How do I break this to you gently? If you are a Time Warner Cable subscriber, take a careful look at your next bill, because your fees went up as of New Year’s Day. Fox, which is free for folks who get it via antennas, somehow managed to ink a new contract with the cable giant that includes fees for each subscriber. Meanwhile, Scripps Network—which operates the Food Network and HGTV—tried to play the same game with Cablevision of New York City. But instead of caving, Cablevision decided to drop the channels altogether. Experts predict that this is the way things are going—channels demanding more fees so they aren’t so reliant on advertising, and cable companies having to choose between dropping channels and charging more. [NY Times, CNN]
This is disconcerting because, hi, didn’t these companies get the memo that you can find great television over the interwebs these days? Here are five places where the TV flows for free. Keep reading »
Just when I’ve finally figured out what each and every button on my flatscreen TV’s remote control does, electronics companies are ready to sell me the next must-have boob tube incarnation: 3-D TV. Both Sony and Panasonic have announced that they will be releasing 3-D TVs in 2010, and Mitsubishi and JVC are working on them too. Yes, these new sets will involve wearing goofy 3-D glasses and lord knows what they’ll cost, but does this pique your interest? [CNN] Keep reading »
Corn Nuts! I am literally shaking with excitement over the news that “Heathers” is being revamped into a TV show. The 1989 movie, the ultimate high school revenge fantasy, elevated Winona Ryder to star status as she tried to fit in with her school’s mean girls, all named Heather. (The best: Heather Chandler, played by pre-”90210″ Shannen Doherty). Until J.D. (a hot Christian Slater) rolled into town and made her his accomplice in murdering the cool kids in school and making ‘em look like suicides. “Heathers” remains one of my top five favorite flicks of all time, and I have a feeling a show based on it could be very, very good—like “Gossip Girl” with a dark comedy twist. Jenny Bicks, a “Sex and the City” writer, is also executive producing. And the word on the street is that Winona and Christian may even be reprising their bad-ass roles. Prepare your croquet mallets and start singing “Que Sera Sera.” [Press Association] Keep reading »
Oh, unholy of holies. Too much TV-watching is causing high blood pressure in young children! It seems that kids who spend more hours in front of the screen, even if they’re thin and in shape, have significantly higher diastolic and systolic blood pressures than those who don’t watch much TV. Joey Eisenmann, the senior author of this research, believes that kids who spend more time in front of the tube end up snacking more, get distressed at some shows, and get less sleep. These poor habits prove that the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation of no more than two hours of television a day for youngsters is right on target. [NY Times]
But I’ve got to wonder, what about adults?
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It’s a big day in Rachel Zoe news. Not only did The Zoe Report debut this morning, but there’s also a preview trailer for season two of “The Rachel Zoe Project,” which airs on Bravo starting Aug. 24. We cannot wait to watch how she deals with the bad press about her underweight look; to see who quits first, Brad or Taylor; and to marvel at the gorgeousness that is Liv Tyler, who says upon arriving at Rachel’s studio, “I need cute outfits!” We do, too, Liv, so can we have your hand-me-downs? Keep reading »
I gotta say, given that it’s 2009 and all, I’m just not impressed with how gay and lesbian folks are portrayed on television. Sure, you might see gay couples on TV, particularly of the lesbian variety. But often, these portrayals smack of being publicity stunts. This week, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation did a study of how the biggest 15 networks represented LGBT characters in their shows last season. They looked for shows that reflected “the lives of gay, bisexual and transgender people.” And, of course, they found that HBO did the best—with 42 percent of its prime-time programming hours devoted to this. Showtime, with shows like “The L Word” and ”The United States of Tara,” was next with a 26 percent. But once the study got to the more mainstream media, the numbers dropped significantly. Of the five major networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the CW—ABC ranked the highest with 24 percent. NBC had only eight percent, and CBS came in with a pathetic five percent. At first glance, these numbers don’t sound too terrible. But I’m going to go ahead and argue that things are a lot grimmer than they appear. Keep reading »
Some people say they’re sick of all the shows about housewives, trophy wives, and other kept women. Well, now they can see how the other side — the househusband — lives. Fox Reality’s “Househusbands of Hollywood” focuses on men who run their households while their bread-winning Hollywood wives bring home the bacon. This is how Fox defines a househusband: “King of the castle…ruler of the roost…until his wife comes home from work.” Two of the better known husbands are Darryl M. Bell, who played Ron Johnson on “A Different World” and is married to Tempestt Bledsoe (Vanessa Huxtable of “The Cosby Show“), and former L.A. Dodgers baseball player Billy Ashley, whose wife is a successful Hollywood makeup artist. Charlie Mattera, another hubby featured, co-created the series with his wife, a prominent psychologist. The others are Marine sniper Grant Reynolds, married to Fox 11 morning news show host Jillian Reynolds, and Danny Barclay, an aspiring actor hitched to a high-powered L.A. lawyer. “Househusbands of Hollywood” premieres Aug. 15.
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