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October 23, 2014

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Blood good! Brains bad! A&E edits The Sopranos

by Anna Johns, posted Oct 20th 2006 1:31PM
the sopranosBasic cable channel A&E bought the syndication rights to The Sopranos, and now the network is busy trying to clean up the show for its audience. What can and can't they air? It's a fine line that basically says blood is okay but brain spatter is not. Case in point: the last episode of season one has Jimmy Altieri getting whacked with one bullet to the back of his head. When the episode aired on HBO, the audience saw blood spatter on the wall and chunks of brain slide down the wall. A&E's audience won't see the brains. There are about one hundred other instances where executives have to make similar decisions about violence, language and nudity. The newly edited versions of The Sopranos air on A&E in January.

I'm wondering if it's even worth the effort. A&E bought the right to air all 85 episodes of The Sopranos... for a staggering $2.5 million per episode. But how much fun is it really going to be without all the naughty stuff?

[Via TV Tattle]

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HBO cancels Lucky Louie

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 18th 2006 6:17PM
Lucky LouieIt looks like HBO's traditional sitcom experiment was short-lived. Lucky Louie, a multi-camera sitcom created and starring comedian Louis C.K., has been cancelled after its first 13-episode season. This TV Week article ("cleverly" titled "'Louie's' Luck Runs Out") mentions that the show was seen by about 1.3 million viewers on average; the season finale was seen by about that many people, which was 1.2 million less than the network's other summer Sunday offering, Entourage.

It was an interesting try; imagine a sitcom with a live audience, living room and kitchen sets, etc., but with the freedom of language and subject matter that HBO provides. Guess not enough people bought into the experiment for HBO's liking. The president of HBO Entertainment claims she wants to work with Louis C.K. again, but there are no current plans for a new series. At least this might give Louis more material for his stand-up act.

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Parent Television Council strikes again

by Anna Johns, posted Sep 3rd 2006 9:04PM
parent television councilOh, puh-lease. The Parent Television Council, a group that has a stick up its collective ass, has made a formal complaint to the FCC about last week's Emmy telecast. It wasn't the plane crash skit that ignited their anger, it was a comment by winner Helen Mirren as she accepted her Emmy for Best Actress in HBO's Elizabeth I. You may recall, Helen worried about taking a tumble on her way up to the stage. She mentioned falling "tits over ass", a common British phrase. Calista Flockhart later presented with Mirren and said the phrase again in playful banter. NBC did air the show on a delay but chose not to censor the comment. The PTC released this statement, "It is utterly irresponsible and atrocious for NBC to air this vulgar language during the safe harbor time when millions of children were in the viewing audience." The FCC is reportedly trying to decifer its own rules to determine whether the offense is worthy of a fine.

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Group upset over NASCAR swearing

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 28th 2006 2:34PM
nascarThe American Family Association, the same group that filed complaints against an episode of Without a Trace, have now set their sights on Fox Sports' recent coverage of the Food City 500 NASCAR race.  During the broadcast, which like all of Fox Sports' live events was aired without tape delay, a member of driver Martin Truex's team called another car "a piece of s---." This isn't the first time drivers or members of a race team have let blue language fly on the air, and so far complaints haven't helped much, especially when one considers that only broadcast networks are subject to fines, not cable channels. While I understand people wanting to keep such language from television during the hours when children are watching, a complete absence of swearing seems almost unnatural. As BC Beat notes, a sport as intense and dangerous as auto racing is going to conjure its share of curse words. It seems to be the nature of the beast. 

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Univision put up for sale

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 12th 2006 8:16AM
A. Jerrold PerenchioHere's an interesting fact: founder, chairman and CEO of Univision, A. Jerrold Perenchio, does not speak Spanish. Now, he's also the central figure in the recent decision to put the popular Spanish language channel up for sale. Some speculate the channel could draw in as much as $12 billion from possible buyers, and people like CBS' Leslie Moonves, Rupert Murdoch, Time Warner, and Televisa, one of Univision's content providers, have all expressed varying degrees of interest. Univision hasn't been failing in the ratings. On the contrary, it's actually been doing exceptionally well. The decision to sell the company appears to be based on the 75-year old CEO's desire to finally leave the network he began.

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Clips of Japanese weirdness

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 16th 2006 12:31PM

polar bearI admit it. I have a proclivity for watching weird TV shows done in languages I don't understand. Since I know I'm not the only one out there who does this, I invite you to take a gander at some of these clips of Japanese game shows. I think the videos are safe for work, depending on your company's tolerance for scantily-clad women (and men). If you click the above link you'll also find more videos listed in the comments. I'm not making any claims about the content of those, however. You'll have to venture into that particular jungle on your own. 

[via Boing Boing]

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Buffy, The OC spread Valley Girl-speak

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 8th 2006 10:02AM
Here's a crazy notion: teen-age girls are the most powerful force in the English language. Like, that's totally frightening. It's according to the whiz kids over at the University of Toronto's Linguistics department. They recently published research that shows young women pick up on new slang faster than young men. And, shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The O.C. are helping to spread the California Valley Girl lingo across the globe. And it is so much more than just Chrismukkah. One of the researchers says, "Valley Girl has gone beyond a fad and is now rooted in different forms of English around the world." Holy hell. Remember when it was funny to say "as if" and call someone a "Monet", thanks to the movie Clueless?

Here are some words that will help you speak like a teen-age girl (or to one):

  • Muffin Top: the belly that hangs over the jeans
  • Exogal: skinny
  • Truthiness: making statements you believe to be true, but may not be (try using that one in a sentence)
  • Whale Tail: thong above the waistband
  • Prostitot: child dressed provocatively
  • Chickenhead: ugly girl
  • Squares: cigarettes
  • Creepin' and falsin': cheating and lying
  • Lollipalooza: group of cute boys, also known as lollipops

Know of any other slang? I'm rather fond of telling people to "Suck It" lately, and I noticed that Jordan on Scrubs used the same phrase last week.

[Via Whedonesque]

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