What You Want to Know About DishLATINO

Sometimes a show is so popular that it gets remade all across the globe.

Remember “The Office?” It was only one of the world’s best sitcoms, if for no other reason than it featured the

What many people don’t realize is that the show wasn’t exactly an original. I don’t mean that it was heavily influenced by previous workplace sitcoms like “Mary Tyler Moore;” I mean that it was a remake. The first iteration of “The Office” came from Britain. It was the breakout and brainchild of international comedy star Ricky Gervais. The pilot episode of the American version is very close to being a shot-for-shot/line-for-line remake of the pilot from the British original.

Eventually, the American version established its own identity. Sure, some of the characters were clear counterparts of characters from the British version, but the storylines were not facsimiles. It set itself apart enough to even win an Emmy for Best Comedy Series in 2006.

Because the American version was so successful, the rest of the world decided to follow similar suit. As of summer 2017, there have now been eight different variations of “The Office” around the globe. The Germans even made a feature length movie.

The point is that we as Americans don’t often think about international television. American shows are frequently translated over to other cultures. The vice-versa happens as well, but less frequently.

But times are changing. Despite the dismay of many, the world is coming closer together, and will continue to do so. As a consequence, we all get more of a taste of each other’s culture than we have before.

This is especially true in regards to television. If this were 1987 and you wanted to watch a show from Chile, the odds were stacked against you, unless you wanted to take the trouble to buy a plane ticket to the South American country. That sounds ludicrous, but you *know* there are some “Game of Thrones” fans who would engage in intercontinental travel if they had to.

In 2017, there’s no need to purchase plane tickets. You can purchase television packages like DishLATINO instead.

What Is DishLATINO?

If you thought DishLatino was a television package designed primarily for television watchers who speak Spanish as a first language, well:

I suppose that wasn’t too hard to infer.

DishLATINO is actually a *series* of packages available to Spanish speakers. There are four options available:

  • DishLATINO Clasico
  • DishLATINO Plus
  • DishLATINO Dos
  • DishLATINO Max

Like the packages for English speakers, these packages vary by price and amount of channels.

DishLATINO packages aren’t entirely dissimilar to other Dish Network packages. A two-year contract is required. The signal reliability is the same. You can even use the same customer service outlets, as Dish has translated these outlets into Spanish.

So besides the language, are there any other differences? Yes, there are.

Channels

When you order a package through DishLATINO, you can get channels that you would not get in other Dish Network packages.

Of course, this depends on which of the four packages you order, but each package comes with channels for Spanish speakers. Some of these channels include:

  • Almavision
  • Antena 3
  • CGTN Espanol
  • Bandamax
  • Cine Latino<
  • ESPN Deportes
  • Globovision
  • Pasiones
  • And more!

Zona Futbol

It’s not just the channel lineup that’s unique about DishLATINO. DishLATINO packages come with Zona Futbol.

If you like soccer

Okay, fine. If you like *football,* Zona Futbol is the quintessential television package.

In fact, Zona might be the best selling point unique to DishLATINO. The features that come with Zona are impeccable. First, there’s the quantity. Zona broadcasts games from a plethora of leagues, including the following:

  • Copa Libertadores
  • English Premier League
  • International Champions Cup
  • La Liga
  • Liga MX
  • Ligue 1
  • Major League Soccer
  • Serie A
  • UEFA Champions League
  • UEFA Europa League

All-in-all, football fans get access to over 1000 matches through Zona.

Obviously, even the most enthusiastic football fan couldn’t watch all of those matches without sacrificing friends, family, going outside, and everything on the Maslow hierarchy of needs. That’s why Zona has a multi-game feature that allows viewers to keep track of up to six games at once.

And since the amount of available content is overwhelming, Dish makes it possible to watch these games anywhere you want. Dish Anywhere–available to all Dish subscribers–is the Dish Network app that allows you to watch all of the best soccer on your smartphone/tablet. Games can be enjoyed in real-time, or you can watch recorded games.

Along with Anywhere, Zona comes equipped with the Game Finder app. Game Finder is a one-stop shop for football news and scores that keeps you up to date on every league.

Conclusion

So yes, there are clear differences between DishLATINO packages and other Dish Network packages. There are different channels, different packages, and oh yeah, a different language.

The similarities? It’s the same exceptional service you get with Dish Network. You get all of the amazing television you want at a low cost.

The Best Television Sports Packages

Sports. We love them. By we, I mean Americans. But really, I could mean the entire globe. Indeed, love of sports might be one of the few things that every continent can still agree on. That, and the new “Star Wars” movies are pretty cool.

Sure, the sports we like might be different. A matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots means less than nothing to the people of India. On the flipside, one of the biggest causes of brain aneurysms in America is trying to understand the rules of cricket (source: the Sam Joseph Journal of Medicine).

Regardless, there’s no segment of the globe you can visit where you can’t find rabid sports fans. And it’s a great time in world history to be a rabid sports fan.

Thanks to constantly evolving and improving technology, fans have more access to amazing sporting action than ever before. 20 years ago, the idea of living in rural Nebraska and getting to watch an NFL game that wasn’t on national television was absurd. Today, a Nebraskan does not have to drive to Denver to watch the Broncos play; they have the ability to watch them from the comfort of their own home.

This is because there are now a plethora of amazing television packages that give fans extraordinary access to a whole host of the best international sports leagues.

In this post, we plan on highlighting the five most exciting sports packages that any real sports fan will appreciate.

