television

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From Texas Standard:

There are at least three things every Texan knows about Austin. 1) It's the state capitol. 2) It calls itself the live music capitol of the world. And 3) It seems like there's a festival nearly every weekend.

One of those festivals is all about television – a segment of the entertainment industry that used to have a Rodney Dangerfield complex – it "never gets no respect."

But as the Texas Standard's Laura Rice found out at this year's ATX Fest, the real story here is how much that's changed.

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nelson George, acclaimed filmmaker, TV producer, journalist, and author of ‘The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture and Style.’

When it debuted on October 2, 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music.

Jack Plunkett

Henry Winkler – better known as Arthur Fonzarelli in iconic 1970s sitcom “Happy Days,” and Barry Zukerkorn in cult favorite "Arrested Development" – was in Austin recently, accepting the first-ever Achievement in Television Excellence Award from the ATX Television Festival.

Winkler talked about his battle with dyslexia, the struggle to get casting directors to see beyond the Fonz, and his love for Austin barbecue. He also offered a lot of advice.

We've collected his best advice in this 90-second clip. Listen: 

atxfestival.com

Television is getting a bit more respect these days. For one, it’s where Academy Award winners such as Matthew McConaughey and Kevin Spacey have recently focused their talents.

TV’s resurgence includes getting its very own festival – which kicks off today in Austin.

Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson founded the ATX Television Festival. They talked with KUT about the third annual fest – which they’re calling “Season Three.”

Tina Rowden

Texas is the setting of a new AMC show touted as the next “Mad Men.”

Halt and Catch Fire” made its television debut last night. The show follows an unlikely group of computer geniuses in the early 1980's in the so-called "Silicon Prairie."

KUT talked with the show’s creators – Chris Cantwell and Chris Rogers – at a busy downtown Austin restaurant when they premiered the program at South by Southwest.

Robert Voets

Austin-based writer/director Rob Thomas’s film “Veronica Mars” hits theatres this week. But South by Southwest audiences got to see it first.

The film revisits the characters Thomas created for the “Veronica Mars” TV show – which was canceled back in 2007 after three seasons. But fans demanded more. And an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign provided the budget for the much-anticipated follow up.

KUT sat down with Thomas to talk about the journey of making this film:

Russell Johnson, the actor whose job it was to be the voice of reason and calm on an island of shipwrecked ninnies, has died at age 89, according to reports. Johnson's role as the Professor on the 1960s comedy Gilligan's Island endeared him to audiences who watched him build radios and generators from things like coconuts and palm branches.

Johnson reportedly died of natural causes today at his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

Telemundo recently announced that its telenovela El Señor de los Cielos (Lord of the Skies) will be back for a second season; production began this week in Mexico City. This resurrection sets it apart from almost every other telenovela because, unlike American soap operas, telenovelas have a clear beginning and a definitive ending, airing for a set number of episodes.

Mose Buchele, KUT News

In a recent editorial in the entertainment industry magazine Variety, the headline seemed to say what a lot of people have been thinking recently: TV needs to get over its inferiority complex. 

"Breaking Bad." "House of Cards." "Mad Men." "Homeland." Those are just a few recent series made for the small screen which may be giving the big screen a run for its money and for critical acclaim.

KUT's David Brown sat down with industry experts to find an answer to the following question: does size still matter?

courtesy Channel Austin

It’s been 40 years now for Channel Austin, the city’s only nonprofit that runs an independent television channel. And like people turning the big 4-0, Channel Austin is reflecting on its past and looking to the future.

Over the years, Channel Austin has had its brushes with fame.

suddenlinkonyourside.com

Update: Suddenlink says it has come to an agreement with Fox, at least in principle. Here's a statement sent out last night by Suddenlink's director of corporate communications, Gene Regan:

Suddenlink has reached an agreement in principle with News Corp/Fox for the continued carriage of its TV stations and cable networks. The current agreement between the companies has been extended for another week while they work out the details of the new agreement. Specific terms of the new agreement were not disclosed.

Original story: If you subscribe to Suddenlink cable service, you may lose Fox 7 and other Fox cable networks at midnight. Suddenlink’s current agreement with Fox ended at the end of 2011 and the two companies haven’t yet reached a new agreement.

flickr.com/annaustin

Comedian Dave Chappelle – who after massive success with his “Chappelle’s Show” TV series shunned the spotlight – is performing in Austin tonight.

Chappelle will be performing at the Paramount Theater at 8 p.m. tonight, in an appearance just announced this morning. After turning his back on his provocative comedy series in 2005, Chappelle has instead focused on standup comedy, often playing “secret” shows like this one just announced.

Photo by KUT News

APD Officer Killed

An Austin Police Officer is dead after being shot while trying to arrest a suspect early this morning.

The officer was called to the Wal-Mart on Parmer and I-35 at around 2:20 a.m. When the officer arrived, police say he made contact with the suspect and the man immediately began to fight with the officer. Police say the suspect then pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and shot the officer at point-blank range in the neck area.

In a press conference, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said that two Wal-Mart employees tackled the suspect after he shot the police officer.  

Rapid growth in the U.S. Hispanic community has created another boom — in Hispanic media. In recent months, several major media players have announced plans to join the competition for the Hispanic television audience. There's a new Hispanic broadcast TV network coming, plus a host of new cable channels aimed at Latinos.

The numbers tell the story: According to the census, the U.S. Hispanic population jumped by more than 40 percent in the past decade. The nation's 50 million-plus Hispanics now make up 16 percent of the TV-viewing public.

On Friday's Morning Edition, Elizabeth Blair investigates one of television's pressing questions: Why has Mad Men been off the air so long? It's returning this Sunday night with a two-hour season premiere, but it's still puzzled some viewers that it has been off for such a long time.

Image courtesy teamcoco.com

A crew of Austin creatives has taken its “Intergalactic Nemesis” show on the road – with a stop on Conan O’Brien’s show last night.

What is “The Intergalactic Nemesis” you may ask? Essentially, it’s a live-action comic book where performers enact a fantastic sci-fi story with live music and sound effects. The crew last night featured “Nemesis” producer and director Jason Neulander, musician and composer Graham ReynoldsBuzz Moran providing foley effects, and others – including O’Brien and his sidekick Andy Richeter. The art behind the performers was also created by another Austinite, Tim Doyle.

You can view the performance on the “Conan” website. The “Nemesis” crew concludes its tour in March, and will present a rough cut of its newest piece, “Book Two: Robot Planet Rising,” at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar that same month

PBS's hit series Downton Abbey has been praised for its subtle and witty dialogue. But a few anachronisms have slipped into the characters' conversations, and spotting them has become a hobby for many fans.

Photo by thatguygil http://www.flickr.com/photos/thatguygil/

This curious website has been raising some eyebrows in Austin. It purports to be a casting call for a reality TV program that is “rounding up the biggest and baddest personalities to live it up in the ultimate Austin pad.”

The website says the show is being produced by “one of the Executive Producers behind ‘Jersey Shore’ in conjunction with Badaddy Productions.” A Google search for Badaddy Productions yielded no results.