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Discussion Starter #38,542 (Edited)
"Dexter"? Not sure (it premiered 14 years ago! o_O), but I do remember watching Seasons 1 and 2 almost back-to-back and the second was new, so I probably caught the first season on summer repeats. I signed up for HOTP around 2006 or 2007, so it makes sense that someone with a brand-new HDTV would look for new 1080p shows to show off my new toy. "Dexter" was a prime example of quality HD from the premium channels back in the late 2000's. :cool:

No TV show since has gripped me for its first four seasons like "Dexter" did. The wheels came off big time in latter seasons, but those first four were magical for the diehard fans. :cry::LOL:
 

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No TV show since has gripped me for its first four seasons like "Dexter" did. The wheels came off big time in latter seasons, but those first four were magical for the diehard fans. :cry::LOL:
I agree. There's a reason 'Dexter' became so wildly popular. But like so many other "high concept" shows, it became a victim of its own success. The premise simply wasn't sustainable over so many seasons and the pressure to continually top itself with each new season led to its narrative demise.

Hopefully, enough time has passed and they've got their creative juices recharged with another clever & inventive storyline. But past histories of these kinds of revivals don't give me encouragement. Witness the recent 'Twin Peaks', 'X-Files', and '24' revivals. Failed to recapture any of the magic of the originals. Just awful. 🙁
 

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"Dexter"? Not sure (it premiered 14 years ago! o_O), but I do remember watching Seasons 1 and 2 almost back-to-back and the second was new, so I probably caught the first season on summer repeats. I signed up for HOTP around 2006 or 2007, so it makes sense that someone with a brand-new HDTV would look for new 1080p shows to show off my new toy. "Dexter" was a prime example of quality HD from the premium channels back in the late 2000's. :cool:

No TV show since has gripped me for its first four seasons like "Dexter" did. The wheels came off big time in latter seasons, but those first four were magical for the diehard fans. :cry::LOL:
I actually thought the show was still in top form right up to the end. I liked the Yvonne Strahovski storylines.
Very happy to hear about another run. Hopefully they get it right.
 
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I agree. There's a reason 'Dexter' became so wildly popular. But like so many other "high concept" shows, it became a victim of its own success. The premise simply wasn't sustainable over so many seasons and the pressure to continually top itself with each new season led to its narrative demise.

Hopefully, enough time has passed and they've got their creative juices recharged with another clever & inventive storyline. But past histories of these kinds of revivals don't give me encouragement. Witness the recent 'Twin Peaks', 'X-Files', and '24' revivals. Failed to recapture any of the magic of the originals. Just awful. 🙁
Well, the possibilities are endless .. after chilling as a Lumberjack, Dex eventually moves to Houston and obtains a new identity .. he then goes to work at a Cinnabon (sorry, wrong show) .. goes to work as a Barber (sorry again, wrong movie) ..

At any rate, Dex miraculously and through a simple twist of fate re-unites with Harrison, who suffered the same trauma as a child .. Dex becomes Harry .. you can take it from there ...
 
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TV Notes (Cable)
'L.A.'s Finest' Canceled After 2 Seasons on Spectrum
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Oct. 14, 2020

Spectrum is parting ways with its first original series.
Crap! Another show that I like has bit the dust. :mad:
 

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TV Notes (Broadcast)
Next Season of ‘Last Man Standing’ Will Be Final One
By Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable - Oct. 14, 2020

Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing will conclude with its ninth season, which premieres on Fox in January. It will have 194 episodes and three seasons on Fox, after six on ABC.
This is the only sitcom that I watch. Soon to become watched.
 

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Discussion Starter #38,548
I actually thought the show was still in top form right up to the end. I liked the Yvonne Strahovski storylines.
Strahovski was a highlight of her season, but there were many plot holes and dead ends the last couple of years.

Hopefully, enough time has passed and they've got their creative juices recharged with another clever & inventive storyline. But past histories of these kinds of revivals don't give me encouragement. Witness the recent 'Twin Peaks', 'X-Files', and '24' revivals. Failed to recapture any of the magic of the originals. Just awful. 🙁
To me "Dexter" is more than just Michael C. Hall returning to play the title role. It's Batista being a loyal clueless fellow cop, Masuka sharing his porn stash content, Debra sulking for not being Harry's favorite sibling, LaGuerta trying to prove her worth as a police boss, etc. I can appreciate the creative challenge and new possibilities of Dexter starting fresh in a new city with new-to-us characters, but "Dexter" without the regulars feels like an "X-Files" revival with Mulder but no Scully (or viceversa). Why bother? 💲💲💲 That's why. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #38,549 (Edited)
TV/Nielsen Overnights (Broadcast)
TV Ratings: Billboard Music Awards Slump
By Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter - Oct. 15, 2020

The Billboard Music Awards suffered a similar fate to other recent awards shows on Wednesday night — falling to all-time ratings lows.

