TIME Apple

It’s Time to Seriously Start Expecting an Apple TV Again

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Images by Fabio—Getty Images/Flickr RF

Everything finally looks like it is falling into place

Apple’s Oct. 16 “It’s been way too long” event was supposed to be all about updating products that hadn’t been refreshed in a while. And it was. The Cupertino, Calif. company unveiled svelte new iPads, an ultra-high-resolution version of the iMac, an updated Mac mini, and a slew of software and service updates. CEO Tim Cook also said that a software development kit to help programmers make applications for the company’s upcoming smartwatch would be available in November, ahead of the much-anticipated device’s 2015 debut.

About ten minutes into his opening remarks, Cook put up an evolution of man-style slide showing Apple’s line of products, from the Watch through iPhone and iPad, laptops and desktops. (Scrub to 10:00 here to see it.) One could easily imagine the same slide with an additional product on the far right: a television. That is a rumor that has been around for so long, that it’s frankly grown tedious to think or talk about. Steve Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson before he died that he’d long wanted to make a TV and had “finally cracked” the difficulty of creating a simple user interface. And, earlier this year, Cook told Charlie Rose that television “is one of those things that if we’re really honest is stuck back in the 70s…this is an area we continue to look at.” (It’s also a product Apple already made, sort of, in the early 1990s.)

What’s changed is that television is more ripe for disruption as the ecosystem of companies around it—cable providers, content creators—try to position themselves for the future. And, arguably, Apple’s clout and ability to disrupt TV is greater than ever. A number of developments in the last couple of weeks have given the idea of an Apple television set renewed luster. Consider that:

Apple has the display. The television-making business is no picnic; just ask Sony, which has lost nearly $8 billion in the last decade on TV’s alone. But the new iMac’s display—which has an extremely high resolution—is the kind of game-changer that consumers might be willing to spend more for.

Apple is calling the display a Retina 5K screen. The high-end 27‑inch iMac has four times as many pixels as the regular 27‑inch iMac display, some 14.7 million pixels. The company created its own timing controller to drive all those pixels and is using a new type of screen technology, an oxide TFT-based panel, to deliver extra brightness.

Cable companies are starting to unravel. Two back-to-back announcements this week suggest the television content business is starting to change. This had been Apple’s biggest obstacle to creating a television device with a radically better way of watching stuff. As my colleague Victor Luckerson put it earlier this week:

By making these channels available for purchase individually, CBS and HBO are embracing the “a la carte” TV model, in which viewers would be able to select the individual channels they want to pay for and ignore the rest. It’s a concept that makes intuitive sense in a world where songs, movies, books and news can be consumed individually, on the go and at little cost. But the model poses a huge threat to cable operators, network owners and even subscribers. If every network did what CBS and HBO are doing, cable and satellite operators would have the core part of their businesses wiped out.

HomeKit is the new “digital hub.” In 2001, Jobs organized the then-struggling company around a new strategy. The computer would become the hub for consumers’ various devices, cameras, music players, video recorders, et cetera. It worked. Today, Apple is working on HomeKit, a framework that lets the company’s devices control smart gadgets around your house. (For more on the smart home, read all of this special TIME issue.) One of a future Apple television’s killer features could be acting as a central nervous system for all the wired lightbulbs, thermostats and so on in your house.

Consumers want it. The current product called Apple TV, a $99 set-top box that can pipe in streaming content from iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and other digital service providers, was denigrated as a “hobby” product by Steve Jobs in 2007. Last month, Cook said the device had gone far beyond that status and has some 20 million users.

And finally, Tim Cook’s Apple is ready. The company has shown it is willing to sign the death warrant for technologies it no longer finds useful. Not to mention place big bets in brand new areas where its success is far from guaranteed. Cook said this was “the strongest lineup of products Apple has ever had and soon you can wear that technology right on your wrist.” I wouldn’t be surprised to find that amended to add the center of the living room.

TIME Television

The 13 Most Uncomfortable Family Feud Moments Ever

From hilariously botched answers to uncontrollable giggle fits

On an episode of Family Feud this week, host Steve Harvey posed the following question: “We asked 100 married women, if you could change one part of your husband’s body, what would it be?” A contestant named Joyce quickly — very quickly — buzzed in to offer her response: “His penis.”

As you can imagine, things got real awkward, real fast. Her husband was standing just 10 feet behind her! Wearing a tie with a bunch of smiley faces on it! This weird little moment got us thinking: Wait, awkward things happen ALL THE TIME on this show. Let’s go back and watch ALL OF THEM.

