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Archive for September, 2011

Now SpongeBob SquarePants is Harmful to Children (Video)

September 12th, 2011 No comments

My father used to call the TV set in our room the “idiot box” when we were growing up.  “Get away from that idiot box,” he would say if me or my brothers watched an episode of The Lone Ranger or Tobor the 8th Man.  Let’s all sing now..”quick call Tobor, the mightiest robot of them allllllll!!!!!”

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OK so I had a blast from the past!

But according to a new study from the University of Virginia I would have fared worse on test scores had I not been watching a dumb cartoon about a robot that saved the day.  Oh, by the way Tobor is robot spelled backwards.  How cool is that?

Anyway back to the study.  Apparently the quick pace of programming such as SpongeBob SquarePants is the cause for children to not perform well on testing of self control and focus.

Huh?

OK so here’s what the study says.  Kids that watched only nine minutes of SpongeBob SquarePants did not do well in those two areas of control and focus when matched against kids that watched slow paced cartoons or spent their time coloring.  Kinda like rap or acid rock music versus smooth jazz or some Anita Baker CD.

Now here’s the skinny on this.  Only 60 kids were studied to come up with this research which is not a huge study.  But you gotta give those putting the research together some props because even 60 kids at the age of four may have you reaching for a double shot of Xanax.  And quite frankly with what I know about statistics, 60 kids is no where near enough of a sample to create a solid expectation of what is real or not real.  There really needs to be a much higher sample of respondents to get even a 3% to 4%  margin of error, like in the thousands for this to make sense.

But you can bet there are a lot of parents turning wringing what’s left of SpongeBob and slicing up SquarePants because of these results.

Read more at the link below.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2011/0912/SpongeBob-study-Do-fast-paced-cartoons-impair-kids-thinking

Rick Thomas

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Charlie Sheen Comedy Central Promo and Very Funny (Video)

September 12th, 2011 No comments

So we’re all looking forward to the Charlie Sheen roast on Comedy Central Monday night and  this is going to be so brutal.  If you’ve ever watch any of the Comedy Central Roasts you know there’s no love lost on some of the jokes that come from the roasters.  Charlie Sheen, who has become the target of a lot of roasting in the past year, will get his due from Comedy Central on the same night his former show premieres on CBS.

And now the promotional video is out and it’s very funny.  But watch when little Mary or Johnny are asleep.  One word of bleep note.     Check out the link below.

Charlie Sheen Comedy Central Roast Promo Shot

James Hibberd, our friend over at Entertainment Weekly got a piece of the action and put up a few jokes that will make even an old school comedy club owner like me cringe.  So this one is going to be pretty blunt against the actor who was dropped from Two and a Half Men and replaced by Ashton Kutcher.

The roast of Charlie Sheen runs next Monday night at 10PM on Comedy Central but here’s a sample of what you will hear.

Kate Walsh Roasts Charlie Sheen Next Monday on Comedy Central

Kate Walsh: “It’s amazing — after abusing your lungs, liver and kidneys, the only thing you’ve had removed is your kids.”

Jeffrey Ross: “If you’re winning, this must not be a child custody hearing. The only time your kids get to see you is in reruns — don’t you want to live to see their first 12 steps?”

Steve-O: “Charlie still hasn’t hit rock bottom. He’s looking forward to it though, because he thinks there’s a rock there.”

Amy Schumer: “You’re just like Bruce Willis — you were big in the ‘80s and now your old slot is being filled by Ashton Kutcher.”

Jon Lovitz“How much blow can Charlie Sheen do? Enough to kill Two and a Half Men.

A link to James Hibberd’s full story on Entertainment Weekly is below.

http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/09/10/charlie-sheen-roast-live-blog/

http://www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml?videoId=396362&title=sheenpocalypse-now

Rick Thomas

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‘NBC4 News at Noon’ LA Sets Lucy Noland, Byron Miranda and Mekahlo Medina, Solid Talent Lineup

September 12th, 2011 No comments

OK I must admit it, finally.  I always said on this blog that I don’t watch LA’s NBC4′s local news in the morning.  Even with Elita Loresca who plays it straight, everybody else on board there kind of sounds like a bad morning team on radio.  Believe me I’ve heard a lot of bad morning team’s on radio.  I was actually part of one.  So I know the feeling.

