by Laurie Sullivan, Thursday, Nov 20, 2008 7:31 AM ET
HBO will release several widgets today that should hook fans deeper into "True Blood," a television series from the Southern Vampire Mysteries supernatural/mystery books by Charlaine Harris that has attracted numerous loyal fans.
The widgets were developed by Wetpaint, a Seattle-based wiki that supports 1.2 million sites. About 100 are branded by Fox, Showtime, Discovery, T-Mobile and others. Dubbed "Droplet" to signify a drop of paint--or in this instance, a drop of blood--the widgets offer "True Blood" fans three ways to take content from the HBO series to post on social networks, from MySpace and Facebook to iGoogle and more.
Research firm eMarketer estimates that U.S. companies will spend a mere $40 million in 2008 to create, promote and distribute widgets-- up from $15 million in 2007. And while widgets have garnered far more attention than actual ad dollars, it hasn't stopped HBO from providing the option to fans.
In fact, HBO has been the most aggressive brand when it comes to engaging with the audience or allowing fans to take content and post it on other sites, according to Wetpaint CEO Ben Elowitz. HBO has also created "True Blood" promotional videos. The comments splattered throughout the video come from fans who posted on the Wetpaint "True Blood" forum, where the thread count stood at more than 900 as of Wednesday afternoon.
Picture This, Wiretap and Site Satellite are three widgets created to entertain fans. While Picture This lets fans create widgets filled with still photos and videos, Wiretap is the tool that fans use when taking along the discussion forum to other sites, and Site Satellite pulls together all the happenings on the wiki. Consumers can paint the widgets in Lightbox, Blackground or Sauna Chic.
About 80% of traffic comes to Wetpaint's branded sites from search engines--many of which create their own content. "By getting users to add content, you end up with so much more in the search engines that we literally see--especially in the case of "True Blood," each week about 300% more page views than the week before," Elowitz said.
Visitors to the "True Blood" wiki site stay 61% longer than on HBO's traditional site. Each fan contributes about six posts to the forum. The average time that visitors remain is 10 minutes on the Wetpaint wiki, compared with six minutes on HBO's main site.
Wetpaint is not the only company launching new widget features. San Francisco-based Sprout, a Flash platform that offers an interface that brands can use to build interactive widgets, introduced a new feature Monday called Sprout Mixer. It lets people incorporate brands and personal content. The platform integrates with Google Analytics to provide information such as the total number of visitors, and how many create and publish widgets. Brands also see the location of users and other demographic data including where the widgets post.
Motorola on Tuesday said it would unveil the Moto VE66 phone with widget integration, allowing users to access stock tickers, RSS feeds from blogs or sports scores, among other applications. The handset will feature LED flash, auto stabilization functions, and a 5-megapixel camera with integrated autofocus.
Along with the phone, Motorola launched a campaign to attract developers. The Motodev Widget Developer Challenge calls on developers worldwide to deliver the Web to mobile users without limits.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
See the others at the New york Post HERE
By Gary Levin, USA TODAY
True Blood is generating some true — and badly needed — success for HBO.
Alan Ball's vampire drama, adapted from the Sookie Stackhouse book series by Charlaine Harris, has steadily gained momentum on the pay-cable service.
Viewership for Sunday premiere episodes, now at 2.7 million, has nearly doubled since the show's debut Sept. 7. All told, 6.8 million are watching each episode each week.
MORE: Compare these modern-day vampires
Seven of the Harris titles are on USA TODAY's 150 Best-Selling Books list.
And though still far from the heights achieved by The Sopranos and Sex and the City, Blood has eclipsed a string of recent HBO failures, along with the once more-popular Entourage. Both end their seasons Sunday (9 and 10 p.m.
"It's an old-fashioned Saturday-matinee-movie kind of serial," says Ball, who tackled death, if not the undead, in the network's Six Feet Under.
"People are having fun in this world."
The world centers on Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), a waitress in small-town Bon Temps, La., who has a thing for 170-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). But she's also smitten with her boss Sam (Sam Trammell), lately revealed as a shape-shifter. In the world of True Blood, vampires have been begrudgingly accepted in society, and some quaff a synthetic drink (from which the show gets its title) to satisfy their bloodlust.
Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twilight, another book series due today as a feature film, are obvious targets, others less so. "It's not really my go-to genre," Moyer says, "but I was absolutely captivated by it. Once you start watching it, it's not just a vampire show; it's sort of a high-class soap."
Compton "is trying desperately to hold onto some semblance of humanity and conscience," Moyer says. "There's some kind of idealistic streak in him where he isn't just a warm-blooded killer. And it has the obvious metaphors of the South, and sexuality and any outsider group in a society; I love that idea of (viewers) bringing their own metaphor to the table."
HBO programming chief Michael Lombardo says Blood has performed well for a new series against tough competition, though it has not been aggressively promoted since its opener.
