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April 17, 2014

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'Smallville' Creators Sign Deal With Sony TV

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 21st 2010 9:45AM
Smallville'Smallville' creators Al Gough and Miles Millar have signed a two-year deal with Sony Pictures TV for the development of new programming, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The two have not been involved with 'Smallville' since 2008.

The pair was also involved in a number of big-screen projects, including 'Shanghai Noon,' 'Spider-Man 2' and the tween flick 'Hannah Montana: The Movie.'

The article does not specify the type of programming they will create for Sony's TV division. If they're consistent in terms of the shows they've previously worked on, then it will likely be material aimed at the CW type of audience (or those who appreciate teen angst).

On the other hand, 'Smallville' improved in quality once the two of them departed. That time coincided with the show concentrating more on the geek factor than the teen angst (which is useful since the characters aren't of teens anymore). As a result, it's tough to say whether this deal is more a boon for Gough and Millar or Sony.

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Mount Vesuvius to Explode in TV Miniseries

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 12th 2010 11:30AM
PompeiiBy my own reckoning, somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 various forms of media (books, television shows, movies) have been done about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in ancient Pompeii, Italy. Whatever the count actually is, add one more to it because Ridley Scott will be producing a miniseries about the famous eruption for Sony Pictures Television and Germany's Tandem Communications.

The story is described by the people involved as a thriller love story set against the backdrop of a historical disaster. In other words, it's a thematic duplicate of the movie 'Titanic.' The miniseries will be based on the book 'Pompeii' by Robert Harris, which was originally intended to be developed into a film directed by Roman Polanski (who suddenly became unavailable due to his arrest).

When a major historical event has been covered in an episode of 'Doctor Who,' you know it's been overdone. Hopefully Ridley Scott and company can put a unique spin on the tale. Has anybody read the book? Do you think it could be made into a good miniseries?

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Will 'Damages' Wind Up on DirecTV like 'Friday Night Lights'?

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 3rd 2010 3:35PM
glenn_close_damages_FX
There's good news and bad news regarding the Glenn Close legal drama 'Damages.' The bad news is that FX has real concerns about picking up the show for another season because of the cost. The good news is that Sony has turned to DirecTV to co-broadcast 'Damages.'

If this sounds like a paradigm you've heard before, you have. Currently, DirecTV shares the broadcast rights to 'Friday Night Lights' with NBC. That's how the Peabody-award winning program has remained on the air.

The fourth season of 'Friday Night Lights' has already run on DirecTV's Channel 101 -- a fantastic season by the way -- and NBC will give present the same episodes again for a much larger audience when the show premieres on May 7. (Of course, NBC could have chosen a night other than Friday -- one of the least watched nights of the week -- but there are fans out there waiting for this quality TV show.)

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Sony PlayStation Joins Reality TV Game

by Aimee Deeken, posted Feb 12th 2010 1:00PM
PlayStation 3The video game industry wants to try its hand at playing something else: reality TV programming.

Sony Computer Entertainment America has partnered with producer 51 Minds to launch a reality TV series, Variety reports. The program, titled 'The Tester,' will be available only to PlayStation 3 owners, running exclusively on the PlayStation Network.

This is the industry's first foray into original programming modeled on the broadcast network format. PS3 has previously offered an original anime series, coverage of upcoming games and a behind-the-scenes look at the video game industry.

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3D Game Shows? 'Wheel of Fortune' Could Be First

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 8th 2010 8:35AM
Wheel of FortuneI can think of about 75 changes to television I'd like to see before this, but apparently they're thinking of bringing 3D technology to game shows. Last Friday, the producers of 'Wheel of Fortune' showed a 3D clip of the show at Sony's 3D Technology Center. Executive producer Harry Friedman says he's "interested in keeping [the show] fresh...without changing the game." One of the ways to do that is to change the way the show is filmed, the set, and the technology used. It's a tricky thing though. Even if you don't change the game at all, 'Wheel of Fortune' has been around for a very long time and dedicated fans like things the way they are.

Is 3D television something you'd actually watch on a regular basis, or is it something you'd want to use rarely, maybe for movies or playing video games? While there are now 3D television sets being sold, I'm still not sold on the technology. I certainly don't want to wear any special glasses or change the way I watch TV in any way just to see someone buy a vowel.

