The biggest American reality show on TV has finally joined the iTunes platform. Fox Broadcasting, Fox Interactive Media and FremantleMedia signed an exclusive deal with Apple to bring American Idol audio and video performances to iTunes as single song-sized snippets available the day after they premiere on air.
Audio performances of the top 24 contenders run 99¢ per song, and videos of the top 12 finalists performances will be priced $1.99/each from March 11.
Apple will also become one of the show's premiere sponsors and maintain a branded presence on AmericanIdol.com, where some free streaming performances can be seen.
This past Tuesday was "Super Tuesday" in the United States. Both the Republican and Democratic political parties held primary elections in 22 states to help decide which candidate would represent their parties in the upcoming November U.S. Presidential election.
On Tuesday's episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Jon jokingly wondered "What's bigger than Super Tuesday?" These are what the American cable news networks came up with and Jon Stewart's reactions.
Chris Matthews: "Super Duper Tuesday" Jon Stewart: "That's kind of retarded... infantile."
CNN: "Super Fat Tuesday" Jon Stewart: "Well that's certainly.... dope."
Fox News: "Tsunami Tuesday" Jon Stewart: "Yes I believe the plethora of state primaries is reminiscent of the sudden and horrific deaths of a quarter million people living on the Indian Ocean."
MSNBC: "Monster Super Tuesday" Jon Stewart: [Jon needs a fire extinguisher to hold off MSNBC's hype inferno. Just watch the clip. It's great.]
Call me crazy, but when a group of Police officers approach me holding guns and start yelling "Get down on the ground," I'm gonna listen. This guy... not so much.
Watch this clip first from the popular American TV series "Dateline: To Catch A Predator" (dateline.msnbc.com), then read my explanation. I've analyzed this YouTube clip frame by frame and watched it like 50 times. I think I've got it all figured out.
If the embedded video below doesn't load, you can watch the clip here.
The perp unknowingly shows up at a "Dateline: To Catch A Predator" sting house looking for a sexual encounter with an underage teen he met in a chat room. After Chris Hansen pops out and basically tells him that he's on national TV, the guy tries to put on his shoes and walk out the front door to freedom. But the cops are outside.
Looking for an extreme vacation? How about Antarctica? In addition to being one of the coldest, driest and windiest places on earth (average temp is -56º F), it’s also one of the most difficult to get to.
The first step is to reach Christchurch, New Zealand. Christchurch is one of the the closest airstrips and only a 5 hour flight to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. But just because you’ve booked a flight to Antarctica, it doesn’t actually mean your plane will actually land. Due to the extreme weather conditions, it takes several attempts before pulling off a successful landing. That means, if your pilot doesn’t feel comfortable with the weather conditions, you have to fly back to Christchurch and try again another day. 10-12 hours down the drain. They call this the “Antarctica Boomerang.”
I was watching the Today Show the other day and they are trying to send Ann Curry to Antarctica for a segment called The Ends of the Earth. She’s currently at Christchurch in queue for the “Boomerang.” The Ends of the Earth airs on the Today Show Nov. 5th and 6th, but who knows if Ann will actually make it to Antarctica in time for the broadcast. And if she does make it, Ann doesn't know when she can leave.
Ann nervously put it, “The record number of boomerangs is 7 for a single flight... we don’t know when we’re gonna get there and we’re not actually sure when we’re gonna be able to broadcast live, and we’re not sure when we’re gonna get back.”
The most practical way for the average person to see Antarctica is by taking an Antarctic icebreaker cruise around the ice-free coastal areas. Some of these icebreakers are large enough to have their own helipads and have helicopters that can transport passengers to research stations on the mainland.
But once you successfully reach Antarctica, you can hangout with 1000+ scientists and support personnel, and even do some eco sightseeing. Several cold-adapted plants and animals call the South Pole home including fur seals, penguins, whales, mosses, lichen, and many types of algae. Plus the Antarctic Treaty protects the continent's natural ecozone and prohibits military activities and mining. And believe it or not, there are also 31 volcanoes in Antarctica. But don't get too excited. Only 4 of them have erupted in the last 25 years including Mount Erebus in 2007.
Personally, I may never make it to Antarctica, but it will be interesting to watch Ann Curry try. You can track her progress online here: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/21487444
Can an Asian-American ever hold the American Idol title? Paul Ethan Hahn says a resounding "yes" and Internet video might be his Ace in the Hole.
Paul grew up in Murray Hill, New Jersey and has always been a big country fan. He also loves the hit FOX-TV program American Idol. And if Paul has his way, he’ll be the first Asian country singer on American Idol.
"I wanna make Paula Abdul cry and show that jerk off Simon how to sing. I want to be the next American Idol!" Paul quips.
