Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

TV and movies

Sandra Bullock hurts Dan Patrick’s fee-fees

Poor little snowflake.

I can see why she might intimidate him

Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick is not too pleased that Oscar winning actress Sandra Bullock has agreed to star in a movie about former state Sen. Wendy Davis, whose 13-hour filibuster helped stall an anti-abortion bill in 2013.

“It saddens me that Sandra Bullock agreed to play Wendy Davis in a movie called ‘Let Her Speak,'” Patrick said in downtown Austin, just miles from where Bullock once owned a home.

When a member of the audience doubted it, Patrick assured the crowd it was true.

“Sandra Bullock,” he repeated. “I used to like her.”

But Patrick said he’s already taking steps to keep Bullock and film crews out of the Senate chamber to recreate the filibuster that raised Davis’s statewide profile. Davis ran for governor in 2014 and lost to Gov. Greg Abbott.

“And by the way, if I have anything to do with it, I’m not going to let them use the Senate chamber to shoot, because they’ve already disgraced it once,” Patrick said. “They’re not going to do it a second time.”

Patrick told the audience at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative public policy advocacy group, that he already has other issues with the movie. He said they sent him a script and asked, “Guess who the villain is?”

After a pause, Patrick raised his right hand and smiled: “Me.”

Can’t imagine why anyone might think of you that way, Danno. Now please go ahead and show me where that mean lady hurt you. You’re safe now. RG Ratcliffe has more.

Saturday video break: The night before the night before Christmas

A day early, but what the heck:

Not to mix metaphors, but may your days be merry and all that.

Saturday video break: A right jolly old elf

How delightful that today actually is Saturday:

Every year I watch this, and every year it makes me happy. I’m especially happy that they made it while Don LaFontaine was still with us. May Santa be good to you and yours this Christmas Eve.

Rick Perry will join “Dancing With The Stars”

Make your own Tom DeLay joke. Mine is in the embedded image.

Who are YOU to judge me?

Rick Perry’s spirit animal

Former Gov. Rick Perry is joining the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Texas’ longest-serving governor will be a contestant in the 23rd season of the dance competition show, which premieres Sept. 12 on ABC. Perry will be paired with professional dancer Emma Slater, the network announced Tuesday morning.

Entertainment Tonight broke the news Monday, and in a round of media appearances shortly before the lineup announcement, Perry declined to comment on the rumors. But he did suggest that the show would help him with dancing at his daughter’s upcoming wedding and that it would be an “extraordinary platform” to draw attention to two issues he has long been passionate about: the military and veterans.

“I just hope I don’t forget my dance steps, were I to be on this program, after the third lesson,” Perry said on Fox Business News, riffing off his infamous failure to remember the third federal department he wanted to eliminate during his 2012 presidential campaign.

I will say that I think Perry is likely to be a better fit for this than Tom DeLay was, because DeLay never appeared to have any actual charm, while Perry, whatever else you may say about him (and Lord knows there’s plenty), does have some people skills as well as a discernable sense of humor. I’m just glad that my kids are into watching “American Ninja Warrior” and not DWTS, so I won’t have to watch any of it. Now if he were to become a contestant on “American Ninja Warrior”, that would impress me. Until that time, here are Perry’s competitors for this title.

The Jolanda Show

Set your DVRs.

Jolanda Jones

Jolanda Jones

The Houston school board just got a little more star power.

Jolanda Jones, the former city councilwoman who joined the board last week, is starring in a new reality show called “Sisters In Law,” set to air in March. As the cable network WE puts it, the Houston-based program follows a “close-knit group of elite high-powered black female lawyers as they juggle their families, busy careers and even more demanding social calendars.”

“The ladies may differ in their fundamental beliefs when it comes to right and wrong,” the station says on its website, “but what they have in common is their ability to win cases in a traditionally white, male-dominated profession.”

Jones broke the news on Twitter and Instagram Friday.

You can see her announcement here. I trust that Tubular will add it to their roster of shows to recap for us. There’s never a dull moment in my line of preoccupation, that’s for sure.

