Tag Archives: cable

The Real Housewives of D.C.

As you know I’ve bitched and moaned about how reality shows have pretty much taken over network and cable tv.  But I’ll admit I do have a couple of guilty pleasures when it comes to reality tv shows.   One of those shows is America’s Next Top Model and unfortunately I’m addicted to the Real Housewives franchise.  Yes I watch all the housewives from Orange County, New York City, Atlanta and New Jersey. The latest housewives saga starts on Thursday August 5. The Real Housewives of D.C.

I blogged about the first mention of the D.C. Housewives last year.

Since I live in the D.C. metro area (not the DMV, lol) I will definitely watch this one.

The Reliable Source at the Washington Post did a feature about the cast last month.

Washington, you’re forgiven if you don’t know what to make of your “Housewives.”

Are the stars-to-be of “The Real Housewives of D.C.” representative of our city? Of course not.  Four out of five are white, all are affluent, and most live in the ‘burbs.

Are they prominent Washington players? Not really. A few have social pull in limited circles, but none are A-listers.

Should they all be on TV? Federal and Virginia prosecutors, still weighing charges against Tareq and Michaele Salahi for the White House dinner-crashing and certain business practices, didn’t have a say.

But who cares! This will be reality TV in all its semi-staged glory. Bravo touts the series as portraying “connected D.C. power players” navigating “the unwritten social rules of the Beltway.” But none of these women works in government or politics; for the most part, neither do their husbands. Friends tell us most of the cast didn’t know each other before taping began last year. Bravo gave serious consideration to a lobbyist and a fundraiser, but both dropped out, because their jobs either required discretion or were too boring.

Instead, we’ve got a modeling agency owner, a socialite mom, an expat, a real estate agent and, well, Michaele Salahi. We’ve written about them only a kajillion times over the past year as they’ve shown up at parties and cafes with TV cameras in tow, but let’s meet them — and the other housewives — again!

Yes the Salahis. Who can forget the White House dinner party crashers.

When I first heard about the D.C. Housewives show I thought for sure Bravo casting would concentrate on all white women from Northwest D.C. and Northern Virginia.  Well at least they diversified the cast with one black woman even though the D.C. area is very diverse.

This week’s TV Week from Sunday’s Washington Post has an article about the new franchise but the article spends more time talking about Michelle Salahi.  Just click on the pictures to read the article.

Why am I not surprised that the Salahi woman is on the cover? TV Week could have at least featured the entire cast on the cover but we are talking about the Washington Post.

Anyway if you can’t get enough of the Real Housewives franchise just wait.  There’s more.  Bravo has another Real Housewives franchise in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.  Yeah that’s right.  This one features former child stars Kim and Kyle Richards who just happen to be the aunts of Paris Hilton.

Other cast members, which Bravo will not confirm but people with knowledge of the production did, include: Kim and Kyle Richards, former child actors who are the younger sisters of Kathy Hilton and aunts to Paris and Nicky.

Kyle Richards, married with four daughters, is no stranger to the camera, having worked in TV starting in the ’70s on shows like “Little House on the Prairie” and “Fantasy Island.” Her acting credits list the original “Escape to Witch Mountain,” John Carpenter’s cult classic version of “Halloween” and the 2006 frat boy comedy, “Pledge This!” starring her niece, Paris.

Kim Richards, a divorced mom of four, broke into the entertainment business on family sitcom “Nanny and the Professor,” and had parts in TV shows ranging from “ABC Afterschool Specials” and “Diff’rent Strokes” to “Chips” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” as well as a starring role in “Escape to Witch Mountain.” She has some reality TV experience, too, appearing in her niece’s Fox series, “The Simple Life.”

According to the article the Beverly Hills saga will premiere either late fall or early 2011.

Jada’s show gets renewed

The Jada Pinkett Smith series Hawthorne has been renewed for a second season.

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Pinkett Smith show “Hawthorne” gets renewal

By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – TNT has renewed the medical drama “Hawthorne” for a second season.

The cable network has ordered 10 additional episodes of the freshman show, which stars and is executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith. Emmy winner John Masius (“St. Elsewhere”) created the series.

For its first season, “Hawthorne,” which anchors TNT’s Tuesday original programing block at 9 p.m., is averaging 3.8 million viewers.

The second season is slated to air in 2010.

“Hawthorne” co-stars Michael Vartan, Suleka Mathew, David Julian Hirsh, Christina Moore and Hannah Hodson.

I was happy to read about this. The show got started somewhat slow for me but it’s gotten better. The first season ends next week. So I’m looking forward to season two next year.

Roland Martin to anchor new show on TV One

Journalist and CNN commentator Roland Martin will anchor a new Sunday public affairs show aimed at black audiences on TV One. The show debuts in September.

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TV One to begin Sunday show aimed at blacks

By DAVID BAUDER
The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Roland Martin will anchor a new Sunday public affairs show aimed at a black audience that will debut in September on the TV One network.

