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The latest news from Entertainment

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    better call saul

    If you’re a fan of “Breaking Bad” like us, you’re probably counting down the days until the series premiere of prequel “Better Call Saul!” on AMC.

    The network has been sending out a press kit for the show, and it’s pretty clever.

    Secured in a legal folder, we had no idea what we received until flipping it over to see a little “Better Call Saul!” logo. 

    A coffee table book inside (more on this shortly) contains a series of images from the upcoming show and a note from showrunners Vince Gilligan (“Breaking Bad”) and Peter Gould.

    It felt weird to read the message and not share it with fans of the series, who the message was clearly intended for. 

    Here's the letter in full: 

    Welcome to the world of James M. McGill, Esq.

    For viewers of Breaking Bad, there's much that will be familiar in this series: the bright Albuquerque skies, the dark humor, and -- most of all -- the passion and devotion to detail from cast and crew. 

    Having said that, Better Call Saul is a brand new show. We're telling a different story here -- one with its own rhythm, its own look, its own tone. We're excited to share it with you.

    This show has been a crazy ride for us. The character of Jimmy McGill has taken us places we never expected. Jimmy's not yet Saul Goodman: he's his own man, and he's messy and struggling and still finding himself. One day he'll transform into Albuquerque's favorite criminal lawyer, but right now he's a more or less law-abiding underdog on the bottom rung of the legal system.

    We're loving every moment of Bob Odenkirk's deeply human performance as unstoppable, inventive Jimmy races through an ethical slalom course, trying to make a name for himself.

    We hope you enjoy it.

    Vince & Peter

    better call saul vince gilligan peter gould

    Here are a few shots of the press kit we received.

    The kit came inside a giant legal folder.better call saul file

    Let's empty it out.better call saul press kit

    Here's the extra wide "Better Call Saul" press book. better call saul kit

    Inside are images from the first few episodes of the show like this one with Jonathan Banks who reprises his role of Mike Ehrmantraut from "Breaking Bad."mike better call saul

    The kit is extremely well thought out. See that card right there. It comes out.better call saul file

    Clever calling card.better call saul start date

    We almost missed this postcard tucked in the legal file.better call saul postcard

    No message from Saul on the back, but we think this makes up for it.better call saul press kit

    Here's everything together.better call saul full press kit

    We've checked out the premiere and really enjoyed it. 

    I’m not allowed to tell you anything about it yet, but come back on Jan. 22 and we’ll have a spoiler-free review of the pilot.

    AMC has already renewed the show for a second season.

    "Better Call Saul" debuts Sunday Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. after the midseason return of "The Walking Dead" before moving into its regular Monday night schedule Feb. 9 at 10 p.m.

    SEE ALSO: Check out a trailer for "Better Call Saul"

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    TLC My Husbands Not GayThe new TLC special "My Husband's Not Gay" doesn't even air until January 11th, but it's already causing controversy.

    The show, based in Salt Lake City, UT, follows three Mormon men who say they are attracted to their wives, but they are also attracted to other men. They refer to it as "Same Sex Attraction"  not gay — but SSA, according to a show description on the TLC website.

    TLC My Husbands Not Gay

    "There's no marriage that is perfect. Ours isn't. But with our faith in god we believe we can overcome anything," says one of the men in the show's trailer.

    TLC My Husbands Not GayAnother male star of the show explains: "I'm attracted to my wife, for sure. But I'm also attracted to men, too."

    But the premise of the show is not sitting well with many, especially GLAAD.

    "This show is downright irresponsible," GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement"No one can change who they love, and, more importantly, no one should have to. By investing in this dangerous programming, TLC is putting countless young LGBT people in harm's way."

    Change.org petition has been launched to get TLC to cancel the special. As of Tuesday night, the petition has nearly 85,000 signatures. Josh Sanders, who started the petition, explains:

    I'm urging you to cancel your upcoming special, 'My Husband's Not Gay,' which promotes the false message that gay people can and should choose to be straight in order to be part of their faith communities. The men featured in this show deserve to be shown compassion and acceptance. Instead, TLC is presenting their lives as entertainment while sending the message that being gay is something that can and ought to be 'changed' or that you can fight your sexual orientation by marrying someone of the opposite sex. 

     Watch the trailer for the TLC special below:

    TLC is the same network that brought viewers the Gosselin and Duggar phenomenons, as well as "90 Day Fiance," "Sex Sent Me to the ER," "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," and "My Strange Addiction."

    SEE ALSO: Here Are The 25 New Shows Coming To TV In 2015

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    Paul Rudd Ant Man highest res

    It's finally here.

