SpaceX Starlink satellite broadband gets off the ground

Elon Musk’s company launches two prototype satellites it hopes will be the first of thousands more beaming internet access anywhere in the world.

After days of delays, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying two small satellites, dubbed Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force base in California Thursday morning. The blandly named satellites could serve as proof of concept for an ambitious global broadband service envisioned by CEO Elon Musk.

The recycled rocket’s main mission was to launch the larger Spanish Earth-imaging satellite Paz. It’s a fairly routine delivery for SpaceX these days.

But once again Musk sparked the public’s imagination with plans to build something unprecedented. In this case it’s two constellations of satellites, totaling over 11,000 orbiting craft in all, that will be able to deliver terrestrial quality broadband to anywhere on the globe, be it an Arctic research station or an African village.

The Federal Communications Commission granted permission for the operation of the MicroSats last year, but Musk only publicly acknowledged the existence of the prototype satellites this week, saying on Twitter that Starlink “will serve (the) least served.”

Today’s Falcon launch carries 2 SpaceX test satellites for global broadband. If successful, Starlink constellation will serve least served.

The pair of small satellites and Paz were successfully deployed about 11 minutes after launch.

The launch had been delayed three times from its initially scheduled date of Saturday, first to provide extra time to check out launch systems and an upgraded fairing, then due to high-altitude winds on Wednesday.

The Falcon 9 booster used to deliver the three satellites to orbit was not recovered. It was previously flown on a mission in August and recovered to be reused for this launch. SpaceX did attempt to use the new giant-net-on-a-boat setup that Musk announced after the launch of the Falcon Heavy earlier this month. It was attempting to catch the fairing, which is the nose cone that protects the payload during ascent. There was no video feed from the ship, so we won’t know how that went until later.

It’s not clear when we’ll hear if the Starlink MicroSats are operational and how they’re working as a proof of concept. The small satellites are designed to communicate with each other through optical laser links and with ground stations on Earth. If all goes well and SpaceX receives approval from the FCC to begin launching its first full satellite constellation, we could see hundreds and then thousands of other small satellites being launched to a low-earth orbit to begin spinning up the broadband service.

Most satellite internet customers are currently served by a handful of satellites in high geostationary orbit, but Starlink’s lower altitude constellations would instead use a swarm of satellites to provide low-latency connectivity that feels more like a cable or fiber-optic connection.

All of this is likely several years and many more rocket launches down the road. Musk has said he hopes to see Starlink operational in the mid-2020s.

Crowd Control: A crowdsourced science fiction novel written by CNET readers.

Solving for XX: The tech industry seeks to overcome outdated ideas about “women in tech.”

Written by : Erick Mack

Taken from :

BBC launches BBC Earth VR experience

The BBC has launched a virtual reality experience inspired by natural history series like Blue Planet II and Planet Earth II, called BBC Earth: Life in VR.

The immersive experience lets users dive with sea otters, learn about kelp forests, explore the trenches below the Pacific Ocean, and encounter giant squid and sperm whales.

BBC Earth: Life in VR was created by game studio Preloaded in collaboration with BBC Studio’s VR team, and is available on Google’s Daydream VR platform.

“We are really excited to be working with Google to bring BBC nature content to Daydream,” said Bradley Crooks, head of digital entertainment and games, BBC Worldwide.

“VR allows us to provide our audiences a new level of immersion unparalleled by other mediums and tell stories of the natural world in a new and exhilarating way.”

Kellee Santiago, senior producer for Daydream Apps, said: “BBC Earth’s experience on Daydream makes exploring the wonders of our world more immersive and accessible than ever before.

“It allows audiences to guide themselves, based on whatever takes their interest. The experience truly showcases the unique capabilities of the interactive and immersive format of Daydream to provide a platform for deeper understandings of our world.”

BBC Earth: Life in VR is the result of a partnership between Google and BBC’s commercial arm BBC Worldwide, which published the title as an app on the Google Play store.

The BBC launched its virtual reality production studio, BBC VR Hub, in December in a bid to explore “how VR can create real audience impact”.

Head of commissioning for VR Hub, Zillah Watson, said at the time that the new unit will work closely with BBC programme makers and digital experts to create VR content across a range of genres.

The BBC has worked on a number of VR projects since 2016, including: Home – A VR Spacewalk, We Wait, and Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel.

Written by : Andrew McDonald

Taken from :

21st Century Fox promises independent board for Sky News

21st Century Fox has promised a fully-independent board for Sky News and insulation of the service from possible editorial interference from the Murdoch family in a bid to secure approval for its planned takeover of Sky.

Fox’s proposal for a fully-independent board for the UK news channel goes a step beyond an earlier pledge to create a board with a majority of independent directors. However, it remains to be seen if the latest move will be enough to convince the country’s competition watchdog to OK the deal.

The Competition and Markets Authority issued a provisional ruling in January that Fox’s planned takeover of the 61% of Sky that it does not already own was not in the public interest.

The CMA said the bid raised a threat to media plurality because the Murdoch family would control too much of the UK media market should a deal go through, thanks to the Murdoch Family Trust’s influence over The SunSun on SundayThe Timesand Sunday Times newspapers.

The CMA noted that the “MFT’s news outlets are watched, read or heard by nearly a third of the UK’s population”, giving it “a combined share of the public’s news consumption that is significantly greater than all other news providers, except the BBC and ITN”.

The Murdochs have previously raised the threat that Sky News could be shut down if the acquisition of Sky fails to secure approval.

The issues raised by the planned takeover have been clouded somewhat by Disney’s planned acquisition of the bulk of 21st Century Fox. The CMA has said that the Disney deal can be taken into account when remedies are considered. It is not known whether Disney would commit to retaining the loss-making news channel if its acquisition of Fox goes through, however.

Written by : Stuart Thomson

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YouTube takes tougher stance on monetisation

YouTube is introducing stricter criteria for which channels can run ads as part of its ongoing clampdown on inappropriate content on the service.

Susan Wojcicki

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki

Announcing the move, YouTube admitted that the change in policy will affect a “significant number of channels”, with the company tightening up rules for who is eligible for the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

It also said that Google Preferred content – top channels that YouTube aggregates into easy-to-buy packages for brand advertisers – will be manually reviewed. Ads will run only on videos that have been verified to meet YouTube’s ‘ad-friendly guidelines’.

“We are passionate about protecting our users, advertisers and creators and making sure YouTube is not a place that can be co-opted by bad actors,” said Paul Muret, vice-president, display, video and analytics at YouTube.

“While we took several steps last year to protect advertisers from inappropriate content, we know we need to do more to ensure that their ads run alongside content that reflects their values.”

Previously, channels on YouTube had to reach 10,000 total views to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. Under the new rules channels will need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months to be eligible for ads.

YouTube will also start to “closely monitor” signals like community strikes, spam, and other abuse flags to ensure channels comply with its policies – criteria that will be applied automatically to both new and existing YPP channels.

“While this new approach will affect a significant number of channels eligible to run ads, the creators who will remain part of YPP represent more than 95% of YouTube’s reach for advertisers,” said Muret.

At the same time YouTube announced that it will be giving advertisers greater transparency and more controls over where their ads appear.

In the coming months it said it will roll out a three-tier suitability system that lets advertisers “reflect their view of appropriate placements for their brand, while understanding potential reach trade offs”.

The news comes in the same month that prominent and former Google Preferred-endorsed YouTuber Logan Paul came under fire and subsequently apologised for apparently filming a dead body while visiting Japan’s infamous ‘suicide forest’, in a video that was monetised on the site before it was taken down.

Google said it expects to complete manual reviews of Google Preferred channels and videos by mid-February in the US and by the end of March in all other markets where Google Preferred is offered. The new requirements for channels in the YPP will begin on February 20th, 2018.

In December YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced plans to grow YouTube’s ‘trust and safety teams’ to 10,000 people in 2018 to clamp down on content that violates its policies.

“Human reviewers remain essential to both removing content and training machine learning systems because human judgment is critical to making contextualised decisions on content,” said Wojcicki in an open letter published by YouTube.

Written by : Andrew McDonald

Taken from :

Hulu Nabs ‘Lost’ Exclusive Subscription Streaming Rights From Netflix

All six seasons of “Lost,” the supernatural drama that aired on ABC, are now available on Hulu — after Netflix’s subscription-streaming rights to the show expired.

As of Jan. 4, all 121 episodes of “Lost” are available to Hulu subscribers. The series comes to Hulu as part of a deal with the Disney/ABC Television Group. Netflix had originally inked the deal with Disney/ABC for “Lost” backed in 2009.

