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Friday, February 15, 2008

Hollywood dream is over for ex-EastEnder Michelle Ryan

She thought her dreams had come true after landing the lead role as TV's Bionic Woman.

But after a few short months, Michelle Ryan has accepted her bid for U.S. glory was not to be and is back in Britain.

The former EastEnders actress, 23, has failed to impress as the lead character in the much-hyped remake of the 1970s science fiction show.

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Disappointment: Michelle Ryan at Tuesday night's Elle Style Awards. She is said to be depressed by the ratings faliure of her show

Lean machine: Michelle Ryan hoped her role in the Bionic Woman would open Hollywood to her

The former soap star was tapped last year to play robotically-enhanced Jaime Sommers in an updated version of the science fiction hit.

She beat out thousands of hopefuls for the part, which made actress Lindsay Wagner a star in the original series.

But the show was panned by critics and received dismal ratings. Reviewers called it "clichéd", a "total loss" and "dark and depressing".

The source said: "Frankly, the bosses at the network decided to blame Michelle for the show's failure. Their bet was that American viewers would fall in love with her looks, personality, and the character she played.

"But that just didn't happen. She went back to England because the writing was on the wall."

Miss Ryan, who found fame as Zoe Slater in EastEnders, returned to London in recent weeks, according to the source.

It is claimed she is "defeated and depressed" by the outcome of her efforts. And it seems she is turning back to the old comforts of Eastenders - tuning in on the night she arrived home and watching it religiously since her return.

The source added: "She lobbied quite hard to play the Bionic Woman, but even when she finally got the role she allegedly expressed real uncertainty about whether or not she could pull it off. She had no martial arts training and not a lot of experience doing action scenes."

The source claimed: "Her career in the U.S. is over right now. She'll still work plenty in England but she has to do something that really breaks out for her to get more American jobs. She's back to square one."

The show's failure is a costly one for NBC. The network invested up to $6m into each episode, spilling large amounts of cash on special effects.

In addition, more than $15m was spent marketing the show's launch appeal last summer.

The ad campaign seemed to hinge entirely on Miss Ryan's sleepy-eyed sex appeal and the brand recognition of the title.

Bionic Woman was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, although its writers and producers were based in Los Angeles, where Miss Ryan performed her initial screen test for the role.

Many members of the creative team behind the show were veterans of NBC's more successful Battlestar Galactica series remake.

But despite a highly rated premiere last September, the action drama haemorrhaged viewers on subsequent airings and never caught on with the fickle science fiction audience that has embraced hits like Galactica, Lost and Heroes.

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NBC Apologizes For Jane Fonda Saying "C**t" On "Today"

UPDATE 4:40 PM EASTERN: "Vagina Monologues" playwright Eve Ensler spoke to "Access Hollywood" and expressed her disappointment that NBC censored Fonda saying "cunt" during the west coast broadcast of this morning's show.

"Let me just say something about that word," she said. "The whole point of the play is to reclaim that word, and to make that word beautiful, and to make that word powerful, and not denigrating, and not ugly."

ORIGINAL POST: NEW YORK — NBC News is apologizing again _ this time for Jane Fonda. The 70-year-old actress used a vulgar slang term on the "Today" show Thursday while talking about the play "The Vagina Monologues." Fonda is appearing in a 10th-anniversary performance and was on "Today" with author Eve Ensler.

Fonda told co-host Meredith Vieira that she was asked to perform a monologue with a slang term for vagina as the title — and Fonda used the term itself on the air in explaining why she said "no."

"I said, `I don't think so, I've got enough problems,'" Fonda said.

About 10 minutes later, Vieira told viewers that Fonda had used a word from the play that normally isn't used on television.

"It was a slip and obviously she apologizes and so do we," Vieira said. "We would do nothing to offend the audience, so please accept that apology."

"Today" moved quickly to silence the word and cover up Fonda's face with a still photo when the show was aired in the Midwest, Mountain and West Coast feeds.

