All posts by Anthony Farrell

Pop culture addict and social commentator offering sarcasm and pointless musings on all things pop culture. From The Walking Dead to X-Men Comics and Vintage Action Figures it's all happening at Thepophub.com

Dumped: Channel 9 Drops Days Of Our Lives

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Cast members of long-running soap Days Of Our Lives

Long-running daytime soap opera Days Of Our Lives, has, after 45 years, been dropped from the schedule on Channel 9.  A regular in the long list of daytime soaps aired, Days Of Our Lives (or DOOL for short) was dropped for ‘commercial reasons’ according to Channel 9.

It is anticipated the series, which is averaging 120,000 viewers a day and often wins its time slot, will be picked up by pay-TV.  Back in 2007, Channel 9 also dropped popular soap ‘The Young and the Restless‘ from it’s lineup only to have the show snapped up by Foxtel.

While the network may claim ‘commercial reasons’ for dumping the soap, it is believed that 9 dropped the show in a bid to re-vamp it’s daytime lineup after success with the networks ‘Mornings‘  show at 9am plus the addition of the steady stream of advertorial revenue available in breakfast and morning television is ripe for the return of local midday or afternoon programming.

DOOL will have it’s final airing on commercial television, Friday April 26th.  The NBC Network in America has commissioned the show to at least September 2014.

Update: Feb 2014 – Foxtel picks up Days Of Our Lives

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Slice and Dice: Downton Abbey Style

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Downton Abbey fans will be hard pressed to find anything positive to say about Channel 7 after it was announced the long-time coming and highly anticipated season three Christmas special finale of the popular show, will be split into two episodes that will run over two weeks.

Channel 7 has taken the original 65 minutes of footage (when combined with advertisements would neatly fill an hour and a half of commercial television) and sliced it in half to create two hour long episodes.

Source: SMH.com.au

Battle of the Talent Shows

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The Voice Judges – Seal, Joel Madden, Delta Goodrem and new judge, Ricky Martin

We all knew it was coming.  Channel 9’s smash singing talent show ‘The Voice‘ was, at some point, going to find itself up against channel 7’s popular cooking talent show ‘My Kitchen Rules‘ but the big question was, who was going to come out on top?

In a bid to nab extra ratings, the channel 7 cooking show was given an extra episode of ‘MKR‘ on a Sunday night time slot to battle against the return of ‘The Voice‘ on Channel 9 which was a ratings winner for the station and was last years most watched television show.  So who came out on top?

In it’s season two debut episode, ‘The Voice‘ was hard to beat.  Bringing in 1.8 million viewers compared to ‘MKR’s 1.4 million.  Seven had hoped their promotion of the Sunday night episode which saw previous ousted contestants battling it the kitchen for a chance to come back into the reality cooking show would bring in the numbers, but up against last years most watched show, it didn’t bring the viewers seven had hoped for.

Both shows however, continue to maintain very healthy ratings.

The Voice airs on the 9 network while My Kitchen Rules screens on the 7 network.

Dexter Season 8 – Teaser Trailer Revealed

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Michael C Hall as Dexter Morgan

It’s here!  The first teaser trailer for the highly anticipated final season of Dexter has been released online by Showtime, and, in true Showtime fashion, they ain’t giving much away!

Season 8 looks set to continue on from the massive cliff-hanger of season 7 which saw Deborah making a life changing decision – shoot Dexter or shoot Maria LaGuerta.  What many are wanting to know is how will the show say goodbye?  Will Dexter, the serial killer who kills bad people continue with his dark path?  Will he be caught out?

We’re not going to know until that final episode, but, Michael C. Hall has himself said that “I imagine Dexter is going to get caught one way or the other. And by that I mean, can we really expect him, at this point, to walk into the sunset? Or get off without a blemish on his conscience or character? In a way, he is already caught. Once Rita dies he is caught. Once Deb is in on the secret he is caught. And what he’s caught by is the undeniable fact that how he conducts himself has an effect on more than just him and his victims. As far as whether he goes to jail, or gets put to death, or gets hit by a bus or whatever it might be, I can’t say. But I think, in a way, we are watching someone slowly but surely get caught.”

