Pop culture news you can actually use. Or if not use, then at least read without feeling like you just lost five minutes of your life. Because those five minutes…they do add up.
The Supreme Court, because it didn’t have anything else better to do, has ordered a federal appeals court to take another look at the thrown-out $550K fine against CBS for the 2004 Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction.
Let me repeat that in simple terms: in the midst of an international recession and a flu hysteria pandemic, the U.S. government wants to re-open a case about a tit appearing on national television…five years ago. Dear rest of the world: please mock us for this. Because, honestly, we deserve it. What the fuck. Source.
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series is coming out July 28th. It’s big. Twenty-five DVDs or Twenty Blu-Rays. You can pre-order the DVD version here or the Blu-Ray version here.
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For folks in New York City: Eric Bogosian is reading and signing his new novel, Perforated Heart, tomorrow (May 5th) at the Barnes & Noble Union Square. If you need more info, call them at (212) 253-0810. For the rest of us, we can make do by snagging a copy here. Source.
Discovery Kids Channel is going away and will be replaced next year by a joint venture between Discovery and Hasbro, featuring educational stuff based on…well, Tonka, Transformers and G.I. Joe. On one hand, an entire half-hour show comprised of “And Knowing is Half the Battle” sounds awfulicious. On the other hand, an entire network dedicated to teaching kids and selling them toys seems a bit…bare-faced, doesn’t it? Not utterly unexpected, since Discovery (apart from Discovery News, which Doc and I agree will be allowed to live when the revolution comes) has been a joke for a while now. But still. Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said, “This partnership represents a new low in children’s television, a network devoted to showing infomercials for Hasbro’s toys and games. It will make a mockery of existing ad limits and the current prohibition of product placement in children’s television.” Or you could act like a parent and decide that your kids can’t watch it. Remember that? Parenting? Look up the word. It’s useful. Source.
Previously hinted at, now confirmed: Fox has renewed Fringe. Source.
Helluva good timing on this announcement: Hugh Jackman is attached for Ghostopolis based on an upcoming graphic novel from Doug TenNapel over at Disney. Jackman is also producing. “The story centers on a man who works for the government’s Supernatural Immigration Task Force. His job is to send ghosts who have escaped into our world back to Ghostopolis. When a living boy accidentally is sent to the other side, the agent must team with a female ghost (and former flame) to bring him back.” This being a comic book movie, the “former flame” comment could be taken quite literally. Nobody else is attached–expect that to change quickly in the wake of Wolverine‘s success (see below for more on that). Source.
Mad Men has season two coming out on both DVD and Blu-Ray July 14th from Lionsgate. You can snag the DVD here or the Blu-Ray here.
NBC has announced part of its upcoming lineup.
New: The aforementioned Community, Day One, 100 Questions, the aforementioned Parenthood, and Trauma.
Returning: Heroes, Parks and Recreation, Southland and Saturday Night Live Weekend Update (which honestly I had no idea they had tried to spin that off–I thought they were kidding in this article) for six episodes in the fall.
AWOL: Chuck, Law & Order: Classic, Medium and My Name is Earl
L&O and Medium may be waiting to get an episode number finalized. Earl might be dead. Chuck everybody seems to be hurrahing that it’s coming back, but no official word yet. Which means probably. In fact, if you were trying to get people to rally around a show, I’d renew it internally but not announce it to get people buzzing about–that may be what’s happening, but that sound far too intelligent for a network.
Anyway, the rest of the news will wait for May 19. “NBC is expected to split its year into two halves, using the Winter Olympics as a natural mid-way point.” It could be worse: they could take a page from Marvel and DC and make all the series have to tie-in to the Winter Olympics somehow. You know it’s coming.
Apparently Wolverine made $87M domestically in its opening weekend. And now the guessing game begins: how much did piracy cost the film? Matthew Beloni over at Hollywood Reporter makes some good points, but I’d like to cover two that I think he missed. One: he compares Wolverine to X3 and shows the difference. $102.75M is X3‘s opening weekend take, for example. I have not seen Wolverine yet, but the truth is that X3 was shite. So I’m sure a bunch of people burned by that were going to hold back on this film. This is a prequel/spinoff that could be said to be the fourth film in the franchise–most releases like that show a downtake regardless. Two: I know it’s a trite point but it’s still a valid one and in no way condones downloading the film, but: how many of these people who pirated the film were going to go see it anyway? And how many people who saw a pirated copy watched it, then saw it in the cinema regardless? If we’re going to ask questions, let’s ask all the questions. And BTW, Fox, you made back your production budget on the first weekend. Well done on that.