    After teaser trailers and posters, the first "Ant-Man" trailer debuted Tuesday evening during Marvel's "Agent Carter" 2-hour series premiere.

    The summer movie features Paul Rudd as as thief Scott Lang who eventually becomes the super-sized superhero. Michael Douglas plays his mentor, Hank Pym. Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll also star.

    "Ant-Man" is in theaters July 17, 2015, and will be the first follow-up to "The Avengers: Age of Ultron."

    We'll have more on the trailer soon. 

    For now, check it out below:

    Here are a few takeaways from the trailer:

    We know Rudd is playing thief Scott Lang. It looks like he's being released from prison in the teaser.

    paul rudd ant manpaul rudd supposed bad ass ant man 

    SEE ALSO: 25 movies to get excited for this year

    AND: The biggest box-office bombs of 2014

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    Back to the Future movie still

    A lot of people are going to be talking about "Back to the Future 2" this year.

    The 1989 film shows the two main characters, Marty and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd), travel to the year 2015 where they find flying cars, bizarre fashion, and hologram movies.

    We recently rewatched the film, and in one of the special features on the sequel's DVD, director Robert Zemeckis explains he didn't want the sequel to depict the future.

    "I never really ever wanted to go to the future in the 'Back to the Future' movie because I don't like seeing the future in any movie," said Zemeckis. "The only kind of future that the audience ever actually accepts is a Orwellian dark future."

    "The problem with doing movies in the future is that you always are wrong," he continued. "You underestimate it. You can't be right. Even Stanley Kubrick has always mispredicted the future in his movies."

    Zemeckis said they found a workaround for the movie by making light of what they thought the future would be like.

    "What we did is we just decided to figure out a way to make it all into jokes," he said.

    This included the funny fashion you see people wearing in the year 2015 to an automatic dog walker gag.

    jvc virtual reality glasses back to the future 2

    Much of the focus is also on helpful technological advances. Marty wears a self-drying jacket, virtual phone glasses worn by many throughout the film, and thumb scans are used to pay for everything.

    SEE ALSO: 21 Things 'Back To The Future 2' Got Wrong About 2015

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    budweiser lost dog

    The Super Bowl XLIX is fast approaching and already some of the world’s biggest brands are teasing details about the ads they’ll be running during the big game.

    Once again the commercial breaks are set to be a flashy affair, and it’s little surprise: Super Bowl 2015 broadcaster NBC is seeking $4.4 million to $.4.5 million per 30-second spot, up on the $4 million pricetag FOX set last year. 95% of the in-game TV ad space is sold out so far.

    We’re compiling everything you need to know about the commercial side of this years big game we’ll keep updating this post right up until February 1, when you can follow our live coverage.

    Anheuser-Busch

    Brewer Anheuser-Busch is going all-out once again in this year’s Super Bowl, this time airing three minutes and thirty seconds of ads during the event.

    It has two ads planned for Bud Light, each created by two different agencies, and another for Bud, as Adweek details

    • “Lost Dog,” has been created by Anomaly and will show how “only your best buds are the ones who always have your back.” It acts as the sequel to last year’s much-loved “Puppy Love” spot.
    • Another Bud Light spot created by EnergyBBDO is called “Coin” and tells the story of a drinker who plays a life-size Pac Man game.
    • The final spot is for Bud, which is another Anomaly effort. This ad focuses on how the beer is brewed.

    The brewer plans to release each ad online in the week before the game.



    GoDaddy

    Super Bowl stalwart GoDaddy makes its 11th appearance during the commercials this year. 

    The web hosting company has been holding a competition to name the star of its 2015 campaign: a cute Golden Retriever puppy. "GoDoggy," "Rookie" and "Halftime" are among the names suggested so far.

    As AdAge details, the puppy will be featuring alongside Nascar star Danica Patrick in a spot called “Journey Home," created by Barton F. Graf 9000. It’s quite a departure from GoDaddy’s silly ads in 2014



    Doritos

    PepsiCo's Doritos is once again running its "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, asking people to send in their own submissions for the chance to win that coveted ad spot and a $1 million prize.

    This year Doritos received nearly 4,900 submissions and has now whittled those down to 10 finalists. Fans are invited to vote on their favorites. The most popular fan ad will air during the big game as well as another spot chosen by Doritos.

