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Television News & Miscellany


I’m glad the implant it working to spec.


‘Shield’ Actor Michael Jace Found Guilty of Wife’s Murder


Matthew Rhys was pretty funny on The Wine Show recently. He and Matthew Goode bounce off each other brilliantly.


James Murdoch: “Incremental” TV Channels At Risk As Competition Grows


BBC America Developing Projects With Amy Poehler, ‘Orphan Black’ Producers

BBC America is in the midst of its first big development push under the leadership of president and general manager Sarah Barnett, who took the reins of the cabler early last year.

Projects in the works include dramas from the producers behind “Orphan Black,” Amy Poehler’s production banner and “Happy Valley” producer Red.


Among the new prospects:

■ “Memoria,” a drama from writer Adam Barken and “Orphan Black” producer Temple Street Prods., about a man who begins to unravel after his memories conflict with those recalled by technology.

■ “Zero Motivation,” a comedic drama set among women in the Israeli army. Tami Sagher (“Girls,” “Inside Amy Schumer”) is writing for Amy Poehler’s Paper Kite banner is producing with Natasha Lyonne and Israeli filmmaker Talya Lavie. Elon Ratzkovsky and Brooke Posch also exec produce.

■ “Foreign Babes in Beijing,” a drama about the experiences of actress Rachel DeWoskin, who left New York to star in a Chinese soap opera. The show is produced by “Mad Men” alums Maria and Andre Jacquemetton with DeWoskin and Zayn Dorn. Dan Halstead also produces.

■ “Quatermass,” a remake of the Brit series about a professor and his daughter who investigate an alien invasion, written by Jeremy Dyson for “Happy Valley” producer Red. StudioCanal will handle international distribution.

■ “Trip,” written by Louise Fox, is a new spin on the Chinese novel “Monkey: Journey to the West.” See-Saw Films (“Top of the Lake”) is producing.

■ “Junk” is billed as a satirical look at the soda and junk food industry. Dean Craig is writing with Neal Baer exec producing.

That Quatermass bit reads like they’re referring to the John Mills series, where he’s looking for his granddaughter? There is no series with his daughter in it.


ESPN continues to lose subscribers at an alarming rate

The number of homes with ESPN has dropped below 90 million for the first time in a decade as the Worldwide Leader in Sports continues to bleed subscribers at an alarming rate.

As Clay Travis of notes, ESPN has lost over 1.5 million subscribers since February alone. If that pace continues — and data from the last three years suggests it will — the number of homes with ESPN will likely fall to at least 87-88 million by the end of the year. That would mark a 12-13% drop in just the last five years, since the network peaked with 100.1 million subscribers in 2011.

This is a troubling trend for a network that generates 60% of its revenue from subscription fees charged to cable and satellite companies. It is also just another sign that ESPN is going to have to get more creative with generating web subscribers and offering ESPN as a standalone product, much like HBO has done with HBO Now.

I think the last time I watched ESPN was to see one of their 30 for 30 documentaries.


They were a big part of the reason Disney didn’t meet their expected profits despite record breaking film releases.



Production Begins In New York This Summer

LOS ANGELES - June 1, 2016 - SHOWTIME has announced that its Emmy® and Golden Globe®-winning hit drama series HOMELAND will shift from its regular slot in the fall to a winter premiere in January 2017. The series will return to the U.S. after spending the last two seasons shooting in South Africa and Berlin. Season six is set to begin production in New York starting in August. HOMELAND season six will once again star Emmy, Screen Actors Guild® and Golden Globe Award winner Claire Danes, Emmy nominee Rupert Friend, Oscar® winner and Emmy nominee F. Murray Abraham and Emmy and Tony® Award winner Mandy Patinkin.

“We are proud that HOMELAND has been so consistently recognized for its excellence with awards and critical acclaim, but we are in awe of how the series fearlessly mines the geopolitics of our complicated world and translates that into compelling human drama,” said David Nevins, President and CEO, Showtime Networks Inc. “Under Alex Gansa’s brilliant leadership, HOMELAND has shown an uncanny ability to reinvent itself which makes us supremely confident that this show will remain as distinctive, relevant and cutting edge as anything on television for as long as these producers want to continue.”

After she thwarted a terrorist attack in Berlin, season six picks up several months later and finds Carrie Mathison (Danes) back on American soil, living in Brooklyn, NY. She has begun working at a foundation whose efforts are to provide aid to Muslims living in the United States. Season six will tackle the after effects of the U.S. presidential election, with the entire season taking place between election day and the inauguration. It’s a strange, transitional time in the halls of government filled with anxiety and different competing interests, where a very fragile and complex transfer of power takes place between the outgoing president and the incoming president-elect.[/quote]

Interesting that Friend is back, given last season’s ending.


Oh, and I posted this in the Bond thread but it’s worth a mention here:



I watched the first series of Homeland, but was a bit confused. There was a lot of talk about it being the best thing on TV, but I thought that it was a slightly plotted version of 24. I wasn’t a big fan.

Is it worth persisting with?


No, it got worse after S1. Still occasionally good, but it should have ended years ago.


Cheers Paul. I will give it a miss then.


What Paul said. The first season I really enjoyed (but thought they botched the ending for the sake of making it an ongoing story), but the second season went really downhill (and got even more 24-like at times). And after an ok third season and a pretty good fourth one, the fifth was really uneven again - good at times, terrible at others.

If you didn’t like the first then I’d definitely give it a miss.


Gillian Anderson Joins ‘American Gods’ on Starz

Gillian Anderson has joined Starz’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods,” Variety has learned.

Anderson will play Media, the mouthpiece for the New Gods, functioning as their public face and sales representative, by taking the form of various iconic celebrities. She lives off the attention and worship that people give to screens — to their laptops, their TVs, to their iPhones in their hands while they watch their TVs. Ever the perky spokesperson, and always in control, she spins stories in whatever direction best suits her.

The casting marks a reunion between Anderson and “American Gods” executive producer Bryan Fuller — the two previously collaborated on NBC’s “Hannibal.”


You should watch the Americans instead (if you haven’t already), it’s way better.


I have the first two boxsets sitting teasingly under the TV in my DVD shelf. I haven’t got around to them yet, but we have a bank holiday here, so maybe we’ll get to it over the weekend.


Nooooooooooo. Video Game Nation has been cancelled. Next week is the last episode as it “doesn’t fit into the plans of Challenge [the broadcaster] and Ginx [the producer]”. Absolutely gutted, as it’s the best video games TV show ever (yes, even better than GamesMaster was).


That’s crappy news.

With all the identikit bullshit on tv there must surely be enough of an audience for an intelligent video game magazine show to support 30 mins a week.


You’d think given that Halo’s made more money than Harry Potter TV companies would be all over trying to capture that market but they’ve gone from barely trying to just leaving it for the internet. I wrote to the BBC once, asking why they didn’t cover it beyond the odd mention in Click (their tech magazine on BBC News) and they said it wasn’t their job to cover every niche interest or something.