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October 9, 2015


Remember the V skywriting stunt? Forget it!

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 28th 2009 11:21AM
About two weeks ago, with much fanfare, ABC issued a press release about a big promotion for the new sci-fi remake of V. The idea was skywriting giant red "V's" over national monuments around the country. When I read about it, I thought it was pretty clever.

Like ABC media, I didn't contemplate the environment hazard posed by spraying the skies with red skywriting materials. The skywriting stunt has been canceled because one clever reporter did. She snagged ABC in its own press net.

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Aaron Sorkin pays tribute to Ron Silver

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 20th 2009 5:03PM
Ron SilverIt's still odd to think about Ron Silver, who died of cancer earlier this week, being gone. I mean, sure, cancer can hit anyone at any age, but it's odd to see it happen to someone in a fairly recent show, and one that I watch a lot of (thank you, DVD sets). I felt the same thing when another West Wing cast member, John Spencer, died a few years back. That was even more shocking because he was still on the show at the time.

West Wing creator/writer Aaron Sorkin pays tribute to Silver in Time. He says that Silver was not only the type of actor who was very generous ("someone who's there for the piece and not for himself"), but one that would make the other actors laugh and get into a good mood between takes.

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Obama ad won't air on ABC

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 28th 2008 3:02PM
Pushing DaisiesThe Obama campaign has put a line in the sand regarding which networks will broadcast its prime-time campaign advertisement air on Wednesday night. The campaign has passed on ABC, which will be showing a new episode of Pushing Daisies against the ad to be shown on CBS, NBC, Fox and Univision at 8 p.m.

If the Obama campaign was going to pass on a network, you'd think it would be Fox since Fox News is the mortal enemy of his political party. What does the campaign have against the House of the Mouse? You can't get more American than Mickey.

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Gossip Girl wants you to vote for Obama

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 14th 2008 6:38PM
Gossip GirlThere is definitely a generational gap with this presidential election, with the elderly favoring McCain and the youth favoring Obama. I'm generalizing of course, but it certainly seems like the campaign advertising is geared that way. One piece of evidence is two cast members of Gossip Girl appearing in an anti-McCain ad.

Granted, since the elderly isn't exactly the target demographic of Gossip Girl, I doubt anyone's grandma is going to stop voting for McCain because Blake Lively asked her to. I doubt said grandma even knows who Blake Lively is. At least the ad acknowledges that most of the demographic for the show aren't old enough to vote and therefore have to convince their parents. When have parents ever listened to their children with regards to their voting preferences?

The campaign is kind of reminiscent of Sarah Silverman's "Great Schlep" Obama ad. That one garnered a response by comedian Jackie Mason. I wonder if this advertisement will get a similar response. If so, will the response be done by the cast of Matlock?

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Fans unite to save Swingtown

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 2nd 2008 4:20PM
bar swingtownThis Friday CBS will air the last episode of Swingtown, but the question of the future for the show still remains unanswered. Is this the series finale or just the season finale? Fans are concerned and I've been contacted by one who has started a petition online to present to CBS, beseeching the network to give Swingtown a second season. If you want to sign up, click here.

I've been reviewing Swingtown since it premiered earlier this summer and I've liked the show. In fact, it's grown on me and if I were in a position to make the call, I'd give Swingtown an order for 13 more episodes. Yes, the series has not been a ratings hit, I'll give you that. However, it has created a lot of buzz and media coverage.

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Shocking Canadian PSAs

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Jan 20th 2008 2:03PM
Prevent-It.caShocking Public Service Announcements (PSA) are common in Canada. For example, a few years ago in Quebec, we had a TV ad that contained real footage shot during a daring car stunt that went terribly wrong (the teenage driver died while doing the stunt) so that teens would be "scared straight" by seeing how stupid and deadly reckless driving can be.

The latest shocking PSA TV ad campaign comes from Ontario and is called "Prevent It." These PSAs, which have been airing for a while now, feature shocking and gruesome scenes showing what can happen at work if you don't ensure safety is everyone's primary concern.

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Stephen Colbert's presidential dreams crushed

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 2nd 2007 9:43AM
Stephen ColbertReally, how long did anyone expect this to go on?

Earlier on Thursday, the South Carolina Democratic Party decided to keep Stephen Colbert's name off the ballot, saying that he didn't meet the national standard of viability and didn't seem to be campaigning to win. Plus, the state party would have had to pay $20,000 to the state election commission to have Colbert's name on the ballot. $20,000 is an awful lot for a drawn-out joke.

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Questions for CNN/YouTube debate due Sunday

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 19th 2007 4:11PM
youtube; cnn; anderson cooperBy now many of you have probably heard about the upcoming presidential debates put on by CNN and YouTube. The first one is on Monday night, where the democratic presidential candidates will debate in South Carolina. CNN is soliciting questions and asking people to upload their questions to YouTube. So far, CNN has received 1,400 questions via YouTube.

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Reno 911 stars make voting vid - VIDEO

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 30th 2007 4:04PM

lennon and garrantThey're not actually playing their characters from Reno 911, but actors Tom Lennon and Ben Garrant made a hilarious video for Declare Yourself, a campaign designed to get eighteen-year-olds to vote.

Lennon and Garrant play two older people telling young people that while the entertainment industry cares about their opinions when it comes to music, movies and television, nobody really cares who they vote for when it comes to the presidential election. It's a funny bit of reverse psychology, but I think it might be a little too clever. The sarcastic point they make actually seems valid in many ways. Should you vote for the prez when you know more about Paris Hilton than you do about issues that actual affect you? The answer is no, I probably shouldn't.

