Tag Archives: Arts

ABCFamily.com Comes Up with an “Alibi”

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Sometime I wonder if I post things just to come up with a Variety-speak headline.

Anyhow, just watched episode one of “My Alibi” on ABCFamily.com (see below).  This was a pick-up for ABC of an existing show from Take180 which tries to elicit audience participation in the form of cliffhangers with resolutions that can be voted on.

The production value is decent and the casting of a 90210-alum can’t hurt but I am not convinced that this sort of simplistic interaction is going to be the hook for a webseries aimed at teens and tweens (or anyone else, really).  Primarily, these interactions tend to hurt the actual story since so many alternatives must be conceived and, at times, produced, even if they aren’t the most satisfying or dramatic direction, due to fan interferance.

Instead, webseries need to find more innovative and immersive ways to get audiences involved OR create a passive story that is good enough to stand on its own.  “MyAlibi” falls into a bit of an unfortunate gap between these two solutions.

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Time Warner Cable Losing Subscribers. I’m One of Them.

Lost (Original Television Soundtrack) album cover
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God, I love being part of a trend! Especially when that trend is to dump your over-priced, inflexible and poorly serviced cable TV via Time Warner Cable.

According to CNet:

The cable operator only gained about 49,000 new lines for a total of 34.2 million during the quarter. And basic video subscriptions decreased by 197,000, to 13.1 million. This drop was attributed to customers ending their service, but was also due to the fact that Time Warner Cable sold some properties.

Aside from the obvious reason that paying close to $100/month to watch TV is a tough pill to swallow in this tight economy, the free alternatives just continue to become easier to access.  I dumped my TWC TV service almost two months ago and continue to see everything I want – I just don’t pay through the nose for the privilege.

While I hate to see anyone lose a job due to a business downsizing, I simply can’t root for Time Warner Cable in this particular battle.

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Free Anti-Piracy Advice to NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX et. al.

According to a post on NewTeeVee:

Regardless of how many ads were shown, 90 percent of ABC.com viewers continued to say they’d rather get the show for free than pay to get it without ads.

Why aren’t the TV networks releasing copies of their shows to pirate sites complete with the ads built in?  While I do love my ad-free TV torrents, I tend to watch on Boxee even with the ads since there is simply no wait.  However, I miss being able to download and watch the show on other devices or outside of a wifi hotspot.

I think most people would be perfectly ok with downloading a show with the ads built in.  Sure, one could fast-forward past them but most people don’t bother, especially if the ads are short and varied.

Not only would the networks actually get to show advertisers an ever larger pool of eyeballs but they would be putting the pirates right out of business.

Just thinking aloud…

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The Ninja That Isn’t AskANinja

Yuji Okumoto
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I’m not totally sure what to make of ‘Katana,’ the latest webseries pilot from the folks at Strike.TV.

It is a completely earnest attempt at making a ninja-revenge action film reminiscent of those from the ’70’s complete with well-choreographed fight sequences from clearly professional stunt fighters.  As TubeFilter told me:

The  hard hitting show stars John Koyama and Yuji Okumoto (also the writer-producer) alongside stunt superstars Al Goto, Sam Looc, and Don Tai. If you haven’t recognized any of those names, check out those IMDB listings, because you’ve definitely seen their movies.

‘Katana’ is part of a new wave of low-budget professionally produced fare finding its way to the web, much of it in the form of tried-and-true film genres like sci-fi and horror. The big question will be whether or not enough fans of these very specific genres will a) find these programs considering the overall lack of marketing budgets and b) if they do, will they really be interested in watching what boils down to cheaper versions of what they get plenty of on both TV and the big screen.

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Quick Little Boxee Update

Boxee
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It has now been over a month living cable-free and I am loving it.  Not only am I saving money and watching far less “bad” TV – I define “bad” TV as that stuff you watch when you are just idly flipping through the channels – but I have gotten to really experience Boxee.

While there are now all sorts of ways to watch TV on your computer, I find Boxee continues to be the most comprehensive.  Now, with the addition of the ABC web-content it is just that much better.

I think my favorite part is that I can navigate it almost entirely via my little Apple remote while sitting back in bed.

Even if you are still paying for cable, go download Boxee and get a pretty good taste of the future.  My guess is that you will quickly begin to wonder just why you are still paying for cable.

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Data Indicates Women are Pirates, Too

Jesse Metcalfe as John Rowland on Desperate Ho...
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Probably due to my own prejudices, I have always assumed that men were more likely than women to be downloading pirated materal.

However, according to TorrentFreak, the top two TV shows downloaded last week were “Desperate Housewives” and “Gossip Girl.”  Now it is completely possible that these numbers are due to men who don’t want to admit they watch these shows but I don’t think so.

Instead, I think this indicates that women are quickly becoming just as active in pirating video as men.  More and more, I believe that the generation growing up right now will be the first to demonstrate little gender difference when it comes to the use of technology.

None of this explains why “Prison Break” remains one of the top pirated shows every single week…

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But Wait…There’s More Obliterates Separation of Show and Ad

picture-5Among the many new shows coming to you via the Discovery Channel this year is one featuring infomercial legend Billy Mays, who has shilled everything from OxiClean to the Awesome Auger (via THR):

First is “But Wait … There’s More” from executive producer Beers, which follows longform ad salesmen Billy Mays and Anthony “Sully” Sullivan as they evaluate quirky new products, craft pitches and take to the airwaves to push the goods.

Just so you get it, the guy who was doing infomercials is now doing a show that will actually have advertisements around it but the show itself is still an infomercial…with commercials…

When infomercials started taking over the late-night airwaves I was saddened by the loss of the late-late-movie and the other weirdness that would pop up on TV after two in the morning.  Then reality shows came along and I was saddened by the loss of a lot of solid scripted fair.

Now that Discovery has figured out how to make an infomerical into a reality show we can pretty much kiss all decent TV goodbye.

Sigh.

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