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Is Traditional TV On the Verge of Disappearing?

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With new services trying to emulate Netflix and Hulu popping up every day, it may seem like traditional satellite and cable TV is becoming obsolete, but is it? Millions of Americans have said they want to switch from traditional TV to on-demand streaming, but very few actually have. This has made many researchers beg the question, what’s stopping them?

Selection. That is one thing that services like Hulu don’t have compared to the traditional method that gives you hundreds of channels that are constantly playing shows and movies 24/7, non-stop. No matter how many shows Hulu and Netflix get to sign-on to their service, it comes with two consequences: adding cost for customers and delayed playing times.

While Hulu is doing pretty well when it comes to keeping up with the release dates of some new shows (about a week delay typically), the selection is still slim, and other services are doing even worse. Netflix was the pioneer in video-on-demand streaming services, they brought millions of customers into the industry with a $9.99/month subscription.

While Netflix originally started pushing itself with on-demand movies, as more citizens announce they want to cut the cords and get away from the traditional TV, competitors have begun to spring up. All of the competition has led to a great push within Netflix’s headquarters to get more TV shows and new releases onto their service, but they aren’t fairing too well. While Netflix has managed to gain nearly 60 million subscribers, current users still frequently disregard them due to their outdated selection of TV shows and movies (and lack of variety).

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Obviously, on-demand streaming services have to find a balance between new releases and classics while keeping their prices low and selection wide. This is tougher than it seems, and new companies are still trying to find a way to fill the gap. With this being such an issue, why do so many Americans keep trying to get away from traditional TV?

Cost. Since the beginning of the 21st –century, traditional TV subscribers have complained about the cost of cable and satellite. But, this obviously wasn’t an issue until a few years ago when sites like YouTube began to find their way into the world of TV and movies. Before, traditional TV was the staple for in-home entertainment. If you didn’t like what was on, you rented a movie or went to the theaters. With the up rising of digital and on-demand streaming, the market changes drastically, and pretty instantly, too.

It wasn’t long before people began to realize that on-demand services could be incredibly profitable, and then services like Netflix began. Subscribers saw the convenience of the “watch whatever you want, whenever you want” model and quickly jumped on board. The less than $10/month fee wasn’t bad, either.

But, today, in the world of instant movies and on-demand television, people are becoming pickier about selection while still demanding a low-cost. This is something traditional TV providers have been doing their best to achieve for years. Obviously, especially in today’s market, traditional TV providers are having to lower their prices as much as possible while broadening their packages and doing their best to adapt to the digital world. While companies are attempting to stay on top of things, is the market leaving traditional TV behind?

The short answer: no. There are still billions of traditional TV subscribers, and while many say they want to make the switch, two problems still haven’t been solved: cost and selection. Until those two things are balanced within the world of video-on-demand services, there’s a good chance traditional TV users will stay right where they are: in an area where they can get a good deal from their cable/satellite company without sacrificing the hundreds of channels available at their fingertips.

 

While it’s true Netflix has nearly sixty million users, researchers have revealed that the majority of those users are also subscribed to other on-demand services, and many are still traditional TV subscribers. While on-demand television has proven to be convenient and extremely profitable, it’s very unlikely that traditional TV users will be ditching the industry anytime soon.

In fact, it’s much more likely that both the traditional TV and on-demand TV industries will continue to grow, not separately, but as a compliment to one-another. Since traditional TV began, it has been the perfect way to discover new shows, enjoy your favorite series, and have fun with the family. On-demand services have brought similar benefits (with less selection) and also allow you to sit down and watch a classic movie, older TV show, or even your favorite Netflix (or Hulu) original with the family whenever and wherever.

Either one of these solutions can fit the needs of American families, but it’s more likely that instead of progressing separately, TV-lovers will continue to enjoy both services together. Doing so gives you the convenience of on-demand movies and the wide selection of traditional TV.

