, when wretched excess was part of the job description and bad behavior was a badge of honor. Directed by “Jackass” showrunner Jeff Tremaine with all the nuance you’d expect, “The Dirt” is the equivalent of a strip-club mud-pit — a sleazy, cheesy, very guilty pleasure.

“The Dirt” introduces our four heroes in quick sketches: bassist Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth), a young visionary hungry for fame; his first devotee, drummer Tommy Lee (Colson Baker, aka the rapper Machine Gun Kelly); sourpuss guitarist Mick Mars (a very funny Iwan Rheon); and singer Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), who leaves his cover band hoping for a better class of groupie. (Women, as you might guess, play only the smallest roles in this story.)

A rough rehearsal of “Live Wire” — a nasty slice of glam-punk — shows us why this particular band managed to rise above L.A.’s crowded Sunset Strip. Soon they’re signed to Elektra Records (Pete Davidson, of “Saturday Night Live,” plays A&R man Tom Zutaut) and managed by Doc McGhee (David Costabile). Apparently, Mötley Crüe’s level of misbehavior stunned even these music-industry veterans.

“I had managed the Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Skid Row, KISS,” McGhee tells the camera, deadpan. “But I’ve never been through what Mötley Crüe put me through.”

The hedonism has its downsides. Some of it we don’t see (the book contains passages too graphic even for this movie), but some of it we do, including Sixx’s near-fatal heroin habit and Neil’s drunk-driving accident, which killed his passenger, Razzle (the drummer for Hanoi Rocks). That scene’s graphic imagery feels almost like a rebuke to Neil, whose famously light sentence ended after 15 days in jail.

It’s a Pearl Jam poster, seen briefly, that reminds us of the winds of change. First came grunge, whose anti-rock-star ethos made Mötley Crüe look outdated and out-of-touch. Then rock itself began to recede, helped along by rap, pop and R&B. The behavior that turned Mötley Crüe into sex symbols 30 years ago would make them pariahs today. The band certainly savored the moment, though, and “The Dirt” draws it out just a little longer for all of us to enjoy.

BOTTOM LINE A delightfully disreputable biopic about some of rock’s last true bad boys.

RATING: ★★★ (out of four)


https://www.newsday.com/entertainmen...iew-1.28700917
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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 - Mar. 23, 2019

ABC:
8PM - American Idol (120 min.)
(R)
10PM - 20/20: From Classroom to Captive
(R)

CBS:
7:30PM - 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Minnesota vs. Michigan State (LIVE)
10PM - 48 Hours: Karrie's Choice

NBC:
8PM - World Figure Skating Championships: Ladies' & Men's Free Skate (120 min.)
10PM - Saturday Night Live: Melissa McCarthy hosts; HAIM performs
(R - May 13, 2017)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live: Halsey hosts and performs (93 min.)
(R)

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

PBS:
8PM - Austin City Limits: Norah Jones; Angel Olsen
(R)

UNIVISION:
7PM - Teletón USA (Continued from 10PM Friday night; concludes at 2AM ET; LIVE)

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - Premios Tu Música Urbano (Special, 120 min.)
9PM - Movie: 47 Ronin (2013)

CBSSN:
4PM - NCAA March Madness 360 (4 1/2 hrs., LIVE)
8:30PM - College Hockey, NCHC Frozen Faceoff: Minnesota-Duluth vs. St. Cloud State (LIVE)
* * * *
11PM - NCAA March Madness 360 (3 hrs., LIVE)

ESPN U:
6PM - College Swimming (2 1/2 hrs.)
8:30PM - College Baseball: Texas at TCU (3 hrs., LIVE)

TNT:
6PM - 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Murray State vs. Florida State (LIVE)
8:30PM - 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Villanova vs. Purdue (LIVE)

GALAVISION:
6PM - Como Dice El Dicho
7PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
8PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
9PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe
10PM - La Rosa de Guadalupe

ESPN:
7PM - College Wrestling: NCAA Tournament, Championship (3 hrs.)
10PM - Boxing: Kubrat Pulev vs. Bogdan Dinu (120 min., LIVE)

NBCSN:
7PM - 2019 World Women's Curling Championship: Sweden vs. TBA (120 min.)
9PM - Biathlon, IBU World Cup: Men's 12.5Km Pursuit
10PM - Motocross Racing - Monster Energy Supercross: Seattle (3 hrs., LIVE)

TBS:
7PM - 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Baylor vs. Gonzaga (LIVE)
9:30PM - 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament: Auburn vs. Kansas (LIVE)
* * * *
Midnight - Inside March Madness (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
8PM - Women's College Gymnastics: SEC Championship (LIVE)

HALLMARK:
8PM - Movie: Love to the Rescue (2019)

LIFETIME:
8PM - Movie: A Daughter's Deception (2019)

NICKELODEON:
8PM - Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards 2019 (96 min., LIVE)*
*
(Simulcast on Nick Jr.)

TLC:
8PM - Trading Spaces (62 min.)
9:02PM - While You Were Out
10:03PM - Nate & Jeremiah by Design

BBC AMERICA:
9PM - Great Bear Stakeout: Episode 1 (70 min.)

ID:
9PM - The Atlanta Child Murders (Premiere)
10PM - The Atlanta Child Murders
* * * *
11PM - The Atlanta Child Murders

OWN:
9PM - Iyanla, Fix My Life
10PM - Family or Fiancé

SHOWTIME:
9PM - Funny Women of a Certain Age (Special, 90 min.)