NBA League Pass

I don’t think it’s a hot take to say that the most recent NBA finals were a little bit of a disappointment. Unless you’re part of Dubnation, you probably wanted more than a five game series. That said, if you think it’s a boring time to be a basketball fan, you simply couldn’t be more wrong. Talent around the league is quite possibly at an all-time high. Offenses are running up points like Mike Tyson runs up debt. And there’s no better way to get all of the scoring action than NBA League Pass.

With NBA League Pass, you get about 40 out-of-market games from the National Basketball Association every week, the majority of which can be enjoyed in high-definition. League Pass also comes with NBA TV, the official network of the NBA. If you’re looking for detailed analysis, interviews, and in-depth player profiles, NBA TV is as good as it gets.

MLB Extra Innings

The days of baseball as “America’s pastime” are over. Anyone who really still believes that to be true has probably said this:

Hopefully they said this without the rifle.

That said, television ratings for baseball are up, despite what many think. The ratings for the 2016 World Series were through the roof. That might have been more to do with the storyline of the Chicago Cubs finally winning their first Series since 1908 rather than the game itself, but it’s worth mentioning. It’s also worth mentioning that for the first time in a decade, Major League Baseball has actual stars (Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Mike Trout).

That’s why Extra Innings is a premiere sports package. With Extra Innings, you get approximately 100 out-of-market games a week. That’s 900 innings of the best in the Majors. Obviously, that’s *a lot* of peanuts and crackerjacks. That’s also *a lot* of baseball action to keep track of. Fortunately, Extra Innings comes with the MLB Network, which provides up-to-the-minutes, scores, highlights, and news from around the league.

NFL Sunday Ticket

Unlike the other packages featured on this list, Sunday Ticket’s availability is a little bit more limited. Whereas aforementioned packages can be ordered through Dish Network, Sunday Ticket is exclusive to Directv and its subscribers. If you are one of those subscribers, Sunday Ticket is the Super Bowl of sports packages; a must.

With Sunday Ticket, you get access to every single out-of-market game every weekend. Obviously given the NFL’s nature, a lot of these games are competing against each other. Even for the most ardent NFL fan it’s impossible to devote full attention to each game. That’s why the Red Zone Channel–part of Sunday Ticket–highlights every scoring drive from every game. Instead of watching a team struggle to get past the 50, you can watch every touchdown.

Of course when it comes to football, reality can be overrated.

There are millions of fans who are as obsessed with their fantasy team as they are with their local team. For those fantasy fans, Sunday Ticket comes equipped with the Fantasy Zone Channel, a channel devoted to tracking the stats and fantasy scores of every player.

MLS Direct Kick

Bob Dylan once said, “The times they are a-changin’.” Admittedly, he was talking about political unrest and social upheaval, not so much about soccer. But the fact is that the time really are a-changin’, and soccer is on the precipice of being one of America’s favorite sports. A recent ESPN poll found that soccer is the second favorite sport for people between the ages of 12 and 24. And this trend will most likely continue with the rise of American phenom Christian Pulisic. As a consequence, it’s easy to see a future when Major League Soccer becomes a top-notch league in the context of international soccer. This is why MLS Direct Kick is growing in popularity.

Direct Kick broadcasts over 200 games from the MLS season. And that’s just the regular season. The feature that sets Direct Kick apart from other sports packages is that you get playoff games as well. If you’re a true soccer fan, that should get you more excited than even this announcer.

NHL Center Ice

What’s the biggest gripe you usually hear about watching hockey on television? It probably has to do with the ability to keep track of the puck, right? It’s a valid grievance, one that wasn’t helped by the infamous “glow puck.”

Sorry, I thought we were watching hockey. Didn’t realize this was “Star Wars: Attack of the Canadians.”

I’ve personally always felt this sentiment to be misguided. Sure, it’s not always easy to follow the puck, but there’s much more intense, physical play taking place on the ice beyond the puck action. NHL Center Ice brings all of that action right into your living room, without the chill emanating from the ice.

With Center Ice, hockey fans get up to 40 games a week from the National Hockey League. Not only do you get all of these exhilarating games, you get to watch them the way you want to. Unlike other sports packages, Center Ice has a feature that allows you to switch between the home team’s or the away team’s broadcast.

Directv Genie or Dish Hopper: Which DVR System is Right for You?

When I was a kid, I used to have a collection of these things:

You might ask, “What on earth is this? What am I supposed to do with this?”

First, congratulations on your youth. Enjoy it, it doesn’t last forever. But to really answer your questions, this is a video home system (VHS) tape. If you wanted to watch your favorite movie in 1997, you had to use one of these. Or if your favorite movie in 1997 was “Titanic,” you actually needed to use *two* of these because the movie was too long to fit on one. And the movie’s length would also be extended by five minutes, as you would you have to rewind it from the last time you watched it.

Of course, you could also use these to record your favorite shows. And indeed, that is something I used to do. If I couldn’t catch the newest Ken Burns documentary, I would press “record” on my VHS player and watch it on tape later. And by “Ken Burns documentary,” I mean “episode of ‘Kenan & Kel.’”

Thankfully, this technology is long antiquated. And unlike, some technology of yesteryear, it’s unlikely to make a hipster-inspired comeback anytime soon. Even the champions of vinyl records recognize how inconvenient this system is.

Now if you really do want to record your favorite Ken Burns documentary, you simply have to press a couple of buttons on your remote to instruct your DVR, and voila! You’re done.

DVR technology has been the preferred method of recording television content for over a decade at this point. No one has been able to invent anything better, and frankly, it’s hard to envision anything significantly preferable.

This isn’t to say that DVR systems are interchangeable; that if you have one system, it’s top-of-the-line just like any of the others. That is not at all the case. Some systems hold advantages over others.

