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?

Netflix Make Record Deal For The Blacklist

While an announcement of new streaming rights is hardly a surprising topic for Netflix to get into, it is believed that their newest one has cost them the most financially.

the_blacklist_promoWith the recently-confirmed acquisition of streaming rights to NBC crime drama The Blacklist, it is rumoured that Netflix have paid a huge average of $2 million per episode for the chance to broadcast the show to subscribers, breaking not only their own company records, but unsurprisingly given their position a record average fee paid in the streaming industry as a whole for a TV series.

The gleeful recipients of this money will be series production studio Sony Pictures TV, who will have received $44m in total for the 22-episode first season if the reported figures are correct.

The previous record holder in the ‘per episode’ category was The Walking Dead on AMC, which AMC were paid $1.35 million per episode for, again by Netflix.

The critically-acclaimed series, which stars James Spader and Megan Boone (pictured), held strong ratings and record-breaking time-shift and DVR performances. Looking to cash in further, Sony are believed to be planning to sell syndication rights as well, taking total earnings for each episode above current market leaders Elementary on CBS (with $3m for each installment). With a second 22-episode season to come beginning 22 September, Sony aren’t about to get blacklisted from banks anytime soon…

Amazon Transgender Original Series Given Premiere Date

Whilst Netflix continue creating, releasing, and promoting their range of original content, one of their closest streaming rivals Amazon are doing likewise, with Amazon Instant Video announcing a release date for their latest project that is less than a month away.

transparent_titleSet to launch as a full 10-episode series as of 26 September, new comedy series Transparent , created by Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under), will look to break further boundaries in the entertainment industry with a lead character that is transgender.

That character, played by Jeffrey Tambor, will be the focus of the show in which his family react to and live their lives following the father’s revelation of being a transgender person. ‘Fellow cast members are set to include Amy Landecker, Gaby Hoffmann, Jay Duplass, and Judith Light as regulars, and Carrie Brownstein, Melora Hardin, and Rob Huebel in recurring roles.

Speaking of Transparent’s upcoming inagural season, Soloway stated: “I am beyond excited to share Transparent with the world through Amazon. They’ve been so supportive through this incredible process. Artistically, it’s been a dream come true. I absolutely got to make the show I wanted to make.”

Set to premiere initially to both US and UK audiences, Transparent was first confirmed for its first season in March by Amazon separate from their more common Amazon Studios ‘viewer pilot’ process, so while there have been no test audiences to trial the concept with, will this comedy become a successful and barrier-knocking format? At least the length alone should mean the subject matter is treated more delicately than other shows have managed: