Posts Tagged ‘people’

People Magazine Publishes Kirk Douglas’ Pre-Written Obituary

December 1, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

People Magazine accidentally published its pre-written obituary for Kirk Douglas on Sunday night. It’s not uncommon for major publications to write their elaborate obituaries in advance, and People Magazine clearly didn’t mean to run the story as evident from the “DO NOT PUB” in the headline. Still, “Spartacus” and his family members can’t be happy.... Read more

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#TBT: This Classic Dallas Promo Isn’t Great, but It Still Lured 83 Million Viewers

November 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Holy cliffhanger! On March 21, 1980, Dallas fans were stunned as Larry Hagman's villainous J.R. Ewing was gunned down on the CBS drama's Season 3 finale. After eight agonizing months, and a masterful marketing campaign that turned "Who Shot J.R.?" into a worldwide phenomenon, the shooter's identity was finally revealed in Season 4's fourth episode, "Who Done It," which aired Nov. 21, 1980. More than 83 million people tuned in—a whopping 76 share, and an estimated 350 million worldwide—making it the U.S.'s second most-watched non-sports program of all time, after the MASH finale in 1983. Yet that impressive, ambitious publicity effort seemed to stall right before the finish line of the actual episode, which is the subject of this week's Throwback Thursday. Here's the underwhelming promo for "Who Done It," which ran after the previous week's show, "Nightmare," and makes the upcoming episode seem decidedly average:First off, the fact that the entire promo focuses on Sue Ellen (J.R.'s wife, played by Linda Gray) makes it clear she won't turn out to be the murderer—and could anyone who looks that sleepy have really pulled the trigger? Instead, the promos for the upcoming episodes of Alice and The Jeffersons look far more appealing, as both comedies must have received a CBS mandate to hit the road for November sweeps. Alice visited Las Vegas (it's all "fun and games with Robert Goulet" until Linda Lavin ends up in a goatee) while The Jeffersons traveled to Hawaii (there's nothing like a tantalizing John Milton/Paradise Lost reference in the promo to bring in those poetry-loving sweeps audiences). That wasn't the only curious promo before the big episode. Check out this stilted commercial for People magazine's "Who Shot J.R.?" cover, featuring a chemistry-free couple that seems to to be reading script lines right out of the magazine, while making it clear that the cover story won't spill any real dirt about the murderer's identity:As for the ravenously anticipated Nov. 21 episode itself, the actual reveal was disappointingly anticlimactic (it was J.R.'s sister-in-law and mistress, Kristin Shepard, played by Mary Crosby). It doesn't hold up 34 years later (why does everyone seem to be moving in slow motion?), except for that last juicy little twist, courtesy of one final bombshell from Kristin:And to see how it all began—the moment that turned the cliffhanger into an essential season finale staple for almost all subsequent TV dramas—watch J.R. take two slugs in the Season 3 finale:But let's really go out with a bang—dozens of them, in fact—and close with this lively blooper reel from Season 3, in which pretty much the entire cast, Hagman included, gets a chance to prove it shot J.R. (the fun starts at the 4:55 mark):While the "Who Shot J.R.?" clips might be showing their age, I still take my Stetson off to Dallas for attracting 83 million viewers to a single episode of television, a feat that is unlikely to ever be repeated by a program without the words "Super Bowl" in the title.

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L.A. Dodgers’ Adrian Gonzalez Spends His Offseason Playing Fantasy Football

November 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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Why No One Comes Back to See Your Great Second Season

November 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Very few TV series emerge fully-formed. Most shows take at least a season to figure themselves and their characters out, or to course-correct after a rocky beginning. Often by Season 2, a series—like FX's The Bridge or ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—can finally complete its necessary adjustments and become the outstanding show it was always meant to be.

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Acquisitions on the Agenda as AMC / Sundance Looks for More Int’l Expansion

October 29, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

President Bruce Tuchman 'regrets' so many AMC shows on other people's channels outside the U.S.