NBC's broadcast of the show managed only 3.71 million viewers and a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49, down by more than 50 percent in both measures from the 2019 show (8 million viewers and a 2.1 in the key ad demographic). The declines for the awards, delayed for 5 1/2 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, are in keeping with double-digit losses for the Emmys, ACM Awards and MTV Video Music Awards.

Elsewhere Wednesday, Fox's The Masked Singer grew week to week, scoring a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo and 6.49 million viewers, its second-best marks of the season so far and tops in primetime in both measures. I Can See Your Voice (1.1, 4.06 million) slipped a little from its last outing two weeks ago.

Fox News had another strong night with Tucker Carlson Tonight (5.85 million viewers), Hannity (5.43 million) and The Ingraham Angle finishing second, third and fourth overall in viewers in primetime. CBS' Big Brother (1.0 in 18-9, 4.19 million viewers) was fairly steady, but The Amazing Race (0.7, 3.58 million) premiered to significantly smaller numbers than its last season in April 2019 (1.2, 5.74 million).

Baseball's league championship series continued to underperform last year: The American League series in primetime on TBS brought in 2.72 million viewers, while a late-afternoon National League game on FS1 averaged 2.09 million.

The Billboard Music Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions, which shares a parent company with The Hollywood Reporter.

Source: TV Ratings: Billboard Music Awards Slump | Hollywood Reporter
 

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Technology/Business Notes (Gaming)
GameStop will reportedly get a cut of Xbox games, even if you’re not buying them from GameStop
By Chaim Gartenberg, TheVerge.com - Oct. 15, 2020

GameStop and Microsoft have entered into a multiyear agreement that gives the video game retailer a cut of every digital purchase made on any Xbox consoles it directly sells going forward, Ars Technica reports.

The new revenue sharing deal is said to give GameStop a percentage of any digital sales made on those Xbox consoles, including digital downloads of full games and DLC, in-game microtransactions, and any subscriptions (which would seem to include things like Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass).

The biggest question is how much of a cut GameStop is getting. Neither of the two investors that Ars Technica sourced have any concrete answers; GameStop has not yet responded to a request for comment. A Microsoft PR representative tells The Verge, “We have an incentive structure with GameStop as we do with many of our partners across multiple channels,” which sounds like a form of tacit confirmation even if it doesn’t add any detail.

Also unclear: whether the deal applies to just games or other digital content purchases (like movies, TV shows, and music) or if used consoles that GameStop resells to new customers will be included in the digital revenue sharing.

Video games have been trending toward digital purchases for years, much to the dismay of retailers like GameStop, which make their bread and butter selling (and reselling) physical copies of games and consoles to customers. And the upcoming next-gen consoles throw that issue into further relief: both Microsoft and Sony are offering digital-only options in the form of the Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, which cut retailers like GameStop out of the game purchasing loop entirely.

Cashing in on a cut of those sales could help alleviate some of the revenue slowdown from digital-only sales, similar to the Universal / AMC deal announced earlier this year that gave the theater chain of cut of Universal films that jump to digital retailers early.

That’s, of course, assuming that GameStop’s cut is a significant chunk of money; one investor speculates that the revenue sharing was simply a sweetener for GameStop’s agreement to use Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and Surface tablets, rather than the core of the deal itself. Hopefully, GameStop’s next earning report will help shed some light on the details.

Source: GameStop will reportedly get a cut of Xbox games, even if you’re not buying them from GameStop
 

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No political comments, please.

TV/Social Media Notes (Cable)
C-SPAN suspends Steve Scully after he admits he lied about hack after Trump tweet
By Cydney Henderson, USA Today - Oct. 15, 2020

C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully has been placed on indefinite "administrative leave" after he admitted to lying about his Twitter feed being hacked, the cable network announced Thursday.

Scully – who was slated to host the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, before it was canceled – claimed he was hacked after a tweet on his official account asked Trump critic Anthony Scaramucci how to respond to criticism.

"@Scaramucci should I respond to trump," Scully wrote Oct. 8 in response to the president dubbing him a "Never Trumper." The tweet tagged the president's former communications director, who has become a critic of Trump since his brief stint at the White House.

