Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Walls Have Ears...So Should the PPM

Imagine that you work for Nielsen Media Research, Inc., and your job is to more accurately measure what people are watching. You look at the future and realize that you should almost exclusively collect data using a device like the Portable People Meter (PPM).

Your goal is simple. You want the PPM to identify any program that the person is watching for as long as that person is watching.

There are really just a few steps. The PPM should:
    1. measure sound waves.
    2. identify the program(s) based on these sound waves.
    3. determine whether the wearer is watching at least one program and identify which program(s).
    4. transmit this information to a centralized database for processing.
That's it. Simple enough, right?

Nielsen Media has mastered Steps #1, #2 and #4, but Step #3 is really hard. Did the sound waves come from the living room where your mostly-deaf father-in-law refuses to wear the headphones you bought him for Father's Day? Do your neighbors play their TV really loud? Are you actually watching? Is the TV just background noise? Are you sleeping with the TV on?

On Tuesday the United States Patent & Trademark Office granted a patent (7,100,181) to Nielsen Media Research, Inc. for a television proximity sensor. The main purpose of this sensor is to determine whether the sound waves came from a TV that's in the same room as the person wearing the PPM. That's a great first step — it filters out your neighbors' TVs and your mostly-deaf father-in-law's idiot box. That means the PPM will only listen to TVs that you can actually watch.

Now Nielsen has to add a sensor package to determine whether the wearer is passively exposed or actively watching any nearby TVs.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Endless Justifies the Means

Endless Love. Twenty-five years ago this Diana Ross & Lionel Richie song topped Billboard's Hot 100 Singles. It stayed on top of the charts for what seemed like an Endless Time — nine long, consecutive weeks!

The Endless Summer. This classic surfing movie was released 40 years ago. I'm hoping for Endless Sequels since I thoroughly enjoyed all three movies despite the fact I'm not water safe. Maybe I enjoyed them because I'm not water safe?

I don't expect too many TV writers to pay homage to the Ross-Richie song through ep titles. Maybe the surf flick, but not the R&R song. Though I did wonder if TV writers thought anything else might be endless. Here's a sample:
  • Bendless Love (''Futurama,'' 2/11/2001)
  • Endless Bummer (''L.A. Doctors,'' 12/14/1998)
  • Endless Desert (''The Chisholms,'' 2/2/1980)
  • Endless Gig (''Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig'')
  • Endless Mission (''Trauma: Life in the E.R.'')
  • Endless Migration (''World of Survival'')
  • The Endless Moment (''Marcus Welby, M.D.,'' 10/30/1973)
  • Endless Slumper (''Cheers,'' 12/2/1982)
  • Endless War (''World of Survival'')

Monday, August 28, 2006

Monthly Schedule Update

I've added about 550 more records to the TV Schedule feature, which is now current through Aug 13, 2006.


Friday, August 25, 2006

A Cat in Gloves Catches No Disease

Apparently, this cat wasn't wearing gloves.

Comedy Central is developing a new series called "Diabetic Cowboy Kitty," according to docs filed with the USPTO on August 17, 2006. How does this feline adjust its insulin for the stress caused by a shootout? And how much insulin does a cat need to enjoy baked beans around a campfire?

It's Always About Me

Earlier this week TV Guide announced an agreement to deliver TV listings to cell phones. You'll soon be able to get your guide online, on your TV, and on your cell phone.

What's next? Personalization, of course.

TV Guide filed docs with the USPTO on August 15, 2006 to protect the phrase, My TV Guide.

I can't wait until you can check My TV Guide to view the listings on My Network to see what time My Story airs. 'cause it is all about me.

A Man Is as Old as He Feels, and a Chef as Old as He Cooks

Chef Paul Prudhomme is developing a new TV series and cookbook, "Chef Paul Prudhomme's Always Cooking."

I wonder if they'll be like his book, Chef Paul Prudhomme's Pure Magic, which specified only Magic Seasoning Blends in its recipes?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

You Get What You Overlay For

Way back on January 1, 1969 the Tri-City Herald (Pasco-Kennewick-Richland, WA) advertised cable TV.
Give your television antenna to the birds. Get on the TV Cable today and more than triple your television enjoyment. Only $5.45 per month for the 11-station availability. Then, you can pick and choose your viewing (for less than 18 cents per day) from a multiple station selection.
With so many stations, how could you ever keep track of them? Easy. Take a look at the bottom of the ad for their high-tech channel guide for your TV.

