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THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK by Marauder

THIS WEEK: OVER VAGINA’D HBO & INSTAGRAM GOES INSTABOOK

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Lena Dunham in HBO’s Girls

© Jojo Whilden/HBO. All rights reserved.

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The new series, Girls, comes to HBO this Sunday and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. I watched the first two episodes in Austin at SXSW spawning my lady crush on its writer/creator, Lena Dunham. The show follows a group of NYC Williamsburg hipsters through their daily machinations focusing on the somewhat unglamorous side of their romantic transgressions. I spent my 20’s living in NYC, the latter half in which I was working at HBO, and hence, was especially excited to see this story unfold.

I’ve been watching the critical reviews come across the internet wires and they all boil down to one thing: sex. The sex in Sex & the City was glamorous Jimmy Choo-laced fantasy, thick with witty Samantha-isms and adorable recaps from Carrie. The sex in Girls is uncomfortable to watch and ‘real’ in a way I’ve never seen on screen before. Slate Magazine describes this realness as the “chronicling of bad sex” whereas New York Magazine raves that the sex “isn’t a reward, it’s a revelation.” So which is it? Lena Dunham writes, stars, and partially directs this series. She plays Hannah, a post-collegiate brutally torn from the parental financial purse strings to go out on her own for the first time. The first sex on screen carries out between Hannah and her sex buddy Adam, and while not ruining anything, I’ll just say, that I would never tell a friend about sex that bad.

That said, it wasn’t only the sex that I found so intriguing. It was the comfort level by which these girls interact with each other and by which Dunham herself is comfortable exposing the world to. There is one scene in particular that I have obsessed over, obsessed because I think it indicates some lack of cool on my part and therefore has been a conversation piece for weeks. Dunham’s character, Hannah, takes a bath with her towel-clad roommate Marnie chatting about their lives, a pastime which in most respects would be done over breakfast or perhaps, any other place with clothes on. I’ve obsessed because I’ve wanted to know if this happens in real life. Do women get together naked and talk about what’s going on in each other’s lives? I don’t even like to look people in the eye in the women’s locker room, let alone sit naked in a bathtub and talk about my sex life. Does this make me uncool?

Lena Dunham, as Hannah, with actor Adam Driver.

(Photo: Jojo Whilden/HBO)

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Back to the sex. The attempt to categorize this show at the ‘everygirl’ story would be dangerous. In the same way that Sex & the City did not translate to the lives of most American women at the time it debuted, I don’t think Girls has the intention of direct translation. How many women buy Jimmy Choos on a Monday and Monolo Blahniks on a Tuesday? In the same respect, how many women catch up on their day with their best friend sitting naked in a bathtub and then have discussions about how maybe they really do want AIDS at the doctor’s office? Here’s where I had to reel myself in. Being that you, the viewer, are presented with a woman (Dunham) who looks more real than the skinny plastic surgery-disfigured faces of so many Hollywood actresses, the viewer immediately thinks that what happens on screen will look more similar to their own world. In my case, even though I spent some time living in Williamsburg, the attempt at direct correlation was lost in translation. Frankly, that’s not the point. I think Dunham’s intention is to entertain with her own story and hope that each viewer draws inspiration in whichever way makes sense. Whether that’s making one person feel less embarrassed about their own bad sex moment or more comfortable in simply sharing something with a friend, so be it. So, I’ll attempt to stop thinking about how uncool I am for my lack of bathtub friend time…but seriously, does this make me uncool?! Maybe not, but quotes like this one, make Lena Dunham fresh to death.

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In other news, Facebook acquires Instagram for $1 Billion (scaring the sh-t out of this Instagram user right here and this one over there), Google busts out some augmented reality glasses which sadly bring on the Star Trek jokes, and Bravo announces plans to bring a Silicon Valley reality series to screen.

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Some more Cool Sh-t:

Architecture Meets Outdoor Art Projection

Photo Credit: Designboom



BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

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Thursday’s fifth season opener of The Real Housewives of Orange County on Bravo attracted 1.98 million A18-49 as well as 2.58 million total viewers, an increase of 44% and 38% respectively compared to the show’s season four premiere on November 25, 2008. (Cynopsis 11/9)

Seriously, why do y’all watch this show?