    All of the entrants have opted for humor, like this surreal spot from British freelance director James Bedford. You can view the full final 10 here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider







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    Church of Scientology Super Bowl ad

    Rumors have begun swirling again that The Church of Scientology has booked a big ad during this year’s Super Bowl. Just like previous years, we can be fairly certain that it hasn’t — at least not one of the big money $4.5 million national ad slots.

    As Tony Ortega, a former Village Voice editor who runs a website devoted to investigating Scientology explains, people have begun noticing that the Church has been running TV ads during a number of prominent shows in recent weeks such as The Ellen Degeneres Show, a broadcast of The View and in one of the NFL playoff games this weekend.

    It has used this tactic over the past few years in the lead up to the big game. During the Super Bowl itself, people in several cities notice that the Scientology ad has also been broadcast at some point in the proceedings.

    Each time, The Church of Scientology hasn’t actually forked out the mega bucks required to run a national 30-second ad, but has instead opted for far cheaper local advertising during commercial breaks reserved for regional advertisers and local channel advertisers.

    In 2013 it bought up airtime in major spot markets like New York and Los Angeles, thus many people in metro areas believed they had seen an official Super Bowl ad for Scientology (which would imply some sort of endorsement from the NFL or the broadcaster, which last year was FOX.) Ortega quotes an expert that estimates this tactic would only cost in the region of about "$1 million," less than a quarter of the amount it would cost for an official placement this year on NBC.

    This appears to be the ad The Church of Scientology is gearing up to show during the Super Bowl this year:

    At more than 2-minutes long it’s likely to be edited down, but the main crux of the spot is to explain how Scientology helps people, claiming the Church has helped “4 million people lead lives without drugs” and is “enabling 43 million students to better their education.”

    Business Insider has contacted The Church of Scientology for confirmation and comment. This article will be updated when a response has been received. NBC, which is airing Super Bowl XLIX does not comment on individual clients’ bookings.

    SEE ALSO: If You Hear A Rumor That The Church Of Scientology Is An ‘Official’ Super Bowl Advertiser — It’s Probably Not True

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    better call saul goodmanIt's winter, which means that it's time for midseason premieres.

    Starting next year, we'll see the launch of a whole new crop of series, ranging from multiple crime shows to an experimental mini-series.

    You'll see a bunch of familiar faces, including those of Felicity Huffman, Ryan Phillipe, Rainn Wilson, and Amanda Peet.

    We'll even have the arrival of the heavily anticipated "Better Call Saul," a prequel to AMC's hit "Breaking Bad."

    "Galavant" (ABC)

    Stars: Joshua Sasse ("Frankenstein's Army"), Timothy Omundson ("Psych")

    Premiere date: Sunday, Jan. 4, at 8 p.m. 

    What it's about: ABC will test out a musical fairy-tale comedy following a knight's journey as he tries to rescue his true love from an evil king. The score is by "Beauty & The Beast" composer Alan Menken, and the lyrics are by Glenn Slater ("Tangled").

    Watch the trailer here.



    "Agent Carter" (ABC)

    Stars: Hayley Atwell ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier") James D'Arcy ("Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"), Chad Michael Murray ("One Tree Hill")

    Premiere date: Tuesday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m.

    What it's about: Peggy Carter (Atwell) must lead a double life as an admin and as a secret agent. If the character sounds familiar, it's because Carter is from Marvel's "Captain America" series. The show is also connected to its lead-in, "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."

    Watch the trailer here.



    "Empire" (FOX)

    Stars: Taraji P. Henson ("Hustle and Flow"), Terrence Howard ("Hustle and Flow"), Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious: Based on The Novel Push by Sapphire")

    Premiere date: Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 9 p.m.

    What it's about: This musical family drama follows what happens when a hip-hop record company's charismatic CEO (Howard) learns he has ALS. It will also be set to a hip-hop soundtrack.

    Watch the trailer here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider







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    Later this year, Netflix will introduce a new way to stream videos, and I was lucky enough to get a private demo at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

    Netflix is calling this new, higher-quality streaming "HDR," which stands for high dynamic range, a term that is most common in photography.

    The demo I saw was at LG's booth at the CES conference in Las Vegas, where an LG display executive was showing off what HDR streaming looked like on an ultra-high-resolution 4K TV, using the new Netflix show "Marco Polo." (Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us shoot video or photos, so we're using regular screenshots from the show.)

    HDR basically ensures you're seeing extremely accurate colors that have a higher range. So instead of a ray of sunlight appearing washed out and white, you're able to notice the orange and yellow hues instead. The picture below would appear a lot more colorful, for instance:

    marco polo

    While we can't show you what Netflix HDR looks like at this time, below you can see a comparison between a non-HDR photo on the left, and an HDR photo on the right. While the differences are subtle, you should be able to notice the mountains and skyline in the HDR photo are less washed out.

