Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Duck Dynasty on A&E

i missed the first two seasons of A&E's hit unscripted series Duck Dynasty but now that i've found it i am loving every moment. 

From A&E's Duck Dynasty about page: "the Robertsons are a Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle." The family business is the manufacturing of duck calls. Duck Commander® Duck Call has been regarded as one of the best on the market since 1973 and has become profitable to the point of making the Robertsons multi-millionaires. 

Unlike the Kanye song more money does not equal more problems for them. A more wholesome and down home family viewers would be hard pressed to find. That does not negate quirky characters [can you say Uncle Si and brother Jase?] but that's what makes the Robertson family so loveable.

Patriarch Phil aka the Duck Commander is a contemporary of Terry Bradshaw and a former NFL draft pick. Phil gave up the gridiron for duck hunting. It's worked out well for him and his high school sweetheart Miss Kay whom he married. Together they raised 4 sons and built the Duck Commander empire.

On the "Duck Be A Lady" episode third son and Duck Commander CEO Willie takes his daughter Sadie to return her prom dress and purchase a new one. The ep is full of fun family moments and father daughter bonding. The clerk asks is there something wrong with the dress and Willie's no-nonsense reply of "yeah, there's not enough material" had me cracking up. A straight-up southern man. i won't reveal the ep's ending but it is both hilarious and heartwarming. And that is the constant in this series. Good times and good values.

Duck Dynasty's 3rd season has concluded. Episodes can be seen online via aetv.com but availability is limited to a select list of satellite and cable providers. Unfortunately my cable provider [TimeWarner] is not currently among them but aetv.com is working on adding more providers. Meanwhile the A&E network is airing re-runs of the series. Please check your local listings for days/times.

A&E Press Release

New York, NY - February 28, 2013 - Fans of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" flocked together for an historic Wednesday night to make the back-to-back season three premiere episodes the network's most-watched telecasts of all time among all key demos, including total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54.

The 10PM episode garnered 8.6 million total viewers as well as 5.0 million adults 18-49 and 5.0 million adults 25-54. For the hour, Duck Dynasty averaged 8.6 million total viewers, 5.0 million adults 18-49 and 4.9 million adults 25-54, making both episodes the two most-watched series telecasts in network history among all key demos.

"Duck Dynasty" has become the #1 nonfiction series on cable in 2013. The Season three premiere grew by 132% in total viewers, 117% in adults 25-54 and 127% in adults 18-49 versus the season two premiere.

"Duck Dynasty" was also the most social show on television Wednesday night. According to Trendrr.TV, Blufin Labs and Social Guide, the series had more total activity across all major social media platforms than any other telecast on television for the night, with both episodes ranking #1 and #2 ahead of "American Idol." AETV.com also witnessed the best day ever for page views and video views as fans gathered online to check out additional "Duck Dynasty" content. New episodes of "Duck Dynasty" air Wednesdays at 10PM ET/PT.

"Duck Dynasty" is produced for A&E Networks by Gurney Productions. Executive producers for Gurney Productions are Deirdre Gurney and Scott Gurney. Executive producers for A&E are David McKillop, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Lily Neumeyer. See photos, take quizzes, watch exclusive video, and get episode updates on the official site of Duck Dynasty.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Defiance Premieres Monday 4~15~2013 9PM on the Syfy Channel

[Syfy Channel Press Release] NEW YORK – March 6, 2013 – Syfy will kick off the spring season with a powerhouse lineup of scripted and unscripted programming led by the groundbreaking transmedia event Defiance (April 15).


Premieres Monday, April 15 at 9PM – Syfy’s highly-anticipated transmedia event Defiance is the first-ever convergence of television and online gaming, featuring an interconnected world between the two mediums as they evolve together into one overall story. The series’ luminous cast includes Grant Bowler, Julie Benz, Stephanie Leonidas, Tony Curran, Jaime Murray, Graham Greene and Mia Kirshner.

Set in the near future, Defiance introduces an exotically transformed planet Earth, its landscapes permanently altered following the sudden – and tumultuous – arrival of seven unique alien races. In this somewhat unknown and unpredictable landscape, the richly diverse, newly-formed civilization of humans and aliens must learn to co-exist peacefully.

Defiance on the Syfy ChannelEach week, viewers will follow an immersive character drama set in the boom-town of Defiance, which sits atop the ruins of St. Louis, MO, while in the game, players will experience the new frontier of the San Francisco Bay area.

