Written and produced by Austin Bragg. Performed by Andrew Heaton and Austin Bragg
…This sounds like a parody of media fawning over Obama….but then so does so much of the Obama-loving media. But the line about grabbing on to Obama’s pant leg is just priceless:
“I’m more optimistic than when we started,” declared Obama, and it was then that you fully realized that he was transitioning from commander in chief to therapist in chief.
“It has been the honor of my life to serve you. … I won’t stop,” he assured us, invoking the slogan that accompanied his ascendancy to the presidency: “Yes we can.” Except this time, he added, “Yes we did.” Read the rest of this entry »
Executive: ‘This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable’
James Gibbered writes: If you feel like there’s an overwhelming number of TV series options, there’s a very good reason for that.
“The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years.”
FX has calculated that in 2015 networks and streaming services had a record 409 dramas, comedies and limited series — and that’s not even including unscripted shows or TV movies. Digging into the data, the number of scripted series this year was up 9 percent over 2014, and has doubled since 2009 — while network ratings have, on average, declined.
“This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform – broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming — led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services.”
“The unprecedented increase in the number of scripted series has reached a new milestone in 2015 with a record 409, nearly doubling the total in just the past six years,” said Julie Piepenkotter, executive vice president of research for FX Networks.
“This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where they were a decade ago.”
“This was the third consecutive year that scripted series count has grown across each distribution platform – broadcast, basic and pay cable, streaming — led by significant gains in basic cable and digital services. This statistic is staggering and almost unimaginable from where they were a decade ago.”
If you assume each show is 13 hours (which is really conservative given that many hour-long broadcast dramas have 22-episode seasons), that would mean there were 5,317 hours of potential scripted TV to watch this year. Read the rest of this entry »
For Variety, Maane Khatchatourian writes: The first trailer for the documentary “Live From New York!” — which chronicles the iconic NBC sketch comedy show’s cultural and historical impact — has debuted, offering old footage from the series and a new look at the behind-the-scenes magic that goes into putting it on week to week.
“It’s the only form where everyone is necessary to the end. We don’t go on because we’re ready, we go on because it’s 11:30.”
— Creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels
Resonating With People in Smaller Cities, Military Film Has Huge $105.3 Million Debut Weekend
“’American Sniper’ garnered better reviews than ‘Lone Survivor’ or ‘Unbroken’ and, unlike the latter two, received multiple Academy Award nominations, including for best picture—helping to ensure it performed well across the country and wasn’t exclusively a ‘red state’ phenomenon.”
Based on the memoir of Chris Kyle, reputed to be the deadliest sniper in the American military during the Iraq war, “American Sniper” opened to a phenomenal $105.3 million in the U.S. and Canada over the four-day holiday weekend, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros., owned by Time Warner Inc.
“What these movies share is they’re utterly unironic. They treat American values honorably.”
— Michael Moses, Universal’s co-president of marketing
Its success was driven in large part by moviegoers like Mr. Smith who live in smaller cities and don’t regularly go to the multiplex.
“Chris Kyle was a fellow veteran, a fellow Texan. He’s very much a true legend,” Mr. Smith said while holding hands with his wife, Crystal. “So it was basically a foregone conclusion I’d be here as soon as it opened.”
“When the phone calls started coming in from exhibitors, I realized we had something special happening in the South and in small towns where our movies sometimes find it difficult to resonate.”
— Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros.
Such a massive opening for a mid-budget drama was perhaps Hollywood’s biggest surprise since “Avengers” blew away box-office records by opening to $207 million in 2012. “Sniper,” directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Bradley Cooper, enjoyed the largest opening ever for a drama or R-rated film and more than doubled the prior record for Martin Luther King Day weekend.
“Its success is the strongest evidence yet that audiences including veterans and cultural conservatives who are more concentrated in the South and Midwest feel underserved by Hollywood and will turn out in droves for movies that are inspiring, patriotic and sincere.”
Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures also had surprising success last month with the historical military drama “Unbroken” and last year with the Afghan war movie “Lone Survivor.”
“Opening-night audiences gave “Sniper” an average grade of A+, according to market-research firm CinemaScore.”
