Comedy Central


Well, we were wondering what we were going to get from iTunes when there are fewer new television shows being broadcast over the summer? We get a dip in the archive, that’s what we get.

Trial By JuryFirst up is the failed fourth installment of the Law & Order franchise, Law & Order: Trial By Jury. Cut down in the prime of its life after only two months of episodes in 2005, Trial By Jury is reborn in iTunes form. It’s so sad when a source television series outlives its spinoff. Anyways, NBC must have decided that it had nothing further left to lose by tossing the 13 produced episodes into iTunes. It is claimed that there is an exclusive episode among the bunch, but alert Law & Order fans will know this is incorrect as the thirteenth episode was never aired on NBC, but the entire series (including the missing episode) were reaired on Court TV.

ESPN Draft PreviewNext up is a quickie from ESPN, their preview of this weekend’s NFL Draft. Although they don’t actually say “NFL Draft” (as the NFL would likely be displeased at this development), we know what they really mean by “Pro Football” and it’s not the USFL. Anyways, if you’re a sports fan and you’re not completely sick to death of all the NFL Draft previews yet, you can purchase another 12-minute preview from ESPN for the usual $1.99.

StellaBut it’s not just NBC dipping into the archive for new material, Comedy Central is doing the same. Up first is the short-lived sketch comedy series Stella which ran briefly in the “Summer of Love,” by which I mean 2005. The series was a cult favorite, but unfortunately, TV execs translate “cult favorite” to “ratings death” and it was not renewed for a second season. However, it continues to live on in iTunes.

Crank YankersFinally, we have a series that I thought was cancelled but perhaps not (although new episodes haven’t been seen since last year). That’s right, season one of Crank Yankers, that absurdist series of crank calls from popular comedians set to puppets, has been added to iTunes. The series has always had a good lineup of comedians to lend their voices to the effort, Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Denis Leary, Sarah Silverman, Wanda Sykes, Dane Cook, David Alan Grier, Tracy Morgan and, of course, Super Dave Osborne.

So there you are, more ways to evade the spirit of TV Turnoff Week. Me? I plan on watching twice as much television to pull the extra wait of those slackers not watching TV. Have an interesting week!

Of all the adjectives I might use to describe my computer today, “cooperative” wouldn’t be amongst them. So, let’s try writing this post again…

ScrubsGood news on the “frequently requested” front. As previously reported by Tunevision, Disney’s Touchstone Television and NBC Universal have come together to get NBC’s Scrubs into iTunes. Currently, only the current season, season 5, is available and new episodes will be added as they are aired. No word on when or how older seasons might be added, but as you’ll recall from the previous blog post, Touchstone would receive all of the profits from previous season sales, so that may be a factor in the lack of expedience concerning previous seasons.

South Park Season PassAlso as previously reported on Tunevision, South Park seasons 3 and 10 (the current one, currently only one episode) have been added into iTunes. Also more good news here, South Park also has the season pass option. I’m happy to see more networks buying into the season pass option.

First off, my apologies for a continued dearth of posts. I will be addressing that in a follow-up post. But for now, on to the new content.

The Showbiz ShowRemember the other day when I said that the bulk of Comedy Central programming was now available in iTunes? Turns out that there was one last show I had in mind that was still missing: The Showbiz Show with David Spade. Well, you can forget about that final Comedy Central oversight because the weekly entertainment series is now available for purchase in iTunes. That pretty much does it for Comedy Central’s original programming as now pretty much everything that is still an ongoing show. Well, there’s still Distraction, but whatever.

Hannah MontanaBut if that was the only show added to iTunes today, well, I wouldn’t have tacked on “Disney’s Hannah Montana” to the end of this blog post title, now would I? Of course not, that would’ve been an unethical attempt to improve my standing with Google (*cough*Friends Family Guy The Simpsons ER House 24 Survivor CSI The Amazing Race American Idol*cough*).

Moving on, Disney’s new (apparently) series, Hannah Montana, about a girl who leads a double life…as a pop star, is now available for purchase in iTunes for your tweens who are growing up too fast or your teens who aren’t growing up fast enough. It stars Miley Cyrus who is the daughter of country one-hit wonder Billy Ray Cyrus. So, go figure that. Apparently it does seem to have generated a significant level of buzz online from the intended audience (this is why us adults are just now hearing about this for this show for the first time), so it’s a good addition for Apple and Disney.

