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post #100651 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 01:25 AM
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Technology/Business Notes
Hulu's ex-CEO starts paid video site for YouTube stars
By Jefferson Graham, USA Today - Mar. 24, 2015

LOS ANGELES—Would you pay to watch online videos?

Jason Kilar found the answer to that question was a clear yes when he launched Hulu Plus, the premium version of the online network, offering instant access to TV shows from ABC, NBC and Fox.

Now he's at it again with his latest venture, Vessel, launching Tuesday.

The network charges $2.99 monthly, and this time around, his talent aren't big-time TV stars but online stars like musicians Boyce Avenue, comedians Rhett and Link and fashionista Ingrid Nielsen.

"We're a next-generation video company," he says. "Allowing you early access to the creators you love, and optimized for the phone."

(Anyone signing up for the service by Thursday will get free access for a year. The app is available for Apple devices and the web.)

Early access means YouTube stars will debut new videos a few days earlier on Vessel. To persuade them to do this, Kilar is offering "20 times more revenue" than they get on YouTube. They don't have to quit YouTube, he says, just debut with him first.

"Nobody is leaving their current state of business," he says.

YouTube's "partner" program enlists folks with large fan bases to participate in its ad-sharing program. The network pays folks a cut of whatever ad revenues come in for their videos.

Kilar says he can offer a heftier cut, a mix of both subscription and advertising revenues. Still, as a new network, Vessel will clearly have a much smaller audience base than YouTube.

Unlike YouTube, where anyone can post videos, Vessel isn't self-service. You have to apply to have your videos accepted. Kilar says he's had "thousands" of applicants so far.

He says he's looking for prolific folks who make online videos who are "passionate and ambitious."

Vessel has 30 advertisers lined up for launch, including Geico, Frito-Lay and Unilever.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2...line/70328980/
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post #100652 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 01:30 AM
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
The most engaging shows on cable
Ratings may not be high but they have dedicated viewerships
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 24, 2015

Ratings are obviously important to media buyers and planners.

But they also love to pour over all sorts of other metrics used to measure the performance of a show, and one of the most useful is stickiness.

The stickiness index, from media measurement company Rentrak, gauges how engaged viewers are with the content they see.

The higher the stickiness, the more likely viewers are to be paying attention to a show as they watch. And so it follows those highly engaged viewers would be the ones you want to see your ads, because they’re more likely to pay attention.

Interestingly, the stickiest shows on cable are not always the highest-rated.

For the most recent week measured, the week ended March 8, only six of Rentrak’s top 20 most-engaging shows on cable also ranked among the top 20 in total viewers.

The stickiest programs were the ones you’d expect, including AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” programs with passionate fan bases who go online to discuss every plot development of every episode.

But many of the programs in the top 20 have very small but apparently devoted fan bases.

For example, a Saturday afternoon repeat of “Sanford and Son” on TV One drew just 430,000 total viewers, or about 3 percent of “Dead’s” audience.

But it ranked higher in engagement than all but 13 programs on cable.

Other shows with viewership of less than 1 million but very high engagement include WEtv’s “Mary Mary,” Lifetime’s “Bring It!” and Travel’s “Ghost Adventures.”

What those shows have in common is a narrow audience who are more dedicated than the average viewer. For instance, anyone might tune into a few minutes of TNT’s very accessible “Rizzoli & Isles,” a procedural.

But you’re probably not watching “Ghost” unless you have a very specific interest in the supernatural, in which case you’re really paying attention to learn something.

* * * *

In cable ratings for the week ended March 22:

Top five networks in primetime (18-49s)
TBS, AMC, TNT, USA, Adult Swim

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers)
TNT, TBS, Fox News Channel, USA, AMC

Top five total-day networks (total viewers)
Adult Swim, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, Fox News Channel, TNT

Top five cable news networks in primetime (total viewers)
Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNN, HLN, CNBC, FBN, Al Jazeera America

Top five cable news programs (total viewers)
1. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Wednesday, 8 p.m.); 2. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Thursday, 8 p.m.); 3. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Friday, 8 p.m.); 4. Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor” (Tuesday, 8 p.m.); 5. Fox News Channel’s “The Kelly File” (Thursday, 9 p.m.)

Top movie (total viewers)
Nickelodeon’s “Madagascar 2″ (Monday, 5 p.m.) 1.99 million

Top sporting event (total viewers)
TBS’s “NCAA Basketball Championship” (Saturday, 9:56 p.m.) 3.91 million

Show on the rise
TNT’s “Rizzoli & Isles,” Tuesday, 9 p.m.
The drama averaged 3.62 million total viewers, up 16 percent from the previous week’s 3.12 million.

Show on the decline
E!’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” Sunday, 9 p.m.
The reality show averaged 2.08 million total viewers, down 18 percent from 2.55 million for the previous week’s season premiere.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/the...hows-on-cable/
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post #100653 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 01:34 AM
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TV Notes
Billy Gardell hosts new Monopoly game show
By Rob Owen, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Mar. 25, 2015

For Swissvale native Billy Gardell (“Mike & Molly”), hosting a TV game show was always on his bucket list.

“I watched game shows with my grandma as a kid, so it’s a nod to her,” he said in a phone interview earlier this month. “We watched ‘Price Is Right,’ ‘Match Game,’ ‘Hollywood Squares.’ I love that stuff.”

Mr. Gardell was approached about hosting game shows in the past, but he was holding out for “a big-time brand.” When a new game show tied to a Monopoly-themed lottery game came along, Mr. Gardell said he was immediately interested.

The syndicated, weekly, one-hour “Monopoly Millionaires’ Club” debuts at 7 p.m. Saturday in Pittsburgh on WTAE with an encore of those weekly episodes airing Tuesday at 8 p.m. on cable’s GSN.

Based on the Hasbro board game, a multistate lottery, Monopoly-themed scratch ticket is available in more than a dozen states, including Pennsylvania.

The TV game show is taped at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas inside a 48,000-square-foot structure. The studio’s LED floor displays the iconic Monopoly board, and the audience, split into sections based on Monopoly tokens (boot, wheelbarrow, top hat, etc.), is made up of almost 400 lottery winners and their guests from around the country. (Unlike the tapings of most TV game shows, this is not one the general public can attend as an audience member; it’s restricted to lottery winners.)

Mr. Gardell said there have been a few Pittsburghers on the show already.

“They’re just wonderful,” he said. “They yell at me between takes. We have our own language in Pittsburgh, and I love the love.”

While Mr. Gardell was nervous about having to act at the start of “Mike & Molly,” game show hosting comes more naturally because of his background as a stand-up comic.

“Honestly, it’s not a lot of acting. It’s just talking to people and that’s what I’ve grown up doing,” Mr. Gardell said. “And I want them to win because, frankly, it’s not my money. It’s a rush to watch somebody win that much money.”

Contestants are randomly selected from each section of the audience to play a Monopoly-inspired game of luck (the show rotates through different games such as Community Chest, Electric Company and Advance to Boardwalk, similar to the different games played on “Price Is Right”). After five mini-games, where contestants are playing to split any winnings 50-50 between themselves and all the audience members in their section, a final round features one contestant going for $1 million.

Mr. Gardell said in the 12 episodes produced so far, there have been two $1 million winners.

“The odds makers said they thought we wouldn’t have a million-dollar winner for at least 25 games, so I think I made that insurance guy drop his cup of coffee,” Mr. Gardell said. “It makes for great TV.”

Episodes filmed so far were shot over two weekends when Mr. Gardell flew in from Los Angeles, where he works during the week on the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly.”

“I get on the plane Friday, land [in Vegas], have dinner and go to bed. I wake up the next morning at 7, I’m on the set for the game show at 8, we do a 12-hour day Saturday and Sunday, and then I’m up at 6 a.m. Monday and fly back to Burbank and head straight to the studio and am on the set of ‘Mike and Molly’ by 9 a.m.,” Mr. Gardell explained. “You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.”

Mr. Gardell was back in Pittsburgh last fall to attend the Steelers-Texans game where he met Seth Meyers (“Late Night With Seth Meyers,” “Saturday Night Live”). Mr. Meyers’ father, Lawrence, grew up in Pittsburgh and like Mr. Gardell, is a diehard Steeler fan.

“I think he realized what a truly psychotic fan I am,” Mr. Gardell said. “I think the intensity was a little much for him.”

Mr. Gardell will next be back in Pittsburgh for already sold-out stand-up comedy shows at the Monroeville Convention Center April 24-25.

“I picked Monroeville because my first gig back in the day was at the Funny Bone that was in the basement of the Parkvale Building in Monroeville, and I figured I’d bring a concert to the east side,” Mr. Gardell said.

He will return to Las Vegas to tape more “MMC” episodes in August, and production on “Mike & Molly,” renewed earlier this month for its sixth season, will likely start in mid-September after star Melissa McCarthy finishes filming a new “Ghostbusters” movie.

(New “Mike & Molly” episodes will likely turn up on CBS in November or later for the 2015-16 TV season, Mr. Gardell said.)

In the interim, Mr. Gardell said he plans to work up some new material for his stand-up act.

“I’m bringing my biggest hits back to Pittsburgh but I haven’t had any time to write, so I’ll take some time off to do that, get back to my basics, doing open mic nights and coming up with new material,” he said. “Then who knows what summer will bring. I may do some guest starring here or there.”

‘Monopoly Millionaires’ Club’
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, WTAE; 8 p.m. Tuesday, GSN.


http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-ra...s/201503250025
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post #100654 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 01:42 AM
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TV Notes/Commentary
Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Mar. 24, 2015

There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps. It was a concerted effort, with more than one instances where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.

The change is welcomed by talent agents who no longer have to call casting directors and ask them if they would possibly consider an ethnic actor for a part, knowing they would most likely be rejected. “I feel that the tide has turned,” one agent said. “I can pitch any actor for any role, and I think that’s good.”

But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. “Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,” one talent representative said.

In one instance, after a number of actors of different ethnicities tested for two roles in a pilot this year, two Caucasian actors ended up being the top choices for the two remaining regular parts. However, because of a mandate from the studio and network, one of the roles had to diverse, so the pilot could only cast one of the top choices and pass on the other to fulfill the ethnic quota. “They need to say the best man or woman wins,” one rep suggested.

