Remember a while ago there was that ad for HBO's In Treatment sitting in our sidebar? Well if you have nothing to do today, consider heading over to Amazon Unbox where they're giving away the first 15 episodes of the series for free. Nothing like some hardcore neuroticism for a laugh to get your work week started on a positive note! Commenters are encouraged to begin flame wars in the comments section in response to my incredibly insensitive comment.
If you are the parent of a school-age child, you MUST read this. Remember that great show Bill Nye The Science Guy? While the Emmy Award-winning producers of that show will be debuting Biz Kid$ tomorrow, a fast-paced public television series aimed for school-aged kids that teaches kids all about money and finance.
Designed to be engaging and entertaining, Biz Kid$ will air across the United States with 26 30-minute episodes, teaching kids the importance of establishing good financial habits early on through the use of profiles of kids who run their own businesses. Kids running every type of business from dog-walking to big companies with their own product lines are profiled, in cooperation with JA Worldwide(R) (Junior Achievement(R)), showing kids the basics of saving, budgeting, investing, and giving back to the community, while showing young viewers that they can be Biz Kid$ too.
Says Biz Kid$ Executive Producer Jamie Hammond of profiling young people running their own businesses, "This humanizes the financial literacy aspect of the production and shows kids the range of possibilities available to anyone who wants to become a biz kid."
More more information and resources check out the Biz Kid$ web site at bizkids.com.
Take a look at some of the Super Bowl commercials you weren't allowed to see from the past 5 years. Personally, I think networks would better capitalize on their viewer base during the Super Bowl if these were the ads we saw, but maybe that's why I don't work in the ad industry.
The queen of all media icons, Oprah Winfrey, will soon have her own television network. OWN, short for the Oprah Winfrey Network, will be jointly created by Winfrey and Discovery Communications and will air sometime in 2009 on what is currently the Discovery Health channel. The popular Oprah Winfrey Show won't air initially on the new network, but Winfrey has the option of ending the show in 2010 or 2011 at which time she intends to move it to her network
OWN's editorial control will fall solely in the hands of Winfrey who says that she will still continue to produce material for other media outlets. The network will be owned jointly by Discovery and Winfrey's production company Harpo Inc., Winfrey will serve as chairwoman, and the search for a chief executive officer will begin immediately.
OWN will have the added benefit of being broadcast in the 70 million homes that currently have Discovery Health.
2007 has been a wild year for television. Not just for the amazing innovations in TV technology, but for television content as well, even with the ongoing writer's strike. Yahoo! has compiled a list of the 10 most shocking television moments of the year, summarizing for you the stupidest stuff on TV in the past year.
We know here at TVSnob that there are alot of Futurama fans that read our blog, so we thought we'd feature the Bender's Big Score trailer. Look for it to be released November 27 on DVD. Also to look forward to on November 27 is a Futurama feature article in Wired magazine.
Last week at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo, CSI creator Anthony Zuiker announced that in an upcoming two part CSI: NY episode, Mac, played by Gary Sinise would pursue a killer through the online virtual world Second Life. The first episode of the series will air October 24 on CBS. A preview just went up on YouTube. Take a look, it looks interesting!
Viacom's Comedy Central unveiled a web site yesterday for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The site will appeal to the most die-hard fans of the mock news show as it contains over 13000 video clips encompassing all of the shows' content back to 1999. Video clips are organized using tags so it's very simple to find what you are looking for if you can't remember the date of the show in question, though you can search using the date as well.
The web site launch is undoubtedly connected to Viacom's ongoing $1 billion copyright-infringement suit against YouTube. Comedy Central video clips are extremely popular on YouTube, yet the video platform never received permission, nor did they compensate Viacom for allowing users to post the copyrighted video clips. As a result of the lawsuit, Viacom realized the amount of advertising dollars being missed out on from not utilizing their huge database of clips was quite high.
YouTube finally did take a step forward against piracy Monday as they released a beta version of their "YouTube Video Identification" technology. The technology allows copyright holders to upload their video content to YouTube so that if someone uploads identical pirated content, it will be recognized. The actual owner of the content then has the option of having YouTube remove the pirated content or place advertising at the top of the video frames from which the owner would be entitled to full revenues.
Just today, a group of media companies including Viacom, NBC Universal, Microsoft and Disney among others, announced the release of a set of user-generated content principles that outline how both user-generated content sites and copyright holders should act in the prevention of copyrighted material going online from a source other than its owner. The biggest highlight of today's announcement was the absence of Google, owner of YouTube, on the list of companies forming the coalition. I would have to say though, that Google has made a more useful move by implementing technology to prevent pirated content on their platform rather than penning a set of principles on paper obviously pulled straight from the functionality of YouTube's video ID system.
