Saturday, January 26, 2008

Press Release: FX - There Is No Box


FX - There Is No BoxFX quickly became the home for quality television and arguably is overshadowing its big brother Fox racking up more critical praise and awards than the parent brand. Now the network is branding itself with a There Is No Box campaign. You may have seen commercials for it already but it starting a big push next week including a spot on the Super Bowl. I assume they are getting a discount as Fox is airing the game this year. Now I only watch one of their shows, Rescue Me, but I may have a contest to win a DVD season set of one of their shows in the near future (in fact click here to win a copy of Dirt Season 1 starring Courteney Cox). Below is a promo for the campaign, official pictures for the shows (click to enlarge), and a press release about the whole thing:


video

THERE IS NO BOX

FX UNVEILS ITS FIRST BRANDING CAMPAIGN


Multi-Million Dollar Campaign Features 60-Second Spot in Super Bowl XLII


30 DaysFX, which airs more scripted original series than any other advertiser-supported cable network, will unveil a new multi-million dollar branding campaign, which includes the purchase of a 60-second spot in the “post-gun” position of FOX’s telecast of Super Bowl XLII on Sunday, February 3, 2008. The new campaign, entitled THERE IS NO BOX, reflects FX's reputation as a groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed programmer. The FX branding campaign officially begins on Tuesday, December 18 at 10 PM (ET/PT) in a first-run telecast of the original series Nip/Tuck.

DamagesThe campaign marks the first time in the network's 13-year history that it has put forth a true brand proposition geared to market the network as a whole. The initial phase of the campaign begins across the Fox Networks Group, including all of its cable networks and Fox Broadcasting Company, as well as online through Fox Interactive Media, and print through the many News Corp. owned publications. The branding campaign will be a long-term effort, which includes off-network television, online and print media buys.

Dirt"In the past, we've chosen to let our original programming successes do the talking. In essence, our aggressive branding campaign began five years ago with the launch of the original series The Shield. Now, with the introduction of THERE IS NO BOX, we begin to market FX as a network. Highlighting the commonalities of FX’s diverse series, such as stirring performances and TV cliché-obliterating originality, allows the network’s overall excellence to shine through," said John Landgraf, President and General Manager of FX Network.

The new branding campaign was created in-house by the FX Marketing department's On-Air Promotion, Print Design and Advertising teams.

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"FX has led the vanguard of a revolution in ad-supported TV programming,” said Stephanie Gibbons, Executive Vice President of Marketing and On-Air Promotion, FX Networks. “THERE IS NO BOX speaks not only to the network’s commitment to defying traditional formulas, but also claims FX’s position in a future that will see a dynamic expansion of the boundaries of content distribution that have defined television to date.”

THERE IS NO BOX
Nip TuckThe spots for THERE IS NO BOX will feature the song by James Morrison, "You Give Me Something," from his recently-released album Undiscovered. There are three main network 60-second spots and individual 30-second spots for each of FX’s eight original series. The individual show spots contain phrases preceded by the words “There Is No.” The phrases used in the spots are commonly associated with clichés of traditional genres of television. When coupled with the words “There Is No,” these spots define the way in which each of those respective FX series depart from traditional form. As each spot ends, the FX logo and its traditional klieg-light box fades off screen, followed by the words “There Is No Box.” The klieg light box in the network logo will be phased out over a period of time – with the network logo simply upper case “FX”, in bold.

Rescue MeThe genesis for the THERE IS NO BOX campaign began with research showing a consistent perception among FX viewers – backed by critics – that, no matter what the genre, an FX original series will deliver a viewing experience in a distinctive way that has become an identifiable signature of the channel.

Landgraf added, “We’ve talked about doing a branding campaign from the time I joined the network, when our only original series were The Shield and Nip/Tuck. Ultimately, we decided to wait until our brand had achieved a kind of maturity and fullness across multiple successful series, not just two or three. Another primary reason for this timing was the desire to wait until we could position the brand for all viewers within our target adult 18-49 demographic, including male and female, 18-34 and 35-49. We needed, and now have, a wider array of shows that appeal to each of those groups.”

