2006-07 Television Pilots – An incomplete list of television shows proposed for the television season.
The Best Television Shows of 2006 – To say that television in the 2005-06 season marked a high water mark in the history of the medium probably wouldn't be an understatement. We've come a long way from just a few years back when not many new series seemed to be working while television networks seemed to be stuck in the "Clone Friends " mode. But things have changed.
The Best Movie Posters of 2006 – In recent years, the movie poster has taken a backseat to other marketing media, namely television commercials and web sites. It almost seems as if the poster has become little more than a way for drivers to pull up to a theater to quickly gauge what's playing and when.
Aaron Sorkin and the Myth of an 8-hour Workday – The characters of television shows written by Aaron Sorkin don't live by the union mantra "eight hours for work, eight hours for play and eight for what we will." They live their lives through and for their jobs. Outside of work these characters have no life, no identity.
Documentaries that Aren't, Blurring the Line Between Fact and Fiction – Over the years a sort of sub film genera has emerged — the faux documentary. These films aren't quite fiction nor docudrama, they're something else altogether. Blending fictional elements with a documentary style, these films can best be described as the "fauxcumentary."
The "Thing" About Halloween… – The great thing about Halloween is that it's the one time of year that lots of good sci-fi/horror films turn up on television — and I'm not talking about any of the recent Saw movies. I'm talking about classic sci-fi/horror, where the men are real-men who use large caliber weapons and flame throwers to send the beasts of hell back from where they came. My absolute favorite sci-fi/horror movie from this period has always been The Thing From Another World (1951).
Battlestar Galactica: Nothing's ever gonna' be the same again – What began as a limited mini-series in 2003, morphed into a full-fledged weekly-series in 2004 that has cumulated as one of the SCI-FI Channels top rated shows since. Battlestar Galactica proves on a weekly basis that the genre doesn't have to consist of colorful lasers-beams and aliens with funky foreheads to be considered sci-fi.
"Heroes" and "The Nine" – Early Reviews – I couldn’t wait to see the pilot episode to the series Heroes, set to premiere this fall on NBC. Unfortunately, Heroes wasn’t worth the wait. The Nine might just be a winner next season and I am genuinely interested in seeing where this all goes. One question, though: surely there can’t be a second season of The Nine, right? How many seasons will viewers stick around to see exactly what happened inside the bank?
"Jericho" and "Studio 60" on the Sunset Strip – Early Reviews –Just when you thought the threat of nuclear war on television screens had evaporated in the mushroom clouds of The Day After (1983) comes the “post-apocalyptic drama” series Jericho on CBS.
Wizard World Chicago, 2006 – On Saturday August 5, I once again had the opportunity to attend the Wizard World Convention held annually in Chicago. What used to be known simply as a “Comic Book Convention” has recently morphed into the “Comics, Cards, Games, Toys, Anime, Manga, Gaming, TV and Movies!” convention. (Now that’s a mouthful.) See photos from the convention here.
Yes Virginia, there is Snakes on a Plane – Generating “buzz” from the title alone, the upcoming movie Snakes on a Plane has garnered the kind of rabid publicity that movie producers dream about – the FREE kind. Even before there was a Snakes on a Plane movie trailer, before anyone outside of Hollywood had even seen megastar Samuel L. Jackson battling the serpents on the big-screen, thousands of “netizens” had already seized on the movie, creating blogs, websites, fake trailers and made up dialogue for the flick.
Jim Cameron’s Guide to Being Silent – It’s been nearly a decade since writer/director James (Jim) Cameron proclaimed himself the “king of the world” at the Academy Awards after receiving the Best Picture Oscar for his film Titanic. Grossing nearly a BILLION dollars in ticket and VHS/DVD sales and winning a total of 11 Academy Awards, Titanic is still a benchmark of film success.
Taking Down the Story Behind Heat – It's about the backstory on how a proposed television series entitled L.A. Takedown would one day become the movie Heat. Along with this article, I've also included a page of photos comparing Heat to L.A. Takedown as well as a more in-depth chart comparing the two movies.