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)

SYFY:
11PM - Alien News Desk: Simultaneous Vortex Exit


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

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Kentucky Derby prep races:
Saturday NBCSN & TVG -- 6:13pm $1,000,000 Louisiana Derby -- War Of Will #2 ranked is 6-5 fav.
5:44pm $400,000 Fair Grounds Oaks -- Serengetti Empress is 6-5 fav in a Kentucky Oaks prep.
She only cost $70,000 & if she wins this race will already have career earnings $600,000 - not a bad investment.
Sunday TVG -- 7:30pm $800,000 Sunland Park Derby -- Mucho Gusto #6 ranked is 8-5 fav.
Favorites have had a rough go so far so maybe they can turn it around.

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TV Notes
NBC News Driver Killed in Syria Bombing
By Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter - Mar. 23, 2019

A driver working with NBC News was killed in a bombing in Syria on Saturday, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said.

"Earlier today, a device exploded in the vicinity of a group from NBC News in Syria. We are thankful that NBC employees escaped unharmed, however one of the local drivers working with them was tragically killed," Oppenheim said in a statement on Saturday. "Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and loved ones. We are still gathering information from today's events and are in touch with the driver's family to support them however we can."

The Hollywood Reporter has contacted NBC News for more information regarding the incident and the driver's identity.

NBC News has been closely covering U.S.-backed forces' battle to take back the last ISIS-controlled territory in Baghouz, Syria. On Saturday the Syrian Democratic Forces declared victory in their fight for Baghouz. "Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and %100 territorial defeat of ISIS," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted on Saturday. "On this unique day, we commemorate thousands of martyrs whose efforts made the victory possible."

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...ombing-1196715
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Technology/Business Notes (Digital)
News, entertainment, music, iCloud—are you ready to spend $40 monthly with Apple?
By Jefferson Graham, USA Today - Mar. 23, 2019

Apple's iPhones aren't selling like they used to.

The gravy train is waning, and Apple knows it, so to make up for the lost income, Apple wants to get recurring payments from you monthly. And more than it picks up now from, iCloud, Apple Music and Apple Care.

Yes, it's Showtime.

Apple has once again summoned the media to its Cupertino, California headquarters. Monday's "Showtime" event is expected to be a star-studded sneak peak of a new $9.99 monthly entertainment subscription service, offering series and movies from the likes of Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Brie Larson. Additionally, a new News subscription service, offering the best of publications like the Wall Street Journal and People, is expected as well, for $9.99 monthly.

The question many of us have now--is there a bulk deal? How much does Apple think we're willing to pay for?

The place to find the entertainment service is expected to be on the Apple TV app. That's available for the set-top box and on iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. Reporters are eager to hear how Apple plans on expanding its base to TVs and other set-top boxes like Roku and Amazon Fire TV Stick.

But most of the attention will be focused on the big Hollywood players Apple is expected to fly out to its campus.. Which stars will be there? That's the guessing game many are playing this weekend.

It's important to remember why Apple is doing this, even though it's more than fashionably late to the party. Netflix started in 1997 and now dominates streaming, followed by Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, CBS All Access and others. Disney and Warner Media are launching new services in the coming months. Consumers, as was pointed out this week by Deloitte, can only handle so many subscriptions.

Will Apple consumers really stomach $30 monthly for entertainment, news and the pre-existing Apple Music service?

"Getting the consumer to do a monthly $30 subscription is just too difficult," says Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies. "Apple has to come up with something else."

As it stands now, Apple sells more iCloud storage plans, Apple Music subscriptions and iTunes movie rentals than it does iPads, Mac computers, Apple Watches or accessories like the AirPods.

Services, the division that incorporates the monthly plans, generated over $10 billion in the most recent quarter. It has a long ways to go to catch up to the iPhone, which in the quarter brought in just under $52 billion.

Seven years after Spotify, Apple Music launched in 2014 as a mostly copycat service that ended up garnering over 50 million subscriptions by targeting its 1.4 billion base of iPhone users.

Can Apple get even bigger numbers with entertainment, and get an iPhone size hit?

Andrew Wallenstein, the co-editor of show business bible Variety says that's unlikely.

"They're not going to take on Netflix," he says. "The market is too cluttered, and Apple is too late. But they do have the ability to carve out some significant market share."

Apple doesn't have to beat Netflix, he says, but "just increase engagement with its devices."

Meanwhile, if you missed it, here's what Apple announced this week, hardware wise:

—New iPads. Apple introduced two new editions, an iPad Mini and the iPad Air, selling for $399 and $499. We ran down the complete roster of 5 available iPads, selling for $329 to $999.

—New iMacs. Apple also refreshed the iMac stand-alone computer lineup, with new models at 21.5 inches and 27 inches, starting at $1,299 and $1,799.

—Second generation AirPods. The tiny bluetooth earbud touts longer battery time and the ability to work with the Siri personal assistant but no new tools to keep them in your ear.

In other tech news this week

Facebook scandal of the week —
the KrebsOnSecurity security news site found that hundreds of millions of Facebook users who had their account passwords stored in plain text could be searched by more than 20,000 Facebook employees – in some cases dating to 2012. Facebook later admitted the flaw, but said it had been fixed.

