Belushi widow & Aykroyd produce Blues Brothers animated series

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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

From beyond the grave, Terry Pratchett orders Neil Gaiman to adapt Good Omens for TV

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After several false starts, including one that involved Terry Gilliam and a groat, Neil Gaiman has announced that he will personally adapt he and Terry Pratchett's oustanding, comedic apocalypse novel Good Omens as a six-part TV series. Read the rest

CNN celebrates Sanders' six primary victories by airing a "documentary" about Jesus

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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

First order of business for hard-right government: canceling Croatia's answer to The Daily Show

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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

Awesomely grisly Walking Dead pop-up book

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It's the pop-up book zombie fans have been clamoring for as they shambled through the countryside, acting as proxies for mass free-floating anxiety about the other. Read the rest

I was a Jeopardy! clue

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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

Holy crap, Samantha Bee's Full Frontal is *awesome*

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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

Starve: the best, meanest new graphic novel debut since Transmetropolitan

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The launch of Starve, the new comic from Brian Wood, creator of the landmark DMZ and artists Danijel Žeželj and Dave Stewart, was widely celebrated as a major new comic that started as strong as Warren Ellis's Transmetropolitan.

Howto: make your own fantastically detailed Star Trek: TOS bridge playset

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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

Don't agree to do record-breaking tricks on Chinese TV. Just don't.

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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

Al Jazeera America is shutting down

Al Jazeera's logo at the MIPTV, the International Television Programs Market, event in Cannes April 2, 2012  REUTERS

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.”

A woman passes by the Al Jazeera America broadcast center in NYC Jan. 13, 2016. REUTERS

Snip:

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.”

“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.

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A fan's animated homage to HBO's 'The Wire'

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“I designed and animated this piece as an homage to my favorite show of all time, HBO’s The Wire,” says animator Elliot Lim.

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]

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The underlying horror of the rebooted Full House

Ah, the power of music. Original trailer below.

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New ten-part series on surveillance & corruption from creator of Aaron Swartz doc

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Brian Knappenberger, the documentarian who created The Internet's Own Boy, a beautiful documentary about Aaron Swartz, has announced a new ten-part documentary series called "Truth and Power," which will show on Pivot. Read the rest

Donald Trump does politics like US TV, which is why he's so popular

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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

J Edgar Hoover loved Efrem Zimbalist's "FBI"

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Michael from Muckrock writes, "While J. Edgar Hoover wasn't a big fan of much media in the 60s -- he worked to rewrite one of Hitchcock's scripts and made Walt Disney re-work Tomorrowland -- there was one show that struck a chord: ABC's The FBI." Read the rest

Last chance to buy a TV-B-Gone!

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BB pal Mitch Altman informs us that he's ceased manufacturing on his marvelous invention the TV-B-Gone, a keychain remote control that turns off any television with a push of the button. It's great fun in sports bars, airports, restaurants, and wherever else there's an idiot box that annoys you! Grab one now because when they're gone, you'll have to make your own (also great fun). Mitch writes:

In 2003 I quit my job to explore ways of making a living doing what I love doing. It was kind of scary, since I had no idea how I would make enough money after quitting my work. But I knew that I had to quit doing what was only OK, to make time to explore what I truly love. One thing I knew was that I wanted to design and make one TV-B-Gone remote control -- just for me. I wanted to be able to turn TVs off in public places!

It took me a year and a half to make the first TV-B-Gone remote control. And when I did, I went all over San Francisco turning TVs off everywhere I went -- and enjoying the hell out of it! And, of course my friends all wanted one. So, I made them for all of my friends. But, oddly, most of their friends wanted one. And when it turned out that many of the friends of my friends' friends also wanted one, I thought it would be interesting to make a bunch.

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