The “Washington Watch” program aims to tap into a new interest in politics and government due to the election of President Barack Obama, said Johnathan Rodgers, TV One’s president and CEO. It debuts Sept. 27 at 11 a.m. ET, and the show will be repeated each week at 5 p.m.

Martin, who is also a CNN commentator, will interview newsmakers and members of the Congressional Black Caucus. April Ryan, White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks, and Robert Traynham, Philadelphia Tribune columnist and Comcast host, will be regular panel members. TV One is in about 48 million homes, a little less than half of the nation’s TV homes.

Rodgers said it dawned on him when TV One covered last year’s Democratic convention and saw many Black Caucus members trudge up to the network’s temporary rooftop studio for interviews: these politicians have few outlets to talk about their issues and people have few places to hear them.

“I hope to get smart, intelligent, entertaining conversation,” Rodgers said, “but I put this under the public affairs arena. It doesn’t have to be a ratings success.”

I’ll give this show a look see since I do listen to Roland on the TJMS.  It would be nice to see a variety of views on the show and not just folks from the Congressional Black Caucus.

Jada Pinkett Smith’s new role

Jada Pinkett Smith stars in the upcoming TNT series Hawthorne.

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I blogged about this early last month. But before she accepted the role she talked to her husband actor Will Smith and their children about the tv show. Accepting the role meant that Will would become Mr. Mom which I’m sure the kids are enjoying.

Will Smith takes on ‘extra’ duties to support wife’s new TV show

By Alan Duke
CNN

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Before Jada Pinkett Smith took the role of producer and star of TNT’s “HawthoRNe,” she made sure her family was fine with her being away from her mother and wife duties during filming.

Pinkett Smith plays a single mom and a hospital’s chief nurse on the medical show, which debuts Tuesday night on cable’s TNT Network, which is owned by the parent company of CNN.

“I sat down with kids and my husband and I really asked their permission,” she said. “I said ‘Listen, there was this show I’d love to do and it will be three months that you might not see Mommy a lot.’ And they’re looking at me like ‘Really? What does that mean?'”

It meant that on weekdays Will would get Willow, 8, and Jaden, 11, out of bed each morning, tuck them in at night and take care of them in-between.

“So they get to eat chocolate for breakfast and go to bed whenever they feel like it for those three months while I’m working,” Pinkett Smith said. “So, it works out, and they know that the rest of the year, I’m off.”

While the show is based on a Richmond, Virginia, hospital, it’s produced in a recently closed Inglewood, California, hospital just a few miles from the Smiths’ home.

The article also mentions that Will will be an extra on Hawthorne so if you blink you might miss him. Check out the entire article here.  While you’re reading check out another article about Jada over at the Los Angeles Times titled Jada Pinkett Smith steps out on Hawthorne.  That article mentions that word of mouth about Hawthorne isn’t that great.  Washington Post critic Tom Shales reviewed both Hawthorne and another new show about a nurse, Nurse Jackie on Showtime last Monday.   Shales had rave reviews for Nurse Jackie and he didn’t like Hawthorne.  I’m still gonna watch Hawthorne since I prefer being my own critic.

Hawthorne premieres on TNT Tuesday, June 16 at 9:00pm ET.

Will traditional television go by the wayside?

When it comes to watching your favorite tv shows, could you make the switch from your 27 to 60 inch tv screen to your desktop or laptop?

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Even though 99 percent of the country owns at least one television, the number of people watching tv shows on computers and mobile devices such as ipods and cellphones is becoming a growing trend.  Some are saying goodbye to cable tv bills and instead are watching their favorite shows on YouTube or Hulu.com.  And if they want to watch movies they just subcribe to Netflix.

Danny Ledonne rarely misses “The Daily Show.” He’s a frequent viewer of its cable TV cousin, “The Colbert Report,” too. And for additional political satire and commentary, he often checks out HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.”

The thing is, Ledonne doesn’t own a television. He hasn’t had one since he was in college more than eight years ago. When he walks into a friend’s house nowadays and the TV set is on, he says, “It’s like a quaint visit to an alien world.”

These days, Ledonne, 27, can watch all the TV he wants merely by opening his laptop, or going to his cellphone or iPod. With full-length TV programs available all over the Internet (in both legal and pirated form), he finds he does just fine without paying a monthly cable bill — or even having a TV. In industry parlance, he’s among those who have “cut the cord,” no longer tethered to the sources that have delivered programming into the home since television’s inception.

As alternative means of watching “television” rapidly mature, the Danny Ledonnes of the world are at the vanguard of a potentially potent economic and social force. People like him could be poised to do to the broadcasting, cable and satellite TV industries what free music downloads did to the recording industry and free online news has done to newspapers — that is, alter everything about the creation, production and delivery of TV.