Google debuted a new streaming gaming service. Google's Stadia looks to compete with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo with a new service set to debut in the fall. Mike Snider points out Google "promises new ways to connect with games including a Play button on YouTube videos that will launch you from the video into that game."

Robocalls — Help could be on the way! AT&T and Comcast said that they can authenticate calls made between the two different phone providers' networks, a potential industry first and the latest in the long-running battle against spam calls.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...ah/3238705002/
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TV/Critic's Notes
Stream the Twilight Zone episode that helped inspire Jordan Peele’s Us
By Noel Murray, TheVerge.com - Mar. 22, 2019

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services, and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

WHAT TO WATCH
“Mirror Image,” a first-season episode of The Twilight Zone
, originally airing on CBS on February 26th, 1960. Written by the series’ creator, Rod Serling, and directed by John Brahm, “Mirror Image” stars Vera Miles as Millicent Barnes, a stressed-out traveler in a near-empty depot, waiting for a late bus. When the cranky old ticket agent complains that she’s been bothering him too much, Millicent sees evidence that she has a doppelgänger at the station — perhaps one of many from an alternate universe, in the process of replacing their counterparts on Millicent’s Earth. Soon, the heroine and another exhausted bus passenger, Paul Grinstead (Martin Milner), are actually encountering these doubles, quietly and creepily smirking at them.

WHY WATCH NOW?
Because Jordan Peele’s new film Us opens in theaters everywhere this weekend.

The writer-director’s follow-up to his unexpected blockbuster Get Out is another hybrid of deeply disturbing supernatural horror and sly social commentary — although as Peele himself has stated in interviews promoting the movie, this time out, he’s more interested in terrifying audiences than in poking at their wokeness. Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke co-star as a happy, successful married couple who take their kids on a trip to the beach to visit two old friends, played by Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss. Then the family is disturbed in the middle of the night by the arrival of red-clad doppelgängers, who move jerkily, make strange noises, and seem to want to kill them. Where did these people come from? Are they meant to be a metaphor for society’s unwanted… or perhaps for something these relatively well-to-do characters tried to leave behind?

It’s not surprising that Peele’s filmmaking career thus far (which also includes co-producing Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning 2019 feature BlacKkKlansman and co-writing, co-producing, and starring in the 2016 action-comedy Keanu) has been so focused on matters of racial, class, and professional identity. Peele and his longtime writing and performing partner Keegan-Michael Key pushed those kinds of buttons regularly during the five seasons of their hit Comedy Central sketch-comedy series Key & Peele. Few fans of that show though would’ve expected Peele’s work as a filmmaker to be so steeped in the horror genre.

Perhaps Peele is just following in the footsteps of Rod Serling, who made his reputation in the 1950s by penning socially relevant dramas during the heyday of live TV, then grew tired of fighting with advertisers and network bosses over his political content. In 1959, Serling created the science-fiction/horror anthology The Twilight Zone, believing — rightly — that he could get away with saying more about American prejudice, paranoia, and greed if he populated his stories with space aliens and monsters. A great Twilight Zone episode freaks viewers out then makes them think.

Peele is currently co-producing and hosting a new version of The Twilight Zone, debuting April 1st on CBS All Access. While talking about Us, he’s openly acknowledged that the movie was partly inspired by the original show’s “Mirror Image” — more for the central image of nefarious lookalikes than for any specific message. The sociopolitical content in Sterling’s script for this particular episode is actually much lower than usual, although it does work in some matter-of-fact observations about the casually sexist ways people treat a young professional woman out on her own. More importantly, the episode subtly grapples with a common anxiety: feeling like an unworthy impostor who may be due for an usurpation.

WHO IT’S FOR
People who enjoy having their spines tingled and bones chilled.

The most memorable moments in “Mirror Image” are frightening in ways that are almost primal, and hard to articulate. After Millicent sees her doppelgänger’s suitcase sitting around the station, she looks into a mirror in the ladies’ room and sees the woman herself, sitting on a bench and staring right at her. Later, Paul is about to lie down for a nap when he sees his double, dashing out of the depot into the dark of night, smiling smugly. There’s something simultaneously infuriating and inevitable about these interlopers. Millicent tells Paul that they’re akin to kudzu choking out healthy plants, in a metaphysical case of “survival of the fittest.” Or — even more unnervingly — maybe Millicent and Paul are the weeds.

Serling never explains exactly what’s happening, or what it means. Instead, he, Brahm, and the cast all work together to emphasize the inherently unsettling elements of this particular scenario: the sparsely populated, underlit bus station, the anxiety of a delayed arrival on a rainy night, the frustration of being condescended to by an unhelpful employee, and the fear of being completely alone in the middle of nowhere when everything starts going awry. This is what the best Twilight Zones — and so many of the best horror movies — do so well, turning ordinary spaces into backdrops for nightmares that feel eerily familiar.

WHERE TO SEE IT
It might be easier to say where not to see The Twilight Zone. This is the rare classic TV show that’s been licensed widely to multiple streaming services, rather than staying exclusive. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video all offer The Twilight Zone to subscribers. So does CBS All Access, where Peele’s new version of the show will premiere.

https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/22/1...ix-hulu-amazon
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TV Notes (Cable)
Kids’ Choice Awards 2019: Complete Winners List
By Thom Geier, TheWrap.com - Mar. 23, 2019

Ariana Grande was the big winner at the 2019 Kids’ Choice Awards, picking up Favorite Female Artist and best song for her hit “Thank U, Next.”