After the tweet sparked backlash the following morning over its clear bias, Scully claimed his Twitter account had been hacked. C-SPAN and the Commission on Presidential Debates backed Scully's claims.

On Thursday, however, Scully admitted to making "errors in judgement" and apologized to C-SPAN.

"Out of frustration, I sent a brief tweet addressed to Anthony Scaramucci. The next morning when I saw that this tweet had created a new controversy, I falsely claimed that my Twitter account had been hacked," he said in a statement.

Scully said he let down his colleagues at C-SPAN, fellow news professionals and the debate commission. “I ask for their forgiveness as I try to move forward in a moment of reflection and disappointment in myself,” he said.

C-SPAN said Scully first came clean about lying about the Twitter hack on Wednesday.

"He understands that he made a serious mistake," the network told the Associated Press, which broke the news about Scully's suspension. "We were very saddened by this news and do not condone his actions."

Trump took to Twitter to react to the news, maintaining his claims that the "debate was rigged."

"I was right again!" he tweeted. "Steve Scully just admitted he was lying about his Twitter being hacked. The Debate was Rigged! He was suspended from @cspan indefinitely. The Trump Campaign was not treated fairly by the 'Commission'. Did I show good instincts in being the first to know?"

Scully was supposed to host the second presidential debate in Miami, scheduled for tonight, but the commission canceled the event one day after Trump refused to take part because it was changed to a virtual format.

The commission opted to have the debate remotely to "protect the health and safety of all involved" after Trump's positive COVID-19 diagnosis and the subsequent White House outbreak.

"I’m not Joe Biden. I’m not going to do a virtual debate," the president told Sean Hannity last week.

Scully has led the network’s presidential election coverage since 1992, but the suspension means he won’t be part of C-SPAN’s election night programming this year. He has been the moderator of the weekly call-in program “Washington Journal” and regularly hosted other C-SPAN programs.

The network said Scully has consistently demonstrated fairness and professionalism, and has built a reservoir of good will.

“After some distance from this episode, we believe in his ability to continue to contribute to C-SPAN,” the network said.

Source: C-SPAN suspends Steve Scully after he admits he lied about hack after Trump tweet
 

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Obituary
Vaughn McClure, ESPN NFL Reporter, Dies at 48
By Tim Baysinger, TheWrap.com - Oct. 15, 2020

Vaughn McClure, an NFL reporter at ESPN since 2013, died this week in his home outside of Atlanta. He was 48.

His passing was announced by ESPN. No cause of death was given.

McClure had most recently served as the Atlanta Falcons reporter for NFL Nation. He came to ESPN after covering the Chicago Bears for the Chicago Tribune.

“We all loved Vaughn,” said John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN. “He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we’ve heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player.”

In a statement of their own, the Falcons said: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. He was an earnest, thoughtful reporter who had a passion for his craft and the relationships he held. He will be missed dearly and we are holding his family, friends and associates in our thoughts and prayers.”

McClure, a Chicago native, graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1994. His sudden passing was mourned by his colleagues at ESPN and in the industry on Thursday. [CLICK LINK TO SEE SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS]

Source: Vaughn McClure, ESPN NFL Reporter Covering the Falcons, Dies at 48
 

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TV/Production Notes (Streaming)
‘Americanah’ Limited Series Not Moving Forward At HBO Max After Lupita Nyong’o Exits
By Nellie Andreeva, Deadline.com - Oct. 15, 2020

Americanah will not be moving forward at HBO Max.

The limited series had been a longtime passion project of Lupita Nyong’o who was set to star in and executive produce the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel of the same name. Nyong’o’s Black Panther co-star Danai Gurira wrote the pilot and was to serve as showrunner.

According to sources, the decision to not proceed with Americanah was made after Oscar winner Nyong’o dropped out because of a scheduling conflict.

The show had received a 10-episode straight-to-series order at the streamer last year. It had been cast and ready to go when the coronavirus pandemic shutdown all production in March. The delays caused by the shutdown have scrambled the schedules of A-list talent who are usually booked a year or so in advance with little wiggling room.

Americanah tells the epic story of Ifemelu (Nyong’o), a young, beautiful, self-assured woman raised in Nigeria, who as a teenager falls in love with her classmate Obinze. Living in a military-ruled country, they each depart for the west, with Ifemelu heading for America, where, despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple for the first time with what it means to be black. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous undocumented life in London.

