T-Mobile Gives Up On Live TV Service TVision, Will Promote YouTube TV Instead

That was quick. Really quick, as it was merely last November 2020 that T-Mobile launched their live TV service TVision (see: T-Mobile TVision Launch Packages May Change Due To Possible Contract Violations) and are already throwing in the towel, opting to promote YouTube TV instead.

The cellphone carrier said Monday it will wind down the service, called TVision, on April 29 and steer its wireless customers toward Google’s YouTube TV instead. Rival online video packages from Sony Corp. and others have shut operations or raised prices on live-TV service to keep up with programmers that continue to raise their fees.

T-Mobile to wind down live TV services, offer YouTube TV | Fox Business

Live TV on streaming is an ever-changing landscape and prices are moving. Just speculating here, but T-Mobile probably jumped in before realizing that the bottom is falling out of the Live TV marketplace. I saw another article recently that focused on just how many people are getting rid of Live TV for streaming options. That’s the market TVision was looking to get into, but there are a boatload of options there already, the strongest that might be those that are ad-supported (Tubi, Philo, Xumo, the list goes on).

In the pay Live TV space there’s Hulu and YouTube TV, among others. We don’t pay for any Live TV. None. With a bunch of paid streaming channels we subscribe to, AMC A-List Stubs for watching new movies in theaters, plus an active interest in playing videogames, sleep and work — ahh, yes, the biggest devil in the details of time spent — there’s just not much left for watching Live TV. The occasional live sports event might be our only time to turn anything live.

How much Live TV are you watching these days? No change? Some, none, less, more (that would be interesting!)?

More $30 Disney+ Premiere Love Shown as Black Widow and Cruella to receive release in theaters and Same Day Streaming

Either Disney doesn’t have as much faith in theaters yet or they are doing better with their $30 premier surcharge on Disney+ than they are letting on. Alas, Black Widow and Cruella are not going to be exclusive to theaters only, says the House of Mouse.

Notably, “Black Widow” and “Cruella” will now premiere on Disney Plus at the same time they open in theaters. “Cruella” is arriving as scheduled on May 28, while “Black Widow” has been pushed back two months and will debut on July 9 instead of May 7. Both titles will be offered on Premier Access, which comes with a $30 rental fee.

‘Black Widow,’ ‘Cruella’ to Debut on Disney Plus and in Theaters – Variety

We haven’t taken the $30 plunge to rent any of the Disney+ Premiere releases to date and likely won’t be doing so for either of these films. If you’ve paid $30 for any of them to date or plan to skip theaters then please let us know in the comments below.

There is something about a $30 rental fee that just sticks us the wrong way. It might be what Disney did with Mulan (see: The Disney+ Mulan Premium Digital Launch Fiasco). We’d rather spend $30 on popcorn and candy in the theater along with our AMC Stubs List pass. I think large popcorn, 2 drinks and candy run close to $30 + we get those nice recliner seats. I know, I know, but watching at home you can pause, rewind, etc. Pros and cons to both, but we still prefer when possible to see most new movies in theaters.

We might be in the minority on this, but something tells me when people feel it’s safe to go out in larger numbers, more will agree. Regal is planning on reopening their theaters in the United States in April, also, so both should be open in time for both of these releases.

Sharon Osbourne Gone From The Talk TV Show and Suing CBS

CBS has come to a decision, or Sharon Osbourne has, following an investigation into a discussion involving racism on The Talk TV show: Osbourne is the last original member of the show to exit. The Talk will resume April 12.

You can watch the clip in question below, but to summarize the situation in case it’s taken down, Osbourne was defending herself for defending her friend, Piers Morgan over his comments regarding Megan Markle. Morgan said he thought Markle was lying in her interview with Oprah. Osbourne says for the 10+ years on The Talk she was always involved in every segment planning but when she was questioned about her friend the producers didn’t include her in the segment discussion and caught her off guard.

Here is the exchange between Osbourne and co-host Sheryl Underwood.

CBS put the show on hiatus and investigated.

