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April 19, 2014

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Ask TV Squad: The TV Squad edition

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Oct 21st 2009 2:35PM
TV SquadThe "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 at asktvsquad@gmail.com.

This week, I answer questions about our own site, TVSquad.com!

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HBO's multicamera Imagine engine will blow your mind out of its skull

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 1st 2009 10:00AM
HBO Imagine
Television has been trying to cram 3D technology into our eye sockets ever since it realized that offering some kind of gimmick with their product could distract some audiences from the fact that it sucks. 3D TV will only impress three groups of people: children, heavy LSD users who are out of LSD, and the people who helped bring it to a Best Buy near you.

HBO, however, has done something much more interesting and creative with interactive entertainment by applying the 3D concept, not to just the screen, but the story and characters. I hope you've got lots of newspaper down, because your mind is about to blow.

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Breaking Bad: Phoenix

by Allison Waldman, posted May 25th 2009 3:29AM
Walter - Breaking Bad

(S02E12)
Walter White, be careful what you wish for. That's the thought that occurred to me watching this penultimate episode of season two. Is it possible that Walt might actually make it through this bizarre journey to the dark side and actually come out the other side in one piece? For a time, it sure seemed possible.

For starters, there's Holly. Sky finally has the baby and she's perfect. The scenes of domestic bliss at the White's contrasted with the wreckage at Jesse's bungalow. Vince Gilligan may make Walter's perfection of crystal meth seem like a noble achievement -- the best ever cooked in New Mexico -- but seeing how Jane and Jesse's lives have deteriorated in just a few weeks of shooting heroin seemed like the ultimate anti-drug message. They were as gross as the meth couple with the ATM machine that Jesse found so disgusting.

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The Food Network flubs again

by Allison Waldman, posted Jul 30th 2008 1:43PM
Food Net starA couple of week's ago, I noticed -- and ranted here -- about the Food Network showing a promo for the penultimate (or nearly penultimate) episode of The Next Food Network Star which revealed who would be eliminated in the show that I was viewing. It seemed like bad form to me, but some people defended FN and advised me to get a DVR and use it. Just to be clear, I have two and use them extensively. This was a case where I was watching a rebroadcast a day after the airing, commercials and all. My point was that FN should know better than to schedule a promo for that reveals so much about the show you're watching even on a rebroadcast.

Anyway, now it turns out that Food Network has made yet another flub that's spoiled the surprise of The Next Food Network Star reveal. This one occurred on their web site. D Magazine reported that a week before the finale of the competition reality show, video interviews with the three finalists were broadcast on the web site and the winner was clearly indicated. In case you have the finale on your DVR and haven't watched it yet, The Next Food Network Star will be shown after the jump.

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Five reasons why I hate the new HollywoodReporter.com

by Jane Boursaw, posted May 7th 2008 3:25PM
THRThe Hollywood Reporter has always ranked high on my list of entertainment sites, but that might change with the site's new makeover. Or rather, makeunder. It's awful! Let's break it down:

1. The Header. They've ditched the classic logo with "Hollywood" in script font for a blocky, robotic logo (see picture). Say what?! As my TV Squad buddy, Joel, says, "It's like changing the Ford or GE logo ... shouldn't be done." And as my other TV Squad buddy, Bob, says, it looks like the logo for "some generic Internet business newsletter." Agree on both counts.

2. The Colors. Bland, bland, bland. Are they harking back to that old saying, "What's black and white and red all over?" Those colors just don't do it for me. Yes, I realize the old design included those colors, but not in such a "plumbing and heating business" kind of way.

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Comcast TiVo web page launches

by Brad Linder, posted Oct 25th 2007 10:58AM
Comcast TiVo web pageComcast customers itching to get their hands on the new Comcast TiVo service might have to wait a bit longer. But Comcast is making the wait a tiny bit more bearable by offering up a new website where you can find out about the service and check to see if it's available in your area.

There's not much more you can do at the site. But you can enter your e-mail address to receive notification when the service becomes available.

Comcast also has another new website describing the service (with a few screenshots).

[via Zatz Not Funny]

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Dexter promo to die for

by Varun Lella, posted Aug 10th 2007 8:21AM
DexterIcetruck.tv looks like a normal Youtube knockoff at first glance. It has friendly soft blue icons with rounded edges that just scream, "let's watch dramatic chipmunks all day long." But beneath the unsuspecting veneer lies one of the greatest viral marketing campaigns to hit the internet since Al Gore invented it so long ago.

The Icetruck site is actually a webvertisment for Showtime's Dexter, about a serial killer who works as a forensic analyst to help catch murderers. If that doesn't sound cool enough, it stars Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under. What more do you need?

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Create your own Simpsons avatar

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 8th 2007 9:04AM
the simpsonsI'm embarrassed to admit that I'm totally buying into all this merchandising for The Simpsons Movie. I've already been to two different 7-Elevens for Buzz Cola, Krusty O's, and a Squishee (man, those things are sugary).

And I just spent a significant amount of time on The Simpsons movie promotion site, which includes an avatar creator. And we all like these goofy programs, don't we? It's a good way to kill a couple of hours on a Sunday, making avatars of yourself, your friends, and random celebrities (my attempt at a Brad Pitt avatar was a little pathetic).

The program asks you to login and register, but you don't have to. It's only if you want to 'Save' your avatar. I just finished mine and took a screen grab of it. 'Cuz I'm out of ideas for fake e-mail addresses.

[Via Lost Remote]

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NBC fall schedule includes new web extras

by Anna Johns, posted May 15th 2007 4:09PM
nbcA day after NBC announced its fall schedule, the network is also revealing other plans for the upcoming television season. It's going to start hitting the web a lot harder with '360 extras' from its hit shows such as Heroes, 30 Rock, and The Office.