And so here you go: the 13 most uncomfortable moments on Family Feud:

1. That other time things got really sexual because the question kind of prompted it:

2. That time a contestant thought Jose was a name that started with H:

3. The time a contestant stood there uncomfortably, trying to be polite, for a full two and a half minutes, while everyone else carried on:

4. The time Richard Dawson completely lost it because he was totally making fun of a contestant’s answer:

5. That time “white dudes” was an answer to the question “What has white balls?”:

6. That time one family was really horrible at geography:

7. That time it was funny because it was true:

8. That time somebody was way too trigger-happy with the buzzer and then things got weird:

9. That time a contestant confused the words “douche” and “tush”:

10. That time the Family Feud writers referred to a penis as a “trouser snake”:

11. That time this guy just totally and completely blew it:

12. That time a lady called Dracula “a good sucker”:

13. That time a guy screamed “naked grandma” as an answer:

 

TIME Television

Scandal Teaches You How to Handle It When Your Kid Makes a Sex Tape

TONY GOLDWYN
Tony Goldwyn on Scandal Adam Taylor—ABC

In ten easy steps!

This post includes spoilers for Thursday night’s episode of Scandal.

With all the nude selfies getting leaked on the Internet and hacks of the supposedly self-destructing pictures and videos on Snapchat, parents have a reason to be worried about what their teens are recording and sharing. Our private lives aren’t so private anymore. That’s even true for the President’s kids — or, well, a fictional president’s kids.

Last night on Scandal the president’s daughter Karen filmed what D.C. fixer protagonist Olivia Pope called “the dirtiest sex tape I’ve ever seen in my life.” I know, it sounds like a problem you’ll never have to deal with in your life. But if a teen can slip her secret service detail to attend a party and “Eiffel Tower” with some guys (look up at your own risk), then parents should be in full-blown panic mode about what their non-guarded kids are doing.

Olivia’s job is to manage crises, and Karen’s dad Fitz is the damn president of the United States. Surely we can learn a little something from them about what to do if your kid makes a sex tape. Here’s the step-by-step list:

1. Be outraged

The mean parent, in Scandal‘s case President Fitz, should yell things like, “Start talking, now,” to get a clear idea of how bad the situation is. You may uncover information like that your daughter hitched a ride on “someone’s father’s jet” to get to the party in question. (N.B. Apparently if your kid does not attend the most expensive boarding school in the country, you’re already ahead of the game.)

2. Flirt with the “fixer” handling your child’s case

Oh, you didn’t hire Olivia Pope to handle this? Good luck.

3. Lie to other parent about why child is home

Because there’s no way she’s going to find out about this eventually, right?

4. Use hyper-advanced computer software to locate the other people in the sex tape

Apparently typing in a lot of code with the words “tattoo” and “arm” can determine whether a guy in a blurry party pictures tagged #swaggapalooza has a tattoo or not, give you all his information and thus help you track down the tape. Sure.

5. Be forced to admit that there’s a sex tape to your spouse because she thinks you’re having an affair with the fixer who is suddenly hanging around the house all the time (which you are…but whatever)

In defense of yourself, you should probably accuse your spouse of being a bad mother and thus being ultimately responsible for the sex tape. When tempers are high, it’s always best to blame someone else. Expect a response from your spouse like, “She takes after her daddy, then, doesn’t she?”

6. Have one of the fixer’s assistants intimidate the guy in the sex tape

May I suggest saying things like, “I know who you are, Bobby,” and then listing off a bunch of personal factoids about the person in a fast, staccato voice. That tends to scare to crap out of people. Oh, grabbing them by the throat and threatening to destroy their lives works, too.

7. Once that person has coughed up the name of the third person in the sex tape who actually has the video (scandalous, right?), bring in that teen’s parents for a negotiation

These parents will probably blackmail you for a lot of money because people are the worst.

8. Kiss the fixer

This will take your mind off of the whole blackmail thing.

9. Deal with the parents

When the parents ask for another $500,000 (again, people are the worst), photograph them with the check and say that you will send it to the tabloids, who will write that they are child pornographers. See, this is why you hire a fixer.

10. Talk to your kid

Actually, the best parenting advice comes from a surprising source in this episode: First Lady Mellie Grant.

Mellie doesn’t slut-shame her daughter. She tells her that if she felt empowered and happy by her sex act she would “have a tiny seizure inside,” but still be supportive of Karen and happy for her. “But I don’t think that’s why you did it,” Mellie says. And the two talk about how Karen has been depressed since her brother died in front of her, “which means you get one free pass. This was it. You do not get another.”

