Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Missing Mad Men? Here’s Christina Hendricks Trying to Work in a Modern Office

August 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The final half of the seventh and final season of Mad Men won't premiere until next spring (although filming has wrapped—and according to Elizabeth Moss, there was a lot of crying going on as the cast shot the finale). For now, Mad Men fans have to snack on whatever measly morsels they can get—like Jon Hamm goofing around on Fallon, or Christina Hendricks trying to navigate a modern office in the Funny or Die video below. And good old Joan, she's still the sharpest person in the room even when she can't find the phone.

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Lawmakers Ask Comcast to Carry Latino-Owned Channels

August 2, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) and 52 other House lawmakers are asking Comcast to make a commitment to carry Latino-focused channels as the cable giant seeks to acquire Time Warner Cable. In a letter to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus, the lawmakers contend that the newly merged company will reach... Read more

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The Chairman of the FCC Is Annoyed With Time Warner Cable

July 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Maybe it was the widespread feeling that Tom Wheeler is too close to the industry he regulates . Maybe it was pressure from Congress. Maybe it was John Oliver calling him a dingo . Whatever the reason, Wheeler is now telling Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus personally that "your actions appear to have created the inability of consumers in the Los Angeles area to watch televised games of the Los Angeles Dodgers." In a business where finger-pointing is considered the sport of kings, that's a pretty harsh blow from an industry regulator—it's not often that an external agency directly apportions blame, but wrangling over costs or no, Wheeler is making an example of TWC in its dispute with the SportsNet LA, the network owned by Dodgers (disclosure: Guggenheim Partners, Adweek's parent company, acquired the Dodgers in 2012). Wheeler has demanded that Marcus supply the FCC all material pertaining to the SportsNetLA contract. Wheeler made it clear that he has a handle on the situation, too: "I understand that TWC's contract with SportsNet LA provides TWC with exclusive rights to the affiliate sales for SportsNet LA," Wheeler writes in a letter to Marcus. "I further understand from press reports that, in its carriage negotiations with other [ multichannel video programming distributors ], TWC has demanded that SportsNet LA be carried on the basic service tier at rates of $4-$5 per subscriber. Other MVPDs in the network's footprint reportedly have refused to agree to these terms, claiming that the price is too high and objecting to terms that could require all subscribers to pay for access to the network." That stalemate has indeed shut 70 percent of the L.A

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The Creators of Robot Chicken Love to Play With Toys

July 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When conjuring names for their new stop motion adult animated series, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios co-founders Matt Senreich, John "Harv" Harvatine, Seth Green and Eric Towner submitted 80 different titles to Cartoon Network . While an early submission—Free Paid Advertising For Popular Toy Companies—was probably one of the most appropriate, executives passed. "Robot Chicken was the terrible one that stuck," explained Senreich, laughing. "But that's what we're trying to do: We’re trying to show off how cool your toy is." Now wrapping up season seven and green-lit for season eight, Robot Chicken's success stems from the tender love and care it takes to find hilarious ways to put toys in everyday situations and absurdly dark scenarios. And in a twist, for the first time the creators will feature a character they created ( Bitch Pudding ) rather than an actual toy in a new episode that will air on Sunday. Though each season takes a grueling 14 months to make, for the guys working on the show, it's just an excuse to play with toys. And although the personas of the toys or characters are mocked, Senreich believes it's great marketing. "It's okay to make fun of yourself in this day and age. If anything it's publicity and pretty free publicity in a way because it makes your characters look cool to the older kids," he said. "That kind of validates (marketers) in pop culture," Towner added. "You have to have a certain popularity to click with the audience." That knack for playing with pop culture also explains why the production house has attracted name brands like DC Comics, Hasbro and—Senreich's holy grail— Lucasfilm. Robot Chicken produced three Star Wars specials after the company reached out to them, saying how much it loved its parody

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‘Better Call Saul’ Billboard in Albuquerque Really Turns Back the Clock