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Agent Carter

Set in the 1940s, Agent Carter follows Peggy (Hayley Atwell), an agent refined to secretarial duties, who often work s in secret with Howard Stark. The show frequently expresses the unfair treatment of women during the time while showing resilient Agent Carter managing to excel in the harsh professional environment (usually with snide remarks).

The action-packed and adventurous sci-fi show was crafted by Marvel and has received great ratings from fans since its beginning. Hayley Atwell, who plays Agent Carter in the series, originally premiered as the same character in the Captain America series. Agent Carter is set in the period after Captain America’s death.

Starring alongside Hayley Atwell is James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Dominic Cooper, and many others. Topping out at 6.9 million viewers, Agent Carter has been one of the most successful shows on ABC. Only in its first season, the show is already set to renew with the next set of episodes coming in 2016.

Along with Agent Carter, Hayley also makes appearances in the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the same Peggy Carter character. The continuance of the cast throughout multiple films and shows is perhaps what gets fans so connected with the characters, and there is no doubt of Marvel’s success. Recently, Marvel has been launching many series based on their much-loved comic book characters. Already out is Flash, which has had much success on the CW. Netflix also took the chance to produce their own Marvel series starring Daredevil which is now in its first season.agent-carter-2

Even with some critics downing the show, ratings have stayed rather steady and fans continue to rave about the series. While the show was based in New York for season one, announcements have been officially made that the show will be moving to L.A., and apparently, so will Peggy, as in a recent interview with the English actor, Hayley announced she would be officially moving to the new city in order to shoot the second season.

Hayley Atwell has been successfully able to pick up her role as Agent Carter throughout multiple series over the years, perhaps because she takes the chance to practice at home. Hayley admitted that she sometimes took her character’s clothing with her to wear while out-and-about on the streets, and she even showed proof that her driver’s license photo depicts her in Carter’s outfit.

Her devotion to the role shows well in the series, and even with the high-action stunts and sometimes dramatic scenes, Hayley tends to bring a confident, slightly sarcastic, and rather humorous part to every episode.

But, fans of the show are slightly fearful after news of the second season came about. While the change to L.A. will bring many possibilities for Carter, only Hayley has been confirmed in the second season, meaning there is a chance Carter’s friends and colleagues may not be moving with her. While little premise has so far been given for the dramatic change, fans are hoping that the show will at least manage to mix in Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) into the L.A. storyline.

While fans of the show remain hopeful for their favorite characters (only second to Peggy), critics have continued emphasizing the slight drop in ratings that has occurred in the last leg of the first season. Agent Carter’s premiere seemed promising, but multiple sources have now reported that the show has dropped in ratings. But, ABC has continuously stood by the series, and it’s ranked third in its time slot.

It seems people who do like the show, tend to really love the show, as many have expressed on various websites. RottenTomatoes.com users have given the show an extremely “fresh” 97%, with 88% saying they liked it. Reviewers all agreed, its Carter’s personality – and the fact that she defies all stereotypes of the time – that keeps viewers coming back for more.

Those on other sites had similar things to say, with IMDb users giving it 8.3/10, and Metacritic users rating it 7.9/10.agent-carter

With all of the changes and plans in place for the second season, there’s a good chance ratings will rise yet again as viewers will get to follow Peggy to a new city with a new mission, and possible a new set of co-stars.

Fans are continuing their support of the show, with many adding in their hope that the cast will stay the same, at least as much as possible. Hayley has yet to reveal any real details about the second season, but she, too, has admitted her hope that her fellow co-stars will be able to follow her into Peggy’s new city, even if they only get to make brief appearances.

Until the second season comes, Carter’s fans will just have to wait and see.

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Rhea Seehorn

Rhea Seehorn is an American comedienne and actress, who presently stars as Kim Wexler in AMC’s hit Television series Better Call Saul. Rhea is a popular Hollywood actress best known for her roles as Cheri Young in ABC’s I’m with Her and as Roxanne Harris in NBC’s Whitney.