The series is executive produced by Kevin Murphy (“Desperate Housewives,” “Caprica,” “Hellcats”), who also serves as showrunner, Michael Taylor (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Rockne O’Bannon (“Farscape”). Scott Stewart (“Legion,” “Priest”) directed the pilot; Michael Nankin will serve as supervising producer/director on the series. Defiance is produced by Universal Cable Productions.

About Defiance [The TV Show]: In the year 2046, it’s a new Earth – with new rules. Over thirty years after various alien races arrived on Earth, the landscape is completely altered, terraformed nearly beyond recognition. To the town of Defiance, on what used to be St. Louis, comes the mysterious Nolan (Grant Bowler) and his charge, Irisa (Stephanie Leonidas).

As they settle into town – overseen by the mayor, Amanda Rosewater (Julie Benz) and filled with residents like the powerful Rafe McCawley (Graham Greene), enterprising lounge owner Kenya (Mia Kirshner) and the ambitious, alien Tarrs (Tony Curran and Jaime Murray) - events begin to unfold that threaten the fragile peace this border town has fought for.

About Defiance [The Game]: As the events of Defiance unfold weekly on your TV screen, you can see how the residents’ struggles impact the game of Defiance, a high-octane, multi-platform experience from Trion Worlds! For the first time in history, a TV show and a game will exist concurrently in a shared universe, influencing and impacting the other!

In the game of Defiance, players take on the role of Ark Hunters, specialists in survival, combat and tracking who brave dangerous frontiers to retrieve lost relics of advanced or alien origin in return for great financial rewards (The Arks are the ships that brought the aliens to Earth).

Players can search for Arks on their own, simultaneously join tens of thousands of other players for missions or just explore the fully realized, future world of Defiance (it's really, really big). Custom character creation allows players to adopt a human or alien appearance for their Ark Hunter. With weapons, armor and special abilities that evolve with experience, Defiance is a gaming experience that must be played to be believed.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Annette Funicello October 22, 1942 - April 8, 2013

[Press Release: Annette Funicello's Official Website]

Beloved Mouseketeer and Iconic Teen Star Annette Funicello Dies at Age 70

BURBANK, Ca., April 8, 2013 - Actress Annette Funicello, long-time Disney and Beach Party star, passed away on Monday April 8 at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, CA, at the age of 70. She died peacefully from complications due to Multiple Sclerosis, a disease she battled for over 25 years. Beloved by television viewers in the 50s for her stint on Disney's original The Mickey Mouse Club, and by film buffs for her numerous roles in a series of popular teen-oriented movies in the 60s, Funicello became a pop culture icon.

Commenting on her passing, Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said, "Annette was and always will be a cherished member of the Disney family, synonymous with the word Mousketeer, and a true Disney Legend. She will forever hold a place in our hearts as one of Walt Disney’s brightest stars, delighting an entire generation of baby boomers with her jubilant personality and endless talent. Annette was well known for being as beautiful inside as she was on the outside, and she faced her physical challenges with dignity, bravery and grace. All of us at Disney join with family, friends, and fans around the world in celebrating her extraordinary life."

Diane Disney Miller, daughter of Walt Disney, added, "Everyone who knew Annette loved and respected her. She was one of the loveliest people I've ever known, and was always so kind to everyone.

Annette FunicelloShe was also the consummate professional, and had such great loyalty to my father. Annette will always be very special to me and Ron.” Diane’s husband, Ron Miller, who helmed the Disney company in the 1980s and worked with Annette when he was a young assistant on The Mickey Mouse Club, recalled, “She was always in good spirits and ready to help out if she needed to step in when something unexpected happened.”

Oscar®-winning composer and Disney Legend Richard Sherman, who, with his late brother Robert, wrote many of Annette's biggest song hits, said, "Annette's sweet, unassuming spirit, her love of people, and her capacity to exude kindness and good feelings to everyone she met was part of her beautiful charisma. Because the songs we wrote for her brought us to the attention of Walt, Bob and I always referred to Annette as our 'lucky star.’ My wife, Elizabeth, joins me in sending a heartfelt aloha with much love to our 'Pineapple Princess.'"

Fellow Mouseketeer and long-time friend Sharon Baird observed, "Throughout all the years we were friends she never changed from that sweet person who cared so much about others. She always had time for everyone; family, friends and fans alike. It’s no wonder she was America’s sweetheart."

