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SyFy brings Sharks to Jersey Shore

In a move that will probably make many people scratch their heads, the SyFy channel has given the green light to a television movie entitled Jersey Shore Shark Attack. Now, I know many of you are thinking, probably hoping that the entire cast from the MTV reality hit are going to be involved, but such is not the case except for VINNY GAUDAGNINO. Other cast confirmed for the television movie are JOEY FATONE, PAUL SORVINO, TONY SIRICO and JACK SCALIA. Needless to say this television film is going to make Jersey Shore party goers think twice about swimming while at the shore. Go here  to read the official press release from SyFy. The movie is set to debut in June.
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I'm in TV Hell!

What in the world is going on with television these days? Hell, what's been happening the last 10-15 years? Today, NBC released it's midseason schedule and there were some surprises. Among them, Community was shelved. Yes, it wasn't a huge ratings show, but it was an intelligent, well acted show that had a small, yet loyal fan base. Prime Suspect has pretty much been cancelled and 30 Rock was given another season and moved once again to a different time slot. Let's start with 30 Rock. This show has never been a huge hit for the network but has won many awards during it's run. NBC for some reason really sticks with this show even though it has lost a step or two or three. Prime Suspect was a very interesting police drama that just never was given a chance to build its audience. It's star would have been a better draw for the coveted 18-49 year old demographic that the suits from all the networks so cherish, yet you give Harry's Law another season with an actress who I am sorry to say, looks like she's from the civil war era? Let me just say that I am no expert on the inner workings of a television network, but I am someone who admittedly watches a good deal of television. I am one of the geeky TV watchers that follow the Nielsen ratings, follow the numbers for the age demographics and always gets pumped up around pilot season. With all these years of watching television and following the industry, I think I have picked up on some things and learned a few of the tricks that are used in the TV industry. If you want to look at what's wrong with the industry, just take a gander at what has happened to NBC. Once the darling of the networks, NBC was on top of the world in the 80's and 90's with a string of successful dramas and comedies. I like to call the 80's period of NBC domination the Cosby years. That's when the Cosby show aired and became this huge juggernaut for the network. With shows like the Cosby Show, Family Ties, The A Team, Cheers among others, the network could do no wrong. Then the 90's rolled in, hits like Friends, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Frasier and ER. NBC once again was on a roll. But as the year 200o approached, things started to change for the network. Not only were some of its big hits either gone or on their last legs, something else had been brewing for several years and it started in my opinion with MTV when they debuted the first major reality show, The Real World. MTV loved the show because a) it was cheap to produce and b) it brought in huge ratings for the network and the coveted 18-49 demographic. With this reality bug starting to spread, CBS brought in the reality series Survivor to go up against the NBC Thursday Must See lineup which for years was unbeatable. We all know the story here, Survivor became a monster of a hit and all but left the must see shows in the dust. Jeff Zucker took over as President of NBC Universal television in 2004, by then most of the networks had caught the reality bug. NBC was now in the distance compared to the other networks as far as ratings were concerned and remain there to this day. Why am I picking on NBC? I just it was an easy quick avenue to take to see what can happen when a network makes the wrong choices. No network is perfect, but the fall of NBC has been a big one and with the decisions made today, it's no wonder. Now, there is also another reason besides reality television that hurt NBC and to some extent, the other networks..cable television. In 2011, the average viewer is inundated with over 200 channels to watch any program at any given time. That's alot of shows trying to get your attention to keep the channel locked. With the rise of HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, FX, USA, TNT, AMC and channels like that, they are proving you can make quality television, attract viewers and still not have to cater to the lowest denominator to keep viewers. I find myself rarely tuning into the big 3 these days for television shows. Don't get me wrong, there are a few shows that have been or are fantastic. NCIS is still going strong in it's 9th season. Supernatural on the CW network is another favorite of mine. Modern Family, Rules of Engagement, Lost, Grimm and House are some examples of shows that have kept me tuning in to regular television. It's the cable networks that I am really impressed with today. They are taking risks and gambles on shows that would never be seen on regular televisions and I find it extremely refreshing. Some of my all time favorite shows have come from cable networks. The Shield, Rescue Me, Homeland, Dexter, American Horror Story, True Blood and The Killing are shows that are willing to push the envelope and because they air on these cable stations, they are able to get away with it. Maybe some of the suits at the big 3 networks need to take a chance and push the envelope. Better yet, give a show a chance to grow its audience. If it's not a hit right out of the gate, chances are a show will not survive on a regular network past a season or two. Look at the gamble FOX took with Terra Nova. From various reports, the pilot was one of if not the most expensive pilot ever made. Big names attached to the project and a ton of  money spent of special effects. FOX put the hype machine into overdrive for the series and when it debuted...it debuted to modest ratings for the pilot. Since then several episodes have aired and it consistently ends up in 3rd place for its time slot. The overall ratings are somewhere around 8 million viewers per episode and it pulls in around a 2.7 for the 18-49 demographic. Does FOX order another season of this expensive series? Or does it take the hit and cancel the show because of poor ratings? That is a decision for the suits to make. Obviously, the bottom line here is money. The networks want to have shows on their schedule that will make money. The 18-49 demographic keeps coming up over and over in this post because it is so important to the networks. Another important aspect is syndication. A network can make a ton of money when one of its series is sold into syndication. In the early days, a show would need to last at least 5 seasons to go into syndication, from what I understand now, it's 80 aired episodes. It's a shame that the dollar bill is determining the fates of some great shows that never got the chance to fully blossom. You can go to any of the major networks and just see a graveyard of shows that never got a chance. Many of them deserved to be cancelled because they were just rip offs or just plain bad, but there are always some in there that deserved a better shot then they received. As I learn more and more about the television industry, I am learning that it is a tough world and you have to have thick skin to survive. Again, these observations are from a TV fan looking in from the outside who has no true idea of the inner workings of network television. I can safely say that there have been several series that were cancelled either before they had a chance to get started or before they had a chance to finish. Two off the top of my head are Brimstone and Millennium, both from FOX. Although, Millennium did get 3 uneven, yet enjoyable seasons, Brimstone only lasted 13 episodes before the plug was pulled during production of the 14th episode. There are hundreds of stories like Brimstone over the years of network television, maybe one day the small guy will get a victory. For every Brimstone, there is a Jericho, so there is hope. I know for certain that with all the drama and chaos that comes with the television industry, it's one that still keeps me in front of my television. Allowing me to escape for just a little while and that's something that is needed from time to time. Don't you think?
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A Peaceful Journey....