Lucy Noland Anchor of 'NBC4 News at Noon'

Lucy Noland Anchor of 'NBC4 News at Noon' in Los Angeles

So news content for me on NBC4LA was only in the afternoon.  Then Brian Williams.  Maybe the 11PM version but I’m usually down for the count by then.  Big fans though of the PM drive hosts in Colleen Williams and Chuck Henry.  And the newcomer that is probably the best new talent on NBC4LA in Lucy Noland.

Somebody is getting real smart at NBC4LA.  Cause today at noon on the local station she will be hosting the all new NBC4 News at Noon with Byron Miranda doing weather and Mekahlo Medina doing trending topics, hopefully more digital content for this half hour show.  Thank you NBC4LA.  Why?  Now I have a second reason, beyond Colleen and Chuck, to turn on your news content, now at noon.

Byron Miranda, Weather Guy for 'NBC4LA'

Byron Miranda, Weather Guy for 'NBC4LA'

Colleen and Chuck…credibility.  That’s what you want in your news content.  Throw in Fritz Coleman doing the weather and Fred Roggin on sports and you get credibility.  Period.  End.  Stop.

But then came Lucy Noland dropped in to the 6PM broadcast and bam!  Solid, credible and fit right in.  Which is what NBC4LA didn’t do with their morning news.  Chris Schauble was gone after his WTF moment, Jennifer Bjorklund, well never knew why they got rid of her anchor slot and the passing of longtime traffic guy Paul Johnson were too many changes, too fast for the viewer.

Change is for Barack.  And that’s not working out well for him as the only one about to change is him.

Mekahlo Medina, Trending and Digital Guy for 'NBC4LA'

Mekahlo Medina, Trending and Digital Guy for 'NBC4LA'

But the integration of Lucy Noland to NBC4LA is a perfect fit, so perfect that she’s got the noon slot.  Throw in the really professional Byron Miranda, who has been filling in for Eleta Loresca in the morning, and they will make a great pair.  And I like Byron because as a former ad sales guy he’s not afraid, as some talent is, to give an extra push to sponsors of his weather forecasts.  Hey that’s how we all get paid right?  He does a great job on the weather on NBC4LA.

Adding Mekahlo Medina on trending topics to this mix of Lucy and Byron will give NBC4 News at Noon a great trio.  Why this television station pulled back on Mekahlo is beyond comprehension.  He was fantastic at putting together quality content on the digital world during the morning news program.  That’s when I had interest in that morning show to see what he was trending on that day.

If NBC4LA keeps this program simple with just these three talented persons on board, then they will have two significant day-parts of quality after 12 noon for this viewer.  Not dissing the 11PM show but I’m on a flock of sheep by then so I won’t comment.

Keep it simple meaning don’t throw 15 other people on the set, stay consistent, it’s a great team and it’s good to see a station I’ve beat up on in the past putting quality content on the air at noon.

OK so keep that Joel Grover away from me for dissing NBC4LA in the past .  He always find something.  I saw him down the street from my office building back when he was doing  that story on water waste and crossed the street.  Emptied my pockets immediately but remembered he was a reporter and not Five-O.  Also had to remember it wasn’t 1983 when I really had to clear my pockets. I get disco flashbacks every once in a while.

But good luck Lucy, Bryon and Mekahlo!  I will be watching!  NBC4 News at Noon starts today at noon on NBC4 Los Angeles.

Rick Thomas

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Spike Lee’s Chats His 9/11, State Farm’s Commercial (YouTube Videos)

September 12th, 2011 No comments

So today the 9/11 Memorial opens up in New York City.  You have to get a ticket to get through the memorial and there’s a waiting list as tickets are not available to the public until October with the massive amount of New Yorkers and tourists that want to visit.