Dexter season 8, premieres on June 30th on Showtime in the US.

Watch the season 8 trailer below:

Stars Hit Melbourne for Supanova

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Rose McGowan, Eliza Dushku and Barbra Eden

Stars from the big and small screen are hitting town this month to attend the annual Supanova  Pop Culture expo held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds.

Supanova mixes sci-fi, wrestling, comics  anime/manga and pop culture in a massive two day event where stars, writers and artists mingle with fans who also have the opportunity to have photos and autographs with attending stars and also attend Q&A panels.

This years event in Melbourne will see some big name stars attending including ‘I Dream of Jeanie‘ star Barbra Eden, ‘Charmed’ star Rose McGowan, ‘Flash Gordon‘ star Sam J Jones and ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘ actress Eliza Dusku plus the man himself – David Hasselhoff, who will all available for photo and autograph opportunities.

This year see’s Supanova offer fans a wide assortment of ticketing options, from your general daily admission passes, to VIP weekend passes, The Hoff! VIP package, and for $780.00 you can buy yourself the VIP SUPA-STAR 2013 package (includes four star autographs, four star photo opportunities, front-of-queue preference and more, plus a photo with The Hoff and KITT! – for an extra $60!)

Last years event saw ‘Twilight‘ and ‘Nurse Jackie‘ star Peter Facinelli, ‘Star Trek; The Next Generation‘ star Will Wheaton, “Harry Potter‘ actors Jamie and Oliver Phelps and ‘Firefly‘ actress Summer Glau attend.

SupaNova runs April 13th and 14th at the Melbourne Show Grounds then moves to the Gold Coast then Sydney later in June.

More information available here: SupaNova.com.au

Pirates Close in on Game Of Thrones

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In a bid to thwart illegal downloading of it’s television shows, FOXTEL movie Channel SHOWTIME last night, fast-tracked the first episode in series three of the popular ‘Game Of Thrones’ just a mere two hours after it was aired in the US.

Despite their best effort, there seems to be a lot of Aussies who couldn’t wait that long with pirating website Torrent Freak claiming that this first episode of season three was downloaded illegally more than 1 million times worldwide, with Australians grabbing the highest download rate per capita with 9.9% of downloads heading our way, largely in-part to residents in Melbourne and Sydney.

The season three opener rated extremely well for SHOWTIME, with 224,000 people tuning in to watch (It’s highest ratings to-date).  FOXTEL’s Executive Director of Television Brian Walsh stated “Last night’s brilliant result for Game of Thrones is a true testament to Foxtel’s commitment to bringing our audience award-winning high quality drama they can watch with the rest of the world.”

But what about those who do not have access to payTV services?  Music and video software iTunes made the this first episode available to Australians to purchase by 2am this morning, and since the show’s full-season pass (which was available to customers on March 15th) it has been in the number 1 spot on the iTunes TV charts, one would think that there is quite a demand for the legal downloading of television shows.

This demand, however, could only be warranted if the airing of a television show in the US was simultaneous with a release online here in Australia.  This is largely due to the boom of social network sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Says editor of popular enterainment website IGN.com Lucy O’Brien who spoke with News.com.au, “There are few shows that hold so much appeal to both a niche nerdom and a much broader audience – we’re talking brilliantly-written high fantasy here peppered with sex and violence – and these fans want to join in on the conversation as soon as it starts; with their friends, with other fans, on forums, in comment sections and on social media.”

“A delay, even a 48-hour one, prevents Australians from doing that. And that’s a problem.”

A prime example of this is the massive teen drama Pretty Little Liars starring Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson and Laura Leighton.  The show airs on a Tuesday night on the ABC Family network in the US and is screened on FOX8 here in Australia (Season 3 finished in the US 2 weeks ago [24 episodes], FOX8 has recently aired episode 12).  That said, fans of the show here in Australia would have been hard-damned to not come across any finale spoilers on Twitter as during the season three cliffhanger finale, Pretty Little Liars became the first ever show to amass more than 1 million live tweets.