“Avengers: Infinity War” also won multiple awards, as did Adam Sandler’s “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.”

The favorite movies stars were two actors who broke out in Netflix teen flicks: Noah Centineo for “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and Joey King for “Kissing Booth.”

DJ Khaled hosted the slime-heavy ceremony on Saturday, which took place at the Galen Center in Los Angeles and aired on Nickelodeon.

Here are the complete winners.

Favorite Music Group
The Chainsmokers
Fall Out Boy
Imagine Dragons
Maroon 5 — WINNER**
Migos
Twenty One Pilots

Favorite Male Artist
Bruno Mars
DJ Khaled
Drake
Justin Timberlake
Luke Bryan
Shawn Mendes — WINNER**

Favorite Female Artist
Ariana Grande — WINNER**

Beyoncé
Camila Cabello
Cardi B
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Favorite Song
“Delicate” (Taylor Swift)
“In My Blood” (Shawn Mendes)
“In My Feelings” (Drake)
“Natural” (Imagine Dragons)
“Thank U, Next” (Ariana Grande) — WINNER**
“Youngblood” (5 Seconds of Summer)

Favorite Breakout Artist
Billie Eilish — WINNER**

Cardi B
Dan + Shay
Juice WRLD
Kane Brown
Post Malone

Favorite Collaboration
“Girls Like You” (Maroon 5, featuring Cardi B)
“Happier” (Marshmello, featuring Bastille)
“I Like It” (Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin)
“Meant to Be” (Bebe Rexha, featuring Florida Georgia Line)
“No Brainer” (DJ Khaled, featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo) — WINNER**
“SICKO MODE” (Travis Scott, featuring Drake)

Favorite Social Music Star
Baby Ariel
Chloe x Halle
Jack & Jack
JoJo Siwa — WINNER**
Max & Harvey
Why Don’t We

Favorite Global Music Star
Africa: Davido
Asia: BLACKPINK
Australia/New Zealand: Troye Sivan
Europe: David Guetta
North America: Taylor Swift — WINNER**
Latin America: J Balvin
United Kingdom: HRVY

Favorite Movie
“Aquaman”
“Avengers: Infinity War” — WINNER**
“Black Panther”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“The Kissing Booth
“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”

Favorite Movie Actor
Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther”
Chris Evans, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Chris Hemsworth, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Dwayne Johnson, “Skyscraper”
Jason Momoa, “Aquaman”
Noah Centineo, “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” — WINNER**

Favorite Movie Actress

Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Joey King, “Kissing Booth” — WINNER**
Lupita Nyong’o, “Black Panther”
Rihanna, “Ocean’s 8”
Scarlett Johansson, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Zoe Saldana, “Avengers: Infinity War”

Favorite Superhero
Chadwick Boseman, “Black Panther”
Chris Evans, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Chris Hemsworth, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Jason Momoa, “Aquaman”
Robert Downey Jr., “Avengers: Infinity War” — WINNER**
Scarlett Johansson, “Avengers: Infinity War

Favorite Butt-Kicker
Chris Pratt “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — WINNER**

Danai Gurira, “Black Panther”
Dwayne Johnson, “Skyscraper”
Emilia Clarke, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”
Michael B. Jordan, “Creed II”
Zoe Saldana, “Avengers: Infinity War”

Favorite Animated Movie
“The Grinch”
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”
“Incredibles 2” — WINNER**
“Peter Rabbit”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie
Adam Sandler, “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” — WINNER**

Andy Samberg, “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Grinch”
Channing Tatum, “Smallfoot”
James Corden, “Peter Rabbit”
Shameik Moore, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Favorite Female Voice from an Animated Movie
Gal Gadot, “Ralph Breaks the Internet”
Hailee Steinfeld, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Kristen Bell, “Teen Titans GO! to the Movies”
Selena Gomez, “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” — WINNER**
Yara Shahidi, “Smallfoot”
Zendaya, “Smallfoot”

Favorite Funny TV Show
“The Big Bang Theory”
“BUNK’D”
“Fuller House” — WINNER**
“Henry Danger”
“Modern Family”
“Raven’s Home”

Favorite TV Drama
“A Series of Unfortunate Events”
“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”
“The Flash”
“Riverdale” — WINNER**
“Stranger Things’
“The Walking Dead”

Favorite Reality Show
“America’s Got Talent” — WINNER**

“American Idol”
“American Ninja Warrior”
“Dancing with the Stars: Juniors”
“Double Dare”
‘The Voice”

Favorite TV Host
Ellen DeGeneres, “Ellen’s Game of Games” — WINNER**

Kevin Hart, “TKO: Total Knock Out”
Liza Koshy & Marc Summers, “Double Dare”
Nick Cannon & JoJo Siwa, “Lip Sync Battle Shorties”
Ryan Seacrest, “American Idol”
Tyra Banks, “America’s Got Talent”

Favorite TV Judges
Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel (“America’s Got Talent”) — WINNER**

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie (“American Idol”)
Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, (“Dancing With the Stars”)
Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor (“THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM”)
Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton (“The Voice”)
Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO (“World of Dance”)

Favorite Cartoon
ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks
The Boss Baby: Back in Business
The Loud House
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
SpongeBob SquarePants — WINNER**
Teen Titans Go!