Spike Lee

Over the weekend if you watched any television you and I were overwhelmed with the 10th anniversary events and back in the day videos of what took place that day.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Why I had to turn off MSNBC as they ran from start to finish The Today Show‘s coverage of that tragic day.  Yes I had to turn if off yesterday morning because I don’t want to remember that day so much again, I say.

We all will recall exactly and I do mean exactly where we all were that day.  I was working in Media, PA, headed to work in my car when whatever radio station I was listening to broke in with the news.  As I arrived to my office it was packed with about 15 of my employees.  I had the only with a television set where they were all watching NBC News and the coverage of that awful day.

I couldn’t go through that again this past weekend.  I’ve taken significant heat for saying all of this but I want that day to go away.  What’s next a 15 year anniversary?  It’s not for me.  I agree with Howard Kurtz.  It emboldens any terror group, it gives them a reason to be happy about what occurred ten years ago and more important it gives these people reason to try to do something terrible to our people again.

I don’t want them to be happy.  But as I said there are a few people who don’t like what I have said or what I say but that’s why I own this blog.  It’s my outlet.  To be real.  Just like some have said to me, that I don’t have to watch television and the constant coverage of the 10th anniversary of this tragedy.  You don’t have to read this blog.

Some of us will watch this coverage as a reason to remember.  Some of us want to forget.

So with respect to those who are readers of RealTVCritics.com who feel different, here’s a creative take on this past weekend.  Some of the best commercials from State Farm Insurance and Budweiser ran all over pro football’s first weekend of games.  All done very well.  State Farm’s was fantastic.  Watch it’s behind the scenes overview with Spike Lee who produced this commercial.

And as I say let’s all then take a deep breath and look to the future.

Rick Thomas

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Kevin Connolly’s ‘Squawk on the Street’ That “there is an ‘Entourage’ movie coming out”

September 12th, 2011 No comments

“It’s going to take a little time,” says Kevin Connolly but confirmation keeps coming that the very cool HBO show that has ended its run on the pay cable network will be made in to an movie which will bring back the boys in a much bigger way.  Entourage creator Doug Elin has said all along that he wants to do a movie and Entourage executive producer Mark Wahlberg says he would “finance it myself” if he could acquire funds to put a big screen project together.

Where did Connolly make those statements about Entourage?  Strangely enough on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange this morning in a conversation during CNBC’s Squawk on the Street. “It’s certainly going to happen eventually,” Connolly said on CNBC when it comes to an Entourage movie.

Elin told Entertainment Weekly that the half hour format was too short and fans want to experience a longer ride with the cast of Entourage.  “The episodes are too short. {Viewers} want to go on a journey,” said Elin of the movie version of the Entourage.

Elin confirms what Connolly told CNBC this morning about Entourage that “it’s a question of when and how quick.”

Rick Thomas

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Andy Whitfield (1972-2011) Star of ‘Spartacus’ on Starz (Videos)

September 11th, 2011 No comments

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our dear friend and colleague Andy Whitfield,” said Chris Albrecht, CEO of Starz said of the sudden loss of former Spartacus star Andy Whitfield.

Andy Whitfield

Andy Whitfield died today of Lymphoma at the early age of 39.  He was diagnosed with the disease that caused him to drop out of the starring role in Spartacus.  He was working to get started on the second season of the top rated show on Starz when he was announced that he was suffering from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and the series was put in immediate hiatus until the show was green-lit for a second season and a replacement was named.  Another Australian actor Liam McIntyre replaced Whitfield in the title role.

“No words can express the depth of such a loss,” said Spartacus creator Stephen DeKnight.  Who also added “You will be deeply missed, my brother.”

Rick Thomas

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Reba McEntire Comedy Picked Up by ABC

September 11th, 2011 No comments

Reba McEntire is coming back to primetime television and is getting together with the brain power behind the scenes of her The CW comedy Reba.  The country superstar is working with the network on a new project titled Malibu Country and Kevin Abbott showrunner and writer for Reba is back in place for this new series.