Because of the sudden flood of roles for ethnic actors after years of suppressed opportunities for them, the talent pool of experienced minority performers — especially in the younger range — is pretty limited. That has led to a feeding frenzy, with a number of straight offers locking in ethnic talent before they could be snatched by another pilot.

This is not to say that there weren’t other hot commodities this pilot season; star names were in demand as usual, as were hot young guys and girls and occasional foreigners with that “sparkle.” But the big trend this pilot casting season was the huge spike in the number and prominence of roles that went to minority actors.

Some of it has been organic. Last year, the leads in Extant and How To Get Away With Murder, originally not written as black, became ethnic once stars of the caliber of Halle Berry and Viola Davis became interested. Such was the case with Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria, who both commanded on-air episodic orders from NBC when they committed to star in drama Shades Of Blue and comedy Telenovela, respectively, as well as Paula Patton, who lifted the cast-contingency off the ABC drama pilot Runner. (ABC and 20th TV cast Patten, who is black, knowing already that the male lead had been conceived as Hispanic. The role went to Adam Rodriguez.) That also was the case with meaty supporting roles on Fox’s Gotham last year, which went for Jada Pinkett Smith, and NBC drama pilot Endgame this time, landing Wesley Snipes.

Also not earmarked as ethnic was the lead in NBC pilot Strange Call, a remake of an Australian series, which went to Community‘s Danny Pudi. CBS tried for a year to cast its comedy pilot Taxi-22, a remake of a French-Canadian series, until John Leguizamo signed on. And testing alongside actresses of different ethnicities, Natalie Martinez landed the lead in the NBC martial arts drama pilot Warrior.

But there were more broadcast drama pilots than ever whose leads had been designated as black this year. That includes Fox medical drama Rosewood, toplined by Morris Chestnut, and CBS civil rights crime drama For Justice, starring Anika Noni Rose. Uncle Buck was rebooted by ABC specifically as a black family sitcom, with Mike Epps in the title role originated by John Candy. NBC opted to make the lead couple in its drama about diverse couples Love Is A Four Letter Word black in picking up the pilot. (It had been originally conceived as Caucasian.) After a post-table read recasting of the female role, the two leads went to Cynthia McWilliams and Rockmond Dunbar.

There also have been a number of drama co-leads on which the networks chose to go ethnic this year, including Supergirl’s male lead, cast with Mehcad Brooks; one of the four female leads in ABC drama Broad Squad (Rutina Wesley); and the female lead in Minority Report (Meagan Good).

ABC, which has been in the forefront of the current wave of ethnic programming with freshmen How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Cristela and Fresh Off The Boat, is leading the pack again with two black family comedies: Uncle Buck and Delores & Jermaine, starring comedian Jermaine Fowler and Whoopi Goldberg. The latter was based on the real-life experiences of comedian Fowler, as is ABC’s medical comedy Dr. Ken starring Ken Jeong. Additionally, NBC has Latino family magical drama The Curse Of The Fuentes Women with Hispanic lead cast, and CBS has the Rush Hour remake with black (Justin Hires) and Asian (Jon Foo) leads.

Uncle Buck and Love Is A Four Letter Word are among several projects where the original white protagonists have been changed to black this season. ABC’s medical drama pilot The Advocate was based on the story of former CAA agent Byrdie Lifson-Pompan and Dr. Valerie Ulene, who launched a healthcare consulting company. While the real-life inspiration for the two central character are both Caucasian, the show cast them with one white actress, Kim Raver, and one black, Joy Bryant.

As the photo of the 1972 graduation of the first 12-women class of the Boston Police Academy indicates, they appear to be all white, as were the members of the original Broad Squad, Rachel Keefe and Patricia Murphy, Boston’s first all-female patrol team. That is no surprise as non-Hispanic Whites constituted 80% of Boston’s population in 1970 versus 16% blacks. While set in the 1970s, ABC’s drama pilot Broad Squad, inspired by the real-life events, has a lead cast more consistent with Boston’s current racial makeup of 45% white non-Hispanic and 27% black as one of its four female leads was written and cast as African-American, Wesley.

A lot of what is happening right now is long overdue. The TV and film superhero ranks have been overly white for too long, workplace shows should be diverse to reflect workplace in real America, and ethnic actors should get a chance to play more than the proverbial best friend or boss.

But replacing one set of rigid rules with another by imposing a quota of ethnic talent on each show might not be the answer. Empire, Black-ish, Jane the Virgin and Fresh Off The Boat have been breakouts because they represent worlds and points of view that were not on TV — a soapy hip-hop dynasty, an upper-class black family struggling with racial identity, a young Latina juggling her dreams and her heritage and an immigrant Asian family trying to fit in.

Television has been successful with shows that had both all-white (Friends, Seinfeld) and all-black (The Cosby Show) casts on the strength of their premise, execution and talent performances and chemistry. It is for the same reason that Scandal, HTGAWM and Empire have done so well with Kerry Washington, Davis and Taraji P. Henson as the respective leads.

Trying to duplicate those series’ success by mirroring the ethnicity of their leads is a dubious proposition — if that was the key, 2010’s Undercovers, a slick drama with two appealing black leads, Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, should’ve been a hit.

While they are among the most voracious and loyal TV viewers, African-Americans still represent only 13% of the U.S. population. They were grossly underserved, but now, with shows as Empire, Black-ish, Scandal and HTGAWM on broadcast, Tyler Perry’s fare on OWN and Mara Brock Akil’s series on BET, they have scripted choices, so the growth in that fraction of the TV audience might have reached its peak.

As the broadcast networks are looking to add a number of new series targeting black viewers in the fall, we will see if that viewership can further expand (Empire and Black-ish have managed to successfully to co-exist in the same time slot this midseason). Since broadcast TV is a historically reactive business, that will determine whether the trend of ethnic casting will come back with a vengeance next season.

http://deadline.com/2015/03/tv-pilot...sh-1201386511/

* * * *

TV Notes
Shonda Rhimes Blasts "Ignorant" Article Questioning "Ethnic Castings"
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 24, 2015

A column about pilot season's "ethnic castings" from a trade publication caused a stir Tuesday night over claims that white actors are being short-changed by TV's increasing diversity push.

Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder executive producer Shonda Rhimes was among those who blasted the controversial Deadline column "Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings – About Time Or Too Much Of Good Thing?" and called the story "ignorant."

"1st Reaction:: HELL NO. Lemme take off my earrings, somebody hold my purse! 2nd Reaction: Article is so ignorant I can't even be bothered," Rhimes tweeted.

In the commentary, which was tagged "controversial," writer Nellie Andreeva notes the crush of diverse castings this pilot season but goes on to quote anonymous insiders bemoaning the lack of parts available to white actors.
Diversity has been one of, if not the biggest trend of the current 2014-15 broadcast season following the break-out success of series including Rhimes' How to Get Away With Murder as well as Fox's Empire, ABC's Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat — all of which star diverse leads. That has carried over into pilot season, where diversity has continued to be a high priority among the broadcast networks with a notable increase in parts that better reflect society as well as the concepts of several dramas and comedies including ABC's Uncle Buck remake, which now focuses on an all-black family.

"Hey look the grossest possible reaction to a breakthrough TV year," critic Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker wrote.

"Just astounding that something so tone deaf could be published in 2015 by a supposedly credible news source," The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff tweeted with a link to the Deadline story.

"So hard out there for white actors these days! I'm sobbing!" BuzzFeed's Kate Aurthur added, singling out a particular passage that questioned if the "pendulum may have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction" followed by a blind quote from an unnamed talent representative complaining that half the roles in pilots "have to be ethnic."

"TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? I mean...I just...AND HOW MANY TIMES CAN WE SAY ETHNIC IN ONE GODDAMNED ARTICLE, NELLIE?" Grey's Anatomy star Jerrika Hinton wrote, later adding a few edits to the column's headline: "HEADLINE: White People No Longer Automatically Considered Default Casting Choice, Makes Me Nervous" and "HEADLINE: TV Protagonists To Now Reflect Actual Demographics Of Audiences, But Whew We Still Got Movies Y'all."

"What troubles me is the decision-makers in Hollywood who will read that @deadline tripe about black actors in television and say, "Exactly."" The New Republic's Jamil Smith added.

"Initiate Phase 4 of #OperationWhitelash . The unresearched, anonymously sourced "Ethnic Epidemic" expose." Community's Dan Harmon said.

Noted Selma director Ava DuVernay, whose CBS pilot For Justice, also features a largely diverse cast: "What @kate Aurthur @ditz koff @JaM ilSmith @MattF nWallace @Mor yan @szacharek said. And I'll add an eye roll for good measure."

Read more 30 of Shonda Rhimes' Stars Respond to New York Times' "Angry Black Woman" Column
Rhimes is no stranger to responding to racially insensitive press. In September, New York Times’ television critic Alessandra Stanley ran a now infamous essay about the Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy creator, which featured a series of tone-deaf assertions including: “When Shonda Rhimes writers her autobiography, it should be called ‘How to Get Away with Being an Angry Black Woman.’ ”

In an interview days later, Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter of the article, "In this world in which we all feel we're so full of gender equality and we're a postracial [society] and Obama is president, it's a very good reminder to see the casual racial bias and odd misogyny from a woman written in a paper that we all think of as being so liberal.”

Andreeva did not respond to an email requesting comment on the backlash to the article.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...article-784214
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TV Notes
Jeremy Clarkson to be sacked by the BBC
By Martin Evans, UK Telegraph - Mar. 24, 2015

Jeremy Clarkson is to be sacked as Top Gear presenter after a BBC investigation concluded he did attack a producer on the programme.

Lord Hall, the Director General of the BBC, is expected to announce his decision on Wednesday after considering the findings of an internal investigation.

Clarkson, 54, will be thanked for his work on the hugely popular motoring show, but will be told such behaviour cannot be tolerated at the Corporation.

It is understood a report into the so-called ‘fracas’ at a North Yorkshire hotel, concluded that presenter spent 20 minutes verbally abusing producer Oisin Tymon, before launching a 30 second physical assault on him.

The outburst came after Clarkson, who is one of the BBC’s best paid stars, was informed he could not have steak and chips after a day’s filming because the hotel where they were staying had stop serving hot food.

But despite finally deciding to axe the show's star presenter, the BBC is planning to continue broadcasting Top Gear on BBC2.

According to well-placed sources, senior executives at the Corporation have been wooing Radio 2 Breakfast Show host and self- confessed ‘petrol-head’, Chris Evans in the hope he will agree to take over.

Evans, 48, who has one of the most prestigious car collections in Britain, including a £12 million 1963 Ferrari 250GTO, had previously ruled himself out of the running, but bosses are keen to persuade him to sign up.

It is not clear whether Clarkson’s co presenters James May and Richard Hammond will remain with the programme or will join Clarkson on any new ventures.

It is thought Clarkson may sign for American network Netflix, which is becoming increasingly popular with global TV audiences.

Despite feeling he has been left with no alternative but to sack Clarkson, Lord Hall is expected to thank him for helping to build Top Gear into one of the Corporation’s crown jewels and praise him as a “brilliant broadcaster”.

Sold to more than 170 countries around the world, the programme, which was re-launched in its current format in 2002, generates an estimated £50 million a year for the BBC.

It is understood Lord Hall will defend Clarkson’s controversial and politically incorrect style of broadcasting and say there is a place at the Corporation for that style of presenting.

And while he made the decision with a heavy heart, sources said he felt he had been left with no choice after an internal investigation concluded Clarkson had attacked a junior member of staff.

According to a report compiled by BBC Scotland boss Ken MacQuarrie and submitted at the weekend, Clarkson verbally abused Mr Tymon for 20 minutes, before physically attacking for at least 30 seconds.

The ‘fracas’ as it was initially described by the BBC took place at the Simonstone Hall hotel near Hawes in North Yorkshire when Clarkson was informed that there was no hot food available after a day’s filming.

Clarkson, who has a seven-figure contract with the BBC, was suspended on March 10 after reporting himself to his bosses over the incident.

His suspension led to a huge wave of support from the show’s fans with more than a million people signing an online petition to reinstate him.

Even the Prime Minister, who is a neighbour of Clarkson, weighed into the row when he described him as being a “huge talent”.

But a series of controversial incidents, including allegations of racism, forced BBC bosses to issue Clarkson with a final warning last year.

With Evans already a popular and established broadcaster, who has appeared on Top Gear on a number of occasions, his appointment would be seen as a safe bet.

But the decision to continue with the programme will still be regarded as something of a risk for the BBC.

For many Top Gear fans it was Clarkson’s irreverent and near the knuckle brand of humour that helped make the show so popular.

But his frequent controversies created a headache for bosses at the publicly funded broadcaster, who were regularly forced to defend embarrassing situations or comments.

In 2012 he sparked complaints by the Indian High Commission after making a series of derogatory remarks about the country during a road trip there.

During a show filmed in Burma last year he use the word slope, in a manner that critics claimed had been deliberately racist and was also forced to apologise after appearing to use the N-word during a segment that was never broadcast.

Last October he also caused chaos in Argentina after driving a car with a number plate H982 FKL, which local Falklands War veterans claimed was an act of deliberate provocation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/cele...y-the-BBC.html
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
WEDNESDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)

ABC:
8PM - The Middle
8:30PM - The Goldbergs
9PM - Modern Family
9:31PM - Blackish
10PM - Nashville: On the Record 2 (Special)
* * * *
11:35PM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Matthew Perry; WWE wrestler John Cena; For King & Country performs)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - Survivor
9PM - Criminal Minds
10PM - CSI: Cyber
* * * *
11:35PM - The Late Show with David Letterman (James Franco; comic Jake Johannsen; Action Bronson performs)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show with James Corden (Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell; Leon Bridges performs)

NBC:
8PM - The Mysteries of Laura
9PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10PM - Chicago P.D.
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney; Grace Helbig; G Unit performs with The Roots)
12:36AM - Late Night with Seth Myers (Jeremy Piven; writer David Benioff; Daniel Weiss; Marina and the Diamonds performs)
1:36AM - Last Call with Carson Daly (Jesse Metcalfe; Young Rising Sons perform; director Juliano Ribeiro Salgado)

FOX:
8PM - American Idol (120 min., LIVE)

PBS:
(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Nature: Ireland's Wild River (R - Feb. 26, 2013)
9PM - NOVA: The Bible's Buried Secrets (120 min.)
(R - Nov. 8, 2008)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Mi Corazón Es Tuyo
9PM - Hasta El Fin del Mundo
10PM - Que Te Perdone Dios... Yo No

THE CW:
8PM - Arrow
9PM - Supernatural

TELEMUNDO:
8PM - La Biblia (Series Premiere)
9PM - Tierra de Reyes
10PM - Dueños del Paraíso

COMEDY CENTRAL:
11PM - The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering)
11:31PM - The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore
12:01AM - At Midnight (Steve Agee; Tom Lennon)

TBS:
11PM - Conan (James Corden; Christopher Plummer; The Mavericks performs)
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post #100657 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 02:06 AM
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Technology/Business Notes
Netflix, Amazon and Hulu No Longer Find Themselves Upstarts in Online Streaming
By Emity Steel, The New York Times - Mar. 25, 2015

Netflix, Amazon and Hulu have suddenly found themselves playing a new role: the establishment.

After years of waging an assault on the traditional television business, these companies now must defend their turf on the battleground of the future, Internet streaming. HBO, Apple, Sony, Dish and other companies that were once challenged by services like Netflix have stormed onto the field in recent weeks, making a splash with new streaming offerings and bold pronouncements on reinventing the way people watch and pay for television.

Those advances have raised the stakes for Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, which not only invented the category but also induced a wave of TV fans to watch their favorite programs without paying for a cable or satellite subscription. Now, new competition is forcing those companies to invest even more in exclusive, original productions, innovate their technologies, explore new partnerships and ramp up their marketing.

“In a world where HBO and CBS and all of these guys are trying to go to the Internet, it looks like all of the guys on the Internet are trying to come to the television,” said Kannan Venkateshwar, a media analyst at Barclays. “The worlds are actually converging in both directions.”

Netflix is framing HBO’s push into streaming as less a competitive threat and more a validation of Netflix’s own philosophy for Internet television. “A lot of people will subscribe to more than one service similar to the way they do with apps on their phones or magazine subscriptions,” said Anne Marie Squeo, a Netflix spokeswoman. “So there’s room for multiple Internet content providers to thrive if they’re delivering great shows and movies for a reasonable price.”

The convergence of the new and old television worlds is illustrated by the shift in the rivalry between HBO and Netflix. In 2011, some TV executives rolled their eyes when Reed Hastings, Netflix’s chief executive, pointed to HBO as his company’s main rival, and HBO rejected the comparison.

Netflix was still recovering after a botched plan to increase prices and split itself into two separate companies. Millions of outraged customers canceled their subscriptions. Netflix’s share price plunged to less than $53 from just under $300.

HBO, meanwhile, had a long and profitable track record as home to award-winning hits like “Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire” and early success with its HBO Go app.

“They’re becoming more Netflix-like,” Mr. Hastings said in 2011, pointing to the HBO Go streaming product. “We’re becoming more HBO-like,” he added, pointing to Netflix’s plans to distribute original content like the “House of Cards” political drama.

Four years later, that rivalry, at least in the domestic market, is more direct.

About two in five American households now subscribe to a video streaming service, with Netflix leading the pack, according to the media research firm Nielsen.

While HBO remains far more profitable, with many more global subscribers, Netflix now counts about 40 million paid subscribers in the United States to HBO’s 30 million. Netflix also has ramped up original production, with plans for 320 hours of new and returning original series in 2015, including “Orange Is the New Black,” “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and “Bloodline.”

HBO’s new streaming service, called HBO Now, is aimed at the 10 million homes in the United States that pay for Internet service but not cable or satellite television subscriptions — about half of which subscribe to a streaming service like Netflix.

To prosper, analysts say, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will have to spend even more on the production and marketing of exclusive comedies, dramas, films, documentaries and other shows. The greater the acclaim and the more exclusive the offerings, the easier it will be to distinguish the services and persuade people to pay up every month.

(HBO is planning to charge $15 for its streaming service via Apple TV, while Netflix starts at $8 a month and Hulu Plus costs $8 a month. Amazon Prime, meanwhile, is $99 a year, but includes free two-day shipping for goods purchased at the site.)

Already, Netflix is expected to spend more than $450 million on original programming this year, up 88 percent from $243 million in 2014, according to the MoffettNathanson research firm. “You have to differentiate yourself relative to the mainstream,” said Michael Nathanson, a media analyst with MoffettNathanson. “The defining feature of those services will be original, first-run content.”

Continuing to invest in technology and the TV viewing experience will also become increasingly crucial, analysts said. Hulu is hiring a couple of hundred more engineers this year to innovate its service with new personalization and other technologies. Hulu is the only one of the three big digital-first streaming services that shows ads, but is exploring how it could reduce the number of ads.

Some TV executives said that the introduction of more streaming offerings could actually propel more people to subscribe to Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

The thinking is that TV fans previously may have hesitated to cancel their cable or satellite subscriptions because there were fewer online options. Now that there are many more, consumers may decide to put together a menu of services that could potentially include the big three, and still pay less than their monthly cable bill, which comes to an average of $90 a household, according to the data firm SNL Kagan.

Media executives said that a variety of discussions were underway for new partnerships, whether between the traditional television groups and the streaming services, or the streaming services themselves.

A promotion at the top of Amazon.com last week — the day after Sony announced its new PlayStation Vue web-TV service — pointed to one such partnership: It offered a discount on Amazon’s streaming device with a three-month subscription to Dish Network’s $20-a-month Sling TV service, which includes ESPN.

