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Posts tagged television

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Mayor Rob Ford approached for reality TV show

Ann Hui, The Globe and Mail:

The production company behind American Chopper and Dirty Jobs has approached Toronto Mayor Rob about creating a reality show, The Globe and Mail has learned.

"I’m writing because I’m interested in speaking with you and Mayor Ford about the possibility of developing an unscripted television project together," an executive of the studio wrote to the mayor’s spokesman at the time, Amin Massoudi, in an e-mail obtained by The Globe.


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The Creation Museum Wants Some Airtime on Neil deGrasse Tyson's 'Cosmos'

Abby Ohlheiser on The Wire:

Answers in Genesis (the organization that brought you the Creation Museum) is demanding some airtime on Cosmos, the Neil deGrasse Tyson reboot of the classic Carl Sagan science series currently airing on Fox. Their argument? Basically, it’s that the science program is not balanced without the inclusion of their religious beliefs. Although this will never happen — Tyson has personally ruled out debating Creationists on the issue of evolution — it’s just the latest example of how the show is worrying a particular set of evangelical Christians in the US.

"Do they do any interviews with scientists themselves," Janet Mefferd asked Danny Faulkner of Answers In Genesis on Thursday, "and do they ever give creationists some time?" Faulkner responded that "Creationists aren’t even on the radar screen for them, they wouldn’t even consider us plausible at all."

Colin and I have watched the first two episodes together and are tentatively enjoying the show, the second episode more than the first, but we both have some major reservations about the production (especially the sound design).

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BBC chief: no more comedy shows with all-male panels

Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian:

Danny Cohen, head of the BBC’s television output, has promised viewers that the corporation will not make any more all-male comedy panel shows.

Following recommendations made by the BBC Trust last year, Cohen has underlined his determination to see women appearing in the habitually macho environment of panel shows such as QI and Mock the Week. Talking to the Observer about his plans for better representing his audiences on screen, Cohen said: “We’re not going to have any more panel shows with no women on them. It’s not acceptable.”

That’s cool. Women are hilarious, we need more of them in comedy.

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Here’s a ten minute behind the scenes look from HBO into their HBO Theatre opening from the ’80s, the one with a city flyover and HBO logo spinning in outer space. It took more than three months to build the 30-foot model used in the city shot.

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Tapes of nine missing Doctor Who episodes found in Nigeria

Tim Masters, BBC News:

The BBC destroyed many of the sci-fi drama [Doctor Who]’s original transmission tapes in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, many episodes were transferred on to film for sale to foreign broadcasters. It is often these prints found in other countries that are the source of retrieved episodes.

In this case, 11 Doctor Who episodes were discovered, nine of which were missing, in the Nigerian city of Jos.

The find was made by Philip Morris, director of a company called Television International Enterprises Archive.

Mr Morris said: “The tapes had been left gathering dust in a storeroom at a television relay station in Nigeria. I remember wiping the dust off the masking tape on the canisters and my heart missed a beat as I saw the words, Doctor Who. When I read the story code I realised I’d found something pretty special.”

Having grown up with computers and lived through the age of digital archival, it saddens me whenever I hear about any sort of creative media having been lost or destroyed. This happened a lot with old television shows especially, where reels were often taped over to save money.

So hearing about discoveries like these always brings a smile to my face.

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RIP, WebTV: Microsoft to shut down MSN TV on Sept. 30

Steven Musil for CNET:

Microsoft is pulling the plug on MSN TV, a service formerly known as WebTV, as Apple ramps up its set-top box efforts.

The pioneering service, one of the first to offer Internet access via television sets, will shut down September 30, Microsoft revealed in an e-mail to subscribers and an FAQ posted to its Web site. WebTV, which was founded by Web entrepreneur Steve Perlman in 1996, was acquired by Microsoft for $425 million in 1997.

WebTV never lived up to the hype and never started a revolution, and honestly I was surprised it’s still operating. I remember as a kid being super hyped about having the internet on your TV, constructing a conception of what that would mean far more interesting than what it really was. Even today, even though I know better, when I hear “WebTV” I feel wistful for something I never even used.

S.I.P. (surf in peace)

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Miami Media Company Shopping Around Cartoon Starring The Notorious B.I.G.'s Children and Biggie's Ghost

Preface: this is 100% real.

Gerrick D. Kennedy writing for the Los Angeles Times:

Sixteen years after Notorious B.I.G.’s life and career were cut short in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles, his children will pay homage to their iconic father with a new animated series.

"House of Wallace" is anchored around the slain rapper’s two children, 16-year-old C.J. Wallace — who he had with his wife, R&B singer Faith Evans — and 19-year-old T’yanna Wallace, as they fight to maintain his New York City recording studio and preserve his legacy, Ossian Media has announced.

I kind of like this. The storyline—which you can read more of in the article—is very Saturday morning cartoon-y: two plucky youths get into wacky misadventures while standing up to adults and otherwise doing the right thing. And the oddly semi-autobiographical premise is unusual and could be interesting. The show has not been picked up by a network yet; the headline and intro of the article make it sound like it’s a done deal, but they’re apparently still in “discussions.”

Okay, now prepare your spit take cup.

The spirit of the slain rapper serves as a central character, appearing to the children in ethereal form to guide them through their misadventures.


This is one of the most ridiculous show concepts I’ve ever heard and I think I love it.

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Pan-Arab Al-Jazeera pays $500M for Current TV in bid for stronger US foothold

AP report:

Al-Jazeera is spending $500 million to acquire Current TV, the left-leaning cable news network co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. The deal gives Al-Jazeera access to about 50 million homes. As part of an expansion, the network is promising to hire more journalists and double the number of U.S. news bureaus it has.


Nah, but this is an interesting acquisition. The linked article goes in pretty deep on this thing, as far as typical reporting goes, so check it out.

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A movie star makes India confront its taboos

AP report on social issues and TV in India:

Shining light on inequities like the rampant abortion of female fetuses, caste discrimination and the slaying of brides in dowry disputes, actor Aamir Khan has reached an estimated one-third of the country with a new TV talk show that tackles persistent flaws of modern India that many of its citizens would prefer to ignore.

"Satyamev Jayate", or "Truth Alone Prevails," is a clever blend of hard news and raw emotional appeal — part 60 Minutes, part Oprah. Its influence has even prodded the notoriously lethargic government machinery into action, though it’s too soon to know what policy changes may be in the works.

The issue the article spends the most time on is the abortion of female fetuses, which is a disgustingly enormous problem in India. Even just using an ultrasound machine to determine the sex of a fetus has been illegal since 1994. It hasn’t helped.