Epix HDIt is a dash of Hulu and a sprinkle of YouTube, features a crystal clear picture, can rewind or fast-forward at lightning speed, and doesn’t require a download of any special software.

But, the soon-to-launch video website, will have its success dictated more by the movies, concerts and original programs it offers than the technology behind it, said the executive charged with creating and running the site.

“The critical linchpin to what we’ve got is that we have one-third of the box office of Hollywood,” Epix Chief Digital Officer Emil Rensing said in an interview.

That comes thanks to the three parent companies of Epix: Viacom Inc’s Paramount film studio, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp and MGM. In putting together Epix, the companies hope to compete with Time Warner Inc’s HBO and CBS Corp’s Showtime in the premium movie channel business. comes with an array of features. When watching Paramount’s “Iron Man,” for instance, a person will have access to the trailer, lists of facts about the superhero film, a plot synopsis, and cast list.

Because of its relationship with the studios, Rensing said could eventually offer more unique features.

“Let’s give something to the fans that gets them really excited,” said Rensing. “We’re asking (the studios) for some of the weird stuff. We’d like to go to sets on tear down days, talk to the teamsters about the crazy stuff that happened.”



ABC (US)Hank premieres September 30 on ABC (US) and will air in Australia on the Nine Network.

Sometimes scaling back is the best way to get ahead. Wall Street legend Hank Pryor (Kelsey Grammer) and his wife Tilly have been living the high life in New York City. That is until Hank is forced out of his CEO job and has to move his family back home to the small town of River Bend.

A self-made man, Hank is used to running the show, but now that he’s lost almost everything, can he learn how to hang with his family? The Pryors have had to seriously downsize their lives — even their king-sized bed won’t fit in their modest new home. Tilly’s not too pleased to be back in the same zip code as her family — especially her badgering brother Grady. Hank’s offbeat son Henry worries about fitting in with a new crowd and his daughter Maddie would rather talk on her cell phone than be anywhere near her Dad. But every great businessman knows that the key to success is to turn setbacks into opportunities. Hank has big plans to get ahead in business… and to reconnect with his family. It may take a while for an industrial giant to figure out how to mingle with the little people — like his family — but Hank’s up for the challenge. Like that smaller bed… Turns out that wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

Starring Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), this hilarious family comedy mixes genuine, heart-warming moments with Grammer’s trademark blustery humor. The series is written by Everybody Loves Raymond’s three-time Emmy Award-winner Tucker Cawley, and co-executive produced by Grammer along with The Life & Times of Tim’s Mike Clements and Tom Werner. The pilot was directed by Will & Grace’s 10-time Emmy Award-winner James Burrows.

After many years of living the so-called good life, the Pryor Family is about to discover that downsizing just might be the key to living it up!


Michael McLeanMichael ‘Madge/Magic’ McLean has died after battling an illness for the past year, 3MMM has reported.

‘Madge’ spent 10 years with the Triple M team as a Football caller and sports reporter.

‘Madge’ loved sport and calling, so much so, that many times this season he willed himself to calling matches on Saturday nights for Triple M because, given the battle he was fighting, ‘it was the highlight of his week’.

Our thoughts and sympathy are extended to ‘Madge’s’ family and friends. He will be missed by us and the entire Melbourne sports community.



Kyle Sandilands and Jackie OSydney’s top-rating breakfast FM announcers, Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O, are furious that Austereo have gagged them from talking about the controversy that has plagued them for the past two weeks.

Sandilands has faced a media onslaught since a 15-year-old girl, coaxed by her mother live to air, revealed that she was raped when she was 12.

That’s despite Sandilands broadcasting remote from New Zealand and having no control over the panel.

Sandilands has been axed from Network Ten’s Australian Idol, which returns tonight, and is angry at how he has been treated by his employers.

News Limited reports that Sandilands was due to tell his side of the story on tonight’s 60 Minutes on Nine, to sabotage the return of Idol.

“It was a very tempting offer,” said a source close to Sandilands.

“They’ve been told they can’t say anything,” a source said. “It’s really disappointing because they want to have their say, but Austereo made it clear they can’t talk. Austereo is really dragging its heels, but it wants to do this review properly, I guess.”


A commercial for Apoliva, an assortment of personal care products for Apotoket, featuring Swedish supermodel Adina Fohlin has made a major splash, although not quite the one that the Swedish pharmacy chain was hoping for. Rather than running out to purchase Apoliva products, viewers are running scared.