In this post, we’ll be examining two such systems, the Directv Genie and the Dish Hopper, and list out the distinct advantages that each holds over the other.

Directv Genie

Genie has been Directv’s DVR system since 2012, but it has undergone a multitude of upgrades since its debut.

The current iteration of Genie can store up to 1000 hours of recorded programming, making it about 998 hours better than your old VHS. Of those 1000 hours, 200 of them can be dedicated to HD programming.

Obviously, that’s *a lot* of television. It would take… hold on.

It would take over 41 days to watch everything you had recorded. I guess you could give up going outside for Lent next year.

It would not, however, take 41 days to fill up the space in the first place. That’s because Genie allows you to record up to five different programs at once.

While it would be natural, or at least most common to enjoy these recordings at home, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Recordings on Genie can be accessed from a multitude of locations. When you order a Directv package, you can immediately enjoy the benefits from the Directv app. One of those benefits is the ability to access recordings from you Genie. So if you’re on a lunch break, you can sneak away to a restaurant/cafe, login to your Directv account, and voila! All of your recordings on Genie are at your disposal on your smartphone/tablet.

As it happens, you also have viewing options within your own home. Wired or wireless miniature versions of the Genie can be installed on an additional seven televisions, so that all eight televisions are operating with the same system.

Unlike the DVR systems of the past, Genie is more than recordings. Genie comes with a number of fantastic applications already built-in. These apps include Facebook, Pandora, ScoreGuide, Twitter, and YouTube.

One of the most widely lauded features of Genie is Genie Recommends. That may sound like a Genie who makes your three wishes for you.

In fact, what Recommends does is not entirely dissimilar to Netflix: it offers program recommendations. Based on your previous recordings, Recommends suggests other shows you might enjoy. It actually goes even one step further, in that it records those shows for you. And before you make a gripe, those recordings DO NOT take up any of your allocated 1000 hours. They are stored in the same place where pay-per-view movies are stored.

Overall, Genie is a fantastic DVR system; one of the best on the market.

Dish Hopper

But Genie is not *the* best. It can’t be, not while Hopper is around.

Hopper holds several advantages over Genie. First off, there’s the recording space. You probably thought 1000 hours/41 days sounded like a lot. Hopper offers 2500 hours of recording space.

If you want to do the math, that’s over 104 days worth of television. That *might* be enough to cover the entirety of “The Simpsons.”

Of those 2500 hours, 500 of them can be used for HD recordings. Like Genie, that amounts to 20% of the available space. Because of the ample volume of allocated space, Dish allows you to record a whopping 16 programs simultaneously.

The one place where Hopper loses the numbers game to Genie is the amount of televisions that be connected. Genie allows eight televisions on one system. Hopper is limited to seven. Like Genie, each additional television requires a wired or wireless miniature version of the Hopper to be installed. If you’re upset about that one television discrepancy, just know that Hopper recordings can be enjoyed on the Dish Anywhere app. Anywhere you go, you can access your Hopper recordings on your smartphone or tablet.

Hopper also includes several already integrated apps. These apps include Facebook, Pandora, SiriusXM, Twitter, WeDraw, and more. What Hopper allows for that Genie does not is personal ingenuity. Hopper features a platform that allows you to create your own app that can be utilized within the Hopper itself.

If you’re looking for features unique to the the Hopper, the two most popular are AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime. Both serve a similar, appealing function, in that you can skip commercials on any of the broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC) during primetime hours.

Conclusion

If you are looking for me to issue a definitive verdict as to which of the two systems is superior, I would ultimately have to rule in favor of the Hopper. The storage space and the developer platform are the key factors in my ruling. That said, both systems are superb, and they both are stellar representations of the Dish and Directv brands.

And they *certainly* both beat ever having to see the “Be kind rewind” sticker ever again.

Directv or Directv Now: Which is Best for You?

It’s not often that you find a situation where an individual or an entity is competing with itself. Seems a little masochistic, doesn’t it? Is it any different from punching oneself in the face?

However, such internal competition isn’t that unusual in the business world. Sometimes a corporate entity will alter its product slightly in order to integrate itself into a newer market.

That is essentially what’s going on with Directv at the moment.

Back in November of last year, Directv started offering a new product, Directv Now.

Directv Now is Directv’s entrance into the cord cutting market. It is their attempt at a streaming service. Now is not only competing with Directv itself, but with services like Sling TV and Playstation Vue.

Now has only been on the market for a little over six months, and has undergone some significant changes even in that short time frame. However, there are some determinations that can be made already. Today, we plan to explore the core differences between most Directv packages and Directv Now.

The Advantages of Directv Now

Beyond as a provider of exceptional television, what are some of the things that you might associate with Directv? Here’s one:

The dish itself.

Of course, the dish is ordinarily non-invasive and non-bothersome. That doesn’t change the fact that some people simply don’t want to deal with the installation, or they flatly can’t.

With Directv Now, there’s no dish. This can prove to be advantageous to people who live in apartment buildings.

One gripe the satellite television industry has frequently been on the other end of involves the contract. Some people just aren’t into commitments.

When you order a Directv package, you’re required to enter into a two-year contract. Directv Now? No contract. No commitment. You can order and cancel your subscription to Directv Now at your own leisure.

Another big selling point for Directv Now has to do with Cinemax and HBO. Of course, both of these channels are available through regular Directv, specifically through the premium package. In fact, both can be purchased individually when you enter into a Directv contract. Cinemax will add $13.99 to your monthly bill; HBO will add $17.99.

With Directv Now, you can add Cinemax and HBO for $5 a month each. If you get both, that’s *still* a lower cost than adding either individually through most traditional Directv packages.