    HDR comparison

    Samsung showed off some impressive HDR 4K televisions at CES this week, but LG is arguably further along, with an official partnership with Netflix that will introduce HDR streaming later this year.

    While LG hasn't publically shown off or announced an HDR TV, the demo I saw was meant to show that LG has the technology to introduce HDR TVs but is busy fine-tuning it with the help of colorists and other film color-graders who will help the company nail all the subtle tweaks necessary to demonstrate the most accurate and impressive range of colors.

    The LG display executive acknowledged he was "jealous" of Samsung's HDR demo (see below), but he argued that Samsung cut corners to make a flashy public demonstration, "paying a movie studio $2 million" to tailor-make an HDR demo for its specific display. 

    samsung tv 4k uhd

    LG, on the other hand, says it's laying the groundwork for the long term, working closely with movie studios and industry experts to get things ready for Netflix HDR streaming, which is how most people will experience HDR.

    It's easiest to notice the difference HDR makes when you have a wide spectrum of colors in a scene.

    In "Marco Polo," there are scenes in which a colorist traditionally had to choose between either showing a dark shadow or ray of sunlight. With HDR, there's no such compromise — colorists are able to highlight the nuances of each, showing both dark shadows and bright light that doesn't appear washed out. For instance, this scene would have a lot more light gradients than we can show here:

    marco polo

    I also saw a few scenes from "A Million Ways To Die In The West," a Western that featured plenty of shadowy bar brawls and epic landscape shots. You really notice HDR's added infusion of color into a scene during wide-angled shots of the sky. With HDR off, the subtle changes in the sky's hue from white to blue to gray were washed out, but with HDR on you could really notice the finer details. The same was true when I watched the dust particles kicked up from horses riding across the desert plains; HDR turned what used to be white-washed dust into a beige, yellowish brown.

    So what will you need to be able to enjoy Netflix in HDR 4K?

    A new HDR 4K TV, which you'll see a lot of in the next year. Once Netflix officially launches HDR streaming, Netflix will "talk" to your TV, checking to see whether your TV is equipped for HDR. Your TV will enable the feature and handle all the HDR processing, so you won't have to worry about Netflix being slower just so you can see some extra color.

    Netflix truly looks spectacular in HDR, and it might even persuade me to upgrade to a fancy 4K TV once the service launches later this year.


    NOW WATCH: Robot Funded By The US Military Can Sprint And Jump Just Like A Cheetah

     

     

    SEE ALSO: How Do You Run In Virtual Reality? With A Treadmill Like This One I Just Tried

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    godaddy puppy

    NBC Sports, the broadcaster hosting the XLIX Super Bowl, has just announced that 95% of the ad slots during the big game this year have sold out.

    Speaking on a conference call with press on Wednesday, the EVP of sales and sales marketing Seth Winter for NBC Universal's Sports Group and News Group said there are just a "handful" of units left and that the broadcaster is "much further along today" than it was in 2012, when it last broadcast the Super Bowl. The company — of course — expects all the slots to be sold out before kick off on February 1.

    NBC confirmed it is asking for between $4.4 million and $4.5 million per 30-second slot, depending on how many units advertisers buy. Winter said he thinks this is a "steal" given the extra exposure Super Bowl ad creative gets on social media and through PR, and that he thinks is a slot is really worth "$10 million."

    So far, NBC has signed up 15 advertisers that making their Super Bowl debuts.

    While the tone of the call was mostly positive, Winter admitted the sell had been tougher than other years due to "general conditions" in the ad market — indeed, FOX, which broadcast the 2014 Super Bowl, had sold out all its big game ad inventory by December 2013. In particular, the automotive category has not performed well this year, with only half as many car brands participating this year. Indeed, so far, we only know that Nissan, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are planning Super Bowl ads this time around.

    Elsewhere, other "weaker" categories include tech and wireless categories.

    Making up that shortfall have been advertisers from the CPG category, soft drinks, gaming and apps, fast food restaurants and movies.

    Beyond in-game TV ads, NBC said it has seen "significant interest" in pre- and post-game ads. Winter said this may be because advertisers are keen to hit the NFL audience, but those ads are not subject to the same scrutiny and expectations of in-game ads.

    NBC also streams the game online and digital ads have been "very well sold." Winter revealed that 100% of those advertising against the online stream are also Super Bowl TV advertisers.