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Rhea was born in May 12, 1972, and has spent a major part of her childhood in Virginia Beach. Growing up, she relocated a number of times and stayed in diverse locations such as Japan, Washington D.C., and Arizona, among others. From a very young age, she studied painting and drawing, following in the footsteps of her father and grandmother. Although she continued her interests in Visual Arts, she secretly harbored an ever-increasing passion for acting in movies and theater. However, she did not know as to how to turn her acting dreams into reality, and lucky for her, she was introduced to contemporary theater in college. It is here that she learned of the acting classes being offered.

Initially, while at college, she was hesitant about enrolling in the acting classes, wondering if it was the right path for her. It was during this time that her father passed away. Before his death, in his last words, he encouraged his daughter to pursue a career of her choice. It was all the encouragement she needed and later, graduated with a degree in drama and visual arts. She put her acting degree to good use, landed her first roles in Washington, D.C. and performed on multiple stages, including the Arena Stage and the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company.

However, Rhea wanted more and better roles for herself by now. For this reason, she moved to Manhattan and performed with Playwrights Horizons. Her Broadway début came with Neil Simon’s 45 Seconds from Broadway. Rhea’s acting talents in 45 Seconds from Broadway, did not go unnoticed and within no time landed her a place in the ABC sitcom, I’m with Her, as a series regular opposite Teri Polo, David Sutcliffe and Danny Comden.

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Seehorn relocated to Los Angeles, and since then, there has been no stopping her. She has enjoyed numerous series regular as well as guest star roles including The Starter Wife, Trust Me, Dollhouse, Head Cases, Burn Notice and Franklin & Bash. She even appeared in Disney’s The Shaggy Dog alongside Tim Allen. Seehorn’s movie credits include the likes of Riders (2001) and Floating (1997), and also independent short movies – The Pitch, The Gentlemen and The Case Against Karen. As far back as 1997, she had guest-starred in one of the episodes of the NBC TV series, Homicide: Life on the Street. More recently in 2005, she starred in the ABC telefilm Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. Some of the theater gigs to her credit are The World Over, All My Sons, Stop Kiss, How I Learned to Drive, Freedomland and Marat/Sade.

Presently she plays the role of leading lady Kim Wexler, an ambitious legal eagle and love interest of Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman. The two have a romantic history together, but that clearly does not stop her from slowly outpacing him professionally.

Thorn is currently not involved in a relationship with anyone. Despite her popularity, she has managed to keep a low profile and hence, no information is available regarding her previous affairs. What is known, is that she has been slowly paddling her way up the stream and is already worth millions. With Better Call Saul, she has finally received a much-awaited opportunity to truly make it big in the show business. Check out the entertainment options available at http://www.tvdonewright.com/dish-network-packages-.html.

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Things You Didn’t Know About Backstrom

Backstrom is an American crime comedy-drama television series developed by Hart Hanson based on the Swedish book series by Leif G. W. Persson. Set in Portland, Oregon, the series premiered on January 22, 2015. The season’s finale will air on April 30 of this year.

The series follows Everett Backstrom, a Portland Police Bureau detective lieutenant played by Rainn Wilson. He’s described as “overweight, offensive and irascible” in the show, and constantly struggles with his self-destructive tendencies. He’s part of a team of eccentric criminologists.

Despite The Show‘s impressive cast, Backstrom has received generally mixed reviews that teeter on negative. Metacritic has given the show a score of 51 out of 100 based on 30 critics, indicating mixed to average reviews overall. Similarly, Backstrom holds a rating of 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on an average critic review of 4.9 out of 10 on the site. The site’s consensus was that “Backstrom’s stale cop humor is a cop-out, availed little by the talented cast’s attempt to make good of sloppy schtick.”backstrom

Some critics have pointed out that audiences may be unable to remove themselves from the idea of Dwight Schrute, Wilson’s previous character on The Office. Unlike Schrute, Backstrom is a slovenly detective of sorts, more like the irritable, genius aspects of Sherlock Holms than anything else, and as far away from his previous character as Pluto is from the sun.