The Advantages of Directv Packages

Before we get too deep into this post, let me clearly state that no two Directv packages are precisely alike. So the discrepancies and advantages I present here may not be entirely accurate across the board. If they apply to the majority of most popular Directv packages, then they will be made note of.

That said, here are some of those notable differences.

The first one worth mentioning will probably be the most important to discrepancy to many, but also the least important one to others. It depends on how much you love Sundays. And by that, I don’t mean church. I mean this:

Yes, football. If you’re a football fan, then you are probably well aware of NFL Sunday Ticket. Sunday Ticket brings you every out-of-market game every Sunday. You get several football specific channels that bring you up-to-the-minute highlights and analysis. It’s football heaven.

And you can only get it when you order a Directv package. That does *not* include Directv Now.

Of course, during the NFL season, there are anywhere between 12-16 games per week. Unless you’ve found a way to obfuscate the time-space continuum, you can’t watch every single game in one day. You might need to record a few.

With a Directv package, you can get a whole home DVR system that covers up to four rooms in your house.

If you have Directv Now and you want to record something, you can’t. Directv Now currently has no recording capabilities.

The last major difference between Directv Now and the majority of Dish packages goes back to HBO and Cinemax. I mentioned earlier that the two premium channels could only be obtained at an additional cost. That was slightly misleading.

No, not fake news! Just slightly misleading. Let me correct the record.

When you order a Directv package, you actually *do* get HBO and Cinemax. You also get Showtime and Starz. For the first three months of your contract, you get all four for free. Even if it’s only just those three months, you can’t get any of these channels through Directv Now for free at all.

Conclusion

Of course, there are similarities between Directv Now and most Directv packages. With the right technology, both can be enjoyed and consumed just about anywhere. The channel selections are largely similar.

So no, Directv Now is not starkly different from the rest of its Directv brethren. It may be a different direction and a different market for the long established satellite brand, but in the end, you’re getting exceptional television at an affordable price.

What You Need to Know About Dish Anywhere

There used to be a time when you had to watch a TV show when it was scheduled to be on the network schedule, or you wouldn’t get a chance to watch it all.

True story, and it wasn’t even that long ago. Certainly within my lifetime.

Yes, there were reruns and syndication, but for the most part, if you wanted to watch the new “Seinfeld,” you better be in front of your television set at 9:00 EST on Thursday. I suppose you could have recorded it on a blank VHS, but you would get the surrounding programs as well. Have fun guessing where your show is while wearing down the rewind/fast forward buttons.

Of course, there have been significant technological advances since even the mid-90s. The majority of Americans have smartphones, and don’t have to wait for someone in the house to get off the internet before making a call. Facebook has essentially rendered high school reunions irrelevant. And most importantly–at least within the context of this post–you can watch television shows pretty much anywhere you want to go.

There are a few reasons as to why this is possible, but today I’m going to focus on one particular cause: Dish Anywhere.

The Features

Dish Anywhere is the app associated with Dish Network.

With Dish Anywhere, you can watch your favorite programs through Dish, well, anywhere. Anywhere you have access to a mobile device at least.

So if you’re a Dish subscriber and you want to watch the newest episode of “Empire,” it’s not necessary to be in front of your television at 9:00 PM EST on Wednesdays. If you have a smartphone, you can watch “Empire” on your way to work on Thursday morning (that is if you have a long commute and aren’t driving).

Of course, DVR technology made it possible to watch your favorite shows at your own convenience a long time ago. But when I say “at your own convenience,” that only applied at your home. Now, with apps like Dish Anywhere and a DVR enabled by Sling, you can watch your favorite shows at a deli on your lunch break.

What shows can you watch? It varies a little bit from package to package. If your Dish Network package doesn’t include Bravo, you won’t be able to watch any installment of “Real Housewives.” This is why the app requires a login upon use. Anywhere is for Dish Network subscribers only.

If you are already a subscriber, Anywhere is an essential app. Not only can you watch all of your recorded programs on your mobile device, you can also record your favorite shows *from* your device. Dish Anywhere gives you the tools you need to set up future recordings, in case you don’t have time to make it home to program your DVR.

Anywhere isn’t only about the recordings either. With this app, Dish Network makes it possible to access on-demand shows as well.

Anywhere offers over 20,000 TV shows and movies from over 150 channels. Depending on what channels are part of your Dish Network package, you can watch on-demand programming from those channels. Not only do you get access to these shows, but Anywhere also includes a bevy of web-exclusive clips.

How to Use Dish Anywhere

So those are the fantastic features of Dish Anywhere. But what good are features if you don’t know how to use them?

Thankfully, Dish Network has made their app fairly easy to use.

Let’s say you want to watch the newest episode of “Fargo.” First, excellent choice. Second, use your log-in credentials when you open the app. You can do this at the top of the screen. You do not need to create new credentials; it’s the same username and password you use for your Dish.com account.

Now let’s assume that you have *not* recorded the newest episode of “Fargo,” and instead want to get it on-demand. You will need FX, which is part of most Dish packages. Should you have FX included in your package, you can simply type in “Fargo” to the search bar in the top right corner. If you’re not 100% sure which show you want to watch, you can click on the “Networks” option under the “On Demand” section of the main menu.

What if you recorded “Fargo” and you want to access your recording? Easy. Look at the same main menu and you’ll find a “DVR” option. Under that option, you will find “My recordings.” Click on that, and a list of your DVR recordings will appear.

But what if you want to *record* “Fargo?” You can go about this two ways.

Look at the main menu and you will find a “Guide” option. Click on that, and you will be led a page that displays the upcoming schedule for all of the channels within your Dish package. If you know what time “Fargo” is on, simply go to Wednesday at 10 PM EST and click on the title. At that point, a pop-up will appear, and you will find a “Record” option on that pop-up.