“Lost” was created by Jeffrey Lieber, J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof. The series follows the survivors of Oceanic Air flight 815, flying between Sydney and Los Angeles, that crashes on a mysterious Pacific island. Over the course of its six-season run on ABC from 2004-10, “Lost” won multiple awards, including Emmy and Golden Globe awards for best drama series.

The cast of “Lost” includes series regulars Jorge Garcia, Josh Holloway, Yunjin Kim, Evangeline Lilly, Terry O’Quinn, Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox and Daniel Dae Kim.

Disney is one of Hulu’s corporate parents, along with NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner. Under Disney’s proposed $52.4 billion deal to acquire 20th Century Fox and other assets, Disney would obtain Fox’s 30% stake in Hulu and have majority control over the streaming company.

Other programming from Disney/ABC Television Group that Hulu has recently added after securing exclusive subscription VOD rights include ABC’s “Designated Survivor”; ABC’s original “TGIF” lineup from the late 1980s and ’90s including “Full House” and “Family Matters”; “The Golden Girls”; and “black-ish.”

Two years ago, a kerfuffle sprang up about the “Lost” series finale episode on Netflix: The version on Netflix was an edited version that was 18 minutes shorter than the full episode originally aired on ABC. After Lindelof noticed the truncation, Netflix restored the full 104-minute cut.

Hulu, when it launched “Lost” on Thursday, also was streaming the shortened version of the final episode (broken into two 43-minute parts). According to a Hulu rep, the streaming service is getting the full, uncut version of the series finale and will make it available shortly.

Written by : Todd Spangler

Taken from :

Blue Planet II named best TV show of 2017 by UK critics

Beating Line of Duty, Big Little Lies and The Crown

Following a year of stunning television, critics have voted for their favourite shows of 2017, with the BBC’s groundbreaking Blue Planet II coming out top.

The Sir David Attenborough-narrated series managed to beat stiff competition from the Thandi Newton-starring Line of Duty and US drama Big Little Lies.

The poll was conducted by RadioTimes, which asked various UK critics for their favourite shows, and the BBC’s output – also including Peter Kay’s Car Share, Detectorists, Doctor Foster andApple Tree Yard – dominated.

Other shows to feature on the list include Netflix’s The Crown, Channel 4’s Catastrophe and the ITV series Broadchurch. 

RadioTimes editor Mark Frith told The Guardian: “It’s been the most incredible 12 months for TV, but in the end Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II won our critics poll by quite a margin.”

Blue Planet II was not only the critics’ favourite show of the year but also the most watched programme of 2017, beating Strictly Come Dancing to take the crown.

The first episode of the series, which featured a transforming fish, was watched by 14.1 million people in its first week, becoming the third most watched show of the past five years.

The top 10 shows of 2017 according to the critics were:

10. Apple Tree Yard

9. Doctor Foster

8. Detectorists

7. Broadchurch

6. Peter Kay’s Car Share

5. Catastrophe

4. The Crown

3. Big Little Lies

2. Line of Duty

1. Blue Planet II

Written by : Jack Shepherd

Taken from :

Facebook and Twitter threatened with sanctions in UK ‘fake news’ inquiry

Facebook and Twitter could face sanctions if they continue to stonewall parliament over Russian interference in the EU referendum, the chair of a Commons inquiry has said.

Damian Collins, chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, which is looking into so-called “fake news”, has given the companies until 18 January to correct their failure to hand over information he requested about Russian misinformation campaigns on their platforms.

“There has to be a way of scrutinising the procedures that companies like Facebook put in place to help them identify known sources of disinformation, particularly when it’s politically motivated and coming from another country,” Collins said.

“They need to be able to tell us what they can do about it. And what we need to be able to do is say to the companies: we recognise that you are best placed to monitor what is going on your own site and to get the balance right in taking action against it but also safeguarding the privacy of users.

“But what there has to be then is some mechanism of saying: if you fail to do that, if you ignore requests to act, if you fail to police the site effectively and deal with highly problematic content, then there has to be some sort of sanction against you.”

Collins’s intervention, the first concrete warning that sanctions could follow any failure to provide the information required, is likely to cause concern for the social media firms. Previously he had signalled his dissatisfaction in letters to the two companies without specifying the consequences of noncompliance.

In a letter to Twitter this month, he wrote: “The information you have now shared with us is completely inadequate … It seems odd that so far we have received more information about activities that have taken place on your platform from journalists and academics than from you.”

Collins said his inquiry was looking at the question of what form sanctions could take. “In other countries they’ve taken different positions. Germany has obviously gone furthest down this road.”

In mid-December, the German competition authority issued the country’s latest rebuke of Facebook, accusing the company of violating European data protection principles by merging information gathered through WhatsApp and Instagram with Facebook user accounts.

Collins suggested that one outcome of the inquiry could be social networks being hit where it hurts most: their revenue. “On the advertising side, what’s important is, well, the extent of fake accounts. If you’re selling advertising against those numbers, that cannot be ethical, and clearly that is something the advertising industry should be interested in.”

Collins would not have direct powers to punish Twitter and Facebook if they fail to cooperate more fully, but could ensure bad publicity for both if he continues to summon their representatives to face his committee. Meanwhile, ministers are understood to be concerned by the companies’ attitude and could be sympathetic to any request for action.

Collins’s committee has asked Facebook and Twitter for a broad swath of information about Russian interference in the EU referendum, including details of the accounts and pages operated by Russian misinformation actors. Instead, in early December the two companies handed over a carbon copy of the information they had provided the Electoral Commission in response to a much narrower query about advertising spend from Russia during the six weeks leading up to the vote.

“What I didn’t expect was they would essentially completely ignore our request,” Collins said, describing the companies’ response as “extraordinary”.

“They don’t believe that they have any obligation at all to initiate their own investigation into what may or may not have been happening on the site – to look at the accounts that have been identified by the American authorities and say: OK, are there other accounts that share similar characteristics that could have come from the same source? They’ve not done any of that work at all.”

In the information the companies handed over to the Electoral Commission, they identified small ad spends from previously known Russian actors. Facebook said just $0.97 had been spent on Brexit-related adverts by Russians that were seen by Brits, while Twitter claimed that the only Russian spending it was aware of during the period in question was $1,000 from the broadcaster RT.

The Russian embassy in Britain seized on the initial figures released by Facebook to criticise media focus on misinformation operations. “It’s [the Times columnist Hugo Rifkind] who holds British democracy in contempt by suggesting 52% voters can be bought for £0.73,” the embassy tweeted shortly after the exchange of letters between Facebook, Twitter and Collins.

A few days later, the embassy shared a statement from the Russian foreign affairs ministry: “US & UK financial elites controlling mainstream media are unleashing a campaign to put Facebook, Google, Twitter under strict control alleging they are used by extremists. Russia was targeted by social media fakes many times but it never curbed freedom of speech in internet.” (In fact, Russian authorities have banned thousands of sites since Vladimir Putin’s re-election in 2012, some for promoting “social ills”, others for political dissent.)

In the US, Facebook and Twitter carried out wide-ranging investigations that identified significant interference beyond simple ad spending. Facebook identified 470 accounts and pages run by the Russian Internet Research Agency, a St Petersburg-based “troll army”, while Twitter provided Congress with a list of 2,752 accounts that it believed were linked to the organisation.

“I hope they realise that people’s concerns about this issue aren’t going away,” Collins said. “They have an opportunity to be seen to be proactive. This is taking place in the context of the broader debate of their responsibilities.”

Written by : Alex Hern

Taken from:

4 Trends in TV and Digital Media That Will Shake Up the Industry in 2018

A ‘reckoning’ for digital video is nigh

Finding success as a digital media publisher in the past year has been a messy, frustrating pursuit. Digital entertainment media publishers and other news organizations turning to the same platforms as each other; it’s difficult to differentiate and therefore stand-out.

Throughout the year, TV networks and digital publishers faced hardships based on revenue misses and unsustainable business practices; ESPN went through multiple rounds of layoffs across its on-air talent and digital production arms, Mashable sold for a fraction of what it was worth two years ago, and digital natives BuzzFeed and Refinery29 laid off dozens of employees across multiple divisions.

With many ups and downs behind them, what problems or challenges can media expect to face in 2018?

Selling ads programmatically

According to Neil Vogel, CEO of Dotdash (formerly, more and more CPG companies are trying to buy ads on digital publishers programmatically. The levels of data and control are particularly interesting to brands looking for increased sales and different ad options.