Saturday video break: The State of New York concedes the existence of Santa Claus

A climactic scene from one of my favorite movies of all time:

That is of course the one true version of Miracle on 34th Street, the original 1947 version. I do not speak of the 1994 remake, but I will concede that this is a movie that really could be reimagined in a contemporary light. I mean, my kids have never written a letter to Santa Claus. I’d bet most kids from the last ten or twenty years have never written letters to Santa. You can’t have that scene without actual by-God on-paper delivered-by-the-USPS letters to Santa. How would you do a scene where the judge is finally convinced that this is the One True Santa? I don’t know that there’s a similar authority that could be invoked today like the USPS was in 1947. How would you do it?

Thanksgiving video break: It was like the turkeys mounted a counterattack

The greatest holiday TV episode ever. If you haven’t seen this before, you are in for a treat. And if you have seen it before, you know what I’m talking about:

I hope your Thanksgiving is better and less chaotic than that. Enjoy!

Adickes documentary

I’d watch that.

Recently local video production company The Storyhive announced details of an upcoming documentary about Houston artist and sculptor David Adickes, the man behind many of the large-scale public art pieces dotting the Bayou City area.

The film, titled “Monumental,” will chronicle Adickes who at the age of 88 is still exercising his creative muscles daily. The film has been in production for three years now, according to the producers.

They shot footage with him in Huntsville at his old high school, which he turned into the Adickes Art Foundation Museum in 2012. They just recently spent a day with him at his house in the Montrose area as he created a mock-up for a statue of an astronaut for a project he’s currently an integral part of.

It could one day be the second-tallest statue in the United States, right behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City, if the project is completed as planned.

“He’s talking about his entire life in the film and the production will focus on his life in Houston after he returned from Europe mostly,” says The Storyhive’s Jena Moreno. The film only has a crew of three people.

Here’s the Facebook page for the project. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a big fan of Adickes’. The film is aiming for a 2016 release, and I intend to be at a screening. I’m so glad someone is doing this.

Of course the film industry thinks we need more film incentives

It’s all money to them. Why wouldn’t they think the state should provide more funding for them?

BagOfMoney

A Warner Bros. executive told a panel of Texas lawmakers they would have to pony up more cash for film industry incentives if they wanted to be in the movie business.

“The Texas movie industry incentive program … is not as competitive as many other jurisdictions,” said Warner Bros. Entertainment Vice President Michael Walbrecht. “Increasing the overall budget provided each year would probably draw more large-budget feature films.”

During his remarks before the House Select Committee on Economic Development Incentives, Walbrecht told the panel’s 13 members Texas was doing “just enough” to get some filmmakers to come to the state.

Texas’ programs are far surpassed by much more enticing incentives in states like Louisiana, he added, saying the Lone Star State isn’t even on the list of states feature filmmakers go to as a default.

“Without the incentive, these productions would probably not be able to choose Texas,” Walbrecht said.

The panel is holding a series of meetings before the 2015 session and is charged with looking at the state’s myriad economic development incentive programs, from the “deal-closing” Texas Enterprise Fund to local tax rebates.

Earlier Wednesday, Texas Film Commission Director Heather Page said the amount of money available through the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program is a moving target, but currently sits around $32 million. The program’s return on investment to date stands at 658 percent, she added.

Boy, I’d love to see the accounting on that. We know how accurate Hollywood accounting can be. Speaking of which, the state of California is boosting its film credit program to $400 million per year, with fewer constraints. We can’t let ourselves get beaten by California, can we? My opinion on this hasn’t changed much in recent years. If we’re going to throw money at movie studios to try to “incentivize” them to do their filming here, we should at least be honest about it.

Saturday video break: “Baby clothes. This place has got everything!”

A shot-by-shot LEGO remake of the mall chase scene from The Blues Brothers:

How awesome, not to mention OCD, is that? Here’s the side-by-side comparison:

And the “making of” video:

All done by the folks at Bricktease. I am in awe. Via Consumerist.

Film incentive lawsuit

I can’t wait to see what happens with this.

A lawsuit filed by Austin-based filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and the production company behind his film Machete accuses The Texas Film Commission of denying agreed-to financial incentives after the commission decided the film was “inappropriate.”

Machete Chop Shop Inc. says in a suit filed July 13 in Travis County that the Texas Film Commission backed out of partially reimbursing the cost of the film after coming under fire for the film’s violence and depiction of Texans.

Before the movie was released in September 2010, anti-immigration groups were upset over the film’s trailer, citing its violent imagery and Robert De Niro’s cartoonish role as a senator who kills illegal immigrants.