Or you can type “Fargo” into the top right search bar, and when the show’s page loads, scroll down. You will find a list of upcoming airings, and you can click the “Record” button next to each of those airings.

Conclusion

Many critics love to proclaim this era as the golden age of television, and it’s hard to disagree. This is not only because the shows are more intricate, nuanced, and mature than ever before, but it’s also because of the volume. There are so, so many shows today, and it’s impossible to keep up at home. And that’s why Dish Anywhere is a particularly great innovation.

The Departing Cast Members of “Saturday Night Live”

When it comes to the amount of seasons, it’s incredibly rare for a television series to make it to double digits. Even some of the most legendary shows didn’t even come close.

Seinfeld? Nine seasons. The Sopranos? Six. Breaking Bad is destined to be a television classic, yet it only ran five seasons.

When a show *does* make it to ten seasons, that really is a special achievement.

Saturday Night Live just finished its 42nd season. That’s a whole lot of special.

The NBC sketch comedy show is basically an institution at this point. It’s hard to imagine television without it. Indeed, when you consider all the of the catchphrases it’s inspired and all of the careers it’s launched, it’s hard to imagine American culture as a whole without it.

Of course, when a show lasts 42 years, it’s practically impossible to maintain the same cast/crew. Lorne Michaels, the show’s creator, is most likely the only person who works on the show now that also worked on the show in the beginning. Cast members have come and gone throughout the duration of the show’s run. Darrell Hammond and Kenan Thompson have both completed 14 seasons on the show, which only amounts to a third of the show’s history (Thompson is a current cast member, so he will break the record next season).

This season is no different. When the season finale aired on May 20, it marked the final episode for three of the cast members: Bobby Moynihan, Sasheer Zamata, and Vanessa Bayer. The show paid a loving tribute to Moynihan and Bayer (Zamata didn’t announce her decision until after the completion of the season).

So now that they are no longer part of the cast, we can at least start to put their stints in historical perspective. What were their best sketches? How important were their contributions in general? And what’s next for them? We will break it down, actor-by-actor.

Bobby Moynihan

Bobby Moynihan’s first season SNL came in 2008, which makes him one of the longest serving cast members in the show’s history. He was also one of the funniest, at least of his time. Like every performer who finds their way to the SNL stage, he had a repertoire of celebrity impersonations, the most notable ones being Snooki, Guy Fieri, and Chris Christie. But his strength was not in impersonations; his most memorable characters were invented. Think the unnamed drunk uncle he played on installments of “Weekend Update.”

Moynihan is moving on to star in his own CBS sitcom, Me, Myself & I. The show is slated to be included in the CBS lineup next Fall. Historically, when SNL members leave for their own sitcom the results are a mixed bag. Given Moynihan’s perfect comedic timing and expressions, we’re confident that the show at least has potential. It doesn’t hurt that he will be joined by Emmy award winning actor John Larroquette.

Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata started as a guest player on SNL back in 2014. She didn’t become a full-time cast member until the season before this one. So of the three departing cast members, she had the shortest stint. She also didn’t announce her decision to leave until after the season wrapped. Given her short tenure, it’s fair to say that Zamata didn’t leave behind a tremendous impact on the show. That’s not at all the same thing as saying that she wasn’t funny. In fact, she most certainly was. But is she leaving behind particularly memorable characters? Not really. In fact, her biggest legacy might be her arrival in the first place.

Before Zamata, SNL had been without a black female cast member for seven years, after Maya Rudolph’s departure. Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson were often asked to fill the void by impersonating black female celebrities when required, and both of them publicly went on the record stating that it made them uncomfortable. SNL tried to mock its own lack of diversity when Kerry Washington hosted the show in November 2013. That sketch backfired (of course), and SNL started feeling immense public pressure. The circumstances behind Zamata’s exit are still mysterious. She only made the announcement a few days ago in a cryptic Instagram post. SNL will justifiably feel pressure to cast a black woman to fill the void and to continue to address their poor history when it comes to diversity.

Vanessa Bayer

Vanessa Bayer joined the cast of SNL in 2012. Before that, she had been a guest player for a few years. Even though Bayer was not part of the cast for too long, there’s little doubt that she has been one of the funniest cast members during her tenure. Bayer created a multitude of hilarious characters, including the incompetent “Weekend Update” meteorologist Dawn Lazarus and precocious child actor Laura Parsons. While on SNL, Bayer has rightfully been nominated for several awards. It’s fair to say that Bayer’s departure is the one inspiring the most disappointment among SNL fans.

To this point, Bayer has not announced any specific future plans. It appears she left simply because her contract was up, and she wasn’t prepared to sign another one. She has spent the past few years building a resume of memorable supporting turns in movies and other shows though. Given her versatility, there’s little doubt that she will continue to make audiences laugh, no matter the medium. And hey, if Jennifer Aniston doesn’t want to be part of a Friends reunion, Bayer can always contribute with her hilarious interpretation of Rachel.

Movies Based on TV Shows That Bombed at the Box Office

Right now, the American economy is relatively healthy. More accurately, it’s consistently growing. Of course, these statements are a little general; economic stability varies from industry-to-industry. For example, it’s a great time to be in the appliances/electronics business.

On the other hand, Hollywood is experiencing a downturn.

That’s not to say the film/TV business is on the verge of collapse or anything. It *is* to say, however, that box office returns are down. Not just a little either; enough that studio executives are reportedly alarmed.

Compared to this point in 2016, box office revenue is down 10%. No matter the scale of the business/industry, that’s a noticeable decline.

