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NEWS: TV, Deidre Hall, Telcos, Frain/Smith-Cameron

Study: Interest in TV viewing on the rise
According to Deloitte's fourth annual State of the Media Democracy report, due out today, 34% of Americans cite TV as their favorite medium, up from 27% last year. Second through fourth, respectively, were Internet, music and books, all of which are perceived by the average consumer as being less expensive than a night out at the movies. While 71% of respondents say watching TV is one of their top media choices, only 22% listed going to the movies among their top 3.

DAILY BEAST: Who's Killing the Soaps?
Taffy Brodesser-Akner remembers her days as a soap journalist: "We had TVs on our desks that were always on. Each Friday, we paused from our combination of watching and writing and gathered for the week-ending dramatic cliffhangers. I began to love my job—the camaraderie with which we watched TV all day, the lack of irony with which we called publicist-generated items 'news.' Eventually, I think because I was from New York City and had the sense to avoid pleats, I was named co-Style editor. I started to relax and enjoy it."

James Franco’s Performance Art
Akie Bermiss writes: "Franco claims that he wants people to ask themselves if soap operas are more ‘critically legitimate’ than we think. Yet by engaging in this experiment he has already labeled soap operas as less valid than other, more ‘legitimate’ entertainment."

INTERVIEW: Former DAYS OF OUR LIVES star Deidre Hall (ex-Marlena)
"You should know that I have taken many pay cuts, too, in the past. But I wasn’t even asked if I could take a pay cut before I was dismissed because I would have. Over the years, I had always said to Ken Corday, 'This is my home. And this is my family. If you’re in trouble, and need some salary relief, knock on my door because I am a team player. I’m your girl.' There is no question that the show was in trouble and extremely over budget because of years and years of overspending."

Telcos U-verse, FiOS TV Boost HD Offerings
AT&T and Verizon both announced Monday new HD program offerings for their pay-TV services, which currently serve some 2 million and 2.7 million subscribers, respectively.

TRUE BLOOD casts J. Smith-Cameron and James Frain
TUDORS star James Frain has just been cast in the heavily recurring role of Franklin Mott, Tara’s over-protective vampire squeeze. Tony-nominated actress J. Smith-Cameron will play the recurring role of Sam’s estranged mother, Melinda.

Channel 4 drops controversial HOLLYOAKS storyline that bore similarities to Jamie Bulger killing
Channel 4 has been forced to scrap a controversial storyline that drew parallels with the infamous Jamie Bulger killing, following complaints from the tragic youngster’s mother. Denise Fergus, whose son was killed in 1993 by two 10-year-old boys, complained to TV executives when she learnt the channel’s teenage soap opera HOLLYOAKS was planning a storyline that bore hallmarks linking it to the aftermath of the youngster’s death.

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