Television


ABC Intentionally Goes Overtime With Lost?

tvOne of the shows I record with my DVR is ABC's Lost. We're winding down the series and us Losties are looking for answers, dammit! The final episode will air May 23, 2010.

I record the show, which means I grab the CTV feed from 9pm to 10pm each Tuesday. I've noticed an unsettling trend. The show has been running about 62 minutes, or two minutes past my recording time. Trust me, you don't want to miss the last two minutes of this show.

Is ABC intentionally going overtime with Lost to mess with those of us who choose to record it and skip the ads?

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Television on DVD

cdMy preferred way to view quality television is on DVD. I'm willing to wait a little in order to bang off a good series unedited without commercials and without waiting a week for a new episode.

Last year, I watched the entire series of The Wire on DVD. The Wire had such an effect on me, I've just bought all five seasons on DVD so I can watch it again and again. Yes, it's that good.

Last week, I decided I wanted to watch Mad Men. One tweet later, I was meeting Elvis to pick up season one on DVD. We're six episodes deep and digging it. It's not The Wire, but it's great television.

Prior to my purchase of The Wire on DVD, the only television show I've ever bought on DVD has been The Simpsons. What shows do you own on DVD?

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Clickety Click Barba Trick!

rewindAllow me a moment to explain the current header. In case you're reading this long after it's gone, here's what was at the top of this site at the time of this writing.

header

That's Barbapapa and Barbamama, and if you were a kid in the late 70s and early 80s watching TVO, you know them from Barbapapa. I loved that show, even more than Jeremy the Bear and almost as much as I loved Fables of the Green Forest.

Clickety Click Barba Trick!

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The Show I'm Most Stoked About: Treme

tvIt's pretty rare these days that I get excited about a new television series. Sure, I'm up for tonight's premiere of The Pacific, but that's not the show I'm most heavily anticipating in 2010. The show I'm most stoked about is Treme.

I stand by my claim that The Wire is The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™. I've opined openly on the subject at https://www.torontomike.com/the_wire/. Treme is from the makers of The Wire, and here's the description from Wikipedia.

Treme is an upcoming American drama television series created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer. The series takes place three months after Hurricane Katrina where the residents of New Orleans, including musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanian try to rebuild their lives, their homes and their unique culture in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane. The series is scheduled to premiere April 11, 2010, on HBO. The first season will consist of 10 episodes, including an 80-minute pilot episode.

Note: I originally embedded the trailer below, but it was inexplicably pulled from YouTube. Instead, here's the less exciting teaser.

Welcome back, Bunk! I'll be watching on HBO Canada... there's no way I'd miss this.

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Farrah Fawcett's Oscar Snub

oscarTen years ago, my brothers and I drafted a dead pool. At some point I deemed the contest grossly insensitive and stopped updating the page, but I didn't delete it. Instead, I changed "the dead pool" into the slightly less offensive Celebrity Death Watch.

When a famous person kicks the bucket, I write about it and add them to that page. When Farrah Fawcett passed away last year, she got an entry, even though her death was overshadowed a few hours later by another celebrity passing.

During the Oscar telecast Sunday night, they aired this "in memoriam" segment, as they do every year. It includes just about everyone in the world of film that passed away during the previous year. Michael Jackson was recognized, even though he's not primarily known for his film career, but Farrah Fawcett was snubbed.

I didn't notice the Farrah Fawcett snub on Sunday night, but thought it was awfully strange when Jill left a comment about it on this entry. Although best known as a television star, Farwcett did appear in 19 films, including The Apostle, Extremities, Cannonball Run, and Logan's Run. They recognize people for far, far less than that.

The Academy can't even claim it was an accident. Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences spokeswoman Leslie Unger says "every year, it's an unfortunate reality that we can't include everybody".

You'd think they'd have found a second or two for Farrah. As the kids are saying, this was a huge FAIL.

