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April 19, 2014

OpEd

YouTube, Who Loves Ya Baby?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Apr 29th 2010 7:04PM
YouTube on TVThe granddaddy of viral video and the leading cause of productivity decline recently turned five years old. If you're don't know what I'm referring to, please steal a computer or better yet, develop some better comprehension skills. Your local community college is a good place to start on both.

YouTube has become a cultural staple, not just for the Internet but in almost every facet of the global consumer media. It's not only been copied, but it's also been utilized, rehashed, twisted and berated by every other media conglomerate in more ways than the left over parts of an IKEA furniture kit.

TV, of course, is no exception. Here is just a brief glimpse at the people and properties of Television City who loved and loathed YouTube, often in the same breath.

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'Glee' and the Barbra Streisand Connection

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 29th 2010 2:02PM
barbra_streisand_high_school_yearbookEver since 'Glee' began, there's been a thread running through it that's always reminded me of Barbra Streisand. In last Tuesday's episode, the thread was more like a rope, as four characters did the medley "One Less Bell/A House Is Not A Home," just like Streisand did in the 1971 Burt Bacharach TV special.

Apparently, others have picked up on this connection, too. This review in New York magazine suggested that the 'Glee' should really do a Barbra Streisand episode -- like the Madonna show -- because Barbra is 'the patron saint' of 'Glee' kids.

Whether they do an all-Streisand show or not, the writer made a great point about how the kids in New Directions are more akin to Brooklyn Barbra than almost any other performer. Before she graduated Erasmus Hall High School in 1959, Barbra Streisand was in glee club. (So was Neil Diamond!) But Streisand wasn't the star of Choral Club. The director, Mr. De Pietto, preferred blonde soprano,Trudy Wallace, and gave her all the solos. Streisand was put in the back, in the alto section.

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Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss Hawk Mercedes-Benz, Excedrin (VIDEO)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Apr 29th 2010 11:31AM
Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Mad MenIt wouldn't surprise me if most of the actors on 'Mad Men' ended up in commercials at some point. It's a show about advertising, so you sort of associate them with ads and commercials.

At least two 'Mad Men' actors, Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss, are featured in commercials circulating right now. Hamm is the new voice for Mercedes-Benz, taking the baton from Richard Thomas (John-Boy on 'The Waltons'), who served as the car company's voice-over talent for the past four years.

In a Media Decoder story, Stephen Cannon, vice-president for marketing at Mercedes-Benz USA in Montvale, N.J., calls the new campaign "a nice re-fresh of our voice," adding that Hamm has "a terrific, very resonant voice with a lot of gravitas to it." He also notes that Hamm will help Mercedes-Benz "reach out to a younger, more vibrant audience."

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'NCIS' Cast in Contract Dispute

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 29th 2010 10:30AM
NCIS_cast_black_CBS
Trouble may be afoot behind the scenes of CBS' ratings juggernaut 'NCIS.'

According to Deadline, four of its stars -- Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum and Sean Murray -- are still not signed beyond the end of this season, leaving the future of the cast in limbo.

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ABC Gives 'One Life to Live' A Vote of Confidence

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 29th 2010 9:08AM
erika_slezak_as_viki_one_life_to_live_abcIt's been a tumultuous few months for ABC's daytime drama 'One Life to Live.' Recently, we reported that Tuc Watkins is returning, and they are bringing in a former scribe to be the associate headwriter, and the gay couple -- Kyle and Oliver -- were dumped. All that hubbub had us speculating about the future of 'One Life to Live' in an era when longtime soaps like 'Guiding Light' have been canceled and another legendary daytimer, 'As the World Turns' is ending it's run in September.

Well, fans are concerned, too, especially after the story emerged last week about ABC Daytime developing a talk show for Tori Spelling. TV Guide went to the Jori Petersen, the head ABC Daytime PR, to ask if the Spelling show might threaten the future of 'One Life.'