It's been a month's worth of apologies for NBC News, owned by General Electric Co. MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews said he was sorry for suggesting that the reason Hillary Clinton was a presidential candidate was because of her husband's infidelities. MSNBC correspondent David Shuster was suspended for two weeks for saying the Clintons had "pimped out" daughter Chelsea for presidential campaigning.


Watch the clip:

Watch Meredith's apology:

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A harp made from frickin' laser beams

Stephen Hobley just perfected his laser harp. The audio is adjusted by breaking the beam between the source and mirror array above. No, you can't buy it, but we expect it to appear with a Ukrainian dressed in animal skins at Eurovision 2008. Until then, you'll just have to watch the video after the break.

[Thanks, Kevin P.]

Trailer - Star Wars: The Clone Wars

George Lucas has become a much better outside-the-box thinker than he ever was a filmmaker. Over the course of the last 20 years, he's made business decisions that have helped shape the entire industry. He also made Radioland Murders, but that's not why you're here.
One of the singular great moves he's ever made is opening up his Star Wars universe to other writers and filmmakers. The fan films and countless novelized spinoffs have not only been a cash cow for Lucas but they've also deepened the love and appreciation fans all over the world have for the series. And that's in spite of Hayden Christensen and Jar Jar Binks, so...

Anyway, Lucas has made another bold decision, to release the Clone Wars animated film (three or four episodes from the new TV series stitched together) into theaters later this year.

You can look for Clone Wars on August 15th, just before the TV debut of the series this September on Cartoon Network and TNT.

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First Image of Dennis Quaid as General Hawk in G.I. Joe

Like the headline says, this is the first pic relating to 2009’s G.I. Joe and it arrives via IESB. Nothing to snipe at here, costume looks spot-on for what it is. Dennis Quaid previously said he might go with some blond highlights for the role of General Hawk, but it seems he’s keeping it pretty Quaidish. I’m still curious to see how they pull Destro’s look off, what with those wild and crazy flat-top rumors.

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First Look: Gavin Hood's X-Men Origins: Wolverine

First things first, we all know what Hugh Jackman looks like as Wolverine - we've seen him in three X-Men movies - so this isn't about a first look at Wolverine, but rather a first look at the new movie, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and some interesting quotes from USA Today. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is a spin-off prequel that focuses on the character of Logan, aka Wolverine. USA Today caught up recently with Hugh Jackman, who is currently filming Wolverine down in New Zealand, and got some worthwhile quotes out of him on top of a brand new photo.

Let's just get right down to it, I know you all want to see the photo, so without further ado here it is.

We've been talking about X-Men Origins: Wolverine for quite a while here on, as it's been a project that sounds better and better at every new turn. An Oscar-winning director is attached, Gavin Hood, and Jackman is back again not only as Wolvie but also as a producer. You might wonder why Jackman is reprising his role for a fourth time when some actors won't even do a sequel as the same character. Well, Jackman admits that "I became a fan of Wolverine like everyone else. That's why I keep holding on to the character." And that's not all he has to say about the reprising the character that will impress fans.

"I know it seems odd given, you know, the guy is already half animal," Jackman tells USA Today. "But with all the success of the X-Men, you feel the pressure to keep pushing it further."

The new film will focus on Wolverine's past as he "discovers the world of mutants and, ultimately, the ominous Weapon X program, which turns people into living weapons." It's been mention many times previously that both William Stryker, who was portrayed by Brian Cox in the X-Men films, and Wolvie's arch-nemesis Sabretooth will have a role in the story. Jackman promises that Sabretooth "is going to play a big part in it." But that's not all, he also says that we will see "a good bit of cameos" of new and familiar mutants and that "you can't give too much away, because fans are pretty hard-core. Their expectations go up a level every time you come out with a new film." That's certainly true!

I wish we had more from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but unfortunately we've got to wait more than year for the movie, due out in theaters on May 1st, 2009. Unfortunately this photo will have to hold over Wolverine fans until Comic-Con in July. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, Rendition) and written by David Benioff (25th Hour, Troy, The Kite Runner).


