Saying Goodbye to Our Favorite Boss (VOD Trend Spotter)May 02, 2011

Saying Goodbye to Our Favorite Boss (VOD Trend Spotter)

VOD Trend Spotter is a new weekly column where Kendra Anderson explores the most watched TV Series On Demand (by looking at Comcast (America's largest cable VOD provider)  xfinity On Demand's weekly rankings). Sometimes the trends are obvious; other times, she adds her own spin to the psyche of the time-shifting audience.


Saying Goodbye to Our Favorite Boss, While CBS Loses its Edge, and A Good (Police) Story Matters Here (VOD Trend Spotter)
By Kendra Anderson


This Week In TV On Demand
1. Game of Thrones – HBO
2. Hawaii Five-O – CBS
3. CSI: Miami – CBS
4. Bad Girls Club – Oxygen
5. Survivor: Redemption Island – CBS
6. The Office – NBC
7. CSI: Los Angeles – CBS
8. The Killing – AMC
9. Tosh.0 – Comedy Central
10. Nurse Jackie - Showtime
Source: Comcast Xfinity and Rentrak On Demand Essentials (Week Ending April 24th, 2011)
·         NBC’s (NBC TV) “The Office” (Official Show Website) clocks in for both SD and HD (#6 and #3, respectively). This week marked Steve Carell’s (Wikipedia) last episode as Michael Scott (Wikipedia), the show’s bumbling-yet-loveable manager.
o    How can there be an Office without Michael Scott? Will Ferrell (Wikipedia) won’t cut it, and there is tons of speculation (Daily Mail) as to who will be the next Dunder Mifflin (Wikipedia) appointee (Will Arnett, please!) (Wikipedia). To echo Dwight’s words at the end of the show, “Uh oh.” – KA
·         Comcast is the first MSO to offer current TV shows from all 4 Major Broadcast networks On Demand (On Demand Weekly). Beginning last Thursday 4/28, more than 20 popular TV series from ABC and FOX began a roll out On Demand the day after live broadcast. Each of the major broadcast networks will offer the four most recent episodes from select TV series On Demand. (Engadget)
o    In case you’ve been living under a rock (YouTube), this is an important announcement. First, other cable providers are going to need to step it up to match Comcast’s (Official Website) play – who will be next? Also, are we going to see a bump in popularity for shows on Fox (Official Website) and ABC (Official Website), which haven’t yet been available On Demand?. – KA
·         WWE (WWE Official Website) announced a record 1 million PPV buys of annual showcase WrestleMania (Variety), a 30% increase over last year’s numbers. This year’s goal was reached through significant promotion by WWE alumni Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (IMDB) and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (Wikipedia), in addition to “Jersey Shore’s” Snooki (Official Website).
o    For pro wrestling fans, this actually is big news. Pay-Per-View is the primary option for audiences to see these live shows, and the margins are incredible – events typically run between $35 and $60 (Comcast), to watch live on your home screen. And WrestleMania is kind of like Sweeps (Wikipedia) for the rest of TV, so it’s good to know things are looking up for those among us who like violence. – KA
·         CBS (CBS Official Website) lost some of its footing this week, owning only 40% of the top 10 series On Demand, compared to last week’s 67% (6/9) share. The network fared even worse in HD viewing – last week CBS stole 100% of the top spots, and this week, only 40%.
o    CBS still hasn’t responded to my requests for comment on their insanely successful On Demand presence. I will fool myself and say it’s karma, but we really know this has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Steve Carell. (The Atlantic) I’ll miss ya, buddy. – KA
·         Welcome to the top 10, AMC. (AMC TV) This week their show “The Killing” (Official Show Website) put away the #8 spot On Demand. It’s the first live action scripted show from a basic cable network that’s made it into the top 10 series On Demand (since this column began).
o    Guess what? “The Killing” is a police procedural. (Wikipedia) You remember how much America likes those, right? So while the show itself appearing in the lineup isn’t big, the fact that AMC gets On Demand props this week is. – KA


- Kendra Anderson


Kenda Anderson
Kendra T. Anderson is a digital strategist specializing in social media and marketing, with an emphasis on independent film and branded content. She has worked with Cinetic Media, Magnolia Pictures and Focus Features, and now helps brands build digital and social communication strategies. Read more from Kendra on her blog and tweet Kendra @ktwanderson


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The Power of the Throne Reigns (VOD Trend Spotter)May 09, 2011

The Power of the Throne Reigns (VOD Trend Spotter)

VOD Trend Spotter is a new weekly column where Kendra Anderson explores the most watched TV Series On Demand on Comcast / Xfinity On Demand (The US largest cable on demand provider). Sometimes the trends are obvious; other times, she adds her own spin to the psyche of the time-shifting audience.


