Archive for May, 2011

PBS Interrupted

May 31, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

PBS has been a beacon for uninterrupted programming for decades. During the broadcaster’s recent annual meeting, however, member stations were informed that the model was changing . Beginning this fall, interruptions will take many forms, from sponsor spots to promotional messages, all in the hope of getting more eyes and ears tuned in to non-program content. The new model replaces a time-honored tradition of packing on all of the promotional and sponsor content in the front and back of the show. What was left was 50 minutes of uninterrupted entertainment. With the new model, the longest stretch of programming will drop to a mere 15 minutes. The plan is aimed at capturing the viewers’ attention during the show, rather than scrambling to keep it after the program has finished. Executives and producers alike worry about their new strategy. Though they’ve identified the need to try something new, executives hope they will be able to recover if the project goes awry. For producers who have historically been given creative free range to make shows that don’t need to bow to the demands of cutting to commercial, there are concerns as well. While some shows, like "Antiques Roadshow" will be easy targets for the new plan, others like "Frontline," may be left in their current format.

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The Myspace Sweepstakes Drag on–Another Bid Deadline Today As Sale Deadline Looms

May 31, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Yes, Myspace is still for sale. But, no , no one has yet made a good enough bid–in other words, at the more than $100 million level its owner, News Corp., has sought–to knock out anyone else. And who knows who will, as those working on the deal gave a deadline today for any revised bids for the social entertainment hub. Among those remaining in the running: two strategic bidders, although the CEO of the Vevo music service has denied interest; several private equity players, including Criterion Capital Partners, which bought Bebo from AOL for a song; and an aggressive inside effort by CEO Michael Jones, which would include venture investors and a possible continued smaller ownership by News Corp. News Corp. is holding out for a few more bids today from those who had expressed initial interest, said sources close to the situation, after the company provided additional information about long troubled service. That included data showing some increased user engagement from a recent Facebook artists profile app launch and a new music playback system, among other efforts to revive Myspace.

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Mr. Dad (Monsieur Papa)

May 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Unable to sustain its wobbly premise, "Mr. Dad" is an unremarkable directing debut from actor Kad Merad ("Welcome to the Sticks").

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A Dram of Drummhicit

May 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Legit Reviews: To the list of unpalatable things Scottish - -- haggis, bagpipes, tartan skirts -- may be added "A Dram of Drummhicit."

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Sauna on Moon (Chang’e)

May 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Although set in a different milieu entirely, writer-helmer Zou Peng's intriguing sophomore outing "Sauna on Moon" bears striking plot similarities with another Cannes 2011 entry, Bertrand Bonello's "House of Tolerance."

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Arabia 3D

May 31, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film Reviews: Greg MacGillivray's documentary is a unique, immersive experience and the first giantscreen film ever to be shot in Saudi Arabia.

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Geek Meditation Session.

May 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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Collette to reunite with ‘Muriel’ helmer

May 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Duo to team up for Hogan's new film, 'Mental' -- Toni Collette will reunite with "Muriel's Wedding" helmer PJ Hogan nearly two decades after that film helped launch their Stateside careers.

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‘Hobbit’ gets official release dates, titles

May 30, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: December a hot month for Bilbo Baggins -- Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" movies have been given official release dates, titles.

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Deposed Egyptian President Fined For Internet Shutdown

May 30, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

An Egyptian administrative court fined ousted President Hosni Mubarak and two former officials the equivalent of $91 million on Saturday for cutting mobile and Internet services during protests in January, according to a Reuters report. It was the first court ruling to be made against Mubarak since he was ousted on February 11.

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