Stars Appeal to SAG/AMPTP Toppers to Just Start Talking

After three months of collective anxiety and financial gridlock, the WGA Strike has finally been resolved; however, feature film production and development won't fully resume until the the actors' union has a new contract, too. In an attempt to head off a similar impasse between SAG and the AMPTP in June, a group of Hollywood's premier actors have made a declaration with a full page ad in both entertainment business trades, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter:


As proud members of the Screen Actors Guild, we have seen the effect of a long-running strike on our community.

Now that the writers have agreed to a deal, our hope is to get people back to work.

The next step is the negotiations between the producers and the actors.

The issues are important, the differences clear.

The difficulty is high, but nothing can be solved until both parties agree to sit down together and JUST TALK.

Not later, but now.

There's too much at stake to wait

It's our hope that both parties can at least agree on that.


George Clooney, Robert DeNiro, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep

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Al Pacino to Take On James Bond

You read that right. Apparently there is a new rumor that was floated to the guys over at AICN that Al Scent of a Woman Pacino would play the head honcho of the new, evil terrorist organization in the upcoming Bond film Quantum of Solace.

This is certainly a crazy rumor which may turn out to be 100% completely face. It almost seems out of character to me, for the Bond films, which have often shied away from such huge names, unless that star is Bond. Though arguably most Bond actors rose to their highest after being Bond, so even then, big celebrities are not often top choices. The few Bond movies that did recruit bigger names were terrible. Halle Berry, Terri Hatcher, etc.

I’m not entirely sure I’d want Pacino in this, but the rumor does state, at least in Quantum that it would be more of a cameo type appearance as the top dog of top dogs, rather than a main villain to match wits and bullets with. Stay tuned for more.

Sound Off: Is Pacino in a Bond movie a good thing?

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Yikes! Sylvester Stallone's Arms (PICS)

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Wheel Of Fortune Fail

A huge dose of fail straight from wheel of fortune.


So bad it’s funny

This idiot misses the bonus question too.

Where Did Hot Come From?

Woah… Um very dumb.

A very bad/hillarious college episode.

Ouch HUGE DISASTER! -$33,000 -$6k trip

Fail! Fail! Fail!

Tags: entertainment

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Another Bomb Drops On Jericho

The post-apocalyptic rebuilding may have begun on last night's Jericho, but the CBS show's own restoration after a cancellation scare looks like it'll be short-lived. The season opener failed to beat a rerun of Law and Order, and an original Boston Legal. The episode's 7.1 million viewers was much better than the tail end of season one, but nowhere near as good as the show's first few episodes. Barring a miracle spurt in the next couple of weeks, Jericho is not coming back. To make things worse, few critics liked the season opener as much as we did.

The same fast-paced political focus that made us excited annoyed Marc Vera with Entertainment Weekly, who missed all the soap-opera stuff we were glad to be rid of:

The show I loved has changed, and not for the better. Character development vanished, the pacing was off, and there seemed to be no passion or caring in the Kansas town.
A few other reviewers sounded similar notes, although a few also liked the show's tighter thriller-esque revamp.

One interesting tidbit from today's Jericho coverage: If the show's second season had been a full 22 episodes, we would have gotten to see the seat of government in Cheyenne -- and life in New York, which survived the attacks thanks to Hawkins' intervention. Now we'll just have to be happy with one truncated second season, and nothing after that. [Hollywood Reporter]

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50% Of All BitTorrent Downloads are TV-Shows

Reports show that 50% of all people using BitTorrent at any given point in time do so to download TV-series, quite an impressive number. In total, over a billion TV-shows are downloaded every year, and this number continues to rise.

It is safe to say that BitTorrent is slowly replacing Tivo. Some episodes of popular TV-shows such as “Lost”, “Prison Break” and “Heroes” get up to 10 million downloads per episode, spread over hundreds of sites. This number is getting awfully close to the average number of viewers on TV in the US. However, the major difference is that the BitTorrent “viewers” come from all over the world.