The 30-second ad spot, set to the haunting tones of a Swedish folk song, depicts a close-up of a rather sullen and emaciated Fohlin standing in the snow, rain and sun. The clip ends with the tagline, “Apoliva – for Swedish conditions”.

Almost 100,000 Swedes, many of whom viewed the clip on YouTube, have joined a Facegroup group called “I am scared of the girl in the Apoliva commercial” (“Jag är rädd för tjejen i Apolivareklamen”) in reaction to the film. Several other related groups, both in favour of and against the ad, have popped up on the social media site as well.


Rachael FinchRachael Finch, Miss Universe Australia, is set to star in Ten’s Celebrity MasterChef, which boils over in living rooms across Australia Wednesday nights at 7.30 from mid-September.

The Townsville glamour auditioned for the original MasterChef before competing in the Miss Universe pageant, but was knocked out before she reached the televised portion of the show, News Limited reports.

Production company FremantleMedia is putting together a final list of celebrities for the show, which is also rumoured to include The Biggest Loser personal trainer Michelle Bridges and actor Vince Colosimo.


ABC (US)ABC said on Saturday it wanted to be the place for ambitious TV programing in a busy market place where viewers are shrinking and costs are rising.

ABC is launching a bumper 11 new shows for the upcoming 2009-10 prime-time TV schedule in a bid to climb up from its current third place among the four leading U.S. TV networks.

“We have to remain ambitious,” Steve McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment told TV reporters at a presentation outlining the network’s new line-up.

“We have always succeeded when we have been ambitious and really pushed the limits, whether it was ‘Desperate Housewives‘ which people said was about 40-year old women, or ‘Lost’. Both shows have been very fortuitous creatively, in ratings and financially.

“There is so much great product out there. You have to be ambitious. You have to break through the clutter,” McPherson said.

In a bold move, ABC is completely overhauling its Wednesday night line-up, bringing in three new family-based sitcoms with veteran favorites like Kelsey Grammer of “Frasier” fame and Patricia Heaton formerly of  “Everybody Loves Raymond”.

The network, which saw a three percent drop in audiences in the 2009-09 season, will also air two female-centric shows later on Wednesdays — “Cougar Town” starring former “Friends” star Courteney Cox, and “Eastwick” with Rebecca Romjin.

Other new offerings include an expensive action-filled sci-fi mystery series “Flash Forward” and a reality show for budding business entrepreneurs called “Shark Tank”.

“We realize it is absolutely a challenge (for viewers) to watch one new show, let alone a whole night of new shows,” McPherson said.



GO! 3The Nine Network’s new supplementary service, GO! officially kicks off its soft launch at 6.30pm tonight.

The first program to be screened is the likeable Wipeout.

Knowfirst is hanging out until 7.30pm when there will be four episodes of The Big Bang Theory back-t0-back.

GO! will screen 24 hours a day with music videos from ARIA running overnight.

Programs that were unsuccessful on Nine, including Moonlight, Fringe, Survivor and Gossip Girl, will all be played on GO!

Metropolitan areas will receive GO! on D99, regional areas on WIN/NBN on D88.

Ratings for the channel, which will be added to Nine’s shares, will commence in a fortnight.


Eddie McGuireIn news that will please his fan (!), Eddie McGuire has shot a pilot at Nine Melbourne alongside of Peter Berner cheekily titled Not The 7PM Project, where panelists will have a “real opinion.”

Nine will get the series up within weeks if it proves successful in its trial runs.

Knowfirst has been saying for ages now that Nine needs to dump ACA or make it more news-based. We’d like to see Nine News extend to one hour, with an opinion-based program such as this slated for 7pm – it may be the early evening boost Nine needs.

It could be more good news for McGuire, with ratings for his Hot Seat program creeping very close to rival Deal Or No Deal on Seven in recent days.



AFLAn interesting tidbit in the Sunday Telegraph today from Ros Reines intimating that Seven and Nine will be teaming up for the new AFL rights contract, which is expected to fetch $1b plus.

Reines says that Ten will be left out in the cold.

Knowfirst would think that hell would freeze over before Seven and Nine team up – surely Seven and Ten will go back to the AFL as a team, and Nine will side with FOXTEL.

But, who knows, stranger things have happened.


Apologies for the lack of updates for the past few days; August is a pest for my family and I because of birthdays (mine included) and other family events that always seem to carry on longer than planned.

Anyway, I’m back, the blog’s ready to kick back into action, and from now on we’ll be moving on the stories that interest us, and we hope you, not just in the media, but human interest, science, the arts, some humour will be in there as well as entertainment news.

Bookmark us and enjoy the ride.