The RichesThrough its original content, the network has cultivated a consistent outsider point of view and identity. The experience offered to the FX viewer is presented through the eyes of anti-heroes – characters who do not conform to expectation, yet ultimately remain sympathetic. At times they make bad choices in their lives and can face dire consequences as a result, but they are emotionally complex and authentically human.

FX has set the standard for excellence in ad-supported cable television, receiving more Emmy® and Golden Globe® award recognition for its series than any other basic cable network. Of its eight original series, six are dramas - the most dramas ever to run concurrently a cable network, including HBO and Showtime. Since The Shield premiered in March of 2002, FX's average primetime audience has increased +93% among its target audience of Adults 18-49 and has jumped +87% in total viewers.

The SheildWhile FX used two previous taglines, those taglines were never marketed as a true brand position of the network. When the network first launched in June of 1994, the network’s logo was a lower case ‘f’ paired with and upper case ‘x’ in a cube with tagline “TV Made Fresh Daily,” which was a reflection of the network’s live original programming produced from its New York studio, The Apartment. In August of 1997, the network changed its logo to upper case “FX” attached to a box containing klieg lights with the tagline “Fox Gone Cable” to reflect a lineup that was more Fox-centric with off-network runs of The X-Files and NYPD Blue, as well as weekly Major League Baseball telecasts.

FX is the flagship general entertainment basic cable network from Fox. Launched in June of 1994, FX is carried in more than 94 million homes. The diverse schedule includes a growing roster of distinctive original series, an established film library with box-office hits from 20th Century Fox and other studios, and an impressive roster of acquired hit series. For more information about FX, visit our web site at www.FXnetworks.com.

Friday, January 25, 2008

I Want My Music Television vol. XVI


There have been a couple of videos that have caught my eye lately so I though I’d give them some love since the death of Musical Television left a void for a forum on the art form so here they are courtesy of YouTube. I advise you to watch them before you read my reviews if you don’t want me to spoil things. If you are interested in buying the video through iTunes, click the title link (where available, if not the link goes to YouTube where you can watch the video in full screen). If you are interested in buying the song, look for a link in the analysis.


Girls In Their Summer Clothes (Winter Mix) - Bruce Springsteen

Don’t ask me why Bruce Springsteen would release a song about summer in the dead of winter, but it is a great song. I think this version of the song is technically called the Winter Mix, but don’t ask me the difference between it and the original. But the video is beautifully shot and if MTV bothered to nominate actual best videos instead of the best from artists who appeal to fourteen year old girls like they have in recent years, this would be a lock for a moonman.
All-American Girl - Carrie Underwood
Speaking of girls in their summer clothes, Carrie Underwood wears plenty in her new video and I am definitely happier for it. Yeah the song is lame in a cheesy country music kind of way but I’m not sure which Carrie I like the most, the cheerleader, the doctor, the cop, the teacher, or the chemist. Although I wonder if she is subliminally endorsing a candidate in the video. On one hand there is the female president, which could be she is backing Hilary. But the dude grooms and the bride may be a subtle hint she is pro-Mitt Romney.
Amen - Kid Rock
Another person whom I really do not want a political statement from, but it is still hard to not agree with many of points Kid Rock makes in the song, well not that I have ever felt guilty for being white. The song is easily the best of his career.
I Feel It All - Feist
1, 2, 3, 4 was such an infectiously silly video you can’t hate on Apple for co-opting it for there iPod campaign. Even though the latest from Feist isn’t as colorful, it is still odd and hard to take your eyes off of.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

First Impressions: Breaking Bad


Breaking Bad, the second original program from AMC after the critically acclaimed Mad Men, is labeled a dark comedy and definitely delivers on the dark part. The lead Walt is a science teacher who moonlights at car wash; he has a severely disabled kid with another on the way. Oh and he has just been diagnosed with a terminal case of cancer. The problem though is the comedy portion of the show, or more importantly the lack there of.

Not only is the show not that funny, you know it never a good sign whenever an episode, let a lone a pilot of a new show, starts off with a flash back. Whenever a show starts off with a “Three Days Earlier” basically what the writers are telling you is “listen, the actual beginning is pretty boring, so we are going to start in the exciting third act to draw you in before we get to the boring part. As an added bonus, we get to write less because we can just reshow a few scenes.”