In January TorrentFreak published the list of “most downloaded TV-shows“, where we showed that the most popular episode of “Heroes” was downloaded 2.5 million times on Mininova alone. Even more impressive -across all BitTorrent sites- more than a billion episodes are downloaded every year worldwide.

The graph below shows the percentage of .torrent files per category downloaded on Mininova over the last 2 years - over 40 percent are TV-shows. To support this, we analyzed a sample of 400,000 torrents earlier this year. That data indicated that approximately half of all the people using BitTorrent at any given point in time, were using it to download a TV-show.

The popularity of TV-torrents hasn’t gone unnoticed. In fact, there are reports of TV-studios that allegedly use BitTorrent as a marketing tool, by leaking unaired pilots intentionally. While the movie and music studios continue to fight their “war on piracy”, most of the TV-studios lay low.

On the contrary, Anne Sweeney -the president of the Disney-ABC television group- admitted that she was “inspired” after seeing a pirated copy of the hit-show “Desperate Housewives”. The pirated copy of this popular TV show was the main reason (besides the money) for Disney to sell their shows online. “Coming ‘face to face’ with the high-quality, commercial-free pirated version (of Desperate Housewives) told Disney that it was not just competing with other broadcasters, but with digital pirates and as such was an experience that prompted us to do the iTunes deal with Apple.” Sweeney said at the time.

BitTorrent’s popularity hasn’t gone unnoticed by actors either. Masi Oka who plays Hiro Nakamura in the popular show “Heroes”, made some pro-BitTorrent comments earlier this year. When he was in France to promote the series (before they aired), he was surprised to see how many people had already seen the show thanks to BitTorrent. Oka said that BitTorrent is a great promotion tool, but added “Hopefully, if they can buy the DVD after they watch it on BitTorrent, that would be great.”

One of the members of EZTV, the leading TV-torrent distribution group, told TorrentFreak in an earlier interview that he doesn’t think their work has a negative impact on the TV-industry either. “The only possible impacts can see are positive ones,” Boggibill said “it is free publicity, which may lead to higher ratings when people “discover” new shows and also larger numbers of DVD purchases - it is my understanding that many of the people that download TV shows from us are avid TV fans and will usually buy DVD boxsets of shows they like.”

A factor that plays a role in the rise of unauthorized downloading of TV-shows is that most people simply don’t see it as stealing. It is a signal that customers want something that is not available through other channels and it’s more about availability than the fact that it’s free. It’s not a threat, but more an opportunity.

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A Visual Tour of the Dharma Initiative Stations: 7 Mysterious ‘Abandonments’ of the ‘Lost’ Island

[Lost Island rendering and map courtesy of LostMap] For some, ‘Lost’ is more than a mere television show - it is a hobby, fantasy or even obsession. One of the most entrancing aspects of the show is its semi-abandoned Dharma Initiative stations that dot the island and have been slowly revealed over time. Dedicated followers of the series have slowly gathered and compiled data to compose a clearer picture of this fantastic island, cataloging locations in great detail.

[Note that the Hydra station as shown above is likely the Looking Glass]

While many loyal fans have devoted time to mapping the island and taking screen captures of places and events, few have attempted to integrate these to tell the visual story of the Dharma Initiative stations specifically in conjunction with a map of their location on the island - until now. For those new to the series, think of this as an orientation. For viewers, consider it a refresher course at the start of the new season.

The Swan station was the first discovered by the fictional survivors of Oceanic Flight 815. After an entire season of living off of the land and remnants from the plane wreckage, finding this station provided food, soap, showers and even a record player - a radical shift in livability. At the heart of this station an electromagnetic charge had to be manually diffused every 108 minutes, creating dramatic tension until one survivor took it into his hands to let the timer run out.

The Staff Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Staff station contains a nursery as well as associated medical equipment. It has helped fuel speculation of possible diseases either created on or meant to be cured on the island. One pregnant survivor was abducted early in the series and taken to this station to be monitored. It is not clear whether the station was established for pregnancy-related or simply general medical purposes.

