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Friday, February 11, 2011

"Toy Story 2" Launches a Come Back for Ken


Mattel's Ken gets his own reality show

Ken Carson is ready for his close-up.
Mattel Inc.'s latest marketing push, to celebrate the milestone of its Ken doll hitting the big 5-0 next month, includes Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and a reality show on Hulu called "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend."
Last year, upstart television production company Hudsun Media contacted the El Segundo-based toy giant with an idea for a show after learning about the "Ken Initiative" from an advertising firm. Hudsun pitched a program akin to "The Bachelor," but something that would have a little fun with Ken's "boy-next-door image." Michael Rourke, chief executive of Hudsun, said Mattel immediately embraced the concept as part of its campaign to make Ken cool again.
The show, primarily shot around Los Angeles in November, debuted on Hulu last month. "Genuine Ken" is a contest between eight potential "Kens" going through the paces to prove to Barbie-like judges that they have all of the qualities of Ken: integrity, style, fashion sense, good looks, nice abs, good manners and the ability to listen and understand what makes Barbie tick. 
"There is a fun, celebratory and campy nature to the show," Rourke said in an interview. Mattel, he said, was "in complete agreement in the spirit in which we approached the project: It was about having fun with this great icon while also exploring what it takes to be a great boyfriend."
 Click here to read the full story in The Times.
-- Meg James
Photo: A scene from "Genuine Ken: The Search for the Great American Boyfriend." Credit: Mattel

Will the library district price community arts out of existance?


Actors plan on attending a meeting Wednesday February 23rd.

I grew up in an arts rich community, working in park district, library and school district spaces. The rents were there, mostly to cover staff costs and a security deposit, but never to shore up library "revenue" or generate funs. These facilities and the non-profit groups that use them, are shoring up the wealth of a communty in ways that cannot be measured in dollars and cents but are much more valuable than pocket change for overall community wealth.

Now cash strapped clark county is looking at earning money on the backs of volunteer community theaters, providing education, experience and support for various communities in Southern Nevada.

The Clark County Library District's recent announcement that it was considering substantially raising fees on, among other things, local stages, potentially leading to a major decline in community based theater and the arts, which are already suffering from the recession and attacks on public funding from other sources. The Wenesday Feb. 23 meeting will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Las Vegas Library, 833 Las Vegas Boulevard North.

Health Care and Sports

Verify . . . verify . . . verify. Don't always assume someone is writing the whole truth and take it as such. If you want to talk about loopholes and drastic effects of such . . . why not expound on this new Health Care Bill being forced upon every American citizen by our current President? It's unconstitutional and morally wrong in every sense. It is going to wreak more havoc on health than fix it. Each State has the right to govern, and this takes that away. Second of all, I bet you could get a lot more American dreams coming true as far as being a pro-athlete if they were willing to sign on for only $15,000 as well. Unfortunately America is spoiled and $15,000 is only a hand full of bird seed.
By a student

PS: Do your research on the other side as well to build this argument. You appear to be one-viewed without considering the strengths and weaknesses of each side of the argument. This is posted separate as it was a response to a posting that had nothing to do with health care and therefore not appropriate, yet it brings up issues worth discussing and investigating.

Save Public Broadcasting from the Ax

http://www.170millionamericans.org/


House GOP Chairman outlines sweeping spending cuts
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans proposed ending more than 60 government programs and cutting hundreds of others Wednesday in a $35 billion down payment on their promise to rein in federal deficits.
...
Save Big Bird, Nova, Jim Lehrer: Congress must not pull the plug on PBS and NPR
This month, there are four bills pending in Congress that would eliminate federal funding for the most trusted institution in America. For the last seven years, according to the annual Roper opinion poll, more Americans put their trust in this institution than any other. In 2010, it ranked two...
The argument for funding public media
By Laura R. Walker and Jaclyn Sallee - Federal funding for public media has once again become a target in the debate about fiscal prudence. Attempts last fall to defend the Corporation for Public Broadcasting were defeated along party lines. CPB provides financial support for locally owned and...

A Times Company Town; Theaters to become distributors, Blockbuster up for sale (cheap), New Way of Getting A Job in Holllywood


