Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday a.m. shortcuts: 'Audacity of Hype'

I woke up early this morning to try and get some work done [I'm behind on a couple of stories ...] and received an email alert that Jello Biafra, the former singer of the Dead Kennedys, has formed a new band and is working on a new album.
The band is called Jello Biafra and The Guantanamo School of Medicine. The album? "Audacity of Hype." Hilarious. Jello's MySpace site has two songs posted: [Jello Biafra and the GSM]. Rockin' tunes, targeted, timely lyrics. In other words, pure Jello. Bring it on!

Here is an update on the clunkers situation here: ["'Cash For Clunkers' Provides Boon To Salvage Yards"].
It looks like some of the spare parts are being used before meltdown, which is a good thing it would seem even though this program seems like nothing more than a multimillion subsidy for the auto industry.

The NBC show "Kings" had received a short revival on Saturday nights over the last two months but it looks like the program has been scrapped entirely. Creator Michael Green explained the situation in an online post last week: ["A note from Kings creator, Michael Green"].
Here is an interesting line in his letter about the benefit of tax breaks to keep the show's costs down:
"Some have speculated that the cost of the show was prohibitive. While it is true that the episode budget was high for a first season show, that number was reduced by the outstanding aggregate 30% tax benefit New York provided (which we all hope will remain in effect), thus bringing the cost down to rates comparable to other prime time dramas. And, of course, plans were already made to bring the costs down to whatever number the studio required of us in the future."
Another interesting note: On the day "Kings" was canceled, it was tops in downloads on iTunes. In the end it was nothing more than ratings that killed the show, he said.
According the Seattle Post-Intelligence, the series finale of "Kings" received a total of 1.81 million viewers, a 15 percent increase over the previous week. That's growth but not enough.
As noted by Green, the series also had many online viewers. But online viewers, not unlike online readers of news, don't pay the bills.
Television and the media in general are going through a difficult time right now. We all know that. And, it would seem, that any thinking drama which might go beyond the limits of a typical drama wouldn't work. In many ways, that was "Kings" ... it's Shakespearean in nature, the Middle Ages in modern day ... And that's probably why it went over everyone's head. What's so amazing to me, as a mid-40s white male who has no real interest in much of television these days is that when I finally find a show I enjoy, they go and cancel it. Oh well. I guess I know what a lot of older folks feel like right now!
Check out the archived episodes here: ["Full Episodes: Season 1"]. Viewing this amazing show is worth the time. The episodes will be up online until September.

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