This week, Paul Hahn entered an online FOX 29 Philly Idol contest and hopes that a hi-tech edge will help him bypass the massive lines outside the first round of judges.
FOX 29 posted an open American Idol audition on their website. The winner gets to perform live on Fox's morning show, Good Day Philadelphia, and gets to bypass the first round of judges at the open American Idol Philadelphia auditions later this month. To enter, all you had to do was upload a video of you singing.
Paul recorded his American Idol demo using his Apple MacBook Pro laptop, with a built in iSight camera, and the video editing program iMovie.
"It was so easy," says Paul. "I just opened iMovie, recorded about a minute sample of my singing, burned a DVD and threw it into the mail. The whole process only took about 10 minutes."
Since Idol's first season, we've seen Kelly Clarkson belt out high notes, a plethora of Sanjaya hairstyles, and even a contestant who went on to win an Oscar. But we haven’t seen any serious Asian-American contestants get a real shot at the Idol crown (sorry but William Hung doesn't count).
Will Paul's dream of telling off Simon and getting to sing a country song on American Idol come true? Can Internet video voting give this American Idol hopeful a back door to stardom? That's in the hands of you, the voters.
You can watch and vote for all the top 10 Philadelphia contestants, including Paul Hahn, on FOX 29’s web site: http://media.myfoxphilly.com/idol/idolvote.html. The top 5 get to perform live on FOX 29's morning show Good Day Philadelphia and the winner gets to bypass the massive lines at the Philadelphia open auditions for season 7.
A lighter and paper shredder helped make Mika Brzezinski the "symbol of television journalism's guilt trip" about Paris Hilton. Brzezinski used both to destroy a script calling for her to read about Hilton's release from jail on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program recently. Part serious, part an act, it has become an Internet sensation. More than 2 million people have watched a clip of the incident on YouTube, around 10 times the number who watched it live on TV. Apparently, she's not the only one sick of the socialite.
"Among journalists it touched a nerve because I think we're tired of pretending this is important," she said. "We also know that, deep down inside, our viewers know that we don't believe this is news. They can't. They can't think we're that dumb."
Brzezinski, who left CBS News last year, has been working as a news- reader and on-air foil for Joe Scarborough on the show MSNBC is trying out to replace Don Imus in the morning.
Hours after Hilton's June 26 catwalk to freedom, Joe Scarborough (widget) and Brzezinski discussed one of the day's other big stories at their show's opening: influential Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's declaration that President Bush's Iraq strategy wasn't working.
It was then Brzezinski's turn to sum up the day's news. She looked down at her script and Hilton was the top story. She froze.
"I could not get through the first three words without crumbling," she said. "My skin was crawling. This was our lead? On a day like this? To me, it was just the ultimate Paris Hilton out-of-control moment. We've gone too far and we've got to stop. That was all real. There was nothing planned about that, and I believe we got a little snappy."
Don Herbert, who explained the wonderful world of science to millions children on his Nickelodeon cable TV show "Mr. Wizard's World", has died after a long battle with multiple myeloma. He was 89.
Herbert used basic experiments to teach scientific principles to his TV audience via an in-studio guest boy or girl who assisted in the experiments. Herbert liked to perform his scientific experiments as "tricks" to get the kids hooked, then explain the science behind it later.
Herbert wrote several books, including "Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science" and "Mr. Wizard's Experiments for Young Scientists."
In recent years, he helped set up his website mrwizardstudios.com.
If you walked through Times Square this past Tuesday, then you probably noticed American magician Criss Angel suspended in midair. Angel was enclosed for 24 hours in a clear box that was encased in cement as fans and reporters watched. The box was then hoisted 40 feet above the ground in a parking lot just off Times Square.
Hundreds gathered to watch his escape, and a big screen showed Angel inside the box, kicking at the walls and dejectedly holding his head in his hands. When a countdown clock hit zero, the box was sent plunging to the ground.
As organizers called for paramedics and fans went quiet, Angel appeared atop the screen's nearby scaffolding, waving to the crowd and with his hand across his heart.
While much of the crowd cheered, several people were heard asking: "Was he actually in the box?"
"Well, I was in it when I fell -- that's the truth," Angel told Reuters, adding that people should be asking how he got from the fallen box to the scaffolding.
The stunt was meant to draw attention to the third season of his show "Mindfreak," which started airing on A&E this week. Angel said the first episode would reveal how he escaped.
The series centers on Melbourne tennis champion Mark Philippoussis (age 31) as he's wooed by a group of 13 special ladies. What Philippoussis doesn't know is that these women range in age from 21 to 48. Will he go for one of the younger gals (Kittens), or will he become smitten by someone more mature (Cougars)?