July 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Breaking Bad fans, this time you'd better call James! Those dying for a taste of AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff series, Better Call Saul, got a nice little present this week, as this billboard popped up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The sign is actually a prop being used in the filming of the prequel series, set to debut next year. It seems Saul Goodman, in the days before he met meth king Walter White, went by the name of James M. McGill, attorney at law. The exclamatory "Better Call Saul!" billboards seen in episodes of Breaking Bad showed Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk, pointing at the viewer, Uncle Sam-style, against a hot orange/yellow background. On the deep-blue McGill board, the actor rocks a bad toupee and gangster-style pinstripe suit

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Ad of the Day: The End Is Nigh in Brilliantly Bleak Ad for FXX’s Simpsons Mega-Marathon

July 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The world is really going to having a cow when FXX enacts its insane plan to air every Simpsons episode ever, back to back, beginning Aug. 21. In fact, there may be no cows—indeed, no world—left by the end. In the wonderfully dark promo below, we enter on a kitchen sink whose faucet has been left on, filling up the house with several feet of water as slack-jawed couch apes gape at the boob tube. Turns out the whole world has stopped moving, as everyone is glued to their sets and cell phones, watching the marathon that never ends. (Well, it will end after 12 days. But who will survive, and what will be left of them?) The whole thing could be the plot of a Simpson's Halloween special. Much of the spot's joy comes from the perfect syncing of Simpsons clips to the "total d'oh-vastation" (FXX's words) we're witnessing—from Mr. Burns saying "Release the hounds!" as feral dogs run through the abandoned streets, to Homer demanding a burrito at an empty food truck in a world where no burritos will be made again. There's no denying those who made this promo are fans of the show. They're also good at sound design, as the clip expertly layers in every famous creepy Simpsons laugh, from Krusty to Nelson, over the sounds of chaos. (It ends with one of Homer's trademark little-girl screams.) And visually, it's gloriously bleak, with everything bathed in a sickly green hue, except for the on-screen Simpsons footage, which, in its normal colors, really pops—but also adds to surreal, haunted feeling. Just hearing the clips is bringing it all back. I'm going to have Simpsons PTSD after this thing airs, if I don't already have it. Truly, there is no God. After the dust has settled on Sept. 2, FXX will air regularly scheduled Simpsons episodes, including thematic eight-episode mini-marathons every Sunday. After that, you'll be able to get on-demand access to every Simpsons episode at SimpsonsWorld.com and on the FXNOW app. I guess some people just want to watch the world burn.

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Ad of the Day: The End Is Nigh in Brilliantly Bleak Ad for FXX’s Simpsons Mega-Marathon

July 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The world is really going to having a cow when FXX enacts its insane plan to air every Simpsons episode ever, back to back, beginning Aug. 21. In fact, there may be no cows—indeed, no world—left by the end. In the wonderfully dark promo below, we enter on a kitchen sink whose faucet has been left on, filling up the house with several feet of water as slack-jawed couch apes gape at the boob tube. Turns out the whole world has stopped moving, as everyone is glued to their sets and cell phones, watching the marathon that never ends. (Well, it will end after 12 days. But who will survive, and what will be left of them?) The whole thing could be the plot of a Simpson's Halloween special. Much of the spot's joy comes from the perfect syncing of Simpsons clips to the "total d'oh-vastation" (FXX's words) we're witnessing—from Mr. Burns saying "Release the hounds!" as feral dogs run through the abandoned streets, to Homer demanding a burrito at an empty food truck in a world where no burritos will be made again. There's no denying those who made this promo are fans of the show. They're also good at sound design, as the clip expertly layers in every famous creepy Simpsons laugh, from Krusty to Nelson, over the sounds of chaos. (It ends with one of Homer's trademark little-girl screams.) And visually, it's gloriously bleak, with everything bathed in a sickly green hue, except for the on-screen Simpsons footage, which, in its normal colors, really pops—but also adds to surreal, haunted feeling. Just hearing the clips is bringing it all back. I'm going to have Simpsons PTSD after this thing airs, if I don't already have it. Truly, there is no God. After the dust has settled on Sept. 2, FXX will air regularly scheduled Simpsons episodes, including thematic eight-episode mini-marathons every Sunday. After that, you'll be able to get on-demand access to every Simpsons episode at SimpsonsWorld.com and on the FXNOW app. I guess some people just want to watch the world burn.