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Who really got Eric Braeden back on The Young and the Restless

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 16th 2010 9:03AM
eric_braeden_cbsToday was a big day on The Young and the Restless. It wasn't just that Fridays are always big for story revelations -- and there were some doozies today! -- it was the return to the show of one of the biggest stars in the business. Eric Braeden, as his alter ego Victor Newman, made a dramatic entrance just as his two sons were beating the crap out of each other in Victor's office. In typical Victor fashion, Braeden strode into the office and growled, "What the hell is going on here?"

Ironically, Y&R fans were saying the same thing a few months back when Braeden quit the show after a contract dispute. Instead of remaining quiet, the fans spoke out and according to Braeden, there were two major influences that got him back. One was Les Moonves, the president and CEO of CBS Corporation.

"But who essentially stepped in was Les Moonves, who has always been a friend and supporter," Braeden told TV Guide's Michael Logan.

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LG Launching 3D TVs in May

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Jan 7th 2010 11:02AM
Bringing the third dimension to your living room is fast becoming a reality.

According to Engadget, LG announced yesterday that its 3D-enabled flat screen TVs will go on sale in May. The sets will cost about $200-$300 more than what's currently available, says the Hollywood Reporter.

LG has also announced that it will start selling televisions that integrate its popular web phone.

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Discovery, Sony, IMAX Team to Launch 3D Channel; ESPN 3D Coming in June

by Daniel Frankel, posted Jan 5th 2010 1:45PM
Those folks shelling out the bucks for a new 3D TV set this year will soon have several dedicated 3D cable channels to play on it.

On Tuesday, in the run-up to the big Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, several new 3D channels were announced. In June, ESPN will launch a 3D channel around its coverage of World Cup Soccer. The sports cable giant has promised to broadcast 85 live sporting events in 3D the first year.

Meanwhile, Discovery Communications, Sony and IMAX jointly announced Tuesday that they're partnering to launch their own 3D network in 2011.

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How The Young and the Restless got Eric Braeden back

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 7th 2009 4:04PM
nikki_victor_the_young_and_the_restless
Sometimes it's true that all's well that ends well. And sometimes to reach that happy ending, arms are twisted, feelings are hurt, and bad blood is spilled. In the case of The Young and the Restless and actor Eric Braeden, there was a good deal of acrimony on both sides. The fact that Braeden is back in the fold now and he will continue as Victor Newman for the foreseeable future, doesn't obscure the fact that it was a nasty situation.

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It looks like those Heathers are headed to television

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 27th 2009 2:04PM
HeathersMaybe it's because I was a teenager when it came out, but Heathers still stands as one of those few movies that I really remember and connected with. I'm kind of on the fence with this news that Fox and Sony are developing Heathers for television, though.

In the film Winona Ryder's character Veronica goes from being a "Heather," the popular clique in the school, to systematically murdering them and making their deaths look like suicides. Suddenly, suicide becomes the "in" thing. And all of this because she was tricked into doing so by the new "bad boy" in town.

Ultimately standing up to him, Veronica does the right thing in the theatrical ending, but there's lots of death, suicide attempts and darkness along the way. I'm not sure how well that translates to TV, though Buffy the Vampire Slayer had lots of death and darkness in a high school and it did okay. There's a way to do a very serious story about the emotional turmoil and cruelty of high school, but it's a tightrope that has to be walked very carefully.

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Memories of Michael Jackson: Collaborating with Paul McCartney

by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 26th 2009 6:12PM
Paul_Mccartney_Michael_Jackson_say_say_say
The stunning news yesterday about the death of Michael Jackson conjured up many memories of the singer for me, as I'm sure it did for most people. For many of us, there was never a time when the Jackson Five and Michael were not part of pop culture. Little Michael and his brothers on The Ed Sullivan Show, their funky outfits when they sang on The Flip Wilson Show (much cooler than the Osmond Brothers!), Michael as the Scarecrow in The Wiz (a hideous movie, but he was quite good).

