Johnny Knoxville Plans ABC Family Comedy

For a Disney part-owned network such as ABC, the list of people to recruit for creating a ‘family’ TV show would have Jackass creator/presenter Johnny Knoxville even further down the list than he would normally be for the genre, but it appears as though he has been this week.

jackass_johnnyUnder the terms of a new ’2-year first-look deal’ with ABC Studios, Knoxville, most recently featured as a voice actor for “Leonardo” in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (but pictured here taking a hit from an exploding inflatable on 2010 release Jackass 3D, the most recent direct release of the popular stunt/prank franchise), will be developing a scripted comedy show for ABC.

Even more surprisingly, the format will be a ‘based on my life experiences’ approach, but perhaps slightly less stressfully for ‘concerned parent groups’, it will be geared towards the actor’s ‘unique southern upbringing’ in childhood.

Whilst not acting on the project, Knoxville will be the narrator of the series, as well as being an executive producer through his Hello Junior! brand.

Following on from his most recent created production in the form of Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, will Johnny Knoxville’s presumably fine family portrayal be one that is seen as ‘fit to air’ on network television? Alternatively, ‘moral guardians’ of television are still far too strict, and things like this should be shown prime-time on a regular basis:

Fox To Keep Viewers And Cast Away From Sleep With New Sci-Fi Series

Novels are a good way to ease someone into sleep, and the sheer range of topics in such books make it prime material for TV executives looking for new show ideas. Fox has taken one of the ideas and reversed the other.

nod_book_coverThe network have announced their planned upcoming development (under a ‘script and penalty commitment’) of a sci-fi series entitled NOD, based on the 2013 novel from Canadian author Adrian Barnes. This series, while not currently having an airdate, is confirmed to have a pilot episode being written by Jason Richman (Detroit 1-8-7), with executive production coming from Katherine Pope, Peter Chernin (of former potential Hulu investors Chernin Co.), and 20th Century Fox.

NOD is a story that features a world in which most humans have lost the ability to sleep, many people constitute ‘The Awakened’ – a group of people who appear to have evolved to not needing it, whilst some remain in need of rest, with scientists unable to figure out why.

The focus of the series is a conflicting ‘inter-somnial’ couple that are part of the respective groups – the Awakened Tanya and non-insomniac Paul.

The Hollywood Reporter describe the series’ premise as follows: “When most of humanity loses the ability to sleep, scientists are at a loss to explain why no one is tired. Nod will explore the new, wondrous and eerie 24/7 world through the eyes of Tanya and Paul, an ‘inter-somnial’ couple — she, awakened and flourishing, and he, one of the remaining few who are still handicapped by the need for sleep. But when signs of deprivation start to show among the Awakened, the bonds of friendship and love get tested in unexpected ways… because if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Whether the show takes on any of the book’s ‘post-apocalyptic’ themes remains to be seen, but can the intriguing concept deliver on its potential? Surely some soothing music could have helped these characters to promised land if they really wanted it?

Parenthood Offer First Preview of Final Season

The NBC series Parenthood has already confirmed that its upcoming season will be its last, and are now running through their pre-season promotional campaign for the final time.

parenthood_nbcOne of the biggest steps in this process is a trailer for the upcoming season, and while only in ‘teaser’ form at present, the family drama will hope what they say sets the tone for the 13-episode run, which will take the show (loosely based on a 1989 Ron Howard movie of the same name) to an end total of 6 seasons and 103 episodes.

Less than half a minute long, the trailer runs through a number of short clips from the upcoming lives of the ‘Braverman’ family, promising that it will be the most dramatic season of all, though some commenters have criticised the fact that a pregancy plot is blatantly revealed amidst the footage.

The narrator of the trailer states: “If you’ve ever watched Parenthood – it’s time to come home. In true Parenthood fashion, they’ve saved the best for last.”

The video description adds: “Get ready for the very best season of Parenthood, premiering Thursday, September 25 at 10/9c on NBC.”

Such a claim will probably be one for viewers and critics to decide, but will they be able to live up to their own-set expectations upon season premiere day in less than a month’s time?

Amazon Plan 4K Streaming Introduction In October

Amazon’s efforts in the streaming market, away from producing equality-favouring original content, will soon include Netflix-matching 4K streaming, to originally be made available on supporting 4K HD smart TV sets.

Amazon-TVThe first brand to take Amazon up on the update offer is South Korean company Samsung, who yesterday (28 August) confirmed that the Amazon Instant Video service will be amongst the brands offering 4K content to their compatible sets in Europe from October.

Samsung’s head of display Won Jin Lee said of the move: “The era of UHD has begun, and to continue even more widespread adoption, it is important to provide consumers with more choices when it comes to UHD content. We are providing our customers with a wider array of UHD content to enjoy on our ultra-immersive Curved UHD TVs.”

That speech was not designed purely for Amazon’s purposes, though ,with the European market also set to receive 4K content from Chilli, Maxdome, Wuaki.tv, and most notably, Amazon’s streaming rivals Netflix, all on board as of October.

How long it will be between this date and ‘Amazon Prime Instant Video 4K’ being seen as a compatible option on the sets of other TV manufacturers will unveil itself in due course, but for now it looks likely that Samsung will be the first, so can the online retail giants leave a vivid impression on a product set that is often looking at their platforms for key support?

Friends Reunited On Jimmy Kimmel Mini-Sketch

In the same week that an upcoming real-life set recreation for the show was announced, fans of the popular former NBC sitcom Friends had new content on their plate, after the show’s female stars participated in an original sketch on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

jimmy_kimmel_friendsWith reluctant guest Jennifer Aniston, and her co-stars Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow waiting in the wings in the same place on the same night (Wednesday 27 August), Kimmel took the opportunity to have them recreate a scene of his own imagining, complete with a miniature version of the “Monica’s apartment” set.

Aniston’s interview was interrupted by the presenter with a request to read his script, in which he portrayed the character of “Ross”, complete with the comedian’s own fan-made excuses as to why the other characters weren’t present, complete with canned (or buttoned) laughter, and the characters speaking the words to the show’s theme song.

The YouTube description of the video below notes: “Just like everyone else on the planet Jimmy was a big fan of the show Friends. In fact he loved it so much that he wrote some Friends fan fiction and he managed to get Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow to act it out with him.”

And not to cruelly send the show’s fans into overload, but seven months ago three leading stars of a well-known 90′s sitcom got in character for a sketch on a ‘Jimmy’ show, and look what happened

Amplifon Introduce Sounds of the Street View

When visiting Google Street View and choosing desirable locations to view, users will often like to try and fully immerse themselves in the image, attempting to ignore anything outside their computer screen to imagine for a small moment that they are there.

sounds_of_street_view_amplifonFor the hardcore viewer that likes three specific locations in particular, that realism may be taken up a notch, with the introduction of third-party ‘audio support’ on the ground-level map browser via hearing aid specialists Amplifon.

The Italian company have developed a set of ‘stereophonic sounds’ that were recorded in their chosen locations (Balboa Park in San Diego (USA), Hapuna Beach on Big Island (Hawaii, USA), and Place du Palais in Monaco) and displayed them with the corresponding images through their website.

Speaking of the ‘ambient noise’ (which includes people talking, bells, and waves, amongst other sounds that dynamically change volume based on where in the area the user ‘is’), Amplifon said of the new service: “Utilising the Web Audio API platform, sounds are designated as though they were ordinary Google Maps markers, but instead of an image and information being assigned to the marker, a sound is instead.”

Potentially an idea for Google themselves to incorporate, will Amplifon’s proposal for an even more immersive experience pave the way to more and more add-ons until the mapping industry turns one step short of teleportation?