Friday, June 5, 2009

News Round-up: DTV, Nielsen, HOLLYOAKS, LOTL

Obama warns of digital TV switch
President Obama has issued a warning to TV viewers who are in danger of losing access to broadcast TV after the digital switch is thrown on June 12: Act now before it's too late.

Nielsen Shortchanges WBMA Birmingham
Nielsen under-reported ratings for Allbritton’s ABC affiliate between May 2008 and March 2009. Citing a “procedural error,” the ratings giant failed to properly measure digital viewing. Allbritton has a unique operation in Birmingham, with a pair of ABC affiliates on opposite sides of the DMA airing identical programming and being measured as WBMA+. A Nielsen spokesperson said Allbritton’s non-traditional set-up in that DMA factored into the mistake.

Disabled actor joins EASTENDERS
David Proud, 26, who uses a wheelchair, will play Adam Best, an Oxford University student who comes to Walford to stay with his mother, Manda, during the holidays. Albert Square has seen a number of disabled characters over the years, but the BBC said this will be the first time a regular disabled part will be played by a disabled actor.

HOLLYOAKS launches online auditions
Channel 4 teen soap HOLLYOAKS has launched an online search for a new female star. HOLLYOAKS production house Lime Pictures hope to discover the show's next Roxanne McKee (Louise Summers) as they invite female viewers aged 18-30 to send in audition clips in the hope of being cast as the programme's new 18 or 19-year-old student character, India.

The web-based audition process, titled 'Desperately Seeking', opens today and will entail downloading a short script, videoing a performance and uploading the audition to the official site. Videos can be uploaded from the beginning of next week.

Source Interlink Companies Plan of Reorganization Now Approved
Over the next few days Source will finalize the legal process and will emerge as a privately held company. As promised the lenders cancelled nearly $1 billion of the company's existing debt and have provided approximately $100 million in additional liquidity to the company. The restructuring materially reduces Source’s interest expense and debt levels, and substantially improves the company’s free cash flow allowing Source to capitalize on several operational opportunities to further improve and grow its business.

The current management will remain in place and the new company will select a regular board of directors after the legal process is finalized.

ATWT's Billy Magnussen (Casey) to judge Ms. Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant
Already with some 10 ladies, or so, signed-up to participate -and there's plenty of room for many more--this years Pageant promises to be one of the most spectacular, and not just for the contestants. Even the attending fans will be wow-ed when AS THE WROLD TURNS heart-throb, Billy Magnussen and Justin Ettinger, lead singer of the hot New York City singing group, The Dash, will be among the judges.

With Friday's release of the big-screen -- and PG-13 -- version of Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell and Danny McBride, Universal has released a limited-edition gift-set DVD of the complete series ($69.99), packaged in a very cool vintage lunch box.

The TV series starred Spencer Milligan (for the first two seasons) as Rick Marshall, who, along with his son Will (Wesley Eure -- who also played Michael Horton on DAYS at the same time) and his daughter Holly (Kathy Coleman), found themselves stuck in a parallel universe filled with furry people named Pakuni, dinosaurs and some vicious lizard creatures called the Sleestak.

Former AW star Kyra Sedgwick (ex-Julia) on being in the tabloids after the Madoff scandal
"I always joked that the best thing for mine and Kevin's careers would be for one of us to have an affair. I didn't realize how unfunny it was until [the Madoff news broke]. Suddenly, I felt like when I walked into a room people were [whispering]. And they probably weren't. Then they're saying we lost everything? We didn't lose everything, we lost a pension. Some people had it so much worse. I have such newfound empathy for people who are always on these covers, like Jennifer Aniston."

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