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'America's Next Top Model' - 'Welcome to New Zealand' Recap

by Michael Pascua, posted Apr 29th 2010 8:47AM
Angelea poses with a sheep
(S14E08) The remaining six girls on 'America's Next Top Model' arrive in their foreign destination: New Zealand. My favorite episode of 'ANTM' has to be the go-sees because the show becomes the knock-off 'The Amazing Race' for a few minutes. The same rules apply to having good taxi drivers and never getting out of the taxi to run to your destination.

The episode was filled with a lot of quotable quotes ranging from Nigel calling sheep "Horny Beasts," Krista wondering if the sheep will nibble on her arm or her being called a "teenage Bambi." The real standout was the unnecessary club walk that Angelea attempted to impress the judges with. It reminded me of a drunk Jade from Cycle 6 but without the repeated phrase of "Wonderful, Fabulous."

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'Modern Family' - 'Travels with Scout' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 29th 2010 8:15AM
'Modern Family' - 'Travels with Scout'
(S01E21)
One of the strongest elements of 'Modern Family' is the strength of the ensemble cast. That brilliance in casting has continued to the various guest stars and extended family members we've met so far. I didn't fully grasp just how perfect Fred Willard is for the role of Phil's father until I saw them slinging jokes back and forth in this weeks' episode.

He drove cross-country to deliver a new dog to the Dunphy household, on account of his wife being allergic to it. This allowed Claire to have a clever conversation over the phone wherein she told him just how much trouble he was in for forgetting to tell her dear old dad was coming into town, without letting dad know what she was saying.

But then, brilliantly clever writing has been a staple of 'Modern Family' since the first episode. Aside from Phil's dad, we got to watch Jay scare the crap out of Manny, and Cameron rediscover his inner rock god.

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So What Happens on the Post-Censored 'South Park'?

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 28th 2010 4:08PM
South Park'South Park' has been censored before, but not as blatantly as it was for their two-part anniversary episodes '200' and '201.' Even 'The Simpsons' showed their support for the silenced Colorado kids. Tonight is the mid-season finale and the question on possibly everyone's mind is: will Trey Parker and Matt Stone have any further commentary on the entire Muhammed situation?

My guess is that the issue won't even be addressed. Trey Parker and Matt Stone said as much with a public statement on the 'South Park' website. With only one episode to go until their break, they may not want to stir the pot (although pot-stirring is certainly their forté).

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Could 'The Office' Survive Without Steve Carell?

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 28th 2010 3:27PM
Steve Carell in 'The Office' - 'Manager and Salesman'Leave it to the Brits to ask the questions we here in the States just won't ask. Despite all the interviews Steve Carell and Tina Fey did before the premiere of the movie 'Date Night,' not one interviewer that I saw here in the US thought to ask Carell how much longer he was going to play Michael Scott on 'The Office.'

However, OfficeTally.com says that someone from the BBC thought enough to ask, and got a surprising response: Carell said he thinks he's done with the show after his contract is up at the end of the seventh season. It could be a negotiating ploy, but it might be a sincere wish on Carell's part to do something else.

Could 'The Office' go on without Carell? Maybe. Though I'm not sure I'd want it to.

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TV 101: The TV Watcher's Bill Of Rights

by Jay Black, posted Apr 28th 2010 2:21PM
Little known fact, the kid in this video wound up being the guy who robbed Kal Penn at gunpoint.Our congress has a cute way of handling problems. Instead of actually doing anything about them, what they do is pass a Something Something Bill of Rights.

For instance, when Spirit Airlines recently announced that they were going to charge for the use of overhead storage space on their airplanes (a prelude, of course, to their ultimate plan of stabbing each customer in the throat, then charging for tourniquets), Congress handled the problem by dredging up the old "Passenger's Bill of Rights" idea once again.

Now, some might criticize Congress by saying, "Passenger's Bill of Rights!? We don't even have the actual Bill of Rights on our side when we fly", but those people are missing the point: Bills of Rights only exist to take up space.

As it happens, taking up space is exactly what a columnist needs to do each week as well! So, today marks the beginning of a new series: the TV Watchers Bill of Rights!

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Six Series Spin-Offs I'd See in a Second

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2010 12:02PM
'Criminal Minds'
With the season coming to a close, the networks are starting to look toward next season. In the case of 'Criminal Minds,' that includes exploring the possibility of a spin-off series. They ran an embedded pilot for it earlier this season, introducing the new cast, and they've already had tremendous success with both 'NCIS' and 'CSI' spin-offs. But whatever happened to the old-school way of creating spin-offs?

'Frasier' was a long-time cast member on 'Cheers' before he headed off to Seattle and sitcom super-stardom. 'The Jeffersons' spent time living next to the Bunkers ('All in the Family') before moving on up. Even as recently as 'Friends,' they spun series co-star 'Joey' off into his own series -- maybe that's when it all went so wrong.

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Have You Noticed That 'Modern Family' Is Oblivious To the Recession?

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 28th 2010 10:07AM
modern_family_abc_cam_mitchell
There's so much to like about ABC's award-winning new sitcom 'Modern Family' that it seems almost curmudgeon-like to complain. Nevertheless, you have to wonder where in the world 'Modern Family' is located. No, not the place; it's clearly Southern California. No, it's the economy. 'Modern Family' resides in an economy unaffected by the recession. Everybody is doing well. Nobody's worried about paying the mortgage, or – God forbid – facing foreclosure. Things are going so well in 'Modern Family' world that the entire clan is heading to Hawaii for a family vacation.

Wow, remember when your family could afford to fly off for a holiday? It was probably some time around the turn of the century ... 2000. Maybe 'Modern Family' is in a time warp because they're all checking into the Four Seasons Maui. It'll be the May 12 season finale, so tune in if you want to live vicariously.

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'The Biggest Loser' - 'Week Fifteen' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 28th 2010 8:42AM
Daris George, 'The Biggest Loser: Couples 3'(S09E15) With the elimination of Victoria last week, it was suddenly two teams of two versus three teams of one. Looking at those numbers, if those teams of two united, the solo acts would be in trouble. Seven contestants left. It doesn't matter if you're best friends in the whole wide world. When you're this close to the end, you play the game.

That's exactly what the contestants started doing this week, in a way more transparent than we've seen all season. Unfortunately, in that same week they had to leave the comfort of routine at the 'Biggest Loser' ranch and head for the dude ranches of Texas. Alison Sweeney informed us that five of the fattest cities in America are in Texas, which means they need some motivation.

In honor of those five cities, that motivation comes in the form of a 5k run the contestants will be doing with groups of Texans rallied through the radio. Get through that, corral some calves and get ready for a weigh-in where the temperature is only 34 degrees. Everything's ... colder in Texas?

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'NCIS' - 'Moonlighting' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 27th 2010 11:24PM
NCIS_mark_harmon_cbs_2010
(S07E20)
The 'NCIS' gang was finally back. As much as the reruns are enjoyable, there's really nothing like a fresh episode. This was a fun episode because FBI agent Fornell was back, which means getting on Gibbs' nerves and good banter between the two. And then there was the girl from Tim's past. It's not what you think, but if you want to know more, read on.

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'Glee' - 'Home' Recap

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 27th 2010 10:25PM
Kristin Chenoweth as April in 'Glee' - 'Home'(S01E16) As the season moves on, the initial joy of 'Glee' remains; that feeling that was there in the pilot has been sustained. But with time there are also subtle shifts in tone and character, more music, changes that are part of the natural progression of a television show. With this second half of the season, we've now seen three episodes.

For some, last week's Madonna mash-up was the best 'Glee' ever. Not so much from my perspective. Too much hype and too little substance, much like the Material Girl herself. The episode lacked heart. With 'Home,' 'Glee' found the heart, delivered the substance and, in every way that matters, kicked ass with this episode.

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