In Brief

by Paul William Tenny

inbrief-2008b.jpgI've never understood why people think pay-cable channels are acceptable. First you pay for the service either via cable or satellite, then you pay for it again by having to watch commercials, and for these special channels, you've got to pay for them a third time. All that for the privilege of having adult entertainment that's really and truly uncensored. That's democracy and free market capitalism at work for you.

Viacom, 5 Hollywood studios to create new TV channel
Paramount and some others are not renewing their deal with Showtime, leaving them with a painfully small number of movies to show over the next two years. This is not the least bit surprising either -- corporate giants like Viacom own studios, networks, and cable channels even though such media ownership has been clearly demonstrated to be harmful to the public interest. Now you can add pay-cable channels to the list of vertically integrated property and eventually these companies will simply own every single link in the chain.
NBC Universal, ad agency to create product-centered programs
First you've got scripted and reality shows meant purely for entertainment. Commercial advertisements come at regular intervals in 30 second spots and are clearly identifiable. Second you've got "paid programming" which are half-hour long commercials with no entertainment value at all. Now for a third act, NBC-U is sinking to new lows by merging the two. Says the AP, "NBC Universal Digital Studio will work with a division of Omnicom Group Inc. to create programs that help advertisers sell their products". I don't know about you, but I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.

Fox gives 'Terminator' second season
Sometimes you really scratch your head trying to figure out what these people are smoking. Firefly is one of the best shows of the last decade and is canceled after 13 episodes. SCC leaves a lot to be desired and is probably going to be one of those Friday Night Light types that should have been canceled right away, but arrogant execs too stubborn to admit they picked the wrong horse will drag it on as long as humanly possible. Also, since when does 13 episodes count as a first season, and how does 13 more count as a second? This isn't the UK for crying out loud. What's next, are we going to start calling a season a series too, and all start speaking with a British accent?

M. Knight's Avatar now just M. Night's The Last Airbender
Shyamalan's movie started after James Cameron's did, and both have 'Avatar' in the name. Cameron made his up, while Shyamalan's is named after the pre-existing TV show it's based on -- one that has been on the air for several years prior to this. Somehow, Shyamalan lost and had to rename his film. Lame.

Also lame: sticking your name in front of a movie based on a show you had nothing to do with.

R-Rated Movies: How Young Is Too Young?
A damn good question, one I plan to write about here in the next couple of days. Ken Evans has his thoughts, and I've certainly got mine -- not just about bringing kids to see adult films, but the rating system in general.

Lindsay Lohan Relapses Again at NYC Outing
Drinking and drug problems are bad enough, but when you're so rich that there isn't anyone in the world that can tell you no or have any meaningful control over your own, you're pretty much screwed. Interventions don't work very well when you can just hop on your private jet (complete with a wet bar no doubt) and fly to the other side of the planet. And sadly people like Lohan get so rich so fast that it's just about impossible for them to drink/abuse their way into the poor house. Oh the other hand, it's hard to sympathize with someone who from their teens onward landed a very privileged life and is just throwing it away.

Something's Very Fishy with Deadliest Catch
A "reporter" just discovered that reality programming ain't so real. Well duh.

Studios turn to books, magazines
Variety is making excuses for Hollywood exec's bizarre obsession with adaptations and sequels, blaming those trends on get this -- a lack of scripts. It may not actually be true, but all I ever hear is how there are roughly 10,000 new scripts written every year, and yet we are punished with sequels and adaptations as if no new material had been written in the past decade. Sorry Variety, try again.

One less comic book movie
Justice League of America got benched; can't say as that I'm going to be losing any sleep over that one.

Uwe Boll petition updates:
Make more movies: 4,650
Stop making movies: 218,940
in Business, Film, Television


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