USTownhall RealStories presents NICOLINA ROYALE of PROJECT ACCESSORY
Written by Scott Katz
Saturday, 10 December 2011 14:32
On Sunday, December 4, we spoke to Nicolina Royale, one of the contestants on the new Lifetime Television cable series Project Accessory. Nicolina was eliminated after the third episode, which aired on November 10, but not before she became a fan favorite among the viewers of the series.
Just 30 years old, Nicolina has made a transformative journey throughout her life from her beginnings as a high school student instrumental in helping to pass anti-hazing laws in Minnesota to striking out on her own in Hollywood and starting her own accessory design business. Nicolina's story is both touching and inspirational, and her never-say-die attitude and strong work ethic are always evident when speaking with her.
Ms. Royale's most recent accomplishment was being chosen as one of the twelve finalists, among thousands of people who auditioned, to appear on the inaugural season of Project Accessory, a spinoff of the successful reality competition, Project Runway.
On the series, contestants are given challenges to make accessories – whether it be a hat, shoes, a handbag or jewelry – in a set amount of time with a given set of materials. Their creations are then shown to a judging panel which includes Kenneth Cole, Ariel Foxman, and celebrity judges ranging from Debra Messing to Kelly Osbourne. Each episode at least one contestant is eliminated.
Now that Nicolina has returned home to California, she was free to stop by our show and chat with us about all the behind-the-scenes events and what her experiences were like as a contestant on reality television.
What was her audition process like? What was it like shooting the series in New York City? Was she surprised to be eliminated so early in the competition? Which contestants did she make friends with and which ones drove her crazy? What would she change about the show's format if she could? Who would she like to see in the finale? In contrast, who does she feel does not deserve to be there? What advice would she give to an aspiring designer just starting out? Did she feel that the way she was edited for the series was an accurate portrayal of who she is as a person?
Always fun, effervescent, and outspoken, Nicolina dishes about all of that and so much more in our exclusive longform interview that clocks in at just over an hour. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy Ms. Royale at her most "ah-may-zing."
To learn more about Nicolina Royale and her line of affordable, chic accessories with a rock-and-roll edge, please visit http://www.nicolinaroyale.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @nicolinaroyale.
Click on the "play" button below to listen to the interview...
US Townhall RealStories presents BRUCE CANWELL of The Library of American Comics
Written by Scott Katz
Sunday, 13 November 2011 13:39
On Friday, November 11, we had Bruce Canwell, Associate Editor of The Library of American Comics, back on our show to give us the scoop on the upcoming projects that the Library will have available in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season and beyond.
Highlights include what promises to be the definitive version of Alex Raymond's classic comic strip Flash Gordon as well as Milton Caniff's masterpiece Steve Canyon. And what's this about a book featuring Chuck Jones' little-seen brief foray into the world of comic strips? Listen in and find out.
Steve Canyon vol. 1 1947-1948
The Definitive Flash Gordon &
Jungle Jim vol. 1
Chuck Jones: The Dream That Never Was
During our chat, we also run down the current status of each of the major book series from the Library of American Comics and when readers can expect the next volumes to arrive in stores. As Mr. Canwell is also a comic book fan, we also take a few detours to reminisce about some childhood favorites from Marvel and DC.
Pop some popcorn and settle in because this interview clocks in at almost 3 hours, and we think you'll agree that it's time well spent. For more information, about The Library of American Comics, please visit http://www.libraryofamericancomics.com
Click the triangular "play" button on the widget to listen to the interview:
To listen to the first interview we did with Mr. Canwell back in 2010, click here...
With relatively few specials from its competitors and a full lineup of new episodes, CBS increased its lead over 2nd place ABC by almost 2 million viewers. Two and a Half Men seems to have stabilized at just under 15 million viewers a week, but it looks as though The Big Bang Theory will reign as TV's top comedy for the foreseeable future. Fox, meanwhile, slipped into fourth place due to the absense of football spillover into its Sunday night lineup and the slipping ratings of most of its series. This allowed NBC to jump up to third place without gaining any viewers.
Over at ABC, Charlie's Angels was sent to cancellation heaven as of last week's episode. It's 8th and final episode will not air. The AMAs that aired Sunday saw an increase in viewers over last year's event and gave ABC a stronger Sunday than usual. It will be interesting to see if the pre-emption of the network's surprise hit Once Upon a Time will have a negative effect on the ratings when the series returns.
ABC scored its best week in terms of average viewers thanks to a strong performance by this year's Country Music Association Awards, which the network's highest-rated show of the week and pre-empted its Wednesday night lineup. ABC would likely have won the week if the CMAs were held on Thursday, a weaker night for the the network. However, this Thursday's Grey's Anatomy episode did gets its best viewership of the season for its fall finale, which was up against a rerun of Person of Interest, which fell out of the top 30. Once Upon a Time retained all of its viewers from last week and remains one of the few new fall series with any buzz although Revenge (pre-empted this week) is starting to heat up as well.