    Winter also responded to a question on the call about whether the domestic abuse scandal that has rocked the NFL in recent months had affected ad bookings. He admitted that one advertiser had "early on got a bit queasy about it" and chosen not advertise this year as a result, but he added that he had not heard the same from other clients.

    SEE ALSO: Here Is Everything We Know About The 2015 Super Bowl Ads

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    Earth's mightiest heroes will rely on a bunch of Samsung gear in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" this summer.

    Samsung is showing off a bunch tech developed for the sequel at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) currently taking place in Las Vegas.

    CNET's Shara Tibken snapped a few shots of the devices ranging from a see-through phone for Tony Stark to smartwatches that will be worn by the Avengers team.

    samsung avengers

    Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) will use this super-thin phone inspired by the Galaxy Note Edge.

    tony stark phone

    Here's how Samsung describes Stark's phone:

    What type of phone does a man who has everything need? A sleek and metallic phone that features cutting edge technology designed specifically for Tony Stark. With a striking flexible display, the phone features two different curved panels, taking inspiration from Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge so that important information is displayed separately from the main screen. The device features a hologram glass user interface with finger print security so that even if the device gets into the wrong hands, Tony Stark's personal data stays secure and out of the hands of the enemy.

    Tibken has a closer up shot.

    avengers smart phone samsung

    Stark's see-through phone first popped up in "Iron Man 2." Back then, it was nothing more than a fancy glass prop which featured an LG Electronics-sponsored logo.

    The entire Avengers crew will be equipped with Samsung watches and Bluetooth earpieces.avengers samsung bluetooth

    Here's how the Avenger's SmartWatch is described:

    A metal alloy smartwatch built with the strongest materials to operate in the toughest environments. With a striking glass interface, Samsung's top secret Smartwatch features two user modes: Normal and Transparent so that the Avengers can access their personal information while staying up to date on any imminent threats to the universe.

    IGN has a few images of the products, too. 

    A humorous touch is that the display text says the products were made by both Samsung and STARK INDUSTRIES, a nod to Avenger Tony Stark’s company.

    A note about product availability mentions the devices are “only available to members of the Avengers.”

    Shucks. 

    SEE ALSO: Check out the first trailer for "Ant-Man"

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    paparrazzi1 750x439

    There's a new clothing collection for those who wish to stay out of the limelight.

    DJ Chris Holmes has invented the Anti-Paparazzi Clothes Collection, LaughingSquid reports

    The collection is featured as a part of BetaBrand's Think Tank, an innovative contest where new clothing ideas emerge. Voters decide which clothing items should be made.

    Holmes's ads encourage people to "be seen, not captured." anti paparazzi

    Holmes says the idea came to him from wearing reflective clothing to events.  

    "After wearing reflective clothing to several performances, I noticed that photos from the shows always looked odd because the flash that bounced off my clothing would wash out the rest of the photo," he wrote on BetaBrand.

    "While I wasn’t thrilled that many of these photos were ruined because of my clothing, it gave me the epiphany that perhaps I could use this technology for a greater purpose. That’s what lead me to create the Anti-Paparazzi Collection, which uses reflective threads to render paparazzi-shot photos worthless — perfect for those who don't want their [pictures] taken," he added.

    anti papa razziAs of now, Holmes has designed a hoodie, scarf, and blazer, but he is open to suggestions for more ideas.

    Below is a sample before-and-after photo.

    xanti_paparrazzi_collection_7_1.pagespeed.ic.7 tjdzCYO2.jpg

    This collection of paparazzi-deflecting clothes is not yet available for purchase, but you can vote for the concept here.

    SEE ALSO: California Bans Paparazzi Drones

    Join the conversation about this story »









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    An explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Colombia knocked a local cameraman off his feet and filled the sky with whizzes, bangs and a display of dazzling colors. It is thought there could have been up to 10 tons of fireworks stored in the warehouse.

    Produced by Devan Joseph. Video courtesy of Associated Press.

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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    'A Documentary About Everything' is a feature length documentary that highlights past and present owners, clientèle and pop culture references, of Tom's Restaurant. The restaurant's exterior became famous worldwide thanks to the popular sitcom Seinfeld. The documentary breaks down the fictional facade of the restaurant and showcases the real people behind this true NYC Landmark. 

    The full length documentary is now available to view on Vimeo On Demand.

    Video courtesy of Gian Franco Morini

    Follow BI Video:On Facebook

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    charlie cox daredevil marvel

    Netflix's first Marvel series "Daredevil" will be streaming sooner than expected.