According to court documents, the Machete producers’ application for a grant under the Texas Moving Image Industry Program was approved in May 2009, one month after Gov. Rick Perry signed the program into law at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin.

At the bill signing, Rodriguez announced that the bill would allow him to make films in Texas, including Machete.

The complaint states that former commission head Bob Hudgins verified that the script complied with content requirements and also claims that an attached email shows Hudgins’ approval of the incentive package.

Once filmmakers knew they had additional state funding they increased their budget, the complaint says, banking on a state contribution of nearly $8 million.

Had filmmakers not had this funding, they would have made the film elsewhere, said the complaint.

According to my archives, the Texas Film Commission denied granting the incentives for the film in December of 2010; Hudgins resigned from the Commission in November of 2010. The complaint states that no other film has been denied funds post-production. I have no information on that, but I do know that at least one other filmmaker was turned away for fear than his movie would not portray Texas in a positive light. I’m just going to add this to my list of reasons why the whole Texas Moving Image Industry Program idea is a bad one that should be scrapped.

The Real Housewives of the Oilpatch

Sure, why not?

Not these housewives

A reality television show developer has traveled from California to Texas in hopes of spinning the “Real Housewives” concept into an oil field drama.

Matt Stroud, a development producer for CrashHat Entertainment, recently released a casting call for women who can show “the real American pride that goes hand-in-hand with being an oil field wife.” He said he already has received applications from 400 wives eager to share their lives on the small screen.

Stroud, who works from Santa Monica, Calif., said he was unfamiliar with the unique lives of oil field families until he was introduced to the roughneck culture during a recent visit to Texas.

“It felt very marketable in terms of what would work” for TV, he said.

Oil field jobs often require two-week shifts, with workers cycling between 14 days in the field and 14 days at home. Some wives have created a vibrant online community, with websites devoted to their lifestyles, Pinterest boards pinned with pink hard hats, and Facebook community pages where tens of thousands of wives swap advice about surviving their husbands’ long stays away from home.

Stroud said wives from across the country have sent applications, from Alaska to Pennsylvania to California.

They don’t have a network yet, but I’m kind of rooting for them. There are certainly worse things on which to base a TV show. And who knows, it might actually be educational. All I know for sure is that if this does become a thing, I request – nay, I demand – that the Chron’s Therese Odell blog about it. I mean, this was meant to be.

Saturday video break: The Charlie Brown School of Dance

Just watch:

Admit it, you always wondered what those dances were called.

RIP, Larry Hagman

Farewell, JR.

Larry Hagman

J.R. Ewing was a business cheat, faithless husband and bottomless well of corruption. Yet with his sparkling grin, Larry Hagman masterfully created the charmingly loathsome oil baron — and coaxed forth a Texas-size gusher of ratings — on television’s long-running and hugely successful nighttime soap, “Dallas.”

Although he first gained fame as nice guy Major Tony Nelson on the fluffy 1965-70 NBC comedy “I Dream of Jeannie,” Hagman earned his greatest stardom with J.R. The CBS serial drama about the Ewing family and those in their orbit aired from April 1978 to May 1991, and broke viewing records with its “Who shot J.R.?” 1980 cliffhanger that left unclear if Hagman’s character was dead.

The actor, who returned as J.R. in a new edition of “Dallas” this year, had a long history of health problems and died Friday due to complications from his battle with cancer, his family said.

“Larry was back in his beloved hometown of Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved the most. Larry’s family and closest friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday,” the family said in a statement that was provided to The Associated Press by Warner Bros., producer of the show.

The 81-year-old actor was surrounded by friends and family before he passed peacefully, “just as he’d wished for,” the statement said.

I was never into “Dallas” back in the day, though I admit that the “Who shot JR?” story line drew me in, and I watched the episode that revealed the answer like everyone else in America. It was hard to watch Larry Hagman do anything and not get the impression that he was just having more fun doing what he did than most of the rest of us. I’m sure there will be many great stories told about him in the next few days. Harold Cook, who didn’t know Hagman but knows people who did, has more, and you really owe it to yourself to read Mark Evanier’s Larry Hagman story. Rest in peace, Larry Hagman.

InnerVIEWS

Congrats to Ernie Manouse for reaching this milestone:

Houston-(February 15, 2012) Over the past 10 seasons, the nationally syndicated award-winning series,  InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse hasentertained and informed audiences with interesting, intimate, and revealing conversations with some of today’s most captivating notables. Now,InnerVIEWS, and Emmy winner Ernie Manouse, get ready to celebrate their 150th episode with multi-award winning journalist Bill Moyers.

