Monday, April 27, 2009

News Round-up: Mick Hazen, Mobile TV, Sam Clark

Home entertainment spending falls 5%
Consumer spending on home entertainment during the first quarter was estimated at $5.3 billion by DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, down 5% from the first quarter of last year. The DEG estimate, based on studio and retail input as well as industry tracking sources, includes sales and rentals of DVD and Blu-ray Disc as well as digital distribution. The DEG further says home entertainment's net contribution to studios was down less than 4% for the quarter.

INTERVIEW: ATWT's Mick Hazen (Parker)
"Meredith is 21 and I am 16 so there are a lot of places that she can go and I am not allowed besides working together we don't get to hang a lot outside of work. I never actually wanted to be actor. I was always kind of afraid. I was a tree in the class play and I ran home crying. I was so scared for saying three words. I was actually supposed to be an Egyptian and was demoted to be the tree."

Broadcast TV: Going Mobile
The future of broadcast television is mobile. At least that was the message at the National Association of Broadcasters’ NAB Show last week in Las Vegas. While the 83,000 attendees at the annual convention—down about 20% from last year—encountered 3-D TV displays, super-hi-def TV and cheaper cameras everywhere on the show floor, the immediate interest for TV station managers lay in the mobile digital television exhibits.

Mobile digital television is like video on the cell phone, but there’s more to it than that. Mobile DTV lets local broadcasters harness their digital spectrum to transmit simulcasts of their existing broadcasts—news, syndicated shows, primetime programming and more—to handheld devices. That includes DVD players, portable devices for automobiles and smaller computers known as netbooks, as well as mobile phones.

Subway Caught up in Fan Effort to Save NBC Series CHUCK
Publicity like this would have been hard to buy: Fans of the NBC series CHUCK on Facebook, Twitter and TV blogs such as Television Without Pity are rallying support for "Finale & Footlong," a campaign to persuade the network to renew the show by buying Subway sandwiches. And while Subway's marketing chief admits to stoking the flames a little, the sub shop didn't start the fire.

"Finale & Footlong" is a consumer-generated outgrowth of a product integration on CHUCK earlier this month.

Sam Clark to leave NEIGHBOURS?
NEIGHBOURS star Sam Clark is planning to quit the series later this year, according to Australia's Daily Telegraph. The 21-year-old actor, who plays Erinsborough teenager Ringo Brown, is reportedly planning to bow out of the soap when his contract expires in October to pursue a music career.

"I was a musician before I was an actor," he said. "Don't get me wrong, working on NEIGHBOURS has been awesome, but I want to see if I can make it as a muso too."

GREY'S Wedding Site Draws Thousands of RSVPs; Show Boss Promises a "Beautiful" Ceremony
A website celebrating the fast-approaching wedding between Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd drew 42,000 unique visitors and collected 1,400 comments on its "guest book" in its first 24 hours. The idea for the site, hosted by real-life wedding hub and ostensibly managed by the show's Izzie character, came to Grey's creator Shonda Rhimes as the show filmed its April 23 episode, in which Izzie snapped photos of her gal-pal begrudgingly test-driving dresses.

Rhimes — whose sister happens to be a wedding planner — asked for something that would "feel like a real wedding Web site," she told the Associated Press. The site is managed by Izzie as she lies in bed battling cancer. On the home page she promises "the most magical, romantic, breath-taking wedding you've ever seen."

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