“The Best of Live TV,” the ad read.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/bu...elevision&_r=0
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TV Review
‘Big Time in Hollywood, FL’
By Brian Lowry, Variety.com - Mar. 24, 2015

Comedy Central produces enough misfires that the appeal of those shows that spark to life, a la “Broad City,” is perhaps magnified. So it is with “Big Time in Hollywood, FL,” an infectiously energetic, wonderfully silly serialized comedy that feels like a mashup of the Three Stooges and Quentin Tarantino. Featuring several well-known actors in smallish roles (including producer Ben Stiller and Cuba Gooding Jr. as a hilarious version of himself), the 10-episode order isn’t exactly highbrow, but contains enough laugh-out-loud moments to indeed put co-creators Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf well on their way to the big time.

Anfanger (who had a role in Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”) and Lenny Jacobson (a “Nurse Jackie” alum) star as brothers Jack and Ben, who are living with, and off, their parents (Stephen Tobolowsky and Kathy Baker) in order to chase their filmmaking dreams, producing perfectly awful little films that they post on YouTube.

Like latter-day versions of Dobie Gillis’ Maynard G. Krebs (“Work!”), their folks’ suggestion that the two move out and get real jobs positively horrifies them, so much so that they begin a series of elaborate lies that lead them down a rabbit hole filled with escalating danger and mayhem.

For starters, they insist that one of them has a drug problem, then engage a method actor (played by Stiller) to pretend to be a drug kingpin and try to shake down their parents to pay the debt. When that goes horribly wrong, Ben actually does have to go into rehab — where he meets the aforementioned Gooding — while mom seeks help from a crusty private detective (Michael Madsen, doing a wonderfully comic impersonation of himself).

And so it goes. Stumbling headlong from one crazy chapter and hare-brained idea to the next, with Ben, Jack and their idiot pal Del (Jon Bass) being such complete morons that everyone assumes they must be part of some massive drug conspiracy. Moreover, the episodes continue to weave in movie parodies and references to the likes of “The Shawshank Redemption,” adding a genuine fondness for film to the proceedings, which build toward Ben and Jack’s involvement with a movie that is, in fact, simply a means of laundering illicit cash.

Mindful of the Comedy Central demo, “Big Time” isn’t exactly lofty in its ambitions, and the writers are a little too enamored with, in particular, erection jokes. Viewers should also be forewarned that there’s some gore in later episodes, although it’s cleverly played for comedic effect.

Anfanger and Schimpf collaborated on the digital series “Next Time on Lonny,” and bring a freshness and student-film-like buoyancy to the approach on this show — essentially constructed as a 10-part half-hour comedy miniseries — which might explain why the various actors who drop in to earnestly play along (among them, in later episodes, Keith David and Paz Vega) look like they’re having such a good time.

“It’s been a bad week,” Jack, the Lucy to Ben’s Ethel, allows at one point, exhibiting a gift for understatement as events continue to spiral out of control.

True enough. But for those prone to lament when Comedy Central fails to deliver on the promise in its name, “Big Time” is a very good show.

'Big Time in Hollywood, FL'
Comedy Central, Wed. March 25, 10:30 p.m.


http://variety.com/2015/tv/reviews/t...fl-1201455460/
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TV Notes/Q&A
Norman Lear on an All in the Family Reboot, Memories of Maude, and TV Today
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Mar. 24, 2015

Norman Lear was a celebrity producer of television sitcoms decades before the current era of superstar showrunners dawned. His string of Nielsen hits during the early- to mid-1970s — All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, and Maude — made him one of Hollywood’s most powerful creatives. At one point in 1976, nine shows produced under the Lear name were on TV. But beyond his ratings success, Lear became an icon as much (and perhaps more) because of the kinds of comedies he made. His were shows that “employed the power of humor in the service of human understanding,” as President Bill Clinton put it when presenting the producer with the National Medal of Arts in 1999. “He held up a mirror to American society and changed the way we look at it.”

While Lear, now 92, hasn’t produced new TV shows in a while, he remains an incredibly active nonagenarian. He’s toured the country since last fall promoting his autobiography, Even This I Get to Experience. Last winter, he popped on the The Daily Show. And this month, Shout! Factory released Maude: The Complete Series, a handsome 19-disc collection of all 141 episodes of Lear’s landmark half-hour starring Bea Arthur as unapologetic feminist firebrand Maude Findlay. We caught up with Lear recently to talk about his memories of Maude, reports that All in the Family and One Day at a Time might soon be rebooted, and his worries that American may, in some ways, be a more conservative country than it was in the 1970s.

So, during the recent hullaballoo surrounding Saturday Night Live’s 40th anniversary, VH1 aired a marathon, and I caught the episode you hosted. I loved the routine you did with your daughter.
You saw the routine?

I did, yes!
[Lorne] cut it [from the reruns]! What happened was, he came up to me just before I was going out to introduce this routine and my daughter. He said to me, “We’re running long. We have to cut it and go to the film.” And I said, “Okay”— fully intending to [cut it], because he was my producer. And I walk out, and there’s enough light to see the first two, three rows. And there’s my daughter sitting there with this anticipatory look on her face. Ringing in my head is my producer saying, “Don’t.” And sitting in front of me is my daughter’s face saying, “Do.” So I did. It was live! There was nothing Lorne or anybody could do about it. And we did it! It went live on the air, and I have a copy of it. But he cut it later and put what he wanted in there.

I guess he saved the tape, because I saw it just the other week on VH1. So it’s back!
Oh, I’m thrilled to hear that! I didn’t know that.

Did Lorne yell at you afterwards?
No, no. There were no words said. He wouldn’t yell, anyway. But it was clear he was upset — as he should have been.

So Maude, of course, originated on an episode of All in the Family. When you planned her first appearance on All in the Family, did you think that the character might be a potential spinoff?
Oh, absolutely. I knew [Bea] very well. When I did the George Gobel show — this was a few years before All in the Family — I brought her out to guest-star several times. And also, we were friends, so I knew her very well.

And the response to her guest appearance on All in the Family was instantly very positive, right?
As the show was going off the air in New York — the credits were still running in New York — somebody from my family was calling me to tell me how great the show was. But it had to wait, because Fred Silverman, [the head of entertainment at] CBS, was on the phone. He said, “There’s a show in that woman.” Which, of course, we very well knew. But Silverman wanted a pilot.

One of my favorite episodes of Maude, and one of the most powerful, is “The Analyst.” It’s just Bea talking to her unseen psychiatrist for the full episode, and talking about how her [spoiler alert!] father shaped who she was. It would be amazing to do that episode today, let alone 40 years ago.
The genesis of that is one of the greatest personal stories in my life. I was 16, maybe 17 years old. I was in love with a play called Liliom, by Ferenc Molnár, which later became, many years later, Carousel. It was playing at the Westport Playhouse in Connecticut, and it was starring Tyrone Power, who was a great, big star at that time, a motion-picture star. He was married to a woman called Annabella, one name, who was also a big star. And they were starring in it at the Westport Playhouse. And my girlfriend was Charlotte, she became my wife later.

This was all before the war, and I was a senior in high school. And I got tickets. I owned a Ford Model A. I was gonna drive to West Hartford and pick her up. My father said to me, “I’ll be home in time to let you have my car,” which was a new Studebaker. He was gonna give me his car, because he knew how important this was. So, let’s say 3:30, he said he was gonna be home. At 3:30, he wasn’t home. Quarter to four, he wasn’t home. Five minutes to 4 o’clock, I got in my little Model A and I drove to Hartford to pick up Charlotte. I’m on the Parkway, having gone through Middlebury, Hartford, and New Haven. I’m 20 minutes or so from Westport, and there’s a honk, honk, honk, honk. My father has caught up with me. [We] change on the Merritt Parkway, and I take his Studebaker the rest of the way, and he drives home in my car. It was the closest moment I ever had with a guy who went to prison when I was 9 years old, who was gone for three years. He was not a great father, ever — except for a couple of those flashy moments. This was the single biggest thing in my life.

And this inspired the episode.
I wanted to do that with Maude. The way we did that with Maude was that she came into her psychiatrist’s office, being bitter about something that happened with Bill Macy — with her husband, Walter. In the course of which she remembers her father did something, and she says, “Oh, I hate my father.” And then as she’s talking about her father, she remembers this moment, and she winds up relating the moment, and crying, and saying, “Oh, how I love my father. How I love my father.” She feels at the end of all of that that her therapy is complete. This is the moment that kills me: She says that to the doctor, “Well, it’s been three years or something, but I guess that’s it, Doc; I know what I need to know.” And she walks to the door, and then she pauses. She says, “See you Tuesday.” The “See you Tuesday” just lives with me forever.

One of the coolest things on the DVD set is the syndication pitch reel, where you’re basically selling Maude to local TV stations. It’s amazing you had to convince anyone to buy such a classic TV show.
You know that story?

Which story?
Selling the show to syndication, and the help I got from Betty Ford.

No! Please tell me.
Our guys couldn’t sell it to syndication. The guys who were buying for their station groups would say, “I don’t need that old ball-breaker on my network” — and that was the way it was going. There was going to be a NATPE — a [syndication] executives’ conference — and I had a thought. Betty Ford, when she was in the White House, she [sometimes] needed to get the [videotape of certain episodes]. So she’d write me, and she signed every letter “Maude’s No. 1 Fan.” So I called Maude’s No. 1 Fan and said, “Mrs. Ford, we’re having the most difficult time selling Maude, and if you’ll excuse the language, this is what I’m hearing.”

The station managers calling Bea a ball-breaker.
That infuriated her. And I said, “I can get a lot of these guys to come to a dinner party if you will co-host with me, because that will be really impressive.” And she said, “Give me three dates and I’ll pick one.” So the invitation went out that this was a Betty Ford and Norman Lear and Bea Arthur invitation. It was … a dinner party out on the lawn in front of my house, and my wife and my daughter were hosts, along with Betty Ford. The guys danced with her [until] close to 1:00 in the morning. That’s when I said to the Secret Service people, “Get her out of here! She served, she doesn’t have to do any more!” But she was so happy to have been there. So the next morning, we had a meeting with the same guys who were there that night — and we sold the show.