Favorite Male TV Star
Caleb McLaughlin, “Stranger Things”
Grant Gustin, “The Flash”
Jace Norman, “Henry Danger” — WINNER**
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”
Karan Brar, “BUNK’D”
Neil Patrick Harris “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

Favorite Female TV Star
Candace Cameron Bure, “Fuller House”
Kaley Cuoco “The Big Bang Theory”
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Peyton Elizabeth Lee, “Andi Mack”
Raven-Symoné, “Raven’s Home”
Zendaya, “K.C. Undercover” — WINNER**

Favorite Social Star
David Dobrik — WINNER**

Emma Chamberlain
Guava Juice
Lilly Singh
Miranda Sings
Ryan ToysReview

Favorite Video Game
Just Dance 2019 — WINNER**

LEGO The Incredibles
Marvel’s Spider-Man
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Mario Party

Favorite Gamer
DanTDM
Jacksepticeye
Markiplier
Ninja
PopularMMOs
SSSniperWolf​​ — WINNER**


https://www.thewrap.com/kids-choice-...-winners-list/
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Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
Friday Ratings: NCAA Basketball And Zion Williamson Win The Night And Game
By Bruce Haring, Deadline.com - Mar. 23, 2019

Fox’s Last Man Standing usually wins the Friday night primetime demo ratings. This week, another type of last man standing, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, took over the top slot.

The annual hoops tournament, which matches the best 68 teams in men’s college basketball in single-elimination games leading up to the April 8th championship in Minneapolis, is the one chance for smaller schools like Wofford and Murray State to grab national attention. Not to mention that gambling plays a big role, with everything from office brackets to high-rollers at sports books combining to wager an estimated $8.5 billion on the outcomes.

Friday saw CBS take over the ratings race from 7 PM to 9:30 PM. The big attraction was the North Dakota State Bison playing the Duke Blue Devils, the latter featuring super-athletic star forward Zion Williamson as must-see TV.

The game generated a 1.8/9 in 18-49 demos and 6.20 million total audience to take the night’s top honors. Duke didn’t disappoint either (well, maybe to North Dakota fans), winning 85-62, as Williamson scored 25 points.

The CBS 9:30 PM game saw the UCF Knights against the VCU Rams, and while it didn’t have Duke’s star power, it still pulled in a 1.1 in demos.

Overall, CBS won the network race handily, sporting a 1.5/7 and 4.88 million audience.

Beyond sports, Fox’s Last Man Standing was at 0.9/5 and 4.94 million, the night’s highest scripted performance and holding steady with last week’s performance by the show. Following sitcom The Cool Kids held its 0.7 from last week, and legal drama Proven Innocent also held last week’s 0.4.

At ABC, Fresh Off The Boat scored a 0.6, while Speechless held on to its 0.5 from last week, 20/20 had yet another good week, as the newsmag rose up to 0.9, again crushing its competition.

NBC’s Blindspot slipped to 0.4, down a tick from last week, but The Blacklist was up to 0.6. Dateline held steady at 0.5.

The CW saw Dynasty tick upward to 0.2, with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend holding on at 0.1.

https://deadline.com/2019/03/friday-...me-1202581375/
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Media/Business Notes
Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday
By Dave McNary and Cynthia Littleton, Variety.com - Mar. 23, 2019

More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers.

The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently expressed reservations about the WGA’s hardball negotiating tactics and the potential disruption to business if a deal isn’t reached — leading to a March 20 meeting with several dozen showrunners at the WGA West headquarters. But the new missive makes it clear that showrunners want WGA leaders to be able to claim they’re representing a united front.

The signers endorse the WGA’s efforts to reform decades-old industry practices involving agencies taking packaging fees on film and TV projects as well as other issues such as the expansion of the parent companies of the largest agencies into the production arena. As described in the letter by the WGA, the goal of the franchise agreement reform push is to:

“Confront practices that constitute a conflict of interest: agency packaging fees and agencies functioning as producers. Require the agencies to work with the Guild to protect writers’ interests by providing writer contracts, invoices and other information.”

The letter was issued midday Saturday, two weeks prior to the expiration of the current franchise agreement on April 7. The WGA is demanding the elimination of agencies receiving packaging fees and having ownership interest in affiliate production companies — demands that the agencies have insisted are not feasible. The WGA and Association of Talent Agents are set to hold another negotiating session on Tuesday.

The signers include most of the prominent showrunners and film scribes in the industry, including Shonda Rhimes, Greg Berlanti, Seth MacFarlane, Jenji Kohan, Eric Roth, Barry Jenkins and David Koepp. Notable showrunners whose signatures were not on the letter include Ryan Murphy, Chuck Lorre and Steve Levitan.

There were indications of progress being made in the negotiating room. In a letter to clients, WME president Ari Greenburg said the sides had a healthy exchange on the issue of packaging in the indie film arena, among other discussions in their last meeting on March 21 when the ATA detailed its counterproposals to the WGA.

“These exchanges only made us feel stronger about the idea that dialogue is the solve for this negotiation,” Greenburg wrote. “Agents and writers need to engage in meaningful conversations to get to the heart of these issues.”

The WGA will hold five days of member voting starting March 27 on a proposed “code of conduct” eliminating agency packaging fees and ownership in production companies. Guild leaders have said they expect the code will be approved overwhelmingly. If the agreement expires, the WGA will require members to fire their agents if agents have not agreed to the new code.