“The events of the March 10 broadcast were upsetting to everyone involved, including the audience watching at home. As part of our review, we concluded that Sharon’s behavior toward her cohosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace. We also did not find any evidence that CBS executives orchestrated the discussion or blindsided any of the hosts,” the statement obtained by Us Weekly read. “At the same time, we acknowledge the network and studio teams, as well as the showrunners, are accountable for what happened during that broadcast as it was clear the cohosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.”

Sharon Osbourne Exits ‘The Talk’ After Controversy

What sinks Osbourne in this exchange with Underwood the most isn’t sticking up for Morgan, it’s her tense exchange with Underwood, her friend. It’s disturbing when she admonishes her, telling her not to cry. I thought this was the most telling part of what Sharon Osbourne is like behind the scenes. I mean really like. There are other allegations where Osbourne has said some wild things about former hosts. Who knows if any of that is true, but it has the blood in the water and sharks circling feel to it.

I don’t know Sharon Osbourne, other than her work as manager of her husband Ozzy and the reality show The Osbournes. She’s very well known as a ruthless manager in the music business, but credit her for being one of the most dominant women in the music industry. She is rare in that mostly men play the tough band manager role and she’s somewhat pioneered and carved out that women can be a force in this as well — good for her doing that, of course. She clearly has managed Ozzy’s career in a very profitable way. I don’t think her business savvy can or should be overlooked.

Many music fans, myself included, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate the decision (largely attributed to Sharon Osbourne) to re-record the drums and bass tracks for Blizzard of Ozz and Diary of a Madman with different band members when there were legal disputes raised about royalties from original drummer Lee Kerslake and Bob Daisley. Their lawsuit wasn’t successful and it took its toll financially on Kerslake and Daisley. The former, Kerslake just wanted to get a platinum record as acknowledgment for his work when he was sick and dying, which the Osbournes did finally send with get well wishes. Also, the original bass and drums were restored. That, to me, was a terrible, terrible act. You don’t try and erase music history no matter what the band members you worked with do. They could murder people and you still don’t go back and try and erase their existence in music history.

But none of that had anything to do with race. Kerslake and Daisley are both white. This situation with defending her friend, Piers Morgan and her own actions on The Talk are different.

In the back of my mind, I was waiting for Sharon Osbourne to implode somehow. To say and/or do something outrageous that forced her off this show. The fact she made it 10+ years on a talk show giving her opinion on things only to have this situation be her undoing — either because she agreed to quit so she wasn’t fired or because she simply quit — just seems like she was living on borrowed time.

Something tells me there is more to Sharon Osbourne than meets the eye. But is she racist? That’s a heavy accusation. Everyone will have to make their own decision with that. I will admit, despite not finding her to be very personally likable, well, ever I’m not aware of any other time anybody has said she was racist. Is this situation racist? You, friendly readers, can decide. I think whatever the truth is, Sharon Osbourne is one way in front of the camera and public and another way when the cameras are off. I’m sure that’s true for a lot of people, not just Sharon, though. Defending a friend accused of racist actions, doesn’t necessarily brand you a racist.

Sharon isn’t letting this go. She’s lawyered up and suing CBS (source).

What do you think? Do you even care about Sharon Osbourne? She’s off the show now, if you watch the show, will you stop watching it? I have seen the show a few times. It’s a CBS knockoff of The View. I’m not much into daytime talk shows, so Sharon O being off the show isn’t going to matter that much to me. What about you?

I’m more curious when and if Ozzy will ever tour live again and seeing that proposed biopic (see: Ozzy Osbourne “Very Adult” Biopic Under Development, Says Rocker’s Wife). Maybe now that Sharon is off the show giving her grandmotherly opinions (and every talk show should have someone elderly on it, btw), she’ll have more time to plot and plan Ozzy’s return — or alas, his retirement from the music business. Ozzy has earned his retirement. Sharon is 68 years old, maybe it’s time for her and Ozzy to just chill out and enjoy their remaining years out of the public spotlight?