    The streaming site announced all 13 one-hour episodes of the series will premiere April 10, 2015 at 12:01 a.m. 

    The series will star Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock, the lawyer who eventually becomes the crime-fighting superhero.

    Deborah Ann Woll ("True Blood"), Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D'Onofrio also star.

    "Daredevil" is one of several Marvel shows set to premiere on Netflix which will ultimately lead up to a miniseries on the Defenders comic series.

    The "Daredevil" announcement was part of a larger release in which the streaming service announced the premiere dates for several upcoming new series including Tina Fey's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and Kyle Chandler-starring "Bloodline."

    Marvel and Netflix also released a new poster for the series showing off the familiar "Daredevil" logo. Check it out below.daredevil poster

    SEE ALSO: All the new TV shows coming out this year

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    house of cards season 2 frank underwood

    Netflix has shaken up the way we watch television with its original programming series ranging from Emmy-winning “House of Cards” to “Orange is the New Black.”

    However, no one really knows how many people are watching these “successful” series.

    Don't plan on finding out any time soon.

    Chief content officer Ted Sarandos told reporters at the TV Critics Association (TCAs) press tour Wednesday the streaming service plans to keep those numbers secret for as long as possible.

    “It has no reflection on our business in any way,” said Sarandos. “I know it frustrates you, but we’re going to stay away from it for as long as we can.”

    According to TheWrap, Sarandos explained it wasn't necessary for the site to reveal show viewership since they don't have advertisers like television networks do.

    Netflix reports it has a total of over 50 million subscribers in nearly 50 countries. 

    Knowing that number, it’s easy to see why the media and competing online streaming services and television outlets are anxious to see how many people are tuning into online content. 

    At the same time, it seems like it would be a difficult task to measure Netflix viewing. It’s not as if shows air at any one given time. The beauty of Netflix is that you watch whenever you want. 

    While there is surely a subset of diehard bingewatchers, not everyone is tuning in at 12:01 a.m. to stream 13 new episodes of “House of Cards.” Even more aren’t going to watch them straight through. While some may finish a season of “HOC” over the course of several days, others may want to spread out the experience over several weeks.

    In some ways, its difficult to ascertain how ratings would even matter if we knew them. Trying to compare viewership on a premiere day for “HOC” to a popular network or cable series like “The Blacklist” or HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is an apples to oranges case. There’s really nothing to compare Netflix viewership against.

    For this reason, it makes sense why Netflix may be eager to keep viewership to themselves.

    If Netflix wanted to show some sort of viewership, it could easily display a counter on movies and television series showing how many times something was streamed similar to YouTube. 

    At the end of the day though, I'm not even sure if ratings really matter anymore (other than to advertisers).

    We see good shows get cancelled all the time because of poor ratings. Poor ratings have become synonymous with “bad show”; however, I often hear one of two things from viewers after new shows are quickly axed: “That was a show?” or “I didn’t even know that was on the air" which suggests some low-rated shows may be missed by consumers who are fed an over-saturated television market.

    Over 20 new shows launched fall 2014. Eight of those were cancelled, and a few others are toss ups to likely be axed.

    While all of Netflix’s original series aren’t as hyped and talked about as “OITNB” and “HOC,” the streaming service has yet to cancel one of its shows.

    And, though millions of people may not be tuning into the premiere of "House of Cards," Netflix is revolutionizing the way we watch television regardless.

    SEE ALSO: We'll be seeing Netflix's "Daredevil" show sooner than expected

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    sony e3 press ps4Sony said in a statement Thursday it will delay sales of its PlayStation 4 gaming console in China, citing “various factors." 

    The PS4 was set to go on sale in the country Jan. 11. A new sale date has not been set.

    According to Reuters, a “company source in China” says negotiations with Chinese authorities are partly why the PlayStation 4 won’t go on sale on Sunday. 

    China has enormous potential for a company like Sony: The country is the world’s third-largest gaming market, with revenues reaching $15 billion in 2014. Sony is also relying heavily on its gaming business right now to compensate for some of its weaker divisions, like mobile.

    This would’ve been the first time Sony entered the Chinese market. The country only last year lifted its 14-year ban on foreign video games and gaming consoles, which opened the door for Microsoft to release its own console, the Xbox One, in September 2014. (Response to that console has been “chilly,” however.)

    But entering China isn’t so simple: The country has strict censorship rules about what games can and can’t contain or show, which would prevent those games — some of them very popular — from going on sale. (Microsoft, for instance, only sells 10 games in China.)