SKY News Australia has approached the Federal Government about taking over diplomatic overseas television, of which Australia Channel run by the ABC is broadcasting under contract until 2011.

“Unlike the existing provider, we will operate on an inclusive United Nations basis to create a genuinely national voice and obtain programming from any Australian broadcaster or independent producer with relevant content, including the national broadcaster and the private sector,” SKY CEO Angelos Frangopoulos said.

Sky News failed in its bid to operate the channel in 2005.

“He (Frangopoulos) just wants more money to run his operation,” Mark Scott said. “There is no advantage for taxpayers in squeezing the ABC out of roles that it is best placed to deliver.”


A quiet Sunday morning in Plain City was disrupted by calls of an unusual, reckless driver.

The Weber County Sheriff’s Office released dash-cam video of a 7-year-old boy who went to great lengths to get out of going to church on July 26. He took the family car and led police on a low-speed chase.

The boy told deputies it was just too hot to go to church, so he went for a joyride. His parents had no idea their car and their child was missing.

“People in the neighborhood are talking about this,” said Weber County sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Bell. “They could tell there was a small, young driver in the car.”

Deputies found the car near the local high school and tailed it for 10 blocks, all while the driver weaved in traffic lanes and blew through stop signs.

“The deputies at one time had pulled up kinda close to him on the side and could see it was a very small person driving the car,” Bell said.

Deputies say this dime-sized, delinquent driver maintained speeds up to 45 miles an hour even though he had some trouble reaching the pedals.

“His speed was slow, but erratically; and so he would kind of scoot down lower to push on the gas and kinda sit up on the seat more to see right where he was going,” Bell said.

And where he went, was home. That’s when deputies got a better look at who they were dealing with: a 7-year old boy whose feet were as quick as his caper.

“Very unusual situation, very unusual. I mean, what can you say?” Bell said.

Investigators say the boy is too young to charge with a crime. They just hope his parents keep a closer eye on him.

Video Courtesy of


A 78-year-old Carroll woman says she’s so tired of seeing President Barack Obama on the airwaves that she’s selling her television sets – two of them.

Deloris Nissen, a retired nurses’ aide and former Kmart employee who was raised on a farm near Audubon, placed a classified advertisement with The Daily Times Herald for Friday’s paper.

In the $5.50 ad, Nissen tells readers she has two television sets for sale.

The reason: “Obama on every channel and station.”

In an interview Nissen said she is serious about selling two TVs – and genuine about her disgust with what she believes to be an overexposed president.

“I just got tired of watching him on every channel,” Nissen said. “I thought, my gosh, does he ever stay at the White House?”

Nissen, who voted for U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the 2008 presidential election, said she could live with seeing Obama come on television to make serious announcements. But he seems to be on all the time, Nissen said.

When the president does appear on a channel she happens to be watching, Nissen said, she quickly turns.

“I have the remote real handy,” Nissen said. “I have the batteries. I’m ready for him.”

Over the next few weeks in the lead-up to Fall Season, Knowfirst Blog will look at some of the new shows about to hit the airwaves. Network Ten is likely to premiere new CBS drama Three Rivers in 2010. Here is that show’s first review by Travis Yanan Watches TV
Alex O’Loughlin fans will be pleased to know that, of the three CBS medical shows, I find this the least appalling (see, I told you there were varying degrees within my categories). If CBS must pick up a medical show this season, I would hope it’s this one.
That said… I don’t think it should be picked up because I found myself incredibly indifferent to it. And for me, the only thing worse than making me indifferent is being vilely bad (I will even tolerate mild suck if I care enough about the characters or situation to see ways it could be improved… or if it fits into a “so bad it’s good” category).
Three Rivers is very, very formulaic.
For that to work, the characters need to be very strong, and they just weren’t. They were typical TV doctors with three (barely exceptional) exceptions. Dr. Andy Yablonski is a workaholic with marital difficulties. Dr. Miranda Foster is a surgical fellow with something to prove (the transplant wing is in her late father’s name). Ryan Romero, not a doctor, is the new “assistant to the transplant coordinator” and has no medical training, but because the transplant coordinator just quit, he has to step it up with no training or experience, and he has a journalism background (news for a radio station) that comes in handy when the team is trying to fly an organ out of an area through / around a hurricane (eh… fake drama). Everyone else… cookie cutter.