Elsewhere, there were no real surprises. The new fall series seem to have found their audiences, for better or worse, and most notched similar ratings to last week's episodes.
In cancellation news, yet another NBC series, Prime Suspect, was announced as getting the axe after its 13th episode airs. In January, The Firm, a sequel to the John Grisham novel and movie adaptation, will air in its timeslot on January 12, 2012 following a special two-hour premiere on Sunday, January 8. Josh Lucas takes over the Tom Cruise role as lead protagonist Mitch McMeere.
With the World Series over, CBS reclaimed its usual number one spot in the weekly ratings with a season-best thanks to a special broadcast of NCAA football on Saturday, which drew 20 million viewers and was a hair's breadth away from being the number one show for the week. It's been quite a long time since any Saturday show could make that claim. Elsewhere, CBS's lineup remained strong, although Two and a Half Men continues to lose, with a single exception, at least a million viewers each week . The Big Bang Theory, in contrast, soared to its second-highest audience level of the season, taking Men's place as America's top comedy.
Fox remained strong at number 2, but the shows pre-empted by the World Series did suffer ratings drops. New Girl returned after 3 weeks off and lost 1.3 million viewers from its previous episode on October 4. Terra Nova likewise lost a chunk of its audience – about 1.7 million viewers – from the last time it aired. Glee's return after a month saw its lowest ratings in two years. However, Bones returned to the lineup with its 7th season premiere and drew an audience of 10 million – about even with its season 6 premiere.
NBC saw its strongest weekly average in about a month, but its shows struggle every night. Grimm is a relative bright spot as its second episode only lost 600,000 viewers from its premiere, but Chuck, in its last season, is dying a painful death in the Friday 8pm timeslot, coming in 97th place with 3.1 million viewers. Brian Williams' debuting newsmagazine Rock Center brought in worse ratings than the premiere of the already-canceled The Playboy Club in the same timeslot. Rock came in 80th place with 4.1 million viewers. Besides football, only Harry's Law and Law & Order: SVU manage to crack the top 50 for NBC.
Over at ABC, Tim Allen's sitcom return, Last Man Standing, continues to lose a noticeable amount of viewers each week, while Once Upon a Time and Revenge are holding their audiences. Modern Family remains ABC's biggest hit entertainment series, but none of the other sitcoms around it are approaching its numbers. Perhaps ABC should consider moving The Middle to the 9:30 slot to form a stronger one-hour block. Happy Endings loses almost 6 million viewers from its Modern Family lead-in, and when Cougar Town returns mid-season, it will likely not fare much better.
Although this year's World Series started off weakly, it ended on a strong note as Friday's final game was the most watched Series game since 2004 thanks to a tight competiton that pushed the Series to a full 7 games – the first since 2002. The Series has wreaked havoc with Fox's primetime lineup which had a ton of pre-emptions, but a second week at number one made up for that. X Factor, airing a two-hour installment on Tuesday, ratched up its best ratings since its premiere episodes in September. However, Sunday's premiere of Allen Gregory, the final piece of Fox's Sunday Animation Domination lineup, debuted weakly at number 60 with 4.8 million viewers.
In its second episode, ABC's Once Upon a Time held up nicely and remained in the top 20. It was the highest-rated entertainment program on Sunday. CBS remains strong every night of the week and has top 20 hits from Sunday to Thursday. In contrast, NBC has problems every night and really doesn't have any blockbuster entertainment series to build on. Grimm debuted on Friday to 6.6 million viewers – the second best debut for a new NBC series this season, but it was good for only 47th place. Still, that was acceptable given that it was up against the final game of the World Series. However, football remains NBC's only real ratings draw.
The World Series battle between the Rangers and the Cardinals, although relatively low-rated, led Fox to its first weekly win of the season. Expect this to be a more regular occurrence once American Idol returns in January.
However, the other networks didn't seem phased by the Fall Classic at all as each network actually posted gains in audience over last week. That is, except for NBC who basically sat in the dugout on Thursday by putting up a night of reruns against Game 2, which drove it to a season-low average of 5.3 million viewers for the week. Once again, Harry's Law was the network's top scripted series, coming in at number 42 with 8.4 million viewers.
NCIS, now in its 9th season, remains the number 1 show for a second week, while Tim Allen's Last Man Standing lost about 3 million viewers and fell all the way to 30th place. Man Up! debuted even more poorly: it muscled up a wimpy 7.8 million viewers – good for 46th. Ratings declined from there in its second outing on October 25 (to be seen in next week's chart), so the series will likely be castrated shortly. On the plus side, another ABC series, Once Upon a Time, debuted extremely well on Sunday in a difficult timeslot opposite both the fourth game in the World Series and NBC's Sunday Night Football. If ratings hold, this could be the surprise breakout hit of the season as series that have been much more heavily hyped – Charle's Angels, Pan Am, Prime Suspect, and The Playboy Club – have all fizzled.