Born October 22, 1942, in Utica, New York, Funicello and her family moved to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley when she was four years old. She was discovered by Walt Disney at age 13 while dancing the lead in Swan Lake at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank and he invited her to audition for his new children’s TV series called The Mickey Mouse Club and was hired on the spot to become a Mouseketeer. The show debuted on October 3, 1955 and Annette soon became the most popular member of the group. The series ran for three original seasons and in reruns through the 1990s.

After leaving the Mickey Mouse Club, Funicello was the only Mouseketeer to remain under contract to Disney and appeared on the TV shows Zorro (1957), The Nine Lives of Elfego Baca (1958), and starred in the Disney feature films The Shaggy Dog (1959), Babes in Toyland (1961), The Misadventures of Merlin Jones (1964), and The Monkey's Uncle (1965).

In the early 1960s, Annette starred in a series of beach party movies with teen idol Frankie Avalon, including Beach Party (1963), Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965). During this time, she recorded a series of hit top-40 pop singles, including "Tall Paul," "First Name Initial," "How Will I Know My Love," and "Pineapple Princess." Her string of successful record albums included such favorites as "Hawaiiannette" (1960), "Italiannette" (1960), and "Dance Annette" (1961).

In 1987, Funicello again teamed up with Frankie Avalon to co-produce and star in Paramount's Back to the Beach as parents of a pair of troublesome teenagers. In 1989 and 1990, Avalon and Funicello staged a nostalgic concert tour, performing the beach party music and pop hit singles they made famous in the 1960s.

In 1987, Funicello was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a degenerative neurological disease and in 1992 went public with her illness. Later that year, she established The Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases. It is dedicated to funding research into the cause, treatment and cure of multiple sclerosis and other neurological diseases and continues to be an active charity.

Despite battling MS, in the 1990’s Annette launched The Annette Funicello Teddy Bear Company, marketing a line of collectible bears on QVC, and developed her own perfume line, Cello, by Annette. In 1992, on her 50th birthday, she was named a Disney Legend. However, as she became more debilitated by MS, Annette retreated from public appearances in the late 1990s and has been cared for since that time by her second husband, rancher Glen Holt, who she married in 1986. She was previously married to Jack Gilardi from 1965 until their divorce in 1981. She has three children from her first marriage; Gina, Jack Jr. and Jason, and three young grandchildren.

Summing up the life of the iconic star, Diane Disney Miller quoted a verse from Byron’s “She Walks in Beauty,” that she felt “seemed to have been written for Annette:

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies,

And all that's best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes

Thus mellow'd to that tender light

Which Heaven to gaudy Day denies.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Annette’s memory can be made to The Annette Funicello Research Fund at annetteconnection.com.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Hannibal Premieres on NBC Thursday April 4, 2013 10PM

[via NBC Entertainment Press Release]

Before “Silence of the Lambs,” before “Red Dragon,” Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen, “Casino Royale”) was a brilliant psychiatrist in the employ of the FBI. His task: to help a gifted criminal profiler, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy, “The Big C”), who is haunted by his ability to see into the minds of serial killers.

Bryan Fuller, the inventive mind behind such imaginative series as “Pushing Daisies,” “Wonderfalls” and “Dead Like Me” and the Warner Bros. movie “Pinnochio,” brings the classic character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter to television.

After a particularly grueling case involved in hunting a serial killer known as the Minnesota Shrike, Will Graham threatens to walk away. Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne, “Man Of Steel”), the head of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, desperately needs Will on his team to break the tough cases, so he enlists Dr. Hannibal Lecter to ensure Will’s mental well-being.

Unbeknownst to Will, Hannibal also has a particular insight into these horrible crimes and the psychopaths who commit them. As Will hunts down brutal killers, he is unknowingly sitting across from the most gifted killer of them all.

Hannibal on NBC

It is within this cat-and-mouse game that a relationship begins to grow between Will and Hannibal – two men who have more in common than anyone could know.
Also starring are Caroline Dhavernas (“Wonderfalls”) as Dr. Alana Bloom and Hettienne Park (“Young Adult”) as Beverly Katz.

The series is based on the characters from the book "Red Dragon" by Thomas Harris and was developed for television by Fuller, who also serves as writer and executive producer. Martha De Laurentiis ("Red Dragon," "Hannibal"), Jesse Alexander ("Lost," "Heroes"), Chris Brancato (“Law & Order: Criminal Intent”), Sara Colleton ("Dexter"), Katie O'Connell, Elisa Roth, Sidonie Dumas and Christophe Riandee also serve as executive producers. David Slade (“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse”) is the director/executive producer for the series pilot.

The following preview shows scenes which some may find disturbing. Viewer Discretion Is Advised