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You’ll Be Able to Get HBO Go Without a Cable Subscription Next Year

October 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

HBO Go has finally done what subscribers have been begging for since the announcement of the streaming service: it's going cable-sub-free. The over-the-top streaming network will be available without a cable package starting next year, HBO CEO Richard Plepler announced at Time Warner's investor day on Wednesday morning. This has been in the air for a while—HBO Go has been available on progressively smaller and smaller cable pacakges over recent months, but never totally subscription-free. But there's a fairly large burden of proof on Time Warner today, as it fends off angry stakeholders still sore over the company's rejection of 21st Century Fox's $85-a-share offer for the company (the stock sits at $71.85 at the time of this writing, down from a high of $87 and change just before the Fox deal collapsed). The goal today is to give investors a sense that the company has strong growth prospects without consolidation; HBO remains the companys most lucrative single asset outside its movie studio division and is a point of focus during the proceedings; also at issue (though less pleasant for Time Warner) is the problem of declining ratings at Turner. The subdivision is in the midst of a major round of layoffs during which 10 percent of its workforce is expected to leave. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO, " Plepler told investors. "So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners, and we will explore models with new partners. All in all, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” Much of this territory has been colonized by Netflix and it remains to be seen whether people will want another streaming service on top of their current offerings; but HBO Go has been very popular and is frequently spread across users without cable subs through password sharing. This gives HBO a chance to monetize some of that spread, and to clamp down on pirates while providing an alternative

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Beyond ‘The Walking Dead’: Mining Darker Comics to Find a Hit

September 17, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Contrary to what broadcast television’s fall schedules might suggest, the revamped trend of using comicbooks as source material for TV shows has been hot for a while — even if the brains behind the networks’ programming slates have a hard time remembering that. “It’s funny — if you talk to the people at the networks,... Read more

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Eight O’Clock Coffee Is Bringing to Life the Central Perk Coffee Shop From Friends

August 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Rejoice, Friends enthusiasts! Your dream of sipping coffee at the iconic Central Perk will soon become a reality. It's been 20 years since Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Rachel first graced our TV screens, and the love for the gang remains strong, if all of the people on my Facebook feed are to be trusted. To celebrate two decades of shouting "Pivot!" every time a friend announces he's moving, Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O'Clock Coffee are partnering to create a Central Perk pop-up in Manhattan. It'll be short-lived—the shop, created with help from agency Source Marketing, will open Sept. 17 at the corner of Lafayette and Broome Streets, and close Oct. 18—but fans can hang out on the weird orange couch, listen to a rendition of Smelly Cat, see some special guests (Gunther will be there) and maybe, I don't know, try to figure out how Rachel afforded to live in a sprawling Manhattan apartment on a barista's salary. It's a brilliant partnership for Eight O'Clock, which will also be adding a special Central Perk blend to its coffee line next month, if you want to K-Cup your way to a Friends-in-your-travel-mug experience.

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This Is How the NFL Is Getting Butts Back in the Bleachers

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Atlanta Falcons CMO Jim Smith is rewarding loyal season ticket holders with the kind of stadium “memories” they can’t get from watching on TV at home. For the second year, Smith is offering season-long fans game-day “experiences” such as a visit from team cheerleaders to their seat. Or a spot on the field during player introductions at the Georgia Dome. Illustration: Kyle Fewell It’s not like some drunk up in the nosebleed seats can simply request a cheerleader like he’s ordering a beer. Using the free Experience app , season ticket holders must redeem “memory points” on the Thursday before a home game. Security guards are on hand just in case—but are rarely needed. “We never put our cheerleaders in danger. That sensational crap is so unfair to the cheerleaders—and the fans who request it,” says Smith, who adds that most of the visits are ordered by parents for their cheerleader daughters. “It’s truly about an experience that a parent, or a bunch of friends, want to have.” So goes the NFL’s marketing game plan to get its fans off the couch—and back into stadiums. High ticket prices, personal seat licenses (PSLs) and rowdy fans have led some die-hards to give up live games in favor of watching for free from home. The $10 billion league wants these couch potatoes back. And it wants season ticket holders—the lifeblood of the league—to keep coming, explains Brian Lafemina, the NFL’s svp of club business development. The league and its 32 franchises are pushing the marketing envelope to do it. The NFL is in some ways a victim of its own success and innovation. As its TV networks add more coverage, more camera angles and more replays, the gap between the at-home and in-stadium viewing experiences has grown wider. Throw in the two RedZone Channels (which whip viewers around to potential scoring plays) offered by the league and DirecTV, and it’s a wonder fantasy players and bettors ever leave the Barcalounger. “TV has fundamentally changed the way people watch our game—and that’s a great thing,” says Lafemina. “We have to do the same inside the stadium.

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Film Review: ‘The Fool’

August 9, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Frank Capra would approve of “The Fool,” a forceful Russian drama in which a lone plumber stands up to a corrupt system on behalf of the people living in a squalid apartment building.

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