“A lot of sites who used to talk about their scaled custom native content are now talking about how good they’ll be at programmatic ads,” said Vogel. “The previous fear of programmatic is unfounded, but the yields from these ads can be great.”

BuzzFeed, who reorganized its advertising and sales teams ahead of the new year, could benefit in the long run by its recent embrace of banner ads. It’s still creating engaging content as a company, according to market intelligence company SimilarWeb.

“Very often, the combination of layoffs and a ‘change of focus’ should be a serious cause for concern because the underlying foundation of a business is in trouble,” said Gitit Greenberg, director of digital insights for SimilarWeb. “However, for BuzzFeed, a slight shift in focus from a revenue perspective could have the necessary impact because the content foundation upon which the business is based is so incredibly strong.”

This chart from SimilarWeb shows how BuzzFeed measures up to CNN and the NYT in engaged visitors.

Quality and verified reporting

Despite a few setbacks on the revenue side of things, this year showed the strength of newsrooms and news stations across the country. Publishers from Vanity Fair to The New York Times saw huge bumps in subscriptions thanks to politically reporting that drew the ire of the President Donald Trump; the Washington Post, as well, had subscriptions triple since last year.

To that end, publishers are looking forward to more quality reporting on all ends of the media spectrum. Dave Finocchio, CEO and co-founder of Bleacher Report, noted the amount of great work that was produced this year and thinks we can expect more of that to come.

“With the proliferation of viral international stories, more legitimate publications will have to team up with verification solutions so that stories about sex rings at pizza parlors never hit the mainstream.”
-Rebecca Lieb, analyst and co-founder of Kaleido Insights

“How can some of these brands and storytellers rise above the noise and start to make a real impact?” said Finocchio. “Everyone is always like, ‘okay, great story, let’s move onto the next one.’ Media will have to learn how to make stuff stick a little more. And ideally, there will be business models in place that will support that work.”

In addition to great storytelling, publishers and platforms must develop a way to fight the “fake news” label. Analyst and co-founder of Kaleido Insights, Rebecca Lieb, suggests that blockchain might be the answer.

“We need a way to verify news that comes from credible and validated sources,” said Lieb. “With the proliferation of viral international stories, more legitimate publications will have to team up with verification solutions so that stories about sex rings at pizza parlors never hit the mainstream.”

For Lieb, Facebook could easily lead the charge in developing that tool as it’s become a major news destination for much of the world.

No tolerance for sexual harassers

Across every industry, survivors of sexual assault or harassment came forward to help pinpoint abusers in their hierarchy. This has led to the removal of dozens of men from positions of power.

Many TV networks like NBCABCCBSESPN, Netflix and Amazon have cut ties with men found to have acted inappropriately and dangerously around others in their workplaces throughout their career. Because of the seriousness of these allegations, networks have made steps to make their productions a safer place for the future; as this is something that has come out in every industry from the restaurant world to advertising agencies, providing more clear methods of reporting these infractions and taking measures to protect employees against future problems should become a massive priority.

A ‘reckoning’ for digital video

According to Vogel, the “math doesn’t work” when it comes to publishers creating enough content to meet demands from advertisers.

“It costs more to produce videos for platforms other than your own than it pays you back,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whose overhead apple pie video that is because no one can tell the difference on platforms like that and there are thousands of them.”

Companies that once had seemingly unlimited funds from investors, Vogel indicated, may not have the same budgets that they used to. Because of that, building a scaled video business is proving to be more difficult than initially thought.

Finocchio pointed out that many media companies are trying to find ways of licensing their video productions with entertainment services like Netflix or Amazon. But that’s an “incredibly crowded space,” he said.

“Consumers are expecting content to be even more personalized and social,” said Finocchio. “I expect there to be less short-form content from brands who blend in with other brands online, ones you can’t tell apart from one another.”

This could also be in the form of new video formats; Lieb suggested that 2018 will be the year that news organizations start producing more AR, and then eventually more VR videos.

“Whoever does it first and goes for the moonshot always gets the ink,” she said, regarding the amount of press an advertiser or publisher could get by making a big splash with these types of videos.

Despite being an emerging technology that’s not yet in every household, the opportunities this could bring media organizations access to unique visualizations, data, election night coverage and documentary-style approaches to news.

“When news becomes engaging like that, people can become more immersed in the news itself,” said Lieb, “like how people often get their news from late night comedy, as it’s much more digestible.”

Written by Sami Main

Taken from :

Netflix January 2018: What’s new and what’s going

Get ready for new shows and movies.

The new year means new shows and movies on Netflix.

It also means that some of your favourites will also be leaving the streaming platform.

But first things first: some of the new content coming to Netflix include beloved early aughts movies like cheerleading comedy Bring It On (along with its sequels) and How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days.

Plus you’ll be able to stream classics like Willy Wonka and The Chocolate FactoryThe Godfather and the Lethal Weapon series.

On top of that, you’ll be able to watch new seasons of Grace and FrankieLovesick and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Netflix will also premiere original movies like The Polka King (starring Jack Black, Jenny Slate and Jason Schwartzman) and A Futile and Stupid Gesture (starring Will Forte as National Lampoon co-founder Doug Kenney).

Unfortunately you’ll have to say goodbye to some good ones though, with Love ActuallyMiss Congeniality and every season of Lost.

Don’t get too sad though: the list of new things to watch is quite long.

Check out the entire list of titles coming below:

January 1

10,000 B.C.

30 Days of Night

Age Of Shadows


America’s Sweethearts

Apollo 13


Batman & Robin

Batman Begins

Batman Forever

Batman Returns

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It


Chef & My Fridge: 2017


Definitely, Maybe

Eastsiders: Season 3

Furry Vengeance


How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

King Kong

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

License to Wed

Like Water for Chocolate

Love Actually

Lovesick: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Maddman: The Steve Madden Story

Marie Antoinette

Martin Luther: The Idea that Changed the World

Midnight in Paris

Monsters vs. Aliens

National Treasure

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming


Strictly Ballroom

The Dukes of Hazzard

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

The First Time

The Godfather

The Godfather: Part II

The Godfather: Part III

The Italian Job

The Lovely Bones

The Shawshank Redemption

The Truman Show

The Vault

Training Day

Treasures From The Wreck Of The Unbelievable


Wedding Crashers

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

January 2:

Mustang Island

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales


January 5:


Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee– NETFLIX ORIGINAL



January 6:

Episodes: Season 1-5

Available 1/8/18

The Conjuring

January 10:

47 Meters Down

Alejandro Riaño Especial de stand up– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

In The Deep

January 12:

Colony: Season 2

Disjointed: Part 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Somebody Feed Phil– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The Man Who Would Be Polka King


Tom Segura: Disgraceful– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 14:

Wild Hogs

January 15:

2018 Olympic Winter Games Preview: Meet Team USA & Go for the Gold



January 16:

Dallas Buyers Club

Katt Williams: Great America– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Rita: Season 4

January 17:

Arango y Sanint: Ríase El Show– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Friday Night Tykes: Season 4

January 18:

Bad Day for the Cut

Tiempos de guerra: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 19:

Drug Lords: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Grace and Frankie: Season 4– NETFLIX ORIGINAL


Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 23:

Todd Glass: Act Happy– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 24:

Ricardo Quevedo: Hay gente así– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 25:

Acts of Vengeance

January 26:

A Futile and Stupid Gesture– NETFLIX ORIGINAL


Kavin Jay: Everybody Calm Down!– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Llama Llama: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

One Day at a Time: Season 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Sebastián Marcelo Wainraich– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

The Adventures of Puss in Boots: Season 6– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Mau Nieto: Viviendo sobrio… desde el bar– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 28:

El Ministerio del Tiempo: Seasons 1-2

El Ministerio del Tiempo: Season 3– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 29:

The Force

January 30:

Babylon Berlin: Season 1 & 2– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Death Race: Beyond Anarchy

Retribution: Season 1– NETFLIX ORIGINAL

January 31:

Disney·Pixar Cars 3


And see what’s leaving Netflix in January: 


Leaving January 1:


Daddy Day Care

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood

Dressed to Kill

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Forrest Gump

Four Brothers

Free Willy



I Am Sam

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Fifteenth Year

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Fourteenth Year

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Seventeenth Year

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Sixteenth Year

License to Drive

Made of Honour

Mean Girls

Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

Mona Lisa Smile

Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction

Pokémon the Movie: Hoopa and the Clash of Ages

Pokémon: Indigo League: Season 1

Pokémon: XY: Seasons 1-2

Police Academy

Pulp Fiction

Requiem for a Dream


Saw II


Saw IV

Saw V

Saw VI

Saw: The Final Chapter

Someone Like You

The Addams Family

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

The Man with One Red Shoe

The Manhattan Project

The Mighty Ducks

The Parent Trap

The Secret Garden

The Switch

Three Coins in the Fountain

White Chicks

Young Mr. Lincoln

Leaving 1/3/18


Leaving 1/4/18

Lost: Seasons 1-6

Leaving 1/5/18


Fantasia 2000

The Host

Leaving 1/15/18

Sirens: Seasons 1-2

Written by : Ilana Kaplin

Taken from :

7 Predictions for 2018’s Biggest Stories in Media, Film and TV

THR experts look into their crystal balls for the ideas, trends and deals that will shape the news and entertainment landscape in the new year (and far beyond).


