Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 13, 2013 04:37 PM
Queen Bey isn't one to follow the rules, and so a few minutes before midnight on Thursday, the songstress released her fifth, self-titled album—a project kept completely under wraps until the late night reveal on Facebook and iTunes.
With no preview, drum roll, advertising or marketing, the megastar is calling it a "visual album" that features 14 songs and 17 videos, not to mention some high-level collaborations including husband JayZ, Drake and Frank Ocean. The album notably includes an ode to daughter Blue Ivy, appropriately titled, "Blue."
"I see music," Beyoncé said in her video announcement on Facebook. "It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 12, 2013 05:21 PM
Crime doesn’t pay, apparently. A&E Networks is completely revamping its Bio channel, the home of such shows as Gangsters, Women Behind Bars, Mobsters: America’s Most Evil, and Look Whose Stalking. It will be replaced with FYI, a contemporary lifestyle network, sometime next summer, Advertising Age reports.
While Bio, a joint-venture between Disney/ABC Television and Hearst Corp., also aired such programming as Celebrity House Hunting and Haunted Encounters, its niche audience wasn't turning out in the numbers executives had hoped for. A&E hopes to instead inspire viewers with content on FYI that will cover food, travel and home design, with over 30 projects currently in development.
“The transition to FYI is the next phase in our strategy to bolster the A&E Networks portfolio by evolving and maturing our brands to allow for future growth in the rapidly changing media landscape,” A&E Networks President and CEO Nancy Dubuc said in a statement. “FYI will be an upscale network with a younger and more modern sensibility than what we’ve seen on traditional lifestyle networks, in an effort to appeal to an audience that has been underserved on linear but thrives online.”Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 12, 2013 11:37 AM
The Walt Disney Company just inked a deal with Paramount Pictures to acquire control of all future Indiana Jones films (excluding the four existing Indy movies) and “will receive a financial participation on any future films.”
It’s the latest in Disney’s pop culture net that has swept up the heroes and villains of generation after generation and is now home to Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Buzz Lightyear—and the bull-whip-wielding archeologist.
With Indy in the house, although Disney has not officially announced a fifth Indiana Jones film, surely it’s percolating if Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas want to continue the saga. The last installment, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, grossed $783 million worldwide in a franchise that has earned $1.9 billion. Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 9, 2013 12:04 PM
By now, it really doesn't matter if Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues is any good or not, or even if it appeals only to true Will Ferrell aficionados. Several days ahead of its release, the movie already could qualify for its own new category in any Hollywood awards show: Most Outrageously Successful Advance Promotion for a Film.
Ferrell, in his signature Anchorman burgundy--and Burgundy--garb has been everywhere promotionally, sometimes with fellow cast members including Steve Carrell, in one of the most overwhelmingly memorable integrated-marketing pre-launch campaigns in movie history. Or certainly Ron Burgundy might put it that way.
All the stuff with the Dodge Durango and horses and dancers turned out to be only a tease. Since that campaign began a few weeks ago, Burgundy also has been seen shilling for everything from Riviera Imports' "Great Odin's Raven Special Reserve" to Ben & Jerry's very real new flavor, "Scotchy Scotch Scotch" (which, surely to his dismay, contains no real alcohol). Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on December 3, 2013 11:17 AM
Will Carrie Underwood be able to hit the high notes like Julie Andrews? Will she botch a line? Will one of the Von Trapp children forget what follows "do"? And how in the heck can you simulate the Austrian Alps in a live production?
NBC is hoping that viewers by the millions will tune in on Thursday for the answers to those questions and more as the network stages one of the most interesting—and gutsiest—holiday TV specials in some time: a live new interpretation of The Sound of Music starring the Nashville songbird who first won fame on American Idol.
Underwood has done a bit of acting and has live-hosted the Country Music Association awards show with Brad Paisley for a few years—and she's sure done a lot of singing. But NBC is making a huge bet on Underwood's ability to stretch herself professionally in a completely new way. Already there are haters nixing her for even daring to reprise Andrews' role in the movie version of the Broadway musical, but Underwood also has defenders including other cast members.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 12, 2013 01:44 PM
Executives at Warner Bros. can’t get enough of Harry Potter. After all, the eight Potter films that were released between 2001 and 2011 brought in over $7 billion worldwide—enough to beat out such film franchises as James Bond, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings to be the most lucrative of all time.
But why stop there? While the Potter series has been officially played out, the iconic books open a world of possibilities for other story lines, and apparently Potter author J.K. Rowling agrees. So the pair have reunited over an agreement for Rowling to turn the fictional “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” textbook from Hogwarts into a series of films, Variety reports.
The fictional text was published along with “Quidditch Through the Ages” after the Potter series concluded in 2012. More than 80 percent of the cover price of the books went to a charity to help poverty-stricken kids.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 10, 2013 07:22 PM
The long-awaited Esquire-branded cable channel made a jump Monday even before its content hit the airwaves. NBCU announced that the Esquire Network will replace the female-geared Style Network instead of the young-male focused G4.
“Just because something is working today doesn’t mean it will work forever. The biggest challenge to thriving in the marketplace is identifying the strategic moves that will keep us ahead of the competition,” Bonnie Hammer, the head of NBCU’s cable-programming operations, wrote in an internal email, according to Variety. After all, NBCU already has such female-targeted brands as E!, Oxygen, and Bravo in its portfolio.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2013 11:58 AM
In a move that surely has early educators 'turning in their graves,' AMC’s hit show The Walking Dead is being used as the “primary text” for an eight-week online course from UC Irvine. The MOOC (massive open online course) is titled, “Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead.’”
The collaboration is facilitated by Instructure, a MOOC platform that AMC has licensed rights to for content, access to cast members for interviews and advice on weekly themes for the upcoming season.
Four UC Irvine professors will teach the course, which will cover topics including population dynamics, the spread of disease, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and post-apocalyptic nutrition. The course begins Oct. 14, the day after the show's season four premier.
“I’ve never taught a class on math related to zombies before, but this is the same mathematical content I’d teach to undergraduates at UCI, and a way to reach new students,” UC Irvine mathematics lecturer Sarah Eichhorn told AllThingsD.Continue reading...