Congrats to Promising Young Woman for 5 Oscar Nominations

Promising Young Woman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Time to celebrate, if even only one or two of the five nominations come to actual wins. It’s an honor just being nominated and in our opinion this was among the best films released in the last year.

The film made history this week, landing five Oscars nominations: picture, editing and actress (Mulligan’s second run at the award), as well as original screenplay and director for Emerald Fennell. With her debut feature, Fennell has become the first British woman to be nominated for the director prize. This is the first year in which two women (Fennell and Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao) are in the running; they are only the sixth and seventh women to be shortlisted.

‘It’s wild!’ Carey Mulligan and Emerald Fennell on making Oscars history | Promising Young Woman | The Guardian

Will Mulligan win? After seeing the movie, I’m glad we can put out to pasture the ridiculous notion that she didn’t look hot enough for the role (see: Is An Actor’s Physical Appearance Off Limits In Reviews? Carey Mulligan Challenges Variety Review) She should win. Fennell as director? Maybe she should. What about the screenplay? Creative, cool and timely.

The other thing that makes me think this film will win at some of these five nominations is that it fits the current trend (is that the right word?) of women getting more attention for their creative efforts, not only their acting, in Hollywood. I’ve been a fan of several women filmmakers rising in talent and notoriety in recent years.

Have you seen Promising Young Woman yet? If not, take a look, come back, and let’s discuss it in the comments below. How many of these five nominations should win? All five? One or two? None? What do you think?

Comcast Holds Off On Implementing New Data Plan for Northeast Customers

Feeling like you’re held hostage by your ISP? Just ask Daphne from Scooby-Doo!

Internet and phone companies are two types of companies Americans love to hate — and for good reasons. During a pandemic, Comcast was planning to set usage caps on more customers, notably those located in the Northeast states, forcing heavy users toward their more expensive unlimited plan.

Those plans have now been delayed until 2022.

“We are delaying implementation of our new data plan in our Northeast markets until 2022,” Comcast said. “We recognize that our data plan was new for our customers in the Northeast, and while only a very small percentage of customers need additional data, we are providing them with more time to become familiar with the new plan.” But there’s nothing to become familiar with. The restrictions are glorified price hikes imposed on the backs of customers who already pay some of the highest prices for broadband in the developed world thanks to limited competition. So while a reprieve was welcomed, experts have long warned that the restrictions shouldn’t exist in the first place. 

Comcast Backs Off Plan to Expand Dumb, Unnecessary Broadband Caps

Seems like this is good news for those this data change will eventually impact — at least for a little while.

We have a few alternatives to Comcast in our area, but they are sort of the best of the worst. We had DSL through the phone company once upon a time. Comcast/Xfinity/whatever they want to call themselves was better. We keep hoping that somebody else will come along with an alternative: Amazon, Google, the satellite service from Mr. Tesla — something.

Regardless what happens with Comcast and their Peacock streaming service, they still have internet — and that’s a major cash cow (see: As Long As Comcast Charges For Internet Services They Should Be OK). Speaking of Peacock, it’s currently our least watched subscribed streaming service.

Who is your ISP? Do you like them? Feel like their prices are fair and reasonable?

Disney Classifying Streaming as “Home Video” to keep 80% of Older Show Royalties

Is it just us or does it seem like Disney’s accounting department, especially when it comes to royalty payments takes creativity very seriously? Remember the issue recently with author Alan Dean Foster and others (see: Alan Dean Foster Isn’t The Only Author Not Receiving Royalties from Disney says The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)

Get this:

For years, Disney has been keeping 80% of the revenue from older shows that it distributes to streaming platforms, leaving only 20% to be available to stars and other profit participants. It does so by classifying the revenue as “home video.” Under a formula dating from the introduction of the VCR, Disney subtracts an 80% royalty to its in-house distributor to cover the costs of distribution.

Disney Takes 80% of Streaming Revenue by Calling It ‘Home Video’ – Variety

No false illusions, Disney is a business and it seeks to make deals that benefits their business. It’s too bad that so much money is made off the backs of creative people. New technology rolls in, creative works seem to become less valuable except the biggest corporations that “own” the publishing rights.