The Urge to Merge 

After Disney acquires a large chunk of 21st Century Fox, the next big merger could be CBS and Lionsgate. While many on Wall Street have been pining
 for CEO Leslie Moonves to recombine CBS with Viacom,
 this move would be a way to give CBS the bigger media footprint 
it needs. Lionsgate already distributes movies made by CBS Films, Lionsgate-owned Starz would complement CBS-owned Showtime, and Lionsgate content would help beef up the CBS All Access streaming service with films from the Hunger GamesSaw and Twilight franchises and TV shows like Orange Is the New Black and Nashville— Paul Bond


Rupert’s Play for CNN

After selling most of his Fox empire, Rupert Murdoch may let his son Lachlan run the parts that Disney didn’t buy (the Fox broadcast network, Fox News and the FS1 and FS2 sports networks) and return his attention to an old love: the previously spun-off  News Corp. In order to rebuild the parent of newspapers including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, the octogenarian mogul could set his sights on CNN should AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson give in to DOJ demands and divest the cable news outfit in order to finally win approval of his $85.4 billion merger with Time Warner. — P.B. 


The End of the Star System

Before they were toppled 
amid sexual misconduct claims, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose were given top billing over their female co-anchors — Savannah Guthrie at NBC’s Today and Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell at CBS This Morning. Sources tell THR that the issue of pay parity arose in the renegotiation of each woman’s contract. (Megyn Kelly is now reportedly the top-paid anchor at NBC News.) But just as the #MeToo moment retooled morning news, it will also recast the retrograde gender dynamics that perpetuated bad behavior by anchor stars. — Marisa Guthrie


Dawn of the Post-Peak TV Era

Scripted output is still set to 
top the 500-some original series that aired in 2017, but that’s a content yield too great to sustain. A plateau at Netflix is as inevitable as its anticipated $8 billion yearly spend seems outlandish, even by CEO Reed Hastings’ lofty standards. And buyers will shrink in ad-supported cable as some bail out of scripted (Viacom and NBCU already are honing their catalogs) and others fold completely, changing the way series are financed and distributed.
 — Michael O’Connell 


Who Wants to Buy Snapchat?

Snapchat’s redesign, announced in November, is meant to create a more personalized and easier-to-understand experience and grow its 178 million daily active user base. The move could very well have the opposite effect, since the app’s near-opacity for people over 30 was part of what powered its youth ascent. Without the scale of Facebook and a stock price stubbornly beneath its $17 IPO price, the Evan Spiegel-led Snap Inc. could very well find itself a takeover target. — Natalie Jarvey 


Breaking the VOD Window 

Since it has its own nascent OTT platform to service, Disney has been the one major studio with no interest in testing a premium VOD window that would offer movie rentals well before the current three months after theatrical release. That has made it tough to assemble the three 
or four studios needed to make a new home entertainment service viable. But Disney’s acquisi
tion of Fox may be what finally puts pressure on the other major studios to get moving to find 
a new distribution channel and overrule the objections of theater owners to breaking the VOD window. — Pamela McClintock  


Studios Get More From China

There is a solid chance that China overtakes North
 America in 2018 to become the biggest theatrical film market in the world. Will this bring back Chinese investment into Hollywood? Maybe. But Beijing still views entertainment as a risky and vainglorious investment sector for local tycoons. Instead, expect attention to shift in the opposite direction, with Hollywood again pushing for a bigger slice of China’s enormous pie. Studios may be able to nudge their Chinese box-office take upward from 25 percent of ticket sales, but Beijing won’t surrender its many levers of market manipulation, including blackout periods and control of distribution. — Patrick Brzeski

This story first appeared in the Dec. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.


Written by : THR Staff

Taken from :

Best Apple TV apps of 2017/2018

The App Store is a huge addition to the Apple TV, and looks to take the Apple’s set top box from a ‘hobby’ to a killer product. Here, we take a look at some of the best apps for the Apple TV.

Despite Apple originally referring to the Apple TV as a ‘hobby’, that all changed with the introduction of the fourth-gen Apple TV (and the Apple TV 4K in 2017). Why? It features tvOS, an operating system that brings the Apple TV into 2017.

Essentially, tvOS offers access to Siri and the App Store on your Apple TV. Siri can be used in a similar way to how it’s used on the iPhone, and can be asked a variety of things from what the weather is like to the status of your football team’s match.

However, it also comes with features unique to the Apple TV, including the ability to search not only iTunes but Netflix for movies and being able to say “What did he say?” to get Siri to rewind the film by 15 seconds and temporarily enable subtitles.

The Apple TV App Store is a huge addition to the Apple TV, and looks to take the Apple TV from a ‘hobby’ to a killer product with a range of amazing Apple TV games and apps. It’s even better news for us in the UK, as Apple never really catered to UK Apple TV users in the first few years of the Apple TV’s life, offering a small selection of apps compared to our US counterparts.

Here, we take a look at some of the best apps for the Apple TV for UK users.

Best Apple TV apps


For fans of social networking, the Facebook app might be the first thing you’ll download on the Apple TV. However, unlike the standard iOS app, the focus on the Apple TV variant is videos (arguably the biggest draw to Facebook in recent years) providing an easy way to browse through the myriad of videos available on the platform.

Despite Apple originally referring to the Apple TV as a ‘hobby’, that all changed with the introduction of the fourth-gen Apple TV (and the Apple TV 4K in 2017). Why? It features tvOS, an operating system that brings the Apple TV into 2017.

Essentially, tvOS offers access to Siri and the App Store on your Apple TV. Siri can be used in a similar way to how it’s used on the iPhone, and can be asked a variety of things from what the weather is like to the status of your football team’s match.

However, it also comes with features unique to the Apple TV, including the ability to search not only iTunes but Netflix for movies and being able to say “What did he say?” to get Siri to rewind the film by 15 seconds and temporarily enable subtitles.

The Apple TV App Store is a huge addition to the Apple TV, and looks to take the Apple TV from a ‘hobby’ to a killer product with a range of amazing Apple TV games and apps. It’s even better news for us in the UK, as Apple never really catered to UK Apple TV users in the first few years of the Apple TV’s life, offering a small selection of apps compared to our US counterparts.

Here, we take a look at some of the best apps for the Apple TV for UK users.

Best Apple TV apps


For fans of social networking, the Facebook app might be the first thing you’ll download on the Apple TV. However, unlike the standard iOS app, the focus on the Apple TV variant is videos (arguably the biggest draw to Facebook in recent years) providing an easy way to browse through the myriad of videos available on the platform.

There are options available for each workout to increase its intensity, all based on your ability and how much time you have – these options are easily tweaked before the workout is started. The app stores your workout statistics and lets you easily track and view the data, which should help keep you motivated to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Zova Yoga Workout

Zova isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but if you’re into Yoga, you’ll be pretty interested. The app is free to download, and allows you to browse through a number of Yoga workouts, all curated by health and fitness experts. You can see the time it takes and the number of calories you’ll burn at a glance, and the step-by-step videos will take you through every element of the workout.

Though don’t get your hopes up too quickly – the app may be free, but only a handful of tutorials are free to watch. The majority of its vast library is paid-for, and you’ll have to part with your cash before Yoga-ing to the max. But hey, if it’s something you enjoy, a couple of pounds won’t matter too much right?


Plex for Apple TV allows users to store videos, music and photos on their computer or a NAS drive, then using the Plex’s free server software, transcode and stream those files to the Plex app. The end result is having your complete movie library available to you at the touch of a button, no need to burn a DVD or AirPlay from your iPad – functionality that avid users of Plex have been patiently waiting for, for years.

The company claims that its Apple TV app is one of its most feature-rich, including support for playlists, channels and in-app search. One of the key features of the Apple TV is its universal search that searches both official Apple channels and third-party apps. Unfortunately, the API hasn’t been released for all developers just yet, but once it does, you may see videos from Plex appear in your results.

