quarta-feira, 31 de agosto de 2011

ladies night END, nighty


ladies night


ladies night


ladies night


ladies night


ladies night


maria taylor has a masterplan


segunda-feira, 29 de agosto de 2011

re-watching


julia davis dixit

"People never find you boring if they need help. So I've started to make people need help."



dark star, perfect star, genius star


Dark star: Julia Davis

Brutality, murder, sexual deviance and illness don't sound like the most promising subjects for comedy. But then Julia Davis is no ordinary comedian. In a rare interview, she talks about movies, motherhood and where the "dark" stuff comes form
Julia Davis photographed at home
Julia Davis photographed at home, March 2010. Photograph: Shamil Tanna
Julia Davis comes running, red-faced, down Old Compton Street. She says she couldn't remember whether we were supposed to meet at midday or 1pm, so splits the difference and arrives at half-twelve. As we walk through Soho, she gets a few crafty glances in her oversized furry white coat. "It's not real, though," she whispers. But people aren't staring at the coat. For those who know her work, Davis's blonde hair and big, toothy smile are recognisable from a mile off. Her eyes are dark, dewy and intense and, when she talks, Davis is as caustic, sweary and silly as you might expect. But she is also incredibly warm, tactile and interested – with every question, she asks at least two in return. She is brilliant company, sitting in a café tackling a slice of pizza half the size of her face.
Davis challenges the very notion of what comedy is, and can be. Her writing portrays the wincing, pathetic absurdity of human relationships with such surreal imagination – it's hard to draw comparison (though Harold Pinter is a hero, and it shows). The role she is indelibly associated with is Jill Tyrell, the sociopathic beauty-parlour owner inNighty Night who, upon learning of her husband's cancer, starts telling everyone he's died. She meddles in the marriage of her MS-suffering neighbour Cath (Rebecca Front) and womanising husband Don (Angus Deayton), and generally devastates people's lives left, right and centre.
Considering its success, Jill must be a character she's fearful of never bettering. "Oh, definitely. Jill let me say and do things I would never get away with in real life," Davis laughs. She laughs a lot, actually, and unintentionally slips into Jill's West Country accent a few times. "I still think of things for Jill all the time. It's annoying, because I want to be able to find another character who I could write for indefinitely."
Last time I interviewed Davis she was heavily pregnant with twins (Walter and Arthur, now three) with long-term partner, Mighty Boosh star Julian Barratt. Apart from small parts in Gavin and Stacey and Christmas 2008'sLittle Britain Abroad, she has been off the radar for a while now. This seems to be her preferred state (she has only done a handful of – very guarded – interviews throughout her entire comedic career).
But she recently returned to upset the pH of British comedy again with the brutal Lizzie and Sarah, co-written with fellow comedic cult hero Jessica Hynes (SpacedThe Royle Family). The pilot, which aired at the wholly unambitious time of 11.45pm on a Saturday in mid-March, visits two browbeaten housewives whose lives take an explosive turn. There is horrific domestic abuse, brazen adultery and, finally, multiple murders – it makes Nighty Night look like The Wind in the Willows and is perhaps the most challenging comedy Davis has written. The BBC clearly didn't know what to do with it (when asked if they would pursue a full series, a spokesperson replied, "We are fortunate to work with some of the best writers and production companies in the business, but in order that we maintain a variety of different tones and flavours on each channel, certain pilots will not be taken forward as series"). And so, despite glowing reviews and a "Commission Lizzie and Sarah" campaign on Facebook, it remains in limbo.
How will she feel if the series doesn't get picked up? "I'll commit suicide," she deadpans.
Davis has spoken in the past about how depression – largely the product of self-esteem issues – was something she had to regularly fight against (speaking to the Guardian's Stuart Jeffries in 2004, as the second series of Nighty Nighty was about to air, she explained that her personality "is prone to being depressive, dark and extreme"). The notoriously isolated nature of writing, then, is a great way to go. "Yeah, it's brilliant," she says, tilting her head into the sun. "But I have to get up now. I can't just lie in bed and be self-obsessed if there are two children running about who could easily fall down the stairs. A friend asked recently if I still get 'that suicidal thing in the morning', and I said yes, but that it's totally different now. I have other people to think about."