The new show follows McEntire’s character’s afterlife where she will divorce her husband who runs around town on her and left her penniless.  She heads to Malibu, California from Nashville with three kids to start a new life.  Her goal is to get her country music career going again but her real effort is not to get caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle.

Rick Thomas

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Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi Together on NBC Comedy

September 11th, 2011 No comments

Goodbye American Idol on FOX, hello a new comedy for Ellen DeGeneres on NBC.  Ellen DeGeneres is headed back to primetime television again as she and her partner Portia de Rossi are putting together a comedy pilot that has been picked up by NBC.

Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres

Portia de Rossi’s last effort in primetime television was in front of the camera with the now defunct Better Off Ted on ABC. And of course fans of Arrested Development remember her integration in show for three years.  She is set to star in this new series.  The new show which is yet untitled will feature two sisters who go at each other and is being produced by Ellen’s production company A Very Good Production.

Warner Bros., which produces the syndicated daytime talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show is also working with the couple to create this new comedy.

Rick Thomas

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Revamped ‘Judge Mathis’ Format with Revamped Rougher, Tougher Judge Mathis

September 8th, 2011 No comments

So I will admit that I’m a big daytime courtroom TV viewer.  Yes, every day I start off my day with KCAL 9 at 9AM watching the long running Judge Mathis show.  Then I catch a bit of Judge Joe Brown but I have limited interest in his cases but watch more because he pads the  audience with some of the hottest L.A. party girls in the city.

Yeah, mid life crisis is the best.

Judge Greg Mathis

Judge Greg Mathis

Then there’s the People’s Court and the number one judge show on television Judge Judy.  But Judge Mathis is the one I get to watch regularly only because it’s starts early in the morning and is great for a laugh or two.  Maybe three.

This season Judge Mathis has been re-vamped.  All new format structure with a lot more intense content between the plaintiffs and the defendants.  And more of those confrontations outside the regular lines of their interaction with Judge Greg Mathis.

The two sides battle well after his honor has left the bench which is a great addition if you like reality television.  Then outside the courtroom where the plaintiff and defendant talk about the outcome of the case, there are more reality TV type fireworks that quite frankly remind me of the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Seems the producers of the show, which has been on the air since 1999, are looking to pick up the combative pace on the show.  Even Judge Mathis gets a bit more testy as the show enters a new season with all new episodes.  He’s been known to go after both sides with no mercy, even a lot harder than Judge Judy.  But this season looks to be a lot more active for the retired district court judge in Michigan.

I kinda like Judge Mathis.  Anybody that can actually say he was a thug, went to prison, onward to law school to become a sitting judge and now a TV judge, you have to give the guy some props.  But for me getting a few laughs before headed to the grind is a great way to start the day.

Rick Thomas

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An ESPN Story and No Arrests, Signing Big ‘Monday Night Football’ Deal

September 8th, 2011 No comments

So I have a story about ESPN and nobody gets arrested, fired, no on air personality’s mistress drives her car on the lawn that guy’s wife’s house, no plagiarizing of an Orange County California newspaper, no on air guy beats up his wife outside a restaurant and whatever else of the litigious kind from the network known as the “worldwide leader of sports.”

Whew!

I could go on but we don’t have that much space on this blog or time to chat about the criminal yuck yucks at ESPN.  This time it’s all about Monday Night Football and ESPN has signed a deal to keep the famed program in place on the cable channel for the next 10 years.  While the Green Bay Packers open up the season tonight against the New Orleans Saints for the start of the NFL season, ABC/ESPN opens up the wallet for a huge investment that also gives them the Pro Bowl, the NFL Draft, 3D rights to those properties and the Spanish language broadcasts of the games.

OK gotta go.  Aaron Rodgers is taking his Packers in to the red zone.  But the wallets over at ESPN will be short over $15 billion over the 10 year agreement.

Rick Thomas

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