84 Charlie MoPic – I believe the first time
I saw 84 Charlie MoPic (aka 84C MoPic) was when it aired on PBS in
the early 1990s. Though I've seen it several times since, most of these
viewings have come from a worn VHS tape.
Spring: The Season of Finales – Every spring, supporting actors on dramatic series must take a collective breath as they read the season finale scripts for their respective shows. Generally, the television season finale is characterized by a sensational cliffhanger ending, meant to entice viewers back next season to “see what happens.” The more supporting characters shot, stabbed and/or possibly dead (and written out of the show forcing the actors to look for new work) in the finale, the better.
Independence Day – The week just before the July 4th holiday is widely considered to be one of the most important dates for movies at the box office. Over that week and weekend, Hollywood usually releases their biggest, most action-packed movies guaranteed to lure the movie going public into theaters. Last year War of the Worlds opened that weekend and this year Superman Returns. Which got me thinking about another July 4th movie that's a decade old this year, Independence Day (ID4).
Deadwood. A nice place to visit… – For this column, I had originally planned to wax poetic on the television series Deadwood. But as the saying goes, plans are easy; it’s the execution where things get difficult.
Spin-offs, the redheaded stepchild of the TV industry – A few weeks back, the Sci Fi Channel announced a spin-off of their popular Battlestar Galactica series entitled Caprica was in the works, while last winter the BBC announced a show called Torchwood would be spun-off of their Doctor Who series.
Justice League: Unlimited – With little fanfare and even less notice, it was with disbelief that I learned that this season of Justice League Unlimited, season 5, would be its last with the final episode airing Saturday May, 13. Not only was Justice League a good television show (animated or otherwise), it is part of one of the best and longest running animation spin-offs in television history.
Spielberg’s WWII obsession – After one night spent watching movies, I came to the conclusion that director Steven Spielberg has an obsession with World War II. In my estimation, Spielberg has been involved with, in one form or another, over 50 hours of material dedicated to the Second World War.
This summer, "Superman Returns" – On June 30 Superman Returns to movie theaters, but where has the "Man of Steel" been the last 30 years?
"Lost" on "Gilligan's Island" – I can’t imagine anything more horrible that being trapped alone on a deserted island. I’m not sure what would get me first, the loneliness or the absence of a working toilet. Time and time again, television producers use the stranded-on-an-island theme as the plot to their shows.
The Sopranos – "Oh Poor You!" – The Sopranos has retuned to television after a hiatus of nearly two years and life is good.
When in doubt – copy, steal, adapt – It’s that time of year again – time for television producers to begin pitching, writing and filming television shows, a tiny minority of which will turn up on television screens later this fall. That’s right, it’s pilot season!
Sam Peckinpah – “…it’ll do.”– Twenty-two years ago film director Sam Peckinpah died of a stroke at the age of 59. Though Peckinpah might be gone his work lives on. In his nearly 30-year career spanning the 1950s to 80s, Peckinpah directed 14 feature films and created a television series (The Westerner).
Dr Who, an introduction – It’s been a long wait, but the Brit import series Doctor Who is finally returning to our shores after a decades’ absence. Originally broadcast here in the America via syndication from the 1970s to 1990s (in Fort Wayne on PBS), Doctor Who vanished from the cultural landscape after an aborted attempt at Americanizing the show in the mid 1990s.
This summer, count on the “cheese factor” – When winter slowly strangles the life out of northeast Indiana, it’s the perfect time to look forward to warmer weather and cheesy movies. Next summer looks like it will be no exception when it comes to the “cheese factor.”
Top 5 of '05 – It’s been a long year for the movie studios. According to MSNBC.com, the total box office revenue this year is projected to fall below that of 2003 and fewer tickets were sold this year than in 1998. Somehow, I don’t think movies are getting any cheaper to make.