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Posts Tagged ‘Showtime’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Prime Price Hike | McCarthy to Wonkblog | Drone Covers Harlem

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Amazon Prime Gets Price Bump to $99 A Year (VentureBeat)
Nine years after it launched, Amazon Prime is getting an inevitable price increase. Amazon announced Thursday that Prime will now cost $99 per year in the U.S., a slight bump from the previous $79 a year price. WSJ The Seattle retailer said the 25 percent increase was needed to offset rising delivery and content-acquisition costs. The $99 price takes effect for new members on March 20. Existing Prime members will pay the higher rate when they renew. CNNMoney In February, Amazon said it was considering raising the price to $119 a year. Prime members get two-day shipping on a large number of Amazon items at no extra cost, plus the ability to borrow Kindle books and stream movies and television shows. The company also said that it has increased the benefits of the program, now offering free shipping on 19 million items, up from only 1 million nine years ago. It also introduced its video streaming service in 2011 and recently launched Amazon-produced shows. THR The $99 price point may open the door for a tiered pricing system that would allow people to subscribe to Amazon Instant Video or Kindle’s lending library separately. Amazon does not disclose the number of Prime members, but research from Cowen and Co. estimates that there are about 23 million members in the United States, representing a 37 percent increase year-over-year in January. The research also indicates that 95 percent of Prime members visit Amazon monthly and 85 percent make a purchase.

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Mort Sahl’s Second Wife Was Never a Fan of Bette Midler

For those of you who have Showtime, don’t forget to set your DVRs to tape the channel at 11 p.m. on Presidents Day. That’s when the third episode of the latest season of David Steinberg‘s great program Inside Comedy debuts with the tandem of Bette Midler and Richard Belzer.

The interview with Midler was shot in Los Angeles at the end of last summer. When Steinberg asked about who she opened for at the beginning of her career, it was a performer’s Significant Other who took center stage. “I opened for Mort Sahl, whose wife told me she would put my head through the wall if I ever spoke to her husband again,” Midler recalled. “Those things, you don’t forget.”

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Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Production Blog Off to Delightful Start

“You get better Victorian London in Dublin than you do in London.” That’s just one of the intriguing revelations shared in the first few videos for Showtime’s Penny Dreadful production blog, ahead of the series’ spring debut.

Executive producer, creator John Logan and co. are filming at Ardmore Studios, a ten-acre facility just outside Dublin that first started hosting visiting American productions with the 1959 James Cagney drama Shake Hands with the Devil. The new Showtime program will re-imagine classic characters such as Dr. Frankenstein and Dorian Gray against the backdrop of Victorian England.

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Writing Advice from Producer of The Tudors, History Channel’s Vikings

Just in time for the upcoming premier of Vikings on the History Channel, Michael Hirst, the show’s writer and producer, talks about his writing process in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series.

“The key for me with historical characters is they’re interesting because they’re human beings,” he said. “A little bit of Hemingway goes a long way here, but journalists and writers should honestly look at their material and have a real interest, a real passion in what they want to write, and they should also have a lot of knowledge, as well. You don’t write police procedural stuff unless you really know that beat, but it’s ultimately not the procedure that makes the show work — it’s the people. The more real they are, the better.”

Read more in So What Do You Do, Michael Hirst, Creator of The Tudors and Vikings?

Writing Advice from Producer of The Tudors, History Channel’s Vikings

Just in time for the upcoming premier of Vikings on the History Channel, Michael Hirst, the show’s writer and producer, talks about his writing process in the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do? series.

“The key for me with historical characters is they’re interesting because they’re human beings,” he said. ”A little bit of Hemingway goes a long way here, but journalists and writers should honestly look at their material and have a real interest, a real passion in what they want to write, and they should also have a lot of knowledge, as well.”

“You don’t write police procedural stuff unless you really know that beat, but it’s ultimately not the procedure that makes the show work — it’s the people. The more real they are, the better.”

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So What Do You Do, Michael Hirst, Creator of The Tudors and Vikings?

Jim Rome On Showtime Premieres Nov. 21

Get ready for more Jim Rome on your television.

In addition to his daily sports show on CBS Sports Network, Rome will also be on Showtime as the host of Jim Rome On Showtime starting on November 21st at 10 p.m. ET/PT. According to Showtime, the one-hour show, filmed in Los Angeles, will “showcase Rome’s trademark style and opinions that have made him one of the most famous and outspoken sports broadcasters of his generation.”

“We’ve been very focused on increasing the amount and profile of sports programming on our air at SHOWTIME,” said David Nevins, president of entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc.  “Jim Rome is someone I’ve listened to for years; he is one of the top voices in the American sports world, and bringing him to the network in a fresh and premium format is a key part of accomplishing that goal.”

Primetime Emmys Bring Network TV’s Challenges Into Sharp Focus

Even before the Primetime Emmys opened with a musical number by Neil Patrick Harris, the show’s host — who also served as co-producer — was a lamenting the death of network television.

“This may very well be the last year they’re on a network show,” Harris told New York magazine in a a profile featured in last week’s issue. “This wheel contract they have, where each year a different network gets the show, as the ratings decline it becomes less of a good thing to ‘get it.’ It’s a very expensive show. Which means they have to get more ad revenue. Ads are less expensive, because ratings are down. So you have to do more ads, which makes the show smaller…and finally someone will do it on cable, where there won’t be any commercials. Which will be a wonderful show. Our three-hour show is only two hours and five minutes long, due to economics.”