The Sheen-less Two and a Half Men loses a noticeable amount of viewers with each successive episode, but it's still the highest-rated comedy on television. Another Chuck Lorre series, The Big Bang Theory, is nipping at its heels this week, though.
After a 12-year absence from network television, Tim Allen returned to prime time with the one-hour debut episode of his new series Last Man Standing and promptly landed right back in the top 10. Only the premiere of 2 Broke Girls had more viewers for a sitcom premiere this season. Speaking of Girls, the show has lost about 8.5 million viewers since it began, but is still one of the highest-rated comedies airing right now and builds on its lead-in, How I Met Your Mother. Elsewhere at CBS, Person of Interest and Unforgettable have settled comfortably in the top 20 as has X Factor on Fox. The news wasn't all good at CBS, however, as it canceled How to Be a Gentleman for a second time after its single airing in its new Saturday night timeslot drew only 2.4 million viewers.
Back at ABC, Charlie's Angels was given its pink slip after its October 13 episode aired. However, an additional four episodes will be broadcast before the Angels are sent to cancellation heaven permanently. Given that Pan Am performed even worse and has lost almost half its audience since its premiere last month, we think it likely that this period drama will be grounded once its initial order of episodes has run.
Major League Baseball playoffs on Fox pre-empted its shows on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but vaulted its ratings over ABC to come in second place behind perennial front runner CBS. NBC crashed with its worst ratings of the season drawing an average of only 6.4 million viewers for the week and landing with a thud in fourth place. As can be seen in the charts below, NBC's highest-rated new series for the week was Up All Night, which only managed to come in 58th place. NBC's ratings will look even worse after football seaon is over. The Kathy Bates vehicle, Harry's Law, remains NBC top-rated scripted series landing in 40th place.
In week 3, The Playboy Club aired its final episode on NBC, and notice came down that Free Agents, another NBC series, was canceled after its fourth episode aired on October 5. Likewise, The CW canceled its ratings-anemic H8R after its fourth episode aired the same night.
CBS remains the number one network by a comfortable margin, and there's nothing on the horizon from any network that will unseat it from that position. The Tiffany network is unstoppable on most nights with Tuesdays being particularly strong as its three series all land in the top 20. However, there are some cracks in the armor: Person of Interest is not a worthy successor to CSI in the Thursday 9pm timeslot ratings-wise, and A Gifted Man provides only a mediocre lead in for CBS's Friday night lineup.
ABC has no breakout new hits, but its returning shows are still doing relatively well. Modern Family has been firmly ensconced in the top 10 all season and is the network's highest-rated scripted series. However, ABC's much-hyped Pan Am continues to hemorrage viewers. It likely won't last past a single season.
The second week's ratings are in, and the new series are starting to find their audiences for better or worse. There are no breakout new hits this year as the sole new entry in the top 10 last week, 2 Broke Girls, has shed about 7.5 million viewers from its premiere and has dropped to number 17 this week. That makes Person of Interest the current top new series, which comes in at number 13. It's ratings are off slightly from CSI's 11th season average in that same timeslot, however.
As we stated in our Fall TV Preview article, period dramas tend not to do well on network television, and that has borne out as The Playboy Club became the first casualty of the season. It's third episode, which aired Monday, October 3, was its last. Production will continue until the sixth episode has wrapped, and then NBC will try to see if it can be sold to another network like Bravo (also an NBCUniversal company). The other period drama, Pan Am, has also seen its ratings decline about 3.5 million viewers in its second week.
Three new series debuted this week, and two of those managed to attract a decent sized sampling: Fox's Terra Nova landed at number 33 with 9.2 million viewers opposite longtime favorites Dancing with the Stars (ABC) and How I Met Your Mother (CBS). On ABC, Suburgatory did better, nabbing 9.8 million viewers – more than three times its direct timeslot competition, NBC's Free Agents (3.1 million). Free Agents was NBC's lowest-rated series for the week, and we predict it will be quietly removed from the schedule shortly. The other debut this week, The CW's Hart of Dixie, starring The OC's Rachel Bilson, caught the attention of 1.9 million viewers – about what could be expected from a CW series.
Sunday, September 25 ended the first official week of the new television season, and on the surface, not a lot changed from last season: CBS was still the number one network, and NBC was still number four. Of the new network offerings, 2 Broke Girls, Unforgettable, and Person of Interest – all on CBS – cracked the top 20 as did Simon Cowell's X Factor (both episodes) on Fox.
