Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Cord Cutting Is The Obvious Result Of A 70% Spike In Cable TV Prices Since 2000 (Tech Dirt)

May 10, 2018

Blame it on me and my kind. From Tech Dirt,

We’ve discussed time and time again how, when faced with an evolving video market, the broadcast and cable industry repeatedly decided to double down on bad ideas. While consumers increasingly lamented having to pay $130 per month for a massive channel bundles filled with sub-par content, the industry refused to offer serious a la carte options and then jacked up prices even further. When consumers began to complain about high costs and annoying ads, cable and broadcast executives responded by trying to stuff more ads into every viewing hour by speeding up or editing down programs.

So for anybody paying attention, the fact that cord cutting is expected to set records in 2018 shouldn’t be particularly surprising. And it’s equally unsurprising that a recent study by Kagan highlights how soaring cable TV prices are contributing to the cord cutting trend. The firm was quick to note how the average cable bill has increased in price by 74% since 2000, even adjusted for inflation.

Read the full article on Tech Dirt.



Gabriel Sherman to Write Trump Movie ‘The Apprentice’ (Hollywood Reporter)

May 6, 2018

I’ve often reminded myself there is one thing we need to remember about Donald Trump. Only one thing. His mentor in the 1980’s was Roy Cohn, That’s all you need to know. If you are unfamiliar with Roy Cohn, Vanity Fair and New York (magazine) both have pieces on him and his relationship with Trump. It’s frightening. To quote Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, Cohn was “the polestar of human evil… the worst human being who ever lived … the most evil, twisted, vicious bastard ever to snort coke at Studio 54.”

From Hollywood Reporter,

Donald Trump is getting the big-screen treatment in a film called The Apprentice that will dramatize his rise to power, focusing on his early influences like attorney Roy Cohn.

Gabriel Sherman, special correspondent to Vanity Fair, who also authored a book about late Fox News founder Roger Ailes, The Loudest Voice in the Room, has been tapped to write the original screenplay for Amy Baer, who is producing the pic through her Gidden Media.

Fasten your seatbelts.

‘Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’: Ellen Page Joins Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis in Netflix Sequel (The Hollywood Reporter)

April 28, 2018

Outstanding news from The Hollywood Reporter,

It’s official: Netflix is reviving Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City as a 10-episode limited series.

The streaming giant on Tuesday confirmed the 10-episode sequel to the Showtime/PBS take on the LGBT-themed novel. Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis are confirmed to reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal, respectively, from the original series. Barbara Garrick also will return as DeDe Halcyon Day. The Netflix take also has enlisted Ellen Page, who will play Shawna. Lauren Morelli (Orange Is the New Black) has joined the production and will serve as writer and showrunner.

Based on the books by Maupin, Tales of the City follows Mary Ann (Linney), who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter (Page) and ex-husband Brian 20 years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture-perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Dukakis) and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.

From the description, seems to me this adaptation emerges from the book, Mary Ann in Autumn. I’m a little sad they didn’t start out with Michael Tolliver Lives, which would give them a 3-season arc to work with, but I’ll take what I can get. It will be interesting to see if the hair and make-up people femme up Page for her role as bisexual Shawna Hawkins. I think she has the potential to create an iconic character for herself, like Dukakis did with Anna Madrigal. I’m also very excited to find out who they cast as Jake, the transman gardener and who they get to play Ben, Michael’s husband. The script tease shows a scene with MaryAnn and her Darien, CT husband which makes no sense. He stayed off-stage in the books, referred to but never seen. Lots of questions for this Maupin fan.

Read the full article on The Hollywood Reporter.

Another Hulu bundle: Hulu and HBO

April 24, 2018

First Hulu announced a bundle with Spotify, the streaming music giant. Now Hulu’s teaming up with HBO. From USA Today,

The latest tempting offer dangled before cord-cutters and other streaming video lovers: Add HBO to your Hulu subscription for $4.99 monthly, a $10 savings off the regular price for six months. The deal is available to new and non-current HBO subscribers for a limited time.

Read the full offer on USA Today.

OCEAN’S 8 – Official Main Trailer (YouTube) #Oceans8

April 18, 2018

Step aside boys…

Ocean’s 8
In theaters June 8th, 2018
Having this much fun is a crime. #Oceans8 stars Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, with Rihanna and Helena Bonham Carter.
Trailer here.

