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September 21, 2014

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Yup, Comcast now owns NBC

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 3rd 2009 9:30AM
NBC LogoThe clues were there and now it's official. A press release has been issued confirming Comcast buying a 51% stake in NBCU with GE owning the remaining 49%. Now the fun begins.

The question is: what will Comcast dump and what will they keep? Almost certainly they will keep the cable networks. Will they keep the NBC network itself? NBC is a popular name brand, but the network has been sagging in the ratings to the point where they're trying desperate moves like "Leno at Ten-o" (a phrase that NBC will undoubtedly use soon if they haven't already).

One can hope the Comcast deal will be a boon to NBC and give the network a shot in the arm to produce better television. I remain skeptical. At this stage, it's pretty much a "wait and see" situation.

What do you think is going to happen? Will Comcast's involvement make NBC Universal better or worse?

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Days of Our Lives now on iTunes

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 12th 2007 10:02AM

days of our livesStarting today, the long-running soap opera Days of Our Lives will be available on iTunes for the usual $1.99 per episode. Fans can also get episodes a bit cheaper by purchasing twenty episodes for $9.99.

According to Variety, placing Days on iTunes is most likely a move to get more people to watch the series, which has lost some viewers over the last year or so. Frankly, I don't see why more soap operas aren't made available this way, or, even better, made available for free online. Soaps more or less require a person to be tuned in day in and day out, and fans, one assumes, would love to be able to go back and catch up on whatever they might have missed.

This, however, leads to another question, which is "how old are the people watching Days, and how many of those people are going to use iTunes for anything?" Something tells me an iTunes promotional push isn't going to be much help.

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Showtime content on Windows Vista

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 30th 2007 12:22PM

windows vistaComputer users running Windows Vista with Windows Media Center will soon be able to download and purchase original content from Showtime, including full episodes, cast information, and various video highlights. Unfortunately, this is only available to people running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate and not to folks like myself still running Windows Media Center on Windows XP. I've been meaning to upgrade, but I'm an extremely lazy man.

I've already said it about a million times, but I'm always happy to see evidence of this sometimes atavistic industry's realization that "television" no longer refers to just the "TV set." As more and more people turn to the Web to see their favorite programs, partnerships like this make a lot of sense. More ways to watch means more people watching, and that's never a bad thing.

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Everybody Hates Chris on DVD Tuesday

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 8th 2006 8:01AM
everybody hates chrisThe first season of one of the only network sitcoms I actually watch, Everybody Hates Chris, will be out on DVD this Tuesday. The CW series is loosely based on Chris Rock's life as a child growing up in Brooklyn. I say "loosely" because obviously some exaggeration must be used to make the show funny, and also there's no way Chris Rock was thirteen in 1983. The set, which is retailing for a hefty $49.99, will include commentaries from Chris Rock and the cast. The supplemental material is cleverly labeled the same as the episodes, with items such as "Everybody Hates the Making of Everybody Hates Chris" and "Everybody Hates Bloopers."

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Campus TV show accused of racism

by Adam Finley, posted Mar 4th 2006 1:02PM
college tv showThe State University of New York at Purchase is in an uproar after a closed-circuit television station on campus aired a thirty minute show in which a white student decked out in blackface and another white student made jokes about blacks, gays, Jews, women... well, they pretty much ran the gamut. Billy Prinsell, the student who appeared in blackface, insists he was making fun of another host who had made fun of him, and that it was no different than what's seen on SNL or Chappelle's Show. While I haven't seen the offending show and couldn't speculate on whether Prisnell is racist or just grossly misguided, I don't think this story is uncommon to younger people who try to venture into satire for the first time. His comparison to Chappelle's Show is spot on, but not for the reason he thinks. When Chappelle gets impolitic, it's to expose a deeper truth. Mockery of other people is not automatically made defensible by slapping a "satire" label on it. It may seem like an easy way to be cutting edge, but this particular form of comedy takes a more skilled hand than people realize. When it's done haphazardly and without forethought, people get angry, and rightfully so.

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