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July 29, 2014

television

TV 101: An open letter to TV executives about why you should stop worrying and learn to love PIRACY

by Jay Black, posted Dec 10th 2008 11:03AM
Oh, you went as me for Halloween? How creative.Hey TV executives, it's me your good pal Jay Black. Maybe you remember me from my one man "Bring Back ALF" letter-writing campaign? If not, that's okay. I'm just happy that we're talking like this and not through Yvonne Strahovski's lawyers like last time.

As you can probably tell, I spend a lot of time thinking about you guys and your tough job of coming up with so many creative shows. I don't envy your having to sort through pile after pile of successful European reality shows trying to find one uncomplicated enough for American audiences. I don't know how you do it!

I'll be honest with you, I'm worried about the future of your industry. I know you're worried too. You think that if you don't act fast to counter all those people pirating your content that you'll wind up like your good buddies over in the music industry. I don't want that to happen to you, so that's why I'm writing this letter: TV, you can save yourself if you don't fight piracy, but rather embrace it.

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TV stars say they don't watch TV ... are they lying?

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 21st 2008 3:04PM
Jennifer Love HewittI've heard and read it a million times in interviews. Johnny X of the show YZ says he just doesn't have time to watch much TV. Maybe the news here or there. And I'm sorry, but I was always pretty suspicious of that. Even moreso when they say they've never watched much TV. Then why did they want to get into TV in the first place? Frazier Moore of the AP talked about the phenomenon of TV actors shunning TV and speculated it may have to do with the old stigma that TV acting is somehow akin to writing pulp romance novels. After all, "real" writers moonlight in that arena, albeit with pen names.

I wonder, though, if it isn't more that they're trying to put on an appearance of someone who is above the "pedestrian" fare of television, elevating themselves to the so-called loftier perches of the stage and big screen actors. After all, don't many television actors aspire to move onto the more prestigious film world. Is television still something to be ashamed of?

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What do you call your remote?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 17th 2008 3:03PM

remoteIt's one of the eternal questions in life: what do you call your remote?

Tim Dowling over at The Guardian has a story about all of the different names that TV viewers have for that little device that saves us from having to walk across the room and has probably contributed to the onslaught of ADD we have. All of the names we've all heard are on the list, such as "clicker" (my mom used to call it that), "flipper" (which was popular with Frank on Everybody Loves Raymond), "wand," and "changer." Of course, The Guardian is a British paper so you're going to get some words that Americans really aren't familiar with, such as "tellychanger," "podger," and "hoofer-doofer." Most people I know just call it "the remote." We should come up with a different name for it. "Binky" is good, but that's already taken for pacifiers. How about "the glooptron?"

I call mine "Jessica."

[via TV Tattle]

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The Brought to You by TV Squad Award: Call for considerations

by Jen Creer, posted May 23rd 2008 1:41PM
TV Squad award pic052308Last summer, I was reviewing an-hour long commercial for Visa for TV Squad. It was slightly more interesting than an infomercial, though. There was this guy named Johnny Smith who could see the future or the past when he touched people, and he always made sure to use his Visa card in sticky situations that would arise from this ability. Oh wait... What's that you say? That wasn't a commercial? That was an actual show? Then why did Johnny Smith make such a big deal of showing off his Visa card REPEATEDLY?

Oh, product placement. We love you so. It's not enough that we all got Tivos so we didn't have to watch the commercials that interrupt our favorite shows. Oh no. The sneaky advertisers don't need us to watch the commercials at all anymore. They just stick their products into the shows and let the actors use them. TV Squad. Simple. Inescapable, unless you plan to give up television entirely (and I don't.).

Of course, some products are necessary. Most people eat or drink something during the day, and it would be weird in today's world if television characters didn't have cell phones. TV Squad. But it's a little distracting when you are in the middle of watching a riveting episode of Moonlight, and you are distracted because Hey! There's a picture of Mick on Beth's iPhone! I wish I had an iPhone. Mick has an iPhone too! I wonder who programmed their pictures into the phones -- was it the actors, or some props person? Do you think the actors get to keep those iPhones? Oh wait, somebody just got killed.

So, in honor (not!) of the blatant use of product placement in our favorite shows (those darn Oceanic 815 survivors and their Dharma mayonnaise!), we bring to you The Brought to You by TV Squad Award. What are your nominees for the show who should receive this award, and what product are they pimping? Please nominate your favorites in the comments.

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Half of all BitTorrent downloads are TV shows

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 15th 2008 9:23AM
Masi OkaWe all know that how people watch TV has been changing dramatically in the last few years, but now comes this news from TorrentFreak.com: 50% of all people using BitTorrent at any given point in time are downloading a TV series. More than anything else, it's TV content they want.

What this means is that TV fans aren't just watching TV shows live or using DVRs and TiVos alone. They're just as apt to download a show to view on a laptop, desktop or iPod. According to the article, "over a billion TV shows are downloaded every year and this number continues to rise."


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Ten ways I plan to cope with the WGA writers strike

by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 7th 2007 1:26PM
Strike rat on dutyI know I have a problem. I don't need anyone to tell me that I was a child of television and it's been in my life all my life. Yes, I read. Yes, I listen to music. And, obviously I write.

But most of my writing these days is about television!

I recall the last writers strike. It was during that time that I wrote a really horrible horror novel to occupy my time outside of my day job. I'm not doing that again this time. I refuse to spend weeks writing dreck just because the television and film writers are on strike.