What’s worse is there were a couple of characters you know have the potential of being funny but they just weren’t. First is the drug dealer/former student Walt hooks up with when he decides to start making meth to make sure his family is more financially secure when he is gone, but the drug dealer isn’t as snarky as he could be to amp up the humor. Then there is Walt’s brother-in-law/DEA agent who is your typical meathead authority figure but really didn’t have many lines for you to laugh at.

Verdict: Despite the disappointing start, it does have potential if the writers work out the kinks early on especially in raising the laughs quota. I am still going to give it another try or two. Because really, what else am I going to watch, dudes singing karaoke? Breaking Bad airs Sundays at 10:00 on AMC. You can also download Breaking Bad on iTunes. You can also download the show for free on Amazon Unbox for a limited time (see ad below, if it says $0.00 it is still free). Both have a making of the show video free for download.



Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Rest Is Still Unwritten


Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield

So far this decade no one has given more profound advice than Natasha Bedingfield when she told me to feel the rain on my skin, no one else can feel it for me, that only I could let it in. No one else and I mean no one else can speak the words on my lip. Then I should just drench myself in words unspoken; live my life with arms wide open. The rest, of course, has remained unwritten. Despite the life changing advice she gave me, it was safe to assume that she didn’t have much left in her well after that.

The follow up single, titled, um, Single was not as well received then there was the laughable first single from her next album I Want to Have Your Babies. The album ended up getting released in April in England but postponed after Babies failed to make a dent stateside. Eight months later, a version of the album is finally dropping here with a major overhaul, only half the songs appear on the two albums, a name change to Pocketful of Sunshine, and a new lead single, Love Like This featuring the ubiquitous Sean Kingston. Yes the Beautiful Girls dude that ruined many summer house parties last year.

The result of all that reconfiguring leaves not that much change as the album ends up sounding much like the last but without the two huge hits. There are a few listenable songs, Soulmate can be touching if you are search for one yourself, if not, you will just sound like a Christina Aguilera castoff but sung by someone without a vocal range. Happy is the closest to a sing a long on the album but still not even as good as These Words.

Bedingfield’s time as Justin Timberlake’s opening act seems to have rubbed off because many of the songs like the title track and Angel have the futuristic beats from his last album, but her they are so muddled they just don’t work most of the time. Adam Levin of Maroon 5 fame is relegated to background duties but the back and forth between the two would have been much more if Levine would have been featured than the Kingston duet.

Song to Download - Happy

Pocketful of Sunshine gets a Terror Alert Level: Guarded [BLUE] on my Terror Alert Scale.



Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 Winter Music Preview


For the past couple years, the first quarter of the year has been a vast wasteland where record companies drop albums by artist they hope to break in the new year (see last year with Amy Winehouse) or albums that were supposed to release before Christmas but held them because they sucked (see the chick from The Pussycat Dolls this year). Yet scrolling over this years’ Winter Music Preview, even though there really is not a blockbuster among them aside maybe Jack Johnson, there is a decent amount of good (and more than enough crappy) music being released the first four months of 2008.

If you are interrested in preordering the albums from Amazon, the link on the album name will take you their, the links on artists names will take you to their iTunes page. If I left one of your favorite artists off the list with an upcoming album feel free to drop me a comment or feel free to wax poetic in the comment section on which albums you are looking forward to. (Note: release dates subject to change):


January 22

Jukebox - Cat Power: Chan Marshall is back to get her indie queen back from Feist with a album full of cover songs with songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Hank Williams and James Brown. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.

Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield: Of the new songs I have heard, it sounds like Natasha will go down as a two hit wonder. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.


January 29

Tim's House - Kate Walsh: No not that Kate Walsh, this is a British singer that is more Norah Jones than Lily Allen. The album is already available on iTunes.

Just A Little Lovin' - Shelby Lynne: She won the Grammy for Best New Artist in 2001 (almost a decade after releasing her first album) and has been (unfairly) ignored pretty much ever since by the general public.