The Power of the Throne Reigns (VOD Trend Spotter)
By Kendra Anderson


This Week In TV On Demand
1. Game of Thrones – HBO
2. Survivor: Redemption Island – CBS
3. Bad Girls Club – Oxygen
4. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – CBS
5. The Office – NBC
6. Blue Bloods – CBS
8. Nurse Jackie – Showtime
9. The Borgias – Showtime
10. Hawaii Five-0 – CBS
Comcast Xfinity and Rentrak On Demand Essentials (Week Ending May 1st, 2011)

·         For the 2nd week in a row, HBO’s “Game of Thrones” rules in first place in On Demand viewing for both HD and SD. The series premiered on April 17th, and since then has claimed sovereignty of #1.
o    Ok, enough with the monarchy metaphors, but, surprisingly, the success of “Game of Thrones” was the only vestige of Royal Wedding Mania to be had this week.  What happened to Middleton Madness? Did everyone just DVR the wedding? – KA
·         For the first time since this column began, Comedy Central fell completely out of the week’s On Demand standings, with neither “Tosh.0” or “South Park,” the network’s go to series, making it into the top 10.
o    Truthfully, I’ve been surprised that both shows have appeared in the Top 10 at all – each has a substantial online following: full, current episodes (South Park Studios) of South Park are available to stream for free, and Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 blog (Link) has tons of extras for fans. Also, the core college dude audience isn’t exactly the type to pay for cable. Still, I’m sorry to see the joy leave America’s TV screens this week. Maybe instead we got our comedic kicks from the White House Correspondents Dinner (Huffington Post). – KA
·         Premium cable had a top shelf week in On Demand series, with HBO and Showtime collecting a total of 40% most watched spots in HD, and 30% in SD. Winning shows were Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie” and “The Borgias,” and, as previously mentioned, HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
o    This lends credit to recent moves by premium cable to enter the On Demand space, in which they’re playing by their own rules. HBO Go, being called “the Netflix of HBO,” (CinemaBlend) gives subscribing customers access to content on any device, and ostensibly makes the network’s value proposition more attractive to potential customers. Remember, part of the digital arms race is providing audiences with the most premium content, and the best access. HBO has long been known to hold themselves to the highest standards in that department, suggesting “it’s not the other networks, it’s HBO” (Wikipedia). – KA
·         Contrary to what I predicted last week, no other MSOs announced plans to round out On Demand offerings by including content from all four major broadcast networks. So Fox and ABC are still on the sidelines. The two nets did not see any traction in On Demand series viewing, despite the fact that many of their shows are newly available to this audience.
o    Though the initial announcement may have boosted live ratings (TV By the Numbers) for ABC and Fox, many of their most popular shows are not available On Demand, so if we’re measuring popularity, maybe there is nothing to measure.
Why not make these shows available? A recent NY Times article points out that some popular series are not offered On Demand because networks never negotiated these rights with production studios, likely out of concern for a potential loss in ad revenue…and underscoring the fact that cable companies are pretty much freaking out right now as they face fierce competition from all things broadband and the dreaded Cord Cutters (GigaOM).  – KA
·         And in professional fighting news, WWE released its first quarter results (WWE Press Release) this week, showing revenues in the Classics On Demand category are down to $1.1 million, compared with $1.3 million during the same quarter last year. The decline is attributed to fewer domestic subscribers.
o    First of all, wow. Do that many people really watch bulging, muscled pros duke it out whilst vegging on the couch with a bowl of popcorn? Every quarter? Research shows: “WWE is committed to family-friendly, PG content across all of its platforms,” (WWE Corporate) so maybe the answer to my question is YES.

- Kendra Anderson


Kenda Anderson
Kendra T. Anderson is a digital strategist specializing in social media and marketing, with an emphasis on independent film and branded content. She has worked with Cinetic Media, Magnolia Pictures and Focus Features, and now helps brands build digital and social communication strategies. Read more from Kendra on her blog and tweet Kendra @ktwanderson


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Jennifer Lopez’s South Beach Tow (VOD Hidden Gem)April 13, 2012

Jennifer Lopez’s South Beach Tow  (VOD Hidden Gem)


Media savant T Tara Turk goes deep inside cable TV to reveal Video On Demand's Hidden Gems so even the busiest of our readers can get the most out of On Demand TV. Tell Tara what VOD shows you think deserves her attention.


