That's the happy fluffy bunny part of the announcement. What none of the stories floating around get into is how this is all going to shake down for the customers. This is certainly a case where the devil will be in the details, and knowing only what we know now, I'm not too excited about the service's prospects.
And the convergence of television and the World Wide Web continues.
Chris Albrecht, chief executive officer over at HBO, is considering the creation of a new Internet broadband channel that would be available to customers who already subscribe to its pay cable television service. According to MSNBC, broadband users would click on a branded menu and download the network's programming. Mr. Albrecht says that the Internet offerings would be launched in partnership with cable operators, who provide the subscriber fees to the ad-free channel.
HBO is slightly behind the curve when it comes to broadband content, most likely due to the fact that it is a subscriber service. Over the last year the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX, The CW is really just an infant network) have begun offering free downloads of their programs, as well as web-only based content, through their own sites or through partners such as Yahoo and YouTube.
[Thanks to Chris Dinges for the tip]
Arrested Development was, in many ways, the comedy equivalent of Lost. Those who watched the show from the beginning found themselves hungrily coming back for each episode, and those who came into it too late gave up because it was impossible to know what the hell was going on with the multiple and intertwining storylines.
HannaBarbera.com has an awesome new broadband site called Saturday Morning Forever where you can watch classic episodes of Huckleberry Hound, Pixie and Dixie, Wacky Races, Touche Turtle, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, Yogi Bear and whatever new stuff they add each week. Right now I'm watching Huckleberry Hound try to slay a dragon. It's been ages since I've seen a Huckleberry Hound cartoon, and I had forgotten how much Daws Butler's slow, lingering drawl makes me crack up. It's one of those voices that makes everything sound funny, and the funny stuff sound even funnier. It looks like I've found yet another reason to sit at my computer all day.
I also recommend you check out the "Originals," which consist of classic clips with new dialogue dubbed in. Watch "Moby Dick Remixed," it's hysterical.
[via Pop Candy]
There hasn't been much talk about NBC's broadband video site DotComedy, and I've only poked around it a little bit myself, but before the end of this year, NBC plans to kick the site into high gear with clips of old shows, including Late Night with David Letterman, Coach and Dream On, and classic TV shows like Leave it to Beaver and The Munsters.
In an effort to woo viewers, the site will take on an aesthetic more akin to Comedy Central's Motherload site and feature both original and viewer-submitted content. The original series include "Hot Tub in Space," about a group of friends, in a hot tub, in space; "Untitled Comedy News Show," a parody of news programs that will actually pay viewers for jokes; "Easter Bunny Begins," a prequel to "The Easter Bunny Hates You" (video after the jump); "Triumph the Insult Comic Dog: Live In Las Vegas;" and "Kyle's in a Coma," about a guy named Kyle, who, funny enough, is in a coma.
The improved DotComedy will also feature clips from The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Saturday Night Live. What, they can show classic Letterman, but not Carson?
[via Market My Monkey]
Turner Broadcasting will be unveiling a new broadband comedy site in January called Super Deluxe. I don't know why they didn't give it a more comedic name, since "Super Deluxe" sounds like some kind of sandwich, but there you go. The new site, according to a press release, will feature both new and established comic talent and is meant to provide a place for comedians to develop and broadcast new ideas to the online audience. This will include short films, sketches and original online series. The site will also feature tools that allow users to upload their own content and communicate with the comedians in an open forum.
I guess we'll have to wait until January to see if this delivers anything worthwhile, but I will say I think it sounds like a cool idea, a kind of combination of YouTube and Comedy Central's Motherload. Then again, everything this new site offers can pretty much be done on YouTube, and already has. The key to standing out might be in developing a "community" that rivals that of YouTube's.