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Ryan Seacrest to host Emmys

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 20th 2007 12:20PM

ryan seacrestFOX announced today that Ryan Seacrest will be hosting the 59th Emmy Awards on FOX September 16 at 8:00 p.m. This news comes in the wake of the announcement that Seacrest will also be hosting the Super Bowl.

I have no idea if this is a good idea or not, as I don't watch American Idol, E! News, Captain Seacrest's Pirate Ship Hootenanny, or whatever the hell other series he's featured on. Still, isn't the typical rule for awards shows to have some kind of comedian hosting them?

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Teen Choice nominees announced

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 3rd 2007 2:02PM

teen choiceAs a teenager, your opinion is irrelevant to most of society, but the Teen Choice Awards is your chance to let your voice be heard, and to nominate Paris Hilton for some reason.

Hilton is just one of the folks who have been nominated for Teen Choice 2007, which airs live starting at 8:00 p.m. on August 26 on FOX. She's been nominated in the "Choice TV: Female Reality/Variety Star" category for her "role" on The Simple Life. She's also nominated for the "OMG! Moment" for her jail sentence. Yes, you can win an award for that now, so star commiting some felonies right now, kids.

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Doctor Who: Utopia/The Sound of Drums

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 27th 2007 7:26PM
Doctor Old(S03E11 / S03E12) I've decided to combine the first two episodes of this three-part finale in to one review, partly because it's only a few days until the finale itself, but mostly because I really don't know where to start with this totally explosive storyline.

When Doctor Who returned to our screens a few years ago, everyone was anticipating the return of old favourites, like the Autons, the Daleks and the Cybermen -- and, sure, those guys notched up the fear factor and excitement when The Doctor faced them down -- but there's one guy we've all been waiting for, and he finally turned up in the strangest of places.

Well, make that two guys...

WARNING: Spoilers after the jump.

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Doctor Who: Blink

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 26th 2007 6:27PM
Blink(S03E10) Apologies for the lack of Doctor Who reviews recently, but I was sunning myself in Italy, and returned home to find a bumper hoard of episodes waiting for me on my Sky+ box.

Before I begin, let me ask you a question: how many times in recent years have you watched a stand-alone episode of a big sci-fi show and walked away from it thinking, "Man, that was brilliant"?

Seriously -- it can't be more than once or twice. Maybe a few episodes of X-Files, or Star Trek:TNG - possibly some Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica.

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Doctor Who: Human Nature / Family of Blood

by Martin Conaghan, posted Jun 7th 2007 7:01PM
The Family of Blood(S03E08 / S03E09) Haven't I always said that the best episodes of Doctor Who are generally set in the past?

I deliberately waited until the second part of this two-part episode had aired before making any judgments on it, partly because the first episode promised so much, but left things hanging in the balance -- but also because it was a sharp turn away from the recent filler episodes which had found me falling asleep on the settee.

But this was a different beast altogether; classic Doctor Who with sinister villains, a curious plot, some romance and a whole heap of adventure and emotion.

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Doctor Who: 42

by Martin Conaghan, posted May 24th 2007 8:40PM
Doctor Who(S03E07) I'm starting to get the feeling that Russell T. Davies and company are filling time for a big run-in towards the end of series three of Doctor Who.

Last week's episode, 'The Lazarus Experiment' was almost an exercise in filler TV, and this week's roll of the dice (die?) took us into the far reaches of outer space, some time in the future, where a crew of humans were plummeting headlong towards a Sun-like star.

The '42' in the title referred to the 42 (or so) minutes duration of the episode, and the 42-minute countdown until the ship exploded in the corona of the burning sphere.

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Michael Cera's new Web series is now online

by Adam Finley, posted May 24th 2007 9:03AM

clark and michaelLast November, Brett told you that Michael Cera (Arrested Development) would be starring in a new Web series with his pal, actor Clark Duke. The series would be called The Good Life, and it would be available for viewing on the CBS innertube broadband site.

Well, two things have changed, apparently: the new series is now called Clark and Michael, and it's not on innertube, it's at ClarkAnd Michael.com, so go check it out.

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Doctor Who: The Lazarus Experiment

by Martin Conaghan, posted May 15th 2007 8:00PM
Doctor Who(S03E06) It's almost inevitable for any good series to hit a slight dip when it reaches the half-way point in a series, and Doctor Who isn't immune to a lull in pace.

I honestly wasn't expecting much of "The Lazarus Experiment", and even though the special effects were of a reasonably high standard, the whole story was somewhat disjointed and hurried.

A few weeks ago, I made a point of suggesting that someone would soon have to start explaining why the Doctor bumps in to trouble everywhere he goes (apart from driving TV viewing schedules), and this episode finally started to indicate that something might be causing our favourite time-traveller to wander in to the path of out-and-out trouble everywhere he goes.

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Teen Choice Awards air in August

by Adam Finley, posted May 10th 2007 3:04PM

trainAre you a teenager? Do you like choosing things? Okay, good, because Teen Choice 2007 airs on FOX August 26 at 8:00 p.m., and we need to make sure you're at home that evening to see what series, celebrities and movies your contemporaries have chosen.

Teens have been choosing things for years. I myself have chosen my own adventure, Chosen or Losened (I'll check the dictionary to see if that's a real word later), and I've spoken to choosy moms who choose Jif. I've also had choice cuts of meat, and chosen Pikachu on numerous occasions.

Nominees and hosts for Teen Choice 2007 will be announced soon, but that's not important. What's important is that all you hula-hoopin', Charleston-dancin', domino-playin' teens out there start using your God-given right to choose. Or, more importantly, let your peers decide for you what's cool. Otherwise, you'll show up at your next ice cream social without a poodle skirt and then you'll look really stupid.

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