I love that the wife of a Republican president helped one of Hollywood’s most famous liberals sell his show.
I also did a [special] called I Love Liberty, and Gerald Ford and Lady Bird Johnson co-chaired. That’s the only way I could get it on the air, because they knew me to be a liberal. And I said, “This was going to be about America, about the flag, and who owns it.” I think it’s everybody’s, and not just the right wing. The only way the network would do it was if I got Gerald Ford and Lady Bird Johnson to co-chair. And I had Barry Goldwater on the same stage with Jane Fonda. I loved that.

It seems that, despite all the progress we’ve made since Maude left the air, the country also seems more conservative than it was back then. Maybe even more divided — and things were pretty divided in the ’70s. Does this surprise you?
It is very troubling. And I have another way of thinking about it — but your thumb is on the same button. When I came out of World War II, we were in love with America. We were in love with the idea of America. There were civics classes in our school, and we learned about the First Amendment, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights in school. We saluted the flag in a lot of classrooms every morning. The way I view it is: We were in love with America. I’m not questioning anyone’s patriotism today — we love our country. But the in love factor doesn’t exist, as I see it.

Leadership everywhere is out to lunch. Eisenhower left office warning us about the military industrial — in his first draft, he called it “the military-industrial congressional complex.” He was saying the country could be owned by that complex. [And] I think it’s eating us alive. It is in control, and it’s hard to be in love with the America we were in love with. Nobody’s talking to [us] about the things that protect us. They’re only behaving like everybody has everything they need. Like we delivered on the promises. The fact is, we haven’t yet delivered on the promises. As you look at what’s going on now with Ferguson, and immigration — it’s so clear in the broadest way, in every area you look … we’re being lied to by corporations, by companies that own prisons, by Congress itself.

I kind of took us down a different road.
I didn’t expect this conversation to take this turn!

We can get back to TV. Maude is now out on DVD, and many of your shows are out on DVD — but not all of them. Would you like to see all of your series available for streaming? Would you like to see a day where anyone could go online and see all of your library?
I would love that. Including some of the shows that didn’t work. Or a couple of the shows that I thought worked but didn’t rate well enough for the network to hold onto.

Such as?
All That Glitters. That was five times a week like Mary Hartman. Fernwood 2 Night, you probably remember. It followed Mary Hartman, with [Martin] Mull and Fred Willard, which was funny as anything. I mean, God, I loved it.

Do you have the rights to all of your shows still?
No, it’s all Sony. But my relationship with Sony is excellent.

Have there been any conversations with Sony about putting all of the shows online for streaming?
I’ve not had those conversations, but there could good be a network for those shows. All of them but Hot L Baltimore. Oh my God.

There have been reports of Sony coming to you about an All in the Family remake. And I know Sony is working on a Latino One Day at a Time. Any updates on these?
We’re thinking about that. I wouldn’t think, by the way, of ever doing All in the Family with the Bunkers. It would be the use of the title in a different family, so it would be All in the Family 2016.

One show of yours I’ve thought could easily be updated is Good Times.
Oh, I love Good Times.

That show had some of the fiercest behind-the-scenes battles with the cast, or at least that’s how it’s seemed based on reports from the time. You had both of your leads leave the show at one point or another.
Those were all very understandable. Just imagine this: There are no African-American families on television. Suddenly, you — Esther Rolle and John Amos — represent the first African-American couple with children on American television. You are the TV role models of your community’s people. That’s heavy responsibility. I’m not sure at the time I understood this as well as I understood it some years later. But I kind of understood the heaviness — the weight on them.

There was an episode with Thelma that they didn’t like.
I wanted to do a show about Thelma, the daughter, who was 16. Boys [were] pushing at her, you know — sex. And I wanted to open that up in the family, and they don’t want to do that. It wasn’t like I didn’t understand that it was coming from a good place. But some decisions had to be made that wouldn’t be popular with those actors, and I had to make a couple of those decisions. I mean, we did do that episode. There was no intention of Thelma going to bed with anybody. We would never think about that. But talking about the problem was something we could do, and did do. And that wasn’t welcome, but we did it. And we got through it.

Have you seen any of the new comedies this season which have explored race?
I have seen Fresh Off the Boat, yeah. I thought it was good.

You must get asked a lot for your opinions of shows.
I simply don’t have time to watch everything. You know, there are so many shows that people — people I respect and care for — say, “Are you kidding, you haven’t seen Empire?” I just haven’t.

Final question: In one sentence, could you say what you would like your legacy to be?
[He was] somebody who helped everybody understand how much each of us matters.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/03/norma...ily-maude.html
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post #100660 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 07:20 AM
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Well, it's official:

Jeremy Clarkson dropped from Top Gear, BBC confirms

I really ought to act more like a woman of my advancing years, but I’m growing old disgracefully.
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TV/Technology Notes
Why Cable TV Beats the Internet, For Now
By Geoffrey A. Fowler, Wall Street Journal's 'Personal Technology' Column - Mar. 24, 2015

Are you ready to cut cable?

Probably not—yet.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/why-cabl...now-1427225376
Option D is a little off. Hulu+ usually has episodes the next day and with CW the right after it has played in the evening. You don't need a real fast $85 broadband either. I have 12 mbps for $52 and I consider that a bit overpriced and 6 mbps would work for most streaming even in HD. Plus compression keeps improving so you will be using less bandwidth.

The real problem may be that more companies are jumping on the streaming bandwagon and whereas you may be getting their content today via Netflix or Hulu, in the future it might be "exclusively" available on their own services. The public always seems to lose.
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TUESDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insights' Blog.
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Nielsen Overnights (18-49)
A night of declines for much of broadcast
ABC's 'Fresh Off the Boat' and NBC's 'Voice' fall to season lows
By Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 25, 2015

Several broadcast networks suffered declines last night, including every program on ABC and NBC.

ABC’s 8:30 p.m. new comedy “Fresh Off the Boat” was off 13 percent from its most recent original two weeks ago, posting a series-low 1.4 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m., according to Nielsen.

Lead-out “Repeat After Me” also slid, off a tenth from its last new episode two weeks ago, to a 1.0, while “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” tied a series low with a 1.5 at 9 p.m.

“Forever” also slid, to a 0.9 at 10 p.m.

NBC’s lineup saw similar dips. “The Voice,” though still the night’s top show by far, fell 16 percent from last week and tied a season low with a 2.7.

“Undateable” dropped 21 percent from last week’s solid second-season debut to a 1.5, though that still represented its second-best rating ever.

And lead-out “One Big Happy” lost 25 percent of last week’s debut, posting a 1.2.

At 10 p.m., NBC’s “The Night Shift” drew a 1.0, airing on Tuesday for the first time. It usually airs Mondays after “Voice.”

Fox’s “The Mindy Project” was also off, with its season finale posting a 0.8, down a tenth from last week. The show has not been renewed yet. Earlier in the night, “Hell’s Kitchen” was even to last week with a 1.3.

The CW’s “The Flash” (1.1) and “iZombie” (0.8) also dipped 0.2 and 0.1 from last week, respectively.

Still, CBS was immune from the declines. In fact, the 9 p.m. drama “NCIS: New Orleans” was up 19 percent from its last original two weeks ago, posting a 1.9.

“NCIS,” the night’s top scripted show with a 2.2, and “Person of Interest” (1.5) were even to their most recent originals.

* * * *

Top show of the night in 18-49s

NBC’s "The Voice," 2.7 rating from 8-9 p.m.

Top show of the night in 25-54s
NBC’s "The Voice," 3.8 rating from 8-9 p.m.

Top show of the night in total viewers
CBS’s "NCIS," 16.01 million from 8-9p.m.


http://www.medialifemagazine.com/a-n...-of-broadcast/

* * * *

TV/Nielsen Notes
For ‘La Biblia,’ a well-timed encore
Telemundo airs the hit 2013 miniseries 'The Bible,' translated
By Louisa Ada Seltzer, Media Life Magazine - Mar. 25, 2015

Talk about your smartly timed cross-promotions.

In a week and a half, NBC will debut “A.D.,” the sequel to “The Bible,” History’s hugely successful 2013 miniseries.

To build awareness for “A.D.,” Telemundo, one of NBC’s sister networks under NBCUniversal, will begin airing “La Biblia” tonight at 8 p.m. It’s “Bible,” with Spanish dubbing.

It’s one of a handful of crossovers between Telemundo and NBC over the years.

There haven’t been a lot. The Hispanic audience has distinctive tastes, preferring telenovelas over procedurals and soccer games over basketball. So there’s not as much opportunity for shared programming as you might expect.

Still, Telemundo airs NFL games, and it has a kids’ version of “The Voice,” “La Voz Kids,” that’s popular.

“Biblia” could do decently for the network. It’s gotten a lot of hype and was extremely popular when it first aired two years ago, with the premiere drawing a 3.3 adults 18-49 rating, according to Nielsen.

Of course, “La Biblia” won’t do that well on Telemundo, but it could better the 0.5 rating “Los Miserables” drew for the network last week in the timeslot.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/for...-timed-encore/
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, TVWorthWatching.com - Mar. 25, 2015

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN
Sundance, 7:00 p.m. ET

Major league baseball used to play all its games during the day, and stage a lot more doubleheaders than it does now. But tonight, at least, Sundance presents a baseball doubleheader of baseball-themed movies – and though these films are played at night, they’re both worth watching. The action begins at 7 p.m. ET, with this 1992 movie starring Tom Hanks as a major-league baseball veteran forced to oversee a women’s team during WWII. Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell co-star.

AMERICAN IDOL
Fox, 8:00 p.m.

Now that Empire is gone for the rest of the season, American Idol can reclaim Wednesdays, and expand to a two-hour edition – the better with which to showcase the Top 9 finalists. This week’s show has a 1980s theme.

THE AMERICANS
FX, 10:00 p.m. ET

I would have thought that tensions on this series couldn't get ratcheted much higher – then I watched last week’s episode. And now I’m concerned for almost every major character in this show, because they’ve all managed to put themselves in danger, whether of death, discovery or making a very serious wrong move.

