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AFI Announces Its Top Film and TV Programs of 2012 (LA Times / Movies Now)
The feature films Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Les Miserables and the TV series Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead were among the recipients Monday of the American Film Institute's AFI Awards 2012 for outstanding achievement in film and television. According to the AFI, the honorees are "selected based on works which best advance the art of the moving image; enhance the rich cultural heritage of America's art form; inspire audiences and artists alike; and/or make a mark on American society." THR In the TV category, AMC's Mad Men was selected for a fifth time, making it the most recognized AFI Awards winner in TV. ABC's Modern Family and AMC's Breaking Bad both made the list for a fourth time. Newcomers include HBO's Girls and FX's American Horror Story, while FX's Louie, AMC's The Walking Dead and Showtime's Homeland all made second appearances. Reuters AFI's top film picks, selected by critics, scholars, TV and film artists and AFI trustees, come ahead of the Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations on Wednesday and Thursday. All three sets of picks are likely to be leading indicators for the Oscars in February. Indiewire / Thompson on Hollywood This year's juries were chaired by producers and AFI Board of Trustees vice chairs Tom Pollock (former vice chairman of MCA, chairman of Universal Pictures) for the movies and Rich Frank (former chairman of Walt Disney Television, president of Walt Disney Studios, president of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) for television, and includes award-winning artists such as Angela Bassett, Brad Bird, Chris Carter, Marta Kauffman and Octavia Spencer; film historian Leonard Maltin; scholars from prestigious universities with recognized motion picture arts programs (Syracuse, UCLA, University of Texas, USC, Wesleyan); AFI Board of Trustees; and critics from leading media outlets such as Entertainment Weekly, The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Time magazine, USA Today and more. Entertainment Tonight "AFI Awards celebrates America's storytellers as collaborators," said Bob Gazzale, AFI president and CEO. "We are honored to bring together artists as a community, without competition, to acknowledge the gifts they have given the world in 2012." Detroit Free Press Biggest corporate losers: The broadcast television networks. Only one TV entry on the AFI list -- ABC's Modern Family -- hails from what used to be called free TV, back in the old days of rabbit ears and analog.
Twitter Takes on Instagram with Built-In Image Filters (The Verge)
Rumored to hit by the end of the year, Twitter's image filters have officially been released. The app now offers eight filters, including "vignette, black & white, warm, cool, vintage, cinematic, happy, and gritty" tones. AllThingsD Twitter partnered with Aviary, a firm that produces image-editing APIs, for the release. NYT / Bits Last week Instagram eliminated the ability of its users to share images directly within Twitter. The two companies, once friends, are now direct competitors. CNET To be sure, Instagram has a massive lead, and a very passionate community. But Twitter has a nine-figure user base, and now that it is offering filters -- albeit just eight, while Instagram has 18 free filters -- it can begin to chip away at its competitor's lead.
Colbert Tops SC Voters' Senate Wish List (Public Policy Polling)
Nikki Haley is one of the most unpopular governors in the country. Only 42 percent of voters approve of the job she's doing to 49 percent who disapprove. Out of 43 sitting governors Public Policy Polling (PPP) has polled on, that ranks her 35th in popularity. There is a path back to popularity for Haley though: appointing Stephen Colbert to replace Jim DeMint in the Senate. Washington Post / The TV Column Colbert tops the list of replacements with 20 percent of respondents in the state saying they want the comic-turned-faux conservative pundit to represent them in the Senate. His closest competition: Tim Scott, with 15 percent, according to the pollster. WSJ / Washington Wire But it's not exactly the most earnest of measures: Colbert's popularity is driven largely by Democrats in the state, a third of whom say Colbert should get the nod. By comparison, just 6 percent of Republicans favor a Colbert pick. ABC News / The Note But ultimately, the choice will be up to Haley, and she's not ready to throw it away. "As I continue to consider the impending Senate vacancy, many have discussed the possibility of a 'placeholder' appointee who would pledge to serve for only two years and not seek election to the seat in 2014," Haley wrote in a statement released Monday. "While there are some good arguments in favor of that approach, I believe the better case is against it."
Elmo Puppeteer Kevin Clash Sued by 4th Accuser Charging Underage Sex (The Wrap)
Kevin Clash, the former puppeteer behind hugely popular Sesame Street character Elmo, is being sued by a fourth accuser who claims that Clash had sex with him while the accuser was underage. CBS Miami The victim, who's now 33, says he met Clash in late 1995 or early 1996 on Miami Beach. The teen was looking for a job when he met Clash. The suit alleges Clash befriended the teen and the two used to talk on the phone frequently after Clash returned to New York. E! Online Attorney Jeff Herman, who's representing all three of Clash's accusers who are seeking damages, said in a statement that, in addition to coercing and enticing his client to engage in sexual activity, Clash "knowingly paid to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of satisfying his sexual interests." New York Daily News The latest allegation -- filed by a man identified in court papers as S.M. -- raise the possibility of criminal charges for Clash for the first time.
CNN Ratings Rebound? (NY Post / Page Six)
New CNN chief Jeff Zucker is looking at Erin Burnett to revive the cabler's moribund morning ratings, writes the Post's Richard Johnson. Burnett, who burst onto the TV news field at CNBC, is now hosting the 7 to 8 p.m. hour on CNN. "Zucker thinks she's a real talent," a source said. "He'll team her up with a guy, and they'll go after the audience watching Today and Good Morning America. One thing Zucker knows how to do is a morning show." TVNewser Of course, Zucker cannot actually make any moves until he starts at CNN in January. That said, any such potential move would not be a simple one. Soledad O'Brien currently anchors CNN's morning program, and seemed excited about the addition of Zucker when asked about it by TVNewser's Gail Shister. Both O'Brien and Burnett have contracts that would almost certainly need to be changed in order to make that shift. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media This isn't a scoop, it's conventional wisdom: CNN picked Burnett up from CNBC to much fanfare, but her primetime show became a dud because they didn't play to her strengths. Instead of allowing her to make causal banter with co-hosts, as she did at CNBC, they put her in front of a teleprompter. Meanwhile, they gave the morning gig to O'Brien, whose trademark fights with guests over facts is far more suited to primetime.