The 150th episode featuring Bill Moyers will air in the Greater Houston Area on Thursday, February 23 at 10:30pm on Channel 8, HoustonPBS.

Other upcoming InnerVIEWS guests this season include:  Publisher and First Amendment crusader Larry Flynt, Oscar winner Marsha Mason, author Charlaine Harris, actress & documentarian Alana Stewart, soap star Kim Zimmer and gospel great Yolanda Adams.

Since its debut in January 2004, the program has spawned a legion of fans across the county, airing on over 100 PBS stations.  InnerVIEWS… guests have ranged in age from the youngest at 16 (Singer Angel Faith) to the oldest at 95 (TV Presenter Art Linkletter).  Through the years the program has won four Dallas Press Club Regional KATIE Awards; three Videographer Awards; two Bronze Telly Awards; and the Communicator Awards Award of Distinction. InnerVIEWS was also nominated for the Emmy for Best Interview/Discussion Program/Series.

InnerVIEWS with Ernie Manouse airs on HoustonPBS every Thursday night at 10:30pm, with re-broadcasts Fridays at 11:00pm and Sundays at 3:30pm.  For national airdates and times, check with your local PBS stations.

I’ve been a guest a couple of times on his Houston 8 show, and Ernie is a engaging and affable host. Here’s to the next 150 shows.

Are you ready for “The Osteens”?

When you think about it, the strange thing is that they didn’t already have a reality TV show.

Joel Osteen announced Tuesday that he has partnered with Survivor producer Mark Burnett to create a reality TV show that would follow him and his wife, Victoria, and Lakewood Church members on mission trips across the country.

Osteen signed an agreement with Burnett to work on a series to be pitched for prime-time play as early as next year. The details of the program are still being worked out, so they’ve yet to secure a deal with a network. The news of their partnership was reported early by TMZ.

Osteen likened their program to Extreme Home Makeover, saying, “It’s another way to take our message of hope and inspiring others to another venue … We didn’t just want to do a reality show, we wanted to do something that inspires people and makes them better.”

As co-pastors of Lakewood Church, the largest church in America, the Osteens already have 10 million viewers watching their broadcasts each week. They’ve repeatedly turned down reality show pitches, but then Burnett – a fellow Christian who has visited Lakewood multiple times in the year that they’ve known him – came up with a concept that would focus more on Christian mission than their own lives.

Here’s the TMZ report. I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t happen and if it’s not a success. Hair Balls has more.

Saturday video break: OK Go + Muppets = awesome

Some things were just meant to happen:

Be sure to watch the “behind the scenes” video as well:

Thanks to Popdose for the embeds.

“Miss Representation”

The above is a preview for Miss Representation, which is showing this Thursday for one night only at the Alamo Drafthouse, West Oaks Mall, at 7 PM. I’ve got tickets for the screening, which is also a benefit for Annie’s List. There are similar screenings in Austin (Tuesday, 7 PM, The Drafthouse) and San Antonio (Wednesday, 6 PM, Alamo Drafthouse Park North), any of which is worth your time if you live in the vicinity. I figure I’ve got a lot of work to do to help make the world my daughters are growing up in suitable for them, and supporting efforts like this and organizations like Annie’s List are important parts of that. So please do your part, get some tickets, and I’ll see you there.

Saturday video break: We’re off to see the Wizard

Bobby McFerrin sings “The Wizard of Oz” in seven and a half minutes. It’s even more awesome than it sounds.

There’s a more recent version of this performance, with somewhat better video (not having been ripped from someone’s VHS tape, one presumes) here, but I prefer the embedded one, both for the stronger audience participation (the audience in the latter version is mostly kids, and I’m not sure how well they know the material) and of course for the excellent 80s hair and fashion. And I just love the concept. Hope you liked it, too.

Saturday video break: Seven in seven

Seven “Harry Potter” movies, summarized in seven minutes:

I haven’t seen a Potter movie since the third one – we saw it two days before Olivia was born, if that helps you understand why I’m behind in my movie-watching – but I do hope to see this one. And now I’m prepared for it.

Saturday video break: We the people

Here’s a little Schoolhouse Rock to get you in the Fourth of July mood:

If you’re a true child of the 1970’s, you are incapable of merely saying the Preamble. It simply must be sung. Hope you’re having an excellent weekend.