We have a guide to watching live and catch up TV on Apple TV here.

Smule Sing! Karaoke

New research has found that singing with a friend or partner will help you bond with them quicker, due to the release of exercise-like endorphins while singing. Enter Sing! Karaoke by Smule, an app for the Apple TV that aims to turn it into a fully blown karaoke machine – perfect for those boozy nights in with your friends.

Users have the choice of either having a duet with someone in their front room, or someone from around the world, although the editor of Macworld UK points out that there is no way to have a sing-song by yourself, which may be off-putting for some people.

However if it doesn’t bother you, you’re able to download the Sing! App on your iPhone to turn it into a microphone, with the ability to use two phones/microphones simultaneously. Your friends will also be able to personalise the music queue while you’re belting out your best Whitney impression, keeping the activity flowing.

CARROT Weather

CARROT is a weather app for the Apple TV (and iOS) with a slight difference; it has added sass. CARROT is a comprehensive weather app that can display accurate, detailed data and weather maps with additional sarcastic (and sometimes a little weird) comments.

The company claims that its Apple TV app is one of its most feature-rich, including support for playlists, channels and in-app search. One of the key features of the Apple TV is its universal search that searches both official Apple channels and third-party apps. Unfortunately, the API hasn’t been released for all developers just yet, but once it does, you may see videos from Plex appear in your results.

We have a guide to watching live and catch up TV on Apple TV here.

Smule Sing! Karaoke

New research has found that singing with a friend or partner will help you bond with them quicker, due to the release of exercise-like endorphins while singing. Enter Sing! Karaoke by Smule, an app for the Apple TV that aims to turn it into a fully blown karaoke machine – perfect for those boozy nights in with your friends.

Users have the choice of either having a duet with someone in their front room, or someone from around the world, although the editor of Macworld UK points out that there is no way to have a sing-song by yourself, which may be off-putting for some people.

However if it doesn’t bother you, you’re able to download the Sing! App on your iPhone to turn it into a microphone, with the ability to use two phones/microphones simultaneously. Your friends will also be able to personalise the music queue while you’re belting out your best Whitney impression, keeping the activity flowing.

CARROT Weather

CARROT is a weather app for the Apple TV (and iOS) with a slight difference; it has added sass. CARROT is a comprehensive weather app that can display accurate, detailed data and weather maps with additional sarcastic (and sometimes a little weird) comments.

The app displays current weather related information like humidity, temperature and air pressure alongside a short-term forecast that displays the outlook for the next 18 hours. You can search for different locations and as you use the app, you’ll unlock made up locations like Mount Doom or the Wyoming Badlands during the times of the dinosaur.

However, with all that being said, there are a few key features missing from the Apple TV app that are present in its iOS counterpart. These features include the time machine that lets you look up the weather up to 70 years in the past, as well as 10 years in the future, along with the radar map – something that’d look pretty cool on a TV.

Also it’s worth mentioning that even if you’ve paid for CARROT weather for iOS, you’ll have to pay £2.49 again for the Apple TV app.


Unfortunately, the Apple TV doesn’t support TV tuners, however that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used to binge on live TV. Enter TVPlayer; TVPlayer is an app for the Apple TV that enables access to a number of freeview channels including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as a premium option that’ll unlock extra channels including Eurosport.

The app itself is pretty simple to use, though the streaming quality can greatly vary from time to time, ranging from crisp to so blurry you’d think you’ve forgotten to put your glasses on. But hey, who’s complaining when it’s a free app?


Earthlapse offers something unique to new Apple TV users; the ability to stare out of a virtual view from the International Space Station, looking at our big blue planet. The app is created by Jetson Creative, the guys behind the Magic Window app for iOS and Mac, and displays a range of beautifully crisp videos (18 in total) of the Earth along with a caption in the top left hand corner that informs you of what/where you’re looking at, and the time and date in the top right hand corner.

The source videos aren’t great quality, so the team instead pulls the raw images from the NASA feed and re-builds them in a much higher resolution using Apple’s Metal API to render the images, allowing you to change the speed and colour effects on the fly.

These images are similar to Apple’s own aerial screen savers, but with one difference; Earthlapse have sound, and users are able to choose from eight different soundtracks.

GIFtv – Endless GIF Reel

From incredibly detailed photos of our planet, to GIFs of cats doing funny things. Yes, fans of GIFs should download GIFtv. The idea of the app is to display a random GIF for seven seconds, before moving onto the next one, in a never ending reel of (mostly) hilarious GIFs.

The more astute of you will note that GIFs don’t feature audio, and so it’ll be a pretty quiet app – and while you are right, the app features background music streamed from iTunes Radio so you’re not in tears of laugher in complete silence. Admittedly, there isn’t much else to the app, but if you need a chuckle or just want something on the TV in the background, this is a good (and free) choice.


Written by : Lewis Painter

Taken from :

The best film and TV in 2018: Comic book comedies, gothic horrors, dark dramas, classic remakes – and a space Western

OUTSIDE it’s cold and dark. Never has a night in front of the box – or snuggled down in a cinema seat with a box of popcorn – seemed so appealing. But what awaits us next year? With the entertainment industry seemingly in near meltdown, do we need to prepare for film and television Armageddon? As the twinkling Christmas highlights fade from our screens, will be find ourself off air in some kind of television doomsday scenario?

Fear not. Sexual harassment scandals may continue to break in waves across the industry, but meanwhile some outstanding film and television has been produced. With television still enjoying a golden age of storytelling on channels from Amazon, Netflix and new kid on the block Hulu to traditional broadcasters like BBC and Channel Four – along with an increasing number of exciting collaborations between old and new broadcasters – 2018’s crop of mini-series look in fine fettle. Next year’s film releases meanwhile offer a the whole gamut of emotions from fear to feel good and are packed full of big names. Here’s our round-up of what to look out for:


Britannia, Sky Atlantic/Amazon Prime

This spectacular looking 10-part drama series – set in 43 A.D and starring Kelly Reilly, Zoë Wanamaker and David Morrissey – takes on the Roman invasion of what would become the British Isles. The first co-production between Sky and Amazon Prime Video, it follows ancient Rome’s conquest of the Celts in the British Isles – “a mysterious land ruled by wild warrior women and powerful druids who can channel the powerful forces of the underworld”. Celtic rivals Kerra and Antedia must work together to fight off the Roman invasion led by Aulus Plautius, which sounds like tough work. Meanwhile all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the lush landscapes, epic battle scenes and an array of fairly creepy looking characters.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,Netflix

This is the year that will see the Coen Brothers,Ethel and Joel, turn to streaming. Their first project for Netflix is a Western anthology featuring six tales about the American frontier. Each chapter will feature a different story about the American West, stars Tim Blake Nelson as Buster, and is sure to be simply oozing with style.

Kiri, Channel 4 and Hulu

Kiri is a dark, four part thriller by Jack Thorne,the writer behind National Treasure and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and starring Bafta-winning actor Sarah Lancashire. It deals with the abduction and murder of a young black girl, soon to be adopted by her white foster family, and the trail of lies, blame and guilt which come to the light in the wake of tragedy.

Troy: the Fall of a City, BBC and Netflix

Shameless star David Threlfall and The Missing’s Frances O’Connor lead the cast as the ancient King Priam of Troy and his wife Hecuba, in the BBC1 series created by The Night Manager writer David Farr. Told from the perspective of the Trojan royal family at the heart of the siege, this is rich story of love, intrigue, betrayal and belonging amid the devastation and destruction of war.

Killing Eve, BBC America

An eight-part thriller written by hugely talented Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways) and Jodie Comer (The White Princess, Thirteen) as a psychopathic assassin and the woman charged with hunting her down. It will premiere on BBC America next year and hopefully come to our side of the pond soon after.


Press is set in the world of newspapers – its past riven by hacking scandals, its present at the mercy of the digital age and the 24 hour news cycle, its future uncertain. Created by Mike Bartlett’s (Doctor Foster, King Charles III), it stars Charlotte Riley as the deputy news editor of fictional broadsheet, ahem, The Herald. Honest, it has nothing to do with us.

Maniac, Netflix

This dark-comedy television series in ten parts by Cary Fukunaga, stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone is a remake of a Norwegian dark-comedy series about an institutionalized man who lives a fantasy life in his dreams.

Castle Rock, Hulu

The trailer for this Stephen King-inspired show and is practically dripping in dread. The stories piece together the horror writer’s interconnected worlds but the whole thing is firmly set in the familiar location of Castle Rock, where many of his creepy stories are based. Prepare to find yourself on the edge of your seat.