Mellie also teaches Karen the life lesson that the world sucks: “It’s definitely sexist. If you were a boy, they’d be giving you high fives.” Well played, Mellie.

So there you have it: hire a fixer if you can, turn the tables on anyone who tries to blackmail you and don’t slut-shame your kid. As Olivia Pope would say: “It’s handled.”

 

 

 

TIME Television

Watch Game of Thrones Star Jason Momoa’s Intense Audition Tape

The clip has been on YouTube since 2012, but it's worth watching if you want to see how the little-known actor scored his breakout role

Despite lasting just one season on Game of Thrones, Khal Drogo remains one of the show’s most memorable characters — thanks in large part to Jason Momoa’s indelible portrayal of the Dothraki lord. In this YouTube clip from 2012, we see that the actor landed his breakout role performing the haka, a traditional dance associated with New Zealand’s Maori people, during his audition.

Though the haka has a legacy entirely unrelated to Game of Thrones (obviously), its intensity — and Momoa’s fervent, wild-haired rendition of it — helps reveal why the actor was so well-suited for the part of Khal Drogo. And it was that short-lived role that has launched the 35-year-old actor to greater stardom. Momoa has recently been cast as Aquaman and is slated to appear in a number of DC Comics’ upcoming films.

Plus, with the recent announcement that there will be flashbacks in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, there’s always a slight chance we could see Khal Drogo once again. Let’s just hope he’s slightly less terrifying than he is in that audition tape, because seriously — you do not want to turn the volume up too loud for that one.

Read next: HBO Will Finally Start Selling Web-Only Subscriptions Next Year

TIME Television

Check Out Allison Williams and Christopher Walken in the Official Peter Pan Live! Poster

NBC

Get excited

NBC has released the official poster for its upcoming live production of Peter Pan, which stars Allison Williams (as Pan) and Christopher Walken (as Hook.)

Peter Pan Live! is set to air on Dec. 4, and we know Williams — best known for her role as the Type A Marnie on Girls — has already been hard at work practicing her flying skills. We’re sure Walken has been hard at work practicing Captain Hook things, too — like steering a boat, as seen in this behind-the-scenes photo tweeted by executive producer Neil Meron.

Get excited, and feel free to start planning your viewing parties now.

TIME Television

The Wire’s Kima Was Supposed to Be Killed in the First Season, Creator Says

The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball II
Actress Sonja Sohn attends The Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball II at Harman Center for the Arts on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. Jemal Countess—Getty Images

And Michael K. Williams was not happy about the second season taking place at the docks

Correction appended 10:40 p.m. EST

This post contains spoilers for The Wire

Much of the massive cast of HBO’s The Wire reunited at PaleyFest New York on Thursday to talk about the groundbreaking show 12 years after its premiere. In a panel hosted by HitFix critic Alan Sepinwall, the cast reflected on their time on the show and even shared some never-before-revealed secrets from the set.

Sonja Sohn, who played Detective Kima Greggs, revealed that she found out by accident during filming of the first season that she was supposed to be killed off fairly quickly. Worried about her character’s fate, she confronted the creator, David Simon, and he admitted to the plan.

Simon confirmed to Sepinwall that he had originally intended to kill Sohn’s character off the show when she was shot in the 10th episode of the first season. But Carolyn Strauss, an exec at HBO, told Simon she wanted to save the character and he listened. Though Kima Greggs does get shot in that episode, as written, she survives.

“Girl power!” Sohn said, after finding out it was Strauss who saved her character.

Sohn said she’s now extremely grateful she got to stay on the show through all five seasons, though she noted that she had initially had reservations after seeing the pilot. “Oh my lord, this is going nowhere,” she remembers thinking at the time. “I don’t know, it’s kind of slow.” But the writers reassured her that things would pick up, and other cast members expressed similar faith in Simon’s roadmap—one that would include insightful social commentary and lots of blood.

Kima would go on to be one of the few characters to escape a bullet on the show about cops, criminals and politicians in Baltimore, which offed some of its most beloved players. The cast even started a tradition of attending everyone’s death scenes to honor the actors before they left. And those characters who weren’t killed off often disappeared for entire episodes, or even seasons when the show moved locations.

Michael K. Williams, who played Omar Little, joked that in season two he became “the angry black man” after Simon briefly moved the show away from the projects and into the largely white world of the city’s waterfront docks. “How come when we made the show hot, you give it to the white people?” Williams said he asked Simon at the time. Simon replied that they would make the city too small if they continued to film in the same place, an idea Williams came to later accept and appreciate.