Saturday video break: The Magnited States of America, where you are FREE to TEXT in a THE-A-TER

In case you haven’t seen it yet, another reason to love the Alamo Drafthouse:

I wonder if this girl has figured out yet what a spectacle she has made of herself. CNN’s Anderson Cooper picked up on it the other day:

Bravo, I say. See Austin360 for more.

Saturday video break: Select all robots

All movies should be like this:

Plot? Dialog? Those pesky laws of physics, not to mention logic? Pshaw. Who needs them when you have that much awesomeness? Via Gizmodo.

Saturday video break: When an evil boy meets an evil girl

It’s the age-old story.

May your Valentine’s Day be filled with maniacal laughter, robot armies, and anything else your heart desires.

Saturday video break: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

The other day I heard Olivia saying – trying to say, anyway – fourteen-syllable words are quite the mouthful – that fabled construction from “Mary Poppins”, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, to Audrey. I sang her a verse of the song, and they were duly impressed. Then Olivia wanted me to spell it for her. I’m a pretty good speller, but I figured it would be easier just to show her the video instead:

That’s from the stage musical that’s been touring; Tiffany and I saw it a few months ago here. It’s different in some ways from the movie but like the movie is based on the books. We thought it was outstanding. And the girls liked the video. What more do you need?

Special Friday video break: Dash away all

Once more with my favorite narration of “Twas The Night Before Christmas”:

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

RIP, Blake Edwards

The man who gave us the one true “Pink Panther” movies has passed away at the age of 88.

One of Hollywood’s most successful specialists in comedy, Edwards was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1922 and started out as an actor.

After appearing in about 30 films, he worked as a TV scriptwriter before becoming a director. His first significant success came with the 1959 film, Operation Petticoat, starring Cary Grant and Tony Curtis.

He then charmed audiences with his adaptation of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which gave Audrey Hepburn one of her most memorable roles.

In 1963, Edwards created one of film comedy’s classic characters. After Peter Ustinov dropped out before production, Edwards persuaded Peter Sellers to play the accident-prone Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther.

Mere words cannot adequately convey how much I love the Pink Panther movies. I simply refuse to acknowledge the recent remakes, which are abominations before God and man. Here’s a highlight clip to give you a small taste of what Inspector Clouseau is supposed to be like:

For hiring Peter Sellers to play this role, the world owes a debt to Blake Edwards that it can never repay. Rest in peace, Blake Edwards.

No film commission incentives for you!

Noted for the record.

The Texas Film Commission has denied incentives for “Machete,” the controversial immigration-related feature film from Robert Rodriguez’s Austin-based Troublemaker Studios.

In a brief, formal letter dated Dec. 1 and released Wednesday by Katherine Cesinger , a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, the Texas Film Commission cited part of a state code that says requests for film incentives can be denied “because of inappropriate content or content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.”

[…]

A representative for “Machete” producer Elizabeth Avellán said Wednesday that Avellán and Rodriguez were traveling after recently wrapping up shooting on “Spy Kids 4” and that they were unavailable for comment.

Although exact figures aren’t available, the production budget for “Machete” was estimated at $10 million by the Internet Movie Database. Based on that figure, Troublemaker could have received a grant of as much as $1.75 million for making the movie in Texas.

The letter from [deputy director Carol] Pirie said that the commission’s ruling “does not affect…other grant applications from Troublemaker, now or in the future.”

Rodriguez is Texas’ most prolific filmmaker, and when Perry signed legislation to beef up filmmaking incentives and bolster the state’s industry in April 2009, he did so at Rodriguez’s studios, with the director/producer at his side.

Rodriguez told The Associated Press at the time that without the bill he would have had to move the production of projects, including “Machete,” to another state.

“Thanks to this bill, I don’t have to go shoot out of the state,” Rodriguez said.

See here and here for some background. The film incentive funding is certain to get cut in the next budget, so it’s unlikely there will be a repeat of this any time soon. But let this experience be a lesson to anyone else who would let Governor Perry use their studio as a backdrop for one of his publicity stunts. You won’t get anything in return for it.

“CSI:San Antonio” would be far preferable

Oh, hell no.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, CBS is planning a neo-Western crime drama from executive producer Anthony Zuiker called “Desperado.” It focuses on a group of lawmen who enact cowboy-style justice in modern times on criminals in San Antonio.