Good Omens, Amazon Prime Video and BBC studios

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s novel titled “Good Omens” has been re-written as a six-episode limited series by Gainman himself and will be released in the same year as its fictional Apocalypse is due, with “final judgement” expected to rain down on all humanity. Given events of 2017 it may sound like a documentary but we are assured its fiction.

Collateral, BBC

Collateral is a gripping, high-octane thriller set in present day London, from pre-eminent playwright David Hare and starring Academy-Award nominee Carey Mulligan (An Education, The Great Gatsby, Suffragette). It’s set over the course of four days (in four parts) and explores the spiralling repercussions surrounding the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery man.


Black Panther, Marvel Studios

So far, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken audiences to Earth, Asgard and all around the Galaxy. Next up is the secluded African nation of Wakanda, rich with vibranium and home to cutting-edge technology. Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Aaron Boseman, it is a different type of Marvel movie according to producers, and a long overdue move away from its almost exclusively white world.

Release: 9 February, 2018

Red Sparrow, 20th Century Fox

This spy thriller stars Jennifer Lawrence as prima ballerina Dominika Egorova who faces a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that ends her career. So she turns to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons and meets CIA agent Nathaniel Nash –played by Joel Edgerton. When he tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust, her loyalty is tested. With high end production values and all the right elements of escapism it looks like a sure fire hit.

Released on March 2, 2018.

Isle of Dogs, Indian Paintbrush

It is Wes Anderson’s first film since the fabulous visual feast Grand Budapest Hotel, nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. This time the setting is a dystopian future Japan where dogs have been banished to a island made of garbage, following the outbreak of canine flu. The film utilises the same stop-motion animation seen in Anderson’s 2009 Roald Dahl adaptation Fantastic Mr Fox and there’s no denying that a voice cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and Yoko Ono amongst others showcases talent of gargantuan proportions. The criticism levelled at it for hiring mostly white Americans despite the Japanese settings does feel legit though.

Released: 20 March, 2018

Ready Player One, Warner Brothers

It’s dystopia all way for this sci-fi film based on the novel by Ernest Cline, set in 2044 and directed by Steven Spielberg. It follows protagonist Wade Watts – played by Tye Sheridan – who like the rest of his “missing millions generations” enters a virtual reality game in hope of inheriting a fortune in a world wrecked by an energy crisis.

Release: March, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War, Walt Disney

If you’re looking for big, daft, American superhero-ness this is the film for you. Based on Marvel Comics and starring Robert Downey Junior this time the Avengers unite with the Guardians of the Galaxy to defeat Thanos who is trying to do bad things that threaten reality. This will not threaten yours but it’ll be fun.

Release: 27 April, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars story, Walt Disney

Another one for big kids, the plot of this “space Western” is centered on a young Han Solo –Alden Ehrenreich – the roguish smuggler who later meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars and charts his adventures with his loveable Wookiee partner Chewbacca. Following Rogue One, which came out last year, this prequel is the second stand alone film from the Star Wars stable.

Release: May 2018

Ocean’s Eight, Warner Brothers

Ignore the haters. What’s not to love about an all-female remake, especially when it stars high calibre actors including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway? This offers a new twist on the compelling heist that gave the original its true feel-good factor.

Released: 8 June, 2018

The Incredibles, Pixar

We have waited more than 13 years since the original but finally the Incredibles 2 – featuring the animated “Super family” the Parrs – is due to land. This film will focus on Helen Parr (Holly Hunter), also known as Elastigirl, while her husband Bob (Craig T. Nelson) remains at home to watch their children Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner), and Jack-Jack. There are new adventures, a new super villain and a super sinister plot. Director Brad Bird famously said he would only release part two if he could come with an even better plot than the original, so we’re expecting a lot.

Released: 15 June, 2018

The House with a Clock in its Walls, Universal Pictures

A spooky gothic horror directed by Eli Roth, this literary adaption starring Cate Blanchett, Jack Black and Kyle MacLachlan amongst others, tells the tale of a young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt, who aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world. It’s a feast of warlocks, sorcery and magic.

Release: 21 September, 2018

Mary Poppins Returns, Walt Disney

In depression-era London, a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by Mary Poppins, played by Emily Blunt and just as enigmatic as ever, following a personal loss. By sprinkling some of her much-loved magic she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.Yes, there are songs aplenty…and it’s out just in time for Christmas next year. With luck it’ll be practically perfect in every way.

Release: December 2018

Written by : Karin Goodwin

Taken from :

Downton Abbey FILM slated for summer 2018

STATELY home Highclere Castle has been booked by film bosses to record the Downton Abbey movie.

But they have not yet been able to sign up all of the cast from the TV series for the £25million silver screen version in summer 2018.

Dame Maggie Smith has said that she does not want to return.

Show creator Julian Fellowes is delighted at the film confirmation.

He wants to stick to the script he penned over a year ago and he does not want to change the plot because actors are unavailable.

But the success has made a headache for executives.

Dame Maggie SmithGETTY

Series favourite Dame Maggie Smith is not expected to return for a film

Trying to get everyone in one place, it’s like herding cats

Julian Fellowes, Downton creator

Fellowes said: “Trying to get everyone in one place, it’s like herding cats.”Big names such as Elizabeth McGovern (Countess of Grantham), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary Crawley), Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) and Hugh Bonneville (Earl of Grantham) have seen their careers soar thanks to the award-winning show.

The cast insist they want to return to the Abbey, which ended on ITV on Christmas Day 2015.

An insider said: “For months some of the cast have been dancing around a return, which made this year a no go.

“But now they are pushing ahead. They have a few people locked in and others verbally agreed, so they are going for it now. Rounding up the actors has been tough with so many seeing their careers explode on both sides of the pond, but they are determined to work it all out.”

Last month some of the cast admitted that there were issues with the movie schedule but added that it was “still a possibility”.Allen Leech (Tom Branson) said: “There’s a great willingness among all of us to do it.”

Fellowes is still holding out hope Dame Maggie (Dowager Countess of Grantham) will return.

She has complained of the fame that the series has brought her and she feels that a Downton movie would be “squeezing the story dry”.

Executive producer Gareth Neame insisted that the film should feature Dame Maggie.

Allen LeechGETTY

Allen Leech has said there is a ‘great willingness’ among cast to do a film

He said: “I think it would be a real loss without her and I’d hope very much that she’d want to be in the movie with everyone else.”Neame added that there have been strings of rumours about her leaving the show from the beginning, which were unfounded. He has said that even if the Downton Abbey film is a hit, there will be no return to television.

He added: “There is any number of ways the show could spin off, but it is not going to happen within this lifetime of the show and not by us.”

Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire, where the original series was filmed, will be closed to visitors from May 30 to July 7 to allow exterior and interior filming.


Written by : James Desborough

Taken from :

Watch ‘90s Christmas Cereal Commercials on Your Tree with This DIY TV Ornament

A major part of Christmas is the memories. Memories of family, sure. But also memories of the commercialism of Christmases past. Memories of Cabbage Patch Kids, Tickle Me Elmos, Frozen Elsa dolls—and all the unforgettable seasonal commercials that helped sell us that stuff. YouTuber Sean Hodgins gets it: The lover of “building, creating, making” recently came across a YouTube video featuring nothing but an hour of ‘90s Christmas commercials—including classics for things like Coca-Cola, Cookie Crisp, and Oreos. It got him thinking, “How incredible would it be to make a Christmas ornament that displays old ‘90s Christmas commercials on your tree?” So he built an ornament of his own creation: the YouTube Christmas Ornament.

Hodgins demonstrates how to make the video-playing ornament with a 12-minute video of his own that fittingly kicks off with a quick taste of a classic ‘90s Fruity Pebbles Christmas commercial. Now, before you get too excited, building this thing ain’t easy. He utilizes 3D printing and a number of components that the casual DIY crowd is probably unfamiliar with—not to even mention that the whole thing runs on a Raspberry Pi computer board that requires a bit of programming know-how. Even Hodgins called it “quite a struggle.” Frankly, most of us are probably better off asking for one of Hodgins’ ornaments from Santa and then just hoping for the best.

Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate Hodgins work and the end results. And meanwhile, if we do happen to be underestimating your DIY prowess, Hodgins is kind enough to walk you through every step of making this amazing ornament both on YouTube and in written form on Instructables.