Still, I'd like to see more funny videos like this one that encourage kids to vote without endorsing one specific candidate or political party.

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User-generated ads not such a great idea after all

by Anna Johns, posted May 27th 2007 9:52AM
heinzHeinz ketchup is running a contest where it is asking regular folks to make a Heinz commercial for the chance of winning $57,000. Only, it's not going very well.

According to an article in The New York Times, running the contest takes about as much time and energy as it would just to come up with their own damn ad campaign. So far, Heinz has rejected more than 300 submissions because they're too long, pointless, or gross. You can see many of the horrible submissions on YouTube, including this one of a guy brushing his teeth and shaving with ketchup. Ew.

Heinz has also become the target of angry commenters who accuse the company of being "lazy" and "cheap" for asking people to do advertising for free. I have to admit that I bristled when I saw ads for the contest. Even though it turns out Heinz is still paying a lot for the advertising, I'm still annoyed that it is asking people to essentially create a viral video for them.

How do you feel about companies like Doritos, Heinz and Dodge holding this user-generated advertising contests?

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CBS goes green with Emmy campaign

by Anna Johns, posted May 26th 2007 11:39AM
cbs; green; emmyEach year, television production studios send out oodles (that's the word I use when I don't have an exact figure) of DVDs to voters for Emmy awards. This year, CBS Paramount Television went green with its Emmy campaign. It's all explained on this website, but CBS has essentially decided to save the planet by not creating a bunch of DVDs that will just go in the trash and has, instead, directed voters to watch episodes online.

That means we can watch 'em, too.

Go here to check out which episodes of CBS Paramount (different from the CBS network) were submitted for Emmy consideration. The online video quality looks and sounds great. Among the contenders are a CSI episode with Liev Schreiber, Criminal Minds with James van der Beek, and an episode of Jericho, which the CBS network recently canceled.

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Jericho fans go 'nuts' over cancellation

by Anna Johns, posted May 23rd 2007 9:01AM
jericho; nuts onlineJericho fans aren't just sending sternly-worded e-mails and signing petitions to save the show, they've also launched a 'Send NUTS' campaign that is really picking up steam. This fan website concocted the campaign after CBS announced Jericho's cancellation at last week's Upfronts presentation. The reason for the nuts is based on something a Jericho character, Jake, said when New Bern's commander asked him to surrender. He said "Nuts!" That also happens to be a famous response given by WWII Gen. MacAuliffe when asked to surrender at the Battle of the Bulge.

Fans have enlisted the help of a family-owned New Jersey nut company called NutsOnline, whose employees are working overtime to handle the sudden increase in demand for nuts. The business is taking orders and sending bulk shipments to CBS. As of Tuesday, nearly 5,000 pounds of nuts have been ordered and/or shipped. You can order here if you, too, think CBS is NUTS for canceling Jericho.

*Update: NutsOnline is donating $.10 on each pound of nuts shipped to rebuild Greensburg, Kansas, which was destroyed by a tornado earlier this month.

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Law & Order actor considers running for president

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 13th 2007 9:27AM
fred thompsonActor and former republican U.S. Senator Fred Thompson is reportedly considering running for president in 2008. Thompson was a U.S. Senator for Tennessee from 1994-2003. He decided not to run for re-election when he was cast as District Attorney Arthur Branch on Law & Order in 2002. He has also appeared in that same role on SVU and Criminal Intent, as well as short-lived shows, Conviction and Trial by Jury. Thompson definitely has that "I could kick your ass, punk"-thing about him.

Thompson has an unusual past that will make him an interesting candidate. Besides appearing in a big ol' pile of television shows and movies, he also has some serious experience in Washington, D.C. Before becoming an actor or a Senator, he was an attorney and was on the Watergate committee. If he does join the race for president, he'll be running against fellow republicans Rudolph Giuliani and John McCain for the nomination. And, in 2005, he returned to politics briefly when President Bush appointed him to be an advisor for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts during his confirmation process.

Hell. If Arnold Schwarzenegger can do it...

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John McCain announces candidacy on Letterman

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 1st 2007 12:36AM
john mccainTonight, John McCain announced that he is running for president... on the Late Show with David Letterman. McCain reminded Letterman that he had invited the Senator back to the show to announce his candidacy, so that's what he did. Although, McCain also pointed out that it's not his "formal" announcement, which he says he will make in April.

I was a little surprised McCain did it this way, instead of the old-fashioned way, but hey! It worked for Arnold Schwarzenegger (but not John Edwards). I can't help but wonder if he did it on Letterman to avoid questions from the press, just like many of the Democratic candidates did when they announced their candidacy on their webpages.

Interesting factoid: John McCain is now 70 years old. If he wins, he will be the oldest president ever sworn in for a first term. Reagan was 73 when he was sworn in for his second term.

Video is here.

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Greenpeace enlists help of South Park characters

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 23rd 2006 10:02AM
South Park GreenpeaceStan, Kyle, Cartman and Kenny are lending their cartoon cred to Greenpeace. In an internet video campaign aimed at shaming Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper into addressing a desired moratorium on deep-sea bottom trawling, the boys appear as different species of fish. Kenny gets offed by a wayward net to Stan's cry of "You killed Squiddy." Cue Oscar-nominated tune - "Blame Canada" - with altered lyrics.

The video was made without the participation of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, which is all too obvious once you watch the thing. It's kinda lousy in the "trying to hard to be funny" kinda way. Bruce Cox, the executive director of Greenpeace Canada, hopes that the campaign will make an impression on a younger audience of potential environmental advocates. Best of luck, Mr. Cox, but I'm not sure this is gonna do it.

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