The show follows three storylines in its main medical case (which will always be organ transplants… much like with Maggie Hill, I find this potentially limiting and, seriously, how many times do I need to see a doctor convincing someone to let a loved one’s organs be donated?) The first is the story of the person who needs the transplant (in the pilot, a college basketball player with NBA hoop dreams who needs a heart transplant). The second is the story of the person who will, sadly, provide the transplant (in the pilot, Kim Mullins, who is shot at her wedding). And the third story, of course, is the doctors at Three Rivers (a hospital in/near Pittsburgh). The only shifting in this formula that I see down the road is when the writing staff of the show decides, “hey, let’s not let this patient live for a change.” There is also a B-medical case involving a sick, 50-something man getting a new set of lungs.


Breaking news from the Television Critics Assoc. press tour in Pasadena, Calif.

HBO just announced that it has picked up True Blood for a third season. Entourage and Hung also received one-season pickups. All three series are slated to return next summer.


3MMM Melbourne has renewed their AFL broadcasting rights for 2 more years.

Melbourne Austereo General Manager Ben Amarfio says he is thrilled with the extension of the broadcast deal:

“We have secured an extension of the right to call AFL matches over the next few seasons into Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. With the introduction of our digital channels, we will also be broadcasting AFL matches in digital format with all the functional benefits associated with digital broadcasting.

“Triple M has a long history of broadcasting the most entertaining call of footy, as is evidenced by our consistent domination of the under 55 audience across Friday nights, Saturday afternoons, Saturday nights and Sundays. In seasons 2010 and 2011 we are excited that, as a Tier One radio broadcaster, we will continue to have the pick of the best matches each week but this time on significantly more exclusive terms. Plus we have the added bonus of selecting an extra game by being able to cover the Sunday twilight matches when there’s a blockbuster on.”

AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou welcomed Triple M’s new two-year agreement:

“The AFL is privileged to have outstanding radio support in the coverage of our game for our fans across the country. We are delighted that Triple M has again made the commitment to call AFL matches, extending further a tremendous partnership for us that began in 1997. Triple M has always sought to combine a serious footy call while entertaining us with the humour of the game and Triple M is always seeking to bring the game to new fans and new audiences… we look forward to continuing to hear Brian, James, Garry, Jason, Danny and the team calling all the action of our games.”


Does this show look shit-hot or what???


NBN has just screened a new promo for GO! and officially called it GO!88. It commences August 9th.


Screened on NBN, July 27, 2009.

Good to kick ass!


Nine Network 2PBL Media has signalled that it is planning to hold on to assets, including Ticketek and its half-stake in, even as the motoring classifieds site prepares for a listing.

PBL Media’s chief executive, Ian Law, yesterday dismissed speculation that the private equity-held owner of Channel Nine and ACP Magazines was looking to offload businesses to reduce its estimated $4 billion in borrowings.

He insisted the group had enough headroom to trade through the advertising downturn after a $335 million capital injection earlier this year.

‘‘On the basis of the business plan we have before us, which includes earnings contributions from Carsales and Ticketek, we do not envisage any issues with our [debt] covenants,’’ Mr Law said.

In a Carsales float, ‘‘at this stage our position is we would not be selling into the offering and we would be retaining our interest in what is a great asset’’.



NBCBen Silverman is out at NBC, where longtime Peacock cable exec Jeff Gaspin has just been named chairman of NBC Universal Television Entertainment.

Silverman has struck a deal with Barry Diller’s IAC to launch a new production company that the two said would “unite producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof.”

News comes just weeks after NBC quietly confirmed that Silverman had signed an agreement to extend his employment at the Peacock, where his two-year deal was set to expire.

Instead, Silverman will now only stick around “for several weeks to assist in the launch of NBC’s fall schedule,” the network said in an early-morning press release.


We sure hope so!


GleeOver the next few weeks in the lead-up to Fall Season, Knowfirst Blog will look at some of the new shows about to hit the airwaves.

In late September, Ten is likely to premiere FOX’s new musical comedy Glee.

Glee is about a high school teacher (Matthew Morrison) who attempts to transform the Glee Club to be able to compete in the Nationals. Entertainment Weekly says that “Glee succeeds mostly on the super-fun musical performances.”

The show has been compared to film series High School Musical and TV series Grey’s Anatomy and The Office, however Matthew Morrison has stated that Glee is “more edgy and […] dark”. The Daily News‘s David Hinkley has written that Glee is actually more similar to Nickelodeon‘s Spectacular! than High School Musical, as Glee features and focusses more on adult characters, and has more realistic social interaction amongst the student characters. Murphy has commented that he has never actually seen High School Musical, but that his interest lay in creating a “postmodern musical”, rather than “doing a show where people burst into song”, drawing more heavily on the format of Chicago.