As I am sure most of you know by now, rapper Heavy D (real name Dwight Errington Myers) died after complaining of flu-like symptoms at the age of 44. It's a huge loss for the hip hop community because Heavy D was not your typical rapper. He was able to be influential with his music without falling into the traps of the rap game. He didn't rap alot about being a playa, having tons of money or using foul language on his records. He did what he did because he loved hip hop and wanted to make a lasting contribution. From 1987 through 2008, Heavy D released eight albums...many of them going gold and/or platinum. He had the respect of many in the hip hop community for his accomplishments in the rap game, but Heavy was much more than a rapper. He built an impressive resume of film and television acting credits. From TV shows like Roc, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Boston Public, Bones and most recently Law & Order: SVU. He also appeared in such films as Life, The Cider House Rules, Step Up and  his final role in the recently released Eddie Murphy/Ben Stiller comedy Tower Heist. Speaking from a personal perspective, I was a big fan of Heavy D and truly respected the work that he did. Knowing he didn't have to follow the same type of path that many rappers did to become successful.  Heavy D never let the fact that he was an overweight man stop him from doing what he loved. Hell, you can watch many of his videos from the past and he's dancing right along with the other people in the video with no problems. Wherever you are Heavy, we thank you for your contributions to the entertainment industry. You were a definite role model for many and you will be missed. I hope you have a peaceful journey....    
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Sometimes You Need a DIRTY MIND

As I sit here and listen to Prince's 26th studio album Planet Earth, it makes me realize why I have been a fan of his for almost 3 decades now. The man is just dripping with talent, sometimes too much to comprehend. Some people think he is no longer relevant in today's music industry of one hit wonders, boy bands and manufactured music, but I say that is total nonsense. He may not have the radio play and albums sales of the 80's, but no one can touch him as far as stage performance goes..no one. This brings me to the topic of this blog, Dirty Mind. I was a mere lad when I came across this album at the local record store where I grew up. The album cover alone was bad enough to were my mother said I couldn't get it. But, I went ahead on my own and purchased it, but never told her that I did. Realize, this album came out in 1981 and was the very first cd in the music industry to receive a Parental Advisory sticker. I played it several times and although I did enjoy it, I didn't actually realize what I was listening to....a groundbreaking masterpiece. Flash forward years later and several Prince albums later, I was home one night and decided to dust off the cd and play it again. It had been a while since I had listened to the entire cd. I was completely floored at what I heard coming from my speakers. How could this album be from 1980? It was truly groundbreaking, it had elements of funk, new wave, rock and pop. But how could an album that was only 8 tracks and 30 minutes long accomplish this? One word, Prince. Every instrument, every vocal and every lyric was Prince, unprecedented at the time. His touring band was made up of different races and women, another first for that time period. As I continued to listen to this album, I thought to myself, I can't be the only one realizing the greatness of this album. So, I searched the web and found many critics agreed with my opinion. Rolling Stone magazine named it one of the 500 best albums of all time. Here is a review from AllMusic.com that pretty much sums up this album:
Neither For You nor Prince was adequate preparation for the full-blown masterpiece of Prince's third album, Dirty Mind. Recorded in his home studio, with Prince playing nearly every instrument, Dirty Mind is a stunning, audacious amalgam of funk, new wave, R&B, and pop, fueled by grinningly salacious sex and the desire to shock. Where other pop musicians suggested sex in lewd double-entendres, Prince left nothing to hide — before its release, no other rock or funk record was ever quite as explicit as Dirty Mind, with its gleeful tales of oral sex, threesomes, and even incest. Certainly, it opened the doors for countless sexually explicit albums, but to reduce its impact to mere profanity is too reductive — the music of Dirty Mind is as shocking as its graphic language, bending styles and breaking rules with little regard for fixed genres. Basing the album on a harder, rock-oriented beat more than before, Prince tries everything — there's pure new wave pop ("When You Were Mine"), soulful crooning ("Gotta Broken Heart Again"), robotic funk ("Dirty Mind"), rock & roll ("Sister"), sultry funk ("Head," "Do It All Night"), and relentless dance jams ("Uptown," "Partyup"), all in the space of half an hour. It's a breathtaking, visionary album, and its fusion of synthesizers, rock rhythms, and funk set the style for much of the urban soul and funk of the early '80s.
That review right there sums it up. To give you even a better taste of this album, here is the video of the title cut:
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Idris Elba meet Superstardom!