A beautiful overlay for your TV dial.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

gr8est ways to name TV characters

You have this great concept for a TV series with interesting characters, a killer hook, and a formula for new ep ideas to lead you into syndie valhalla. All you have to do is name your main characters.

Now what? Here's a short guide to help you with those names.

    8. Same Name as Performer: Not very creative, but effective. It worked multiple times for Tony Danza, Andy Griffith and others.

    7. Homophonic Synonyms: Uh-oh, sounds like you have to remember some grammar. Don't worry. Here's a quick review. Two words are synonyms if they are spelled differently but have the same meaning. Two words are homophones if they are spelled differently but are pronounced the same way. That means two words are homophonic synonyms if they are spelled differently, pronounced the same way and have the same meaning. It's really just a fancy way to say misspelled. Anywho. John Larroquette played Royal Payne on ''Payne'' and, of course, there's Don Karnage on ''TaleSpin.'' 'nuff said.

    6. Former Significant Others: Let your former girlfriend know how you really feel about her — but only if you don't like her very much. No matter how kind and pure the character might be, your ex will magnify that character's minor faults, personalize them and blame you. And definitely don't name the mangy dog after an ex that you like. No matter how cute the dog, you're still calling her a bitch.

    5. Talk-Show Host Mashup: This one's simple. Mash the first name of one talkie with the last name of another. You'll find names like Vicki Springer from ''Women in Prison,'' Jenny Williams on ''Titans'' and maybe Craig Stewart for your show.

    4. (In)Famous People: Take your pick: presidents, sports figures and serial killers. Abraham Lincoln Jones was the lead character in "The Law and Mr. Jones," and Theodore "Trap" Roosevelt Applegate III was a deputy on ''240-Robert.'' For patients on "M*A*S*H," Ken Levine used names of baseball players. Marilyn Manson used serial killer names. On their next show I think Ted McGinley should play a yuppie named Charlie Manson and Paula Marshall should play his girlfriend, Theodora "Teddy" Bundy.

    3. Your Porn Name: We've all played this little game. First name = The name of your childhood pet. Last name = The name of the street you grew up on. My porn name is Birdie Marymac, which isn't too different from Deputy Birdie Hawkins on "Lobo," Birdie Huff on "Nashville 99" or Birdie Bodkin on "The Wonderful John Acton."

    2. Foreign Words: Now you can have some fun with hidden meanings or get yourself in hot water with unexpected meanings. If you're going to use a foreign language, consult someone who is a native of that country. Using Nova to name a car probably wasn't Chevrolet's best idea. The main character on ''Phoenix'' (ABC, 1983) was Bennu of the Golden Light. Of course, Bennu is another name for Phoenix in Egyptian mythology. I think my favorite foreign-word character is Gohan of ''Dragon Ball Z.'' Who gave the powerful son a name that means 'cooked rice?'

    1. Anagrams: Crap. More grammar. Use all the letters from one word (or phrase) to form a new word (or phrase). If you rearrange the letters, you've formed an anagram. If you use the letters in reverse order, you've formed a reverse anagram. A character in ''Dracula: The Series'' was named Alexander Lucard, which can be shortened to A. Lucard. Lo and behold, A. Lucard is the reverse anagram of Dracula.

Update (Sep 3, 2006; 8:11AM): Based on reader correction, I changed palindrome to reverse anagram in list item #1 and removed link to erroneous source. Thank you readers!:)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Slow But Steady Wins the Race But Not the Emmy

I was watching ''Craig Ferguson'' last Thursday when I heard Jane Kaczmarek mention that she wants to break Angela Lansbury's Primetime Emmy record for futility. Of course, Ms. Lansbury was nominated 18 times for an Emmy Award, but she has not yet won. Ms. Kaczmarek has a ways to go since she only received her seventh Emmy nod this year. (I say 'only' but she does have seven more Emmy noms than you and I combined.)