There have been some success stories in 2017–both “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Fate of the Furious” crossed $1 billion at the global box office–but overall the year has been a disappointment. And even though there is still plenty of time to catch up to last year’s results, it’s important to point out that May is typically one of the most lucrative months on Hollywood’s schedule, and the month has already passed.

The most recent example of disappointment comes in the form of “Baywatch.” On the surface, this movie had a lot going for it. It stars Dwayne Johnson, who has been one of the biggest box office draws in recent memory.

It also has source material that was a proven winner. “Baywatch,” of course,” is inspired by the hit 90s show of the same name. So what went wrong? You can say that the reviews were terrible–they are–but that hasn’t stopped other movies from amassing solid box office returns (hello, “Fifty Shades Darker”).

Maybe it’s a competition factor. It opened up against the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie, which ended up hauling in a global total of $324 million. Or maybe it’s just suffering for the same reasons the rest of Hollywood’s products are suffering. Despite “Pirates’” impressive haul, this was the worst Memorial Day weekend for the domestic box office in 18 years.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact reasons as to why “Baywatch” bombed. However, “Baywatch” isn’t as much of an aberration as you may expect. Film history is rich with movies based on famous TV shows that ended up bombing at the box office. Here are some examples.

McHale’s Navy

In the 1960s, “McHale’s Navy” was a hit sitcom about a Naval crew who pursue their own hijinks. While it was popular at its time, very few retroactively regard it as a touchstone of its time. The 1997 movie, starring Tom Arnold and Tim Curry, is dissimilar from its source material. It’s not retroactively considered a touchstone of its time *and* it wasn’t at all popular when it was released. Want proof? First off, you probably don’t remember this even existed. Second, the budget for the movie was $42 million; it grossed $4.5 million at the box office. That’s 11% of the budget. And if you think *that* percentage is bad, the Rotten Tomatoes score is 3%. Can’t believe they never made a sequel.

CHiPs

As already established, “Baywatch” wasn’t the first TV-inspired movie to bomb at the box office. In fact, it wasn’t even the first TV-inspired movie to bomb at the box office in 2017. Based on the hit action show, the movie attempted to play up the more comedic elements of the show (the movie was directed by comedian Dax Shephard). Despite charming turns from the main stars, the movie couldn’t cash in its chips at the box office, barely eclipsing its modest $25 million budget.

The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle

Did you even know there was a cinematic adaptation of this classic cartoon series? Probably not. It was released back in 2000, and it received a dismal response, both critically and financially ($35 million gross against a $76 million budget). Even better question: did you know that Robert De Niro played a central character in the movie? “Raging Bull.” “The Godfather Part II.” “The Untouchables.” “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle.” You’re not wrong for thinking one of those doesn’t belong.

The Honeymooners

The Honeymooners” is undeniably one of the most influential TV shows ever created. That influence, however, is mostly rooted in the fact that it was one of the first TV shows. The show only ran for one season, and that was back in 1955-1956. If you asked a group of 100 random people, I’d frankly be shocked if more than 20 of them were even aware of the show, let alone ever saw an episode. Perhaps that’s why the film adaptation in 2005 couldn’t muster up any excitement or revenue. With a $25 million budget, “The Honeymooners” barely hit half of that figure ($13 million). It probably didn’t help that the movie wasn’t any good either (the Rotten Tomatoes score is 14%).

Land of the Lost

In 2009, Will Ferrell seemed unstoppable. Although really, it’s 2017 and he *still* feels unstoppable. But even his biggest fans could barely be convinced to show up for his adaptation of the classic children’s show. “Lost” isn’t just another box office failure; it’s actually one of the most expensive flops ever produced. The film managed to gross only $68 million. That would be a respectable number for many movies, but not for one with a $100 million budget. Having such a bomb on his resume has hardly done much to hamper Ferrell’s career–and as a Ferrell fan, I appreciate that–but even the biggest stars can’t save movies when the general public simply isn’t interested. Or when you’re competing against “The Hangover,” which “Lost” opened against.

Miami Vice

Some of the entries on this list seem like predictable failures in hindsight. This one, however, was more puzzling. Based on the 1980’s smash hit show, the 2006 adaptation starred Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx. It was also helmed by the acclaimed action director Michael Mann (“Heat,” “Collateral”). And unlike the majority of other entries on this list, the movie garnered relatively decent reviews. All of that said, the movie only earned $63 million against its $135 million budget. While it’s worth noting that the film has developed something of a cult following in the last few years, that doesn’t negate the fact that it was a spectacular financial failure at the time of release.

The Most Watched Series Finales (And How Fans Reacted)

Spring is here. That means flowers. That means picnics in the park. That means the baseball season is throwing out its initial pitches. That also unfortunately means a lot of shows are going on hiatus. For some shows, it’s not a hiatus at all. It’s a final goodbye.

In terms of television, April/May is when most shows wrap-up their seasons. May is a particularly important month for networks, as finale season coincides with sweeps, the time when networks set their advertising rates based on the ratings for the month.

So if May means it’s starting to warm up outside, the shows are heating up as well.

Many of the highest rated broadcasts in television history happen in April and May. Here are the ten highest rated series finales of all-time.

Note: Obviously there will be spoilers here, but all of these shows have been off the air for at least ten years, which in my opinion is enough of a reasonable length of time for the “spoiler” tag to be irrelevant.

#10, Frasier

Frasier series finale

On May 13, 2004, 33.7 million people tuned into see Dr. Frasier Crane deliver his last radio address at KACL. The episode ran an hour, as opposed to the usual 30 minutes. I was supposed you need a little bit more time when you are trying to incorporate a marriage, a childbirth, and a major relocation for the main character in one episode. This is one of the most lauded and beloved finales on the list. It was sentimental, yet it didn’t sacrifice the wit that made the show so popular for so long.

