NBC Community Gets Awesome With Modern Warefare

Community is one of those shows that started out bad.  I almost gave up on the series but I kept watching because the last 5 minutes were entertaining.  Then by the Halloween episode the show got better.  Still not owner - re-watchable better but to the level that I looked forward to see the next episode. Last weeks episode Modern Warfare is brilliant.  I watched the episode 3 times over the weekend and it's probably an owner for me.

Watch the trailer below.

This episode is a what if Abed made an episode.  Abed is a fanboy character who lives by, breaths and eats his beloved show.  He is constantly quoting or comparing instances to other shows and movies.  I loved what he did for Batman on the Halloween episode.

In this episode they quote, reference and do homages to so many different things.  Starting with a 28 Days Latter homage to set the scene and ending with Die Hard.

I love how they did the set up for The Warriors running homage.  It didn't help that Wolf ran around all weekend calling out "Warriors!"

For those unfamiliar with The Warriors it was an 1979 movie that was hilariously bad.  probably worth watching once or at least no regrets of having seen it once.

Watch the trailer for The Warriors below.

Can you name all of the references made in the show?

Watch Community streaming below.

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Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 4:  Comcast Chairman...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

During the Congress hearing examining the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal Rep. Rick Boucher Presses NBC About Hulu Practices Toward Boxee.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): What about Boxee? Mr. Zucker you probably are in a better position to answer that. Did Hulu block the Boxee users from access to the Hulu programs?

Zucker (NBC): This was a decision made by the Hulu management to, uh, what Boxee was doing was illegally taking the content that was on Hulu without any business deal. And, you know, all, all the, we have several distributors, actually many distributors of the Hulu content that we have legal distribution deals with so we don’t preclude distribution deals. What we preclude are those who illegally take that content.

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA): “Well would you have negotiations with Boxee upon request?”

Zucker (NBC): “We have always said that we’re open to negotiations.”

I’m overjoyed to see congress pressing NBC about their issues with Boxee and Hulu.  They have had past issues with streaming content online and now with Comcast set to take over I fear those issues will only get worse.

Boxee uses a web browser to access Hulu’s content – just like Firefox or Internet Explorer. Boxee users click on a link to Hulu’s website and the video within that page plays. We don’t “take” the video. We don’t copy it. We don’t put ads on top of it. The video and the ads play like they do on other browsers or on Hulu Desktop.

The big difference between boxee and other browsers are that boxee took the effort to make their product available on other platforms that connect easily to the TV.  This is unfortunately perceived as a threat by those studios who don’t get the change in the way audiences want to consume their media.  We go into more detail on Speculative Fiction Today #405 “Many Mini Chucks”.

Zucker’s response makes me cringe because it sounds like the health care debate all over again.  One side says hey lets negotiate on this and the other side says they are more then willing to negotiate yet their actions shows no intention of doing so.

(via Boxee Blog)

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Could Hulu Be in Trouble?

Some sad news out, GE is moving forward on a deal between Comcast and NBC.

Hulu, LLC Image via Wikipedia

Under the terms of that deal, Comcast would own 51 percent of the new entity, which would combine NBC Universal’s broadcast network, theme parks, movie studio, and cable-television channels USA, Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC with Comcast cable networks E! Entertainment, Versus and Golf Channel.

What does this mean for Hulu?

Hulu would then have 2/3 of their owners more interested in the company going away rather then succeeding.

Comcast is interested in keeping the public watching appointment TV and paying for a cable bill, putting their interests against Hulu.

Disney owners of ABC have a long history of ownership issues which is only furthered by the odd change in Hulu’s direction with their acquisition this year.  This season’s lessening of Hulu with many shows on a one week delay and the things going down with yanking Eastwick.

I’m not so concerned that Hulu would get shut down overnight.  What I do see as a possible future is a slow corruption in the quality of the product.  Lessening and restricting Hulu from making the advances necessary to grow it’s audience share.  This would allow it to become insignificant and to fade away.

With hope I want to believe that Hulu’s success will keep them from taking this great product away from everyone.  Hope is not enough.

How do we move forward?

What steps do you recommend we take to help the big studios see the value in offering shows streaming online and the value in services like Hulu which can aggregate those shows into a good player?

(via NewTeeVee)

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Chuck moved to March 2010!!

Chuck vs The Footlong - SAVE CHUCK!
Image by Cara_VSAngel via Flickr

Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone, but NBC is holding off on showing new episodes of "Chuck" until March at the earliest (Airlock Alpha).

WTF?!?  It was bad enough we were going to have to wait to January, but March?  I might loose my mind over this...

NBC didn't give a reason for this move, so I am lead to believe they feed on tears and frustration.

I am not sure if we need to get active about this or not.  Why?  I doubt NBC will care.

What do you think we should do about this?

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Exploring: Merlin

merlin-tvNBC will air the first two episodes of the BBC drama show Merlin on Sunday.  Merlin is loosely based on the Arthurian legends of the mythical wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur.  The show features a young Merlin who is facing a Kingdom where magic is outlawed and the last dragon is imprisoned.  Watch the trailer below.