It's quite remarkable that neither leading lady has won yet. They both starred in long-running series, and we think the Academy usually finds a way to recognize performers after multiple noms for the same character.

Is our bias about the sympathy win — or service commendation — really true? No, it's not. Couldn't be further from the truth. I was surprised to find the following performers received more than five Primetime Emmy noms for a single series without winning. Not once.
    12 nods: Angela Lansbury for "Murder, She Wrote"
    7: Jason Alexander for "Seinfeld"
    7: Julia Duffy for "Newhart"
    7: John Goodman for "Roseanne"
    7: Hal Linden for "Barney Miller"
    6: Ed Begley Jr. for "St. Elsewhere"
    6: Raymond Burr for "Ironside"
    6*: Jane Kaczmarek for "Malcolm in the Middle"
    6: Paul Reiser for "Mad About You"
    6: George Wendt for "Cheers"
*If Ms. Kaczmarek wins on Sunday, she'll drop off the list. But if she gets her wish and does not win, then she'll move up the list into a tie for second place.

Angela Lansbury's record for "Murder, She Wrote" is about as safe as Joe DiMaggio's hitting streak.

Monday, August 21, 2006

iTunes: Monday's New Shows

You can now purchase:
  • ''ABC News Specials''
  • ''ABC News: Celebrity Flashback''
  • ''ABC News: The Day It Happened''
and additional Seasons/Volumes of:
  • ''Invader Zim'' (Nick)

wiki links in trivialTV d/b

I've added wikipedia links for series in the trivialTV database. You'll now see an extra icon when you use the 'Find TV Schedule' feature.

This extra data increased the display time for query results and I hope to reduce the display time over the coming weeks. In the meantime, please be patient when using this feature — it's not your computer.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Mighty Makes Right

  • "Mighty Morphin"
  • "Zeo"
  • "Turbo"
  • "in Space"
  • "Lost Galaxy"
  • "Lightspeed Rescue"
  • "Time Force"
  • "Wild Force"
  • "Ninja Storm"
  • "Dino Thunder"
  • "S.P.D."
  • "Mystic Force"
  • "Operation Overdrive" (set to preem in Feb 2007 on Jetix)
What's missing from this "Power Rangers" list? My best guess for the title for the 2008 season, of course.

On August 8, 2006, BVS Entertainment filed docs with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to protect the phrase, Power Rangers Super Legends, for the television series (Serial Number: 78947283) and other products. That's good enough for me.

There's No Rest Faux the Wicked

Spiegels, Inc. is planning a new series, "Dr. Faux."

Like there aren't enough home improvement shows already.

Oh, but it won't be just any old show. It's aimed at a well-defined niche — besides my sister, how many people do their own faux painting? Plus, the skein will be accompanied by how-to books and painting accessories with the same brand name.

iTunes Thursday Night Releases

You can now download the eps from the following series at iTunes:
  • ''Rides'' (TLC, season 2)
  • ''What Not to Wear'' (TLC, season 4)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

There Is Many a True Code Spoken in Contest

TV viewers will play a new kind of contest if a newly-published patent application (20060183549) is novel enough.

The 549-application really has two main parts:
    1. Each viewer has a distinct personal codeword;
    2. The winning codeword is broadcast piece-wise as smaller codes.
Think about most TV contests. A winning codeword is revealed in its entirety at a key moment of the program — just after the time Nielsen Media Research measures audience size or just prior to a price break for commercial time. Think about contests like Daytime Dollars for "As the World Turns" and "Guiding Light."

Since you're a smart viewer, you only tune in when the codeword is revealed. But what if the codeword is slowly revealed throughout the entire show? You might watch more TV and more commercials.

The 549-application also describes a contest in which the smaller codes are revealed through the actions of TV characters instead of simply being announced. That's a nice touch to get viewers more involved in the show. It reminds me of the 'What's wrong with this episode' gimmick on the "Drew Carey Show," where viewers had to find mistakes for the chance to win $25K.

I still think that networks may run a season-long contest and not just an episode-long game.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

tv's gr83st quotes & catch phrases

Viacom filed docs with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office about a week ago to protect the phrase, The 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catch Phrases. I haven't heard or read anything else about this show yet, but I reckon that TV Land will air a five-part series on consecutive weeknights sometime late this year or early next year.