THE NATURAL
Science, 10:00 p.m. ET

Barry Levinson directed this 1984 baseball fable, which stars Robert Redford as an unusually gifted, and unusually old, “rookie,” and Kim Basinger and Glenn Close as the women in his life who have an influence on how he plays. Robert Duvall and Wilford Brimley are only the cream of a crop of fabulous character actors in this film – and the music, by Randy Newman, is another home-run aspect of this thoroughly beautiful movie.

BIG TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, FL
Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m. ET
SERIES PREMIERE:
“This is a crazy show.” One character says that during tonight’s inaugural episode, capping a sequence that already had made me laugh out loud – twice. This new 10-part comedy series, with a continuing story line, is from Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf, creators of the web series Next Time on Lonny, and bring to Comedy Central the same winning brand of dazzling unpredictability and cinematic fluency. You won’t be able to predict what comes next, except that whatever comes next will remind you of yet another movie or TV show, while remaining wholly original. In Big Time in Hollywood, FL, Anfanger and Nurse Jackie alumnus Lenny Jacobson star as wannabe filmmaking brothers in South Florida who dream of making and posting a video that will lead to success in the other Hollywood. At the moment, they still live with their parents (played so deliciously by Kathy Baker and Stephen Tobolowsky) – but that may change, which propels the plot in an absurdly unexpected direction. Executive producer Ben Stiller guest stars as an actor in rehab, and future guest stars include Michael Madsen and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Give this one a try – it’s a funnier comic debut than anything the broadcast networks have come up with in several seasons.


http://www.tvworthwatching.com/
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post #100665 of 100746 Old 03-25-2015, 12:39 PM
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TV Notes
Why New TV Comedies Are Choosing Plot Over Jokes
By Jason Zinoman, The New York Times - Mar. 25, 2015

“Big Time in Hollywood, FL,” a hyperactive new series about deluded brothers with moviemaking dreams, is packed with startling twists — sudden murders, unlikely romance and even a Cuba Gooding Jr. performance that reminds you why he won an Academy Award. But the biggest surprise may be that it’s a comedy in which every episode ends not with a joke but a cliffhanger.

As a serialized show with a mountain of plot, “Big Time” (starting Wednesday) represents a departure for Comedy Central, a channel built on sketch shows, topical comedy and episodic animation. It’s part of a growing trend toward narrative ambition in television comedy that raises the question: Is there a trade-off between story and laughs?

Plot has always mattered in comedy, of course, but not as much as jokes. In his influential screenwriting guide “Story,” Robert McKee argues that comedy, unlike drama, “allows the writer to halt narrative drive” with scenes that serve no purpose other than getting laughs. In television, sitcoms have traditionally relied on thin narratives stretched over seasons (Will Sam and Diane get together on “Cheers”? Will Jim and Pam on “The Office”?) that make it easy to follow the story from week to week.

“Producers knew that episodes in syndication would be scrambled and shown completely out of order, so each one needed a self-contained story,” explained the veteran comedy writer Max Pross, who has worked on “Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons.”

With the rise of DVDs and streaming sources, audiences are consuming shows differently. They binge-watch and read recaps. And television conventions have loosened. HBO series like “The Comeback” and “Girls” have fleshed-out character arcs, and the fourth season of “Arrested Development,” released online all at once by Netflix, featured complex plotting with shifts of perspective that would have been hard to imagine a decade ago.

The rise of single-camera shows like those has also allowed for more filmic structure. Most of the great sitcoms of the 20th century were set in living rooms and workplaces, and they moved around sparingly. But the two most promising new comedies this season (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix and “The Last Man on Earth” on Fox) have a cinematic sense of place and far more fantastical premises.

As the technological landscape has changed, so have the aesthetic possibilities. Kent Alterman, president for content production and original programming at Comedy Central, said he had been looking for a serialized comedy for years, even though he considered it a risk, not just because viewers starting to watch in the middle of the season could be lost. “There was a common wisdom about comedies that you needed a certain number of jokes per minute,” he said by telephone. That notion has less currency today, even though the calling card of comedy remains jokes.

Making a plot-heavy comedy can come at a price. Elizabeth Meriwether, the show runner for “New Girl” (Fox), one of the most consistently well-written comedies on television, said she tried to create more involved narrative arcs last season, but the experience made her realize that simpler stories worked better for this show.

“We stopped thinking what was the funniest thing and instead started worrying more about how to get one character from one point to another,” she said, adding there could be a tension between a complex plot and quantity of jokes. “Some jokes,” she said, “require characters to step outside of the story and comment on what’s happening.”

Building on this point about whether to prioritize punch lines, Mr. Alterman said about the creators of “Big Time”: “We had to absolve them of that need for jokes, which can force characters to say things that they wouldn’t normally say.”

Ms. Meriwether, who was a playwright before she began writing for television, said experimenting with more extensive arcs also raised deeper questions about what comedy fans wanted. “I tried to get the character to change to a slightly different place than where they were when the show started,” she said. “And the audience hated it. It’s an interesting question: Do audiences want comedy characters to change? Do they want them to go on a journey?”

It’s worth noting that single-camera comedies often draw smaller audiences than more conventional episodic fare like “The Big Bang Theory.” In any case, the challenge is different on a network show that must produce many more episodes (and deal with commercial breaks), but Ms. Meriwether is suggesting that fans gravitate toward comedy and drama for different reasons. At the same time, those boundaries are blurring.

“Louie” on FX has always had a melancholy streak, but as it has created longer arcs, it has veered further away from comedy. Despite focusing on the finest comic creation from “Breaking Bad” — the lawyer Saul Goodman — “Better Call Saul” (AMC) has seemed even more seriously dramatic than the show that inspired it might have suggested, notwithstanding the occasional talking toilet.

More often than at any time in the past, television comedy, particularly the non-network kind, is willing to sacrifice laughs in pursuit of more varied pleasures. It’s part of what makes it such an unpredictable and exciting time for this genre. “Big Time” doesn’t aim for the nuance or emotional wallop of “The Comeback,” but it does set itself a difficult challenge: being as suspenseful as it is funny.

It’s a worthy goal; the tension of high suspense can be a great setup to a joke, and it often is in “Big Time.” In dream sequences and crosscutting story lines involving gangland murders, procedural machinations and bumbling small-time film directing, the show doesn’t always nail the balance of action and comedy.

Its central joke is the incongruity of a heightened mob and crime story juxtaposed with a mundane narrative of suburban parents ordering their grown kids to leave home. At times, plot mechanics overwhelm the comedy, and characters are forced into exposition-filled monologues. (“In the last week, I’ve gotten a man killed, lied to the police, tried to flee the country,” and on and on.)

At its best, “Big Time” works like a parody and love letter to shows like “Breaking Bad,” whose ingenious last-second escapes were always a little absurd and ripe for ridicule. “Big Time” makes this point more overtly. By the end of the fourth episode, two brothers (along with Mr. Gooding) break into a suburban house, hold a family hostage while being trailed by a detective hired by their mother and by a team of drug traffickers with machine guns. There aren’t many jokes, but it’s a nicely staged sequence in which barreling action becomes joyfully preposterous farce.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/ar...elevision&_r=0
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HOTP Notes
New "HOTP" Thread Coming
By dad1153, AVSForum.com - Mar. 25, 2015

You asked for it, we're doing it. This weekend we'll archive the long-running "Hot Off the Press II" thread and start a new one. Grandson of "HOTP"? "HOTP 3.0"? Nah, just plain ol' "HOTP." Same style, same stories, same people (hopefully), less bugs and potential disruptions from data overload. The transition will happen Saturday overnight into Sunday morning. If you see two "HOTP" threads simultaneously (the old "sticky" one and brand new one) just wait a couple of hours and the new one will become the new sticky.

On behalf of myself, Fredfa (wherever he might be), Dr. Don and everybody behind the scenes at AVS Forum, thanks for making the "Hot Off The Press" thread (in all of its incarnations) the longest-running, most widely-read and most frequently-updated forum in AVS Forum's storied history. See you on the other side Sunday morning.

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Friends, AVSers, Countrymen -- We come not to bury the ol' HOTP thread but to praise it. Great Caesar's Posts! 100,000 of 'em.
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TV/Technology Notes
Why Cable TV Beats the Internet, For Now
By Geoffrey A. Fowler, Wall Street Journal's 'Personal Technology' Column - Mar. 24, 2015

Are you ready to cut cable?
Ok so I know that they are taking a look at this from purely the Internet vs. Cable angle but you would think that they would at least mention being able to get the Networks via OTA.

Laters,
Jeff

...wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world...
My HT Construction Thread - Updated Pictures 3/15/07
My 2.35:1 Discussion Thread - Updated Pictures 3/15/07
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Ok so I know that they are taking a look at this from purely the Internet vs. Cable angle but you would think that they would at least mention being able to get the Networks via OTA.

Laters,
Jeff
Not everyone can get OTA channels since the switch to DTV, so that's probably why.

I really ought to act more like a woman of my advancing years, but I’m growing old disgracefully.
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Friends, AVSers, Countrymen -- We come not to bury the ol' HOTP thread but to praise it. Great Caesar's Posts! 100,000 of 'em.
Yeah, yeah, I'm still waiting for my prize for having Post 100,000!
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Yeah, yeah, I'm still waiting for my prize for having Post 100,000!
When I look it shows the following post as number 100K

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The 'hybrid news' thing doesn't work (at least for me). I prefer my news to be news, thanks .

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When I look it shows the following post as number 100K
In this thread, HOTP 2. If you combine the original thread with Thread 2 the 100,000th post was back in 2011.

Put another way, we're actually up to around Post 130,000 something.
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TV Notes/Q&A
Norman Lear on an All in the Family Reboot, Memories of Maude, and TV Today
By Josef Adalian, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Mar. 24, 2015

.... His string of Nielsen hits during the early- to mid-1970s — All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, One Day at a Time, and Maude — made him one of Hollywood’s most powerful creatives. At one point in 1976, nine shows produced under the Lear name were on TV. ...