South Beach Tow (VOD Hidden Gem)

By T. Tara Turk


Maybe I live in a world where dragon eggs get hatched (“Game of Thrones”), Schmidts sleep with CeCes (“New Girl”) and Palins host Today shows but man I have never seen the wranglings of folks who fight to keep from getting their car towed. Now, I do admit to catching the occasional rerun of “Operation Repo.” TruTV’s resident repo show, but apparently the final season aired in 2011 only to be replaced by “South Beach Tow”, produced by Jennifer Lopez under her Nuyorican Productions. Not any Jennifer Lopez. THE Jennifer Lopez.


“Operation Repo” was your standard family business, folks running into regular folks who hadn’t paid their car note. But this South Beach Tow has tipped the scales to crazy dot com. I thought maybe it was going to be an upscale towing company dealing with Real Housewives of Miami who park in handicap spots. THIS is not the case. These are folks who don’t pay their note, who park in the middle of parking lots, who block people in, who curse loudly, use racial epithets, jump on tow trucks to block them, spray paint vehicles, steal the tow trucks....holy insane asylum, Batman.


The antics are so high on this show that I almost believe these folks are planted. Anything is possible as any one of these car owners could be an extra in GIGLI (yes, I went there). How else could the camera catch one of the car owners stealing the tow truck from the POV of the truck? I know. Reality TV that’s not real. Shocking. That said, it’s hard to stop watching - make that it’s hard to divert your eyes from the shenanigans. Everytime you want to walk away, there’s another loud commotion or utterly ridiculous moment of behavior captured that refuses to let you turn away. It’s like the Jerry Springer of towing and Jerry Springer led to a musical on the West End...I’m just saying.

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GAME OF THRONES Season 3 Premiere ReviewApril 09, 2013

GAME OF THRONES Season 3 Premiere Review


On Demand Weekly provides new reviews of hot movies and shows on demand from the POV of watching from the comfort of your home. Today’s review: “GAME OF THRONES.”

In the annals of television history, there are only a few shows that years from now people will still be talking/obsessing about: “The X-Files”, “Lost,” and, I believe, “Game of Thrones.” It’s a fantasy, but with gritty realism. It’s a good vs. evil story, but no one character is all good or all evil. And happily-ever-afters keep getting snatched away as quickly as a dragon can barbeque and eat a fish.

As the show’s popularity grows, the producers, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, while trying not to get expectations too high, have admitted that Book 3 of the A Song of Ice and Fire series was the one they most looked forward to filming. Season 3 will cover roughly the first half of Book 3, A Storm of Swords. Their love of the material really shines in this season. It must be love to make anyone tackle four different countries for the shooting. The locations (Northern Ireland, Croatia, Morocco, and Iceland) are stunning. The visuals are even lusher than before. Ditto the costumes and special effects: Dragons (!) flying, fishing, fire-breathing and cuddling up to their mommy making little purring noises! Line up the technical Emmys again.

Usually, when one starts raving about sets and costumes, it is because the writing and performances are weak. That is so not the case here. The dialogue is delicious, especially as spoken by the incredible cast. Listening to Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Lena Heady (Cersei), Nicholas Coster-Waldau (Jaime), Gwendolyn Christie (Brienne), Conleth Hill (Varys), Jerome Flynn (Bronn), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and new this season, the inimitable Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) snark is as delightful as having tea with a roomful of Maggie Smiths.

Although it is a game, it is not all fun. We’ve still got the White Walkers and Wildings in the North, Joffrey in King’s Landing, and the House of the Undying is sending assassins for Daenerys as she attempts to engage an army in Astapor on Slavers Bay. Bran and Rickon are still heading for the Wall, aided by Hodor and Tonks, I mean Osha, and they will be joined by the mysterious Jojen and Meera Howland. Brienne is still fighting to bring Jaime to King’s Landing to exchange for Sansa and Arya, and Arya is struggling to get anywhere that’s safe. The King of the North, Robb Stark, has an inconvenient love for his new wife which means he has broken his vow to the nasty Frey family, while his grandfather, Hoster Tully is dying.

(If that is too much to keep track of, watch Seasons 1 and 2 on HBO on Demand and/or read the books—highly recommended!)

The first episode begins where the last episode of Season 2 left off, North of the Wall. Poor, craven Samwell Tarly is trudging fearfully along in the snow when he comes upon someone dressed in black. Is it a fellow Nights’ Watch brother or a White Walker? No spoilers here, but for book readers two big disappointments. Then the opening credits (in my opinion, the finest on television). Neat additions are Dragonstone and Astapor and the smoking effect on Winterfell. 

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Top 6 Sci-Fi / Fantasy TV Series & Movies Now On DemandSeptember 08, 2014

Top 6 Sci-Fi / Fantasy TV Series & Movies Now On Demand

Game of Thrones (HBO)

Hey On Demanders! I know your film palettes are bustling to the brim with Daniel Day-Lewis being dramatic, Meryl Streep being dramatic, some stately British actor being dramatic, and a nice Jim Carrey comedy thrown in for good measure. But sometimes you need to escape the land of Aaron Sorkin scripts and crying, and watch some guy with a sword get seared to death by a CGI dragon.