Update (22 October 2006): 100 Greatest TV Quotes & Catch Phrases is scheduled to air on TV Land on five consecutive nights starting on 12/11/2006.

Should we help them out a little bit before they head into production?

Here's my list of the gr83st TV quotes & catch phrases of all time. Did I miss your favorite? Don't agree? Leave a comment.
    1. "D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
    2. "Heeeeeeeeerrrreeee's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")
    3. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." ("Seinfeld")
    4. "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin' to do.' (Ricky Ricardo, "I Love Lucy")
    5. "What's up, Doc?" (Bugs Bunny, "Looney Tunes" & "Merry Melodies")
    6. "...Not!!!" (Wayne & Garth, "SNL")
    7. "What chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?" (Arnold Jackson, "Diff'rent Strokes")
    8. "Aaaayh!" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
    9. "Homey don't play that." (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")
    10. "...for me to poop on!" (Triumph, "Late Night with Conan O'Brien")
    11. "I know nothing! Nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")
    12. "Dy-no-mite!" (J.J. Evans, "Good Times")
    13. "I am Gumby, dammit!" (Eddie Murphy as Gumby, "SNL")
    14. "Fuhgeddaboutit" ("The Sopranos")
    15. "Yada yada yada" ("Seinfeld")
    16. "You're fired." (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")
    17. "Just the facts, ma'am." (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")
    18. "O-tay!" (Buckwheat, "Our Gang" & "SNL")
    19. "Holy [insert word/phrase], Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")
    20. "Da plane! Da plane!" (Tatoo, "Fantasy Island")
    21. "Ay-carumba!" (Bart Simpson, "The Simpsons")
    22. "Missed it by that much." (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
    23. "Survey says!" (various hosts, "Family Feud")
    24. "To boldly go where no man has gone before." ("Star Trek")
    25. "You look maaahvelous!" (Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas, "SNL")
    26. "Book 'em, Dan-o!" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")
    27. "Yabba-dabba-doo!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")
    28. "Danger, Will Robinson!" (The Robot, "Lost in Space")
    29. "Let's be careful out there." (Sgt. Phil Estherhouse, "Hillstreet Blues")
    30. "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" (Jan Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
    31. "Screw you guys, I'm going home." (Cartman, "South Park")
    32. "Sit on it!" ("Happy Days")
    33. "Shazam" (Gomer Pyle, "The Andy Griffith Show")
    34. "Is that your final answer?" (host, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?")
    35. "Say good night, Gracie." (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")
    36. "Come on down!" (various announcers, "The Price is Right")
    37. "Eat my shorts!" (Bart Simpson, "The Simpsons")
    38. "Kiss my grits!" (Flo Castleberry, "Alice")
    39. "Sorry about that, Chief!" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
    40. "To the moon, Alice!" (Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")
    41. "Yeah... that's the ticket." (Tommy Flanagan -- Pathological Liar, "SNL")
    42. "Up your nose with a rubber hose." (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back Kotter")
    43. "More cowbell." (Christopher Walken as Bruce Dickinson, "SNL")
    44. "Wonder Twin powers, activate!" (Wonder Twins, "Super Friends")
    45. "Hey, HEY, hey!" (Dwayne Clemens, "What's Happening!!")
    46. "Hey, hey, HEY!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")
    47. "Deal, or no deal." (Howie Mandel, "Deal or No Deal")
    48. "Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!" (narrator, "Batman")
    49. "We are two wild and crazy guys!" (George & Yortuk Festrunk, "SNL")
    50. "How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
    51. "Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril")
    52. "Crikey!" (Steve Irwin, "The Crocodile Hunter")
    53. "Verrrrrryyyy interesting." (German spy, "Laugh-In")
    54. "Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." (mission briefing voice, "Mission: Impossible")
    55. "...and I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids!" (villain, "Scooby-Doo")
    56. "You eediot!!! (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")
    57. "I'd like to buy a vowel." (contestants, "Wheel of Fortune")
    58. "Damn it!" (Jack Bauer, "24")
    59. "Good night, and good luck." (Edward R, Murrow, "See It Now")
    60. "No soup for you!" (Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")
    61. "Surprise, surprise, surprise!" (Gomer Pyle, "The Andy Griffith Show")
    62. "We're going to pump (clap) you up!" (Hans and Franz, "SNL")
    63. "Go go gadget [insert gadget or body part]!" (Inspector Gadget, "Inspector Gadget")
    64. "No whammies!!" (contestants, "Press Your Luck")
    65. "Who loves ya, baby?" (Lt. Theo Kojak, "Kojak")
    66. "I'm Larry. This is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl." (Larry, "Newhart")
    67. "Nanoo, nanoo" (Mork, "Mork & Mindy")
    68. "Oh my God, you/they killed Kenny!" "You Bastards" (Stan & Kyle, "South Park")
    69. "You are the weakest link. Goodbye!" (hosts, "The Weakest Link")
    70. "I'm coming to join you, Elizabeth!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")
    71. "Cowabunga!" ("The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles")
    72. "Welcome to the OC, bitch!" (Luke Ward, "The O.C.")
    73. "Connect the dots, la la la..." (Pee-Wee Herman, "Pee-Wee's Playhouse")
    74. "I got mail! [repeat many times] yayyyyyyyyyyyy!" (Special Ed, "Crank Yankers")
    75. "It's a good thing." (Martha Stewart, "Martha Stewart Living")
    76. "Jane, you ignorant slut!" (Dan Aykroyd, "SNL")
    77. "And that's the way it is..." (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")
    78. "Make it so." (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
    79. "Whoa!" (Joey Russo, "Blossom")
    80. "Well, isn't that special." (The Church Lady, "SNL")
    81. "Norm!" ("Cheers")
    82. "Gentlemen, behold!" (Dr. Weird , "Aqua Teen Hunger Force")
    83. "Lookin' good!" (Chico Rodriguez, "Chico and the Man")

