Showbiz Sandbox 124: UltraViolet Is A Solution In Search Of A Problem

October 31, 2011

More than 75 companies have teamed up to form UltraViolet, a new service that promises to give consumers the freedom to watch movies and television shows wherever and whenever they want. However, early adopters have discovered that untethering content from physical media such as DVDs can be a tedious and confusing process. As the entertainment industry experiments with rapidly evolving technologies, viewers seem hard pressed to find any benefits in moving to the cloud.

When it comes to music though, fans have already migrated to online services such as Pandora, iTunes and Amazon. Now Google is preparing to launch its own music offering which is rumored to allow users to share music with their friends and family.

And if you thought digital technology was a tough racket, so is trying to copy the success of the hit television series “Mad Men”. NBC failed with it’s 1960s drama “The Playboy Club” and ABC isn’t fairing much better with “Pan Am”, a similar knock-off. They could have picked up Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom, “Anger Management” as a replacement, but FX scooped it up before anyone had a chance.

Read more


Showbiz Sandbox 103: Midnight In Cannes – This Year’s Fest Sparks Fireworks

May 16, 2011

Woody Allen’s film “Midnight In Paris” opened the 64th annual Cannes Film Festival last week, but it was Terrence Malick’s long awaited “Tree of Life” which everyone was eager to see.  The film divided audiences with some booing loudly and others proclaiming it a masterpiece.  We provide all the highlights from this year’s festival, including news about films and the scene along the Croisette.

Google decided not to wait around for record labels to offer them a decent license before launching their cloud music service.  After watching Amazon launch their own music service, Google realized they would never get an appropriate licensing deal from the labels so took matters into their own hands.

Meanwhile, major television networks began holding their upfronts where they inform advertisers, and the world, what shows will air during the fall television season.  We fill you in on who made the cut, who got cut, and why.  The announcement that Ashton Kutcher will replace Charlie Sheen on “Two and a Half Men” was the biggest television news of the week.

Read more