Cards Playing Well? Programming service Netflix has been making a lot of noise by supplementing its catalog of TV shows and movies with original work like the upcoming revival of Arrested Development and House of Cards, the Americanized version of a British political drama. But is that getting people to stay true to the service?
Deadline.com reports: “About 86% of subscribers say that political drama House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey makes them less likely to cancel, according to a survey last week conducted by investment firm Cowen and Co. That could be important for Netflix. It’s easy to cancel the service, so execs know they have to keep customers excited. But be sure to take the survey results with at least a little grain of salt: the sample size is small. Only 346 of the 1,229 U.S. consumers surveyed on February 12-13 are Netflix customers, although another 223 are classified as nonsubscribers who have access to a Netflix subscription.”
At the same time, the Netflix strategy of releasing all 13 episodes of Cards’ first season at once may be paying dividends — especially with viewers who like to have the option of watching a show DVD-fashion, with all the episodes available for viewing at leisure. I’m through about seven episodes (and liking them very much) while others devoured all 13 the first weekend they were available.
Adds Deadline: “90% of consumers like the idea of releasing all the episodes of the series simultaneously, instead of spreading them out the way conventional TV networks do. About 10% said that they’re indifferent, and nobody opposed the strategy.”
Good Claim to Fame? Politicians would presumably like to be known and remembered for their leadership and legislative consequences. But it does not always work out that way, as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? implied with a recent question about an Ohio senator.
As part of a series of movie-themed questions tied to the Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, the syndicated series asked: “After a kayaking accident in Chile, Ohio Senator Rob Portman purposely slammed his dislocated shoulder into a rock, a trick he said he learned from what film?”
Your choices were The Rock, Lethal Weapon 2, Die Hard 2 and Con Air.
And the answer ...
After the 2012 accident, according to the Associated Press, “Portman said he thought of the 1989 movie Lethal Weapon 2,” where Mel Gibson’s character “escapes a straitjacket by intentionally dislocating his shoulder, then gets it back in place by crashing against a file cabinet.”
Tony Gaskins, R.I.P. Veteran local newsman Tony Gaskins died Tuesday after suffering a heart attack on Sunday. He was 56.
During three decades in broadcast news, Gaskins worked for WEWS (Channel 5) from 1988 to 2006, where the station notes he was known for his deep voice and “his emphasis on the word ‘news’ in ‘NewsChannel5’.”
A general-assignment reporter for the station, he eventually focused on city government. After leaving WEWS, he went to work for the city of Cleveland’s TV20 cable-TV station. His responsibilities there included co-hosting Weekly News Wrap-Up and hosting the programs Catching Up With Council and Issues and Answers.
• Rock star. Tracy Morgan, the comedian and co-star of the now-done 30 Rock, is coming to Playhouse Square in Cleveland on July 8, Most tickets are $35.50 and go on sale Saturday at noon via the Playhouse Square Ticket Office, www.playhousesquare.org, or calling 216-241-6000.
Another Sad McCready Note. Long-troubled country singer Mindy McCready, who died recently in an apparent suicide, had completed a suicide prevention video not long before her death, People.com reports.
Dedicated to her boyfriend, David Wilson, who died a seeming suicide in January, the video had her performing I’ll See You Yesterday, a song planned for her next album. As she sang, “a photo of a rural scene transitions to pictures of McCready and Wilson, followed by contact information for suicideispreventable.org,” People said. A friend who produced the video, intended for use as a public service announcement, said McCready “told me that it was beautiful, it made her cry and was exactly what she wanted,”
“I asked her if I could post it and Mindy’s answer was, ‘You’ll know when it’s right,’ ” said the friend, Danno Hanks. “In hindsight she was having me produce her suicide video.”
Too Late for fun. The concert featuring Grammy winners fun. (We Are Young) with Tegan & Sara at Jacobs Pavilion in July is now sold out.
Off The Job. CBS has dropped its Friday-night reality competition The Job after just two telecasts; the first was low-rated and the second even lower. A new episode of Undercover Boss is penciled into this Friday’s Job opening. The midseason is proving tough on some new shows; NBC also dumped its drama Do No Harm after just two telecasts.
Rich Heldenfels writes about popular culture for the Beacon Journal and Ohio.com, including in the HeldenFiles Online blog, www.ohio.com/blogs/heldenfiles. He is also on Facebook and Twitter. You can contact him at 330-996-3582 or email@example.com.