Age of Love's "Kittens" will feature six young, enthusiastic women in their 20's who could probably better keep-up with Philippoussis' fast-paced lifestyle, while the "Cougars" will consist of seven women in their 40's who are more sophisticated and thus probably better equipped to deal with his fame as a tennis pro.
Similar to the manner in which the "geek versus hunks" twists on NBC's Average Joe reality dating shows played out, Philippoussis will initially be introduced to his older "Cougars" suitors. Later, he will learn that the younger "Kittens" -- who will also initially be unaware of the "Cougars" and vice versa -- will also be attempting to vie for his affection.
Once the "Cougars" meet the "Kittens," the claws come out and all the bachelorettes will try to win him over. From there, the field of suitors will be narrowed until Philippoussis picks his final bachelorette.
I guess "Age of Love" just sounds better than "Primetime Catfight," though I would argue the latter is a more fitting title.
As its fans have feared, Sci Fi's Battlestar Galactica will end its run after this, its 4th season. Executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eik (Bionic Woman) said they will wrap up the show's storyline with these 22 episodes. The fourth season is in production in Vancouver and will premiere in November. The official announcement, planned for Friday, ends months of speculation from the show's core group of dedicated fans.
"We respect the producers’ decision to end the series and are proud to have been the home of this groundbreaking show," said Sci Fi Executive Vice President of Original Programming, Mark Stern in a statement.
"This show was always meant to have a beginning, a middle and finally, an end," said Eick and Moore in a joint statement. "Over the course of the last year, the story and the characters have been moving strongly toward that end and we've decided to listen to those internal voices and conclude the show on our own terms."
No longer are our magnificent Monday night ‘Heroes’ going to be confined to merely mortal NBC TV (and SciFi Channel reruns). Our favorite Heroes and villains are coming to DVD this August with tons of bonus features.
The 7-disc set, available on DVD and HD DVD on August 28, 2007, will include the never-before-aired 73-minute premiere episode and over 50 deleted scenes.
Unaired Pilot: The Tim Kring cut with audio commentary — A full 73 uninterrupted minutes of the original, unaired, extended pilot episode, as Heroes’ creator Tim Kring first envisioned it, with a character never seen.
The Making of “Heroes”: From concept to pop culture phenomenon, a behind-the-scenes look at the hottest new series on television.
Special Effects: The secrets behind the eye-popping visuals that give the Heroes their amazing powers.
The Stunts: A backstage look at the show’s hair-raising stunts.
Mind Reader: Matt Parkman’s mind reading abilities reveal your inner Hero with a series of simple tests.
Profile of Artist Tim Sale: A look at the Eisner Award-winning comic book artist (Spiderman, Batman, Daredevil) behind much of the Manga-influenced artwork used in the show.
The Score: Go behind the scenes with Wendy Melvin and Lisa Coleman (of Prince’s The Revolution) as they create their ASCAP Award-winning musical score.
Did you watch the 2007 season finale of The Office (US)? Want to print out your own Schrute Bucks?! A $1,000 Schrute Bucks will you get an extra 5 minutes for lunch. I wonder how many Schrute Bucks it takes to get the Dwight bobblehead from nbcstore.com?
The Schrute Buck gfx was made by Digg.com user dawgma.
"She absolutely steals the screen in 'Bionic,'" Angela Bromstad, president of NBC Universal Television Studio, told TV Week's James Hibberd.
Some of the clips featuring Sackhoff, best known to genre fans as Kara "Starbuck" Thrace in SciFi Channel's "Battlestar Galactica," have been released to the Web by NBC Universal as a way to promote the series, which will make its debut this fall. In it, Sackhoff plays the original bionic woman who gets in a rooftop bionic battle with Jamie Sommers, played by series tar Michelle Ryan.
Sackhoff's character originally was slated to be offed in the pilot, but executives liked her so much that she is now going to be pulling double duty between both shows which are filmed in Vancouver and produced by NBCU.
Sackhoff apparently isn't the only BSG alum to be making the show either... two more actors familiar to "Battlestar" fans who have some type of role in the pilot.
Less than a week after American broadcast network, CBS, pulled the plug on its post-Apocalyptic sci-fi series "Jericho," fans have apparently been making contact with the network in droves, demanding that if nothing else, CBS find closure for the cliffhanger left at the end of Season 1.
That campaign has included letter writing and even the delivery of peanuts to the network, highlighting one of the final words of the series when Skeet Ulrich's character of Jake Green tells the sheriff of the neighboring town of New Bern that is at war with Jericho, paying homage to a World War II story by his grandfather.
The campaign may have paid off, with CBS making an announcement on the official "Jericho" message boards that there could be plans in the works to at least wrap up the story.