The ATA made counter-proposals at a March 21 session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients including giving writers consent over whether a television show is packaged. The two sides made little progress in the five previous negotiating sessions to revamp the 43-year-old franchise agreement.

Most scripted television is packaged by agencies, which forgo commissioning the client and receives a fee from the television studio. It’s become a particularly emotional issue over the past year with the WGA alleging that agents are disincentivized to get the best deals for writers when they are collecting packaging fees from studios.

Agencies have defended packaging as a means of creating employment. The ATA released a report earlier this week which calculated that writers would have lost at least $49 million annually had they had to pay commissions on packaged shows.

For its part, the WGA issued a report March 12 titled “no conflict, no interest,” accusing the top four Hollywood talent agencies — CAA, WME, UTA, and ICM Partners — of illegal conflicts of interest. The report contains a cloaked threat of the WGA filing a lawsuit against the agencies by invoking the 1962 antitrust suit by the U.S. Department of Justice, which forced MCA to get out of the agency business after a decade of acting as both a producer and an agency.

The full letter can be seen here via the WGA’s website.

https://variety.com/2019/tv/news/wga...nt-1203170730/
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TV Review (Cable)
History Takes Another Look at Jesus in 'His Life'
By David Hinckley, TVWorthWatching.com's 'All Along the Watchtower' - Mar. 23, 2019

The Greatest Story Ever Told some time ago became the most popular story ever retold, and now here’s History back to have another go at the life of Jesus Christ.

Jesus: His Life premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on History and will run eight episodes, two each Sunday night through Easter weekend.

While practitioners of other religions may have their own views on what constitutes a great ode to faith, it’s hard to dispute that Jesus’s relatively short life generated exceptional drama.

This new docudrama takes a calm, steady tone, tracing Jesus’s life in strict chronological order and dropping in Bible scholars and clergypersons to explain the ongoing historical context.

If this were strictly a religious narrative, these pauses would slow the story down, because they often carry cautions. Conventional wisdom and even conventional belief, it seems, are sometimes not entirely consistent with historical information.

The first episode, for instance, has the actors who play Jesus’s mother and father, Mary and Joseph, taking their long pilgrimage to Bethlehem because Roman King Herod had ordered a census for purposes of imposing taxes.

This narrative has come down to us primarily from the gospel of Luke. Scholars here note, however, that other contemporary records suggest Herod did not order a census until a decade after Jesus’s birth.

Likewise, Jesus: His Life dramatizes the familiar story that once Herod heard of Jesus’s birth, and the subsequent belief among many Jews that Jesus was the Messiah, the jealous king ordered the slaughter of all children under the age of 2 in Bethlehem.

Scholars note there is no independent confirmation this occurred. Which leads several ministers to respond that since Herod perpetrated equally appalling atrocities at other times, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t have ordered this one, too.

A smaller but equally fascinating subplot of the Herod story has Joseph rebuking the Magi, the “three wise men” who famously visited Jesus and brought Him gifts, for telling Herod about their pilgrimage before they left.

This put Jesus’s life in danger, Joseph tells them, suggesting that under the circumstances, the visit of the Magi was unwelcome.

Scholars also note that the gospel of Matthew, which tells the story of the Magi, does not specify that there were three of them, or whether they arrived any time near Jesus’s birth. However immortalized that image has become on Christmas cards, we are told, it may or may not be a true representation.

And speaking of Christmas card images, the manger thing also may be mildly misleading. When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem, they went to the home of friends who it turned out already had guests. So Joseph and Mary stayed on the first floor of the house – where, it is true, the animals also were kept.

All this said, Jesus: His Life nowhere challenges the central tenets of the Christian story, or pokes holes in anyone’s faith. It simply notes that many details of a story that happened more than 2,000 years ago, at a time when there was no systematic recording media, sometimes must be extrapolated from what we do know.

So while scholars insert frequent caveats, Jesus is treated with as much reverence here as He is in most of the churches that worship Him.

In the first episode, that reverence extends to his father. Scholars note that in the Judea of Joseph’s time, it would have been extremely unusual for a man to accept that his wife-to-be was pregnant through immaculate conception.

Okay, that would be extremely unusual in any time period. The stakes were higher in Judea because had anyone suspected Mary’s pregnancy resulted from relations with anyone other than her husband, she could have been executed.

Jesus: His Lifetakes us to that Judea and walks us through the daily lives of people like Joseph and Mary, just as subsequent episodes will take us into the worlds of other central figures in Jesus’s life, like the apostles.

The drama focuses on the lives that led to the legacies, and while docudrama re-creations can feel stilted, it’s still a story worth retelling.

http://www.tvworthwatching.com/BlogP...x?postId=17954
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TV Sports/Technology Notes (Gaming)
Why the Olympic Games Are Steering Clear of E-Sports
By Lisa Marie Segarra, Fortune.com - Mar. 23, 2019

Athletes of the future won’t necessarily cross finish lines or score goals. Some may, in fact, be professional e-sports players who rack up virtual wins.

Aware of the huge popularity of video gaming, the International Olympic Committee and the Global Association of International Sports Federations, or GAISF, hosted a forum in July about e-sports and the Olympics in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the Olympism in Action forum held a discussion about e-sports during the Youth Games in Buenos Aires in October.

