Been busy working on broken computers for friends so this week’s installment is a little late
Went to see the original Wizard of Oz in IMAX 3-D last night. Will probably do a separate blog post on that but the short version is it was wonderful.
Critics are panning the Emmy broadcast for being too depressing with all those extended obituaries. I didn’t know that but I just thought Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t really very funny. His mid-show song and dance number wasn’t funny at all and that’s why people like the song and dance numbers is because they usually have lots of really clever lyrics. This one didn’t.
Speaking of obituaries let us offer a rest in peace to Ray Dolby of Dolby labs who developed numerous patented technologies to make film and TV sound better. Before the digital age, movie sound was encoded optically along the edge of the film and sounded pretty bad by today’s standards. Things did get better when they started putting magnetic recording tape along the edge of the film and recording and playback the sound to movies that way. However the quality of sound you get from magnetic audiotape depends heavily on the speed at which the tape moves past the recording and pickup head. Film moves relatively slow through a projector and so does the magnetic strip with the audio. You get a lot of hiss and noise inherent in the tape. You can electronically filter out those high frequencies but that also filters out part of the sound you want to hear. Filtering it makes it sound mushy instead of crisp. Dolby came up with the bright idea that we should record those high frequencies of the actual soundtrack at a much louder volume than normal. Then when you lower the volume of those high frequencies, the signal that you want comes out even but they hiss and noise gets the volume turned way down. Dolby noise reduction revolutionized audio playback on both films and audiocassettes. A variety of other digital innovations in surround sound also bear the name of Dolby labs. Don’t ask me how they work because I don’t know. I just know that the first time I ever heard six channel Dolby surround sound at the Eastwood Theater on the original Star Wars I was blown away just by the sound of the Fox fanfare before anything else came on the screen. Thank you Ray Dolby.
And continuing to speak of dead people… You probably note that the subject of each weeks blog post is not determined by which story is the biggest but is determined by how cleverly I can summarize the stories in a catchy way. One of my pithy little headlines of which at the time I was quite proud for being so clever in retrospect was in poor taste even for a tasteless guy like me. In reporting the death of British TV journalist David Frost who had an historic multipart interview with Richard Nixon I summarized it as “Frost joins Nixon” meaning that he was dead as well. However I’m pretty sure Nixon is rotting in hell not so much for his crimes but for being such a hypocrite whereas we all hope Sir David is in a much better place.
One minor news item that I think is sort of big. Aereo TV Internet streaming service is expanding to new cities including Indianapolis. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s how it works. Cable companies have to pay local TV stations in order to carry their signal that you can receive it free over an antenna. The Aereo service build the facility with thousands of tiny antennas and assigns one to each customer. It then records the HD digital signals coming in over the air and will stream them to you over the Internet. You basically just rent their antenna and they do not have to pay TV station cable fees. For those who are cutting cable and relying on services like Hulu and Netflix this is a way to get your local TV streaming. I’m not sure what the cost is but it’s cheaper than basic cable and doesn’t require any installation. See the links section for an article about copyright battles faced by the service.
In the links below read
Article about Aereo Internet streaming service and its legal battles
Matt’s Inside Line spoilers dated September 19
Interview with Cristin Millioti who plays the mother on how I met your mother
Postmortem interview with Dexter executive producer about series finale (spoilers)
Interview with creator of Castle without first episode and what’s coming throughout the season
Interview with actress Ming-Na Wen about her role on Agents of SHIELD
Interview with producers of Revolution about upcoming season
Interview with Jessica Capshaw a.k.a. Arizona on Grey’s anatomy about what’s in store for her character this season
Interview with Amber Tamlyn about her role on 2 1/2 men
Matt’s Inside Line spoilers dated September 26
Interview with producers of Once upon a Time about upcoming season
Not in the links below but also of interest
AMC has announced the final two episodes of Breaking Bad have been expanded to 75 minutes each
E! Entertainment channel has canceled the Ryan Lochte reality series after one season
Stacy Keach, Dean Stockwell, and Barry Bostwick will guest star in an upcoming episode of Fox’s new show Enlisted
Stephen Macht will guest star on Suits. He is the real is father of series star Gabriel Macht
Susan Sarandon will guest star on Mike and Molly
NBC is creating a miniseries about the life of Johnny Carson. No word on who will play him that most people hoping it’s Kevin Spacey
We are sad to hear BBC America has canceled “Copper” after two seasons. Second season ended last week.
TNT is ordered a drama series titled Murder in the First produced by Stephen Bochco. Sort of like The Killing they will take 10 episodes to solve a murder
Fringe veteran John Noble will be a recurring character on Sleepy Hollow
New ABC sitcom Super Fun Night which will premiere October 2 actually start with episode two instead of the first one. No reason given why. Not a good sign.
Mouse left TNT has canceled King & Maxwell after one season
NCIS is planning a New Orleans-based spinoff series
Vanessa Redgrave is joining the ABC drama series The Black Box about a woman who is a neuroscientist who suffers from mental illness. It’s my perception we see that before. 🙂
FX network has renewed The Bridge for season 2 and we are very happy.
Lifetime Channel has canceled Army Wives
Fox has ordered straight to series drama titled Gotham. It will tell the story of Batman’s pal Commissioner Gordon
Agents of SHIELD had the highest rated debuting drama series in 4 years for any network
ABC has renewed Mistresses for season 2. I never watched it
CBS has ordered 13 episodes of a detective drama titled Battle Creek from the producers of Breaking Bad and House. Will air in the 2014-2015 season
HBO has renewed Boardwalk Empire for season 5
Robert De Niro will replace the late James Gandolfini in its upcoming limited series Criminal Justice. Series loosely based on BBC series of the same name.
Fox has renewed Bob’s Burgers for a 22 episode fifth season
Amy and Bernadette on Big Bang Theory have renegotiated their contracts for big raises. Series stars contract expires at the end of the season so look for them to get a big pay raise next year.
Larry King will guest host ESPN 2’s Oberman while Keith Olbermann gets a day off
Apple iTunes has refunded angry fans of Breaking Bad for only selling them half a season on a season pass
British network ITV has renewed Law and Order: UK for season 8
Oprah Winfrey Network has acquired the broadcast rights to Lee Daniels the Butler. No surprise there.
Disney is planning a film about the 1997 chess match between Gary Kasparov and a computer
Wikileaks has leaked the script of the film Fifth Estate which is about WikiLeaks. Calls the film irresponsible, counterproductive, and harmful.
Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence will star in a remake of East of Eden