In 1991, The Simpsons episode called Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? aired, in which Homer becomes an auto-executive and designs a car that is used to show why American auto-manufacturing had failed: now you can own that car. Read the rest
Len Peralta writes about a Kickstarter for Renfest: "a new episodic comedy series starring Mary Jo Pehl and Trace Beaulieu of MST3K fame and Dave 'Gruber' Allen from Freaks & Geeks. They are trying to make enough to finish the pilot and hopefully create a full season." Read the rest
Judy Belushi and Dan Aykroyd are developing a kid-oriented Blues Brothers animated series with Bento Box, the studio behind Bob's Burgers. Read the rest
Sanders won an unprecedented six out of seven primaries in a streak that culminated with astounding, lopsided victories on Saturday night. MSNBC "covered" it by airing a couple of reality TV shows about life in prison, while CNN preferred to cover some breaking news about Jesus, who has been dead for at least 2,000 years, and who would have felt the Bern anyway. Read the rest
Marko Rakar writes, "The TV show 'Montirani Proces' is a popular show very much like "The Daily Show" and the crew which creates it is very much like The Onion. They have produced six episodes of their show for Croatian National Television, seventh was supposed to air this Sunday." Read the rest
I got quite a treat yesterday afternoon when my email and Twitter filled up with people letting me know that I was mentioned in a Jeopardy! clue! Read the rest
The Daily Show alumnus is the only woman on late night, doing 30 minutes (minus commercials) once a week, on politics, gender and current affairs. Read the rest
David Weiberg handed down his childhood set of Star Trek: original series action figures to his eight-year-old son, and then the two of them built a fantastically detailed, correctly scaled replica of the original Enterprise's bridge to go with them. Read the rest
Gentleman juggler Mat Ricardo writes, "Last week I got booked to travel to China and appear on their big world records TV show to pull the biggest tablecloth ever. Here's how none of that happened and I ended up literally fleeing to the airport." Read the rest
Adieu, Al Jazeera America, and all the DNA it absorbed from Al Gore's once massively-hyped Current TV.
The network's closure is particularly sad news for all the great TV news journalists they recruited since Al Jazeera America debuted in 2013. Al Jazeera America will shut down by April 30, 2016, many media outlets report today. The New York Times reports that its imminent death was announced at a companywide meeting on Wednesday. The Times previously reported last year about network staff complaining bitterly of a “culture of fear.”
“There was an exodus of top executives, along with a pair of lawsuits from former employees that included complaints about sexism and anti-Semitism at the news channel.”
In a memo to the staff, Al Jazeera America’s chief executive, Al Anstey, said the “decision by Al Jazeera America’s board is driven by the fact that our business model is simply not sustainable in light of the economic challenges in the U.S. media marketplace.”Read the rest
“I know the closure of AJAM will be a massive disappointment for everyone here who has worked tirelessly for our long-term future,” he continued. “The decision that has been made is in no way because AJAM has done anything but a great job. Our commitment to great journalism is unrivaled.”
Al Jazeera America went on the air in August 2013 after it bought Al Gore’s Current TV for $500 million. It promised to be thoughtful and smart, free of the shouting arguments that have defined cable news in the United States over the last decade.
What an absolutely stunning piece this is. One of my new year's resolutions is to watch the entire series, start to finish, in one big binge.
[Laughing Squid, animation stills via elliot-lim.com]
Matt Taibbi is on fire as ever in Rolling Stone, analyzing the weird relationship between Donald Trump and the media: he does politics in just the way that cable news reports on it: disjointedly, without empathy or nuance or complexity. Unlike polished American politicos, Donald Trump is a TV watcher, and he knows how to speak to his people. Read the rest