THE TV SOCIAL LANDSCAPE

In a previous issue (Vol. 22-No. 26), this writer composed a column of how the summer season was the time where new and appealing television programming took their “summer vacation”, as well as the viewers associated with watching TV.

Thanks to this post-modern era (i.e. “now”), much of the programming seen exists by getting the word around on a specific series through means outside of basic “word of mouth”. And getting that word across is used through the ever presence of social media where viewers (“fans” in this case), can provide commentary about the show, the episode(s) they looked at, the characters featured and those performers that play them, as well as other bits and pieces they can spit out through a wall post or via worlds under 140 letters.

Platforms as Facebook and Twitter lead the pack when it comes to TV show viewpoints and others that “join the conversation”. And the folks behind Nielsen’s Social Content Ratings bureaus, tallied up the top ten program titles that received the most exposure from the now completed 2016-17 media season. Some 2.8 billion social interactions through Facebook and Twitter were recorded that noted about TV programs that ran through all of the media platforms. This tally includes both scripted television as well as live events such as sport matches and award programs that ran from the beginning or September through the end of May.

AMC’s The Walking Dead received the most mentions from this year, averaging about 2028 interactions per episode. These interactions start when the episode is viewed, and continues long after the episode concluded. (This tally is limited to programs seen within the traditional one installment per week mode, rather than releasing an entire season all at once i.e. streaming via Netflix, Hulu, etc.)

Fox’s Empire falls into second place where it received an average of 860 interactions per episode. The Bachelor, ABC’s long running series is in third place. The program received some 453 interactions when aired during and after. NBC’s biggest hit of the year, the melodrama series This Is Us is in forth place, coming in at 436 posts and tweets. VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta in next in the ranking at 406 per installments.

Rounding out the remaining five is The Voice on NBC, WWE Monday Night Raw on USA is at sixth ranking, followed by NBC’s Saturday Night Live. the generic version of VH1’s Love & Hop Hop, and FX’s American Horror Story: 6 completes the top ten.

As to live events, the 56th Grammy Awards airing on CBS came in first place. ABC’s airing of the 89th Academy Awards came in at number two, fueled by and from the moment where the wrong title was declared the winner for best picture, The Golden Globe Awards on NBC came in next, followed by The Billboard Music Awards on ABC.Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve also on ABC was next (the only title that wasn’t an awards show). The Primetime Emmy Awards came in at seventh place. And rounding out the remaining three was the Miss Universe pageant, BET’s Hip-Hop Awards, and the 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS.

Much of this wall posting, tweeting, et. al. was indeed generated by viewers. However, the social media traffic of the programs in question were based on encouragement through the video networks and/or production companies that inviting viewers and fans to do their social media thing. Every one of the titles listed above have program generated places on all of the media platforms were folks can share something to others that might take a glance at it. Generally stating, the more accessible and inviting it is for viewers and/or fans to post, tweet, et. al., the more it will become mentioned within the social media landscapes.

In the next issue, yours truly will give a condensed rundown on how TV shows became part of the rants and raves through pure gossip where friends would tell friends who would tell friends of friends about a program that was worth taking a look at–not necessary finding the program good nor great! It was part of how news got around a natural and organic way. Stay tuned!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Glendale Center Theatre presents for their mid-summer showpiece, THE ANDREWS BROTHERS, a jukebox musical set at a military base somewhere in the south Pacific where a USO show almost didn’t happen until a set of brothers stepped in for a trio of performing sisters who share the same name but not necessarily shared the same talents!

It’s 1945. World War II is at its waining years. At a military camp located within the Pacific theater finds three siblings, Patrick (Jason Webb, Lawrence (Patrick Foley), and Max (John David Walles) Andrews, working as stage hands for the USO shows that come in to entertain the boys stationed there. All three wanted to do their part fighting for the cause, but their various ailments made them as “4-F”: military lingo for rejects due to medical conditions. They are getting ready to set up their next show featuring The Andrews Sisters. As a back up in the show is Peggy (Colette Peters), a well known “pin-up” girl whose pictures became part of the servicemen’s “eye candy”. Before long, a cable is received. One of the Andrews Sisters catches a contagious disease. They all must be quarantined and thus, can’t appear! Fast thinking Peggy has a plan. Have the Andrews Brothers play as The Andrews Sisters making the show go on as planned. Since the brothers Andrews knows all of the musical parts, they’re perfect as replacements, assuming nobody ever see them all up close! It’s all connected as doing their duty for the war effort!