You know it's very rare that I admit that I am wrong when it comes to my choices in entertainment. I've been a pop culture junkie for a long time and when it comes to picking great films, TV series, music and so on, I think my track record speaks for itself. Now I have to swallow my pride and admit to a grave error...I didn't watch The Wire when it initially aired on HBO. My reasons were actually pretty valid. Yet, another cop procedural with the same hum drum storylines and characters. So, after having at least 25 people tell me I needed to watch the series. I finally sat down to watch it. Thanks to my good friend Jessica Howe, I sat down to watch the pilot episode. Ok, fast forward one hour and I was sitting in my apartment with my jaw on the ground! What did I just watch? Why didn't I watch this from the beginning! I just witnessed probably one of the best hours of television I have ever seen and I've seen alot! Needless to say, I ran through those 60 episodes in under two weeks. I couldn't tear myself away from the screen. Each hour was as riveting as the one before it. I would look forward to getting home from work, getting things ready for the next day and just sit and watch The Wire until it was time to go to bed. There are many fascinating characters on the show, Jimmy McNulty, D'Angelo and Avon Barksdale, Bodie, Poot, Kima and Lt. Daniels to name a few. But the character that stuck out to me was Stringer Bell. He was the partner in crime with Avon Barksdale. A drug dealer, but one with ambition and drive. Someone who was educated and wanted to take the money they were making and invest, not splurge in the drug lifestyle. I found his character fascinating and the actor who played him, Idris Elba, fascinating as well. I knew I had seen him before on TV and the movies and found out that alot of projects he was involved in, I enjoyed. He's a fantastic actor whose range is top-notch. So, to my surprise, I found out that Idris was a British actor and had a series on BBC America called Luther. Well, without hesitation I jumped at the chance to watch this series. If you haven't heard of it, check out this trailer for the first season: As you can see by this trailer, the show is not your normal bad ass cop procedural, yet one with depth and an Emmy nominated performance by Idris Elba. If you have BBC America, you should definitely check out this series. The first season was only 6 episodes and season 2 was only 4 episodes. I don't understand the British way of doing things as far as episodes per season goes, but I did really enjoy watching this series. Idris Elba is an actor to keep on your radar. He has several big time movie projects coming up, including the Ridley Scott film Prometheus. So, remember the name Idris Elba, he is going to become a big star in the industry!
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Upcoming interviews at The PC Principle!

We are slowly getting things in order here at The PC Principle! We are working hard behind the scenes to bring you some very exclusive content and interviews. Speaking of interviews, we have several that are in the pipeline right now that we think you will enjoy. Joel Gretsch (V, The 4400)           Damian Lewis (Life, Band of Brothers)             We'll also be interviewing award winning author John Kenneth Muir, Alice Jester of The Winchester Family Business website and much more! Definitely stay tuned for some exciting content on the site!!
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Tha Darkside Vibe - The End of An Era

