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July 31, 2014

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BBC to bring the Internet to TV

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 21st 2009 9:32AM
BBCThere has been a slow merge of Internet and television functionality into one unit. The Telenet, perhaps? Or Intervision? The BBC looks to take that one step further by joining a consortium of companies intent on bringing Internet services to British television sets. It's a controversial move and nobody is more pissed off about it than cable TV provider, British Sky Broadcasting. After all, they have the most to lose.

I recall reading once that when the Internet became popular, it drove down television viewing. This seems an obvious solution to that problem but it opens its own set. It begs the age-old question: who pays for it all? How will it make money? Of course, if the Beeb didn't already have answers to these questions, it wouldn't have joined the consortium.

It also has the added benefit of no longer requiring a computer or handheld device to access the Internet. What do you think of this new concept?

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Remember the great Edward Woodward with Callan

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 14th 2009 1:02PM
Edward Woodard kicked backside as Callan before he was The Equalizer.Most American TV viewers know Edward Woodward from his run as Robert McCall as The Equalizer. But, British TV aficionados know he trained in backside-kicking on the dark, gritty British spy series, Callan.

Written by James Mitchell, the show featured David Callan -- a spy working for an ultra-secret arm of the British Intelligence service specializing in assassinations. Unfortunately, the former soldier and convict was cursed with a conscience that led him to hate his job, his superiors and himself.

Woodward was perfect in the role -- blending haunted humor with genuine menace to create an intelligent, tortured man who you believed could kill anyone without having to look like Rambo while he did it.

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They're remaking Upstairs Downstairs

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 13th 2009 7:26AM
upstairs_downstairs_PBSBefore Dallas and Dynasty and Falcon Crest and Knots Landings captured the imaginations of American viewers, there was a British soap import that was even more compelling.

From 1971-75, PBS aired the British upper crust soap Upstairs Downstairs. And now Upstairs Downstairs is going to be remade. It'll be filmed and shown in England first before coming to America in 2011.

What made Upstairs Downstairs classic television – it won Emmys, BAFTAs and Golden Globes – was the way it depicted of the British class system. Upstairs you had the rich, privileged Bellamy family. Downstairs there were the servants who worked for them. The lives of all these characters intertwined in a well-written, brilliantly acted drama series.

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Mad Men: Guy Walks Into An Advertising Agency

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 21st 2009 12:34AM
Mad_men_Roger_Don
(S03E06)
What do disappointment, opportunities and snakes have in common? They're all themes in this episode of Mad Men. The British, in the form of Powell, Ford and Mackendrick came to Sterling Cooper for a visit, but what that visit meant was anybody's guess. The visit wrecking holiday plans for the staff -- no Independence Day for you, colonists -- was obvious irony and true nonetheless. And the Guy walking into the ad agency, well, it would be a hollow joke after this tragedy. More after the jump.

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Soon Britain will Meet The Hasselhoffs

by Bob Sassone, posted Sep 11th 2009 6:03PM
It's Hasselhoffs, as in plural, so I guess there are going to be other family members involved in David Hasselhoff's new British reality series. The clip below shows him going into a pub for...well, it's all kind of odd. He meets a bunch of women dressed in fancy garb and asks them questions. Maybe he's auditioning for the next version of Baywatch.

The clothes the guy has on will probably give you a seizure, so you've been warned. The show debuts Monday at 10 PM on Living.

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Richard Curtis to pen episode of Doctor Who

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 8th 2009 5:03PM
richard curtisThe new series of Doctor Who comes closer and closer, and the list of involved talent is really starting to build up. It's been confirmed that Richard Curtis will write an episode. With some of his more popular work being Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually and Bridget Jones's Diary, Curtis seems like a rather unusual contributor. Of course, he also did Blackadder and The Vicar of Dibley for television, but neither of those things are very sci-fi-related or timey-wimey.

Curtis's films seem to have the most luck when working with ensemble casts, so maybe he can work this same magic on the small screen and introduce some new characters worthy of sticking around. We haven't really had that since Sally Sparrow (and maybe Nightingale, if only to complete the duo) from "Blink". Also, the new Doctor and the new companion are both young and attractive, a combination poised to perfectly fit into Curtis's romantic-comedy specialty.

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Sneak Peek: next week's Mad Men

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 17th 2009 7:13PM
Having a British company take over Sterling Cooper is a rather brilliant move. It gives the show a new focus, a new tension in the office (and out of the office too). In this clip from next week's Mad Men episode "Love Among The Ruins," Don and Betty go out to dinner with Lane and his wife.

Such a well-written two minutes. It's like you know everything about these four from this one scene.

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Will you watch Octomom's reality show?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 27th 2009 2:30PM
SulemanNadya Suleman, who will always be known as "Octomom" because it's funnier, has officially signed papers for a reality TV show to feature her and her 14 kids. No word yet on which network will air the show (it might air overseas first as it's a British company producing the show) or what it will be called, but I'm hoping it's called Fourteen is Enough or Nadya & Nobody Plus 14.