The Pearl Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Pearl represents an experiment within an experiment: a psychological study performed on people who believed they were themselves studying others. The station consists of a room with monitors and writing pads where “researchers” were tasked with recording what was going on around the island. Ultimately, they never knew that their reports went forever unread.

The Arrow Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Arrow is a relative mystery. First discovered by the second set of survivors on the island (from the crashed plane’s tale section) this station is quite bare. Speculation has it that the station had something to do with mathematics, but in its current state it appears to simply be a storage area with minimal electricity running to modest bare light bulbs illuminating the spaces.

The Flame Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Flame was, prior to its destruction, a relatively unique station: a simple cabin in the woods as opposed to an elaborate underground semi-industrial complex. It was the communications hub for the island sending messages both to other stations and off the island. Aside from equipment to support its purpose it contained a small kitchen and other minor amenities.

The Hydra Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Hydra is an animal research station, cages of which have been used by The Others to house captured survivors. The station is used by The Others as a hospital, meeting area, holding facility and is also the staging ground for an unknown outdoor clearing and construction project - jokingly or seriously dubbed a future alien landing strip.

The Looking Glass Dharma Initiative Station Lost

The Looking Glass is another highly unusual station - submerged dozens of feet (or more) underwater offshore of the island. Among other uses, it is part communications station and also can be (and has been) used to jam other transmissions on and off the island. This station was also the site of a death of one of the original main-cast survivors at the end of the third season.

The Orchid station is the 8th and final mystery station, not yet featured directly in the show. It has been primarily revealed through a spoiler orientation video which was used to rev up viewers for the fourth season of the series and its location is completely unknown. The video reveals first one then two rabbits that are identically numbered. From the phrasing within the video some have speculated that this is, in fact, one rabbit that was sent back in time - hence the need to keep the two apart, but surely more will be revealed.

Lost Island Map Drawing from Television Show

Of course, all of this information is subject to change and represents the work of many fans working together to produce a coherent pictures of the island. Wikia has a good collection of more spoilers and background information on lost. New to the series? It’s never too late to start catching up. Prefer real islands and abandonments? Check out these related articles for remote and mysterious real islands and incredible real-life abandonments around the world.

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The 10 Least Romantic Love Song Lyrics

Since before Shakespeare asked if he should "compare thee to a summer's day," songsmiths have endeavored to paint the perfect picture of their lovers. But with the advent of the modern-day rock groupie, it's apparently become too damn easy for musicians to get laid. Just look at the following love song lyrics that span from insulting and lazy to downright creepy.

John Mayer: "Your Body is a Wonderland"

"One mile to every inch of
Your skin like porcelain
One pair of candy lips and
Your bubblegum tongue."

Oh Jesus Christ, John! You almost had it, too. The cliches sort of worked for a little while, but then you decide to venture out into the land of uncharted metaphors, and the best you can come up with is bubblegum tongue?

Snoop Dogg: "I Wanna Fuck You"

"Grab you by your coat tail take you to the motel, ho sale,
don't tell, won't tell ...
if you pick me then ima pick on you,
d-o-double g and I'm here to put this dick on you."

Certainly not a conventional love song, but the goal is the same, Snoop just happens to be a little more direct about what he wants to do to his lover. Unfortunately, Snoop's strategy for accomplishing that goal involves telling her that he's going to kidnap her and take her to a ho sale, which sounds less like romantic braggadocio, and more like a human rights crisis worthy of an international tribunal. From there he immediately tells the girl not to tell on him, giving off a creepy Kevin-Bacon-in-Sleepers vibe good for scaring off any non-hearing impaired woman within earshot.

And finally, Snoop, we're pretty sure it's meant to go "in" and not "on," unless we've been doing things wrong all these years (It should be noted that this is entirely possible).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer: "Still ... You Turn Me On"

"When you're buried in disguise
By the dark glass on your eyes
Though your flesh has crystallized;
Still ... you turn me on.
Every day a little sadder,
A little madder,
Someone get me a ladder."