This high spirited musical, written and conceived by Roger Bean, is a musical salute to those songs that were on the hit parade while the world was at war. Every tune performed and sung were extracted from this part of the great American songbook when everyone was doing their bit, either on the battlefields or on the home front. The four players in this show have all of their comical talents at bay. There is plenty of comedy and signing to be found within this production, along with its dance steps as well, choreographed, staged, and directed by Orlando Alexander & Danny Michaels. The vocal and musical arrangements by Roger Bean, Michael Broth, and John Newton with Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical direction, brings those tunes from not so long ago back to life. Many are well know from the era, (“Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree”, “G. I Jive”, etc), and a few that make their comeback for their stage moment! Along with Vicki Conrad’s costume design that depicts the WWII era, it makes it all as a charming showcase for those that recall this period of the 20th century, or for those that learned about it through second hand sources.

This is the first time that the GCT has ever staged this show, and its debut here all works out as it’s just as ideal to see it in its theater-in-the-round position, one of the few stage theatres in the region that can offer such a setting. THE ANDREWS BROTHERS is tight, lively, and a whole lot of fun! That is what stage musicals are really all about, and should be!

THE ANDREWS BROTHERS, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until August 12th. Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, July 13th and 20th at 8:00 PM, with Sunday matinees performing on July 16th, 23rd, and 30th at 3:00 PM.
For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com

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THE RABBI’S MISSION, Art Shulman’s new play about the title Rabbi and the two women he juggles in his life, opens at North Hollywood’s T.U. Studios theatre.

Paul Michael Nieman is Rabbi Jacob, or rather, the former Rabbi Jacob. He stepped down from his duties of being the spiritual leader of a local temple and now performs his new duties at a nearby rescue mission. His old friend Al (Stan Mazin) comes to Jacob to ask for some advice. It seems that his adult aged son David (James Haley) is presently involved with a woman who is not of the Jewish persuasion, and wonders what he should do.

Upon meeting this woman, Marci (Shalonda Shaw, alternating with Barika A. Croom), he finds her very charming, knowing that she would be best for David in spite of the different cultures.

Meanwhile, Jacob meets another woman named Theresa (Rebecca Westberg) who was once involved with Jacob after his wife passed on. Although they are both on good terms, it brings a bit of strife. But being the spiritual leader as he was, he can determine the good of what’s going on, balancing this situation.

This play, written and directed by local playwright Art Shulman, performs as a rather light and somewhat humorous soap opera. There aren’t any such plot points that would make it as a heavily laden drama, but much of what is depicted would come across as realistic slices of domestic life. The action is presented within its dialogue, creating a rather talky play. But the talk is more within the realms of deep verbiage rather than idle chatter and thus, what is being expressed flows throughout. There isn’t any padded conversation that some stage plays tend to use when it’s the moment to stretch out a scene or three.

The cast of six players, including Mazin as Al, who is depicted as a “Jewish Cowboy” that rides in the “vild vild west”, is a set that shows their characters as humble. They all depict themselves as people of good that still possess their lighter touches.

Although this play is billed as a comedy, the humor found isn’t of the sitcom variety, meaning that everyone has to spit out a one-liner or three, nor there isn’t a joke told within every turn. It’s presented as more of a comical aspect than anything else.

J. Kent Insay, who appears as Richard, provides the set and lighting design that creates an intimate setting; nothing lavish, but enough to present itself as a detailed stage space.

Art Shulman has created a number of plays that have performed in the region for some twenty years. Many of these plays has been seen and reviewed by this writer over those same years. THE RABBI’S MISSION is a hearty play that is amusing, heartfelt, and will even give one a crash course on basic Judea, even enough for a gentile to understand!

THE RABBI’S MISSION, performs at the T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo, east of the intersections of Lankershim, Vineland, and Camarillo, North Hollywood, until August 27th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 285-8699, or via online at http://www.TheRabbisMission.com

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is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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