While pirating may be rife, Game of Thrones’ director Michael Lombardo doesn’t seem too fazed about the illegal downloading of his show.  Last month he admitted that piracy compliments sales rather than hurting them.  Co-director David Petrarca stated at a WA university last month that the show thrives on “cultural buzz” via social media.  “That’s how they survive,” he said.

Source: News.com.au

Return to Form for My Kitchen Rules

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Judges Pete Evans and Manu Feidel

After a week-long hiatus, Channel 7’s ‘My Kitchen Rules‘ literally ruled the screen last night with a massive 1.92 million viewers tuning in to watch the first week of finals.

Channel 7 had been hyping a possible new rivalry between female teams Ashlee and Sophia from NSW and Jenna and Joanna from SA with multiple adverts during the shows week-long absence.

The reality-cooking show has been a major hit for the 7 network and has caused many uproars from viewers ranging from contestants who bully, contestants who are racially abused on social networking sites and contestants who don’t eat certain types of food (remember the I-don’t-eat-tomatoes-capsicum-chocolate-orange-girls?)

The show has also begun to hype up episodes showing ousted contestants fighting for a chance to make it back into the competition.

My Kitchen  Rules airs on the 7 Network week-nightly at 7pm

Who Do You Think You Are? Season 5

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Season 5 of SBS’s documentary series ‘Who Do You Think You Are‘ is back with a slew of local stars researching their families back history and discovering amazing, funny and sad stories located within their family tree.

This season, local talent including Asher Keddie, Susie Porter, John Howard, Don Hany, Michael Caton, Rove McManus, Adam Hills and Lex Marinos will all be featured travelling throughout Australia and even parts of the world in an attempt to find out more about where they came from.

Season 5 starts with comedian and host Adam Hill looking into his family history, airing on SBS ONE, April 2nd at 7:30pm.

True Blood Season Six Premiere Date Announced

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Anna Paquin stars as Sookie Stackhouse in HBO’s TRUE BLOOD

The sixth season HBO’s ‘True Blood‘ has been marked for a June 16th premiere date with FOXTEL channel ‘Showtime’ fast-tracking the series to Australian screens for a same-date showing.

Fans can expect only 10 episodes this season – 2 short of the shows normal length which is due to lead star Anna Paquin giving birth to twins last September.  This season will also be the first without True Blood creator and head writer Alan Ball, who announced that he will be stepping back from his usual duties and moving to an advisory role with the show.

This sixth season will continue on from last season’s cliff-hanger where a blood covered Bill (inhabited by the vampire god Lilith) seeks out Sookie and Eric Northman (Alexander Skarsgard)

Check out the 30 second teaser trailer that HBO released on Saturday!

Please Like Me Bows Out For Season 1

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Josh Thomas and Deborah Lawrence in Please Like Me

Let me put it out there – I like ‘Please Like Me‘.  It’s funny yet has a serious side, plays lightly on the hipster/nerdy/gay/racial stereotypes yet knows not to be too full of itself.  The characters too are likable, well written and well acted.

However, a downside to this show was how ill-timed story lines were thrust upon us.  Some arcs were sped up (lead character Josh has been dumped by his girlfriend then came out as gay and ended the same episode in a relationship with a man) while story-lines involving his parents and their divorce seem to sit well timed and not too rushed.  A case of too much story to tell in the space of 6 half hour episodes.

That aside, the show has slowly been building a steady fan-base, with more to come with the DVD release due soon after the end of season 1, and many fans are wanting to know if a second season is in the works and if cast member Caitlin Stasey will return after recently being attached to a new pilot in the USA.

There’s no word yet on what ABC2 plans to do with the show after tonight.

‘Please Like Me’ end it’s 6 episode first season run tonight on ABC2 at 9:30pm.