#9, Home Improvement

Home Improvement series finale

On May 25, 1999, 35.5 million people tuned into one last episode of “Tool Time.” The finale had some key moments in Improvement history. Al and Trudy got married. Tim ends his show, and moves with wife Jill to accommodate her new job. And most importantly, it is *finally* revealed that Wilson, the neighbor who could barely see over the backyard fence, has an entire face!

#8, Family Ties

Family Ties series finale

On May 14, 1989, 36.3 million people tuned into to see Alex P. Keaton say goodbye to his family before heading to New York City to work on Wall Street. The episode was heavy on the emotion, but was also a good summation of the show’s themes from its seven season run. Specifically, the goodbye scene between Alex and his more progressive mom Elyse effectively highlighted the show’s idea that despite differences in ideology and values, family ties us all together.

#7, All in the Family

All in the Family series finale

On April 8, 1979, 40.2 million people tuned into check in with the Bunker family. By the last season, the show was starting to run on fumes, and ratings were down from previous seasons. But that didn’t matter for the show’s sendoff, because former fans wanted to say goodbye to a show that was a cultural shape-shifter for the first few seasons. It is impossible to write a history of American television without devoting an entire section to Family which was the first show to regularly introduce controversial and uncomfortable topics to primetime television, and in the form of a sitcom, no less.

#6, The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show series finale

On April 30, 1992, 44.4 million people tuned into hang out with the Huxtable family one last time. The episode saw Theo graduate from NYU, and Theo trying to make sure his father Cliff doesn’t invite every person he’s ever even looked at to the commencement ceremony. The content of the episode itself is fairly unremarkable in hindsight, but fans were treated to an emotional tribute to the cast immediately afterwards.

#5, Magnum, P.I.

Magnum, P.I. series finale

On May 1, 1988, 50.7 million people tuned into see the final exploits of Hawaii’s best–and most mustached–private investigator. The finale was used as an effort to tie up loose ends. The identity of Robin Masters was finally revealed, and Magnum reunited with his long-estranged daughter… and then joins the Navy again. Magnum was one of the biggest hits of 1980s television, and although the fandom is much more muted, there’s no denying Magnum’s influence on modern television. There would be no CSI or NCIS without it.

#4, Friends

Friends series finale

On May 6, 2004, 65.9 million people tuned into see the six friends go their separate ways after a decade. The show was predictable in some ways (of course Rachel was going to get off the plane for Ross), unpredictable in others (twins for Chandler and Monica!). Ultimately, it’s hard to say this was one of the show’s better episodes, but it was a sweet, endearing wrap to a show that was always there for us.

#3, Seinfeld

Seinfeld series finale

On May 14, 1998, 76.3 million people tuned into see their favorite eccentric characters… go to jail? This is certainly the most divisive episode in the top ten. But should it be? The show’s core value proposition for its entire duration was the fact that it was “about nothing.” Did the characters need an emotionally satisfying conclusion? Didn’t people love this show *because* the characters were transparently awful? I mean, what’s the deal with the reaction this episode?!

#2, Cheers

Cheers series finale

On May 20, 1993, 84.4 million people tuned into the place where everybody knows your name and all your troubles are the same. Cheers is easily one of the most influential and heralded sitcoms of its or any era, so it should be of no surprise that the series finale got such a high rating. The fact that this 98 minutes instead of the ordinary 30 minutes pointed even more to the fact that this was a television *event*. Was it any good? Depends on what era we’re talking about. Initial reaction was mixed, and usually cited the extended the running time. But more than to 20 years later, the episode is frequently included in “best moments of television” lists. That might be more of a nod to the show in general though.

#1, M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H series finale

On February 28, 1983, 105.9 million people tuned into see the medical unit go home. That’s 21.5 million more people than watched the Cheers finale. In fact, if you look at the 20 most watched individual television programs of all time, only one of them isn’t a Super Bowl. That one exception is the M*A*S*H series finale. Yes, the show was *that* popular. You can say that this was at a time when competition on television was much lower, and you would be right. It’s hard to imagine any individual episode of a show right now even coming close to 105.9 million viewers. What’s even more astonishing is that few people in that high number were disappointed; the M*A*S*H finale is widely regarded as one of the best episodes in television history.

The Best Anti-Heroes of Television

For a long time, American television was obsessed with heroism. If the show was broadcast before the late 90s, you can usually count on the fact that the main character was going to be a heroic, inspirational figure. There were tons of medical shows that featured doctors who managed to save yet another life every episode, and cop shows that told stories of police officers always doing the right thing in the face of danger.

That era of television isn’t necessarily over. There are still plenty of shows with do-gooder protagonists, and there will always likely be a place for those kind of shows. However, over the last 20 years, audiences have been slowly introduced to a new kind of main character: the anti-hero.

The concept of the anti-hero is simple: it’s a central character who displays characteristics that aren’t always pleasant and heroic. This archetype has long existed in theater, film, and literature, but it’s still relatively new in television. Here are examples of some of the most interesting anti-heroes found on modern television, and why they fit the mold.

Gregory House, “House”

Dr. Gregory House fulfills the archetype of the hero *and* the anti-hero. Throughout the series, he makes it a mission to save the life of every patient that comes in front of him at all costs. That may sound appealing, but the operative term here is “at all costs.” Those costs often come at the expense of the patient and the patient’s family. House will open metaphorical wounds in the family. He will lie to his patients and ethics boards. He might even break into a patient’s house. Oh yeah, and he’s hardly above spewing harmful racial and gender stereotypes to his employees.

