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From the press release: today announced its new content for the fall season. Each new NBC Entertainment show will launch with robust digital entertainment offerings. Each returning show's digital extensions will benefit from the significant evolution of material, which incorporates heavy feedback from the users. The announcement was made by Vivi Zigler, President, NBC Universal Digital Entertainment.

Here are some highlights of the fall digital entertainment offerings on
"America's Toughest Jobs" ˆ The site features exclusive deleted and bonus scenes, plus extended contestant profiles.

"Chuck" ˆ will premiere the "Chuck" webisodes this fall. Additionally, the site will feature an interactive social network experience for fans - Inside Buy More - which includes games, quizzes and career advice from Big Mike.

"Crusoe" ˆ The site will offer weekly exclusive "making of" featurettes focusing on Crusoe's tree house, gadgets, locations and costumes.

"Heroes" ˆ The perennial favorite will have more of everything fans love - more micro-sites which delve into secrets revealed on air, more graphic novels, more cast commentaries and more popular webisodes in December. A special heroes versus villians social networking experience launches in October.

"Knight Rider" ˆ Fans will be able to investigate the back stories of some of their favorite characters in the Knight Industries micro-site. Plus, a new behind-the-scenes production blog featuring the writing staff and Billy's Blog will provide even more insight. Additionally, users will find an all-new KITT game and interactive Attack KITT and KITT cave.

"Life" ˆ The site will feature Ted Early's Blog, which Ted is keeping as research on his book about life inside and outside of prison with Charlie Crews. A user - generated Conspiracy Wall went live this summer with weekly updates.

"Lipstick Jungle" ˆ Every month, fans will discover a new issue of the web-only Bonfire Magazine, this season featuring models from The Janice Dickenson Modeling Agency. The site will also continue to offer the "Get the Look" fashion feature, where fans can click to buy the looks from the show.

"The Office" ˆ It's Dunder Mifflin Infinity 2.0! The social network will feature new branches, new tasks and new prizes. Additionally, the site will include a new Meredith blog, Angela and Andy's wedding planning micro-site, a Serenity by Jan micro-site, ongoing updates to fan favorite the Quotes game and Office trivia, weekly deleted scenes and the second installment of webisodes slated for November.

"30 Rock" ˆ This season features the popular Kenneth the Page weekly webisodes, more "Ask Tina" video responses, "Under the Bleachers with John Riggi" which will spotlight weekly guest stars and a new feature.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 2:34pm


Paul Brownstein turned me on to this - 3 minutes with the Smothers Brothers and a plethora of other classic TV stars from a 3 hour telethon aired live on PBS Saturday night. Great stuff!

Chef Gordon Ramsay has signed on for two more seasons of Hell's Kitchen and another season of Kitchen Nightmares on FOX.

I just got a preview disc for the new Lone Ranger 75th Anniversary DVD set coming November 11th. This preview only has 4 episodes but they look gorgeous - the digital transfer is amazing, everything is crystal clear and the sound is perfect, astonishing when you consider the show aired in 1949 and 1950. This is not something I would ordinarily care much about, but again, the picture shimmers with light and life. An episode of Lassie was also included with the Lone Ranger guesting - I had forgotten how good Lassie could be, I haven't seen that show since I was a wee lad. This will be a 13 disc set featuring the first two seasons starring Clayton Moore and it comes with a bunch of extras. Classic Media / Genius Entertainment also sent over the commemorative booklet that comes with the set and it's very attractive. Fans of the show are going to be thrilled!

The Cosby Show will join the TV Land line up with a weeklong marathon beginning Monday, September 22.

I've received a bunch of responses to the Tallulah Bankhead Big Show clip. Here's another Big Show moment with Tallu and the incomparable Marlene Dietrich. Those kittens had claws!

Here's another Tallulah / Deitrich mashup from The Big Show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - 8:15am


I just talked to DVD producer Paul Brownstein about the snips in the Best of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour Season 3 collection. Turns out it was Tom Smothers' desire that certain segments not appear again and they were cut when the shows were rerun on E! in 1988. Tom and Paul both felt that no one needed to see the Dick Smothers solo numbers or lame dance numbers. In fact, Tommy wanted to cut more than Paul thought was necessary.

I happen to agree that we probably don't need to see Kate Smith singing some forgettable tune or sit through some of those old school musical numbers that weren't much good to begin with but were, especially in the first two seasons of the Smothers' shows, de rigueur for the medium.

The other edits came, of course, because of music rights. The publishers want a whopping $3.00 per unit sold - that's for a single song - as a royalty for the use of certain tunes. The Beatles? Fugedaboutit, it cost more than that.

Think about that. It's a miracle there can be any musical numbers on DVD at all.

This didn't have to be. When Congressman Sonny Bono asked why his solo number was excised from a rerun of The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour on TV Land - a song he wrote by himself - Paul explained that, because Phil Spector was a co-publisher with Sonny on that tune and wouldn't give them a break on the licensing, it had to be cut. Bono was appalled and intended to fix that by drafting a law when he hit that tree and was killed. Paul tried other avenues but, as he said, Congress is not interested in this issue. It's an outrageous situation for classic television lovers with no solution in sight.

(By the way - did you know there is a theory that Sonny Bono was murdered?)

This is why the Cher show is a no go, at least for now. There were so many medleys, like in the first episode with Bette Midler, the costs would be astronomical. Although I will say, for myself, I'd be willing to pay $100 for a Best Of Cher volume.

Perry Mason DVdIf you haven't checked it out, get this fab Perry Mason 50th Anniversary collection that features the wonderful Barbara Hale with new introductions to the episodes along with a very revealing interview. And I heartily recommend the Smothers collection as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008 - 2:32pm




Check out this retro image of Chasen's the famed Beverly Hills hangout of the stars. That's Dave Chasen who started the restaurant in 1936. The joint closed in April 1995. I remember in the mid-1980s you could buy cocaine from one of the valet guys in Chasen's west parking lot.

TV Blog

The loss of this landmark was just one more desecration of the old Hollywood landscape. Which reminds me - Netflix the documentary Off The Menu - The Last Days of Chasen's, it's really wonderful and after watching the film you may, as I did, want to delve into the commentary recorded a few years after the film was made.

Saturday, September 13, 2008 - 1:43pm


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