News, scoops, reviews and more from TV land.
What have been the most popular — that is to say, the best — Super Bowl ads over the years — over 47 years? Good question! And rather than go year to year, go to this chart, produced by King of Prussia, Pa.-based digital and interactive marketing firm, Cadient Group. A few words about what you will see: First off, the bigger the box means the larger the audience for that particular year, relative to other Super Bowls. Second, Cadient has made some "editorial" decisions about "most popular" commercial, which is what everyone else does as well, including USA Today, which has a long-standing tradition of gauging most popular ads. My cursory glance here, however, tells me that Cadient got these right. And once again, maybe the only somewhat-objective way to gauge a Super Bowl ad's effectiveness is to gauge how memorable a particular ad was. (If you remember something from 25 years ago, then — ipso facto — it is memorable and — also ipso facto — effective. My thanks to Cadient for this.
"Good Morning America" had the big interview of the day Friday morning: Robin Roberts and Amanda Knox, talking about Thursday's murder conviction. Knox did her first live TV interview with Roberts last May, which preceded a Diane Sawyer special.
Last May, Knox was promoting her memoir, "Waiting to Be Heard," and at that time told Roberts, “I had to learn how to deal with it as I went through it. I was 20. I was in this foreign country. I barely spoke the language. And my friend was murdered.”
Friday morning's interview was certainly a sharp departure, in tone, demeanor and obviously context. Her voice quavering, her hair short, and her attitude defiant, here are just a few pull-quotes: "My first reaction was 'no' and 'this is wrong,' and I'm going to do everything I can to prove that it is and I felt very determined and my family felt very determined. But it was only on my way here that I got my first cry... This really has hit me like a train. I did not expect this to happen. I really expected so much better from the Italian justice system. They found me innocent before. How can they say it's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt."
"I'm going to fight this until the very end. And it's not right and it's not fair. And I'm going to do everything I can." And this: She said she would not return "willingly" back to Italy.
Here's the interview, for those who missed (app readers, watch here: http://bit.ly/1a6MbrR. Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones):
As faithful readers may know, the "tease" is the big trend in this year's Super Bowl XLVIII commercial bonanza -- many advertisers foregoing full commercial pre-release in favor of something designed to quite literally force you to watch the full ad during the game -- and this one for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is certainly one of the more effective examples.
See what happens next.
(App readers go to newsday.com/tvzone to also see if one single hair on Andrew Garfield's head is ever out of place -- ever:)
"Sharknado 2" -- which will be set in New York, presumably on the assumption that there was nothing left to eat in L.A. -- has re-signed Ian Ziering and Tara Reid as leads, SyFy just announced.
Production begins next month, and the finished product will be unleashed in July...
The plot details, which you pretty much could have written yourself:
In Sharknado 2: The Second One, a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a Sharknado on the population and its most cherished, iconic sites – and only Fin and April can save the Big Apple.
Fin is Ziering and April is Reid -- and you may be assured, Emmy-winning performances are not forthcoming this time either.
Meanwhile, here's a priceless quote from Paul Bales, chief of the Asylum, which produces -- I think we can now refer to it as -- the Sharknado franchise: “We’re thrilled to be able to bring back the talent that made Sharknado a hit. Can lightning strike twice? I don’t know, but it’s a scientific fact that you’re more likely to be killed by lightning than by a shark. This film will have lightning and sharks, so that’s got to count for something.”
Here's the trailer for the first "'Nado," on the off-chance you've forgotten what this whole social-media-crazed thing was about. (App users, view the clip at newsday.com/tvzone.)
On last night's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" -- which I suppose could be called the penultimate-ultimate-ultimate-ultimate-ultimate edition -- Seth MacFarlane and Bill Maher sang a bowdlerized version of "Thanks for the Memories." And it wasn't half bad (with lines like, "we'll bet our socks, you'll end up on Fox," how could it not be?)
In any event, watch! (And you know the drill, if...Read more »
Suddenly, "Full House" is everywhere. Or at least the key cast members, Dave Coulier, Bob Saget and John Stamos. (No Olsen twins, however.) The guys reunited on Wednesday night's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" a few days after the release of their Dannon Super Bowl commercial.
Shall we watch together? Yes, let's!
My critical opinion? The Fallon sketch is funny, but the Dannon ad, released...Read more »
"Cosmos," the long-ago PBS classic that turned Carl Sagan's brilliant prose into a magnificent series (and, incidentally, gave Johnny Carson a standard quip deploying Sagan's "billions and BILLIONS" phrase), has been rebooted by Fox and Seth MacFarlane.
And yes, that sounds like a punchline, too.
But watch this promo for "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey" with host Neil deGrasse Tyson, and...Read more »
Jay Leno is leaving "The Tonight Show" next week, but on Friday, CNN will air this:
After an incredible run on top, Jay Leno is wrapping up his reign on The Tonight Show. Jay Leno: Mr. Comedy airing Friday, January 31st at 10pm ET on CNN, looks back at how Leno earned his stripes on the comedy club circuit in the 70’s, made his first splash on TV in the 80’s and then, in the 90’s, took...Read more »
Fans of "The Big Bang Theory," "Star Wars," James Earl Jones and Jim Parsons -- and really, who ISN'T a fan of all the above -- will probably not want to miss this clip.
Quickie plot line: The guys can't get tickets to Comic-con, so they hold their own "convention," and hook up with none other than James Earl Jones... Airs Thursday night: (Newsday app readers and said fans, watch here: http://bit.ly/1baxnDB. Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones.)
Budweiser, which commands the Super Bowl almost as much as the NFL, has had some of the most memorable, even beloved, ads in telecast history. Many of them -- most of them -- have nothing to do with beer, unless there's something subliminal about beer consumption and Clydesdales.
But Wednesday morning, Budweiser pre-released one of its game ads: Think puppy. And a puppy so cute, so adorable, that a hundred million viewers will instantly go "awwwww" Sunday night when it airs. But don't be one of them.
Watch the ad now, and go "awwwww..." By the way, the track is by Passenger. "Let Her Go" has been played more relentlessly on radio and elsewhere this past year than even Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." (Newsday app readers, watch here: http://bit.ly/1d7UPB4. Unfortunately, this content is unavailable on mobile phones.)