The series also was to star Uzo Aduba, Corey Hawkins, Zackary Momoh, and Tireni Oyenusi. Its demise was first reported by Variety.

Source: ‘Americanah’ Limited Series Not Moving Forward At HBO Max After Lupita Nyong’o Exits
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
Black Monday Renewed for Season 3
By Rebecca Iannucci, TVLine.com - Oct. 15, 2020

Black Monday is becoming a long-term investment for Showtime: The Wall Street satire has been renewed for Season 3, TVLine has learned.

The third season will premiere in 2021 and will span 10 episodes, matching the two previous seasons.

Created by David Caspe (Happy Endings) and Jordan Cahan (Marry Me), the series follows the employees at Wall Street trading firm the Jammer Group in the year leading up to Oct. 19, 1987, better known as the real-life global stock market crash called Black Monday. Season 2 centered on the aftermath of the crash, with Regina Hall’s Dawn taking the fall for the event and going to jail in the sophomore finale, while Don Cheadle’s Mo reigned supreme as head of the newly minted Mo Co.

In addition to Hall and Cheadle (whose work as Mo has scored two Emmy nods for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series), the Black Monday cast includes Andrew Rannells (Girls), Casey Wilson (Happy Endings), Paul Scheer (The League), Ken Marino (The Other Two), Yassir Lester (Champions) and Horatio Sanz (Saturday Night Live).

Black Monday joins Billions and The Chi, which were recently renewed for Season 6 and Season 4 at Showtime, respectively. On the flip side, the network’s Kirsten Dunst-fronted comedy On Becoming a God in Central Florida had its Season 2 renewal rescinded earlier this month, due to circumstances created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Our Cable Renewal Scorecard has been updated with Black Monday‘s pickup.

Source: Black Monday Renewed for Season 3
 

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Obituary
Bob Shanks, Influential TV Executive, Dies at 88
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Oct. 15, 2020

Bob Shanks, a television producer and executive who helped define the talk show and newsmagazine formats, working with Jack Paar and Merv Griffin and bringing “Good Morning America,” “20/20” and other programs to the air, died on Monday in Pittsfield, Mass. He was 88.

His son John said the cause was a stroke. Mr. Shanks had been living in a retirement center in Lenox, Mass.

Mr. Shanks began his television career in the 1950s, working as a talent booker and producer for “The Tonight Show With Jack Paar” and then as the longtime producer of “The Merv Griffin Show.” When Mr. Shanks left that show in 1970, Mr. Griffin paid tribute to him and his impact.

“Bob discovered, from the beginning, the Smothers Brothers, when he was the associate producer for Paar, and convinced Jack to put them on,” Mr. Griffin said on the air, according to “The Merv Griffin Show: The Inside Story,” a 2018 book by Steve Randisi. “When he became my producer in 1962, the first one he put on the show was Woody Allen, and then people like Tiny Tim, Bob Newhart, José Feliciano and Dick Cavett.”

But Mr. Shanks was particularly prominent in the 1970s, when he was a vice president at ABC. In 1975, he and another ABC vice president, Ed Vane, were given a tall assignment by Fred Silverman, the newly named president of the network’s entertainment division: Come up with something to challenge the decades-long dominance of NBC’s “Today.”

The result was “Good Morning America,” which had its premiere that November. The show sought to distinguish itself from “Today” with pep and new faces. It was Mr. Shanks who took the leap of faith and recruited David Hartman and Nancy Dussault, at the time best known as actors, to be the hosts. He also tapped the humorist Erma Bombeck, the journalist Geraldo Rivera and others. By the 1980s the show was rivaling “Today” in the ratings.

In 1978, Mr. Shanks brought “20/20” to the air, but the initial offering bore only a passing resemblance to the program that became the venerable ABC newsmagazine. “You either had to be ‘60 Minutes’ or not be it,” Mr. Shanks said in an interview with The Associated Press in 1993 for the program’s 15th anniversary.

What he offered to the viewing public in June 1978 leaned heavily in the “not” direction. There was a segment on how to pronounce and use difficult words — “a kind of ‘Sesame Street’ for post-pubescents,” John J. O’Connor wrote in his review in The New York Times. There was an animated segment featuring a Jimmy Carter doll singing “Georgia.” And there were two hosts, Harold Hayes and Robert Hughes, whom few seemed to like.

Tom Shales, reviewing the premiere in The Washington Post, said that watching it “was like being trapped for an hour at the supermarket checkout counter and having to read the front pages of blabby tabloids over and over again.”

