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In a summer that brought “Weird Al” Yankovic, Tom Petty and Wiz Khalifa all their first No. 1 records, the rest of the news has been all bad for album sales.
For the weekend ending Aug. 24, album sales totaled 3.97 million, marking the first time the weekly tally has dropped below 4 million in the 23-year Nielsen SoundScan era, according to Billboard. The same week a year ago, album sales were 4.88 million. There have only been five weeks this year where total album sales surpassed 5 million copies (and I imagine we’ll see it happen again when Taylor Swift’s album comes out in October and possibly when Garth Brooks releases his album around Black Friday).
The culprit is streaming, which many fans do for free on ad-supported outlets, or they pay a low monthly fee, such as $10 to services like Beats Music and Spotify. Digital sales, once considered the savior of the industry, have not proved to be the lifeline many thought they would be.
For the year, album sales in the U.S. are down across the board: physical sales are down 14.6 percent, digital album sales down 11.8 percent, and track-album-equivalent sales are down 12.8 percent.
Billboard analysts reveal that the bottom for the preceding year is usually the next year’s top, so it’s likely that next year, weekly album sales will surpass 4 million a handful of times, but for the majority of the time, they will come in at under 3.9 million and continue to drop.
“The Good Wife” recruits “Frasier’s" David Hyde Pierce for his TV role in more than a decade
Pierce will recur this season as a cable news legal commentator.
“Ray Donovan’s” creator is out
Ann Biderman is stepping down from her duties as showrunner for Season 3.
Tracy Morgan’s lawyer: "He's really having a tough time”
Morgan has been having trouble walking, forcing him to rely on a wheelchair, says his attorney, Benedict P. Morelli, who adds that it may be months before he can fully walk again.
GSN is casting for an “App Wars” reality show
The proposed show would have a team of programmers bring your app idea to life.
Patton Oswalt will play the mayor of Vince Gilligan’s “Battle Creek”
Oswalt will guest on the CBS series as Mayor Scooter Hardy.
Bill Maher pours gasoline over his head
Take the “Douse Yourself in Gasoline Challenge.”
It’s official: Bill Geddie is out at “The View," replaced by Rachel Maddow’s producer
Bill Wolff, whom Maddow bid farewell to recently will take over as “The View’s” new boss.
President Obama will attend an MSNBC host’s wedding
MSNBC’s Alex Wagner is marrying Obama’s personal chef, Sam Kass.
Here are your Labor Day TV marathons
From "Animal Fight Night “ to "Top Gear."
Jon Stewart talks about his “Daily Show” future and Stephen Colbert’s move to CBS
"I think there's been a beautiful arc to (‘The Colbert Report,’” he says. "But it was time” for Colbert to move on, he says. As for his own future, Stewart tells The Hollywood Reporter: "Uh, yeah. I mean, like anything else, you do it long enough, you will take it for granted, or there will be aspects of it that are grinding. I can't say that following the news cycle as closely as we do and trying to convert that into something either joyful or important to us doesn't have its fraught moments. But there will come a point where I'm sure …” He then trailed off. PLUS: Watch Stewart's “Rosewater" movie trailer.
Introducing the new “Amazing Race” stars
Here are pics of the Season 25 cast.
Britt Robertson is coming back to “Under the Dome”
She’ll reprise her role after dying in the season premiere.
As fully expected, Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher" was on the Telluride slate when it was announced this morning. This marks Miller's second trip to the Colorado fest after 2005's "Capote," and that last time was kind of significant.
One of the greatest cosplay costumes ever was at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, where a married couple made great use of who they were to create something memorable. He was dressed as a Ghostbuster in a reasonably realistic costume complete with a proton pack that lit up, while she was dressed as the librarian ghost at the start of the film. What pushed the costume over the top was that the wife was in a wheelchair, and they had modified the chair to look like one of the ghost traps that was open, and she was being pulled into the trap.
I wasn't surprised to see a ton of Ghostbusters outfits at Comic-Con this year. Sure, it's the 30th anniversary this summer, but I don't think that's why we saw so many costumes. The truth is that every year is a great year for Ghostbusters sightings. Box-office is certainly one way to quantify a film's success, but it's not the only way. I'm far more interested in how deeply something takes seed in pop culture. Do actual lines of dialogue make it into the popular lexicon? Do other movies rip this movie off? Were there sequels? Spin-offs? Merchandising?
Jon Stewart's "Rosewater" was apparently screened for trades (and Indiewire) ahead of the film's Telluride bow this weekend, but it's been met with a bit of a wet blanket, with only Variety's Scott Foundas (ever positive) finding considerable love for the film. That must smart a bit, as the film arrives in the soggy San Juans this weekend as something perhaps knocked down a few rungs down on the list of priorities for festival goers trying to make sense of a heavily packed schedule.
Netflix paying $2 million per episode to show reruns of “The Blacklist”
Season 1 of the NBC drama will debut on the streaming service next weekend.
Donald Trump enlisted Miss USA and Miss Universe for his Ice Bucket Challenge
Watch them pour Trump water over his head.
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Another day, another CBS reality show cast announcement, as "The Amazing Race" has revealed the 11 teams competing in the upcoming season.
Thursday's (August 28) cast announcement was rather different from CBS' Wednesday unveiling of the latest "Survivor" cast, which includes controversy-inflaming former Major Leaguer John Rocker and former "Amazing Race" veterans Nadiya and Natalie Anderson.
CBS actually announced the 11 "Amazing Race" teams back at the end of May, when a very public starting line in the heart of Times Square required some measure of early transparency lest social media spoil all the secrets ahead of time.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced recipients of the 2014 Honorary Oscars, to be presented at the annual Governors Awards ceremony in November. Writer and actor Jean-Claude Carrière ("The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie," "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"), Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki ("My Neighbor Totoro," "Spirited Away") and actress Maureen O'Hara ("The Parent Trap," "The Quiet Man") will receive Honorary Awards, while, singer/songwriter, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte will receive the organization's Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Early Wednesday morning, John Lasseter stood in front of a small group of journalists in a theater in the animation building on the Disney lot to introduce a presentation about November's new animated release, "Big Hero 6," and it felt to me, after over a decade of attending events where Lasseter has spoken, like a bit of a victory lap.
And why not? Since "Bolt," Disney Feature Animation has been slowly but surely rebuilding what was a tarnished brand into something that is every bit as strong as the strongest moments from the "Mermaid" through "Lion King" era. "Frozen" was a global smash hit, and more than that, it managed that elusive cultural penetration where it goes beyond being successful and simply becomes omnipresent. "Frozen" was everywhere. Everyone knew what it was. Considering how dark things were for the studio before it was re-organized from within, it's amazing to see the energy that everyone has there now.
Fast National ratings for Wednesday, August 27, 2014.
"Big Brother" helped CBS win Wednesday night among young viewers, while "America's Got Talent" helped NBC win overall. Same as it ever was.
There were minor positive fluctuations with a slew of Wednesday originals, with "Extant," "So You Think You Can Dance" and the season finale for "Motive" all rising slightly. "Big Brother," "America's Got Talent" and "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" were flat.
None of those variations were especially notable.
On to the numbers...