Monday, August 14, 2006

iTunes Monday: New Releases

Tonight iTunes released the following series:
  • ''Free for All'' (Showtime)
  • ''Gene Simmons Family Jewels'' (A&E)
  • ''Passions'' (NBC)

There's Versatility in Numbers

Everybody does lists these days. Best five. Top ten. The 25 best. The top 50. The 100 greatest. Some shows really mix it up and do the 101 greatest.

I wanted to do something a little different.

My first thought was simple. I'd do the 35 best and just call it the b35t. You get the best of both worlds in a single phrase. You know the list will cover the best and you know the list will have 35 entries.

But that isn't good enough for me. What if I do a list that has about 10 entries? 100? What if I get really ambitious and generate a list with nearly 1000 entries? the b35t just isn't versatile enough.

Instead, you'll periodically see lists about the gr8est and the gr83st. And if I get really motivated, maybe you'll even see a list about the gr835t. That's right. My lists will cover the eight, 83 or 835 greatest things.

You'll see the first list tomorrow. It's a good thing.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What's Food for the Goose Is Food for the Gander

MyNetwork TV filed docs with the USPTO to protect the phrase, Food for Love. I can't find a thing about it other than what's presented in the filing, which covers the following goods and services:
  • Providing on-line chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among users in the field of general interest; providing email and instant messaging services; streaming of audio and video material on the Internet

  • Providing information in the field of television and video entertainment, drama, music, lifestyle, news and culture via the Internet and wireless communication devices; entertainment services in the nature of programs featuring drama, music, lifestyle, news and culture transmitted via wireless communication devices; providing fan club services
  • Based only on the phrase, I expected it to be the name of one of their new telenovellas, but it sure does sound like it's the name of their online and wireless presence. Weird.

    A note for domain squatters: is available.

    Thursday, August 10, 2006

    You Can't Fit a Round Peg in a Square Hole, But You Can Put a DVR Anywhere

    Think about your DVR and TV receiver.

    What's the best configuration? Should you expect to use an external desktop computer that will control your TV? Will you continue to use a stand-alone box — either by itself or integrated in your cable or satellite box? Will cable companies force you to use their centralized servers? Or will TV manufacturers sell new TVs that are internet-ready with an integrated DVR?

    That last option is interesting, isn't it? Internet-ready instead of cable-ready. Everything self-contained. Never heard of this option before? Not surprising, but you might hear much more about it very soon.