The blog /film has a list of 55 must-see movies of 2008, many of which include trailers! An absolutely awesome list. Nothing like planning your movie-theater schedule six months in advance. So get out your calendar and set aside an hour or two and preview next year's movies!
Oh man, there is a Star Wars TV series in the works. Details are a little sketchy at the moment, but apparently George Lucas has "just began work" on the TV series which will emphasize the minor characters in the behemoth film franchise and will leave the Skywalkers' and Darth Vader out of the action all together. All Lucas would say otherwise is that the series will be about the "life of robots".
The long anticipated battle between CNBC and Fox Business Network finally kicked off yesterday with Fox Business hitting the airwaves for the first time. The Fox Business Network caters to the "middle America" crowd as opposed to CNBC's Wall Street focus and relays news in an easy-to-understand format devoid of technical jargon and Wall Street lingo.
The first episode featured a satellite interview with Hilary Rodham Clinton and one with Times Squares' famous Naked Cowboy, the guitar-playing, underwear-clad fringe superstar. Slightly annoying is the fact that news is relayed with a tone reminiscent of a teenage girl on an excessive dose of Prozac. Every bit of news from the Naked Cowboy interview to the $100 billion fund designed to ease the countries' mortgage woes was delivered with an almost excessively upbeat tone. The New York Times aptly called the station "a blend of CNBC and a fifth hour of the “Today” show— with the underlying political drumbeat of Fox News".
The debut wasn't without controversy making it all the more interesting. CNBC had contracted to run advertisements on both MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal web sites all day yesterday. Instead viewers saw rotating ads, one for the Fox Business Network precisely where the CNBC ads were to be found. CNBC paid about $87000 for the ads and executives at both the station and its parent company, NBC Universal, were steaming. Why this happened hasn't been fully disclosed yet, but it's not totally surprising considering Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has purchased the Dow Jones & Company, owner of MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal web sites, and already owns the Fox Network. Even though Dow Jones employees do not yet have to bend to the will of News Corp. execs, NBC execs wonder if Murdoch's henchmen played a role in this. I would say most likely.
NBC has not yet canceled their contracts with the two web sites.
As TiVo and other DVR technologies begin to change the way television advertising is used, more and more product-oriented companies are beginning to develop online TV series' in order to connect with the younger demographic more likely to fast-forward through the commercials on traditional TV.
The newest web series to air is Crescent Heights, developed by Procter & Gamble's Tide division. If you recall (if you're in the demographic the company is targeting with this series you probably don't), Proctor & Gamble was the originator of the soap opera. For those of you who watch Guiding Light, it started out 70 years ago on the radio and first aired in 1955, created by P&G. According to the New York Times, the "light" emphasizes one of P&G's first products the candle; the other being soap, hence the "soap opera".
Crescent Heights focuses on a young college graduate named Ashley who is starting a career in public relation in Los Angeles after moving all the way from Wisconsin. It has the typical "soapy" flair of friendship and romantic relationship drama that forms the basis of all soaps.
Ten 3-minute segments have been taped initially as part of a broad strategy by P&G to assess the impact of online entertainment on product sales with this test emphasizing Tide. While the detergent does make the odd appearance, the company has chosen to focus on clothing in the series as their method of advertising. Kevin Crociata, Tide’s associate marketing director says that the series intends to "speak to people about more than just laundry" as Tide " provides benefits to the fabrics she (Ashley) wears on a daily basis". Not surprisingly, Ashley's first romantic relationship kicks off as a result of being noticed because of the brightness of her yellow dress. This reminds me of the Axe commercials that more than discreetly promise sex in exchange for purchasing their deodorant brand.
Marketers and retailers are finding that in order to reach the younger demographic these days, advertising has to be contextually-based and subtle; basically mixed in with forms of entertainment that young people will view. Procter & Gamble's web initiative follows those of brands and companies such as American Eagle Outfitters, Unilever, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!
For all you fans of CBS's Ghost Whisperer, you may be interested to know that the show is holding a YouTube contest where you could win the opportunity to star in a video with Jennifer Love Hewitt and the rest of the cast of Ghost Whisperer. For contest details, take a look at Jay Mohr's video above. Also check out the shows MySpace page and this page here to get you started with your contest video. Meet you in the underground!
Look for an upcoming episode of CSI: New York to be played out in the popular online world Second Life. CSI creator Anthony Zuiker announced yesterday at the Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo that the two-part episode airing October 24 and February 6 will have Mac, played by Gary Sinise, pursue a killer's avatar through Second Life.
The hit TV show also plans to develop an online virtual CSI: NY within Second Life where viewers will be able to find games for CSI beginners and content for more advanced viewers such as "Murder By Zuiker", a blog game where you try to solve a crime by analyzing evidence found within Second Life. Zuiker evaluates the entries himself.
The Second Life integration is part of an acknowledgment on Zuiker's part that the future of television will be played out largely online.