If you can't beat them. Two theater chains -- Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Inc. -- are getting together to buy and release independent films. "The move potentially disrupts the longtime and delicate business relationship between theater operators and studios, in which they have acted as partners and divided a movie's box office ticket sales," reported the Los Angeles Times. In other words, they may be biting the hand that feeds them. That said, a lot of theater owners are annoyed at the way Hollywood has been making fewer movies and rushing to get those titles out on DVD and video on demand so soon after they're in theatrical release. The last time theaters and movie companies were the same and distribution in the hands of theatre owners, events led to the break up of "monopolies." That is unlikely this time, a multiple distribution platforms would make monolopoly arguments difficult at best.
Gonna be a showdown. News Corp.'s Fox is fighting with the local stations that carry its programming. The issue between the network and its affiliates is money. This time around, the network is threatening to yank affiliation if the stations don't cough up a big chunk of cash. Fox wants a cut of the distribution fees the stations get from cable and satellite operators. Stations say they are willing to pay, but think Fox is being greedy. According to the Los Angeles Times, for stations in the top 125 markets, the fees would start at 25 cents per subscriber per month, and rise to 50 cents over the run of the contract. Stations in markets smaller than that would have fees starting at 15 cents per subscriber per month, and hitting 25 cents in the fourth year. Fox affiliate chief Mike Hopkins tellsBroadcasting & Cable it's not open warfare. The affiliates beg to differ and for some reason the classic scene in Al Pacino's "Dog Day Afternoon," when his character tells a cop to kiss him, is running through my mind.
Winfrey is getting expensive. Discovery Communications on Friday said it was going to pump another $50 million into the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel it launched with the queen of talk. Discovery had boasted that it would make a profit on OWN in 2011, but now has downgraded that to break even. Details from the Hollywood Reporter. OWN got off to a strong start when it premiered Jan. 1, but since then its ratings have come back down to Earth. Discovery has already said it was shelling out close to $200 million on the channel.
Putting his money where his mouth is. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch shelled out $20 million to buy stock in his own company, per Dow Jones. Meanwhile, according to the Los Angeles Times, the mogul is is getting closer to buying Shine Group, a production company majority owned by his daughter Elisabeth. That sets the stage for her reentering the family sweepstakes to eventually succeed him.
Never saw this coming. Struggling video store chain Blockbuster is putting itself up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. The problem is the chain's creditors can't get on the same page on a restructuring plan to take it out of bankruptcy. The price tag, per WSJ, could be as low as $300 million, and of course assuming all that debt.
Looks like another weekend with the DVR. The big movie battle this weekend is between Justin Bieber and Adam Sandler, the latter of whom gets to live out fantasies with Brooklyn Decker and Jennifer Aniston in "Just Go With It." Box office projections from Variety.
So you want to be a comedy writer. You know those short do-it-yourself animated cartoons all over the Web often featuring two bears discussing everything from wanting to be a journalist to what gyms to use in West Hollywood? Well, they've become the latest form of audition tapes. The Wall Street Journal looks at the amateur animation business and how a few people have gotten noticed for their wit. I'll start working on mine. First up will be, "So you want to be an aggregator," followed by, "So you want to be a Redskins fan."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Barbie's boyfriend Ken is getting a makeover. ABC has sold out the Oscars.

If you can't beat them. Two theater chains -- Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Inc. -- are getting together to buy and release independent films. "The move potentially disrupts the longtime and delicate business relationship between theater operators and studios, in which they have acted as partners and divided a movie's box office ticket sales," reported the Los Angeles Times. In other words, they may be biting the hand that feeds them. That said, a lot of theater owners are annoyed at the way Hollywood has been making fewer movies and rushing to get those titles out on DVD and video on demand so soon after they're in theatrical release.
Gonna be a showdown. News Corp.'s Fox is fighting with the local stations that carry its programming. The issue between the network and its affiliates is money. This time around, the network is threatening to yank affiliation if the stations don't cough up a big chunk of cash. Fox wants a cut of the distribution fees the stations get from cable and satellite operators. Stations say they are willing to pay, but think Fox is being greedy. According to the Los Angeles Times, for stations in the top 125 markets, the fees would start at 25 cents per subscriber per month, and rise to 50 cents over the run of the contract. Stations in markets smaller than that would have fees starting at 15 cents per subscriber per month, and hitting 25 cents in the fourth year. Fox affiliate chief Mike Hopkins tellsBroadcasting & Cable it's not open warfare. The affiliates beg to differ and for some reason the classic scene in Al Pacino's "Dog Day Afternoon," when his character tells a cop to kiss him, is running through my mind.
Winfrey is getting expensive. Discovery Communications on Friday said it was going to pump another $50 million into the Oprah Winfrey Network, the cable channel it launched with the queen of talk. Discovery had boasted that it would make a profit on OWN in 2011, but now has downgraded that to break even. Details from the Hollywood Reporter. OWN got off to a strong start when it premiered Jan. 1, but since then its ratings have come back down to Earth. Discovery has already said it was shelling out close to $200 million on the channel.
Putting his money where his mouth is. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch shelled out $20 million to buy stock in his own company, per Dow Jones. Meanwhile, according to the Los Angeles Times, the mogul is is getting closer to buying Shine Group, a production company majority owned by his daughter Elisabeth. That sets the stage for her reentering the family sweepstakes to eventually succeed him.
Never saw this coming. Struggling video store chain Blockbuster is putting itself up for sale, according to the Wall Street Journal. The problem is the chain's creditors can't get on the same page on a restructuring plan to take it out of bankruptcy. The price tag, per WSJ, could be as low as $300 million, and of course assuming all that debt.
Looks like another weekend with the DVR. The big movie battle this weekend is between Justin Bieber and Adam Sandler, the latter of whom gets to live out fantasies with Brooklyn Decker and Jennifer Aniston in "Just Go With It." Box office projections from Variety.
So you want to be a comedy writer. You know those short do-it-yourself animated cartoons all over the Web often featuring two bears discussing everything from wanting to be a journalist to what gyms to use in West Hollywood? Well, they've become the latest form of audition tapes. The Wall Street Journal looks at the amateur animation business and how a few people have gotten noticed for their wit. I'll start working on mine. First up will be, "So you want to be an aggregator," followed by, "So you want to be a Redskins fan."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Barbie's boyfriend Ken is getting a makeover. ABC has sold out the Oscars.