The publication compared it to “Justified” on FX, which is based on an Elmore Leonard character and stars Timothy Olyphant.

I’m hard pressed to think of a phrase that encompasses greater potential for crappiness than “a group of lawmen who enact cowboy-style justice in modern times”. Well, anything that doesn’t involve a Kardashian, anyway. And what does the city of San Antonio get for this burnishing of its image?

San Antonio’s film marketing manager Drew Mayer-Oakes said the city has been working with Zuiker’s Dare to Pass production company for a few months now. “Hope it makes it all the way to pilot!” Mayer-Oakes wrote in an e-mail.

How much of it would be filmed in the Alamo City is still up in the air, he said. “They have told me they would like to film here. But all his (Zuiker’s) ‘CSI’ shows are filmed in L.A., not in Vegas, Miami, or N.Y.”

On the other hand, the exterior shots come from those cities.

So nothing will actually get filmed there, but they might use a few stock photo images during scene changes. What a deal!

Saturday video break: It’s never wrong to mash up “Star Trek”

Some things don’t require an introduction, others defy the very attempt at one:

Beam me up, Scotty.

UPDATE: This can happen when you draft stuff in advance. Go here to see the video. Sorry about that.

RIP, Leslie Nielsen

As Mel Brooks said when his friend Harvey Korman passed away, the world is a more serious place today.

Leslie Nielsen, the actor best known for starring in such comedies as Airplane! and the Naked Gun film franchise, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84.

“We are sadden by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television,” said a statement from Nielsen’s family released through his rep.

Nielsen was born Feb. 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. His acting career spanned several decades, starting in the 1950s with episodes of series including The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse and Tales of Tomorrow and encompassing several genres. But he became known in later years for his deadpan delivery in comedies featuring absurd situations, including 1980s’s Airplane!, a parody of Zero! Hour, Airport and other movies about flying.

Airplane! is, of course, one of the greatest movies ever made. The Naked Gun was sheer genius, too. Here are the opening credits to its first show, for those of you who never had the pleasure:

It goes on like that – if you’ve seen Airplane!, you’re familiar with the idea. Don’t care how many times I’ve seen it, it still makes me laugh. For more on Nielsen’s long and distinguished career, see Roger Ebert and Mark Evanier. Rest in peace, Leslie Nielsen.

Saturday video break: Won’t I get a reputation for being soft on turkeys?

President Bartlett, doing his Constitutional duty:

There’s also the classic Butterball hotline sequence if you want more. Happy Saturday!

Cutting the cord on cable

I have no plans to change the way I watch TV any time soon, but a lot of other people are at least thinking about it.

The Convergence Consulting Group of Toronto predicts that about 1.6 million U.S. households will “cut the cord,” or cancel monthly cable subscriptions, by the end of 2011, as more content becomes available online.

Time Warner and Comcast recently reported that third-quarter cable subscriber losses more than doubled from a year earlier, though both argued the economy was a bigger factor than cord-cutting.

Research firm Nielsen Co. also says the phenomenon is overstated. At a conference this summer, Howard Shimmel, a senior vice president at the company, said cord- cutting is mainly isolated to young, emerging households that aren’t watching much online programming either.

Nevertheless, media businesses have made strides to stay ahead of the issue, responding by offering on-demand services, digital video recorders and “TV Everywhere” options that allow paying customers to access content over the devices of their choosing.

Dwight recently ran a guest post from a cable cord-cutter. What was fascinating to me was all the comments from people had already done this or who were planning to. A lot of them sounded like too much work in return for the savings, plus a lot of experiences with Comcast that are worse than mine, but to each their own. I didn’t have cable until I was 31. It wasn’t available where we lived when I was a kid, it wasn’t available on the Trinity campus when I was in college, and I was too cheap to spring for it my first few years in Houston. Having finally taken that step, I have no plans to go back. I can see the appeal of just getting the shows you want via the Internet, especially since it’s a lot easier to watch them on a TV now, but for me the value of not having to change my habits outweighs that. My TiVo does what I need it to do, thanks. I know that nothing lasts forever and that sooner or later I’ll be forced to change, but I’m content to wait till that happens. What about you? All Things Digital nd Yglesias have more.a

Saturday video break: This is Halloween

And this is how you celebrate it:

Happy Halloween!