Desperate Housewives of Orange County


HBO has a 30m drama series, simply titled T in development involving the gender transition of a woman into a man. The project is from married team Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman who also recently agreed to a third season as showrunners on HBO’s In Treatment. For T, Epstein and Futterman will write the pilot and executive produce along with Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp. (Cynopsis 11/9)

General Electric Co. and Comcast Corp. have settled on how to value NBC Universal now and in the future, clearing a key obstacle to giving Comcast control of GE’s television and movie company, according to people familiar with the matter. (WSJ11/8)

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NBC says it has landed the “first television interview from the White House” with President Obama since his inauguration. The live interview, with NBC News’s Matt Lauer, will air during the pre-game show before Sunday’s Super Bowl. More of the interview will air the next day on “Today.” (Iwantmedia 1/27, http://content.usatoday.com/communities/theoval/post/2009/01/61930374/1 1/26)

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Advertisers are paying NBC as much as $3 million for 30 seconds of airtime during this year’s Super Bowl — 11% more than the $2.7 million that Fox charged during last year’s game. Companies say they’re spending big because no other event captures the interest of 100 million viewers. (Iwantmedia 1/27, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-superbowl27-2009jan27,0,7885040.story 1/27)

Tire maker Bridgestone Americas Inc. is again sponsoring the Super Bowl halftime show and will unveil two new TV ads, including one set in space that an executive says is very “high-tech as far as the graphics.”

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Lifetime’s “Prayers for Bobby,” the story about a woman whose gay son kills himself, attracted 3.8 million total viewers and a 3.1 household rating in its debut this past Saturday. The premiere pulled in 1 million women in the 18-to-49 age group and 1.1 million women 25-to-54, the network’s two most-important demographic categories. Multichannel News (1/26)

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The next season of “Project Runway” may never make it to television, but producers plan to film the big New York Fashion Week finale anyway. The show remains tied up in lawsuits between NBC’s Bravo, its producers at the Weinstein Company and new “Runway” owner Lifetime. (Iwantmedia 1/27, http://www.nypost.com/seven/01272009/tv/can_runway_make_it_work__152186.htm 1/27)

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CBS revs up for the fourteenth edition of The Amazing Race on February 15 at 8p with Phil Keoghan as host. (Cynopsis 1/27)

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ABC will debut the new Better Off Ted March 18 at 830p following Scrubs at 8p. On Thursday nights beginning March 26 at 8p, ABC will pair the new Megan Mullally/Cheryl Hines comedy In the Motherhood followed by Samantha Who? at 830p. (Cynopsis 1/27)

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News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, who turns 78 in March, is said to have “hazy” succession planning. Murdoch dying in office without an anointed family heir could force News Corp.’s board to appoint a new CEO itself — and that person might not be any of Rupert’s offspring. (Iwantmedia 1/27, http://www.businessday.com.au/business/decision-time-is-looming-for-the-murdoch-family-20090126-7q1f.html 1/27)

ABC approved a redo of the 1980s miniseries V about alien lizards landing on the planet. Scott Peters (The 4400) writes the new adaptation and also will executive produce along with Jason Hall of HDFilms. Warner Bros. Television produced the original miniseries and will produce the pilot. (Cynopsis 1/27)

CBS okayed a pilot presentation for a reality program titled Missing You from executive producer Shaun Cassidy about a team of investigators focusing on new missing-persons cases each week. Cassidy and Ned Nalle created Missing You and Nalle will also executive produce along with James Bruce and Raquel Productions. (Cynopsis 1/27)

The Senate passed a bill that would extend the transition to all-digital TV signals from Feb. 17 to June 12, with the hope that those who have not yet prepared for the switch will do so in the additional months. ClipSyndicate (1/26) , The Washington Post (1/27) , Reuters (1/27)

In his first meeting as acting chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Copps said the FCC’s near-term agenda will be “DTV, DTV and DTV,” and he urged commissioners and staffers to conduct business in a more inclusive manner. These changes, Copps said, will “make the FCC more transparent, open and useful to the stakeholders that we serve. And when I say stakeholders, I include not just the industries that we regulate but, more importantly, all citizens.” TVWeek.com (1/26) , Broadcasting & Cable (1/26)

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January 21, 2009, 11:04 PM
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Emeril Lagasse will be a guest judge Feb. 18 when Bravo brings its “Top Chef” contestants to New Orleans. The challenge will reduce the number of chefs from four to three as they head toward the show’s Feb. 25 finale. TVWeek.com (1/20)

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A&E Network’s third season debut of Paranormal State with two back-to-back episodes on Monday night at 10p attracted an average of 1.1 million A25-54 viewers, 1.2 million A18-49 viewers and 1.5 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 1/21)

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Warner Bros. announced yesterday it will shed 800 jobs in the coming weeks as well as outsource 300 positions to a third-party company. (Cynopsis 1/21)

“What Color Is Love?” — an original movie that debuted on Lifetime Movie Network this past Sunday — earned a 1.9 household ratings and a 1.1 ratings with women in the 18-to-49 demographic. It was the network’s third-best-rated original movie ever. Multichannel News (1/20)

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Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” closed out its first season Tuesday night on a high note, attracting 2.21 million viewers and putting up a 2.02 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. The latest entrant in the “Real Housewives” franchise, “Atlanta” averaged more than 1.3 million viewers per episode throughout its freshman season. Multichannel News (11/19)