Above is the BBC trailer below is NBC's trailer... it's fascinating  to see the differences between the two trailers.  Which one do you think is better?

I'm really looking forward to watching Merlin because the BBC has a track record of producing good shows and because Anthony Head is in it, Rupert Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mr. Finch in Doctor Who.

Anthony-head-uther-merlinThe pilot, "The Dragon's Call", is about Merlin at the cusp of adulthood, heading to Camelot where he hopes to find adventure and a use for his hidden talent: Magic.  However at the mythic city, he finds all is not quite as he'd dreamed.

The second episode, "Valiant", is about Camelot's annual sword tournament.  Knights from throughout the realm come to compete.  Among those hoping to win the crown is Knight Valiant. Armed with a magical shield, Valiant will stop at nothing to win his prize.  Merlin tries to expose Valiant as a cheat, but even those closest to him do not believe his claims.  Battling with his faith, friendships and destiny, Merlin attempts to stop Valiant's evil scheme before Arthur becomes the next knight to die.

All thirteen episode of the first season have already aired on the BBC and for those with access they can be streamed online here.

Let me know what you think.  Will you watch Merlin?  If you have watched it should I watch it and why?

For more on Merlin:

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  	 Fandango - We've Got Your Movie Tickets!Don't wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and  avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

NBC and Fox want to kill Hulu!

Image representing hulu as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

During a talk at an Internet Week event the other night, News Corp.’s chief digital officer, Jonathan Miller, suggested some of Hulu’s content might become available only to subscribers. Miller’s comments echoed NBC CEO Jeff Zucker’s words at the D7 conference last week where he said that a Hulu subscription was a possibility (New TeeVee).

Hulu is successful because it is like broadcast TV, free to anyone who picks up the signal... If Fox and NBC get their way, there are some people who will pay, but the majority will go back to P2P for their free TV.

How Paid Content on Hulu Might Work

The only way I could possibly see this working is if they left the standard definition content (up to the hi-res) free for anyone to watch and made the high definition (HD) a paid extra.  I think the hi res video is good enough to keep most people on the site, but the extra cost of sending HD video could be subsidized by those who really want it.

The only other way I could see this working is if they offered a commercial free Hulu as a paid service.  That is something even I might pay for.

If they make all of the content for pay, then Hulu will quickly go out of business.

The "Good" News

Hulu says they have no plans to switch from their free model to a paid one..  Cold comfort, but I'll take what I can get.

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NBC Direct File Sharing

nbc-logo NBC has partnered with P2P site Pando Networks to deliver their NBC Direct free, commercial supported DVD quality downloads. So NBC has gone the way of the BBC and AOL before them to use P2P technology to distribute their videos.

I have always thought that this is the future of these networks. They will have to embrace new media or become extinct. Fortunately for them/Unfortunately for us, all of the NBC shows that are worth downloading are not in production right now, and probably won't be until the fall season, so their is no real way to judge this service. I await the opportunity to check it out.

(via Crave)

Terminator TV

I have no interest in this...

Thomas Dekker (NBC's Heroes) is set to play John Connor in Fox's SF drama pilot The Sarah Connor Chronicles, based on the Terminator film franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dekker, who plays Claire's friend Zach on Heroes, will join Lena Headey in the title role. Sarah was played by Linda Hamilton in the films; John was played by Edward Furlong in 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day and by Nick Stahl in 2003's Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines.

The action of The Sarah Connor Chronicles takes place after the events depicted in Terminator 2 and follows Sarah, a modern warrior and loving single mom to 15-year-old son John (Sci Fi Wire).

I love the first 2 Terminator films.  Ages ago, my uncle Jean and cousin Jeff rented a VCR so we could the first Terminator movie on Video Tape and my grandparents home.  It was the first movie I ever watched on tape.  My first real love and I saw the second one in the theater.  I love them both.  The third one could not happen, plus I heard nothing good about it, so I never watched it... Now they are making a series...

I am more likely to try out the series than I ever am to see the third movie, but I must admit, I would rather see more Firefly...

Hypergiant stars may have planets

A chill went through me when I read:

Planets might exist around a blazing hot star so big its diameter exceeds the orbit of Mars, astronomers said Wednesday (MSNBC).

The idea of more planets is thrilling. The more planets, the more possible homes for life. I admit it would be difficult for life to survive near a hypergiant, but the idea is still exciting.

Soaps on SciFi Channel??

Now, I know I might piss some people off saying this: Dark Shadows was a terrible show, but I understand why it was on the SciFi Channel. What is up with this:

The Sci Fi Channel is going into the soap business. Beginning next week (February 13, 2006) the science fiction cable channel, owned by NBC Universal will begin airing the Emmy Award winning soap opera Passions, starring Juliet Mills as part of its [cut out, I will not promote time] morning schedule (Slice of SciFi).

Will Soap air soon? You know Soap the comedy series? There is an exorcism in it. Am I the only one who thinks SciFi Channel may have jumped the shark on this one?