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Nothing Unites This Country Like Hockey

tvYou know that hockey game that took place Sunday afternoon? 80 per cent of Canada's population watched some part of it. 80%!

That's 26.5 million Canadians. That easily makes it the most-watched broadcast in Canadian history. 26.5 million people in a country of 33,311,389. That's astounding.

Nothing unites this country like hockey. You can tell me it's just a game, but it's much more than that. It's unification from sea to sea and that transcends sport.

In this country, it's currency.

hockey

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Payroll to be Shed at CTV, Olympic Rights Swap and Lloyd Robertson

tvIt's no wonder this CTV / Rogers consortium forked over major dough in order to broadcast these Olympic games. In this age of the PVR / DVR, advertisements are virtually invisible, with one exception: live sports.

The only time I see ads on television are during live sporting events, and since Friday night, 99% of my television viewing has been these 2010 Olympics on a CTV or Rogers station. And I have to watch them live, which means catching more ads this month than I have in the previous year. The Olympics is an event worth investing in, you'd think.

CBC got outbid by CTV to broadcast these games, and for the past few weeks I've been hearing various rumours from insiders at CTV and other media companies regarding two subjects: imminent headcount reduction at CTV and possible selling of future Olympic rights by CTV to CBC.

Let's take a look at that first topic I've been hearing all over the place lately. Speculation is that immediately following these Olympics CTV will announce a substantial round of firings/layoffs. I hope I'm wrong, I don't want anyone to lose their job, but there's a lot of smoke here.

As for the Olympics, this CTV/Rogers consortium has the rights to 2012 in London. It's possible these rights could be flipped back to CBC for the right price. Personally, I hope this does happen. I preferred the CBC Olympic coverage to the coverage I've been watching this past week from Vancouver.

Oh... and look for Lloyd Robertson to assume a reduced role in the not to distant future. CTV would never can the living legend, but they're ready for him to step aside now.

If you'd like to join in on this Canadian media speculation, please feel free to do so in the comments. If you're an insider with details, contact me and we can play Woodward and Bernstein.

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Dear Internet, Never Forget January 22, 2010

ConanLast night, Conan O'Brien hosted his last Tonight Show. I'm with Coco, and not just because I attended the taping of his show. I like that guy for a whole bunch of reasons.

In the clip below from Conan's last show, he teams up with Will Ferrell, Beck, Ben Harper, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, and trusty house-band drummer Max Weinberg to close out the show in style with an unforgettable rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.”

coco

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Howard Stern warns Conan about Jay Leno and The Tonight Show

tvI like Howard Stern. I also like Conan O'Brien. I really like this clip from December 14, 2006, in which Howard Stern warns Conan about Jay Leno and The Tonight Show.

[via @JimRichardsShow]

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Will All Citytv News End Up On New Rogers GTA News Channel?

citytvSince we learnt bodies were falling at Citytv, I've had a few emails from people on the inside. One gentleman tells me there's a lot of chatter amongst the survivors about Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-347.

Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2008-347 was the approval by the CRTC to grant Rogers a "broadcasting licence to provide CITY News (Toronto), a regional English-language Category 2 specialty service that would offer 24-hour-a-day news and information programming sourced from its local television and radio news properties. The programming would consist of a mix of local news, traffic, weather, business, sports and entertainment information devoted exclusively to residents in the Greater Toronto and commuting areas."

This new Rogers 24-hour-a-day news channel is coming soon, possibly to channel 1 on your Rogers digital cable box. The CityNews (I preferred CityPulse) survivors are speculating that all Citytv news programming will eventually move to this new GTA news channel. The axing of the noon, 5pm and weekend news is just the beginning.

I'm going to share part of an email I got from someone with intimate knowledge of what went down at Citytv this week.

Anne was first to go shortly after the news on Monday evening. The rumour of her being let go spread quickly through the staff and Tuesday morning the rest of the pink slips were being handed out. Staff was weeping in the open, some of them wondering if they would be next.

Not fun...

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