This year’s CES is all about one thing – 3D television. Samsung, LG, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, Panasonic, and Sony all showcased 3D televisions in one form or another. The secondary big thing for televisions is once again convergence of Internet and phone capabilities. Here’s the problem with 3D – the glasses, yeah they are ok for a few minutes here and there and heck even for the occasional movie but would I really want to have to where these things every time I watch TV – heck no.
There are some hoops to jump through. Most of the systems on display required a special dongle to be connected to the Blu-ray or television set. Several sets coming this summer will have the 3D decoding built in and 3D Blu-ray players will also decode as well. Once everything is properly set up, the results are all over the map – based on what type of glasses you are using. When it works, like with Mitsubishi’s demo which used “Shutter” technology, the effect was stunning – no blur, comfortable, an amazing depth of field, and beautiful clarity all on a 75 inch display.
The rumored death of scripted television may have been premature as NBC is pulling the plug on the Jay Leno prime time Experiment. Leno’s ratings low ratings were a shock to the system for NBC Affiliates and they complained loudly to the network. I surprised at the speed of NBC’s action since this was a major initiative for them. The current rumored plan is for Leno to move back to 11:35 for a new 1/2 hour show and for Conan to have an 1/2 hour show at 12:05. In the meantime NBC Execs are going to have to scramble to fill that empty 10pm slot with new scripted programming.
I don’t know how I feel about these half-assed dvd releases where instead of giving us one Complete set, we now have to purchase 1/2 a season at a time. I purchased part 1 to Glee, knowing full well I’ll have to purchase the 2nd arc in July. The folks behind ABC’s Flashforward are going to release the first 10 episodes of this season February 23rd, just in time for the show to return in March. The Press Release doesn’t tell us what the special features are. I tried to watch this show and wasn’t feeling it, so I’m looking forward to giving it another shot on DVD. Check out the Press release after the break.
Don’t forget, this weekend Encore’s Big 80s Weekend marathon. Almost every awesome movie from the 80s is going to air starting Christmas Day, highlights include all the John Hughes movies, Fast Time At Ridgemont High, Back To The Future, Goonies, Wall Street, Purple Rain, The Blues Brothers, Weird Science and more. I looked at the full list last week and couldn’t find a dud in the bunch. I’m back home in MD, so I’ll be able to watch all this 80s goodness on EncoreHD. Just an amazing line up of nostalgia. Also this weekend they will be debuting a brand new documentary about the late, great John Hughes called “Don’t You Forget About Me,” featuring appearance The mini-press release and full list is after the break.
On Monday I took part in an hour long conference call with Dave Howe the President of SyFy. He’s quite a talker and had a lot of good things to say, I drilled him about SyFy’s recent penchant for “reimagining” everything under the sun and I followed with him regarding his dream of getting SyFy into the Video Game Business – something he mentioned when I had lunch with him during a DigitalPress event. I’ll post a full transcript of the call in the next few days. In the meantime here are some highlights and scoops:
Syfy is actively working with Video Game Developers Trial WorldwideTrion World Network, Inc to co-launch a scripted MMO Game. The game will have it’s own television series as well, the working title is One Earth. Trial launched showcased a demo of their first game Heroes of Telara at E3 last year. He went on to say that SyFy brings a huge viewership and expertise in scripted programming to the Video Game Industry.
Dave thinks SyFy’s strong year is based in part on the Brand change and of course their strong content which included the huge success they had with Warehouse 13.
He reiterated the idea that Sci-Fi had a negative connotation and pigeonholed the network, the new brand is more open ended and gives them the room to be able to create a wider range of content that will appeal to everyone. There are regrets to the rebranding decision and this wasn’t entered into lightly, they talked about it for over two years before they decided to pull the trigger, they had reached a point where it had to be done. Continue reading Hollywood Insider: Dave Howe, President of SyFy Speaks!→
Syfy has gone the homemade route for its odd little space sitcom, Outer space Astronauts [Tuesdays, 9:30/8:30C]. The series, about the “highly distractable” crew of the O.S.S. Oklahoma, is the brainchild of Russell Barrett, who created the series and co-writes, shoots, edits, scores and plays a supporting role [Captain Bruce Ripley], among other things.
The series premiere, Diplomatic Hat, finds the crew of the Oklahoma encountering an alien vessel and inviting its crew over for pizza. Problems arise when the aliens make it clear that they want a little bit more than just the pizza – they want the Oklahoma and plan to kills its crew to get it.
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done an edition of The Queue. The reason being, I’ve been stuck in a hotel in New Joisey for the last two months, my internet will not let me use my Netflix Instant Queue. I never realized how much I used it until it was taken away. Strangely enough, they have no problem with me playing multiplayer games for hours on end. In case you wondered if there’s a limit to how many titles you can have at any given time, the number is 500. I’m maxed out baby! For those of you who say there’s nothing good on the Netflix Instant Queue, oh you poor sad souls, I’m here to help. I’ll admit what it lacks in decent movies, it more than makes up for with excellent television choices. I don’t know where to file this – under Video Games or Television? Here are ten things to watch this week or right now!
Lost Season 1 – 4
The last season of TV’s ground breaking lost is coming in February. You can bone up on the show by catching the first 4 seasons of Lost. As much as I try, I just don’t see the appeal of Lost. I can watch 2 or 3 episodes at a time, but get bored with it rather quick. Season 1 was amazingly addictive, but I’m struggling through Season 2. ABC’s motley crew of castaways remains stranded on the deserted island populated by mysterious things that go bump in the night. And since most of the survivors have abandoned the idea of a rescue, they focus on staying alive. Matthew Fox (Party of Five), Naveen Andrews (The English Patient) and Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings) round out the ensemble cast in this television drama from J.J. Abrams (creator of "Alias")
Say it ain’t so. Oprah calls it quits. She’s ending her show in 2011, she will make the announcement on her show tomorrow (Friday). Twitter is all atwitter over the news and has had over 8,000 tweets an hour since the announcement. I’ll admit it, I don’t like Oprah and never liked her – the only episode I ever watched in it’s entirety was the one where she had Prince on when he released Emancipation, but I admire the heck of what she’s accomplished. To come from nothing to where she is today is astonishing. Maybe her meeting earlier this week with the babbling idiot Sarah Palin finally did her in.
The CW Network is still pleased as punch about how well Supernatural season five is doing in the ratings and had the following to say in a press release dated November 18, 2009:
SUPERNATURAL matched its best adults 18-34 (1.5/4) performance of the season, and scored its second best ratings this season in adults 18-49 (1.3/3).
What were they so happy about?
Well last Thursday November 12in episode S5.09 The Real Ghostbusters,( directed by Jim Conway from a teleplay by Eric Kripke and story written by Nancy Weiner) the fictional characters of Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) Winchester went to a Supernatural convention being put on by Carver Edlund a.ka. Chuck Shurley (Rob Benedict) who wrote books he thought were fantasies in his head but were actually documentation of the lives of Sam and Dean Winchester starting at the point where the two brothers came back together to search for their missing father John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and to do hunting of supernatural creatures along the way.
Coincidentally (or maybe not) the very weekend after the episode aired, Supernatural actors Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Rob Benedict who play these characters went to a Supernatural convention as well (Jim Beaver, Richard Speight Jr., Misha Collins, Rob Benedict and Aldis Hodges were there as well). For the record though the characters and the actors attended two very different conventions, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t similarities as well. Let’s take a look at both of them as I do my commentary for last week’s Supernatural episode S5.09 The Real Ghostbusters.