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September 16, 2014

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BBC sci-fi classics show up for free on on YouTube

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Dec 21st 2009 4:05PM
BBC is offering classic sci-fi shows like The Quatermass Experiment.The BBC's official YouTube channel is offering free Christmas gifts to sci-fi fans in the form of a classic hero and a field full of deadly plants. The move gives American viewers a great (legal) chance to catch up on quality productions that didn't (yet?) make their way over to BBC America.

Among the many full episodes of BBC programming now awaiting your computer's perusal is the creepy 1981 production of Day of the Triffids. Most pop culture and horror buffs know the title from the 1962 monster movie of the same title. But this BBC production was a much more faithful and in-depth production of John Wyndham's book.

The online series serves as a great lead-in to the new BBC production of Triffids -- set to premiere Dec. 28.

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Ask TV Squad: Chuck, Katherine Heigl and where to watch shows online

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 18th 2009 10:02AM
Katherine HeiglThe "Ask TV Squad" column, published every Wednesday, answers your questions about current and past TV shows, as well as about the celebrities appearing on TV. Every week, I will pick a question (or more) sent to us and provide answers in the column. If your question is not picked for a column, it may be answered in a subsequent column or in TV Squad's APB Podcast.

To submit questions to the "Ask TV Squad" column, you can post them below in comments or email them to asktvsquad@gmail.com.

This week, I answer questions about Chuck, Katherine Heigl, and where to legally watch shows online for the U.S. and Canada.

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Is Canada's best science fiction TV show not on TV?

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 11th 2009 1:02PM
Riese is using online marketing to emerge as Canadian's hottest sci-fi show.There are plenty of sci-fi TV shows made up in Canada. The Stargate series comes out of Vancouver -- as does Fringe. There's a proud ongoing fantasy tradition deeply rooted up there.

But, the city's local newspaper insists the best show in production in Canada's Pacific Southwest isn't on broadcast TV. It's a web series called Riese. The Steampunk-themed action series is set in another time in the kingdom of Eleysia. The title character (Christine Chatelain) battles through the countryside with a wolf avenging the death of her family.

She's fighting off a crazed, fundamentalist religious group -- the Sect. So, you can set your watch by how long the tunnel-vision crew over at Big Hollywood jumps on Riese as some sort of attack on traditional religion. (It's not.)

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BBC's legendary EastEnders soap goes online

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Nov 8th 2009 10:30AM
Eastenders is going online with a new web soap opera.Think of the most popular American daytime soap. Then, multiply that by a factor of 10. That's the ongoing craze known as the BBC's immortal EastEnders. Premiering in 1985, the working-class melodrama remains one of the U.K.'s highest-rated series.

Now, EastEnders is set to kick off its own web spinoff series next year. According to a Beeb press release, the online BBC Vision Multiplatform commissioned EastEnders: E20 to go live in January, 2010.

In addition to taking advantage of TV's online evolution, the web series will help to celebrated the EastEnders 25th anniversary.

Now, the question is if anyone in Hollywood can catch on to moves like these and adapt more successful U.S. shows into big name web series. Shows like 24 tried brief web dalliances, but nothing this ambitious has yet to take flight from American networks.

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Ask TV Squad: NYPD Blue, Miami Trauma and online shows

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Oct 7th 2009 2:02PM
NYPD BlueThe "Ask TV Squad" column, published every Wednesday, answers your questions about current and past TV shows, as well as about the celebrities appearing on TV. Every week, I will pick a question (or more) sent to us and provide answers in the column. If your question is not picked for a column, it may be answered in a subsequent column. To submit questions to the "Ask TV Squad" column, you can post them below in comments or email them at asktvsquad@gmail.com.

This week, I answer questions about online TV shows, a new series called Miami Trauma, and NYPD Blue DVDs.

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Little Monk web series to explore big Monk's problems

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Aug 13th 2009 5:03PM
Monk's mental problems will be explored in the web series, Little Monk.With USA Network's Monk entering its final season, this is as good a time as any to explore how its title character developed his obsessions and ticks.

According to a network press release, USA Network and Sleep Inn Hotels (No, I don't get the connection, either...) teamed up to launch USA's first live-action original web series on usanetwork.com, Little Monk.

The web series seeks to explore the origins of the anal-retentive and obsessive Monk's chronic conditions.

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Would you pay to watch Bill O'Reilly online?

by Brad Trechak, posted Aug 6th 2009 9:25AM
FoxRupert Murdoch thinks so. In fact, he's betting that folks will pay to watch all of his television properties on their respective websites.

A friend of mine once suggested something like this. Basically, news would be free, but premium content online would come at a cost. Sort of like how stock quotes are delayed 20 minutes unless you pay a premium to see the prices instantly. And those with extreme political opinions, like sports fans, would pay any price to see their favorite commentators/players do their thing.

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WGA strike gives rise to new web series

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Jun 18th 2009 11:02AM
The WGA strike caused trouble in Hollywood, but might've created top web series.The painful writers strike of several months ago could prove a boon to the development of a new web TV channel packed with original content.

The months long Writers Guild of America strike that began November 1 of 2007 touched off a storm from which Hollywood still hasn't recovered. It slowed not only the production of new TV shows but the purchase and development of fresh material. The jury is still out on whether the settlement agreement that ended it all accomplish much for writers -- or merely set-up another strike in 2011.