The fact of the matter, Backstrom isn’t someone most audiences will like. Even the most charitable audiences will find him irritating at best. But that’s his entire appeal, in so many words. He’s unbearable, self-absorbed and self-destructive, much the same as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House were, but in this case, he’s police detective. Like his predecessors, he’s trying to do some good in the world, begrudgingly so, but only because it’s something he wants to do at that moment.

Drawing comparison again to House, Backstrom serves as the voice in the back of everyone’s head that says things inside that would be wholly inappropriate to say aloud. But Backstrom doesn’t have a filter, or he doesn’t care enough to, and lets free whatever thoughts may be inside of his head at that moment, and you can guarantee there’s at least a dozen.

Robert Lloyd, a journalist for the Lost Angeles Times and frequent Metacritic reviewer, also compared Backstrom to Dr. House, stating, “s with the pill-popping Dr. House, a fellow Fox television character Backstrom favors a bit, we are meant to be something less than actually concerned by his behavior. When he chugs two boilermakers in rapid succession, it is played mostly for laughs — nervous laughs, but laughs.”backstrom-2

Similar to the creator’s previous show, Bones, which held a host of interesting and vibrant characters, Backstrom’s supporting cast is a whacky collection of the most varied human beings under one roof. From church owner to mixed martial artist, this Oregon Police Department team is just as interesting as their leading grouch.

To catch the latest episodes of Backstrom, tune in to FOX on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Central. Click here to find other television and web entertainment opportunities.

The Very Best Opera Performances on PBS’ Great Performances

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PBS’s Great Performances is a television series that is dedicated to bringing cultural arts to people’s televisions, free of charge. Each episode of Great Performances features a professionally filmed program—typically, stage productions such as ballet productions, musicals, plays and operas are performed.pbs-opera-arts-festival

There have been many excellent episodes of Great Performances in the past and the show is immensely popular due to its accessibility for those who, for one reason or another, may not be able to see many live stage productions. Many people tune into the show to catch productions of operas, both classic and modern; there are some opera productions on the show that stand out from others. The following are the very best of the operas aired on Great Performances.

Doctor Atomic
When most people think about opera, they think about classic love stories or tragedies (or both!). Doctor Atomic breaks the mold by being an opera about the creation of the atomic bomb. The opera, written by American composer John Adams, is an English-language show whose story leads up to the very first testing of the atomic bomb at Los Alamos. The Great Performances production features grand performances that capture the lush, but unusual, score of the show—including the intense ‘Batter My Heart’ number, which is the true highlight of the production.

Doctor Atomic, while not traditional opera, will have audiences thinking—not just about the story they’ve witnessed, but about the atomic bomb, the nature of using science to create such weapons, and the impact they have had on society.

 

Anna Bolena
The Great Performances ‘Anna Bolena’ is a more traditional production, this time about the famous wife of Henry VIII who found herself beheaded on trumped up charges of treason after she displeased the king one too many times. This production is a true classic: the costumes are more or less period appropriate, the sets are simple but authentic, and the performances are soaring and suited to the richer, traditional score of the opera. Another excellent aspect of this production is the editing done for the filmed Great Performances episode; the editing manages to capture the drama and tension in the show perfectly.

Fans of older operas will likely enjoy this production the most, although opera lovers who enjoy history—especially the Turbulent history of Henry VIII—may also get something great out of the production.

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Are you a PBS fan and love opera? Here’s helpful information to keep the entertainment lively in your house. 

2 Things the Dead’s “Self Help” Did Right

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Self Help was the episode that fans of the Walking Dead comic book series have been waiting for since season 4—the moment when Eugene, who claimed to be a government scientist with a top-secret cure for the walker virus, would be exposed as a fraud. And the episode, although it did have its downsides, did not fail to deliver in terms of character development, tension and surprises. The following are two significant things that Self Help definitely did right!

