South Park Launches Season 18 At Trollingest Time

The NFL on Sunday. Your team is playing out a close 4th quarter with victory or defeat either side of a very fine line. A routine commercial break occurs… and you see the face of Eric Cartman making a mockery of your team’s name.

south_park_redskins_jokeFor fans of the Washington Redskins franchise, this is pretty much their experience watching on Fox yesterday afternoon (21 September), as complete with the misery of seeing their team fail to come back to win against divisional rivals Philadelphia Eagles, during the eventful final quarter they were the first to witness a preview clip for the new 18th season of animated comedy series South Park on Comedy Central.

The clip featured the character of Eric Cartman running a business of some sort, only to be interrupted by Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, Coach Jay Gruden, and star quarterback Robert Griffin III, confronting him over the name of the business… The Washington Redskins.

After Cartman notes he is free to use the name since the team’s trademark was revoked, the Redskins argue back in a lampshading manner that can be seen as a parallel to the arguments offended Native American groups have with the Redskins regarding the nature of the team’s 81-year-old name.

It has been reported that the advert at its time of premiere only aired in the TV market for Washington, and had a mixed reception from Redskins fans, with some offended fans on Twitter crying ‘not funny’ at the clip, while other fans did see the humour. To ease the pain for the ‘offended’ Redskins support, the NFL team of choice for the creators of South Park, Cartman, and many of the show’s other characters, the Denver Broncos, suffered an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in a Super Bowl rematch later that day.

To not ease the pain, they would watch the first episode of the new season of South Park, which airs on Wednesday (24 September) on Comedy Central, and is likely to carry an elaboration on the commercial clip, which can be seen below:

Netflix Coming To Linux OS

Netflix has historically always been missing from Linux open source operating systems which power a large number of PC’s as well as running on Android and Roku hardware. But now that has changed.

Linux-NetflixFor running in browsers Netflix has previously used the Microsoft Silverlight media player, and Microsoft do not support open-source operating systems. But as Netflix migrate to using the HTML5 player, then it opens up the streaming service to Linux systems including Ubuntu and Redhat.

The news comes via a post by Paul Adolph, Senior Software Engineer of Netflix who posted a message on the Ubuntu developers forum, telling members that, “Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed. If this version is generally installed across 14.02, Netflix would be able to make a change so users would no longer have to hack their User-Agent to play.”

He continued with the question, “What is the process of getting a new NSS version into the update stream? Or can somebody please provide me with the right contact?”

NSS means Network Security Services which is basically a security feature designed to protect things (like intellectual property rights of streaming content owners).

So with that in mind With the shift to the new HTML5 player, Netflix will hopefully get the official support on desktop versions of Linux. And although the streaming service already has apps that run on Roku, Android etc., the Linux compatibility will mean the service can run on some of the kick ass Linux powered home media centers available.

Danger Mouse Revival Confirm Pointless Cast

The planned CBBC revival of hit 80’s children’s cartoon Danger Mouse has taken further steps towards its comeback, after an announcement this week confirming the voice talents that will be on the show.

danger_mouse_bombThe espionage parody will see Alexander Armstrong, currently best-known for his role in presenting BBC quiz show Pointless (and brilliantly- named spin-off Pointless Celebrities), as the voice of the titular character, set to re-debut in 2015.

He will be joined on the series by comedian/actor Kevin Eldon portraying Danger Mouse’s assistant “Penfold”, whilst the villain “Professor Squawkencluck” has been gender-flipped (or rather, made the niece of the original character of the same name), to be played by Shauna MacDonald, and Morewenna Banks will complete the main cast by voicing a number of recurring and minor characters. Alongside Armstrong, another presenter of sorts will feature as narrator, with Dave Lamb, the cult voice behind Channel 4 reality cooking contest Come Dine With Me, taking his narration talents to the world of the tiny spy.

The roles of Armstrong and Lamb had previously both been filled by David Jason (Only Fools and Horses), with the main cast of the original also including Terry Scott and Edward Kelsey, fairly naturally being replaced after a 3-decade hiatus of the show.

Armstrong stated: “As a lifelong fan of Danger Mouse I was ecstatic just to know that the show was coming back. To be actually involved with the reboot and to be taking DM out to a whole new generation is about as close to a dream job as you could wish for.”