As they say, all good things must come to an end. That is the case with the first blog and podcast I ever did called Tha Darkside Vibe. I started the show back in 2007 because I began to listen to many podcasts on the internet. Some of the good, most of them really bad. I thought to myself, why not give it a shot and do one about something I want to talk about...pop culture. As I am a pop culture junkie, I decided that would be the theme of my show and nothing was off limits. At the same time, I decided also that I wouldn't hold my tongue and be politically correct. Fuck that! I was going to say what was on my mind. Some people liked it, some people didn't. That was fine with me as long as they were listening. At the height of my show, I was averaging around 500 plus downloads of my show, not too shabby. I have to send huge shoutouts to my friends Big White Ryan and Bad Ass Frank. Those are the two who helped me get started and answered all my technical questions. They themselves had great podcasts of their own. There was no subject that I didn't talk about. If it was pop culture, I gave you my thoughts. This definitely isn't a podcast for the kiddies so make sure they aren't around if you are listening. 🙂 The one I have included in this blog post is a best of episode. Some of my most hated and most loved skits. I must say, I did get alot of hate email about some of my skits were people really got mad at something I talked about or a skit I did. Remember guys, these are all jokes, nothing serious, just trying to make people laugh.  These are some of my favorites. So, hopefully you will enjoy them as well!
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The Devil's Playground - A Brimstone Tribute

Every once in a while, a show comes along that resonates with a core group of people. In this crazy world of TV ratings, demographics and core viewing groups, some shows although excellent, fall through the cracks because they don't post the big ratings that the networks would like. Unfortunately for us, Brimstone was one of those shows.

The basic premise of Brimstone is this....Ezekiel Stone was a highly decorated New York police officer. His wife was raped and when the case went to trial, the rapist was let go due to a technicality. Several weeks later, Detective Stone tracked down his wife's rapist and killed him in cold blood. Months later while on a routine drug bust, Detective Stone was shot and killed in the line of duty. Since he killed someone in cold blood, he was sent to Hell. The show starred Peter Horton as Ezekiel Stone and the brilliant John Glover as the Devil. Fast forward 15 years and we find out that 113 souls have escaped from Hell and have gone back to Earth. Since Stone was a cop, the Devil makes a deal with him. Send back all 113 souls to Hell and you will get a second chance at life on Earth. I thought this was an excellent concept. The show was created by Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris, who now have the show Eleventh Hour on CBS. Like I said before, great concept, but it doesn't mean the show will work with the general public. The show was to debut on a Tuesday night for FOX. Then president of the network had high hopes for the show and began promoting the show in the 9pm time slot. 2 weeks before the show was to air, he stepped down as President of FOX network to take another job and a replacement took over. This person did not like the dark nature of the show and wanted more programming that was upbeat and light, but decided to give the show a chance anyway. Brimstone was moved to the death time slot of 8pm on Friday nights, paired with another great show Millennium. Without any big promotion or support from FOX, the show aired its first thirteen episodes with decent numbers. FOX had ordered 6 more scripts of the show, but during post production on episode 14, FOX cancelled Brimstone. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper! The final episode of Brimstone entitled Mourning After, aired on February 12, 1999. There was no announcement publicly that the show was cancelled, it just stopped airing. After a couple of months, I decided to go on the internet and find any information that I could about the fate of the show. Nothing was on the FOX website, although the Brimstone link was still there. While digging for information, I came across a save Brimstone website. There I found out that the show had indeed been cancelled and that I was not the only fan of the show. After weeks of talking with other people on the site, we decided to start the usual steps to try and save the show. Start writing to FOX, Warner Bros and other stations to see if we could save Brimstone. After 4 months with little head way, we gathered money from people who could contribute and placed and ad in Variety magazine, yes, Variety! It garnered our little campaign some national attention...so much so that the head of the SciFi channel wrote to the head of our campaign to state that they were interested in Brimstone. Almost a year later, the SciFi channel picked up the rights to air the original 13 episodes, which was great. We were actually seeing results due to our hard work. We later found out that Warner Bros. would not give the SciFi channel the rights to produce new episodes. So after 6 months of showing the original episodes, Brimstone was taken of the schedule. The campaign was obviously disappointed that the show stopped airing on SciFi, but was happy that we were able to get the show back on the air. I was proud to be part of that campaign. In February of 2009, will be the 10 year anniversary of Brimstone being cancelled. Over the years I have tried to find copies of the 13 episodes with varying success. Most of the complete sets I found were on VHS and not in great quality. Recently I came across a great site that actually put a DVD set together of the show and I got my copy a couple of days ago. It is by far the best fan made set of the show and the picture quality is a solid A. I watched the episodes from the beginning and it made me remember why I was so into this show. You may be thinking to yourselves, why is this guy so wrapped up in a TV show. Hasn't there been anything that you were passionate about? That you wanted to make sure that people knew about? Well, one of my passions is the show Brimstone. Excellent acting, writing and top-notch storytelling that just pulls you into the world of Ezekiel Stone from moment one. It gave you a mixture of humor, drama and fantasy all rolled into one. It made you ask questions about faith, religion and what is truly good and evil. If you haven't seen the show, find it and watch it. If you have seen the show, watch it again. Remember, nobody beats the Devil....or so I hear.
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