South ParkNo sooner after I mention South Park simply in passing, do I get the heads-up from alert reader (and Tunevision regular) Ruben about forthcoming episodes of South Park. I direct you to this message board thread at South Park Studios’ web site dated this past Sunday. It states that season three will be available in iTunes “very soon — possibly in the next few days.” It also goes on to say that “episodes of season 10 [Ed. The current season] should also be available on iTunes within a week of their airing on Comedy Central.”

So there you have it. I ask and I receive, apparently. Thanks for the heads up!

Mind of MenciaComedy Central continues to add to their stable of programming available in iTunes with Carlos Mencia’s Mind of Mencia. Wait, seriously? Mind of Mencia? Well, OK, I guess. I mean, I suppose the show has to have some audience somewhere. “Thank God Chappelle quit” indeed.

Anyways, my, uh, “personal” feelings aside, Mind of Mencia is available if you’re interested. The good news is that this means that the bulk of Comedy Central’s new programming is now available for purchase (except for new South Park episodes—go figure). So, there’s that.

The Daily ShowWell, after wondering where the heck all the new programming was yesterday, it turns out they decided to wait a day, and it’s a doozy: the oft-requested The Daily Show and The Colbert Report from Comedy Central. I was initially of the opinion that these two shows may in fact never make it into iTunes for the simple reason of logistics. Not only would it be hard to get a daily show into iTunes on a regular basis, but the idea of paying $10 for a week’s worth of episodes didn’t seem like something that would work for people.

Well, Apple figured out a way to address this problem. Say hello to (Leeloo Dallas) “Multi-Pass.” For $9.99, you can net yourself the latest episode of either show AND the next 15 episodes. Not only that, as they’re added to iTunes, they’re automatically downloaded to your computer. That addresses all the previous concerns about daily shows. The cost per episode now averages out to about 62 cents, more than reasonable for a show like that. Of course, you can still buy each individual episode for $1.99 if you like.

The first episode of The Colbert Report is available now. The Daily Show page is live but currently has no episodes. (UPDATE: It’s live now.)

(Thanks, TUAW)

It’s Tuesday and we all know what that means! Let’s get it started.

Academy Award Nominated Short FilmsFor the past week, the internet has been all a-flutter about today’s special event at Apple HQ. That event won’t be until later today, but one of the more popular speculations has been the possibility of Apple offering full-length feature films in iTunes. I haven’t been the most ardent supporter of this rumor (I don’t believe it’s a possibility until Apple releases new iPods), but many people believe this to be happening. However, at least for now, it turns out that we’re both right. The iPod isn’t ready for feature-length films AND Apple is adding movies to iTunes, but in the form of this year’s Academy Award nominated short films. That’s right, the five 30-minutes-or-less short films up for an Oscar this year are available for purchase in iTunes for $1.99. The films are being assembled and managed by Shorts International and are also distributed in theaters by Mark Cuban‘s Magnolia Pictures.

Inside the Actor's StudioAlso expected today was the arrival of Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio and five episodes of this series are now available in iTunes. The episodes currently available feature Robert Redford, Angelina Jolie, Michael J. Fox, Martin Lawrence and a double-length episode with Dave Chapelle. All episodes, including the double-length Dave Chapelle episode, are just $1.99.

Top Chef Free TrailerBravo has also added a free trailer for a forthcoming series called Top Chef. This series will premiere on Bravo on March 15. It’s good to see networks trying to use iTunes to the fullest as a promotional tool for upcoming series. As they begin to see the value of iTunes in this regard, we will see more content from the same networks available for purchase.

Comedy Central Standup Additional Acts Just AddedFinally, Comedy Central has added more stand-up comedy to their lineup. Eight new stand-up acts are available for purchase from Brian Regan, Darrell Hammond, Maria Bamford, Carlos Mencia, Dat Phan, Frank Caliendo, Demetri Martin and Greg Giraldo. Lots of names in that list have been frequent requests (at least, if you believe the iTunes commenters) for their addition to iTunes. As you may recall, the popularity of stand-up comedy in iTunes has been a pleasant surprise for both Apple and Comedy Central and they apparently have been scrambling to make more comedy available for purchase.

And that’s it for this morning. Stay tuned to see what today’s Apple event has in store for us (if anything).

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