Spotify and Hulu offer $13-a-month subscription bundle (CNET)

April 12, 2018

From CNET,

Spotify and Hulu widened a popular bundle Wednesday to all of Spotify’s US subscribers. They’ll soon be able to get both services for a total of $12.99 a month.

Spotify is also tweaking its free tier to be easier to use on mobile phones, according to a report by Bloomberg. The changes could give free mobile listeners more control over what’s playing on a playlist and give them access to playlists more quickly.

The Hulu deal, which is $5 monthly discount to what you would pay for both separately, combines a $9.99 Spotify Premium music-streaming subscription with Hulu’s tier that costs $7.99 and still has commercials. As an introductory promotion, the first month will cost $10.99 and the next two months are $9.99.

It’s only available to current Spotify Premium members in the US, but this summer anyone can sign up for the package, the companies said.

I’m probably not going to take advantage of this for now, because I’d rather have the commercial-free Hulu. Still, it’s a great deal for someone wanting to explore Hulu who’s already a Spotify customer.

Read the full article.

LGBT Film & Television History (updated for 2018)

April 6, 2018

Yesterday I spoke at my friend, Dr. Sally O’Driscoll’s EN 291: Gender & Sexuality in Film & Literature class at Fairfield University. This was my second year invited to do a unit on LGBT Film & Television History. The queer film dork in me gets so excited putting together this program. I literally spent hours and hours tweaking my presentation. This year, I tried to shift the focus from a decades’ march through the 100 years of film (students eyes glazing…) to themes and conversations with the decades briefly discussed for historical purpose. I hope this presentation captured their attention and piqued their interest on the importance of diversity in film and television. I’m happy to share this information via LinkedIn and SlideShare.

Discover the presentation on SlideShare:
LGBT Film & Television History (updated for 2018).

Silver Foxes and My Beautiful Laundrette series (Indiewire)

March 29, 2018

Indiewire reports that two members of the Golden Girls production team are creating a pilot for a show about gay male seniors called Silver Foxes.

And over on the other side of the pond, a television series is being created based on the 1985 film classic, My Beautiful Laundrette starring Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick).

Both projects sound hopeful. Fingers crossed. Read the full articles on Indiewire:
‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘Gilmore Girls’ Team to Develop Gay Senior Citizen Comedy ‘Silver Foxes’
‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ TV Show in the Works With Kumail Nanjiani to Star and Co-Write

The Interstitium, the Largest Organ We Never Knew We Had (Daily Beast)

March 28, 2018

It’s not a movie yet, but it will be. For years I’ve wanted to produce a documentary around the amazing dinner parties my friends Mark Owen and Neil Theise host nearly every weekend for their friends in NYC. Aside from the obvious – who cooks in NYC, there’s my friend Mark’s over the top, best meals ever cooking style. And then there’s his husband Neil’s mash-up of science and spirituality – he’s a liver pathologist who practices Judaism, Buddhism, and Shamanism which makes for some trippy dinner conversations. Those of us who’ve been blessed over the years to be a part of these incredible dinners know a fact: these two men don’t discriminate. There’s no A-list at the dinners. Instead guests create a fascinating mixture of old and young, rich and not-so-rich, creative and conventional, gay and straight. It’s just who they are.

Today Neil made front page news as part of a group of scientists who’ve discovered a new organ in the body. From The Daily Beast,

study published in Scientific Reports on Tuesday suggests that a previously unknown organ has been found in the human body.

More astonishingly, the paper puts forth the idea that this new organ is the largest by volume among all 80 organs—if what the researchers found is, in fact, an organ.

How could what’s being termed as the largest organ in our body escape notice for so long? A dogged trio of researchers stumbled upon it—despite the fact that they argue it’s a crucial part of our bodies and been there all along, right in front of us. It’s an astounding find—but not without controversy.

I’m so honored to call Neil and Mark my dear friends. Their love and friendship means so much to me. I’m thrilled for Neil’s acknowledgement today of his accomplishments. He’s worked so hard his entire life. Check out some of Neil’s videos on YouTube where his science and spirituality intersects.

Discover a world of recipes from Mark’s Urban Food Guy blog.
And remember nothing beats good friends and good food. It’s one of life’s greatest gifts.


Leaving Facebook

March 25, 2018

I’m deleting Facebook, which means Reel Charlie can no longer exist on its own at Facebook without a personal account attached to it. Thank you for following me through Facebook. Please consider going to my blog and signing up for email alerts to keep up with Reel Charlie.

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