I can see why creative people are fighting back, but it just bolsters the idea the only way to get around this is to keep your publishing rights. Self-publish. The minute you sign a pact with one of these major studios you’re giving up the lion’s share of profits from the publishing and distribution. Some deals these companies make benefit the creative people, but the older contracts don’t seem to have a way of dealing with new technology.

In time this will change.

No More John Landis Directed Eddie Murphy Movies?

Despite multiple movie success together, including the iconic Coming To America ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½, Eddie Murphy and director John Landis don’t like each other. This was news to us, but maybe you’d heard about their rift before?

This sense of control makes Coming To America seem more like a Murphy flex than a Landis film. Landis has characterized Murphy as arrogant and alienating during the film’s production, while Murphy characterized Landis as spending the shoot fuming impotently over perceived disloyalty. Yet it still makes a bizarre kind of sense that their partnership worked with this particular movie; its mix of absurd extravagance and cornball charm stands out from Murphy’s other ’80s vehicles, fractious production or not. On screen, at least, Murphy and Landis experienced a brief connection—like two ships passing, threatening each other with bodily harm, and angrily renouncing each other in the night.

Eddie Murphy and John Landis clashed their way through three big, unwieldy comic vehicles

Unless both men put their differences aside, it sure sounds like we won’t be seeing Landis directing any more Eddie Murphy movies. The article linked above covers Landis’ well publicized troubles surrounding the making of The Twilight Zone movie when Vic Morrow died along with a couple illegally employed child actors.

After consulting Landis’ filmography on Wikipedia, we see he hasn’t done many films since Murphy and him last collaborated on Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994. Just four films directed by Landis including Blues Brothers 2000 which had nothing to do with Murphy or the late, great John Belushi, but hey it had Dan Akroyd at least.

Would you like to see an R rated Eddie Murphy and John Landis collaboration again? Even though Beverly Hills Cop III wasn’t that great, nor Coming 2 America, it sure begs the question if Landis and Murphy and an R rating would have made the film better. I liked what director Craig Brewer did with Dolemite Is My Name? so staying with the premise that the PG-13 and a script which didn’t feature Murphy as the main actor, nor America in a movie with the country in the title, were the biggest issues.

GOOD SIGNS: A Quiet Place 2 and Peter Rabbit 2 Moving Up from Previously Delayed Dates

The sequel to A Quiet Place is one movie we really wanted to see a year ago, but then we all know what happened.

Since then, it’s shifted dates back several times like many other films. Now it’s shifting dates again, but the opposite direction: sooner.

Paramount Pictures has pushed up the release date of “A Quiet Place Part II” by several months, moving the film from Sept. 17 ahead to May 28. It took the spot previously occupied by Mark Wahlberg’s action-thriller “Infinite,” which was relocated to Sept. 24.

‘A Quiet Place 2’ Release Date Moves Up to May – Variety

Back in November, we learned that this franchise was planning a trilogy (see: Can’t See A Quiet Place II yet, but A Quiet Place 3 Is Already Planned for 2022 Release)

Also moved up is another much delayed movie, Peter Rabbit 2.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway has just shifted up from its theatrical date on June 11, 2021 to the second week of May, per an announcement from Sony Pictures. The family film was originally going to come out in February 2020, before moving back to the following April. Then the COVID-19 pandemic saw it bunny hop down to August 2020 and was shifted a handful of other times before landing on its (hopefully) final date of May 14.

After A Year Of Movies Delaying Their Release Dates, One Sequel Is Moving Up To May

We can forgive Cinemablend’s title, since there are two sequels moving up, but hey this is good news no matter how it’s shaken. Even if you want to say Quiet Place is doing so they can release on streaming sooner who cares?

Any movies you’d like to see moved sooner? Avatar perhaps? I mean, we’ve been waiting 10+ years for that one.