Will you watch Octo-Mom's show?
Yes, I think it will be interesting79 (6.0%)
I'll tune in once just to see how it's handled92 (7.0%)
I'd rather watch cheese get moldy1146 (87.0%)

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Yet another news program (and British adaptation) on American TV

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 18th 2009 12:00PM
NBCNBC will be adapting the BBC panel program Have I Got News For You for American audiences. The British version has been running since 1990 and involves a group of newsmakers and celebrities discussing current events in a humorous fashion. Given the unscripted format, this represents a program that NBC could keep going in the event of another writers' strike.

Other than the name value, I don't see the point of NBC doing an adaptation when they could simply create another program in a similar format. The McLaughlin Report has been doing the panel discussion concept for decades (whether it's for humorous effect depends on the viewer) and I even once attended a taping of Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn which was the same concept but involved a panel of comedians and included sketches.

I've never seen Have I Got News For You. For those who have, is it good? Do you think it would fly with American audiences?

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I, Claudius set for remake

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 12th 2008 2:03PM
I claudiusOne of the greatest TV mini-series of all time was I, Claudius. It was riveting TV and every time it's been repeated since it premiered in 1976, I've watched it religiously. The Robert Graves novel about the Roman empire, including the mad Caligula, is now set for a remake. Director Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) will be helming an adaptation of I, Claudius with Nye Heron and Sheridan penning the script.

At this point, the project seems headed to the big screen. That would be a plus insofar as the set design and lush look. However, one of the benefits of the 1976 version was the length. It was 13 episodes, a hour each (sans commercials). That meant the complexities of Graves' novel -- and there were dozens of them -- not to mention the enormous cast of characters, could be played out.

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British gameshow pornography - VIDEO

by Jay Black, posted Jun 28th 2008 3:01PM
Ah, isn't the best porn FOUND porn?From 1986 through 2004, there was a popular English game show called Catch Phrase (we had a version in America, but like tea drinking and civility, we ditched it after only a very brief run). Here's how the bonus game on the show worked: nine blocks covered up a short video snippet. The blocks were removed randomly and the first contestant to correctly guess what phrase was being represented by the video won some British prize (like a top hat or a subcontinent or something).

In the following video, the randomized blocks' perfect placement over the animation combines with the dirty-minded twelve-year-old that lives inside all of us to hilarious effect. Every time a block is removed, the animation just looks more and more filthy. Even better is the reaction of the contestants and the host, who, about ten seconds in, decide to abandon any hope of getting through the animation without losing their minds with laughter. The video after the jump.

[Via DIGG]

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NBC okays restaurant reality show

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 18th 2008 4:43PM
Chef WhiteThere's more reality being served up by NBC: a food-based competition show in which couples vie to open a restaurant. British chef Marco Pierre White will be the judge. NBC has greenlit The Chopping Block for next season, calling it a sort of Top Chef meets Hell's Kitchen. Actually, it sounds like a twin for BBC America's Last Restaurant Standing. That one has nine couples competing for one restaurant with Chef Raymond Blanc as the judge. The NBC incarnation will have eight couples, and unlike Chef Blanc who has earned two Michelin stars for his restaurants, Chef White has three.

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Richard Ayoade: In the Limelight

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 29th 2007 3:02PM
Richard AyoadeLast year, after multiple recommendations from my English friends, I got around to watching a few episodes of The IT Crowd. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to all the wild hype generated by my buddies, but something did stick in my mind... The crazy-haired, nasal Moss character, played by Richard Ayoade. There was something wonderfully weird about him and, since I was so intrigued by his strange voice, I decided to look him up. Well, as it turns out, his usual voice is really that weird and nasal, which just made him a million times more better in my mind. In fact, Ayoade's the only cast member who has been carried over from the original version of The IT Crowd to the American adaptation, reprising his role as Moss.

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South Park: The Snuke

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 29th 2007 11:22AM

south park(S11E04) This was a hilarious episode, and yet I couldn't help but feel it's the sort of episode that comes easy to its creators. The "snuke in Hillary's snizz" gag wasn't exactly inspired, considering the very first episode centered on a gigantic satellite in Cartman's ass and just last season another episode focused on Oprah's "minge." Then there was Cartman's fart torture and the scene toward the end where the Queen shoots herself, both of which I laughed at quite uproariously but that still seemed a bit too easy by South Park standards.

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Doctor Who will be back for a fourth series

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 22nd 2007 8:01PM
Doctor WhoDoctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies says the show will be back for a fourth series (that's British for season). He made remarks at the London premiere of series three.

What's less clear at the moment is who will be playing the Doctor in series four. Current Doctor David Tennant has remained silent on the issue. Series three has actress Freema Agyeman playing Martha Jones, the doctor's new assistant. She fills the void left by Billie Piper's departure from the program.

It had been widely suspected that a fourth season was already on deck, but Davies' confirmation should come as good news for Doctor Who fans. Now if only Americans didn't have to wait months or years for each new season to show up on the SciFi channel.

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