We're not sure if it's the talk of rage that grows inside him each day, or the necrophiliac imagery of crystallized flesh, but by the time he gets to that last line, we can't help but wonder if the ladder is for the girl he keeps in the hole in his basement.

Jimmy Webb: "MacArthur Park"

"As we followed in the dance,
Between the parted pages and were pressed,
In love's hot, fevered iron,
Like a striped pair of pants."

Women have been compared to many things. Roses, honey and now a pair of striped pants. Not just any striped pants however, but a pair that is wrinkled, and thus needs to be ironed.

The Faces: "Stay With Me"

"Won't need too much pursuadin,'
I don't mean to sound degradin,'
But with a face like that you got nothin' to laugh about."

Rod Stewart making comments on someone else's looks? That's pretty rich, Roderick.
It's a good rule of thumb that anything you could possibly say to a woman following the phrase, "I don't mean to sound degradin,' but ... " is good for a trip directly to dry-penis-ville.

Benny Mardones: "Into the Night"

"She's just 16 years old
Leave her alone, they say ...

As far as opening lines go, this one certainly qualifies as an attention grabber, especially when the guy singing it was 36 years old at the time it was released. Take out the 16 year old business and you've got one of the all-time great wedding songs. As it is, the song ends up feeling like a beautifully sung deposition, and Mardones is cursed to a lifetime of interviews explaining how he wrote his only hit about this guy he knew ...

REO Speedwagon: "Keep On Loving You"

"You should've known by the tone of my voice, maybe
But you didn't listen
You played dead, but you never bled,
Instead you lay still in the grass, all coiled up and hissing"

The chorus, with its promise to "keep on loving you," made this song a staple of those "As Seen on TV" love song compilation CDs. This verse however reads like bad poetry by a rageaholic husband from a Lifetime Channel movie. First he gets mad at her for not reading the tone of his voice correctly. Then the woman in question plays dead, presumably so he'll stop hitting her. But, as he points out, she wasn't bleeding. So, you know, he did her a favor. Then he calls her a snake, making this one of the most hate-fueled lyrical barrages this side of "Bulls on Parade."

But it's not REO Speedwagon's fault. He puts up with so much. Besides, REO Speedwagon only does it because he loves us so much.

Paul Anka: "You're Having My Baby"

"Havin' my baby
What a lovely way of sayin'
What you're thinkin' of me ...
You're a woman in love,
and I love what's goin' through you.
The need inside you, I see it showin'. Do you feel it growin'?"

But enough about me, let's talk about me.

Paul Anka finds out he knocked up his lady friend, and takes the opportunity to write a love song to himself. If this was really Paul's first reaction to finding out he was going to be a baby daddy, we'd imagine there's an unreleased follow up floating around in the Paul Anka catalog entitled, "You've Made an Appointment With an Abortionist."

The Turtles: "Elenore"

"Your looks intoxicate me,
Even though your folks hate me,
There's no one like you Elenore really,
Elenore gee I think you're swell,
And you really do me well,
You're my pride and joy, etcetera."

While certainly not the most offensive of the lyrics we've listed here, it is the laziest, and thus the most symptomatic of the way men fail at the whole romance thing. Etcetera may well be the least romantic word in the English language, as well as the least poetic. We'd venture a guess that Elenore wants a divorce, etc.

Prince: "Gett Off"

"Remind me of something James used to say,
'I like 'em fat,
I like 'em proud,
Ya gotta have a mother for me,'
Now move your big ass 'round this way so I can work on that zipper, baby
Cus, tonight you're a star--and I'm the big dipper"
This was bound to happen. Prince writes so many songs about sexing the ladies, that one of them was bound to cross a line into the land of ball-kneeing idiocy. This verse violates one of the oldest laws of seduction: never comment on a girl's weight. Oh, and never refer to yourself as the big dipper.

Find out other reasons musicians should be ashamed of themselves in our rundown of Six Musicians With Pasts They Hope You'll Forget.

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