Ledonne, for example, can construct an entire TV schedule without ever flicking on a remote control. Thanks to dozens of videocasting Web sites, such as Hulu, TV.com, Joost and Fancast, full-length episodes of more than 90 percent of the shows carried by the major broadcast networks are legally accessible within a day of being broadcast, according to Forrester Research (only about 20 percent of what’s on cable is similarly available). And because online TV programs are always “on,” and cost little more than the price of an Internet connection, Ledonne has gotten used to watching on his own terms.

“I don’t want an arbitrary television schedule telling me when and where I’m supposed to meet it every night or every week,” says Ledonne, a graduate student at American University and a video producer. “I want to watch when I want to, I want to be able to download it and listen on the bike or watch on a plane, and I want to do it for free with minimal advertising. Otherwise, I have better things to do.”

The Sony in the living room isn’t about to vanish, not with almost 99 percent of all American households still owning at least one TV. Nor are the cable or satellite industries in any immediate danger, given that 85 percent of the country still pays for TV service.

Since I grew up watching television on a regular television screen I don’t know if I could make that kind of switch. I know I wouldn’t watch a tv show or movie on my mp3 player or cellphone. The screens are much too small for my old eyes, lol 😉  I’ve watched a couple of movies on my 17 inch desktop monitor and even then it wasn’t the same as watching a movie on the tv screen.  And besides when it’s a really good tv show like 24 or a movie, I prefer the comfort of my sofa, not an office chair.

BET for grown folks

Viacom, which owns BET, is launching a new cable channel in October called Centric. This new cable channel’s target audience is grown black folks; you know those in the 25-54 age range, who really aren’t interested in BET. I’m one of those folks who can’t stand BET.

BET to cater to middle-aged blacks with Centric cable channel
The TV group is jumping in later this year to compete for viewers with TBS and TV One.

By Joe Flint

April 24, 2009

Call it the Obama Effect. Or the Tyler Factor.

Is the hottest niche audience middle-aged African Americans? Viacom Inc. is betting yes as its Black Entertainment Television Group is launching Centric, a cable channel aimed at that demographic.

In making the announcement, BET Chief Executive Debra Lee said that in light of the “historic change our country has experienced, this is the perfect time for BET Networks to reexamine where we are as a company and what we can be for our audience.”

Of course, another factor might be TV One, the network already targeting that audience that is majority owned by cable giant Comcast Corp. and Radio One and reaches almost 50 million homes. Time Warner Inc.’s TBS has also grabbed a big chunk of that audience with its Tyler Perry shows “House of Payne” and “Meet the Browns.”

I do watch TV One but I don’t watch TBS’s House of Payne and Meet the Browns.

TV One, not surprisingly, said Centric was validation of its strategy.

“We’ve always said that the African American viewing community is so large and diverse that there is probably room for three or four cable channels in the space. I guess they were just waiting for us to prove the case,” said TV One Chief Executive Johnathan Rodgers.

BET said it expected to launch Centric in the fourth quarter of this year in about 45 million homes. That is an ambitious number, and to get there BET is likely to close its jazz channel, BET J, although the company declined to confirm that that was the plan.

For BET, the move is the latest in an effort to rebrand itself as a more serious programmer. For years, the cable network took heat for its steady diet of racy rap videos and a dearth of public affairs programming.

BET unveiled a handful of shows in development for Centric that, at first glance, don’t seem aimed at the middle-aged demographic the network is going after. One show, “Keeping Up With the Joneses,” will track high society in Houston, and another, “Model City,” is about young male models trying to make it in New York.

Looks like Centric will be using the same formula as everyone else. Showing nothing but reality shows. A show about keeping up with high society and male models trying to make it in New York City? There are already enough modeling shows on tv including my guilty pleasure America’s Next Top Model.  Will they offer any original programming or scripted shows?  I’ll give it a look see if they offer this new channel on Verizon FIOS but if turns out to be nothing but reality central black folks style then I’ll have to pass on Centric.

From Sci Fi to Syfy

As most folks know I’m a SCI FI Channel fan. I love watching those cheesy horror films on the SCI FI Channel and I enjoy the Eureka tv series. And you know what? I also like the name SCI FI.

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But it looks like the bigwigs at the NBC Universal owned channel have decided to make a name change for the channel to Syfy.

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Sci Fi Channel changes name to Syfy

By Hanh Nguyen

Sci Fi Channel is giving itself a makeover.

The NBC Universal-owned cable network will change its name to Syfy in the summer. And yes, despite the goofy spelling, it will sound phonetically the same.

The reasons for the name change are twofold. Firstly, it allows the network to demonstrate that it should not be so narrowly defined. Already the Sci Fi channel has been known to program content that isn’t strictly science fiction proper — such as fantasy, paranormal, mystery, action and adventure. The new Syfy will continue with this diverse programming.

Secondly, the name Syfy — unlike the generic entertainment genre “sci fi” — will allow the network to create a uniquely ownable trademark. So if you read Syfy, you know exactly where it’s coming from.

I don’t like it. The new name, Syfy looks ridiculous. But hey, it’s not my decision so it’s something I will have to get use to.

You can read the rest of this article at Zap2It.com.

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