Well after leaving his brothers to become Michael Jackson, solo superstar, Michael hooked up with Paul McCartney for a couple of songs, "Say, Say, Say" and "The Girl is Mine." The latter was okay, but the former was terrific. They co-wrote it and it reached #1 on the charts in 1983. Those were the times when MTV really showcased music videos and the artists and labels invested in top-notch productions. It was, if you will, the golden age of music videos!

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What do I do now that we've gone digital?

by Brad Trechak, posted Jun 14th 2009 9:00AM
Sony WatchmanThe big digital television crossover came and went. So what do I do with my spare set? Sure, I subscribe to cable so my wired televisions should have no problem with the conversion (most of mine are recent purchases anyway and are prepared for the conversion), but that's not what I'm referring to. I'm asking what exactly I could now do with the Sony Watchman Model FD-2A that I purchased in 1985 and remains in my closet to this day.

It was intended as a way of being able to watch television during high school (and to show how dated the set is, the screen is black and white). It does actually still work, if the purpose of the set is to produce a screen of snow.

Here are some ideas that I could now use the set for:
  • As a TV (all I need to do is crack it open and hook up a digital converter, which kind of ruins the portability aspect of the device)
  • Target practice
  • Paperweight
  • Handy object to throw at my oppressors (if I ever have any oppressors)
  • Tree ornament
  • Abstract art
  • Flashlight (if I turn off the sound)
  • Fencing practice (the antenna is pretty long)
  • Prop replica of a Sony Watchman
  • Brick replacement
Any other ideas?

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That Green Hornet movie might not happen after all

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 26th 2009 3:10PM
The Green HornetI loved The Green Hornet when I was a kid. I remember seeing Van Williams and Bruce Lee on Batman (one of those crossover episodes to get people excited) and liking them even a bit more than Batman and Robin. Batman was just kinda weird, and Robin's tights were stupid. The Green Hornet had a cool mask, a great car, a cool gun, and a karate expert bodyguard/sidekick. The Green Hornet only lasted one season though. Maybe it didn't have the pedigree and colorful villains that Batman had.

A big screen movie has been talked about for years. At one point, George Clooney was talked about for the role of Britt Reid/The Green Hornet. All of those productions never got past the talking stage, but when Seth Rogen became popular and he and Evan Goldberg got involved, Sony put the movie into gear. But now rumors are swirling that they might not want it after all. They need a new director (Stephen Chow left last month), and several sources say that Sony isn't high on the film anymore. The film is still slated for a June, 2010 release date.

It would be unfortunate if Rogen lost all of that weight for nothing. But I guess there's the whole "healthy" aspect.

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PVR add-on for PS3 to begin European rollout in September

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 18th 2008 7:04PM
PlayTVIf you were hoping to get your hands on a Sony PlayTV add-on for the Playstation3 this summer, it looks like you might have to wait just a bit longer. Sony's Davide Reeves says the accessory will be available in the UK on September 10th and will roll out to other European markets by December.

The PlayTV is a €99 box that you can add to Sony's video game console to turn it into a personal video recorder. Users can watch live high definition, digital broadcasts or record programs to a PS3 hard drive for later viewing.

Thanks to a recent software update, PlayTV owners will be able to record a TV program while using their PS3 to play video games.

There's no word on a US launch date. Since the US uses different broadcast standards than Europe, you won't be able to use a European PlayTV in America. But gamers in New Zealand and Australia should be able to pick up a PlayTV early next year.

[via EngadgetHD]

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Leno's options: Could he replace Letterman at CBS?!

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 27th 2008 4:23PM

LenoYou know how people say stuff like "if CBS cancels Moonlight, I'm never watching that stupid network again!"? I think those proclamations are usually silly, but I might be in that group if the following happens: CBS replacing David Letterman with Jay Leno.

That's one of the options listed in this handy Hollywood Reporter guide to what Leno will do after his stint on NBC is over in 2009. The other options are going to ABC at 11:35, going to FOX at 11:35, a syndicated show with Sony, he stays at NBC and does some other primetime show, he takes over for Larry King on CNN, or he goes back to doing standup full-time. Taking over for Letterman would happen if (and when - he could extend his contract) Letterman retires in 2010.

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