But yeah, for the majority of us, we’ll just have to wait for Hodgins (or someone else) to manufacture this ornament and sell it (hopefully with a great TV commercial!). In the meantime, though, there’s nothing stopping you from simply watching an hour worth of old ‘90s Christmas commercials from YouTube on your TV without building an ornament. Seems like it could be a nice alternative to holiday music this Christmas. Because come on, you’ve heard Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” a million times, but you haven’t seen a good Fruity Pebbles Christmas commercial in two decades!

Written by : Mike Pomranz

Taken from :

The children of Grenfell Tower will deliver 2017’s Alternative Christmas Message on Channel 4

“I just want everyone in the world to have a house.”

Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message for 2017 will serve as a poignant reminder of the lingering impact of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Of the 71 people who were killed when the 24-storey North Kensington housing complex caught fire in June, 18 were children. This year’s Alternative Christmas Message is a reminder of those we lost.

Channel 4 has asked five children who survived the Grenfell Tower fire to update viewers on how their lives have changed in the six months since the tragedy occurred, as well as look ahead to 2018.

One of those viewers will hear from is 10-year-old Hayam Atmani, who will tell of the happiness she felt when her family moved into the 15th floor of Grenfell.

Now, Hayam and her loved ones are staying in a hotel a long way from her school, and still trying to process that so many of their friends perished in the fire.


“My message for everyone at Christmas is to stay as a family, and don’t suffer about anything,” she’ll urge those watching.

“I know this has been a really hard time for everyone. But everyone went through. And everyone helped as a family.”

Sisters Luana and Megan Gomes, ages 12 and 10, were placed into medically-induced comas so they could be treated for smoke inhalation in the days after the fire. Thankfully, they’ve made remarkable recoveries.

This year, they will be spending Christmas in a temporary flat after living for five months in a hotel.

“My Christmas message is that I think all families, children and parents should have a nice warm cosy home,” Megan says. “I just want everyone in the world to have a house at least.”

Amiel Miller, 10, and his brother Danel, 7, desperately woke their parents on the night of the fire, with the family only barely escaping as they dodged fiery objects falling from above on their way down the staircase.

In the months since the tragedy, the Millers have found permanent housing and are looking forward to celebrating with the ones they hold dear this Christmas.

“My Christmas message is… it’s not all about getting presents it’s also about giving,” Amiel says.

Brendan Cox - Channel 4 Alternative Christmas Message 2016

Selecting the children of Grenfell continues a long trend of Channel 4 using its alternative to The Queen’s Speech to highlight poignant events from the prior year.

Last year’s Alternative Christmas Message was given by the late Jo Cox’s widower Brendan Cox, who delivered an impassioned call for tolerance in the wake of his wife’s murder at the hands of an extremist.

Previous speakers include model Katie PiperThe Last Leg‘s Adam Hills and Ebola survivor William Pooley, as well as more controversial figures such as Iran’s former leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and French actress-turned-right-wing-activist Brigitte Bardot.

Channel 4 will air its Alternative Christmas Message on Monday (December 25) at 2.30pm.


Written by : Justin Harp

Taken from :


Here’s when Love Actually will be available to stream…

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a fair bit of relaxing in front of the TV (stuffing sandwich in hand; dad snoring on the sofa next to you) watching festive films and TV shows – would it?

From classic movies like It’s a Wonderful Life to recent Downton AbbeyChristmas specials, there are so many options when it comes to choosing at-home entertainment throughout December.

Making it easier for us to pick our Christmassy viewing schedule is streaming site Netflix, which has handily published all of its festive content that’s either available to stream currently or set to become available soon.

Here’s our pick of the best. Happy viewing!

Love Actually

Whether your favourite bit is Martine McCutcheon and Hugh Grant finally having that festive smooch, or the sweet primary school rendition of All I Want for Christmas is You, this is one Christmassy movie that’s essential viewing in December.

Available to stream on Netflix from 14th December.

Outnumbered Christmas specials

Take a trip down memory lane and re-watch a couple of classic OutnumberedChristmas specials from 2009 and 2011. Nothing says Christmas like a dysfunctional family, right?

Available to stream on Netfix now.

Miracle on 34th Street

Warm the cockles of your heart by watching this 90s Christmas movie that’s stood the test of festive time. Good news – it’s already available to stream on Netflix. Never too early, is it?


The Royle Family: The New Sofa

This 2008 Christmas special featuring everyone’s favourite family is perfect viewing this time of year. Available to view on Netflix now.

Blackadder’s A Christmas Carol

Narrated by Hugh Laurie, this one-off festive episode is a parody of Charles Dickens’ famous Christmas-set novel – and while it was first broadcast on the BBC in 1988, we’re still revisiting it now. The show is available to stream currently.

Arthur Christmas

One for the whole family, Arthur Christmas is a joyous and heart-warming animated tale that may just have you reaching for the tissues. For the eager Christmas-lovers among your family, the film’s available to stream now.

(Images: Courtesy of Netflix) 

Written by : Megan Sutton

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Amazon rejects comedies as data reveals originals hunger

Amazon Prime Video has turned down all of its latest pilot season comedies, as research from the UK points to new original content as the key driver behind SVOD take-up.

Comedies Sea OakThe Climb and Love You More will not go into development for the coming year.

There is also no clear decision made on the future of comedies One Mississippi and I Love Dick.

The move arrives as Amazon’s focus shifts to big dramas. In November the company paid US$250 million for the rights to J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Company chief Jeff Bezos has made it clear that content investment will go up in 2018, with an eye on globally popular shows like Game of Thrones.

Amazon’s comedy choices come in the same week new data highlights the importance of premium original content to the streamers.

Ofcom data shows that original content is the key driver of SVOD sign-ups in the UK. The report highlighted that 52% of UK households cite ‘original programming made by service provider’ as a reason to sign up to a streamer.

Amazon also lost its head of half hour Joe Lewis in October, who resigned from the company after content chief Roy Price left amid sexual harassment claims. A replacement is yet to be named.

Written by : Kaltrina Bylykbash

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Netflix codes: The secret numbers that unlock thousands of hidden films and TV shows

Netflix’s incredibly niche, personalised subgenres have long captivated movie nerds, from “Steamy Crime Movies from the 1970s” to “Period Pieces About Royalty Based on Real Life”.

The genres, based on a complicated algorithm that uses reams of data about users’ viewing habits to recommend exactly what a particular user is into, number in the tens of thousands.

When Netflix thinks you’ll like sentimental Spanish-language dramas or gritty tearjerkers, they’ll show up on your home screen, but aside from that, they’re not easy to find.

But a simple web address trick has emerged showing how you can find any one of these genres simply by switching a number in a URL.

How it works

If you’re logged into Netflix, enter  into your browser’s toolbar to bring up one of the thousands of genres in Netflix’s library.

“XXXX” is a series of digits – 1089 is “Mind-bending Movies”, for example; while 354 is “Movies Starring Matthew McConaughey” – currently a genre of one film.

Not all numbers will result in a subgenre, and given Netflix’s ever-changing algorithms, they might move around every now and then, while there may be regional differences meaning that some codes don’t work.

Written by : James Titcomb

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Iflix claims 10 billion minutes streamed in 2017

Emerging markets SVOD service Iflix claimed a milestone 10 billion minutes were streamed across its platform in 2017 – the equivalent of more than 19,000 years of content.

The company said that the figure marks an “incredible uptake in user engagement,” with cumulative viewing minutes up more than 400% from three billion total minutes streamed at the end of 2016.

Iflix said that its app had recently surpassed 12 million downloads on the Google Play and Apple iOS stores and added that mobile viewing duration stands at an average of 2.5 – 2.75 hours per session.

Iflix group co-founder and CEO, Mark Britt, said: “2017 has been an incredible year for Iflix. Surpassing 10 billion minutes streamed in just the last 12 months is a great way to end a year that saw us launching in MENA and Africa with over a dozen new markets, our first original titles, and so much more.”

Iflix has commissioned more than 10 original projects to date spanning comedy, drama and feature films in markets including Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The service also offers a library of Hollywood, Asian and Middle Eastern TV shows and movies, including many first-run titles.

Each subscriber can access Iflix on up to five devices, including phones, laptops, tablets, and television sets. The service is now available in 24 territories throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Written by : Andrew McDonald

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Total domination! Disney and Fox films accounted for 90 PERCENT of this weekend’s box office take as their combined power is revealed to Hollywood


  • Walt Disney Co. announced finalizing a deal to buy most of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox on Thursday 
  • Disney and Fox combined took in $252.1 million of the $280 million theater-goers spent in the US this weekend
  • If Disney’s acquisition of Fox had already gone through, the combined take would have been 90 percent of this weekend’s total US box office proceeds
  • Disney’s ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ brought in $220 million by itself 
  • The Department of Justice may take up to two years to approve the deal

If this weekend is any indication of what’s to come, box office domination is a virtual guarantee for two media giants that will soon become one.