In spite of a change in management, NBC's fortunes continued to dwindle. Its top rated series were The Office and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – both tied for 46th place with 7.6 million viewers each. That a major network cannot place a single entertainment series in the top 45 is astonishing. NBC was putting a lot of marketing muscle behind its adaptation of the British hit, Prime Suspect, but it pulled in fewer than half the viewers of its timeslot competitor, The Mentalist, which entered its fourth season on CBS. Football remains NBC's only bright spot as this week's showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts was the number 2 watched broadcast.
Over at Fox, X Factor, while much hyped, underwhelmed. The reunion of Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul only mustered up 12.5 million viewers on each of its two airings this week. Cowell himself had gone on record saying that anything less than 20 million viewers would be a disappointment. Perhaps he meant the two installments added together? Still, the series is Fox's top-rated entry right now as Glee began its third season with 9.2 million viewers and a #41 rank.
Speaking of much hyped, ABC had solid-if-unspectacular starts for its soaps, Pan Am (#26 for the week) and Revenge (#35). Desperate Housewives entered its 8th and final season ranked #36. The network's remake of its 1970s classic Charlie's Angels was its lowest-rated new series coming in at #44. Thursdays at 8pm has been a difficult timeslot for ABC since forever, so if ratings hold steady, there's still a chance the series could get a full season pickup.
Based on this week's ratings, we'd predict quick cancellations for NBC's The Playboy Club and Free Agents. Watch them now while you can. Up All Night will likely hang around a little longer as it has gotten good reviews.
The CW continues to be a non-factor in the ratings as it is routinely beaten by Spanish-language network Univision. The CW's highest-rated series was The Vampire Diaries with 2.5 million viewers coming in at #98 – its only series to crack the top 100. America hates H8R – its second episode, which aired September 21, was the lowest-ranking new episode of any series on any network.
for the week:
CBS: 12.1 million
ABC: 9.9 million
FOX: 8.4 million
NBC: 7.5 million
Univision: 3.7 million
The CW: 1.6 million
HOW THE NEW SERIES DID:
2 Broke Girls
Person of Interest
X Factor Results Show
A Gifted Man
Up All Night
The Playboy Club
The Secret Circle
The CW, Th
The CW, Tue
The CW, Wed
NETWORK TOP 20, September 19-25, 2011
Two and a Half Men
NBC Sunday Night Football: Steelers v Colts
2 Broke Girls
Dancing with the Stars
NCIS: Los Angeles
The Big Bang Theory(8:30 special episode)
Dancing with the Stars Results Show
Modern Family(9:00 episode)
Modern Family(9:30 special episode)
The Big Bang Theory(8:00 episode)
Person of Interest
X Factor Results Show
Charity Event: SIXTH ANNUAL WOMEN OF WONDER DAY
Written by Scott Katz
Saturday, 29 October 2011 18:58
Doing his part for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, best-selling author and DVD documentary producer, Andy Mangels, is spearheading the annual Women of Wonder Day charitable event, which he created back in 2006. We spoke to Mr. Mangels at length about his background and about the event, and the section of the interview pertaining to Women of Wonder Day can be heard by clicking on the audio player widget below.
The Women of Wonder Day event will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2011 at three comic book stores across the country: Excalibur Comics, 2444 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon; Comic Fusion, 42 Main St., Flemington, New Jersey; and Heroes and Fantasies, 4945 NW Loop 410, San Antonio, Texas. Money is raised for domestic abuse prevention & intervention charities via auction either at the stores or on ebay.
Bidders will vie to own exclusive pieces of art created by some of today's leading comic book artists featuring some of comics' powerful female characters. Additionally, autographed memorabilia has been contributed by some of today's hottest actors including Robin Williams, Lynda Carter, and the casts of Glee, The Big Bang Theory, Chuck, Nikita, and Castle. At the Portland event, comic book writer Brian Michael Bendis will be auctioning off a chance to be written in to one of his upcoming comics.
The event and the artwork are designed to be family-friendly and admission to the stores to participate in the auction is free. 100% of the proceeds go to the charities to benefit programs in the communities where the three stores are located. To find out more information about Women of Wonder Day, please visit http://www.womenofwonderday.com
Also, we now have the full audio interview with Andy Mangels, which ran about two hours and included discussions on a wide variety of pop culture topics from DVDs and animation to comic books and beyond. Click on the second player below to listen!
The 2011 New York Comic Con was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City on October 13-16, and it was packed to the rafters with comic book fans, publishers, anime producers, celebrities, special guests, and eye-popping displays. The following galleries can only give you a small taste of the spectacle of the event, so if you're in the New York area next October, be sure to get your tickets to see it all in person!
Click on the tabs just below to see each of the three photo galleries of the weekend bash.
And, if you want to see our coverage of the 2010 New York Comic Con, click here...