Moment Of Forever - Willie Nelson: With Kenny Chesney producing, Willie takes on songs by Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan and a few songs he wrote himself.

Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend: This year’s buzz band which means the album will most likely fall under the weight of all the hype.

Her Name Is Nicole - Nicole Scherzinger: As I mentioned in the intro, it is never a good sign when you get moved from the fourth quarter to the first.


February 5

Sleep Through the Static - Jack Johnson: My most anticipated album of the winter, nothing like a surfer to warm things up with snow on the ground. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes.

Detours - Sheryl Crow: Maybe it is a coincidence that Crow hasn’t had a hit since duetting with Kid Rock, but Tuesday Night Music Club producer is back for this album which was recorded in Nashville which could hint at a more folksy sound.

It Is Time For A Love Revolution - Lenny Kravitz: The album title is reminiscent of his first Let Love Rule, a romp of tree hugging 60’s inspired jams.

Lucky - Nada Surf: Who had the group the recorded Popular in the late 90’s sustain a career a over decade later in their office pool?


February 12

25th Anniversary of Thriller - Michael Jackson: Yeah, seeing that this album hit its half a century mark doesn’t make me old at all. But anyways. If I am not mistaken, this will feature remixes by Kanye West and will.i.am.

Shine - Estelle: Speaking of Kanye and will, they will both be appearing on this album British singer/rapper Estelle, the first released on John Legend's label.


February 19

Mockingbird - Allison Moorer: Younger of Shelby Lynn, Moorer releases an album of cover songs with her take on songs by Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash.


February 26

On a Clear Night - Missy Higgins: Huge in her native Australia, where this album already hit number one last May, now she tries to conquer the States. Again (her debut, The Sound of White was essentially overlooked here). This album is already available on iTunes.

Discipline - Janet Jackson: Insert your own wardrobe malfunction jokes here.

Another Country - Tift Merritt: She is Ryan Adams approved, that is all I need to know.

March 4

Warpaint - The Black Crowes: The first album from the band since Kate Hudson tried to pull a Yoko Ono.

Asking for Flowers - Kathleen Edwards: Made some of the best alt-country music this decade that is not credited to Ryan Adams, expect more on this album.


March 11

Hello - Tristan Prettyman: I think I may be the only one who check out her first album that was very Jack Johnson with a female twist, hopefully more people check out the follow up.

Ego Trippin' - Snoop Dogg: Snoop has set the bar high after the Sexual Seduction video. Snoop says there will not be any guests on this album but expect prodution from the Neptunes.

These Are Good Times People - The Presidents of the United States of America: Peaches is one of the greatest songs ever in the history of the world. Or at least from the ninties.


March 18

Bittersweet World - Ashlee Simpson: Yeah, this is going to suck.


March 25

Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings - Counting Crows: I already talked about this in the Fall 2007 Music Preview but it seemed to be pushed back every couple weeks.


Sometime April

Accelerate - R.E.M.
Atlantis - Gnarls Barkley
The Glass Passenger - Jack's Mannequin
Rising Down - The Roots
That Chick - Mariah Carey

Sunday, January 20, 2008

57 Channels and Only This Is On vol. XVI


Quote of the Week: Well sometimes the truth is stupid and ignorant. (Mac McGill, Friday Night Lights)

Song of the Week: Now That I Know - Devendra Banhart (Friday Night Lights)

Big News of the Week: Grammy’s In Doubt?: Last week saw a stripped down version of the Golden Globes (why anyone cares why about twelve foreign journalist known for taking bribes this is what are the best American movies and television shows is beyond me, but to each their own) and this week murmurs of the Grammy suffering the same fate came out thanks to the writers strike. Which left me scratching my head because the Grammy’s do not need writers to put on a good show like the Golden Globes, Emmys or Oscars which relies on bits, monologue and star actors to get viewers.

In fact writers would make for a better Grammy’s, the time they save on stupid banter (they only need to say ten words or less: and the nominees are; and the winner is (insert artist’s name)) could mean another act can perform. I don’t think they have had a host in a couple years. And certainly there are enough musicians out there they can they don’t need members of the actors guild to present. I was a little worried as we are about three weeks away and only the Foo Fighters, who will be participating in the lame My Night at the Grammy’s thing that Justin Timberlake did last year, have been confirmed to perform. Later in the week the Foo Fighters said they would indeed show up despite the strike, Beyoncé said she would honor her invitation to play the show, and the Dap-Kings also said they plan to back Amy Winehouse at the show. And if Winehouse ends up being a no show it is doubtful it will not be a show of support to the WGA.


