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As a consumer of media and news about the media, it’s disconcerting when a voice like former NBC executive Warren Littlefield still carries significant weight. Deadline reported in a fluff piece Friday how Littlefield is rounding up his former colleagues at The Sarnoff Creation to discuss the network’s “worst rating performance ever”.

Yes, the network has been abysmal the last six years. I’m not denying shows like “The Playboy Club” or “The Event” were god-awful or didn’t have enough time to find their groove. But the mindset of Littlefield’s era has become horribly antiquated in the last decade.

To review, Littlefield left NBC in the 2000-01 season. The fact the network was struggling on nights that weren’t Wednesday or Thursday notwithstanding, (some of) the television landscape facets of the time include:

  1. Cable, whose programming output was a fraction of what it is today. Neither AMC nor TNT was producing drama, USA was presenting mostly sci-fi and game shows, and FX’s signature show was “Son of the Beach”. Even HBO was not scheduling the amount of original programming it does now, to say nothing of Starz or Showtime.
  2. Neither Hulu nor Netflix existed. For that matter, network websites only housed information.
  3. DVR was in its infancy, and was more novel than practical.
  4. DVDs hadn’t proliferated. Read the rest of this entry »
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Penn State travels to Tuscaloosa to battle Alabama in the nightcap of an excellent second Saturday of college football.  Penn State enters the game ranked 18th in the AP poll and 14th in the Coaches after a 44-14 win over Youngstown State.  Defending National Champions Alabama sit atop both polls after their 48-3 thrashing of San Jose State.

This game is yet another National Championship rematch, the 1979 Sugar Bowl, when #2 Alabama stopped #1 Penn State on the goal line to give Bear Bryant his fifth National Championship.

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None of us have forgotten the last time these teams clashed in the 2003 National Championship game. You would think after seven years these players wouldn’t look to that game as a source of inspiration, but the ‘U’ is out for vengeance. None of the 2010 Hurricanes were even out of high school yet, being somewhere between 10-14 years old when the Buckeyes took down the favored Miami team in a double-overtime 31-24 upset that prevented the ‘U’ from back-to-back titles. Even still, the Miami Hurricanes of today haven’t forgotten about the loss.

still hurts after all these years

Defensive end Olivier Vernon told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: “It’s revenge time. Nobody’s forgotten about that. I feel like I was playing in that game.”

For the Buckeyes what happened in 2003 simply happened in 2003. Even Jim Tressel claimed to be puzzled by the idea that this game holds a sense of revenge for Miami. As for the superstar quarterback of the Buckeyes, the game wasn’t even important enough at the time for him to watch.

Terrelle Pryor, originally from Jeannette, Pa., said, “I’d be lying if I said I watched that game”.

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If this were earlier in the decade, a nation would’ve turned its eyes on this match-up. A regular season clash between Florida State and Oklahoma? If Saturday Night Football existed then, this game would’ve been a no-brainer. Possibly the most important match-up of the season!

But it isn’t 2001 or 2002. In 2010, a Florida State-Oklahoma match-up gets to be a national TV game, but it’s scheduled opposite the more hyped Ohio State-Miami game, and the prime time slot belongs to Penn State-Alabama.

Like its afternoon counterpart, these two teams also met in a championship game. The 2001 Orange Bowl, where Oklahoma beat an FSU team that leapfrogged Miami in the BCS standings 13-2, was their last meeting. Unlike the Fiesta Bowl re-creation though, this is no grudge match. It’s pitting two teams battling back to respectability.

Miami, 2001.

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Might as well put Pets.com's logo up here

Because the economy is stable enough that investors are willing to put their money in, at heart, utterly frivolous enterprises; and because Americans are eager to repeat the sterling success that was the booming web economy of the late 90s, legal internet TV host and Google antithesis Hulu is readying for a fall IPO of $2 billion, according to the New York Times.

The article’s mentioning that the site’s revenue is virtually stagnant this year probably doesn’t look good, and the mentioning that viewership dropped “to 24 million in June from 43.5 million in May” has to have a two-pronged basis. On the one hand, Hulu could justify to investors that the majority of the shows it streams completed their seasons in May which left them with little new content for the month. On the other hand, the site’s announcement of a $9.99 monthly subscription service for the privilege of watching a show’s season in its entirety, as opposed to watching only the five latest episodes of a show for free (which is already offered for “The Office”, etc.) likely didn’t excite the masses as much as they hoped. If one could pay $9.99/month for complete libraries of shows then maybe…

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Anyone who watches “Entourage” knows the career of Vincent Chase as well as any other actor. “Head On”, “Queens Boulevard”, “Aquaman”, “Medellin”, et al are classic films of the last decade loyal viewers practically know by heart. If only we had actually seen them.

I’ve heard enough people say they actually want to “see” a Vincent Chase movie. Not Adrian Grenier, but Hollywood’s biggest star himself. But no production company would pick up the rights to something like “Gatsby” or resume production on “Smokejumpers”. No, it takes too much initiative.

"Fuck commerce!" -Billy Walsh

So to ease the burden, I decided to humor everyone and amuse myself temporarily by speculating (this isn’t fan fiction, dammit) what to expect from the film that launched Vinnie into superstardom, “Queens Boulevard”. I used limited clues from the show itself as well as other bits of inferred information, so it could be completely wrong. Or it hits the nail on the head. See how it compares to your own vision. But first let’s review…

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One of the best websites ever is LATFH.com (Look At This Fucking Hipster). It’s a fairly straightfoward website–once a day they post a photo or video that mocks hipster culture. Recently, they found this Australian car commercial for the Honda Jazz which pretty much encapsulates a lot of what being a hipster is—obscure film (Godard anyone?), organic food, irony, and tight jeans. Perhaps as a sign that the website as made it, the commercial seemingly steals from the website with one of the characters saying, “Look At That Fucking Hipster”. Despite using that instead of this, I think it’s fairly clear that the website was the reason that line makes it into the commercial. Still, check it out—it’s a pretty funny minute and a half.

Enjoy.

James

My anticipation for the upcoming second season of Jersey Shore is absolutely teeming. There is nothing more crass, more trashy or more vain on television. And it’s only right it broadcast on a network that is crass, trashy and vain during the 23 hours of the day it wouldn’t be on the air, but just doesn’t do it as well.

With the season premiere imminent, I expect the press tour to be the equivalent of a juicehead puking up all his jagerbombs after going hard with his bros and grinding on 19-year-old jailbait at a club owned by some Persian cokehead. While this article doesn’t exactly accomplish that, it is nonetheless a start of what I hope will be amazing ridiculousness.

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