However, despite some support for e-sports, or competitive video gaming, as an Olympic medal event among professional players, it’s unlikely to happen any time soon, according to Kit McConnell, sports director for the IOC. Fragmented governance, licensing problems, and violence in video games are just some of the problems.

“Our goal in reaching out to e-sports and developing these connections is not driven by a desire to have e-sports as a medal event in the Olympic Games,” McConnell said.

For one thing, every Olympic sport needs an official international governing body like soccer, swimming, and track and field have. But e-sports more of a free-for-all with each game, club, or sub-community having its own governing body, if at all.

Getting all of e-sports under one jurisdiction would be difficult, and it’s unclear if anyone wants it.

“Behind this term e-sports, actually it’s so many communities, so many cultures. No one is the same, it‘s a really a very heterogeneous ecosystem,” says Nicolas Besombes, an e-sports advisor for the GAISF.

Additionally, unlike other sports, video games have publishers, opening the door to licensing problems. Broadcasters would probably need to buy the rights from publisher to show video games on television, in addition to buying the rights to televise the games themselves.

The IOC has also raised concerns about violence in video games, joining a chorus of critics who say many top games are too bloody. Although any link between violet games and violent behavior is unproven, the family-friendly Olympics are unwilling to take any chances.

“So-called killer games—they, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted,” Thomas Bach, the IOC’s president, said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Of course, the Olympics hosts medal events involving shooting, fencing (which mimics swordplay), and combat sports like boxing and judo. Bach himself holds a gold medal for fencing.

McConnell elaborated further by telling Fortune that mature-rated war games would likely be off-limits. However, non-violent video games and ones based on traditional sports may be able to find a place in the Olympic community.

Even if there was a push to make e-sports a recognized event, McConnell notes that it typically takes at least three years (though more often closer to seven years) for a sport to actually make it into the Olympics. That’s a long time in the video game world, where popular games come and go quickly. For example, three years ago, current video game powerhouse Fortnite didn’t even exist. Who knows which game will be a hit in 2024?

Whatever the case, McConnell said that the attraction of e-sports is partly that it could help to engage a younger audience with the Olympics. U.S. T.V. viewership for the 2016 Olympics in Rio declined 15% compared to London four years prior.

Younger viewers led the decline. Among the millennial-dominated and highly coveted 18- to 34-year-old demographic, viewership dropped 31%.

E-sports, which have a huge spectator following online, may be able to help reverse the declines. The 2018 World Championship Finals for role-playing game League of Legends had 99.6 million unique viewers online compared with the 98.2 million who watched the 2019 Super Bowl on T.V.

People who follow e-sports are divided over joining the Olympics would be a good idea.

“I think sometimes that’s said a little flippantly, ‘Why do we need the Olympics?’” said T.L. Taylor, a comparative media studies professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies gaming and internet culture. “There really is this idea that people just aren’t actually sure what you get by joining with the Olympic movement.”

Others, including e-sports athletes, feel they’ve earned a spot a the table.

“It should be [in the Olympics]. It’s definitely a sport,” says Chiquita Evans, the first female player to be drafted in the NBA 2K League, the official e-sports league for basketball video game franchise NBA 2K.

Fellow player Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd, the first pick in the inaugural NBA 2K draft, was also confident e-sports would eventually get to the Olympics. Working in NBA 2K’s favor, he added, is that the video game involving basketball is just as easy to follow as the real thing.

The same cannot be said of games like League of Legends or Overwatch, two games that have robust e-sports competitions themselves. In both games, players are put into teams where they battle for supremacy. In Overwatch, victory is achieved by completing objectives, which vary by match. In the most popular League of Legends mode, Summoner’s Rift, a team wins after infiltrating an opponent’s base and destroying their Nexus (the equivalent of a home base).

“Spectating e-sports can be tricky,” Taylor says. “Fighting games may be the exception to this, perhaps in the same way boxing is an exception. But traditional sports are the same way, we just forget it because we’re so used to them.”

She adds that the only reason traditional sports seem easy to follow is because the public is familiar with them. That may be true for e-sports in the coming decades, but for now it’s still a tough sell for anyone who isn’t a fan of the games themselves.

Still, e-sports have made some minor inroads at the Olympics. For example, a few days prior to the Winter Olympic Games PyeongChang last year, Intel held a StarCraft e-sports tournament and an exhibit of Steep: Road to the Olympics as a demonstration to showcase interest in e-sports. StarCraft is a strategy game and Steep is an action-sports game.

Intel happens to be both an IOC sponsor and a sponsor and investor in the e-sports industry. McConnell says similar events may be held in the future on the Olympics’ periphery.

“There’s strong interest from a number of our partners who are already active in this space, Intel being one, Alibaba is another of our commercial partners who’s involved with e-sports,” McConnell said. “I think there’s really a number of touch points that we’re looking to explore. I’m sure the increased dialogue throughout 2019 will lead us to a number of other areas that we could also continue to build.”

http://www.fortune.com/2019/03/22/es...lympic-future/
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TV Review (Streaming)
‘Catastrophe,’ peak TV’s finest love story, drifts away as beautifully as it barged in
By Hank Stuever, Washington Post

Spoiler alert: This review discusses plot points in the final season of Amazon Prime’s “Catastrophe.”