    According to engadget, a consortium of TV manufacturers are developing standards for internet-connected televisions. Few details have been released, but I would bet my last dollar that the standard will include a dedicated chipset and hard drive(s) for integrated DVR capabilities.

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    El Hath No Fury Like a Colbert Scorned

    Stephen Colbert caused quite the stir when he suggested his cult members viewers should manipulate Wikipedia's entry for elephants as a case study for his newest term — wikiality.

    Given the topic, I thought I'd take a look at TV ep titles that mention elephants. Over 120 ep titles use the word elephant, and I've chosen just a few of the more interesting:
    • Elephant in Stockings (''Racket Squad,'' 12/11/1952)
    • An Elephant for Peanuts (''Robert Montgomery Presents,'' 6/25/1956)
    • Mutiny on the Elephant (''It's a Man's World,'' 1/21/1963)
    • Goodbye to Blue Elephants and Such (''Ben Casey,'' 2/5/1964)
    • What's an Elephant Mother to Do? (''Cowboy in Africa,'' 10/2/1967)
    • An Elephant in a Cigar Box (''Judd for the Defense,'' 3/7/1969)
    • White Elephants Don't Grow on Trees (''The Immortal,'' 10/1/1970)
    • It's Easier to Pass an Elephant through the Eye of a Needle Than a Bad Check in Bel Air (''Tenspeed and Brown Shoe,'' 3/30/1980)
    • Uganda Be an Elephant (''Timon & Pumbaa,'' 10/6/1995)
    • Pink Elephants (''Silk Stalkings,'' 4/13/1997)
    • An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig (''South Park,'' 9/10/1997)
    • Houston, We Have an Elephant! (''The Amazing Race,'' 4/5/2005)
    • We Have a Bad Elephant! (''The Amazing Race,'' 4/19/2005)
    Imagine if avid Colbert followers used these entries as the basis for their truthy wikiality. We'd read about blue and pink elephants that are small enough to fit through the eye of a needle and be kept inside a cigar box in Houston.

    Tuesday, August 08, 2006

    Don't Throw the Babylon...

    You have to love the digital age.

    Looks like ''Babylon 5'' is leading the way in the multiplatform universe. Talk about choices! You can legally watch eps of Season One:
    • for free at in2tv: You just have to deal with commercials and watch the series over multiple months as AOL cycles through their library. Hopefully you didn't start too late.
    • with a $0.99/ep day-pass at
    • for $1.79/ep at and own it.
    • for $1.99/ep by purchasing it from iTunes.
    • for ~$2.35/ep by purchasing the complete season on DVD from Amazon (including S&H): You pay a small premium for the DVDs, supporting docs and the extras.

    in2tv's Monthly Update

    At the beginning of every month, AOL shuffles the video deck at This month they removed:
    • ''Against the Grain''
    • ''Max Headroom''
    • ''Presidio Med''
    • ''Prince Street''
    • ''Wanda at Large''
    and introduced:
    • ''New York Daze'' (fka ''Too Something'')
    • ''Off Centre''
    • ''Our Gang''/''Little Rascals''
    • ''Thieves''

    It's Nod Over 'til It's Over

    "ER" received two Emmy nods this year — Guest Actor (James Woods) and Sound Editing — pushing "ER" into a tie for The Primetime Series with the Most Emmy Nods.

    Curious about the top-ten most-nominated shows? I was too; so here's the list:
    • 117 Emmy noms: "Cheers"
    • 117: "ER"
    • 109: "M*A*S*H*"
    • 107: "Frasier"
    • 98: "Hill Street Blues"
    • 97: "The Sopranos"
    • 94: "The West Wing"
    • 89: "LA Law"
    • 83: "Will & Grace"
    • 83: "NYPD Blue"
    Since it seems to produce at least one outstanding character for a guest star every year, "ER" will most likely sit alone at the top of the list next year. "The Sopranos" might pass "Frasier" and "M*A*S*H*" after its 2007 final season, but it's no longer the critical darling it once was and will probably not challenge "ER" for the top spot.