Do you have the rights to all of your shows still?
No, it’s all Sony. But my relationship with Sony is excellent.


http://www.vulture.com/2015/03/norma...ily-maude.html
The AntennaTV diginet just released its new schedule, and there is a whole lot of Norman Lear stuff in the primetime lineups (weeknights and Sunday nights).
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last time, i'm done ty
That is one way to do it.
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post #100675 of 100746 Old 03-26-2015, 12:03 AM
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
OWN’s Tyler Perry Dramas Deliver Net’s Most Watched Night Ever
By Dominic Patten, Deadline.com - Mar. 25, 2015

Tuesday was a very nice night to be the Oprah Winfrey Network and a very nice night to be the creator of The Haves And The Have Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong. With the former wrapping up its second season and the latter starting its second, OWN had its most watched primetime ever in its just over 4-year history with an average audience of 2.567 million. That’s up 5% over the previous OWN primetime viewership record of March 11, 2012 when the channel aired the Oprah’s Next Chapter episode with Whitney Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina. That broadcast was a month to the day after the multiple Grammy winner had suddenly died.

Last night’s season finale of The Haves And The Have Nots pulled in a total viewership of 3.503 million and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. While down a tiny 2% from the 3.6 million that the Perry show’s Season 1 midseason finale got on March 11 last year, the 9 PM THTHN S2 ender is the second most watched show in OWN’s history. It was also the most watched show on cable last night, ahead of ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars.

All of which was a very nice lead-in to the Season 2 debut of If Loving You Is Wrong at 10 PM. The newer Perry drama hit an all-time series high with 2.996 million total viewers and 0.9 among adults 18-49. Compared to the viewership of its Season 1 debut on September 9 last year at 9 PM, the S2 premiere was up a strong 55%. Both Tyler Perry Studios-produced series were the top two shows on cable among OWN’s core demo of Women 25-54 – needless to say OWN has more Perry produced shows coming.

http://deadline.com/2015/03/own-rati...ng-1201398766/
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TV Notes
HBO to End Comedy 'Looking' With Special
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Mar. 25, 2015

After two seasons, HBO's gay-themed comedy Looking has reached the end of its road.

Rather than renewing the critically praised Jonathan Groff comedy for a third season, the premium cable network will conclude the story with a special.

"After two years of following Patrick (Groff) and his tight-knit group of friends as they explored San Francisco in search of love and lasting relationships, HBO will present the final chapter of their journey as a special," HBO said in a statement. "We look forward to sharing this adventure with the shows' loyal fans."

Season two ended Sunday with a cliffhanger that saw Patrick struggling to choose between his current flame, Kevin (Russell Tovey) and his ex, Ritchie (Raul Castillo). The decision to close out the series with a special follows a similar move by the cable network with the Stephen Merchant comedy Hello Ladies.

Looking was never a ratings hit out of the gate, attracting a small but loyal audience over two seasons and 18 total episodes. HBO stuck with the comedy about a group of gay friends living in San Francisco and renewed the series for a second season, which was expanded from eight to 10 episodes. Sunday's season two finale drew just 298,000 total viewers. But the comedy, like others on HBO, had a strong afterlife in DVR, on-demand and HBO Go.

For HBO, the news comes as the cable network recently renewed niche comedy Getting On for a third and final season. The network's comedy lineup also includes the previously announced second season of Togetherness as well as Silicon Valley, Veep, Girls and upcoming entries The Brink, Ballers and Danny McBride's Vice Principals.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/liv...special-784251
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Critic's Notes
What Rookie Shows Were Good This Season? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered
By Margaret Lyons, Vulture.com (New York Magazine) - Mar. 25, 2015

Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and woes. Need help? Have a theory? Want a recommendation? Submit a question! You can email [email protected], leave a comment, or tweet @marge incharge with the hashtag #staytuned.

A few years ago I concluded it wasn't worth watching new shows as they hit the air, because some might prove to be terrible (Mysteries of Laura, to use a current example), cancelled quickly (Red Band Society), or both (Bad Judge). At this point in the TV season, though, which rookie shows do you recommend based on quality and potential longevity? I'm already on board with the shows on cable and streaming, so no need to sell me on Better Call Saul, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Togetherness. But how about network shows? — Ben

Your system is weird to me, Ben! Watch shows you enjoy, regardless of their life span; dance like nobody's watching; love like it's never going to hurt. Actually, though, dance like everyone is watching and saying to each other, "That Ben guy, he can really dance." The rest of the advice stands.

But okay, you want to know which rookie network shows from this season were good. I refuse to engage on a longevity argument, because I have no idea how long shows will last. The TV gods are fickle, and we were not put on this Earth to serve them, but rather they came here to serve us. These are the good shows that premiered in the 2014–'15 TV season, in order of how good they are:

Jane the Virgin is fantastic, top to bottom. It's one of the strongest freshman seasons any show has had in recent memory, and it's a show that's genuinely special. Watch JtV, friend.

Fresh Off the Boat is funny and smart and savvy, and it's going to make Constance Wu a star.

iZombie has a good time with its secret-zombie premise and makes me miss Veronica Mars, which is a good thing.

How to Get Away With Murder is a soapy spectacle. Focus on the performances rather than the legal proceedings, though.

Empire! You know what Empire is.

Black-ish is good!

Galavant is okay!

Last Man on Earth has some fresh ideas, and some crummy ones, but I'm onboard still.

Battle Creek is a solid cop show, if you are in the market for a cop show.

The Flash is a solid comic-book show, if you are in the market for a comic-book show.

Madam Secretary is the kind of show you'd watch at a hotel and think Huh, why don't I ever watch this at home? but then you never do anyway. It's kind of dumb, but I don't hate it.

Otherwise, this was a pretty garbage season for new shows. Oof.

How can I get my mother to keep watching Mad Men? She liked the pilot and she likes all the actors and she especially likes all of the outfits, but she just won't keep watching because she says it is "too dark." Her favorite shows are Twin Peaks and Six Feet Under, though, so I can't make sense of it. —Clark

Let your mom live her life, Clark. She doesn't have to explain herself to you.

All of the shows I currently follow seem to be comedies (aside from The Americans), and I need to fall in love with another crime drama/thriller to fill the gap until Fargo returns. I've heard good things about both Justified and Banshee, especially since the most recent season of Banshee got stellar reviews. Is one of those more essential than the other? Does Hannibal trump all? —Will

If you decide to fill your days with Hannibal, Banshee, and Justified, you are gonna have some pretty good (though very disturbing!) days. I'm not a big Banshee person, but lots of people whose taste I trust are, so I'm not going to dissuade you from giving that a go. Hannibal is fantastic, but I'm more likely to watch an episode of Justified twice than a Hannibal once. (I am fully aware that this is my own personal loss, and I have accepted it. The show is just a little too gross for me.) Add Orphan Black into the rotation, too, and you have yourself a very exciting few months.

My partner and I have just wept our way through the final episode of Parenthood and are at a loss for what we can replace it with. It is such a rare beauty, a show that favored drama of emotion rather than just drama of action. We've watched all of Katims's shows and have also watched family oriented shows and emotional dramas such as Gilmore Girls, My So-Called Life, Broadchurch, The Affair, Freaks & Geeks, etc. It feels like there's nothing out there that can give us those moments that are both heartwarming and tear-jerking. Please help! —Saskia

Oh, I love this idea of "dramas of emotion." Six Feet Under feels like the obvious choice, so obvious I'm going to guess you've seen it, but just in case … that's the crown jewel of dramas of emotion. Dead Like Me, about an 18-year-old girl who dies and becomes a grim reaper, can reduce me to tears very easily, particularly when it digs into the grief of losing a child. It's not heartwarming, really, but it's not a misery show, either, and it's wry as often as it's tragic.

Of current shows, The Fosters makes me cry just about every week, and if you like Jason Katims–style shows about families, you will probably enjoy it. Don't let its image as a teen-geared show dissuade you: If you are looking for a devoted, beautiful marriage à la FNL's Coach and Mrs. Coach, this is the show for you. "Heartwarming and tear-jerking" could be that show's motto.

Amazon's Transparent is very much a drama of emotions, even though it's a comedy. The show is incredibly precise when it comes to its characters' feelings; that's not just happy, it's two-parts happy, one-part relieved, one-part nervous, one-part approval-seeking. That's not just aroused; it's three-parts aroused, one-part aroused-but-trying-to-seem-not-aroused, one-part self-loathing, one-part hey-get-over-that-self-loathing, one-part golden California light. It's not tear-jerking, per se, but I did cry many times. I cry during every episode of Jane the Virgin, too, because of how much I love it.

Early-to-mid-era Grey's Anatomy is a real feelings bonanza, too, with plenty of episodes that will leave you a sobbing wreck, and plenty more that will fill you with the serene joy of true friendship.

Rectify is very atmosphere-driven, and while it includes some moments of severe violence, it's much more about emotions than actions. It's a little heavier than the other shows on this list, but if you want that deep-in-your-guts, this-show-is-affecting-my-whole-sense-of-life feeling, Rectify is your jam. Warning: You will need some recovery time after this show. Schedule yourself a cheerful morning walk with a travel mug full of bellini, and go out and realize how alive you are and how joyful a thought that is. If you have a dog, spend a long time looking in that dog's eyes and letting his or her quiet cheerfulness soothe you. If you don't have a dog, think about getting a dog. Talk about a drama of emotions.

http://www.vulture.com/2015/03/stay-...-tv-shows.html
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post #100678 of 100746 Old 03-26-2015, 12:21 AM
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Critic's Notes/Q&A
Chris Carter looks back on 'The X-Files' legacy
As news of a reunion miniseries with Mulder and Scully is out there, the show's creator recalls the past
By Alan Sepinwall, HitFix.com - Mar. 24, 2015

Last summer at press tour, I sat down with Chris Carter to discuss his new Amazon drama "The After," but my main interest was in asking him about another show he had created: "The X-Files." We spent 15 minutes talking about the legacy of that show, how he feels the TV business has changed in the dozen-odd years since it ended, and how he might be applying some of the lessons he learned there to this new project.

When Amazon pulled the plug on "The After" before a second episode was even shot, I suddenly had 15 minutes of conversation with no news peg, and I figured this would just be something for my personal archives. Then FOX announced today that Carter, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson would be reuniting for a six-episode "X-Files" limited series, and I had the perfect context in which to finally transcribe that recording.