It managed to inject some humor back into the show


It’s obvious that a show like The Walking Dead isn’t going to be a barrel of laughs; the storyline is often just too dark to allow for more frequent comedic moments in the same way that other dramas, such as Mad Men or even Breaking Bad, can. Self Help, however, found just the right moments for comedy that didn’t seem out of place or ridiculously forced. In the bus scene, for example, the good-natured ribbing about Eugene’s mullet (or, as he called it, his Tennessee Tophat) brought some light banter that was a perfect foil to the darker aspects of the episode. Another great example is the group’s reaction when Eugene takes out a group of walkers with a high-pressure firehouse—Abraham’s laughter and Glenn’s face were nothing but priceless.walking-dead-self-help

It took the time to explore the characters without dragging the plot
The Walking Dead often excels at moments where the plot is put on the sidelines for character development or explanation. Unfortunately, the show also has the tendency for these moments—which in some cases span entire episodes—to drag on for far too long. But despite the fact that not too much actually happened in the span of Self Help, the episode never felt slow paced and the nuances we got to see developing in the group’s roles—such as Tara’s speech to Eugene and Glenn’s moment with Abraham or even Abraham and Rosita’s intimate embrace —fell right into place.walking-dead-self-help-lol

We also learned more about the past of the ‘leader’ of this sectioned group, Abraham; not only did we get to see the moment that Eugene first told the big lie that sent him packing towards Washington D.C., we also got to see a much less righteous side of Abraham that was a shocking contrast to his normally orderly, almost professional behavior.

Were you surprised by the reveals from “Self Help” or were you un-phased because you’ve ready the comic books? Either way, this t-shirt is for the zombie lovers in your life. 

 

 

 

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Things You Probably Didn’t Know About My Dog Skip

My Dog Skip is best known as a heartwarming film starring a young Frankie Muniez. The film was based on a memoir of the same name by Willie Morris, which covered Morris’s youth in Mississippi and his experiences raising Skip, his beloved pet dog. The film was a modest success in the box office and received mild critical praise, particularly for performances by its younger cast. The following are some interesting things that you (probably!) didn’t know about My Dog Skip, the original memoir, and the dog that inspired them both.

Skip was really a Fox Terrier

In the film, Skip is portrayed by several different Jack Russell terriers. In reality, however, Skip was a Fox Terrier. The decision to use Jack Russell terriers may have been made because they are easier to train for film work.

Skip was portrayed by several dogs in the film, including two famous dogs

Several dogs were used to portray Skip in the film, including two famous Hollywood dogs: Moose and his son, Enzo. Moose typically played Skip in the scenes where he was older, while Enzo portrayed the younger and more energetic Skip. Moose and Enzo are both most well known for their role as Eddie on the hit series, Frasier. Moose died in 2006, while Enzo died in 2010 from cancer–only one day after the fourth anniversary of his father’s death.

Enzo was the stand-out on the set of My Dog Skip

Although both Moose and Enzo portrayed Skip in the film, it was Enzo who received special praise from the show’s creative team. The director noted in an interview that he wished he could work “with actors who were as well prepared as Skip … there was not a [trick] we asked the dog to do that he wasn’t able to do.”

Willie Morris never saw the final film

Willie Morris, who was consulted for the production of the film, suffered a heart attack shortly after the film was finished. Willie was able to see an early screening of the film, which he praised, but the author unfortunately died on August 2nd, 1999, several days after seeing his memoir on the big screen.

Moose appeared in a national ad campaign

Moose, one of the two most famous dogs to portray Skip in the film, was the star of a national ad campaign for the Coach Fashion Company.