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Do You Have to Go Overseas or Buy a Competitor to Get New Video Subscribers?

July 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix executives practically had party hats on during their earnings call on Monday. The reason? The company topped 50 million subscribers for the first time. Comcast, meanwhile, was similarly pleased to report that it had expanded, but not by convincing new subscribers to sign on—by moving forward with its deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. Domestically, consolidation is the name of the game for traditional TV subscription services. But while techies are quick to pit hated cable companies against beloved digital video pioneers, Netflix's sub gains

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Woo Hoo! FXX Will Show All 25 Seasons of The Simpsons in One Gigantic Marathon

July 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

FXX is celebrating its acquisition of the exclusive cable rights to rebroadcast episodes of The Simpsons by airing a marathon of every episode of the show, as well as The Simpsons Movie, in chronological order. All 25 seasons, or 522 episodes of the series, plus the movie, will air for 24 hours a day for 12 days, starting on Aug. 21. FXX claims that this will mark the longest marathon in television history, and no one seems to be stepping up to dispute the claim. The marathon also precludes the launch of FXX's "Simpsons World" this October, its new fully searchable on-demand streaming service. According to Entertainment Weekly , the service will allow "authenticated" FX users "to search for specific quotes, curate their own own personalized playlists, and share their favorite show clips and quotes" while accesing "Simpsons World" from their computer, iPhone, iPad, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Android phones and tablets or Smart TVs. In other words, many may find their Simpsons DVD library suddenly useless. "I don’t want to over-promise, but this website can provide you with affordable health care," joked Al Jean, a longtime executive producer on the show and co-writer (with Mike Reiss) of such classic episodes as "Stark Raving Dad" and "Lisa's Pony."

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Time Warner Rebuffed Offer From Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox

July 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Rupert Murdoch's media empire 21st Century Fox made an $80 billion takeover bid last month for Time Warner Inc. but was rebuffed, The New York Times reports . "21st Century Fox can confirm that we made a formal proposal to Time Warner last month to combine the two companies," the company said in a statement released today. "The Time Warner Board of Directors declined to pursue our proposal. We are not currently in any discussions with Time Warner." "As part of the proposal to buy Time Warner, people briefed on the proposal said, 21st Century Fox indicated that it would sell CNN to head off potential antitrust concerns since Fox News competes directly with CNN," reports The New York Times. CBS and ABC are viewed as suitors in this scenario, which could spark a bidding war. 21st Century Fox originally approached Time Warner in early June, in a private meeting between 21st Century Fox president Chase Carey and Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, and delivered a formal takeover proposal later in the month, according to The New York Time's sources. According to the same sources, Time Warner's board "discuess the proposal at length" before deciding that Time Warner was better off remaining independent and delivered "a terse letter rejecting the offer" early this month. One of the main points of contention was that "the stock portion of 21st Century Fox's offer would be made with nonvoting shares." While 21st Century Fox claims to not be in discussions with Time Warner at the moment, "people involved in the discussions" told The New York Times "Mr. Murdoch is determined to buy Time Warner and is unlikely to walk away." That publication points out that Murdoch's empire was built largely by pursuing ambitious deals that were originally rebuffed. Together, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner would have a combined revenue of $65 billion. Its array of networks and channels would include HBO, Fox, Fox News, FX, TBS and TNT; movie studios 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers; and Time Warner's rights to NBA and NCAA basketball and MLB baseball. Time Warner shares were up 20 percent in premarket trading this morning following the news.

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