Wednesday, February 18, 2009

News Round-up

INTERVIEW: GUIDING LIGHT's Beth Chamberlin (Beth)
Chamberlin was a guest on "BuzzWorthy Radio" last night. A co-star called in and surprised her on the air. Listen to find out who!

"I love the outdoor stuff, and think it looks fantastic. It’s invigorating. You’re no longer confined to a set; you have more sensory stuff to deal with. You have the weather, you have….everything that’s happening. There’s a lot of unexpected things happening, and I love that."

ANALYSIS: Stations Staggering Toward DTV Transition
Confused about the increasingly staggered start to the DTV era? You're not alone.

“Dislocation and confusion” is how acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps put it last week, though he said there would have been even more of both if the date had not been moved.

11th annual Costume Designers Guild Awards
ABC's UGLY BETTY, which won in the contemporary TV series category for the past two years, picked up award No. 3, with the honors going to Edwardo Castro and Patricia Field.

Changes ahead for prime time Emmys
With Oscar producers promising a rethink of this year's kudocast, execs at the Emmys are mulling their own primetime shake-up.

Facing what could be another brutal year for kudo ratings, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has drawn up a plan that will lead to fewer awards presented on air -- answering critics who have blasted the Emmycast's bloat.

According to insiders, the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences is looking to juggle some categories out of the actual broadcast -- thereby bringing the televised kudo count down from the 28 that have recently been awarded live.

NTIA Won't Get Access To Coupon Money Immediately
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration still has 4.2 million requests for analog-to-digital converter box subsidy coupons on its waiting list as 421 more stations prepare to pull the plug on analog just before midnight Tuesday night. At $40 apiece for those coupons, NTIA would need $168 million and several weeks to get all those folks off the list.

President Barack Obama signed the economic stimulus package on Tuesday that containts $650 million for the coupon progrm and associated DTV education and outreach efforts. But NTIA will not get access to the money immediately. It will have to wait as much as a week to start clearing the backlog, according to an NTIA spokesperson, because the money has to go through the appropriations process before NTIA can get access to it.

Soap opera stars to convene in Northeast Ohio on tour stop
If the Obama administration needs ideas about how to stimulate spending, maybe it should look to daytime television. In the midst of economic downturns, stagnation and rollbacks, Soap Opera Mania on Tour is betting that soap-opera fans will decide $95 is not too much to spend on a few hours in the presence of their favorite hunks and hunkettes.

"There is no stage and audience. It's mixed together," said Christian LeBlanc, calling from Los Angeles. "I've actually had fans tell me to stop talking."

"I think he's the best-written character on the show," LeBlanc said about his on-screen persona. "Michael is an incredibly smart person who does dumb things."

The impacts of globalization on entertainment
When Babel, a tale of far flung fates linked by the threads of globalization, won the Golden Globe for Best Drama in 2007 as well as seven Oscar nominations, its Mexican director, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, voiced the hope that such recognition meant Hollywood was entering a new era. "In the global age," he said, "films must show the point of view of others, with respect and compassion, not as caricature."

In what Fareed Zakaria calls the coming "post-American" era, we will have to compete for hearts and minds just as Chinese epics like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon vie for the silver screen and Mexican, Brazilian and South Korean soaps challenge DAYS OF OUR LIVES on the global boob tube. The "rise of the rest" wrought by globalization and the spread of technology has changed the equation. The John Wayne-era assumption that America could write the script for the whole world is over, both in Washington and Hollywood.

INTERVIEW: Former soap star Real Andrews
Andrews (ex-Taggert, GH; ex-Walker, ATWT) appeared on "Stardish Radio" last night.

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