Some blamed late meddling by Roone Arledge, president of the network’s news division, for the fiasco. “Everyone was behind Bob Shanks,” one anonymous staff member told Newsweek. “Then King Kong came down from the trees, mashing bananas in people’s faces and exercising his male dominance.”

By Week 2 Hugh Downs was in the host’s chair, and the program began to find its footing. It remains on the air, more than four decades later.

Robert Horton Shanks was born on Oct. 8, 1932, in Sullivan, Ill. His father, W. Glenn Shanks, worked for an oil company, and his mother, Deveta (Benoit) Shanks, was a homemaker.

Mr. Shanks grew up in Lebanon, Ind., and attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where he sometimes called basketball games on the campus radio station, WFIU. He graduated in 1954 with a degree in radio and television, then spent two years in the Army, where he produced training films and a weekly TV show.

John Shanks said his father went to New York thinking he might become an actor, but soon found himself working in television. In 1957 he secured “a coffee pour job,” as he later described it, on “America After Dark,” a short-lived NBC experiment in late-night programming. One of the people he met there, John Carsey, went on to work on Mr. Paar’s show and asked him to come aboard as talent coordinator.

Anne Edwards, in her biography “Streisand” (1996), told the story of Mr. Shanks’s role in booking Barbra Streisand on the Paar show in 1961 for her first national television appearance. She had been lobbying for a slot, the book said, but Mr. Paar wasn’t interested because he thought she looked and sounded too Jewish.

“Paar didn’t think she was right for his show,” Mr. Shanks was quoted in the book as saying. “I said ‘No’ to Barbra Streisand,” he added — until a day in April when Orson Bean, a Streisand fan, sat in as guest host. Mr. Shanks booked the young singer, who was a hit.

Mr. Shanks was later a producer of “Candid Camera” before joining Mr. Griffin’s show and, later, ABC in 1972.

After leaving ABC in 1978, Mr. Shanks wrote several TV movies and produced them with his wife, Ann Zane (Kushner) Shanks. In 1986 CBS News hired him to create “The Morning Program,” a short-lived news and entertainment show.

In addition to his son John, Mr. Shanks is survived by another son, Anthony; a daughter, Jennifer Kingsley; and four grandchildren. His wife died in 2015.

Mr. Shanks’s side projects included writing “S.J. Perelman in Person,” a one-man show drawn from Perelman’s writings, which played at the Cherry Lane Theater in Manhattan in 1989, with his wife directing and Lewis J. Stadlen starring.

He also wrote a number of books, including two novels and, in 1976, “The Cool Fire: How to Make It in Television,” which offered an unusually blunt insider’s perspective on the industry. In that book, he acknowledged that commercial TV was deliberately bland, thriving on “shows that will attract mass audiences without unduly offending these audiences or too deeply moving them emotionally.”

“Television,” he wrote, “is used mostly as a stroking distraction from the truth of an indifferent, silent universe, and the harsh realities just out of sight and sound.”

Source: Bob Shanks, Influential TV Executive, Dies at 88
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
Fox Business Network Brings Back ‘Kennedy’ After 7-Month Hiatus
By Lindsey Ellefson, TheWrap.com - Oct. 15, 2020

EXCLUSIVE: Fox Business Network will re-launch “Kennedy” at 8 p.m. ET Monday, TheWrap has learned.

The show will air in that time slot Monday through Thursday going forward.

Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery’s primetime show was put on hiatus by Fox Business at the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, along with “Trish Regan Primetime.” They followed “FBN am” and “Bulls & Bears,” which were suspended first. Fox Business parted ways with Regan altogether shortly thereafter, days after her comments that the coronavirus was “another attempt to impeach the president” went viral in March. “FBN am” and “Bulls & Bears” are not slated for a return yet.

“Fox Business’ primetime programs ‘Trish Regan Primetime’ and ‘Kennedy’ will both be on hiatus until further notice,” the network initially said in a March 13 statement. “Due to the demands of the evolving pandemic crisis coverage, we are deploying all resources from both shows for staffing needs during critical market hours. FOX Business will run long form programming in primetime for the foreseeable future.”

Montgomery, who has an independent political affiliation and experience as an MTV VJ, is being brought back to offer her unique perspective on politics and pop culture ahead of the election, said a Fox Business insider with knowledge of the renewal.