    Wondering whether any series will crack the top 10 anytime soon? Not likely. "The Simpsons" has the most noms (55) of all active series not listed above.

    iTunes Monday Night Update

    iTunes added these shows tonight:
    • ''Bones''
    • ''The Contender'' (season 2)
    • ''Falcon Beach''
    and five additional eps for each of:
    • ''Breed All About It''
    • ''Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown''

    Monday, August 07, 2006

    Standard Awards Update

    I've added nearly 2000 records to the trivialTV database, bringing the grand total to 47,320 records. The new records include:
    • AOL Television Award (TV's Top 5 Viewer Awards): 2006 noms
    • Amy Award: 2006 winners
    • Banff World Television Award: 2006 winners
    • Broadcast Film Critics Award: 1998-2005 TV noms & winners
    • Broadcasting & Cable Critics Poll: 2006
    • Cable ACE Award: 1979 - 1997 winners (partial)
    • Daytime Emmy Award: 1980, 1981 noms & area awards
    • Emmy Award (Primetime): 2006 noms & jury winners
    • E!'s 101 Lists: multiple lists
    • Gemini Award: 1986- noms & winners
    • GLAAD Media Award: 2006 winners
    • Golden Tater Award: 2006 winners
    • Home Entertainment Award: 2006 winners
    • HOMer Award: 1996-2001 noms & winners
    • Humanitas Prize: 2006 winners
    • Imagen Award: 2006 noms
    • James Beard Foundation Award (culinary): 1994-2006 noms & winners
    • RATTY Award: 2006 noms & winners
    • Scream Award: 2006 noms
    • SyFy Genre Award: 2006 noms
    • TV Guide’s All Time Greatest/Worst Lists: 1997: Ten Best Holiday Episodes of All Time
    • Television Critics Association: 2006 winners
    • TelevisionWeek’s Critics Poll: 2006 results
    I've also improved the database for shows that change their show title — like ''Survivor''— and the awards for individual seasons now appear under the umbrella series name.


    Friday, August 04, 2006

    More AOL Video Thoughts

    I see that AOL Video has already assigned numbers to the History Channel (1797) and the Biography Channel (1798), but neither channel appears in the list of television channels in the left menu. If you deep link to the front pages for these channels, you'll find that no shows are listed. Does this mean that you'll only find shows on AOL Video that are already available on iTunes? And does this mean that iTunes will release shows from the History and Biography channels in the very near future?

    If you haven't noticed, AOL Video offers about 150 eps from TV shows for purchase and all of these vids are already part of iTunes collection of nearly 3500 TV eps.

    I also wonder whether AOL has some lack of oversight or whether they weren't allowed to release entire seasons for some shows. For instance, AOL has every ep for season 1 of ''Laguna Beach,'' except eps 6 & 7. ''South of Nowhere'' is missing eps 1, 7, 8 & 10.

    Finally, I find it curious that AOL Video is going to act like a drunkard weaving back and forth across the line of copyright law. AOL sells videos and, I assume, distributes cash to the appropriate parties. AOL also allows you to view vids for free as long as you watch a commercial and, I assume again, distributes commercial revenue to the right people. Their much-heralded video search will return results from the copyright holders — broadband channels run or endorsed by production companies — and copyright violators.

    I can't wait to see how this copyright aspect affects their search strategy.

    Practice What You Beach

    The third season of ''Laguna Beach'' bows on August 16 at 10PM.

    Not enough excitement for you. Hmmm, tough customer. What if I tell you that MTV plans to unveil Virtual Laguna Beach?

    Looks like Virtual Laguna will be a computer game and associated chat room, according to the trademark apps filed with the USPTO last week (July 24). And if you believe an Amazon review about the Season 2 DVD, Virtual Laguna will be just like a Laguna-based Sims.

    I hope that MTV doesn't just call the game VLB, because those letters are already taken by another MTV property — Viva La Bam — and it would be pretty sweet if they developed a Sims game based on Bam's life.

    Thursday, August 03, 2006

    AOL Video Is Live

    AOL Video has all of the in2tv content plus much much more. With the pull-down menus arranged by station (ala iTunes), the interface is much easier to navigate than Google Video. Still no information about season or ep number if the ep has a title. And no easy way to find a list of TV shows alphabetically since it offers no equivalent feature to iTunes.