Reports say, during the work stoppage, a group of top-shelf TV creators decided to step out of the traditional production model and develop material just for the web.

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Jeff Zucker talks about NBC, web content, and why Seinfeld wouldn't survive today

by Bob Sassone, posted May 29th 2009 7:02PM
When I first saw this I thought to myself, Jeff, a show like Seinfeld actually would survive if you stuck with it and didn't cancel it, just like NBC did back then. You don't have to cancel shows even today just because they don't get great ratings after two episodes.

This is a clip of NBC boss Jeff Zucker being interviewed at the All Things D conference. He talks about Hulu, iTunes, NBC's woes, and how the industry has changed over the years. (This is highlights from the interview - full report here.)

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The scariest video you'll see today: teens without technology!

by Bob Sassone, posted May 19th 2009 2:02PM
I've been online every single day for about 14 years, I have several e-mail addresses, I have a couple of computers, I have a cell phone, and I Twitter. Still, I don't think it would be a problem for me to give up my cell phone and iPod for ten days.

Not the younger folks though, if this video from Today is any indication. The kids just can't handle not being able to get online or text to their friends (17,500 messages in one month??). One kid doesn't even know how to use a newspaper, and another can't read a regular clock (seriously). I think their heads would cave in if they tried to use a typewriter.

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PBS learns about the Internet

by Annie Wu, posted Apr 25th 2009 1:01PM
PBSPBS! Internet! Things! High-five, nerds.

PBS's content is finally online, just barely pulling them a little closer to catching up with everyone else. Their portal seems pretty straight-forward and there is a clear effort for organization, but the amount of content is super-limited. If you're looking for a bit of Time Team America, there's only one full episode online, but if Antiques Roadshow is more your thing, the site is definitely worth checking out.

I'm most excited about having NOVA on-hand, mainly because of the amount of non-video content that is directly accessible through each episode. Like, check out this installment about fractals and then poke around all the links immediately beneath the player. It'll make your brain tingle.

Edit: Obviously, this isn't the first time PBS has had content online, but it's still nice to finally have a place to house it all, yes?

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CBS streams vintage shows online

by Debra McDuffee, posted Feb 10th 2009 7:11PM
Simon Baker as Patrick Jane in The Mentalist

CBS is connected to the pulse of America, people. They're at the top of the ratings race, The Mentalist is the hot new procedural this season and life is looking good for TPTB over at CBS.

I'm also wondering if CBS realizes how sick and tired most viewers are getting of the same old types of shows. With the lack of originality in new programming, I know I'm not the only one turning to my old favorites on DVD. I love reliving Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I'm now discovering Supernatural for the first time.

I swear I didn't tell CBS about my longing for all things retro, but they have bugged my house or tapped into my TV set or something, because their latest venture is streaming vintage TV shows on their site -- CBS's "TV Classics" player.

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Conchords gets 250,000 viewers online

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 29th 2008 10:01AM
Flight of the ConchordsIt looks like the Flight of the Conchords premiere shown exclusively online at FunnyOrDie.com and HBO.com drew 250,000 views in the first 10 days. The article doesn't say whether or not that represents unique views or the same person viewing it 250,000 times (where was Kristen Schaal during the past 10 days?), but it likely was the former.

It says a lot about the power of online buzz, given that the last season premiere had only 100,000 views (before Flight of the Conchords had mainstream popularity in the States). Fans like me have waited two years for the next season (which, I understand, was held up because the duo was busy writing new songs for the second season), and it was nice to be able to watch the premiere online in advance of its initial television broadcast. Other networks should follow HBO's pattern to generate buzz for their programming.

I received a couple of their albums for the holidays (better late than never). My favorite song of theirs is "Bowie".

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Monty Python finally does something with this YouTube stuff - VIDEOS

by Annie Wu, posted Nov 18th 2008 7:03PM
Monty PythonHey, want to know something super-sad? For most of seventh grade, I came home every day from school and, before doing anything else, watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail from beginning to end. I also spent a great deal of middle school reading everything I could about the troupe, filling my brain with pointless trivia about Sam Peckinpah's "Salad Days" and Spam.

This not only caused me to develop a type of hardcore social awkwardness that was extremely rare outside of the 70s and 80s, but forever instilled in me a deep love for Monty Python. Since the boys are very busy with their individual projects these days, it's a thrill to see any new Python stuff to come around, even when it's in the form of an extra-short YouTube clip and they're never actually shown to be in the same room together.

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Amy Poehler's new web series aims to inspire young girls - VIDEO

by Mike Moody, posted Nov 17th 2008 3:04PM
Amy Poehler's Smart Girls st the Party web seriesAmy Poehler is really taking this mommy thing seriously. The Saturday Night Live vet just launched a new web series, and I'm happy to report that it's probably not what you'd expect.

Smart Girls at the Party is aimed at young girls and their parents, not Poehler's usual audience of late night TV watchers or cult comedy fans. Every five-to-ten minute episode will feature Poehler interviewing a talented and creative young girl.

"The show aims to help girls find confidence in their own aspirations and talents," says On Networks, the series' online distributor.

It's kind of like a blend of Reading Rainbow, Larry King Live and Gilmore Girls. Actually, I could see Rory and Lorelai Gilmore digging on Poehler's mock-serious interviewing style, the sunny power-pop theme music, and the show's "smart girls rule" attitude.

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