She talks about her children cautiously. But when she does, her whole face changes. Her eyes soften. "I sometimes write in a café down the road from my house now because I feel guilty trying to work if I can hear them playing. I invariably end up sat in a corner, depressed, retreating into my own world." Davis has always been obsessive about her work; in the past, whole nights were spent in front of the computer, agonising over every tiny detail. "I can't be like that now," she says. "You have to be enough of a parent – you have to be there. If I'm feeling bad, I really do just have to get on with it and try and channel it back into my work somehow, do something positive with it."
I ask Davis if she's ever had therapy, and she answers animatedly. "I have serious problems with it," she says. " The way I see it is that you're paying someone, so they don't really care about you – they're not listening in the way that someone who loves you does." She pauses, carefully. "I know it's cynical, but it frightens me that you could see this person in the street and they may or may not say hello to you. It's bizarre – you go in with no self-esteem, and come out feeling really arrogant about the whole thing."
Does she ever think about giving everything up? She doesn't flinch. "Of course, but in relation to work mostly. I went up for loads of roles recently and didn't get any of them. I was told for one that they wanted someone more 'voluptuous'. It's totally humiliating and degrading and you start wondering if it's worth it."
DAVIS'S DECISION TO BECOME a comedian came fairly late. Born in Bath in 1966, she studied drama at York University, but was sedentary for almost two years with glandular fever. She worked in various jobs until her mid-twenties when she began performing and writing. Her career began in a Radio 4 comedy with Arabella Weir, and she went on to be cast in Big TrainBlue Jam – Chris Morris's surreal radio comedy – and its TV offshoot, Jam. "I wish Chris would do more Jam," she says, echoing the thoughts of Morris fans everywhere. "It was just so unlike anything else. There were no recurring characters, so it was unbearably close." After Jam, she sent a demo tape to Steve Coogan and wound up joining his 1998 national tour. Following that, Davis co-wrote and starred in Human Remains – a quietly legendary, six-episode series of observational comedy about dysfunctional relationships – with the then-relatively unknown Rob Brydon.
So, apart from Lizzie and Sarah, what has Davis been writing sinceNighty Night? "There are loads of unfinished scripts I've been working on, including a film." Her own film appearances have evidently bruised her. She had a contemptuous cameo in Love Actually (2003), and small roles in Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004) and Confetti (2006). "I've always been very selective over what TV I've done but, when it comes to films, I don't think I've chosen brilliantly," she admits. "I haven't even watched Love Actually." While she may not enjoy the blockbusters she's been in, Davis remains ambitious, even cautiously optimistic, about acting. "I do want to do some great, challenging film roles," she says, raising her eyebrows, quickly nodding her head. "But I think about all the interacting you have to do with everyone on set and beyond and it's scary."
As she lists the projects she has been involved in, it's evident that Davis is someone who has to be working on something all the time. What would happen if people stopped commissioning her writing or sending her scripts? "You know, my attitude towards work has changed. I used to think that you'd be really selling out if you did something like a voiceover. Now I don't think like that. You have to be realistic – everyone has to do shit things to fund their projects of love. I hope that I won't get to that place, but I'd be prepared for it if I did. I've got serious fantasies about opening a tea shop, and things like perfume making." She leans back on the legs of her chair. "But is that meant to happen now, or when I'm 90? It's hard to see when things get messy. Sometimes I sit down and have to think about what I enjoy in life, [puts on silly voice], you know, laughing with friends, shopping, baking cakes. OK, I'm being stupid, but you have to put things into perspective sometimes."
Speaking of perspective, I ask whether motherhood has diluted Davis's sick sense of humour and she scoffs. "No! It just keeps getting worse. The only thing that's changed for me is what I watch. For example, Don't Look Now used to be one of my favourite films, but I can't watch it now because there's a child dying." She says this matter-of-factly, and without a smirk. Yes, she's sick-minded, but still human. "When the kids were about nine months old, I did this Mike Bartlett play called Contractions. There was a woman in it whose baby ends up dying – it was a horrible and sick play, but funny in a black way. Someone asked me then if my humour had changed since I'd become a mother and I said no. I wasn't meaning that I found dead children funny, of course, but I don't think for a second that my humour was going to change because I had kids."