Less Than 1 Million Facebook Users Voted on Policy Changes (AllFacebook)
Facebook asked users to vote on whether or not they should be able to vote on future changes to the policy that governs what the company does with users' data. To keep the old process of voting in place, 30 percent of Facebook's 1 billion-strong user base had to vote for that, but it appears that less than 1 million officially voiced their opinions. However, those who have voted clearly want to keep the status quo. HuffPost So how come just 668,872 Facebook users -- or .067 percent of Facebook's total membership -- voted in the site's final Facebook Governance Vote, which asked people to weigh in on the future of democracy on Facebook and Facebook's proposal to integrate data from Instagram? Is it because we don't care enough to vote -- or because Facebook doesn't care enough to make sure we do? CNET Facebook developed the voting model in 2009 to solicit feedback from users about the network's frequent changes. But, Facebook argues, it's outgrown that system -- it's now a publicly traded company that has to answer to a range of regulatory issues.
NBC Peacock Spreads Wings over Comcast (WSJ)
NBC's peacock has found a new perch at Comcast Corp. The media conglomerate unveiled a new corporate logo Monday that incorporates the trademark bird long associated with the NBC broadcast network, which it now controls. THR The change, visible on a redesigned corporate site launched late Monday (www.cmcsk.com), comes nearly two years after the company changed the logo of entertainment giant NBCUniversal after acquiring a 51 percent stake in it. That redesign, unveiled at a town hall meeting in early 2011, dropped the rainbow-feathered peacock and Universal's globe.
Zero Dark Thirty Doesn't Promote Torture (The Daily Beast / Sexy Beast)
Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-bait film about the CIA hunt for Osama bin Laden is being accused of promoting waterboarding. Marlow Stern, who spoke to screenwriter Mark Boal about the film's big torture scene, says it's a false claim. CNN / Peter Bergen Endorsing the view that waterboarding was key to finding bin Laden does not seem to have been the intention ofZero Dark Thirty's filmmakers. Boal said that, in reality, a "whole array of tools" were used to find bin Laden and that the film "tried to be balanced." And certainly, Zero Dark Thirty shows some of the Agatha Christie-like sleuthing at the CIA and high-tech surveillance techniques that were instrumental in tracking down al Qaeda's leader.
NHL Cancels Season Through Dec. 30 over Labor Dispute (The Wrap)
The NHL has canceled another substantial chunk of the 2012-13 season, as a labor dispute between National Hockey League and the NHL Players' Association drags on. The hockey league has now canceled its regular-season schedule through Dec. 30, due to the players' and the league's inability to reach a collective bargaining agreement. B&C The lockout has made life difficult for the league's main U.S. TV partner, NBC. Hockey programming was supposed to fill much of NBC Sports Network's winter schedule. At last week's B&C/Multichannel OnScreen Summit, Jon Litner, group president, NBC Sports Group said that "it is hurting our business."
Los Angeles Times Raises Newsstand Prices (FishbowlLA)
Via our anonymous tips website widget came this correspondence Dec. 4: "LA Times increases street price 50 percent... Not one mention of it anywhere on the Web. Why?" Well, partly because this is not the kind of thing the LA Times or any other major daily likes to trumpet with a press release. But on our faithful reader's behalf, we checked in with an LAT spokesperson who kindly confirmed the full details.
Condé Nast, Hearst Corp. Eye Hispanic Market (WWD / Memo Pad)
Condé Nast and Hearst Corp. are going head-to-head to get a cut of the booming Hispanic market. Glamour is poly-bagging with its April issue a new supplement, the digest-size Glam Belleza Latina, or Latin Beauty, with a quarterly frequency aimed at its self-described Latina subscribers. Hearst had already branched out with Cosmopolitan for Latinas in May as a biannual, but it's going quarterly in 2013, with the same on-sale dates as Glam.
News Worth Paying For: Looking for Profit in Public-Interest News (CJR / The Audit)
Now that the confetti and campaign corks had been swept up after news leaked that the Washington Post was probably going to, finally, charge for its digital content, the question arises: Will people pay, and for what?
Why We Won't Have Tablet-Native Journalism (Reuters / Felix Salmon)
Last week, when The Daily died, I declared that the reason, in part, was that tablet-native journalism was impossible. And I got a lot of rather vehement pushback, including some smart commentary from John Gruber, taking the other side of the argument. I've since talked about this issue at some length, with both David Jacobs of 29th Street Publishing -- someone who specializes in developing iPad-native apps -- and with Ben Jackson, another one of my critics. And I still think that tablet-native journalism is an idea which isn't going to take off any time soon.
Pundits Like Rove Come and Go -- Fox News Only Cares About the Numbers (The Guardian / Ana Marie Cox on Politics... and Whatever)
Who could have guessed that Karl Rove would be Fox News' Howard Beale? "Turn the machines back on" is not exactly "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore," but it's true enough that, like Beale, Rove "ran out of bullshit" to say on air. He also may have sparked a programming shift at his network -- though it appears to have started with him getting less airtime, not (like Beale) more.
Former Style Editor Leaves Washington Post for TV (Washington City Paper / City Desk)
Former style editor Ned Martel's slow-motion exit from the Washington Post is finally over. More than a year after Martel left style to cover the presidential campaign for the paper, and ended up doing a surprising amount of fashion coverage instead, he's leaving the Post altogether to work for a TV production company.