    Sony says it is currently applying for licenses for 30 games, working closely with the government to ameliorate concerns of censorship. The company looks to sell the PlayStation 4 for around $467, which is a bit higher than its US retail price of $400. That’s still cheaper than Microsoft’s Xbox One, which costs $595 in China but only $400 in the US.

    SEE ALSO: This Is Easily The Best Product Unveiled At CES So Far

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    50 Cent talks about the greatest challenge he faced as he delved into being an entrepreneur.

    Produced by Will Wei and Lisa Eadicicco. Edited by Matthew Stuart. 

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    Nicole and Jimmy

    It's always good to remind ourselves that we're all human — even celebrities. Nothing gave us more proof of that than watching Jimmy Fallon find out he blew his chance to date Nicole Kidman years ago.

    Kidman acknowledged it this week when she was a guest on Fallon's late-night show.

    The duo remembers the night differently, and, of course, Fallon comes off looking totally oblivious. 

    Nicole and Jimmy

    Here's the basic "he said/she said," according to Fallon and Kidman:

    Fallon remembers that his friend Rick called him a few years ago. Rick was with Nicole Kidman, who wanted to meet Fallon, "maybe for a part in 'Bewitched,' or something."

    "You're going to bring Nicole Kidman to my apartment?" he remembers asking. His friend told him to get cheese and crackers. Fallon didn't know what to do, so he bought brie at a deli.

    It was then that Kidman interjected with her side of things.

    "I liked you," Kidman said. "Not now — I'm married now." Kidman is married to Keith Urban, the country singer and American Idol judge. Fallon married Nancy Juvonen in 2007.

    "Wait ... what?" Fallon said in disbelief.

    Jimmy Nicole

    Kidman said she remembered it differently.

    The mutual friend — Rick — was trying to set them up!

    "You're there in a baseball cap," Kidman said, "and you wouldn't talk, and I'm like, 'OK, so...' and then you put a video game on or something!"

    "It was bad," she added. "After about an hour and a half I thought, 'He has no interest; this is so embarrassing.'"

    Fallon's reaction is amazing.

    "I can't believe I dated Nicole Kidman!" he cried out.

    "You didn't!" Kidman said with a laugh.

    Watch the entire video below. 

     

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    banshee lucas hood"Banshee" may be smashing network records at Cinemax, but it still hasn't hit mainstream audiences. This may have something to do with its dreaded Friday night timeslot or the fact that Cinemax is a premium cable channel in significantly less households than HBO.

    The testosterone-fueled series from Alan Ball, creator of HBO's "Six Feet Under" and "True Blood," seems to have been relegated to "guilty pleasure" status. "Banshee" enters its third season this weekend, and while many acknowledge the show is totally ludicrous, that's exactly what makes the series so fun. 

    "Banshee" opens with our protagonist (Anthony Starr) walking out of prison after a 15-year stint for what we later learn was a botched robbery. He immediately tracks down his ex-lover/partner-in-crime and discovers that she has since become a completely new person with a new identity and family to boot.

    The unnamed criminal treks all the way to Amish country in Banshee, Pennsylvania, to find her, but once he does, she tells him to stay out of her life. This leads our hero to a local bar to drown his sorrows, and the only other patron at this bar just so happens to be the new Banshee sheriff, who starts the job the following day. Some thugs with horrible luck decide to rob this bar, and after a spectularly violent sequence, the new sheriff as well as both thieves are dead.

    In a moment of fleeting stupidity/total genius, our mysterious drifter takes the dead sheriff's credentials and assumes his identity, effectively becoming Lucas Hood, sheriff of Banshee, Pennsylvania. As of the end of season two, his real name still remains a mystery.

    banshee lucas hood fightIf that mini-synopsis makes "Banshee" sound like the pulpiest, kitschiest show on television, that's because it is. What starts as a flimsy plan to win back his woman winds up cutting way deeper as Hood learns that Banshee is a town full of dirty little secrets and takes it upon himself to legitimately patrol the town. What may read as convoluted on paper works on screen due to the show's frenetic energy and total disregard for political-correctness. 

    Alan Ball and showrunners Jonathan Tropper and David Schickler seem to believe that crafting impressive action sequences and graphic sex scenes are more important than all else, and in this case, I'd argue they're right. Fortunately, the characters that inhabit Banshee are all fascinating and given just enough backstory to allow the audience to really connect.