Though many of their characters were killed off or forced to the sidelines during filming, the cast extolled Simon, who many critics agree penned the best show in the history of television. “I have been so spoiled since because the writing was so good,” said Lawrence Gillard Jr., who played D’Angelo Barksdale, before hugging Simon.

“Now I’m sorry I killed you off in the second season,” Simon quipped.

This article previously misstated which actor hugged David Simon during the panel.

TIME Television

Ridley Scott Is Creating an Ebola TV Series

Director Sir Ridley Scott attends the world premiere of Prometheus at Empire Leicester Square on May 31, 2012 in London.
Director Sir Ridley Scott attends the world premiere of Prometheus at Empire Leicester Square on May 31, 2012 in London. Stuart Wilson—Getty Images

Too bad The Strain is already taken

Ridley Scott is taking a break from biblical plagues to focus on a modern-day plagues.

In what may or may not be cynical marketing move to capitalize on the current Ebola outbreak, the Exodus: Gods and Kings director and producer Lynda Obst are creating an Ebola television show for Fox based on Richard Preston’s 1994 best-selling book The Hot Zone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The pair optioned the story 20 years ago, The Hollywood Reporter said, and have quietly been working on bringing it to the small screen for the last year.

But the plot is suddenly particularly timely: The current strain of the virus has killed almost 4,500 people in West Africa, and two nurses in the U.S. have recently tested positive for the disease after caring for an Ebola victim who passed away in a Texas hospital after he arrived in Dallas from Liberia.

“I think it’s the speed with which it kills that makes the disease so frightening,” Obst told The Hollywood Reporter. “People hoped it would stay in some remote part of the world. But that’s a fantasy in the modern world. The modern world makes us one big connected family.”

Scott, whose Alien certainly portrayed panic and fear as an invasive force kills off a crew of astronauts, hopes that the series will include the current crisis. Preston’s original book was based on a 1994 article Preston wrote about the disease. Scott and Obst are in talks with Preston to option a new article he is writing for next week’s New Yorker on the current outbreak, in order to work that story into the series as well.

[THR]

TIME Television

Game of Thrones Season 5 Will Feature Show’s First Flashback Scenes

Game of Thrones
HBO

We'll see what the Seven Kingdoms were like before everyone was constantly saying, "Winter is coming."

Game of Thrones fans wondering what Westeros was like before Ned left the North will get a treat this season. Season five will feature the HBO show’s first-ever flashback scenes, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Apparently show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had set a rule their first season not to include any prophecies, dreams or flashbacks. “We failed the first two and this season the third,” they told film students at a Q&A in Spain where they are currently shooting portions of the show. “So yes, this season will finally have flashbacks.”

No word yet and what exactly the flashback will be or which characters it will include.

[EW]

TIME Books

A Twin Peaks Novel Is Coming Before the New Season Premieres

Sherilyn Fenn and Kyle MacLaughlin in Twin Peaks ABC Photo Archives—ABC via Getty Images

The book, written by co-creator Mark Frost, will catch fans up on all their favorite characters

Sure, we found out who killed Laura Palmer. But what happened to the rest of the characters on Twin Peaks?

We’ll get some of the answers when Showtime revives the cult classic in 2016, 25 years after the show’s original debut on ABC. But co-creators Mark Frost and David Lynch have said the show will pick up in present day, leaving lots of blanks to be filled in.

That’s why Frost is penning a novel to fill in fans on what’s happened since they left the small town in Washington State. Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan, will publish The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks in late 2015.

Frost promises that readers will get an inside look at the mystery of who killed Laura Palmer, the central mystery of the original series, and a wrap-up of several story lines that were left incomplete when the show was abruptly canceled in 1991. “This has long been a dream project of mine that will bring a whole other aspect of the world of Twin Peaks to life, for old fans and new,” Frost said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

But the real question is: did Big Ed’s flannel ever go out of style?

 

TIME Television

Watch Bill Murray Abandon David Letterman to Train for the NYC Marathon (in a Tux)

"Can you handle things? I really should get a run in."

In the middle of his interview with David Letterman last night to promote his movie St. Vincent, Bill Murray decided to pull a Bill Murray and make things totally weird. All of a sudden, he seems to get flustered and begins asking Letterman questions like “What is today’s date?” and “When is the NYC marathon?” and “Is that soon?” He made a commitment to himself, he explains, to enter the race this year, and decides that he needs to get up and get a run in. “Can you handle things?” he asks the Late Show host.

Then Murray slathers Bengay all over his hands and heads out into New York City to train — all while wearing a tuxedo.

Watch the full clip here:

 

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