The online companion, FEARnet.com, will have 9 movies and 200 shorts that stream for free. In addition, there will be 50 downloadable movies available for rent or purchase. The site will also have news, reviews, and some community features. One of those that sounds interesting is the interactive database. Users, or victims as fearnet calls them, will also have the ability to chat with other members while they watch the movies. Sure, you could do it with IM, but it's good that they are trying something new. And finally, mobile.FEARnet.com will have news, reviews, and polls all designed with the tiny screens in mind. There are also plans to add ringtones and other goodies in the future. It's all very niche market, but since I find myself in that particular niche, I'm all for the idea. The various sites and services will all go live on Halloween.
If you haven't been checking in on Comedy Central's Motherload broadband site, you really should, because there's some great original programming on there in addition to the clips and previews of the network's television shows. I'm not so sure I can recommend the two new additions, one of which, "Good God," launched today. "Good God" imagines Heaven as an office where God and his angels figure out how to keep the universe running smoothly. If you like your comedy bland and unoriginal, then by all means, pop on over and check it out. All the modern TV cliches are there: the nervous office geek everyone makes fun of, the hot chick with personal problems, a boss (God) who says wildly inappropriate things, and one black guy (The Angel of Death) who talks about his dick and lusts after white women.
"Baxter and McGuire," and animated series created by comedian Nick Bakay and King of Queens creator Michael J. Weithorn, features Bakay and comedian Dana Gould as the voices of two testicles. That may sound stupid, and it is, and it may sound like a premise that will get old quickly, and it will, but between "Good God" and a pair of chatty testicles, the babbling balls are the better show.
Did anybody watch this series?
Of all of them though, this one is the worst. Telling you it is the worst is probably not the best way to sell you on the video, but it's one of those 'so bad you have to see it' things. Whoever decided to redo the theme song was about as right as anyone has ever been in television. Take a look for yourself, the video is after the jump.
I'd imagine that, for most of you, I don't even really need to go into details on this one. Just reading the phrase 'video on the web' probably conjures plenty of your own experiences fighting with technology to get your dander up. Why? Why does it have to be so damned complicated to put a video file on the internet?
Now, part of my frustration with this comes from the fact that I'm one of 'those guys.' I loathe Windows. I could go on and on about the evils of Bill and the Gang, but that is probably a post for another site. It does bring up one of the most frustrating things we run into when we link to content from the various networks. Requirements to play. You need Windows XP, or Media Player 10, or Flash 6, or IE, or Quicktime, or to stand on your head and chant the namshub of Enki. Good grief, it doesn't need to be that hard.
CBS' Innertube broadband site has an occasionally interesting series called Animate This! in which stars from different series tell stories about being in the industry which are then animated for comic effect. Some of the stories, such as Jennifer Love Hewitt's recollection of singing as a young child at a Texas fair, aren't that interesting, while others, such as Jeff Probst story of scuba diving while taping Survivor and ending up away from the boat with producer Mark Burnett and circled by a shark like the movie Open Water, are somewhat more gripping. The series is animated by Renegade Animation, the same studio that does Hi HI Puffy Ami Yumi on Cartoon Network.
[via Cold, Hard Flash]
You can watch the video on ABC's Lost channel. They also have a small collection of other Lost related video available. Those include: "Jack is trapped by the others!", "Can Jack escape?", and the first episode of Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof's new video podcast. Lost premieres tonight, and TV Squad will be live blogging the premiere.
Reader Rod wrote to us recently asking for a comprehensive list of all the television programs that can be downloaded or streamed online. That's a pretty tall order, and I'm sure I'll forget a few, which is why I'm asking our faithful readers to fill in any gaps left due to my ignorance or plain forgetfulness. I'm going to focus purely on legitimate downloads and not such things as peer-to-peer downloads or torrents. I'm not going to list specific shows, because obviously as the television schedule changes, so do the programs.
I encourage you to add this post to your Favorites, as I'll be updating it every now and then.
(Last updated on 01/21/07)
This will be the home for all of Derrick and Will's new content and videos, as well as the headquarters for their ongoing mission to get the show on the air. Most recently, the pair were seen in their Diet Coke and Mentos spoof. In just five days, that video managed 1.2 million hits on YouTube, 400,000 on Break.com, and 100,000 on Google video.
Check after the jump for their latest video.
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