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9 items from 2015

DVD Savant’s Guide to the New Wave of Classic Hammer Blu-rays

15 October 2015 3:40 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Curious about all those Region B Hammer Blu-rays from overseas, the ones requiring a region-free player? As a public service, Savant has solicited an expert opinion (you'll have to take my word for that) of a film restoration/transfer specialist who is also an informed fan of the filmic output of the little horror studio at Bray. I know, real Hammer fans buy first and worry about quality later, but this little guide might be of help to the rest of us budget-conscious collectors.

A 'Guest' article Written by a trusted Savant correspondent.

(Note: I receive plenty of emails asking for advice about the quality of Region B Blu-rays, most of which I don't see. I have access to industry people qualified to compare and judge the discs, but they stay off the record, because their employers forbid them to go online with their opinions. They must sometimes simmer in »

- Glenn Erickson

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Sacha Baron Cohen Sets Up Production Company Spelthorne Community Television

7 October 2015 4:01 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Cannes — Sacha Baron Cohen and Andrew Newman, the former chief executive of Objective Productions, have set up U.K.-based production company Spelthorne Community Television, in which Channel 4 has taken a minority stake.

Spelthorne Community Television, which is named after the district from which Baron Cohen’s character Ali G came from, will specialize in creating scripted TV comedy and comedy entertainment content with a “strong focus on innovation and new ideas.” Through this company the duo will support new and emerging comedy writers and performers with “bold ambition.”

Baron Cohen’s relationship with Newman and Channel 4 reaches back to the 1990s. Baron Cohen made his debut in 1998 on Channel 4’s “The 11 O’clock Show,” where he worked with Newman, who was the show’s producer. Baron Cohen’s TV series “Da Ali G Show” also aired on Channel 4. It won two BAFTA TV awards and »

- Leo Barraclough

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Former ABC, ITV, Sky Executive Duncan Gray Sets Up Twenty Six 03

19 August 2015 5:48 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

British TV producer Duncan Gray, who has held senior creative executive roles at U.S. network ABC, British broadcaster ITV and U.K. pay TV operator Sky, and served as an exec producer on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” has launched production company Twenty Six 03. The company will focus on producing primetime entertainment programs for the global market.

Gray said: “We’re on the verge of announcing a big and exciting commission, and as a 100% independent company, we can concentrate on high-quality programming without any of the margin and distribution issues that get in the way of creativity in some bigger content businesses.”

Gray’s past roles include controller of entertainment at Granada, developing and launching ITV’s flagship entertainment series including “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway,” which is now being produced in the U.S. as “Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris” on NBC.

In the U.S. »

- Leo Barraclough

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Chris Evans will host more episodes of Tfi Friday – how did we get here?

23 June 2015 8:59 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

After the successful 20th-anniversary celebration, Channel 4 has announced a further eight-part run of Tfi Friday with the new Top Gear host back at the helm – and not Nick Grimshaw, as Evans himself had suggested

Personally, I would have brought back The Word or, at a stretch, Katie Puckrik’s Pyjama Party. But today we are faced with news that’s going to be as divisive as it was inevitable. Following its successful one-off revival, Tfi Friday is coming back to Channel 4 for a full series, the twist being that Chris Evans will return to front all eight episodes. We should at least be used to Evans going back on his word when it comes to career plans. And so it would be instructive to establish a timeline of these cataclysmic last few months.

A rip opens in the fabric of light entertainment when Jeremy Clarkson punches somebody in the face. »

- Dan Martin

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10 classic Tfi Friday moments, from Shaun Ryder swearing to Freak or Unique

9 June 2015 9:00 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

In 1996, Chris Evans and Danny Baker launched a show that would become as synonymous with 1990s as the Spice Girls and Eric Cantona.

Tfi Friday was the perfect show of its time, airing every Friday evening on Channel 4 and featuring as much Britpop and silly anarchic humour as you could ask for.

Ahead of its one-off comeback show this Friday (June 12), Digital Spy has collected just some of the most memorable and hilarious moments from its five years on air.

1. Shaun Ryder says "f**k" on live TV. In front of your mum.

Pity Chris Evans. With a mouth dodgier than the bizarre moustache he was sporting at the time, it was always going to be something of a liability bringing indie music's chief party-monster Shaun Ryder onto a family show that aired at just 6pm.

"If you don't swear tonight, I'll give you my shoes!" promised Evans, only »

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Whatever happened to Friday-night TV?

5 June 2015 5:12 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Tfi Friday is making a one-off return to Channel 4 next week, with Liam Gallagher and Blur joining Chris Evans for a live special. It’s a reminder of how exciting start-of-the-weekend telly used to be

It was the great pop philosopher R Kelly who once said: “It’s the freakin’ weekend, baby, I’m about to have me some fun.” But if you’re staying in on a Friday night, telly fun isn’t what it used to be. What was once the preserve of pre- and post-pub anarchy with shows such as Tfi Friday and The Word is now filled with the gentle ribbing of Graham Norton and Alan Carr, along with Big Brother if you want to go for a more naked-people-in-a-hot-tub option.

As Tfi Friday makes a return with a live special to celebrate its nearly-20th anniversary, it’s a reminder of how TV can »

- Hannah Verdier

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Cannes Film Review: ‘The Here After’

25 May 2015 8:08 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The kids are not all right in “The Here After,” a cold, controlled, minimalist drama about the aftermath of a crime committed by a teen in contempo rural Sweden. Mirroring the milieu of his tale, where repressed emotions eventually run amok, Sweden-born, Poland-trained helmer-writer Magnus von Horn withholds traditionally expected narrative information, revealing only gradually the reason for the locals’ hostility toward his protagonist, thus making spoilers an inevitable part of any synopsis. This style of storytelling will not be to all tastes, but the pic should serve as a calling card for fests on the lookout for new talent.

The action kicks off as John (Ulrik Munther) leaves an unidentified, locked-down institution in the company of his controlling father (Mats Blomgren). Back at the family farm, John wrestles with young brother Filip (a winning Alexander Nordgren) and helps with chores. But there’s no discussion of where he has been, »

- Alissa Simon

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Obama to Appear on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'

10 March 2015 7:04 AM, PDT | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

President Barack Obama will return to Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week, sitting down with the ABC late night show this Thursday, March 12th, according to The Hollywood Reporter. That night's episode will also feature Sean Penn.

Obama made his first appearance on Kimmel via satellite in June 2008 during his initial campaign for President. Despite the big gap between appearances, the talk-show host was invited to host the White House Correspondents' dinner in 2012. A few months after, ahead of the election, First Lady Michelle Obama stopped by Kimmel for an »

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Friday night TV: where did the good times go?

6 February 2015 3:00 AM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Friday used to be the highlight of the week for the committed sofa-dweller, with the likes of Tfi Friday, The Word and Friday Night Live. Now it’s all self-improvement shows and Alan Titchmarsh. What happened?

Friday night telly used to be the highlight of the week for the committed sofa-dweller. Gone were the endless weekday soaps, Diy saviours and the dreaded Question of Sport, and in came a glorious line of high-kicking comedy and entertainment shows to cheer up the majority of us who did not want to be pressed up against the wall of a heaving bar, trying to get served.

Where have those shows gone? It wasn’t so long ago, was it, when we crashed into a pile of couch cushions, Budweiser in hand, scrunchy flung off with abandon as the opening bars of The Riverboat Song by Ocean Colour Scene filled the living room and »

- Julia Raeside

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