    I find the thumbnails just annoying since they are all the same. Either select a meaningful/signature scene for the pic or just give me a list.

    The process is the same as in2tv. Click on your choice to spawn a media player in another window, watch a commercial and then watch your selection. My only complaint? No matter what image I click, I always get the same music video if I select on non-in2tv show. I'm kind of sick of Aesop Rock's No Jumper Cables.

    My other complaint? I can't find a direct link/URL for individual videos.

    The good news? If the show is NOT on in2tv, you might actually see more than 10 eps. You can watch 25 eps of ''Chappelle's Show.''

    The C-Phone Refuses No Receiver

    This morning the USPTO published some details about Sanyo's forthcoming combo cell phone/TV in patent application 20060172760. It's been in the works for a while since the first filing for this version was way back on March 17, 2003 in Japan, but this is our first look at it.

    The big question with any portable TV player is simple. Where do you put the receiver? And the issue is compounded when you integrate the TV player into a cell phone. Sanyo presented two reasonable concepts in their patent application. Here are the exploded views showing how the receiver connects to the cell phone for two different embodiments:

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    A Bad Student Blames His Schools

    Maybe now that student can blame TV instead.

    Last year ep titles taught us the alphabet. This year? I thought we'd tackle two of my favorite subjects — Math and Science.

    If you only read TV ep titles, here's what you would learn about M&S:
    • Addition
      • One Plus One Equals One (''The Man Who Never Was,'' 9/7/1966)
      • One Plus One Equals Too Many (''Occasional Wife,'' 1/31/1967)
      • One Plus One Equals Ed (''Ed, Edd 'n Eddy'')
      • One Plus Tutor Is Three (''Punky Brewster,'' 5/24/1988)
      • 3+1=1 (''O.K. Crackerby,'' 12/30/1965)
      • Two and Two Make Five (''Private Secretary,'' 3/3/1957)
      • Two and Two Make Six (''77 Sunset Strip,'' 11/14/1958)
      • Latin Male + Assertive Female = Danger (''Road Rules,'' 7/21/1997)
      • Dummy + Dummy = Dummy (''The Incredible Crash Dummies,'' 10/24/2004)
      • Money Plus Marlens Makes Four (''Life with Bonnie,'' 11/12/2002)
      • H+2+O = Death (''The Six Million Dollar Man,'' 10/24/1976)

    • Subtraction
      • 22 Minus 1 Equals 4 (''Less Than Perfect,'' 3/2/2004)

    • Division
      • 2 Into 5.56 Won't Go (''The Rockford Files,'' 11/21/1975)
      • Two Divided by J Equals Ex (''Grown Ups,'' 11/8/1999)

    • Relativity
      • B=MC2 (''Growing Pains,'' 11/30/1991)
      • E Equals MC Goof (''Goof Troop,'' 10/28/1992)
    Quite educational, isn't it?

    Tuesday, August 01, 2006

    Opportunity Never Knocks Twice...Well, Almost Never

    Two Tony Awards. Two leading roles on TV.

    Eight performers won at least two Tony Awards for Best Actor/Actress and had leading roles in at least two primetime TV series. Can you name these performers?

    • Shirley Booth ("Hazel" and "A Touch of Grace")
    • Brian Dennehy ("Big Shamus, Little Shamus," "Birdland," "The Fighting Fitzgeralds" and "Star of the Family")
    • Julie Harris ("Family Holvak" and "Thicker than Water")
    • Judd Hirsch ("Dear John," "Delvecchio," "Detective in the House," "George & Leo" and "Taxi")
    • James Earl Jones ("Gabriel's Fire," "Paris" and "Under One Roof (1995)")
    • Nathan Lane ("Charlie Lawrence" and "Encore! Encore!"
    • James Naughton ("Making the Grade," "Raising Miranda," and "Trauma Center")
    • Phil Silvers ("The New Phil Silvers Show" and "The Phil Silvers Show")

    Tonight's New iTunes Offerings

    • ''Aqua Teen Hunger Force''
    • ''CNN Presents''
    • ''Johnny Bravo''
    • ''Sealab 2021''
    • ''The Venture Brothers''
    • ''Who Wants to Be a Superhero?''