 

Think your dog is a celebrity? Let the world know.
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There’s no “Zombie” in The Walking Dead

Even though The Walking Dead TV show is definitely about zombies, there hasn’t actually been a single utterance of the “z” word in the show. (The comics are another matter, however.) Why does the show shy away from the word “zombie”? According to the show’s creators, the story is set in a world where the concept of a zombie—the dead rising to live in search of brains and flesh—does not exist. That means no Night of the Living Dead or its countless sequels—and definitely no Zombie Survival Guide.

The-Walking-Dead-zombieIn other words, the characters in the show are dealing with something that they have not ever dealt with before. Imagine if suddenly the world was overrun with vampires. And then imagine that we don’t know what vampires are, have never heard of them, have never read a single Anne Rice novel or Dracula adaptation—and that’s the scenario of The Walking Dead. But, of course, with zombies.

Although the characters shy away from using the word zombie, there are still plenty of other terms the employ when talking about those pesky living dead.

Walkers

The most common word is, of course, walkers. The “walkers” term comes from the fact that—and I’m sure you’ve already guessed it—the living dead walk, or roam, around looking for delicious people to eat.

Geeks

No, the group isn’t calling the living dead a bunch of computer geeks—in the show, “geeks” is often used by Daryl or Glenn as a derogatory term for walkers. It may be referring to their mindless state, or the fact that they are no longer quite human.

Biters

This phrase first showed up during the Woodbury saga and is a favorite of The Governor. Biters is, of course, straight and to the point. What do the living dead do? They bite.

Floaters

Another specific walker term which is infrequently used, but has still popped up a few times throughout the show. Floaters is used when the group encounters the living dead who have found themselves trapped, usually in water or mud, and cannot get out. For now, anyway. (Watch out, Carl!)

Lurkers

This phrase isn’t used as much as walkers, but it often comes up after the group encounters a zombie that seems to pop up out of nowhere–from behind counters, out of bushes, or from behind a tree.

Cable Internet Plans Are Improving

How many important documents, family photos and home videos do you have strewn around your home? Did you know that you can have a simple easy online storage location for all of your family media? Jump over here and ask your cable TV provider about how easy it is to get high-speed internet services.

These services are faster and more reliable than dial up, DSL or even satellite. You can get as much as 105 Mbps for an incredibly fast download speed and enjoy the benefit of high upload speeds, as well. You can enjoy this while you build an online storage file for all of your important documents and family memories. With the right internet service provider, and the right online storage provider, you have a safe and secure location online.

When you are done with your online storage, you can move on to other things, such as streaming your playlists and HD movies and programming. You can also pay your bills online and to do your banking and shopping. When your children have a school project to do, you won’t have to rush to the library, because they can access the internet at home.

You can connect with traditional wired connections or with wireless connections on your portable devices. You can use this Wi-Fi to roam around your home as you choose or to even go out on the porch to enjoy the warm weather while you surf or communicate with friends and family all over the world.

You don’t have to worry about these services being safe for your family. Your cable internet provider can give you internet security and internet Parental Controls for the safety of your family and your devices.

The internet security software works in the background and doesn’t require in extra effort on your part for it to be effective. It will work continuously to block malware that can do damage to your hard drive. Malicious programming such as trojans, spyware, adware, viruses and others can cause your hard drive to freeze up so that your device doesn’t work anymore. It can also hurt the device’s ability to perform.  Since it can block this programming, you are safer from hackers and phishers that would try to take your personal information and use it for identity theft.

When you allow your children to roam at will with their devices, you are going to want to make sure they are safe online. You can set the Parental Controls to block the sites you don’t approve of and you can use them to monitor online activities and chats. Do this to make sure you know who they are talking to and what they are doing with their time and you won’t have to worry. The Parental Controls can also restrict online access so that you know they are getting their chores and homework done.

These services are the perfect solution for your home. If you get television programming and phone service through your cable provider, ask about a bundled service package. It can save you money on monthly discounts. Click here to find out which cable company services your area of the country.