"We have read your e-mails over the past few days and have been touched by the depth and passion with which you have expressed your disappointment," wrote Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment.
"Please know that canceling a television series is a very difficult decision. Hundreds of people at the network, the production company and the incredibly talented creative team worked very hard to build and serve the community for this show -- both on-air and online. It is a show we loved, too. Thank you for supporting 'Jericho' with such passion. We truly appreciate the commitment you made to the series and we are humbled by your disappointment. In the coming weeks, we hope to develop a way to provide closure in the compelling drama that was the 'Jericho' story."
While the series had a strong run of episodes early in the season, by the time it returned several weeks after its first part of the season, "Jericho" had stiff competition against "American Idol"- fueled programming on Fox among other places, but was still generating decent ratings for CBS.
10. Buffoons (like Andy and Dwight) do not need to wear sumo suits to appear more buffoonish. In fact, the hilariousness of the sumo suit is inversely proportional to how funny the character is in his regular officewear. However …
9. The fact that a sumo suit enables Andy to float away on the ebbing tides of Lake Scranton is completely fascinating. How does physics explain this?
8. Michael notes that Lake Scranton is America’s eighth largest indigenous body of water. Ignoring the fact that this is patently false, we’d like to believe he was creating a metaphor for America’s unsustainable reliance on reservoirs and the corresponding danger to the ecosystem. Or a metaphor for being an idiot.
7. Contrary to Michael’s assumptions about Oscar’s beachwear, it’s actually gayer to wear designer jeans to the beach than a Speedo or leather pants.
6. If one employee at Dunder Mifflin could actually win Survivor, it’s Creed. Did you see the two-second shot of him toeing out into the lake and catching a fish with his bare hands? Jeff Probst would be proud. Poor fish. Who knows where those hands have been?
5. Jim is not as good of a boyfriend as we thought. What kind of guy tries to distract his girlfriend while she’s lobbying for a promotion? Then again, why is Karen competing for the same job as her boyfriend? Did we miss something?
4. Pam thinks that she has the most boring job at Dunder Mifflin. We'd give that honor to Stanley … if we knew what Stanley did.
3. No matter what anyone says, we still like Karen better than Pam. Karen goes out and gets what she wants (Jim, a better job, a fake tan). Pam has to walk through a field of burning coals to work up enough outrage to confess her feelings for Jim, and even then, she stops short of saying what she's really feeling (burning flesh).
2. If you’re going to walk across a field of burning coals, go fast, and remember “The mind has to wrap around the foot.”
1. Not even The Office's writers are immune to jerking us around during May Sweeps. They hadn’t gone near the Pam-Jim-Karen love triangle for weeks when suddenly, Pam dropped her bombshell (if you can call wanting to be “best friends” with Jim a bombshell). This is all leading up to next week’s season finale, when Michael, Jim, and inexplicably, Karen, head off to New York to compete for the same job. We’ll give two-to-one odds Karen gets the gig, thus putting an end to the ménage tension and taking a little piece of our heart with it.
Think paying $800 for a Series3 HD TiVo box without service is insane? You are not alone. Consumers weren't exactly excited about coughing up that much $$$ for the Series3 and TiVo sales have slumped. In fact, TiVo just reported a Q4 net loss of $18.7 million.
With products like Apple TV and a Windows Vista CableCARD coming out soon, TiVo has to do something before they are quickly phased out of the digital living room.
So what's their solution? Just make it cheaper I guess. TiVo CEO Tom Rogers had this to say in his quarter results commentary: "We will be highly focused this year on launching a lower-priced, mass appeal High Definition product."
That vague quote doesn't exactly guarantee a cheap HD TiVo during 2007, but hopefully they can come up with something during the next 9 months. Whatever they are going to do, they better do it quick. I already pre-ordered an Apple TV and if it lives up to expectations, my Series2 TiVo will be making a brief cameo on eBay before it leaves my living room.
Get ready for the television "newpeat." In an unusual experiment aimed at improving ratings for reruns, tonight American broadcast network NBC plans to air two previously seen half-hour episodes of The Office that have been re-edited into a new hour-long show.
Some scenes will be cut so producers can weave in unaired footage that introduces a new storyline into the older episodes. NBC, a unit of General Electric Co., won't film new footage but is instead relying on snippets that have been cut from previous tapings, a spokeswoman says. The "newpeats," as NBC is calling the episodes, will air tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
In an age where old TV episodes are widely distributed online -- in some cases just hours after they air - networks are struggling to attract audiences to the repeats on their schedules. The Big Four American networks in decades past could count on a significant audience to turn up for reruns because there wasn't that much competition. But with video games, the Internet, DVDs sporting extras and the continued proliferation of cable all competing for their time, audiences expect something more.