Friday, December 28, 2007

UHD for Jericho, Friday Night Lights, Kidnapped, and Touch Evil

Looking for scripted programming to watch? If you have HD television that includes Universal HD (UHD), there's a good chance you could have four TV series to watch which did no do well in viewership the first time around. On Fridays, beginning January 4, Jericho and Friday Night Lights will be aired weekly. On Sundays, beginning January 6, Kidnapped and Touching Evil will be aired weekly.

Jericho and Friday Night Lights are from last season so its not hard to find press and fan sites on the web.

Kidnapped was pulled by NBC after 5 of 13 episodes aired in 2006. Timothy Hutton and Dana Delaney star as a wealthy and powerful New York couple whose teenage son has been kidnapped. With local law enforcement, the FBI, and a private negotiating team all working on the case, one might think the boy would be rescued in no time...but as the series unfolds, it becomes clear that this "perfect" family may be hiding a few dark secrets of their own. Other stars are Jeremy Sisto and Delroy Lindo.

Thirteen episodes of Touching Evil originally appeared on USA in 2004 but was cancelled. Jeffrey Donovan stars as Detective David Creegan, who after surviving a near-fatal gunshot wound to the head, takes a 12-month psychological leave of absence. He returns to work for the FBI's new Organized and Serial Crime Unit, a rapid-response, elite crime squad. His brush with death renders him fearless in his relentless pursuit of justice as he and his partner Vera Farminga specialize in solving shocking, high profile crimes.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Directors Guild statement misrepresented; writers and advertisers meeting directly

Many in the trade media who are management oriented are misrepresenting the Directors Guild statement made yesterday by President Michael Apted and Negotiations Committee Chair Gil Cates leaving out the important comment italicized in the following:

Because we want to give the WGA and the AMPTP more time to return to the negotiating table to conclude an agreement, the DGA will not schedule our negotiations to begin until after the New Year, and then, only if an appropriate basis for negotiations can be established. If that’s the case, then the DGA will commence formal talks in the hope that a fresh perspective and the additional pressure we can bring to bear will help force the AMPTP to settle the issues before us in a fair and reasonable manner.

See the DGA website.

It also appears writers and advertisers are meeting directly. See

Comedy at Funny or Die web site

Professional (or struggling semi-professional) script writers need a web site to turn to which offers some serious production values. YouTube may have its audience, but most production is amateur and...let's face it...mostly disorganized and boring.

Comedy now has the Funny or Die web site which describes itself as:

Funny Or Die was created by the guys at Gary Sanchez Productions (Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy) and a bunch of Silicon Valley dudes and ladies who drive Hondas and watch old episodes of Babylon Five. Michael Kvamme, an aspiring young comedian, came up with a concept for a new kind of comedy site and Randy Adams, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur, signed on to handle design and implementation. Now, Funny Or Die has offices in Japan, Madagascar and Bahn, nine full time lobbyists in Washington and an elite private security force consisting of four hundred soldiers and six attack helicopters.

This site is a good place to go as the Writers Strike continues and you need a professional comedy fix.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Slow "Lockout" of Actors and Directors

It's worth noting that many thought a settlement with the Writers was possible. Everyone is ignoring June 2008 but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTA). What has yet to be considered is the June 2008 expiration of contracts with the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Directors Guild of America (DGA).

In my opinion, the AMPTP never had any intention of settling with the Writers and is not bargaining in good faith. SAG and DGA are expecting to have to strike to get the piece of the action they want.

So, in essence, they are slowly being "locked out" by the AMPTA before their contract is up, in an effort to weaken their resolve before talks start.

Monday, December 3, 2007

BBCA offering second season of Life on Mars beginning December 11

The 2nd season of BBCA's curious scifi-time-shift/crime procedural "Life on Mars" premiers December 11 (2 hours). We like it. Since David Kelly is producing an American version for ABC and some consider it "Journeyman" done right, take a look.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

New scripted programming to air on cable beginning in January - Is it a trend?

Cable channels have scripted programming ready, and its a go:

On SciFi: "Flash Gordon" and "Stargate Atlantis" new seasons begin on Friday January 4.

On USA: "Monk" and "Psych" new seasons begin on Friday, January 11.

On ABCFamily: "Kyle XY" and "Wildfire" new seasons begin on Mondays, January 14 and January 21 respectively.

On AMC: a new series "Breaking Bad" will premier on Sunday, January 20; story line - a terminally ill high school chemistry teacher becomes a meth dealer to provide for his family's future, starring Bryan Cranston (Hal, the dad, in "Malcolm in the Middle") as Walter White.