Coalition Links of the Week:

Buzz issued a bold challenge to recast Buffy the Vampire Slayer. (BuzzSugar)

Eric wrote about the French titles (translated) of American TV shows (Daemon's TV)

Liz previewed Hollywood Residential, a promising new single-camera comedy premiering Wednesday on Starz. (Glowy Box)

American Idol is back, and Mikey's life is suddenly filled with meaning once again. (Mikey Likes TV)

Marcia reviewed the second season opener of Torchwood and, for the most part, liked what she saw. (Pop Vultures)

Rae had fun talking to a fellow Buffy fan and the woman behind Kyle XY's Jessi XX, Jaimie Alexander. (RTVW)

Vance is still undecided about Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. (Tapeworthy)

Desperate for something to watch, Jace tuned into the first two episodes of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and pleaded with John Connor to wash his greasy hair. (Televisionary)

Who do you think would win a knock-down, drag-out fight: NBC's Chuck or Rami from Project Runway? (TiFaux)

Jennifer had a "biting" good time interviewing Moonlight’s Sophia Mylesabout what it’s like working on a show about vampires. (Tube Talk)

We posted an in-depth interview with Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell, who's not surprisingly far more delightful than her somewhat sinister character Juliet. (theTVaddict.com)

Kate watched American Idol for the first time ever - and loved it. (TV Filter)


Michigan Primaries: I didn’t watch that much politics this week as I decided to bust out the first season of The A-Team that I got for Christmas instead, but there was an interesting development that came out of it. With Hilary Clinton being the only one on the ballot (Barak Obama and John Edwards withdrew their names because the state moved up its primary without permission), Uncommitted got 40% of the vote. To put that in perspective, on a cold, snowy day, with an election that didn’t mean anything, 8% of the state put on their coats and showed up at the polls for the sole purpose of not voting for Clinton. Democrats, I smell an unelectable problem.

But my favorite political headline of the week has to be: Sex in restroom stalls is private, ACLU says. Thank God for nutjobs like the ACLU and PETA because if not for them, who would us normal people have to laugh at?


Friday Night Lights: Holy Fracking Weevil Sighting! Too bad they didn’t give him a motorcycle. Hopefully that isn’t the last we see of him. And is it any possibility they import Kristen Bell too so they save her from the train wreck that is Heroes? But anyways. Great episode even with the lack of Landry because we got more of Smash’s mom, Glen, the still bigoted Mac (you’d think he’d watch his mouth after it got him in trouble last season), and no more maid. Check out the latest episodes over at NBC.com.


Promo of the Week:



I love how Mitt Romney got caught in a lie, called out for it, tried to refute the lie, they right back into finishing the lie even though the dude from the AP just let everyone know what he was saying was a lie. How scrpited do you have to be to do something like that?


Next Week’s Pick: Chuck at 8:00 and 10:00 on NBC: Darn you WGA and your silly little strike that have deprived me this year so far of posting a new Gratuitous Token Hot Chick Picture of the Week. Then in a bad scheduling idea not seen since ABC screwed over Knight of Prosperity, NBC is splitting the final two Chuck episodes with The Apprentice in the middle. It is dumbfounding that television executives are that dumb. For those that need something to do so you are not stuck watching Donald Trump, MSNBC is hosting the Florida Republican Debate starting at 9:00. While some candidates try to convince you that Wyoming is a real win or argue over a one delegate difference in Nevada, Florida is the first real primary. To put things in perspective, the Republicans have awarded 146 delegates (with Hawaii giving out another 20 Friday), the Democrats 92 (with South Carolina giving out another 55 Saturday). Floriday will be giving out 114 and 210 respectively. Also current delegate leaders Mitt Romney and Barack Obama still need 1122 and 2077 more respectively to wrap up their nominations.