If cable is a better outlet for award shows, is it also a better outlet for award-winning television? It seemed that way as a slew of the first few awards of the night went to basic cable shows — Toni Collette won Best Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on Showtime‘s “United States of Tara,” Glenn Close took home the Best Actress in a Drama Series award for “Damages” on FX, Bryan Cranston won Best Actor in a Drama Series for the second year in a row for his role in AMC‘s “Breaking Bad” and AMC’s “Mad Men” won the drama writing award and Outstanding Drama Series.

But, the networks still had a strong showing. Kristin Chenoweth took home the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series prize for her role in ABC‘s “Pushing Daises,” which was canceled even before nominations were announced. Jon Cryer took home Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for CBS‘s “Two and a Half Men,” Alec Baldwin won for the second year in a row for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for NBC‘s “30 Rock,” which also took home the Outstanding Comedy Series award for the third year running.

Still, the changing world of television as a medium was a prevailing theme throughout the show. At one point, Harris revisited his online persona, Dr. Horrible, to (literally) sing the praises of Internet television over network and cable TV — complete with “buffering” gag.

And in her acceptance speech, “30 Rock” creator and star Tina Fey took a jab at Jay Leno when she thanked NBC brass for not pulling her show off the air, “even though we are so much more expensive than a talk show.”

Even Harris couldn’t help mentioning network TV again in his sign off, telling viewers, “May we see you again on broadcast television again next year.”

After the jump, some Emmy highlights, including the Harris’ Dr. Horrible Sing-a-Long Blog bit.

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TMZ’s Will Lee Joins Bonnie Fuller|Thomson Reuters’ Digital Strategy|Glass Confirms End of Showtime Show|Wintour Looks Happy During Fashion Week|Sotomayor The Cover Model

FishbowlLA: HollywoodLife.com editor-in-chief Bonnie Fuller has named TMZ.com‘s former New York bureau chief Will Lee executive editor.

WebNewser: Thomson ReutersAlisa Bowen discussed her company’s digital strategy at this week’s Think Mobile event.

New York Times: Following up on our report yesterday, Brian Stelter reports that “This American Life” host Ira Glass is calling an end to the show’s Showtime series after two seasons, although he says he wouldn’t mind working with the cable network on a special project or short series.

Gawker: A gallery of Anna Wintour photos from New York Fashion Week. And she actually looks happy!

WWD: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will grace the cover of Latina magazine’s December issue.

Ira Glass Reveals The End Of “This American Life” TV Show

92y.JPGWhat started as a casual conversation about the humble beginnings of Chicago Public Radio‘s “This American Life” turned into an impromptu press conference last night as host Ira Glass announced the end of the popular radio program’s Emmy nominated television spinoff on Showtime.

“I don’t know if I can say this yet, but we’ve asked to be taken off of television,” Glass revealed.

Glass’ unexpected announcement came in the midst of a Behind the Scenes event hosted at Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y. The night’s panel, moderated by NY1‘s Budd Mishkin, included the show’s senior producers Julie Snyder, Nancy Updike, Jane Feltes and Sean Cole, as well as film rights producer Alissa Shipp and production manager Seth Lind.

Then, of course, there was Glass — the host and executive producer of the public radio golden child and Showtime program of the same name — who has become ubiquitous on television, billboards and panels alike. His Buddy Holly glasses and graying spiked hair are familiar by now, and his notoriety explains why his introductory applause was by far the most sustained.

Steering the conversation casually, Mishkin lauded the program, giving the night a celebratory feel as the show’s creators discussed its methods and told insider stories to the delight of the crowd. The event began with anecdotes from seemingly slapdash beginnings, as Updike recalled struggling to fill an hour broadcast, even letting Glass wing it live to fill time in the days before the show’s syndication.

The producers reflected on the various media properties that have resulted since the humble inception of “This American Life,” including the forthcoming Steven Soderbergh film The Informant! starring Matt Damon, which is based on an episode.

According to Glass, the show’s relationship with movies was all about supply and demand: “We had no money, but a large supply of ideas, while Hollywood had a large amount of money and no ideas.”

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Lance Loud , First U.S. Reality Star, Died 7 Years Ago Today

lanceloud.jpgLance Loud, whose family became famous in the early 1970s as the first reality TV family before there was reality TV, appeared in a non-sexual role in gay film, the film’s director Paul Barresi confided to FBLA on the seventh anniversary of Loud’s death.

Loud played a gay masked hero, Mr. Blue, who used magical powers to help lovers fix their troubled relationships.

According to the Advocate, Lance never regretted coming out. He knew he was never forgiven by a society that wanted homosexuals at best to be closeted. Lance Loud preferred to be seen as an outsider, a rebel, someone always living. On society’s edge, Lance’s life was a comic tragedy that spoke volumes about pop culture, sexuality, fame and family life.

Barresi, who wrote, directed and produced “Mr. Blue,” wanted to note that Showtime’s new series about gay men coming out of the closet was territory Loud had covered on PBS years earlier.

According to Extra producer Rob Sheiffele, the Showtime show announced recently that billed itself as the first show to feature men coming out of the closet was also using Loud’s original premise.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network has ordered a pilot presentation from Bryan Freedman, a former journalist and executive producer of A&E’s Intervention. In each episode of “Way Out” a closeted person reveals his or her homosexuality during a group meeting and is then followed while telling others.

The show is one of several Showtime has ordered to beef up its reality programming.

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