For Heroes, the website will include more chapters of the graphic novel and character back stories. For 30 Rock, Judah Friedlander's character, Frank Rossitano, will have his own blog. Las Vegas will do a behind-the scenes feature, ER will have deleted scenes, and Medium is going to ask fans to help write storylines (wah?). And The Office will have a little program where you can create your own Dunder-Mifflin branch and do some sort of online challenges.

Personally, I think they can take The Office 360 a bit farther. How about having a place where people can create their own videos in their fictional branches of Dunder-Mifflin? I bet people who work in real cubicles could come up with some good stuff.

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Elizabeth Berkeley has a website for kids

by Anna Johns, posted May 6th 2007 9:11AM
elizabeth berkeleyElizabeth Berkeley, who used to star on Saved By the Bell and is perhaps best-known for her role in ShowGirls, has launched a website called "Ask Elizabeth". It's for pre-teen and teen-age girls. And it's the cheesiest goddamn thing I've seen a long time. There are pink clouds, fairies, hearts, glitter, and Hello Kitty everywhere. I guess I'm just not that much of a girlie-girl.

The point of the website is well-intentioned. She wants to communicate with impressionable adolescent girls about body image and socializing. She already does so in school functions and her new website is an extension of that. One of the links for "Expert Advice" has a "Coming Soon" promise of video tutorials and columns from doctors, makeup artists, professional trainers, hairdressers, etc. who are all female.

[Via TV Tattle]

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Leah Remini to star in motherhood webisodes

by Anna Johns, posted Apr 17th 2007 2:44PM
in the motherhoodActress Leah Remini is moving to the internet for her next gig, now that The King of Queens is over. She'll star in a series of webisodes called In the Motherhood. It's an interesting premise, really. The episodes will be based on, or at least incorporate, consumer-generated stories about being a mom. It's all on this website, which is being promoted heavily on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. There's a video on the website where Remini asks moms to write in about their funny stories and then vote on the other stories that were submitted. The favorites will be written into episodes of In the Motherhood.

Right now, there are five episodes planned for a ten-week stretch starting on May 11.

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ABC to let users upload "funniest home videos"

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 9th 2007 3:02PM
America's Funniest Home Videos
If you've ever caught yourself scrolling through YouTube and thinking "This is just like America's Funniest Home Videos, but funnier because there's no voice-over commentary," you're not alone. Well, it looks like the pioneer making money off of user-generated video has finally embraced new technology.

Starting this summer, ABC will launch a new site for America's Funniest Home Videos, allowing visitors to upload their own movies. Users will be able to search through uploaded videos as well as content seen on the television program. This comes a couple of years too late if you ask me, but it's something. I'll be curious to see if ABC also chooses content for the program from user-uploaded video.

[via Lost Remote]

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Nickelodeon expands its website

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 30th 2007 6:03PM
nicktropolisNickelodeon is paying attention to its demographic. Not only do the kids these days enjoy the cartoons, they also enjoy the online experience. So, the network has significantly built upon its website by adding games, videos and chat capability. It's what the bigwigs are calling "a virtual community for kids."

Nick launched its new website today, Nicktropolis.com. There will be more than 300 hours of videos--including full episodes of some Nick shows--and more than 350 online games. It also has a Second Life sort-of spin to it. Kids can create a user name and build their own room. When they play the games, they rack up points that they can use to buy stuff for their rooms.

The "chat rooms", by the way are being called Nick Safe Chat. Kids have to get parental permission to use the chat rooms and then they can only communicate with other users via a pre-approved Nicktropolis Dictionary. You can bet that will be heavily monitored so no one ends up on Dateline.

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Horny manatees help save real manatees

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 15th 2006 6:29PM
Horny Manatee SchoolgirlCharitable giving just got funnier. Adding an altruistic spin to their HornyManatee.com gag, Late Night with Conan O'Brien is donating $5 from the sale of every Horny Manatee t-shirt to the Save the Manatee Club, champion to sea cows everywhere.

Having spent much of my youth in Florida, I can tell you that the poor manatee has been a glorified motorboat speedbump for years. It's a sad state of affairs for our gentle warm water friend. Groups like Save the Manatee educate boaters and swimmers on proper human-manatee interaction - don't touch; don't ride; watch from a distance. Ummm... I'd say all those rules are pretty much violated by Horny Manatee fans, but that's alright. If non-profit organizations knew that you could raise money by dressing up in a furry costume and humping a bedpost, they wouldn't have wasted all that time begging the government for money.

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Conan brings Horny Manatees to the internet

by Julia Ward, posted Dec 7th 2006 10:09AM
Horny Manatee Conan OBrienConan O'Brien may have added another character to the pantheon of greats that includes the masturbating bear, Carl "Oldie" Olson, Triumph, barfing Kermit and Pimpbot. On Monday night, Conan ran a comedy bit on NCAA mascots. Among the mascots was "FSU's webcam manatee." The gag of a gyrating manatee in front of a computer ended with one of the band members checking out the hot manatee on his laptop. Conan cracked that he must be frequenting "hornymanatee.com."

The next night, Conan appeared explaining that, unbeknownst to him, NBC policy requires that any non-existent web address that is mentioned on the air be bought by NBC for ten years. We'll never really know if this fact was actually "unbeknownst" to the Cone Zone, but it does mean that NBC now has among its stable of web property - HornyManatee.com - which has now become a Conan-related site for fan pics of hot and lusty sea cows in action. There's a solo manatee, manatee on manatee, man on manatee and fetish pages. One of those should satisfy your interspecies cravings.

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