Eldon added: “I’m absolutely delighted to be the new voice of Danger Mouse’s trusty sidekick Penfold. It’s a role and not a mole, Penfold’s not a mole, he’s a hamster that I’m going to really enjoy. When I am recording the episodes, I’ll be making sure that at all times my eyebrows are at least three inches above my head.”

CBBC channel controller Cheryl Taylor summarised: “We’re all genuinely bowled over to have Kevin and Alexander on board as Penfold and the mighty DM himself. They are both funny and fabulously talented performers and… will ensure that the series’ considerable comedy credentials are bestowed on a new generation of fans.”

Internet TV Service From Sony Will Be Ready To Rock This Year

Sony are on course to release their web based TV service before the end of the year it has been revealed. And the streaming TV will be available not just to Playstation users, but anyone with a Sony Vita, Bravia smart TVs and the Xperia range of mobile devices.

Sony-streaming-TVSpeaking to the Wall Street Journal, CEO of Sony’s Playstation unit, Andrew House revealed that the company are in discussions with a number of content providers to bring programming to the online platform.

He said, “A streaming-based approach needs to have a very wide funnel of devices, and that inherently means a broad and manufacturer-agnostic approach.”

Sony have already inked a deal with Viacom, that will bring more than 20 streaming channels to the service that include MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Comedy Central, VH1 and Spike.

But the battle to secure top quality content doesn’t stop there, Sony are also rumored to be in discussions with Disney, Time Warner and Showtime tosecuremoreprogramming.

Rising Star Shot Down By ITV

ITV’s planned new Saturday night entertainment show Rising Star is now no longer their planned new Saturday night entertainment show, after the channel chose to cancel their project of adapting the Israeli-created singing contest.

rising_star_wallThe format, which has aired to huge success in its native country, was signed to an adaptation agreement by ITV as a planned replacement in their early-year schedules for celebrity reality contest Dancing on Ice (which aired its final season this year), but will now be looking elsewhere after dropping the show.

One of the reasons for letting Rising Star go was thought to be disappointing reception in the USA when it aired in the summer, along with a decision made on the German version to reduce the series length following “a lack of audience response”.

Originally, this was thought to have made ITV consider their new version of the show as just a one-week episodic special, but instead it will now not exist at all, according to Broadcast.

An ITV statement on the decision read: “Rising Star is an innovative show and we have enjoyed working on the format with the team. However, as a commercial broadcaster, we always need to be as confident as possible about the potential ratings of any new programme format that we have acquired, and we have therefore taken the decision not to proceed with plans to broadcast the series on ITV.”

The format, believed by executives to be a potential future successor to existing singing contest The X Factor, took a set of contestants that would have a single performance on a live stage, with viewers at home able to vote on the singers via an official app during the song, with only acts reaching a 70% positive mark being eligible for progression to the next round of the contest.

Production company Keshet UK, overseeing the project, said during their announcement of ‘obvious disappointment’ at the move: “We would like to extend our thanks to the team at ITV Studios who have worked tirelessly to adapt the format for a UK audience. Rising Star remains an innovative and ground breaking format of which we’re extremely proud.”

BBC Announce Renewal of W1A

While its star Hugh Bonneville will be busy this week promoting the new series of ITV period drama Downton Abbey, he will not have to look too far down his schedule for more confirmed work, with the confirmation that BBC’s BBC-based mockumentary W1A, which he also stars in, is to come back for a second season next year.

bbc_w1a_castThe spin-off of Olympic administrative mockumentary Twenty Twelve, W1A will add to its existing tally of 4 episodes in 2015, with Bonneville at the centre of it all as ‘Head of Values’ Ian Fletcher, facing a frustrating working environment whilst overseeing the renewal of the BBC Charter.

The series has no further casting announcements (such as whether Jessica Hynes and Olivia Coleman will reprise their continuing roles in the overarching story), but has been confirmed to be produced in-house as ever, premiering with a 60-minute special and following up with three more 30-minute episodes, for a total of 8 over 2 brief seasons (in addition to the 13 in 2 slightly longer seasons that Twenty Twelve had). Returning as a writer on the series is creator John Morton.

An official BBC statement on the unofficial behind-the-scenes of the BBC noted of the comedy: “Until the cameras roll, it won’t be known exactly what crisis will be averted or indeed where Ian’s desk will be. With charter renewal in 2016 getting ever closer, Ian’s job as Chair of the Way Ahead Task Force will be even more important than ever”.

Whether the series will continue to receive critical acclaim in its new run remains to be seen, but for now it’s confirmed as being back, so that’s all good then: