TV Archive


Watch The Full Pilot Of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom

More networks should put full-length videos of pilot episodes up for free. Showtime did Homeland in a roundabout way (to watch the uncensored version you had to play the web marketing game), but HBO’s got the whole pilot of The Newsroom up on Youtube for no fuss.

Personally, I thought the pilot was pretty entertaining. Yes, the BP oil spill is a little too conveniently dramatized in hindsight, but you really get to see smart Sorkin characters do what they do best in it.


Damon Lindelof On The Verge Interview

Joshua Topolsky interviews Damon Lindelof:

There’s some interesting stuff here for Lost fans in this hour-long interview straight from one of the the show’s showrunners. This is the first I’ve seen of Lindelof talking candidly at length about some of the issues that people had with Lost and the finale. Don’t expect any mindblowing revelations, but at least there is some confirmation as to what was “real” and wasn’t.

via The Verge.


NBC’s Revolution Might Be Good

Jon Favreau, JJ Abrams, and Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring from “Breaking Bad”) involved in a new show about a apocalyptic post-electronics world? Sign me up!

The trailer actually looks pretty good. Maybe this will be the Great Sci-Fi Show on network TV we’ve all been searching for in the post-Lost era.

Update: Jon Favreau reveals more about his involvement in “Revolution” to The Hollywood Reporter

via The Trailer for NBC’s ‘Revolution’ is Epic.


The Oatmeal Tried To Watch Game Of Thrones

It continues to baffle me why content providers are still giving people reasons to pirate their content. They should be making piracy the least appealing option.

I tried to watch Game of Thrones and this is what happened – The Oatmeal.


Viggle Is Basically A Freemium Game That Pays You For “Watching” TV


Last night I was browsing the “Featured” tab on the App Store on my iPhone and came across an interesting new app called “Viggle,” which promised to reward me with fabulous prizes for watching TV. Now, I watch my fair share of TV, so naturally this proposition intrigued me.

Basically, the service asks you to “check in” when you are watching a TV show, similar to GetGlue or IntoNow. The difference is that with Viggle, you get 2 points every minute that you’re “watching” TV. When you’ve collected enough rewards points, you can redeem them for things like Amazon, Best Buy, Sephora gift cards or a month of Hulu Plus service.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Yes and no. The “prices” of the rewards are high enough that you can’t really quit your day job and watch TV all day. A $5 gift card to Starbucks or Best Buy costs 7,500 points, which equates to 62.5 hours of TV watching. There are other ways to gain points, the most significant of which is by checking into “Featured” shows. Being checked into Glee nets you an extra 325 points, for example. You can also get scattered bonus points here and there for setting reminders to watch shows, answering trivia questions, or watching video advertisements. Many people have already reported redemption of the rewards, so at least Viggle is coming through on their end of the bargain as of now.

The biggest problem I had with the service is that the audio detection simply doesn’t work. I tried sticking my phone next to both my TV speakers for an episode of Family guy and next to my iPad streaming an episode of 30 Rock and neither would register on Viggle in four attempts. After two failed attempts, Viggle will give you the option of manually checking into a show. The catch is that you can only manually check into programming that is currently on “live” TV. (Viggle asks you for your cable provider in order to offer you options) I managed to “check in” to Jimmy Fallon’s show even though I wasn’t watching.

This got my gaming mind thinking. Since there’s a cap of 120 points per hour (you don’t get extra points for channel flipping), your best bet at points generation is to make sure you are always checked into a show. You can do this even if you aren’t near a TV by failing the app into letting you check into something manually. It’s a pretty silly busywork task to have to open an app on your phone and do some taps every hour or so to generate points, but it’s really no different than checking in to harvest your plants in FarmVille or opening a new floor in your Tiny Tower. To take the freemium game analogy further, earning bonus points by “watching” a video advertisement is basically the same thing as watching a progress bar as your Sim goes poop. There’s even rewards for opening Viggle at the right time (bonus points for checking into a featured show).

Granted, having a random list of checked in shows may not be as appealing an end result as a flourishing TinyZoo with Panda Bears, but I’d wager that getting gift cards to real stores is probably a good piece of compensation for that. I think that if I’m ever feeling bored enough to want to do some tapping on my phone, getting some more Viggle points may be in my future.

Since Viggle’s website has nothing but a link to their iTunes page, if you want more details on the service, checking out their Twitter feed is probably your best bet. The service says they are working on both Android and iPad versions of their app for release “soon.”

Download Viggle on iOS


Archer Tells The Best Diarrhea Story You Will Ever Hear

Being a huge fan of Archer, I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of Aisha Tyler’s “Girl on Guy” podcast until recently. Even more unbelievable is how awesome H. Jon Benjamin’s diarrhea story is in the first episodes of the series. In the words of Rob Lowe’s character on Parks and Recreation, “It is LITrally the funniest thing I have heard.” It’s long, but well worth every minute.

The story starts at about the 53:30 mark of the podcast. You won’t be disappointed.

(Here’s an iTunes link for the episode in case you can’t view the embedded Flash player above)

girl on guy 01: jon benjamin of archer.


Liam Neeson Is Funny

Wow, why didn’t anyone mention that there was a new Ricky Gervais sitcom coming out? Apparently, it’s about a life of a showbiz dwarf, played by Warwick Davis.

The first episode aired last night in the UK and it included this gem of a scene with Liam Neeson:


Ex-Comm Looks Like A Show You Will Want To Watch

West Wing + X-Files = Ex-Comm:

Favreau is set to direct the potential pilot, with 20th Century Fox TV and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s studio-based K/O Paper Products producing. Ex-Comm is described as a present-day “presidential procedural” and a cross between the paranormal suspense of The X-Files and the political intrigue of The West Wing.

The sucktitude of this team’s last project, Cowboys and Aliens, dampens my enthusiasm just a tiny bit for this project, but just a tiny bit. This show could be all kinds of awesome, especially with the involvement of Alias and Star Trek producers  Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.



AMC’s The Walking Dead Trailer and Premiere Date

AMC’s on top of the television world right now with Mad Men and Breaking Bad as arguably the best shows on TV. So why wouldn’t they one-up HBO’s True Blood with an undead series of their own?

The Walking Dead is based off of Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series of the same name. It just won the 2010 Eisner Award for Best Ongoing Series. I admit, I never got into the comic, but it’s definitely on my list to start before the show premieres at least.

Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) writes and directs the 90 minute series premiere about surviving the zombie apocalypse in small town middle America.

Check out the awesome trailer above and set your DVR’s for 10pm on Oct 31. (Yeah, I know. I couldn’t have passed up slotting the premiere on Halloween if I was a network executive too.)


Hulu Plus A Timed Playstation 3 Exclusive?

This morning, Hulu announced plans for a paid version of their popular video streaming service entitled, “Hulu Plus.” Among the added features is the ability to access Hulu through different mobile and home theater devices.

Now, the first thing I noticed on the devices page was this large discrepancy in time between the service’s availability on the Xbox 360 and other set-top devices:

If I were a betting man, I’d certainly put some money down that Sony ponied up something fierce to have Hulu available on their game console first. It’s a big deal. Consumers have been pining for Hulu on consoles for a long time now. Sony should be coming out the huge winner in this. If I was in a monogamous relationship with the Xbox 360, I’d be pissed and wanting a PS3.

Not so if I had only read this statement from Microsoft community evangelist Major Nelson:

We are happy to announce that Hulu will be coming to Xbox LIVE as part of their Hulu Plus experience. In the announcement today, Hulu announced a preview of their Plus service, along with a series of partners of which Xbox LIVE is one of them. We’re working hard on creating customized experience for Xbox LIVE members, which means that Hulu Plus will be coming to Xbox 360 in early 2011. We are taking the time to ensure that the Hulu Plus experience for Xbox 360 is the best on TV and like our other entertainment experiences it will not be a port, but rather a custom experience that leverages the Xbox LIVE community features.

I’d be thinking, “HOLY SHIT!! Hulu coming on my Xbox 360?! And they’re making it special just for me!”

This isn’t an AAA exclusive game, folks. Since when have 3rd party services on a game console been anything but a port? It certainly won’t take over a year of additional development time to get Hulu streaming on an Xbox 360. All signs point to a timed exclusivity deal between Sony and Hulu here.

It’s amazing how effective marketing spin can be in coloring how we react to news.