That’s where I come in. As the author of “ZO of the Marked Age” a post apocalyptic fantasy novel, I consider myself a huge fan of genre fiction. I live for wizards in high towers, apocalyptic time frames, medieval familial dysfunction, bat shit crazy dystopias, and lots and lots of dragons. That’s why I’ve compiled my top On Demand Sci-Fi/Fantasy films and TV series for your viewing pleasure. Grab yourself some mead and a “Down with society” T-Shirt and check out my top six picks below!


GAME OF THRONES - Available on HBO GO 
HBO's fantasy hit is a dynamic story that redefines the phrase "dysfunctional family". Its Emmy nominated cast has propelled this character driven show forward, defining it as one of the most watched and critically acclaimed dramas in recent years. Based on George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, "Game Of Thrones" is equal parts bloody, raunchy, and shocking. It’s a must see for fantasy enthusiasts and TV fans alike. And did I mention there are dragons?

REVOLUTION - Available on HULU
This post apocalyptic science fiction series, helmed by J.J. Abrams’ production company, garnered a huge cult following in its two seasons. One committed binge watch and you’ll be completely engrossed in the "Revolution" world. Set fifteen years after a permanent global blackout, this imagining of post apocalyptic America deals with the fallout of a near future society that must now deal with the consequences of its own destruction.

Buffy is one of the best heroines in TV history. For seven seasons she kicked ass, staked vampires, dealt with the apocalypse, died on more than one occasion, all while trying to decide which lipstick went best with her killer outfit. Thanks to Joss Whedon we have Buffy in our lives and now you can too. All 145 episodes are available On Demand, and you should go watch them now! 


If you’re not watching Buffy,

I don’t know what you’re doing with your life.


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Rose Leslie (GAME OF THRONES) & Director Leigh Janiak’s Top 6 Things You Need To Know Re: HONEYMOONSeptember 13, 2014

Rose Leslie (GAME OF THRONES) & Director Leigh Janiak’s Top 6 Things You Need To Know Re: HONEYMOON

Rose Leslie and Leslie Janiak / HONEYMOON (Magnet Releasing)

Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.

Treadaway (Showtime’s PENNY DREADFUL) and Leslie (HBO’s GAME OF THRONES) give captivating leading performances as a couple that takes new love to disturbing depths. With romance slowing giving way to terror, writer/director Leigh Janiak puts her unique stamp on this intimate, chilling thriller.



Rose Leslie (GAME OF THRONES) & Director LEIGH JANIAK's Top 5 Things You Need To Know HONEYMOON


Rose Leslie:

1) Jumping into the lake for the scene with Harry and I on the canoe, was the best part of that day! It was cold but refreshing and I loved it far more than I thought- even though I was slightly dubious of the creepy crawlies in the water, I was disappointed I only got to do it once!

2) Whilst working on HONEYMOON, it was the first time I had ever driven in the US and on my second day I smashed and snapped the wing mirror whilst parking, the producers told me from then on that I should stick to taxis.


3) “There was a time before the rains...” We shot in western North Carolina in the spring. About a week into production the sky just exploded with torrential downpour. The road into our cottage location turned to mud. The lake levels rose and completely submerged our dock. We had thunder driving our sound guys crazy. The lights would go out. It was terrible. Finally, with only one day left at our cottage location we got lucky and the heavens parted. We were on nights at the time and so we had to shoot all night long and then straight into the next day for another six hours of glorious sunlight and an epic 18 hour shoot day!

4) My SFX make-up artist is this amazing guy named Christopher Nelson. He works a lot on "American Horror Story". He’s about seven feet tall (OK, I think he’s really like 6’4) and he wears crazy black latex serial killer gloves when he works. He also played the Groom in KILL BILL. And he’s the best with blood and goo.



Rose Leslie / HONEYMOON (Magnet Releasing)

5)  I grew up going to a cottage in Canada every summer and since the script is set there, Canada was my first choice for a production location. Rose only had a brief gap of free time between seasons of "Game Of Thrones" though, so we had to shoot in North Carolina, where we were assured the lake temperatures would be a lot more reasonable for humans. It ended up being a still very cold 60-something degrees. Lucky for Rose and Harry they only had to jump in a few times each. Our key grip Jose, on the other hand, spent about four days straight in the water dealing with our boat rig. He had a wet suit, but…

6) The crew called me “General Leigh” and would often play the Dukes of Hazzard theme song on their cell phones when I arrived on set. This was affectionate. I think...



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