Walt Disney Co. announced it was finalizing a deal to buy most of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox on Thursday.

Complete integration may take up to two years as the Department of Justice works to approve the deal, but if Disney’s acquisition of Fox had already gone through, the combined take for the company would have been 90 percent of this weekend’s total box office proceeds.

The two companies combined took in $252.1 million of the $280 million theater-goers spent in the US this weekend, with $220 million of that coming from ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi.’

Written by : Stephanie Haney

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Has your favorite film or TV show been ruined by sexual predators?

As Hollywood weeds out its many sexual predators, a number of films or TV shows have developed a slimy aftertaste. Do you think back fondly on media like Ocean’s 11 or Mad Men? Bad news. Both have men attached who’ve been accused of sexual misconduct. Wading through these which of these predators are attached to specific projects can be exhausting, but a new website called Rotten Apples aims to bear some of that burden.

It provides a database users can search to find out if cast members, screenwriters, executive producers, or directors on specific projects have been attached to sexual misconduct. If a movie or show has a known offender attached — like I Love You, Daddy (Louis C.K.), or Baby Driver (Kevin Spacey), the site will return the film marked “rotten apples” with a link to a news story. If it’s in the clear, it’s marked as “fresh apples.”

The database includes more than just current films. Searching for The Godfather (1972), for example, notes “rotten apple” Marlon Brando, while Shakespeare in Love (1998) returns Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck, Harvey Weinstein, and Bob Weinstein. The database won’t allow you to search by specific people, however, and It also doesn’t seem to include actors who have been accused of physical assault. Pirates of the Caribbean will return Rush, for example, but there’s no mention of Johnny Depp, whose ex Amber Heard has accused him of physical and verbal abuse.

In an interview with The New York Times, co-creator Annie Johnston told the publication that “every day, there’s more and more allegations that are coming to light, it’s really important that we don’t tune out and normalize this.” Co-creator Tal Wagman said it was meant as an informational tool to make “ethical media consumption decisions” and not as a condemnation of entire projects.

But the question of the degree to which a film or show is tainted by a known predator’s attachment is a complicated one at best. That line is easy to draw for projects that put sexual predators front and center, like House of Cards, anything featuring Casey Affleck or anything from Woody Allen’s troublingly long career as an award-winning filmmaker. But in the case of Harvey Weinstein and his sweeping presence over film during the last few decades, it gets a little more complicated. Should everything he touched be rejected outright, or can consumers vehemently disavow his involvement while still supporting the work of the women he abused in those projects?

Rotten Apples asks all of us to face an uncomfortable reality: where do we personally draw the line of separating art from the artists attached? Our power as consumers is tied directly to our wallets. Choosing where to exert that strength is a moral quandary without a clear answer.

Written by : Megan Farokhmanesh

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Why You Can’t Find Your Favorite Holiday Movies on Streaming Services

Though it’s a relatively wonderful life for TV cord-cutters, George Bailey, Clark Griswold and Will Ferrell’s Elf is still available only on a pay-per-view basis this month. Festive streamers will have to settle for Santa Paws 2, which has yet to claw its way into the Christmas canon.

Most classic holiday films remain cordoned off as one-time rentals or purchases on digital platforms. It’s a seemingly Grinch-like strategy—and yes, that film is available only on a pay-per-view basis, too.

Of the 25 greatest holiday movies as ranked by American Movie Classics, only five are available for streaming on, Hulu or Netflix this season. Bad Santa is an exception, along with a couple of old Bing Crosby vehicles, Holiday Inn and White Christmas. It turns out, Hollywood’s best holiday films are simultaneously too old and too good for streaming business models.

Older films hold scant appeal for buyers at Netflix Inc. and its rivals because they carry little sway in getting someone to sign up—or stay signed up. That’s one of the reasons Netflix is rushing to have original, in-house content account for half of its catalog by 2020.

“The fun thing about something that’s new is that people get excited enough to join,” Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said at a Dec. 4 meeting with investors. “That’s why we’re kind of constantly reinforcing the excitement of that.” In other words, the prospect of watching A Christmas Story for the 12th time is not as enticing as a new stand-up special from Jerry Seinfeld or the second season of Stranger Things.

T-Mobile jumps into digital TV with Layer3 acquisition

T-Mobile, which has risen to become the nation’s third-largest wireless provider, is buying digital cable startup Layer3 TV to launch a nationwide digital internet-TV service in 2018, the company announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: T-Mobile joins AT&T and Verizon in launching its own video service, creating another challenger to traditional cable and satelite TV providers, which have been losing pay-TV subscribers as they migrate towards cheaper, digital options.

  • T-Mobile has been pushing to stay compeitive in the race for wireless consumers for years through partnerships with Netflix and unlimited data offerings. The company discussed a merger with Sprint earlier this year, but talks fell through after neither company could decide which entity would take majority stake in the merger.
  • The announcement falls in line with T-Mobile’s pitch that it is a more consumer-friendlyoption than big cable proviers like AT&T and Verizon. Layer3’s bundle does not look the same as some of the other “skinny bundles” out there, like AT&T’s DirectTV or Dish’ Sling. It’s pricer, but offers more digital HD channels (275), as well as high-end DVR capabitilies and access to other digital apps.
  • T-Mobile executives also stressed how much it values relationships with content providers, saying there are “no holes” in its relationships with content providers on a call with reporters and investors Wednesday. (Pay-TV providers and TV networks have been increasingly getting in fights over the cost of programming, which affects consumers’ access to programming.)

Written by : Sara Fischer

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Disney just bought 20th Century Fox and the internet is going meme-crazy

In what could possibly be the biggest deal of the century, Disney has bought a part of 20th Century Fox for a whopping $52.4 billion in stock.

Although Fox will still retain live events, sports and news, TV and film properties will be now be handled by Disney.

The internet took this opportunity to poke fun at the merger.

Many users used the “Alien” franchise as a starting point.

View image on Twitter

I have a new favorite Disney princess.

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“Tail that’s long with spines, teeth that drip with slime, @Disneyowns the beast.”

And then they moved onto other potential re-brandings.

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Our new Disney Princess

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Walt Disney Co. has finalized a $52.4-billion deal to buy 21st Century Fox!      Four  

View image on Twitter

With all the merger talks this image keeps popping up on my feed. I drew it back in ‘09 but nobody gives credit so if you see it out there let it be known. 

Even Ryan Reynolds took a shot at the new deal.

View image on Twitter

Apparently you can’t actually blow the Matterhorn.

Twitter users has a lot of feelings about Disney’s impact on the content.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Before and after Fox/Disney deal.

Disney five minutes later after buying 21st Century Fox

Disney acquires 21st Century Fox and that means…


1934-2017: RIP 20th Century Fox
1994-2017: RIP Fox Searchlight Pictures
Thanks for the great movies you delivered, you will be missed.    

“Spider-man will never join the mcu”
“X-men will never join the mcu”
“Fantastic Four will never join the mcu”


Written by : Maria Cavassuto

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Amazon and Netflix to drive OTT revenues to $120bn

SVOD giants Amazon and Netflix will be at the centre of an explosion in revenues in OTT services and platforms over the next five years, new data predicts.

OTT revenues will surge from US$64 billion (€54 billion) in 2017 to US$120 billion in 2022, with a quarter of households globally subscribing to an SVOD service by that point, a study from Juniper Research suggests.

With Netflix due to spend more than US$6 billion on content this year, with more pledged for next, traditional broadcasters are falling behind in terms of investment, the Digital TV & Video: Network and OTT Strategies 2017-22 report noted.

However, this dominance could only continue if investment goes into original programming and not on back catalogue content, it added.

“Success will hinge on whether these providers can continue to produce hits like Stranger Things [pictured],“ said report author Lauren Foye. “As consumers become more fluid in their uptake and loyalty to video services, OTT could just as easily see users switch off.”

The news comes soon after another analyst, Digital TV Research, predicted combined pay TV and OTT revenues would near US$300 billion by 2022.

Juniper also used its research paper to throw its weight behind the growing belief that Amazon will bid for English Premier League football rights in February next year. Linear pay TV services have traditionally been the buyer of such rights.

Juniper’s research suggests a successful SVOD bid would mean consumers are “torn ever more”.

On a more positive note for traditional networks, Juniper found regional OTT services such as iFlix “do not offer the same granular level of local coverage that broadcasters can offer”.

Written by : Stuart Thomson

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