We’ve come to the end of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s exceptional British dramedy “Catastrophe,” the show I keep telling people to watch when they complain about having nothing good left to watch.

“Catastrophe’s” fourth and final season (streaming now on Amazon Prime) concludes a love story that began four years ago, when a fictional Sharon and fictional Rob (played by Horgan and Delaney, who also created and wrote the series) first hooked up the old-fashioned way: They met at a London bar and, after some flirty banter, went back to his hotel for an enthusiastic lay — with a quick montage of encores that take place over the next few days.

Great for them, and not bad for the viewer who finds most TV sex to be weirdly sanitized of any trace of silliness or human joy.

Rob, an American advertising account executive, finished his business trip, bid farewell to Sharon (a schoolteacher) and flew home to Boston. A month later, Sharon called Rob (her number shows up on his iPhone as “Sharon London Sex”) and told him she was pregnant. He returned to London and suggested — with a combination of optimism and dread — that he and Sharon ought to give parenting a whirl, seeing as how they were both 40ish.

Sharon agreed, and they forged impulsively ahead, building a family through love and devotion, but also out of a shared, highly sharpened cynicism toward the rest of the world.

“Catastrophe” brought out the sourpuss in its characters, with only the occasional redemptive ray of sunshine. All of its secondary characters — from Sharon’s spitefully self-absorbed brother, Fergal (Jonathan Forbes), to the late Carrie Fisher’s magnificent cameo appearances as Rob’s perpetually irritated mother, Mia — helped reinforce a subtext of misanthropy. Some viewers find that “Catastrophe” carries a strong warning against ever getting married. I always saw it as a ringing endorsement.

Of all the love stories that peak TV has thrown at us in the modern era, “Catastrophe” was usually the one that felt most genuine, replete with the burpy, bloaty, leaky details of midlife intimacy. It’s for viewers who feel exhausted by the demands of prestige dramas and the preciousness of hipper (and often twee) millennial-focused comedies.

People who make TV and people who just like to watch TV should go back and study the smooth efficiency of “Catastrophe’s” first episode — how the attraction between Horgan and Delaney barges in, how their dialogue dances between cutting and affectionate and how quickly the show brings us into a mutual, yet tenuous, comfort zone. And, at just six short episodes per season, it’s the easiest homework for grown-ups I’ve ever assigned. You could knock out the entire series in a couch-bound weekend.

As it progressed, the show posed thornier challenges for Sharon and Rob — right up to this season’s final and faintly ambiguous walk-off.

By Season 2, we’d jumped ahead a few years: their son, Frankie, is a toddler; the arrival of another baby, a daughter (given the nearly unpronounceable Irish name Muireann), is imminent. Season 3 headed into darker stuff, as the marriage strained under the weight of parenting duties. Sharon was tempted to stray, while Rob, an alcoholic, secretly started drinking again. Last we saw them, he’d wrecked the car and tearfully confessed to her that he was drunk.

Season 4 opens with Rob going before the judge, who takes away his driver’s license and sentences him to community service working weekends in a charity thrift shop. “You’re a criminal in a neck brace,” Sharon tells Rob. “What a catch.”

“I have my AA meeting tonight,” he tells her.

“What? Again?” she huffs.

“You don’t exactly graduate from alcoholism,” he says.

“So I’m supposed to watch ‘Game of Thrones’ on my own, like a pervert?”

To ease her own anxiety, Sharon goes through a bout of shoplifting — and is caught. “That’s like a garden-variety cry for help,” Rob tells her.

“Well then help me,” she replies.

The middle part of Season 4 struggles slightly to reclaim some of the show’s earlier momentum, as if Delaney and Horgan are trying to tell us that they’ve taken this story as far as it can go. It couldn’t have been an easy season to produce and finish: Fisher died just after Season 3 wrapped; Delaney and his wife, Leah, lost one of their children, 2-year-old Henry, to cancer in early 2018.

Perhaps redirecting such sadness (or perhaps not), Delaney and Horgan give their deepest and most moving performances yet in the series finale, when Rob and Sharon arrive for a holiday in Massachusetts, only to learn that Mia has died of a heart attack.

Dealing with his mother’s funeral along with a sudden Boston-based job offer and the news that Sharon is expecting a third child, Rob lashes out at his wife. It’s painful to watch in a show that started out with so much snarky-sparky attraction.

They do reconcile, at the end of a sandy beach road. While their children doze in the car with the windows down, they sit by the water and resolve to make it work. “If I met you right now,” Rob tells Sharon, “I’d still want to [have sex with] you for a week and get you pregnant and marry you and mess it all up from there.”

“Let’s do that, then,” she says.

Looking out at the sea, Sharon suggests a swim, while the kids are sleeping. Rob declines, but once she undresses and quickly wades out into the deeper water, he notices a sign warning of dangerous riptides.

He looks back at the car, where his children are, and out at his wife. He splashes out after her. Together they float and embrace happily, but this closing moment carries just a hint of danger. Did they swim out too far? (Is this the catastrophe?) As the camera ascends and credits roll, we see just how much water separates them from the shore. Yet there is also the feeling that they will be okay, that there is always going to be an undertow in this dynamic. For a show that came on so strong, it’s a curious but also brilliantly quiet way to go.

Catastrophe (six episodes) is available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

(Disclosure: Amazon founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/enter...=.15ceae6c2e5e
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