Eight of the top 10 markets for “American Sniper” were in the South or Midwest, including San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Houston, Nashville and Albuquerque. Typically, major cities like New York and Los Angeles dominate the top theater rankings for a successful film because they have larger concentrations of frequent moviegoers and higher ticket prices.
All five of the top theaters for “Lone Survivor” were in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, while “Unbroken” performed extremely well in small cities such as Mesa, Ariz., and Lehi, Utah. Meanwhile, all three movies underperformed in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, compared with the norm. Read the rest of this entry »
John Nolte reports: What was supposed to be Her Year has in fact turned out to be five-alarm disaster for Lena Dunham, the creator of HBO’s “Girls.” A year ago, closing out 2014 had to look pretty exciting to the 28 year-old. No matter how good or bad it was, her memoir would be released to guaranteed critical acclaim (she is Lena Dunham after all), there were two major Golden Globe nominations, and the publicity surrounding the 4th season premiere of “Girls” was going to be bigger than anything anyone could have ever imagined.
2014 was going to be Dunham’s breakthrough; the year she went mainstream. Along with the gushing reviews of her memoir and slavish coverage from The New York Times, there would be countless magazine covers, talk show appearances, and a thousand slathering articles obsessing over her every tweet and utterance. The entertainment media was on board. The mainstream media was on board. And at first it all went according to plan. Read the rest of this entry »
HBO Series Goes There
…Lena Dunham, creator and writer of the series, said that she’s proud of Allison for being a “good sport,” and offered some insight as to how personal something like the aforementioned sex act actually is.
“Let me tell you this, when someone puts their face in your butt, whether there’s a barrier or not, their face is still in your butt. And she handled that with aplomb.”
— Lena Dunham
“Maybe that’s one of the cliffs or peaks that we need to begin to incorporate into our societal representation of this revolution, specifically in television.”
— Alex Karpovsky
Zosia Mamet, who plays Shoshanna Shapiro on the show, said she understands that Dunham and the other writers wouldn’t incorporate anything that’s “uncomfortable or scary” into the script, unless it served a purpose….
“Maybe that’s one of the cliffs or peaks that we need to begin to incorporate into our societal representation of this revolution, specifically in television. This could be the year of the anus,” he said….(read more)
“I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that Roy Price will regret this.”
“I don’t know how I got into this. I have no ideas, and I’m not sure where to begin. My guess is that [Amazon Studios Vice President] Roy Price will regret this,” Mr. Allen said in a news release about the project, which is still unnamed.
[An outbreak of mockery ensues at Twitter #WoodyAllenTVShowNames]
Amazon has commissioned a full season, with half-hour episodes available on its Prime Instant Video. The will be the first television project by Mr. Allen, who has worked on films such as “Annie Hall” and “Midnight in Paris.” He has won four Oscars.
On Sunday, Amazon’s “Transparent”—about a California family whose father comes out as transgender—took home two Golden Globes at the 72nd annual awards: best musical or comedy TV series, and best actor in a musical or comedy series for actor Jeffrey Tambor. This is the first Golden Globe win for an Amazon show. Read the rest of this entry »
“To our brothers and sisters in France: Our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with you tonight,” Leto said. “Je Suis Charlie.”
The Golden Globes crowd rose to its feet in solidarity with Paris.
“We stand united with anyone who would suppress free speech, from North Korea to Paris,” said Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Theo Kingma, eliciting a standing ovation from the crowd.
“To our brothers and sisters in France: Our thoughts, our prayers, our hearts are with you tonight,” Leto said. “Je Suis Charlie.” (I am Charlie.)
On the red carpet, stars including Helen Mirren, George Clooney and his wife, Amal, wore “Je Suis Charlie” pins in solidarity for those who were killed in attacks in Paris. Read the rest of this entry »
Dominic Patten writes: First Mia Farrow tweeted she was turning off the Golden Globes on NBC when they went to the Woody Allen tribute. Now her son and upcoming MSNBC host Ronan Farrow lashed out against his mother’s former longtime companion, also on Twitter.
Missed the Woody Allen tribute – did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 13, 2014
This comes after MSNBC is still trying to get over the successive embarrassment of departures of Alec Baldwin and Martin Bashir for incendiary remarks and Melissa Harris-Perry‘s ill-considered comments targeting Mitt Romney’s adopted black grandson.