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ABC's “Detroit 1-8-7” Going Down Swinging

Posted by Dale Buss on March 18, 2011 06:30 PM

It’s not official yet, but if ABC indeed cancels the crime drama Detroit 1-8-7 after one season, the Detroit-based show isn’t going down without a fight.Continue reading...

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Groupon Goes to the Movies

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 17, 2011 10:30 AM

As if there could be any doubt that Silicon Valley and Hollywood are enmeshed, Facebook is testing movie delivery with Warner Bros. starting with Batman The Dark Knight rentals for 30 Facebook credits or $3.              

Netflix, already in the streaming movie business, has committed approximately $100 million to buy and develop two 13-episode seasons of House of Cards, a drama starring Kevin Spacey, produced and directed by David Fincher.

Now Groupon, while not streaming, is bringing its members to the big show with its first deal offer for movie tickets.Continue reading...

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ABC, NBC Compete for Fear and Surprise

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2011 01:00 PM

What could be drearier than watching a serial about life on Earth after an invasion by very wily and powerful space aliens who are determined to subjugate and/or destroy humankind?

How about keeping tabs on two such dramas? And just to add to the doom in the room, both of the shows seem destined for the canceled-series scrap heap in a few weeks.

But before we bid adieu to ABC’s V remake – the final seasonal episode is scheduled for tonight — and NBC’s once-ballyhooed The Event, here is a tribute to some of the highlights presented by their failing genre:Continue reading...

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Not Fade Away: Playboy Goes Private

Posted by Abe Sauer on March 4, 2011 04:00 PM

At least some bunny loves Playboy.

Yes, the brand's founder Hugh Hefner has succeeded in his buyout bid for the company, meaning Playboy will once again be private. Plus, the old swinger is getting married again; indeed, everything old is new again.

But, like other, ahem, things in Hefner's life these days, he needed a little help getting the job done.

A private equity group that ponied up that cash will own a 60% stake in Playboy, with Hefner claiming 37%.

It's a management change and business dealing, but what will it mean for a brand that, of late, has been making news — not all of it particularly sexy?Continue reading...

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IBM's Watson vs. Jeopardy! Champs Kicks Off

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 14, 2011 06:45 PM

Tonight is the kick-off to Jeopardy!'s three-night run of IBM's Watson supercomputer vs. Jeopardy! champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter — the first man vs. machine competition in the show's history.

After seven years of research and planning, thousands of hours of testing and over 50 champion-level sparring matches, Watson — which was designed to compete on Jeopardy! — faces the two greatest champions in the show's history.

The grand prize for the competition will be $1 million with second place earning $300,000 and third place $200,000. Rutter and Jennings will donate 50% of their winnings to charity and IBM will donate 100% of its winnings to charity.Continue reading...

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Billy Corgan Crafts Theme Song for FOX

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 14, 2011 02:30 PM

Last week we saw Weezer remake the theme song for State Farm. This week kicks off with Billy Corgan's musical makeover for The Chicago Code, which debuts tonight on FOX. The former Smashing Pumpkins lead singer, a Chicago native, was brought on board to update the opening intro's theme song for the police procedural, which is shot in the indie windy city.

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Lady Gaga's Eggselent Grammys Arrival

Posted by Shirley Brady on February 13, 2011 07:45 PM

No yolk. Lady Gaga's arrival at the Grammy Awards in a plastic resin egg — themed to her new "Born This Way" single, which is already a best-seller and poised to put her on top this year — is destined to be the most memorable moment from the 2011 Grammys.

She was also profiled tonight on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper. Watch her on-stage eggsit after the jump, with yet another new look in evidence — shoulder and forehead horns.Continue reading...

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Lythgoe Tries to Bring Idol Touch to Country

Posted by Dale Buss on February 11, 2011 02:00 PM

Nigel Lythgoe is plenty busy trying to bring American Idol back to its former glory on Fox, and producing and co-judging his other big success on TV, So You Think You Can Dance — even making appearances on The View. But the king of reality contest shows still has found time to conceive and launch an Idol-style property aimed at creating a new star of country music.

In April, Lythgoe and his son, Simon Lythgoe, will debut CMT’s Next Superstar on the Viacom-owned cable channel CMT, short for Country Music Television. Based in Nashville instead of Hollywood, Superstar will last only 10 episodes and will differ markedly from Idol and Dance in many other ways.

But the basic aim will be the same: Create the same sort of perennial hit in the country-music genre that Idol has become for the music industry overall.Continue reading...

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