Here’s today’s dispatches from the crossroads of faith, media & culture.
1. Does TV have a conscience? That question was posed by Laura Zalaznick, head of NBC Universal Entertainment & Digital Networks in a speech before TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), a non-profit group dedicated to what it calls “Ideas Worth Spreading.” View the video here. She makes some interesting points about how, particularly over the past decade, TV has moved toward promoting a sort of coarse judgment of other people — particularly with the rise of nasty-toned reality shows.
2. The “B” word is back. From Entertainment Weekly: After ABC changed a new show’s mildly profane title during development, upcoming comedy Apartment 23 has now more-or-less reverted to its original head-turning name. The official new title of the show is Don’t Trust The B—- in Apartment 23, dashing out the letters of the curse in an attempt to soften its impact (not unlike how CBS dealt with the short-lived Shit My Dad Says last season, substituting the non-word “$#*!”). The Disney-owned network has two upcoming shows that previously used the word “bitch” in their title: Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 and drama Good Christian Bitches. The former was shortened to Apartment 23 right before the network’s broadcast upfront presentation in May. The latter was change to Good Christian Belles, and was then changed again to GCB. (Good Christian Bitches, in particular, was singled out by some culture critics who were ready to pounce on the show should it hit the air with its original title).
3. Democrats, Republicans and the movies. A study conducted for the Hollywood Reporter says:
Democrats are bigger moviegoers then Republicans.
Republicans are more likely to wait for home video.
Republicans prefer family films; Democrats like edge.
Republicans are more likely to tsk-tsk sex, violence and cursing.
Democrats think America is portrayed well in the movies. Republicans disagree.
Democrats and Repubicans both list comedy as their favorite genre.
Both like popcorn, Forrest Gump and Indiana Jones. (Hey, it’s a start.)
4. Update: Yesterday I wrote that the excellent Emilio Estevez film The Way (starring his father Martin Sheen) had the third highest per-screen average of all movie movies over the past weekend. Debuting in only 33 theaters, it raked in about $3,346 per screen, according to Box Office Mojo, beating out many movies with a much higher profile. However, a closer look at apparently final figures show that there were a handful of additional films that edged it out in term of per-screen averages, most notably Sherwood Pictures’ Courageous which averaged $4,193 on 1,161 screen. I apologize for the confusion. Still, The Way‘s performance was impressive and I hope you see it.
Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11