Considering their parents, you'd expect her children to be two very funny little people. "Everyone always asks if the kids are funny, and probably do expect it," she says. "But I sort of hope they don't end up doing comedy, because everyone who does is usually mentally ill in some way." Davis says she'd love to write a book on men in comedy, claiming that they "all have mother issues".
There will come a time, though, in a few years, when her boys might see all the stuff that their mum has written. Is that something she worries about? "I like to imagine that they'll never be interested in seeing it," she laughs. "Although I'd be happy to show them anything. We did show them that scene from Nighty Night where I ride the huge horse into the church. I pointed to the screen and said, 'That's Mummy', and they were really confused at first. Then they became obsessed, always asking to see 'Mummy on the horse'." Just as the word "horse" comes out of her mouth, a very tall homeless man bends down over the table and asks Davis for money. She declines, and he walks away muttering something obscene. "I have to vary which homeless men I give money to. There's a guy where we live who's so horrible. He drips saliva on to me and is so nasty and violent – I just think, no way."
In almost everything that Davis touches, there is underlying – or, more often than not, explicit – violence. Sexual deviance is rife, people treat each other despicably and are subject to unrelenting abuse. "There is a vein of violence in everything I do," says Davis. To the question of where it comes from, she just says, "I don't know, I really don't know," over and over again. By all accounts her upbringing was nice and stable. "It's certainly not my parents. My mum's not violent, and my dad is a really sweet, kind man. It must be from some emotional violence I've seen.
"I look at people all the time," she continues. "I was in Liberty the other day, meant to be writing. I saw these two blokes with their girlfriends – one of whom was this young Japanese girl who didn't speak much English. This guy was obviously so chuffed that he had her as a trophy he could show off and belittle. He was talking to her like a toddler and then started taking photos of the cream tea. I just thought, 'What the hell is that? What are you going to do with those photos? Put them on the wall?' I thought it would be good for some characters."
IN TERMS OF FUTURE PROJECTS, Davis can soon be seen in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's 1970s-set "feelgood drama" Cemetery Junction, in which she plays Gervais's wife. "It's a brief role," she explains. "I play Ricky's wife, and I'm a horrible, racist, don't-expect-too-much-out-of-life-kind of parent." She also has a "small-ish" part in Chris Morris's suicide bomber satire Four Lions, which tells the story of a group of British jihadists and their ham-fisted dreams of glory. Both films have a fanfare surrounding them, and will undoubtedly raise Davis's profile even more – something you would think she'd be afraid of. "It's a balancing act," she says. "I want to write, but I also want to be an actress. So I guess I'm a bit confusing in that respect."
Maybe she is, but Davis's comedy relies on confusion. Her work polarises people, and it seems as if she wants it to stay that way. "There is definitely still a part of me that wants to make something cult," she explains. "I want people who like the same things as I do, who find the same things funny, to see it. I've got no desire to be mainstream or seen by millions of people." She stops, perhaps worrying about coming across as falsely modest – something she "really hates". "It's not in a self-conscious way, either," she concludes. "I just don't want it."
A week later, I meet Davis again at her home for the Observer photo shoot. She texts me the day before, warning me not to look at her while she has her picture taken. But, from the glimpses I get, she seems comfortable enough, if a little nervy. At one point the photographer asks her to "part the lips slightly", and she catches my eye and smiles tightly, as if she's about to burst out laughing. After the shoot, we eat from a plate of cream cakes that she bought especially. She cuts each one into four pieces. The living room is open, light and is very much a family room – not least in the black, insecty spirals of marker pen drawing on the walls, the fruits of two tiny artists' hands, presumably. There is a huge, Afghan-looking rug on the dark hardwood floor that makes me feel like I'm in a little family cave. And, when (the very polite) Barratt comes in from the rain, full of cold, I suddenly feel like I'm intruding. I leave them all sat on the sofa, watching Tom and Jerry.
Cemetery Junction is out on 14 April; Four Lions on 6 May

DARK ARTS: JULIE DAVIS'S FINEST TV MOMENTS

HUMAN REMAINS: "SLITHER IN"
B&B owners Gordon (Rob Brydon) and Sheila (Davis) arrange their care of Sheila's bedridden sister, who is in an incurable coma, around their S&M-filled swingers' lifestyle. They talk about wishing they could knock through to the room next to the sister's, the "play room", covered floor to ceiling in black PVC and fitted with harnesses and penetrative accoutrements of every kind. At the end of the episode, they knock through the wall anyway, covering Sheila's sister in a sheet of tarpaulin amid the mess of bricks, plaster dust and wipe-clean plastic.
Key line "Ignorance is bliss. That, to me, is the beauty of a coma."
NIGHTY NIGHT
Jill's husband Terry (Kevin Eldon), to whom everyone has paid their respects at his bogus funeral, wakes up in the house in a nappy that Jill's put on him. He gets dressed in one of Jill's lurid camisoles and a denim skirt. Jill blocks his path and locks him in the bedroom, strapped to the bed, while she goes downstairs and attends to Linda – who confesses to her one-night stand with Terry. Jill suffocates Terry with a pillow, stuffs him into a cupboard and rings Don (Angus Deayton).
Key line (As she meets Terry in the bedroom doorway) "Dr Wivell warned me about this. He said this would happen in the final stages. The tumour squeezes the brain out like a cuckoo."
JAM: "INJURE FOR FRIENDS"
Lucy Tizeman (Davis) is incapable of making friends normally. Instead, she causes accidents – such as tying a piece of wire to two trees to bring down cyclists – and attempts to make friends with the injured people. The sketch's pièce de resistance comes after Lucy begins observing people in their houses. She watches a mother send her teenage son off to school, before knocking at the door some time later to inform her (inaccurately) that her son has drowned in his canoe. While the mother is weeping, Lucy pulls out two tickets for a performance of Cats that evening, asking if she'll go with her.
Key line "People never find you boring if they need help. So I've started to make people need help."
LIZZIE AND SARAH
The most affecting scene in the pilot is when Lizzie (Davis), after finding her husband John servicing the maid, lets the dirty plates from Sarah's (Jessica Hynes) birthday dinner crash into the dishwasher, before unravelling – eyes desperate, mouth quivering. "John's been fucking Brinita, right under my nose. I pay her £700 a week, plus £300 for emergencies, only to wash John's stinking yellow semen off of her bed sheets." Sarah replies, "Oh, come on Lizzo. Where would I be if I got all upset about Michael making love to me with a pillow over my face and, as he finishes, screaming, 'I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!'?" Chilling.
Key line (Sarah, later on) "Can we stop killing people? From now?"

sábado, 27 de agosto de 2011

gayest thing ever



sabiam que o total de QI combinado da assistência, apresentadoras e comentadores combinado não excede as duas centenas??? para além disso é a maior reunião de pólos da sacoor, malas falsificadas, louro oxigenado e brincos em tamanho XXL

what the fuck is wrong with me and cinema this year

I DONT SEEM TO FIND ANY MOVIE THAT TAKES MY SLEEP JUST THINKING OF IT...
they seem to be too boring or too "the same", i need my fav directors back on the business... please


best sneakers ever New Balance


i had 5 pairs of these since i was 20 :O)

ah ah... pitch perfect


sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee's back

a rainha da reality tv à portuguesa está de regresso, é lixo, é trash, é tudo o que não se pode ver, e provavelmente um prato de aculturamento geral... mas que ela faz ao nível do melhor do mundo, disso não hajam dúvidas, teresa guilherme está de regresso, os dramas, os romances, o povo no seu melhor (porque se não os podemos vencê-lo pela intelectualização, há que saber juntar-se a ele, eles não podem acabar)... até já se sente, os shares a rebentar fusíveis...



nice start



Morning session


Maratona Femininos
Marisa Barros (Por) 9º lugar 2:30:29



10 000 Femininos
Ana Dulce Félix (Por) 8º lugar 31:37.03
Jéssica Augusto (Por) 10º lugar 32:06.68


3 000 obstáculos Femininos
Sara Moreira (apurada para a final) 3º lugar na sua série 9:36.97


Salto em comprimento Femininos
Naide Gomes (apurada para a final) 5º lugar no apuramento com 6,76 m

sexta-feira, 26 de agosto de 2011

aquele outfit não enganava ninguém...

Agora, alguns pormenores revelam parte das suas manias, que vão desde um DVD de pornografia gay às jóias, avança o "Washington Post".

AHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAH



"lugar às novas" - vixe maria, vem não, viadão!

it is


in heaven Twin Sister is coming


José Gil dixit

 "Se vamos a um espectáculo de um coreógrafo que vem a Portugal, gostamos de dança e descobrimos qualquer coisa de novo, uma parte daquele espectáculo deveria derrubar alguma coisa na nossa vida e mudar a nossa vida, descobrir espaços diferentes, maneiras de falar e de comunicar, etc. mas o que acontece é que tudo isso fica para dentro. Nós gostámos muito, tivemos mesmo em êxtase, mas ao sair do espectáculo voltamos para casa, gostámos, mas não acontece nada...feed back nos jornais é geralmente uma crítica sempre descritiva porque tem-se medo de inscrever. Não se ousa criticar porque se tem medo".



US Open Qualifying


 Women's Qualifying Singles - 2nd Round
  Michelle Larcher De Brito(POR)def.  Anna Floris(ITA)
6-2 6-0
 Complete

o jornalismo como se quer (mas quem?)

O jornalismo in loco invadiu a televisão generalista, ora vamos enquadrar a questão?
A Líbia está revoltada, os rebeldes (esse ícone da nova geração do médio-oriente) incentivados pelos ocidentais, revoltaram-se e estão na rua. Portugal que se saiba não mantém laços históricos de amizade, políticos ou mesmo económicos dignos de registo com o país de Kadhafi, excepto o célebre acampamento por alturas de Sócrates, e claro, o preço do petróleo que todos sentimos diariamente ao abastecer o automóvel.
Por que diacho aparece uma jornalista da SIC, literalmente debaixo de tiroteios em directo, e não contente a RTP, não vai de modas e manda imediatamente o seu correspondente no local pôr-se também debaixo de fogo. Mas será que a televisão e o jornalismo chegou ao ponto de achar que as pessoas querem ver jornalistas à beira de levar um tiro em directo a bem do jornalismo? Mas que jornalismo? O que é que de tão importante disseram estes dois correspondentes enquanto falavam debaixo de fogo cerrado? Até agora, que se saiba, não disseram nada de especial... venderam as balas, os estrondos, o perigo eminente, como se fosse um filme de acção directamente de hollywood para o telejornal das 8 da noite? Quem precisa de pipocas e filas de espera, é só esperar pelos directos...

O planeta do "fodimento"

 "As pessoas pensam muito em foder. E sofrem muito quando não fodem. Quem não pensa em foder está fodido. Mas as pessoas fodem e não são felizes."
Adília Lopes



quarta-feira, 24 de agosto de 2011

US Open Qualifying


Women's Qualifying Singles - 1st Round
  Michelle Larcher De Brito(POR)def.  Lesia Tsurenko(UKR)[20]
7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(3)
Complete

  Men's Qualifying Singles - 1st Round
  Joao Sousa(POR)def.  Ludovic Walter(FRA)
7-6(4) 6-4
Complete

  Men's Qualifying Singles - 1st Round
  Gastao Elias(POR)def.  Alex Kuznetsov(USA)
3-6 7-5 6-3

segunda-feira, 22 de agosto de 2011

sábado, 20 de agosto de 2011

vera zvonareva on a towell muslim burqa moment

tennis star vera zvonareva moments ago taking a time off the crowd vision in this almost islamic ensemble. against sharapova... i bet she was swearing all over

not real sisters, they could be, and both speak portuguese

finally a portuguese female model is having real impact in the world of fashion, portuguese beauty look-a-like adriana lima, Sara Sampaio is on the cover of marie claire france september issue, and has a hyper sensual campaign for mega brand bluemarine with... (yeah it's true) her fashion sister adriana lima (supermodel from brazil and victoria's secret) her are some pics...
she's also the first portuguese female model (alongside with luis borges) to be features in models.com (a website known to be the bible for real fashion models) so congrats SARA SAMPAIO
                                                         sara sampaio
                                                      sara sampaio
                                                    adriana lima

canijo is back

parece que é a única coisa com profissionalismo e qualidade suficiente para ser chamado cinema este ano em portugal, esperemos que não desiluda

new single, me like it


yes i know

Stop by Yes Know

nice and i wanna watch the movie just for fun


sexta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2011

from the Economist, nice article


HBO and the future of pay-TV

The winning streak

Betting on quality has made HBO a lot of money. But it now faces more intense and innovative competition. Time for another gamble?

Empire building the classy way
WHEN Terry Winter was producing episodes of “The Sopranos” ten years ago, his film crew hared all over New Jersey shooting in and around butchers’ shops, family homes and strip clubs. For his new series, Mr Winter has a world of his own. “Boardwalk Empire”, like “The Sopranos”, is a gangster drama made by HBO, a subscription-television company—but it is a period piece shot on a purpose-built 300-foot-long set in Brooklyn. There is a row of artfully tatty shops—a palmist, a photo studio, a display of baby incubators. One side of the set is dominated by a huge blue screen on which images of sky and sea are later superimposed. This is not cheap. The pilot episode of “Boardwalk Empire” cost almost $20m. But it takes more to please TV audiences these days, says Mr Winter.
If so, that is in large part HBO’s own fault. For more than a decade it has lavished good, smart product on its viewers, and in the process raised the entire industry’s creative game. In the late 1990s HBO pioneered an intelligent, patient style of storytelling that gloried in loose ends and morally ambiguous characters, a style “The Sopranos” came to epitomise. It lost its way around the middle of the last decade, when ambitious dramas like “Deadwood” and “Rome” failed to stick. But it is now back on form. It has three popular, admired dramas in “Boardwalk Empire” (pictured, right) “True Blood” (a vampire series set in Louisiana) and “Game of Thrones” (a fantasy set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros). This year HBO received 104 nominations for Emmys (the television Oscars, which will be dished out next month). That’s far more than anyone else.
It reliably makes money, too. HBO turned over $4 billion in 2010, estimates SNL Kagan, a research outfit. The previous year it accounted for one-quarter of the operating profit of its parent, Time Warner (which made $4.5 billion in all). Because the media conglomerate, once the world’s biggest, has slimmed down, and some of its businesses, such as magazines and DVDs, have been hit by the downturn, HBO has never looked more important to it.
But things are getting tougher. HBO is assailed by competition from old-media peers and new-media upstarts. The pay-TV ecosystem on which it depends is ailing. The way HBO responds to these pressures will shape the television business for years. The outfit that changed the kind of television people watch is poised to determine how they watch it.
HBO has always been innovative. It was the first cable channel to specialise in films—the initials stand for “Home Box Office”—and the first channel to be delivered via satellite. In 1991 HBO pioneered “multiplexing”, a way of distributing multiple channels without using more bandwidth. There are now seven HBO channels in America, including one for children and one in Spanish. Cinemax, an HBO-owned network with 12m American subscribers, has eight channels devoted to films. HBO also shows live boxing matches, the biggest of which are sold on a pay-per-view basis. It has networks in 60 countries and licenses programmes in many more. About 30% of HBO’s revenues come from outside America.
The offering for which HBO is now mostly known—original series—developed slowly. In the late 1980s it carried a gleefully unpleasant show called “Tales from the Crypt”. In 1992 it launched “The Larry Sanders Show”, a dyspeptic comedy about a talk-show host. Its first hour-long drama, “Oz”, began in 1997. Soon HBO’s content engine was whirring. By the early 2000s it had “The Sopranos”, “Sex and the City” and “The Wire” as well as ambitious mini-series like “Band of Brothers”.
In developing these shows the company made an unusual decision with far-reaching implications. Rather than buying programmes from outside studios, HBO would aim to own its content. The costs of any failures thus fall entirely on the company; but it does not have to share the spoils of success, and it gets to control how its shows are distributed on other channels and on the internet.
Bada Bing!
In America HBO is a premium network, meaning people must pay an additional $15 a month or so to subscribe to it on top of whatever they pay for a hundred-odd “basic” cable channels. That means it need carry no advertising, and can instead carry levels of sex, violence and bad language at which advertisers would blanch. No advertising also means the company focuses on pleasing subscribers rather than amassing huge audiences. “If you’re not paying for television, you’re not the customer,” says Jeff Bewkes, head of Time Warner. “You’re the product.”
Other companies are also exploiting the creative freedom that begins when the ad breaks end. Showtime, a premium network owned by CBS, has put on original shows like “Dexter”, “Nurse Jackie” and “Weeds” that have scooped up plenty of plaudits. Starz, which is run by Chris Albrecht, HBO’s former boss, is trying to pull off the same trick. On August 8th it announced a broad agreement to co-produce shows with BBC Worldwide, the British broadcaster’s commercial arm, which is moving into producing shows for American television.
Since 2000 Showtime and Starz have each added about 6.7m subscribers in America, more than twice as many as HBO (they have between 18m and 20m subscribers each, compared with HBO’s 28m). Showtime and Starz often cost less, and can be more attractive to distributors. When HBO adds a subscriber, it tends to split the new revenue about 50-50 with the cable or satellite broadcaster. The other premium networks are more likely to do flat-rate deals in which the distributors keep all the money from new subscriptions after paying a single licence fee. When choosing which channels to get behind with marketing, the cable companies act accordingly. HBO lost 680,000 subscribers between 2009 and 2010, although its revenues went up, which suggests that many of the viewers who disappeared had not been paying much.