    There's Carrie Hopewell, Hood's old fling and the entire reason he came to Banshee in the first place; Kai Proctor, the evil mastermind (of Amish descent) on the top of the Banshee food-chain; his niece Rebecca; Alex Longshadow, a Native Kinaho; and Job, Hood's flamboyant right-hand-man who is to "Banshee" what Lafayette is to "True Blood." Ulrich Thomsen's performance as villain Kai Proctor is easily the most compelling part of the show — you'd be hard pressed to find anybody as crazy as he is anywhere else on television. He steals every scene he's in and truly earns his horrifying reputation time and time again.

    Once connections between the Amish community, the Kinaho tribe, and all the relevant players are made explicity clear, the show really takes off running and moves from one terrific setpiece to the next as Hood tries his best to both protect the town from the evil mastermind who essentially runs the town and deal with his own demons. Eventually, Hood's past comes back to haunt him when his two worlds collide. 

    "Banshee" is an exercise in excess — the sheer amount of violence, sex, and evil in each episode is astounding. The show is so ridiculously over-the-top that it borders on absurd brlliance. Before you know where one completely crazy subplot is going, another one even more off-the-wall pops up. 

    banshee14_36

    The action on "Banshee" is more well-choreographed and satisfying than the majority of major motion pictures. There's one particularly bloody fight scene from episode three in which Lucas Hood scraps with a MMA fighter for what feels like 15 minutes. This sequence is so memorably brutal and encompasses the philosophy of the show that it can act as a litmus test for whether or not someone will enjoy the series. 

    Empirically, "Banshee" shouldn't work as well as it does. The dialogue can get a bit hokey, and some of the big action sequences go too far even for the standards set by the series. From my brief description, it may sound like a violent misogynist's wet dream with little artistic merit, but there's more to it than that.

    The beauty of the show is all in the execution. Ball knows his way around crafting entertaining television, and as the show progresses it's hard to not get wrapped up in all its eccentric, visceral glory. 

    "Banshee" returns to Cinemax this Friday night. The first two seasons are currently available to Cinemax subscribers.

    Check out a trailer for the series below:

    SEE ALSO: 'Hannibal' Is The Best TV Show No One Is Watching

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    Jon Stewart Daily Show

    Following Wednesday's terrorist attack at the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, Jon Stewart opened "The Daily Show" with a heartfelt tribute.

    "I think we would all agree that 2014 was not a great year for... people. But I think the hope was that 2015 would bring respite for the terrible events that have become all too familiar," Stewart said at the top of the show. "Our hearts are with the staff of Charlie Hebdo and their families tonight."

    Stewart continued by offering a reflective response on what comedy should be:

    I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage, it should be taken as established law. But those guys at Hebdo had it and they were killed for their cartoons.

    A stark reminder that for the most part the legislators and journalists and institutions that we jab and ridicule are not in any way the enemy. For however frustrating or outraged the back and forth can become it’s still back and forth, a conversation amongst those on let’s call it 'Team Civilization.' And this type of violence only clarifies that reality.

    Stewart concluded by stating: "Our goal tonight is not to make sense of this, because there is no sense to be made of this. Our goal, as always, is to keep doing."

    "The Daily Show" ended with a moment of silence with this graphic:

    Charlie Hebdo Daily ShowWatch the full clip below:

     

    Conan O'Brien also addressed the tragedy on his TBS late-night show Wednesday evening by saying the story "really hits home."

    In this country, we take it for granted it’s our right to poke fun at the untouchable or the sacred, but today’s tragedy in Paris reminds us, very viscerally, that it’s a right some people are forced to die for. So it is very important that I express tonight that everyone who works at our comedy show, all of us are terribly sad for the families of those victims and for anyone who now has to think twice before making a joke  that is not the way it is supposed to be.

    Tina Fey also responded to news of the shooting at Wednesday's Television Critics Association press tour by defending freedom of speech:

    Obviously, that news is terrible and tragic and upsetting. You look at that and you look at the controversy surrounding 'The Interview,' it makes you think about how important free speech is and how it absolutely must be defended. [We] can not back down on free speech in any way. We all have to stand firm on the issue of free speech.

    Tina Fey awardsterrorist attack at the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday left 12 people dead, including the weekly's chief editor and three cartoonists. Police are still searching for two men they suspect as being the gunmen, while another man believed to be involved with the deadly assault turned himself over to authorities late Wednesday. 

    Media outlets denounced the massacre as an attack on freedom and democracies. A few even decided to republish cartoons from Charlie Hebdo that have triggered controversy in the past.

    SEE ALSO: Here’s How Newspaper Front Pages Across The World Are Covering The Paris Shooting

    MORE: Jon Stewart Mocks The US Response To North Korea After 'The Interview' Fiasco

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