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The legal catfight over Bravo’s “Project Runway” is expanding. Lifetime, which snagged the rights to the popular show from producer The Weinstein Co. only to be sued by NBC Universal and its Bravo network, is now countersuing all the involved parties in a federal court in Manhattan. Reuters (11/19)

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Next Tuesday at 10p, Starz will premiere a new series exploring the links between Hollywood and the fashion industry with Starz Inside: Fashion in Film. The series will reveal how integral fashion is to celebrities and a movie’s story and how fashions on the silver screen translate to the pages of fashion magazines. (Cynopsis 11/20)

A&E Network slated the premiere of its original scripted drama series The Beast, starring Patrick Swayze and Travis Fimmel for January 15 at 10p. The series is about Swayze, a hard-core veteran FBI agent, who works with a rookie partner (Fimmel) teaching him his unorthodox agent skills. (Cynopsis 11/20)

Beginning today, Time Warner Cable is adding a total of 24 high-definition channels in the Los Angeles area. The addition of cable heavyweights such as HBO, Showtime, Cartoon Network and Animal Planet brings the company’s HD offerings in most areas to more than 60 channels. Multichannel News (11/19)

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“Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special” pulled in 6.6 million viewers this past weekend, the most-watched program in the history of the Viacom-owned cable network. “Dunham” also scored with the all-important 18-to-49 demo, with a record-setting 3.3 rating. TVWeek.com (11/18)

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The legal battle over whether Bravo or Lifetime gets to televise “Project Runway” likely will keep new episodes of the hit fashion-competition show off the air for months, according to this article. “Runway” had 4 million viewers per episode in its last season and was set to jump to Lifetime until NBC Universal sued The Weinstein Company for selling the rights for a reported $200 million. The New York Times (11/18)

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FX is developing a series titled “AR2,” which will be about a group of college students in Michigan who are fomenting a second American revolution. The potentially controversial subject matter made cable TV the obvious choice for co-creator Thomas Schlamme: “The subject matter could be incendiary, and we were afraid that it may adulterate the message if it went to a broadcast network,” he said. The Hollywood Reporter (11/19)

A U.S. senator is looking to introduce legislation that would require cable and satellite companies to provide basic service at a discounted rate to those who rely on over-the-air-only TV signals. Bernard Sanders, an independent legislator from Vermont, said that the DTV switch was mandated by the federal government and that the approximately 16 million analog-only homeowners shouldn’t have to pay full price for what they used to get for free. According to this report, the NCTA declined comment on the matter. Multichannel News (11/18)

Comcast on Tuesday will begin offering 12 new channels in high definition to subscribers in parts of the San Francisco market. The channels — including Bravo, Cartoon Network, Fox News and the Travel Channel — along with VOD offerings bring Comcast’s HD menu in the Bay Area to more than 1,000. Multichannel News (11/18)

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Tuesday’s second season conclusion of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing at 10p pulled in 949,000 A18-49 viewers and 1.27 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 9/11)

Also on Tuesday, ABC Family polished off the last episode of its freshman midseason series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager at 8p, delivering 1.3 million W18-34 viewers, 1.7 million A18-34 viewers, 3.0 million P12-34 viewers and 4.5 million total viewers. Twelve new episodes of the series will return to ABC Family next January. (Cynopsis 9/11)

Last Saturday’s premiere of “The Locator” on WE tv notched a 0.98 household rating at 9 p.m. and a second installment a half-hour later garnered a 1.08, according to Nielsen data. That performance marks the female-focused network’s best series premiere ever. Multichannel News (9/10)

Bravo has started assembling a cast of 18- to 25-year-old Orange County, Calif., denizens to star in a reality series that will begin shooting this fall, according to this report. The potential show theoretically would attract a younger demographic than the network’s popular “The Real Housewives of Orange County.” The Hollywood Reporter (9/11)

Time Warner is unlikely to acquire NBC Universal after the media giant spins off its cable unit, according to CFO John Martin. Time Warner will maintain a certain “level of discipline” to acquisitions, he says, appearing to dismiss speculation that the company is eyeing NBC. (Iwantmedia 9/11, http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6594900.html 9/10)

Food Network will debut The Chef Jeff Project on October 12 at 10p, offering viewers a new type of reality cooking show. Under the tutelage of Chef Jeff Henderson, a former prison inmate now executive chef, six troubled young adults will learn how to cook and help Jeff run his new Los Angeles-based catering company. Each episode follows Jeff as he teaches these young adults the ins and outs of food and life skills. (Cynopsis 9/11)

Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse, the midseason drama series for FOX and produced by 20th TV, closed down production for two weeks to work on scripts, per THR. After finishing the third episode, creator/executive producer Whedon decided the upcoming scripts needed time for rewrites. (Cynopsis 9/11)

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