Sony To Quit Selling Movie and TV Shows on PlayStation But You Can Still Access Your Existing Library

We’ve talked before about the risks of buying movies and TV shows digitally (see: Buying Movies On Amazon Doesn’t Guarantee Future Access). You don’t own the content, you’re merely renting it until the company decides not to support viewing the content any longer. Licenses can change between the film rights owners and the company, leaving our digital libraries at risk.

Sony once upon a time had the PlayStation Vue and were trying to create their own streaming TV service. That’s gone. Soon, the ability to buy movies and TV shows on the platform will also be discontinued.

Here’s the good news for the movies and TV shows you might already have purchased…

Users will still have access to the content they’ve purchased beyond the August 31 deadline, with the movies and TV shows available for “on-demand playback” across the PS4 and PS5, as well as mobile devices.

Sony to Discontinue PlayStation Store Movie and TV Purchases and Rentals – IGN

The question is for how long?

Our current strategy is we buy very few movies and TV shows. We wait for them to appear on one of the many streaming services we have. We have a wish list on Google Play that tracks movies and TV shows we’re interested in. Shows like Las Vegas and Fantasy Island and a few movies that we haven’t seen available at any streaming service. We don’t buy much in the way of physical media any more, except 3D Blu Ray movies. We have so much to watch on the streaming channels that going to our wish list and/or buying movies isn’t necessary.

Even though we both are into games, we don’t look to watch, buy or rent movies or TV shows on videogame systems. This PlayStation news isn’t that unexpected for us and not disappointing, but if we had bought movies and TV shows there we’d be concerned about how long they would continue to support them.

Paramount+ LAUNCH FAIL (Fixed) – Automatic Update For CBS All Access Existing Customers Didn’t Allow Roku TV Activation Codes

It’s launch day for Paramount+ and while we’d love to tell existing CBS All Access subscribers that it’s a smooth transition, well, that was not the case.

As with too many things today, new customers are treated better than existing customers (see: Poor Technical Execution: Paramount+ LIMITED TIME OFFER 50% Discount for CBS All Access Customers).

When you visit Roku Smart TV channel lineup, the CBS All Access icon is gone and you must now sign in anew. The problem is the login points to CBS.com not paramountplus.com. So the activation codes for the TV don’t work.

This sent us back to the computer where our paramountplus.com account was functional.

We can sign into our paramountplus.com account and see the new paramount+ content there (Spongebob: Sponge on the Run, namely), but when we try to activate this perfectly working account on Roku it tells us to go to cbs.com and activate. When we go there, it doesn’t recognize the paramountplus.com account email.

Confused? Of course you are! So are we. CBS had months to get this figured out — work out how the transition process would work and it is one hot tech mess. I’m a tech-savvy customer and having problems, that means people who aren’t are going to be lighting up their 1-800 customer support line wanting to get their “automatically updated” CBS All Access now Paramount+ account working on their Roku-powered smart TVs — and not able to.

Looks like an app update will be coming soon.

Oh, and our Paramount+ login that works fine on the computer doesn’t work at all on the Roku. My guess is that it’s looking for a Roku account setup for Paramount+ and not an account that was activated through the computer. But, like I said above, everything points to cbs.com which seems to not have migrated the pre-launch existing paramountplus accounts. They didn’t even recognize our email as having an account. When I signed up with the same email address as our paramount+ account — it created a brand new FREE account. Sigh.

Guess for the time being if we want to watch anything from Paramount+ it will have to be on the computer?! Maybe I can get it to work on the phone and cast it to TV that way … a workaround, yes, but at least providing some way to watch Paramount+ on our TV.

HEY, THEY FIXED IT!

Tried again an hour later — after writing this post and tweeting my initial frustration (see here) — and the Roku smart TV app now properly points to paramountplus.com. We were finally able to make it all work. Those of you who don’t wake up first thing in the morning for these things will have missed the excitement.

This is the pain of being on the bleeding edge of anything. Kudos to the Paramount+ engineers that quickly noticed the problem and/or saw existing early riser customers were having these issues and fixed it! Thank you.

Off to check out what’s new …