Source: Fox Business Network Brings 'Kennedy' Back (Exclusive)
 

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Technology/Critic's Notes (Mobile)
There Are Perfectly Good Reasons to Upgrade to an iPhone 12. 5G Isn't One of Them
By Patrick Lucas Austin, TIME.com - Oct. 15, 2020

Apple’s new iPhone 12 lineup, revealed Tuesday, has plenty of the upgrades you’d expect: a faster processor, a better camera, a new design. But the feature that’s getting the most hype is the new 5G wireless chip, which will let the devices connect to the latest high-speed mobile broadband networks.

Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up the benefits of including the new cellular standard in the iPhone 12 line, citing improvements on everything from video streaming to consumer privacy. “Each generation of cellular technology on iPhone has enabled breakthrough innovations and entirely new opportunities for our developers and our users,” said Cook during the virtual event. “For so many people this all becomes real with 5G coming to iPhone.”

It’s about time the iPhone gets 5G, a feature that’s been available on Android phones for years. But whether 5G is really a selling point is out of Apple’s hands—in fact, it might be the least enticing iPhone 12 feature, at least for those of us in the United States. While 5G advocates have long promised the technology would empower groundbreaking new technologies, those results have so far failed to materialize, especially in the U.S. Even some top wireless executives have recently been trying to reset consumers’ expectations around 5G. That’s a remarkable and telling turnaround, given how long the carriers and tech companies have spent hyping the technology as the next big thing for us to spend our money on.

U.S. 5G adoption, coverage and speeds remain abysmal compared to other countries like South Korea and China. In fact, 5G speeds on offer from major U.S. wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon are actually slower than speeds on existing 4G LTE networks, according to PCMag, which has long published an annual report on wireless speeds across the country; the most recent edition found that nationwide 5G speeds were “disappointing all around, on every carrier.”

In part, the disheartening practical results are due to infrastructure issues—Huawei, one of the world’s foremost makers of 5G components, has been sanctioned by the U.S. amid fears that the China-based company can’t be trusted to help build the backbone for major American wireless networks. Thus, U.S. carriers have been forced to make do without Huawei’s tech, resulting in slower 5G development compared to countries that are using Huawei’s gear.

If you upgrade to 5G now, you might get lucky and see a benefit right away. Whether that happens mostly depends on the smartphone you’re using, your location, and whether your wireless carrier has deployed an actual 5G network rather than a facsimile using existing 4G technology. Furthermore, while a carrier might advertise 5G service in a given city, that service could be limited to a few city blocks, and will most likely be useless to you in the pandemic era while you whittle away your days at home and generally avoid crowded spaces. And with so few real-world examples of 5G’s benefits aside from faster movie downloads or clearer video calls, it’s hard to suggest your average consumer pay a premium for a 5G device.

Of course, Apple’s new lineup—the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max—brings more than 5G to the table. Starting at $729, the diminutive iPhone 12 mini will be appreciated by the smaller-handed among us. It has an iPhone SE-like form factor, yet has nearly every big new feature as the larger iPhone 12—both have identical components, including a more shatter-resistant glass display, faster processor, and improved cameras for better low-light photography. The 6.1-inch iPhone 12 Pro ($999) and 6.7-inch 12 Pro Max ($1,099) add an extra rear camera lens and LiDAR sensor for faster autofocus in low light. All of the new iPhones also feature Apple’s new wireless charging tech, MagSafe, which uses a ring of magnets embedded in your iPhone to connect to wireless chargers and accessories, like a new wallet add-on.

Still, the inclusion of 5G, while expected, isn’t much of a selling point just yet, at least in the U.S. 5G networks around the country are, to put it mildly, stumbling along. Some locations are a total crapshoot when it comes to speed, sometimes even falling behind their older 4G LTE counterparts. There are some other reasons to upgrade, especially if you want a smaller iPhone without sacrificing features, but don’t count on 5G changing your world just yet. To some degree, buying a 5G iPhone in 2020 is really just future-proofing yourself—a bet that sometime in the next year or two, 5G will develop enough that you’ll see a notable difference before your next upgrade. But I wouldn’t bet on that, personally.

Source: There Are Perfectly Good Reasons to Upgrade to an iPhone 12. 5G Isn't One of Them
 

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TV Notes (Cable)
'The Last O.G.' Renewed for Season 4 as Star Tiffany Haddish Departs
By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter - Oct. 15, 2020

The Last O.G. is coming back to TBS with a few major changes.

The WarnerMedia-backed basic-cable network has renewed its comedy series starring Tracy Morgan for a fourth season. Co-star Tiffany Haddish is also exiting the series after a three-season run, sources say. The in-demand actress does not currently have a contract for season four and is not expected to return. TBS declined comment on Haddish's status, but the actress and comedian is not name-checked in the Thursday press release announcing the show's renewal.

In keeping with what has become a bit of a tradition, the series is also changing showrunners. Owen Smith (Black-ish) becomes the show's fourth showrunner, replacing Keenen Ivory Wayans. Wayans replaced Saladin Patterson, who stepped in for creator John Carcieri in season two.

"The Last O.G. has become more powerfully poignant with each season while always remaining incredibly funny,” said Sam Linsky and Adrienne O’Riain, co-heads of scripted original programming at TBS, TNT and TruTV. "Tracy Morgan embraces the world with his humor while Owen Smith tackles real-life conversations head-on through hilarity. We can’t wait to see where they take us in season four."

The Last O.G., which stars Morgan as an ex-con who paves a new path after being released from a 15-year prison stint, ranks as one of basic cable's top 10 comedies. TBS says the third season, which wrapped in June, has reached 20 million viewers when factoring in linear and digital platforms.

“I am so excited that we get to make another season of The Last O.G.,” Morgan said. “All I ever want to do is try and bring joy to people which is hard right now but I appreciate that we will have the chance to go back to work and do what we can to make the world a little brighter.”

As for Smith, his credits include Survivor's Remorse, The Arsenio Hall Show, Whitney and The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore. As a comedian, he has appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and Conan. His recent hourlong comedy special, Good Luck Everybody, made history as the first special shot entirely on an iPhone.

“I was already a big fan of the show so getting the opportunity to helm this production and work with this amazing cast and crew is a huge honor,” said Smith. “I’m looking forward to telling stories that humanize Black men in ways that are not just comedic but relevant and real.” Smith joins a roster of The Last O.G. exec producers including Jordan Peele, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Joel Zadak and Steve Ast.

As for Haddish, she joined the series in 2017 after breaking out in NBC's The Carmichael Show. The actress and comedian played Morgan's ex-girlfriend on The Last O.G. The Girls Trip actress and comedian has continued to see her star rise with features including Like a Boss and The Kitchen. Her Netflix comedy Tiffany Haddish Presents: She Ready was recently renewed for a second season and Adult Swim revived animated series Tuca & Bertie, in which she voices one of the title characters. Her Netflix special Bat Mitzvah earned an Emmy nomination this summer.

TBS' originals roster includes American Dad and the upcoming Chad and Obliterated. Anthology Miracle Workers remains on the bubble with a decision expected soon.

Source: 'The Last O.G.' Renewed for Season 4 as Star Tiffany Haddish Departs | Hollywood Reporter
 

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TV Notes (Streaming)
Disney+ adds longer content advisory on movies for ‘negative depictions’ of race
By Nadine DeNinno and Eric Hegedus, New York Post - Oct. 15, 2020

Disney+ has added a longer version of the content advisory it issued on several movies in November 2019, including films such as “The Aristocats,” “Dumbo,” “Peter Pan,” “Lady and the Tramp” and “The Jungle Book.”

The new warning graphic runs for 12 seconds at the beginning of flagged films, rather than being written than in movies’ descriptions.

“This program includes negative depictions and/or mistreatment of people or cultures,” the message reads. “These stereotypes were wrong then and are wrong now. Rather than remove this content, we want to acknowledge its harmful impact, learn from it and spark conversation to create a more inclusive future together. Disney is committed to creating stories with inspirational and aspirational themes that reflect the rich diversity of the human experience around the globe. To learn more about how stories have impacted society, please visit www.disney.com/StoriesMatter.”

On that site, Disney added additional warnings about certain films like “The Aristocats,” describing stereotypes in even greater detail.

“The cat is depicted as a racist caricature of East Asian peoples with exaggerated stereotypical traits such as slanted eyes and buck teeth,” the movie-specific warning reads. “He sings in poorly accented English voiced by a white actor and plays the piano with chopsticks. This portrayal reinforces the ‘perpetual foreigner’ stereotype, while the film also features lyrics that mock the Chinese language and culture such as “Shanghai, Hong Kong, Egg Foo Young. Fortune cookie always wrong.”

The Post previously reported that Disney+ began including a content advisory on certain films when it launched the streaming service last year. In descriptions of “Dumbo” and other films — such as “The Jungle Book” and “Fantasia” — Disney+ included a shorter disclaimer, which read: “This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”

Disney, which has been long criticized for including problematic themes in some of its beloved movies, also chose not to include some of the films deemed more offensive. The 1946 movie “Song of the South” — which has been denounced for its stereotyped portrayals of post-Civil War African-Americans — is nowhere to be found on Disney+, or elsewhere on home video or streaming.

It’s not just the movies catching heat, either. In June, fans petitioned for Disney to remove all “Song of the South” characters from Splash Mountain, a ride at both Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California inspired by the film best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

Source: Disney+ adds longer content advisory on movies for ‘negative depictions’ of race
 

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TV Notes
On The Air

FRIDAY OCT. 16, 2020 Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Network late night shows are preceded by late local news)
From Zap2it.com's TV Grid

ABC:
8PM - Shark Tank (Season Premiere)
9PM - 20/20: John Lennon - His Life, Legacy, Last Days (Season Premiere, 120 min.)
* * * *
11:35AM - Jimmy Kimmel Live! (Billy Crystal; US Senate candidate Jaime Harrison; Natanael Cano performs)
(R)
12:37AM - Nightline

CBS:
8PM - The Greatest #AtHome Videos
9PM - Undercover Boss: Club Med
10PM - Blue Bloods
(R)
* * * *
11:35PM - The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Mindy Kaling; John Brennan, former CIA director)
(R)
12:37AM - The Late Late Show With James Corden (Tracee Ellis Ross; Madison Beer performs) (R)

NBC:
8PM - American Ninja Warrior: Semifinals 1 (120 min.)
(R)
10PM - Dateline NBC: A Promise to Helene
* * * *
11:34PM - The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (Jessica Alba; Jack Huston; Keith Urban performs)
(R)
12:37AM - Late Night With Seth Meyers (Cecily Strong; former MLB player David Wright; film director Miranda July; Jessica Burdeaux sits in with the 8G Band) (R)
1:38AM - A Little Late With Lilly Singh (Tom Lennon; Aisling Bea) (R)

FOX:
8PM - WWE Friday Night SmackDown (120 min., LIVE)

THE CW:
8PM - Masters of Illusion
8:30PM - Masters of Illusion
(R)
9PM - World's Funniest Animals
9:30PM - World's Funniest Animals
(R)

PBS:
8PM - Washington Week
8:30PM - Firing Line With Margaret Hoover
9PM - American Masters: GRAMMY Salute to Music Legends (120 min.)

UNIVISION:
8PM - Médicos, Línea de Vida
9PM - Imperio de Mentiras
10PM - Dulce Ambición

TELEMUNDO:
7PM - El Domo del Dinero (120 min.)
9PM - Todo Por Mi Hija
10PM - Falsa Identidad


ESPN:
6PM - College Football: SMU at Tulane
(LIVE)
9PM - College Football Scorecard (LIVE)
9:30PM - College Football: BYU at Houston (LIVE)

ESPN 2:
7PM - Women's College Volleyball: Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (LIVE)
9PM - Women's College Volleyball: Texas at Kansas State (LIVE)

GALAVISION:
7PM - Tu Cara Me Suena (120 min.)


A&E:

8PM - The First 48: The Case That Haunts Me
9PM - Live Rescue (120 min.)

HBO:

8PM - The Perfect Weapon (Documentary Premiere, 2020, 86 min.)
9:26PM - Axios
(R)

10PM - Real Time With Bill Maher (Guests TBA, LIVE)

NAT GEO:
8PM - Magic of Disney's Animal Kingdom: Kenya, The Gutsy Giraffe (Cable Premiere, 47 min.)
8:47PM - Magic of Disney's Animal Kingdom: Happy Birthday, Gino! (50 min.)


TLC:
8PM - 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? (120 min.)

OWN:
9PM - Ready to Love: Director's Cuts (4 hrs.)

WE TV:
9PM - Love After Lockup (61 min.)

CINEMAX:
10PM - Warrior (56 min.)


MSNBC:
10PM - The Way I See It (Commercial-Free Documentary Premiere, 120 min.)

BBC AMERICA:
11PM - The Graham Norton Show (Ewan McGregor; Ashley Banjo; Miley Cyrus)

MTV:
11PM - Ridiculousness: Chanel and Sterling CCXXIII (30 min.)

TBS:
Midnight - ELEAGUE: Super Punch (120 min.)


Source: TV Listings- Find Local TV Listings and Watch Full Episodes - Zap2it.com
 
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