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December 27, 2013 | By Meg James and Dawn Chmielewski
The Times asked its reporters and critics to highlight figures in entertainment and the arts who will be making news in 2014. Here's who they picked: Nancy Tellem | Microsoft's president of entertainment and digital media The veteran CBS television executive had her work cut out when she joined Microsoft Corp. in 2012 to launch a Santa Monica studio to create original content. Long fascinated with changes in consumer behavior, Tellem is now playing an important role in determining what appeals to younger consumers accustomed to getting their entertainment on multiple screens.
December 27, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"Breaking Bad" marathon (AMC, Friday through Monday) . For those whose year has been marred by not being able to discuss "Breaking Bad" at cocktail parties, AMC brings you the parting gift of a series marathon, airing from noon each day, Friday through Monday. The story of a mild-mannered chemistry teacher turned meth-making drug dealer, and of all his little friends, frenemies and enemies, it is most likely the series most named this year right after the words, "You know, television has gotten really great.
December 18, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Internet television service Hulu will bring in $1 billion in revenue this year, as it added subscribers and expanded its advertising base. Hulu did not disclose whether the service is profitable. The streaming service said its 2013 revenue will be up from $695 million in 2012. The number of its subscribers has reached 5 million, with about half of those who pay $8 a month for Hulu Plus watching shows exclusively on their portable devices. Hulu Plus is available on more than 400 million Internet-connected devices in the U.S., including next-generation video game consoles, smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and dedicated streaming set-top boxes from Roku and Apple TV. The six-year-old venture -- owned by Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal parent Comcast Corp.
November 18, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Writers and producers who craft the story lines behind National Geographic Channel's "Doomsday Preppers" and other reality-TV shows lose $40 million annually in lost wages, according to a new survey by the Writers Guild of America, East. In its latest campaign to highlight alleged abuses in the burgeoning reality-TV sector, the guild said a survey of nonfiction TV writers found widespread violations of New York wage and hour laws, found that writers and producers lose $30,000 each per year in unpaid wages for hours they worked.
November 16, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
The online video site Hulu once had ambitions of ushering in the future of television by shaking up the status quo. But under its new management, the site will throw off its old mantle of TV disrupter as it seeks to work in partnership with cable and satellite companies. Veteran Fox television executive Mike Hopkins took over as chief executive less than a month ago, an appointment that signaled the media companies that control Hulu wanted to turn the popular service into a feature offered through pay-TV distributors.
November 15, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"Alpha House," a new sitcom premiering Friday via Amazon, is the first fruit of the Amazon Studios pilot derby, which this spring gave ordinary citizens with Internet access a chance to rate and comment on a variety of pilots. The retailer-cum-streaming-service has set itself up alongside Netflix and Hulu as a New Force in Television (or "television") to contend with, and, on this evidence, to welcome. Of the eight comedies Amazon offered for inspection (along with six children's shows)
November 13, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before corrupting the youth of America. The Skinny: I'm going to talk journalism to students at Cal State Los Angeles later today. I'll try to keep it clean and not be too cynical. Today's roundup includes a new look for Netflix and Hulu's new strategy. Also, Jimmy Kimmel's joke about China may blow up in Disney's face and "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets its release date pushed. Daily Dose: NBC wants to remake "Murder, She Wrote," even though its recent efforts to recapture past TV glory have fallen short.
October 31, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"MasterChef Junior" (Fox, Friday). This small-fry-ification of "MasterChef," hosted as in the grown-up version by Gordon Ramsay, Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot, ends its first season (of what I hope will be many) this week, with a semifinals-to-finals double header that will earn one talented child $100,000 and a handsome keepsake trophy. Only four, chosen from an auditioning horde of thousands, remain. [ Updated, Nov. 3, 1:43 a.m. : It turned out that only the semi-finals aired Nov. 1; the finals -- Alexander vs. Dara -- will take place this Friday.
October 28, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Netflix has struck a deal for reruns of the Showtime series "Dexter," which ended its run last month. The sale is somewhat unique because pay-TV channels are often reluctant to sell their shows to another pay service. HBO, for example, does not sell its shows to Netflix. Under the terms of the deal, Showtime will still be able to telecast episodes of "Dexter" on its network as well as make the show available on its digital platform Showtime Anytime. CBS, which owns Showtime, is also selling reruns of "Dexter" to a basic cable network.
October 18, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
News Corp. digital strategist Greg Clayman will join the Vimeo online video service as its general manager of audience networks, the company confirmed. Clayman launched and served as publisher of News Corp.'s pioneering (if short-lived) tablet publication, the Daily, which was the first daily news product designed for the iPad. In his new role at Vimeo, Clayman will be responsible for its video-on-demand business and for cultivating brand partnerships. The site was founded in 2004 by a group of filmmakers who wanted to share their creative work.
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