Gregory House

That said, he saves lives, and even though he may turn his patients against him during the process, they are typically grateful by the end, as it’s clear that no one else would have gone to the lengths that House would.

Tony Soprano, “The Sopranos”

Tony Soprano may not have been the *first* anti-hero on television, but there’s no question that he was the first one to become a cultural reference point. Soprano, a godfather of a prominent mob family in New York and New Jersey, is a complicated man. He loves his wife; he also cheats on her regularly. He adheres to a strict moral code that mandates he protect those in his community; he also kills and assaults people.

Tony Soprano

The show does its best to portray Soprano as sympathetically as possible, and does it well. It’s clear that he’s something of a reluctant boss who inherited the family business because he literally knew nothing else during his childhood. It’s also clear he is in a maelstrom of emotional turmoil, as evidenced by the fact that he is in therapy for the duration of the series. But if you’re going to say none of that excuses decapitating someone over a horse, it’s hard to disagree with that.

Carrie Mathison, “Homeland”

The anti-hero trend on television has been largely placed upon male characters, and this has been a source of criticism for television critics. The trend is slowly starting to change though, and that’s in large part thanks to Homeland. Carrie Mathison is an intensely dedicated CIA agent who is the only person who suspects a recently returned prisoner of war of a heinous crime. She makes it her life’s purpose to reveal the truth.

Carrie Mathison

Of course, when you dedicate yourself so fully to a single purpose, you may be willing to bend some pretty important rules to fulfill your goals. Carrie engages in illegal wiretapping and she regularly undermines her superiors. She also hides a debilitating medical condition. It’s clear that Carrie means well, but it’s also clear that she does plenty of damage in the process.

Frank Underwood, “House of Cards”

If you’re cynical about modern American politics, then it is a safe bet that House of Cards is one of your favorite shows, and there is *no one* more cynical than the show’s protagonist, Frank Underwood. At the beginning of the series, Underwood is betrayed on a promise that he will be given a cabinet position in the administration of the newly-elected president. Rather than take his losses, he, um, makes other plans. He doesn’t set his vengeful eyes on only the person who took his job; he sets them even higher.

Frank Underwood

Throughout the series, we see Underwood’s intellect and unquenchable thirst for power on full display, and there is little that he won’t do on his march to American history. If you don’t already watch the show, you might be wondering what his sympathetic and redeemable qualities are. Here’s the thing: people who *do* watch the show are wondering what those may be as well.

Walter White, “Breaking Bad”

At the beginning of the hit AMC show, Walter White is a mild-mannered teacher with a loving family. However, he is diagnosed with cancer in the first episode. If this show had premiered in 1988, the show’s storyline most likely would have probably had Walter make amends with other family members while he valiantly fights his ailment. But in 2008, the show’s creators thought a, um, different approach was called for. Mainly, Walter starts distributing methamphetamine and developing a criminal empire.

Walter White

Walter keeps some of his lovable dad characteristics for the first couple of seasons. After all, the reason he starts engaging in criminal activity is to raise enough money to leave for his family when he dies. But greed and hunger for power start to blind Walter as the series goes on, and the formerly polite chemistry teacher becomes “the one who knocks.”

3 Ways Cord Cutters Can Catch NFL Action This Season

Traditionally, one of the biggest downsides of over-the-top and streaming TV (such as Roku, Playstation Vue, etc) has been the lack of live NFL coverage. Most of the NFL broadcasters – such as FOX, CBS and NBC – do have their own app you can install on Roku and the like, but they all require you login via your cable or satellite provider to access the feed. Well, with the On Demand tide slowly turning, you now have plenty of new options…

Sunday morning/afternoon games via a local antenna or Sling TV: NBC & FOX

1. Antenna – if you’ve already cut the cord, the easiest (and cheapest) way to get TV into your home is with an HD antenna. Nowadays, they come in crystal clear 1080 HDTV and can be smaller than the size of paperback. The main caveat here is reception. The closer you are to the broadcasting tower, the more channels you’re likely to get (use Mohu’s zip code tool to search your area). Obviously, the big upside here is 0 recurring cost; most HD antennas go for $40-$100…thereafter, it’s all gratis.

2. Sling TV – if an antenna doesn’t fit the bill or you’d rather have everything in your OTT box, Sling TV gives you access to NBC and FOX with their $25/mo Sling Blue package.

Monday night games via Sling TV or PlayStation VUE: ESPN

Usually featuring a pretty good pair of teams or a rivalry grudge match, MNF is the venerated staple of the NFL week. When it transitioned from ABC to ESPN in 2006, it nudged out folks that didn’t have basic cable or satellite. It was equally as frustrating for cord cutters as well. Well, thanks to Sling TV’s inclusion of ESPN (in their base plan, Sling Orange, for $20/mo), you’ll never be clueless at the water cooler come Tues morning.

Thursday night games via Sling TV or PlayStation VUE: NFL Network

The NFL just recently announced a licensing deal with Sling TV that adds the NFL Network to its lineup. Part of the $25/mo Sling Blue plan, the NFL Network broadcasts EVERY Thursday night game (the NBC and CBS co-broadcasts about half of those games). So, in addition to the solid new and analysis on the NFL Network, you’ll get your fill mid-week NFL action.

Conclusion

On demand and OTT TV have come a long way over the past few years. Sports and NFL coverage is just another way folks are filling in the previous programming gaps. Of course, if you’re a true NFL or fantasy football junky, you might need a bit more game coverage. That’s where DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket may fit it. Either way, enjoy all the hard-hittin’ action this year!