We talk briefly about "The After" here, but even that's in an "X-Files" context, as we also talk about how that show shaped viewers' relationship with the notion of TV shows having a mythology, how he feels (or doesn't feel) "X-Files" influenced the shows that followed it, and what he might say to skeptics who are worried about him telling another serialized story(*).

(*) Interestingly, the press release announcing the reunion series has Carter declaring this "a perfect time to tell these six stories." So it's entirely possible that this could just be a collection of Monster of the Week episodes. And given that those have held up much better through the decades than all the stuff about the black oil, maybe that would be for the best. All I know is that I want Darin Morgan back to write a comedy episode at some point.

On the panel, you said that during your time off, you finally got a chance to watch everything that had been happening on TV, both during "X-Files" and after. "X-Files" was an enormously influential show, both in terms of the talent you developed, and in terms of the style and theme. How much influence have you personally felt as you've been watching other things?
Chris Carter:
I'm never aware of it. I don't look at it, honestly. I mean, I can see a direct influence with "Fringe," but beyond that, I never look at a show and say, "Oh, they were inspired or influenced (by me)." Television, it's too hard to do it well. Every idea and every show has its own beauty and life. Everyone, I don't care who they are, is influenced by what came before. I'm just part of a continuum.

I assume you've been watching what Vince (Gilligan) and Howard (Gordon) and Frank (Spotnitz) have been doing.
Chris Carter:
Yes. With big smiles on my face.

"Breaking Bad" is...
Chris Carter:
A masterpiece.

One of the things you popularized, both for good and for ill, was the notion of a TV show having mythology. Do you think, ultimately, it was a thing that served your show, and has served future shows well, or is it something that becomes too unwieldy?
Chris Carter:
We didn't invent it. Charles Dickens invented it, in a sense, and I'm sure there are examples before him. It worked for us, but it was a happy accident. It was something that was instinctual, but not necessarily a conscious decision. When we saw that the stories about Mulder and Scully were best told through the mythology — that they were more personal — it gave the show an emotional grounding, that I think the mythology of a show does. So it's simply a good way of telling the most personal kind of stories.

The challenge with mythology is always paying it off in satisfying fashion. You guys ran into some of that. With "Lost," there was a lot of anger about that, with "Battlestar Galactica," too. You're coming back into the business to not only the children of "The X-Files," but the grandchildren. So you have this generation of viewers who are conditioned to be almost suspicious of a mythology show. How do you deal with that?
Chris Carter:
It's interesting. There's something going on with culture. My brother teaches at MIT. He talks about a culture where the students challenge the teacher's wisdom, in a way. It's not dissimilar to what's going on in television with the direct connection viewers have with the producers of a show. People think that they know better. It's probably the same as it ever was. Now it is more pronounced because of technology, and because of the new media culture.

So you think if "X-Files" had debuted today with no precedent, but it was in the Twitter age, it would be received differently?
Chris Carter:
It's not necessarily the Twitter age, but we grew up with the Internet. Chat rooms were happening when we started the show. If it weren't for chat rooms, the show probably wouldn't be the show it became. We had a direct connection to our most hardcore fans.

It's interesting to see how audience expectations have evolved. The structure you used then was three or four Monster of the Week shows to every mythology show. "Fringe" tried that exact formula, and they found quickly that the audience had no patience for anything that didn't have to do with their mythology, and they eventually had to go straight serial. "The After" seems as if it's designed to only be serial to begin with. Is that a correct assessment?
Chris Carter:
No. Every episode has to be satisfying unto itself. So whether that is a mythology approach or a Monster of the Week approach, the objective is the same. And so, I think that you do yourself a disservice, and the audience, if you actually try to lock into a formula. You have to find out what's interesting. That is a process that is very much an instinctual process, and a rigorous process of making your show.

But you're going to be making these episodes into the void. Even if they're not going to be released all at once, the season will all be in the can before anyone has a chance to react to them. You're going to have be making some very educated guesses about how people are going to react to this character, or that one, or the pacing, or whatever.
Chris Carter:
Yeah, but that's where, if you've developed instincts, and you hope your instincts are good, there's no telling. I tell people, "This is a business of failure." Most things fail. If you work really hard and you have really good instincts, you're much more likely to succeed. But you've got to go boldly, and that's how I'm going.

I know you did a pilot a few years back, but you mostly haven't been involved in TV since "X-Files" and "Lone Gunmen" ended. What was it like getting back into it? Did the muscles come back right away? Did you need some time to remind yourself how structure and everything else works, or was it like riding a bike?
Chris Carter:
I'm thinking about directing right now. I don't care how good you are at it. If you haven't done it in a while, there are things that take you by surprise. It takes you a moment to get your sea legs again. They say that the best sea captains were often seasick their first few days out of port. I would liken it to that.

I've had this conversation with Vince, with Frank, with Howard, and they all tell slightly different versions of the same story about "The X-Files" mythology. Which is, "Chris genuinely, at the beginning, he had a plan, he knew, and then the show was too successful, it ran too long, and eventually it folded in on itself." Is that how you would assess it?
Chris Carter:
No. I think some of the best work was done in seasons 6, 7, 8 and 9. I would point to those seasons, and there are episodes in those seasons that I think are among the best.

I'm not talking about the quality. I'm talking specifically about the mythology of the show.
Chris Carter:
When you set out to do a show, you don't imagine it's going to go nine years. And all of a sudden, you have to start looking at it in new ways. The mythology was complex, and I think complexity equals, in people's minds, confusing. I don't accept, necessarily, this idea that it folded in on itself. I think if you go back and watch it from beginning to end — I've actually talked to people who have done that recently, and they say, "It all holds up. It works together." Whether you like where it went after season 5, you can cavil with me there. But I think all of the choices were still lovingly made, and I would back every one of them.

But the show has this reputation, fair or not, and there have been other shows since then that have not stuck the landing. Now you're coming back, and there are going to be people who will, like Scully, be very skeptical of Chris Carter saying, "I'm going to do a 99-episode show, and I know what the story is going to be from beginning to end." What would you say to the skeptics?
Chris Carter:
I don't claim to know how it ends. I claim to imagine how it ends. But I can't say it with absolute certainty that I know where it ends. Because I don't know what I'm going to discover along the way. Ninety-nine episodes sounds completely doable to me. Two hundred and two episodes is a completely different story.

http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-wat...x-files-legacy

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TV Notes
Bear Grylls Survival Show ‘The Island’ Gets Series Order From NBC
By Tim Kenneally, TheWrap.com - Mar. 25, 2015

Bear Grylls is once again ready to test humanity’s mettle in the wilderness.

The adventurer/reality TV personality will executive produce “The Island,” which has received a six-episode order from NBC, the network said Wednesday.

Much like his previous television efforts, the hourlong offering will test whether modern man still has the coping skills to survive. This time around, the action will take place on a deserted island “without the luxuries, or even the basics, of contemporary everyday life.”

The series, based on the Channel 4 U.K. series of the same title produced by Shine TV, will abandon 14 American men on the island with only the clothes on their backs, minimal survival tools and a commitment to filming every moment themselves.

“This experiment reveals, in a shocking way, whether modern man, when pushed, can still summon all the resolve, ingenuity and strength that traditionally made a man’s man — or whether our society’s cushioning has meant we have lost those hard-earned skills of our ancestors,” said Grylls of the new offering. “This is the raw, unfiltered and uncensored story of 14 men, as told exclusively by them.”

“The Island” is produced by Endemol Shine North America and Bear Grylls Ventures. In addition to Grylls, Eden Gaha, Michael Brooks, Holly Wofford and Delbert Shoopman are executive producing.

http://www.thewrap.com/bear-grylls-s...rder-from-nbc/
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TV Notes
Nielsen to Measure Netflix Viewing by Middle of This Year
By Gerry Smith, Bloomberg.com- Mar. 25, 2015

(Bloomberg) -- Nielsen, the company that measures TV audiences, will begin offering data on viewing by Netflix Inc. and Amazon Prime subscribers for the first time starting midyear, Chief Executive Officer Mitch Barns said Tuesday.

“That will be the last significant portion of overall television content viewing that we don’t already measure,” Barns said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We really will have a full set of capabilities in the market to measure what we call the total audience across all screens, devices and platforms.”

Netflix and Amazon.com Inc. have been unwilling to share what their subscribers watch. That’s given them leverage in negotiations for movies and reruns, and made it hard for TV networks to assess the value of past hits or determine if streaming is hurting traditional viewing.

To help them figure that out, New York-based Nielsen has been testing technology that measures Netflix and Amazon audiences by listening to shows and sharing the results with select clients. Nielsen set-top boxes capture the data for the company. It doesn’t work for original Netflix shows like “House of Cards.”

Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, declined 3.1 percent to $424.67 at 12:33 p.m. in New York. The stock had gained 28 percent this year through Tuesday. Nielsen gained 1 percent to $43.69 and was down 3.3 percent for the year.

Netflix has long said it doesn’t need to reveal viewer data because it doesn’t sell ads or pay fees to cable operators.

“Collecting ratings on streaming services is an outdated mode of doing business,” said Cliff Edwards, a Netflix spokesman. Amazon, based in Seattle, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Streaming Growth

The growth in streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has coincided with a drop in live television viewing, especially among the young. The number of U.S. homes with subscription streaming services jumped to 41 percent from 36 percent a year earlier, according to Nielsen’s Total Audience Report released last week.

To reach younger audiences, CBS Corp., Time Warner Inc. and Dish Network Corp. are offering online video packages that don’t require a cable TV subscription. Fans of the most-watched TV network can buy CBS All Access for $5.99 a month in some areas. Next month, Time Warner’s HBO will begin selling an Web-only service with Apple Inc. for $14.99

Netflix has more than 57 million members worldwide, including more than 39 million in the U.S. Amazon Prime has about 40 million members, according to a recent estimate by ChannelAdvisor Corp., an e-commence company based in North Carolina.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...e-of-this-year
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