"Normally the first episode is your high-water mark, but to see this
(audience) build is satisfying," Lombardo says. "It's very nice to have a show on the air that our subscribers are clearly enjoying. It's funny and dark and sexy and scary, and it's smart."
In Sunday's finale (9 ET/PT), Ball says "Sookie makes a choice" between Sam and Bill, one character dies, and the ongoing murders, blamed on Sookie's oversexed brother, Jason (Ryan Kwanten), will be solved after hints were dropped last week.
This season was based on Dead Until Dark, Harris' first book in the series and the best-selling title. The next is based on the second, Living Dead in Dallas, which finds Sookie spending time in that city. Several characters "get involved in what they think is a legitimate church," Ball says. And a new creature "will create much havoc and chaos."
Production will resume in January in Los Angeles and Louisiana, and the show will return with 12 new episodes next summer, an unusually short break.
Modernizing a monster: Three new takes on vampires Chart HERE
Vampire Quizz HERE
Find this article at:
Supes from the Sookieverse from Red Mercury on the TBwiki
The term supernatural or supranatural (Latin: super, supra "above" + natura "nature") pertains to entities, events or powers regarded as beyond nature, in that they lack a clear scientific explanation.
- Extra Sensitive Humans (like Sookie and Barry)
- Dwarf ?
and more ??
What do the the inhabitants of Bon Temp read and watch on TV?
In episode 1 Bill Maher is on the TV at Grab- it- Quick
In episode 8 Eddie says he loves watching" Heroes" on Monday nights
In episode 10 Lafayette is watching the Bad and the Beautiful 1952 w Kirk Douglas
In episode 11 Sookie and Sam are watching a Maw and Paw kettle movie (don't know which one -do you ?)
In episode 12 Sookie is watching the Shirley Temple movie "The Little Princess" 1939
In Episode 1 Tara is reading the Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein
Also in Episode 1 Gran is reading Last Scene Alive ( bk 7) in the Aurora Teagarden mysteries by Charlaine Harris.
In episode 10 Eric has on the shelves behind his desk a copy of Bram Stokers' Dracula.
Tara's Mom reads 'The Enquiry ( kind of like the National Enquirer) more here about that pile of papers
Flesh eaters from J.J. Abrams and bloodsuckers from Alan Ball. Oh my.
By John Leonard
....................Although generally witty, always absorbing, and invariably violent, True Blood isn’t really a big surprise until its fifth hour, when Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer) addresses a congregation of Confederate nostalgics, wannabes, and ancillaries in a rustic Baptist church in southern-gothic Bon Temps, Louisiana. Tall, pasty, Edgar Allan Poetic, and 173 years old, Compton actually served as a Confederate Army first lieutenant during the Civil War. He can tell these poor people what they need to hear about their own vanquished ancestors, “the glorious dead.” Who cares, for a while anyway, that he’s a vampire? So accustomed have we become to bloodsucking as a metaphor for denial and desire—for carnal knowledge, forbidden fruit, alien abduction, drug addiction, lynching bees, and witch hunts—that we’ve forgotten about time. But of course: Past and present feed on each other’s wounds. History itself is ghostwritten and body-snatched.
This church meeting is a rare moment of genuine reflection in a welter that otherwise relies on the sly, the slick, and the absurd, on sex and the supernatural. From Charlaine Harris’s novels about Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress who falls in love with the first vampire to come into her bayou roadhouse after the Japanese invent synthetic blood, Alan Ball (Six Feet Under) has prestidigitated a cable series that combines true romance (Anna Paquin’s virginal Sookie is attracted to Compton because he’s the only man she’s ever met whose thoughts she can’t read), social satire (having “come out of the coffin,” vamps are encouraged to “mainstream,” though many would rather hang out in dives like Shreveport’s Fangtasia), serial murder (somebody’s determined to strangle the entire female population of Bon Temps), and chicken-fried stereotype (every cliché of redneck grotesque is lovingly included, from thuggish sheriff, pool-table slack jaw, and Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt to speaking in tongues, cans of Fresca, and the Ku Klux Klan). Alien Nation, the old Fox series about two-hearted beaver-eating refugees from outer space trying to assimilate to Los Angeles, meets Beauty and the Beast, with a soupçon of Buffy’s trademark nonchalance. It certainly beats John From Cincinnati.
And so, to Lilith, Grendel, and Caliban, to Moloch and Minotaur, to devil worship, demonic possession, cannibalism, succubi and zombies, add the “fangbangers” of Bon Temps—Paquin’s lovelorn Sookie, as incorrigibly spunky as a Holly Hunter; Moyer’s Compton, so sensitive he might as well be dead; and Lois Smith’s grandmother Adele, a marvel of friendly feeling, cloudy thinking, and sound advice for which she’ll be brutally punished. Not to neglect Sookie’s smart-mouth black best friend and co-worker, Tara (Rutina Wesley), who reads Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine, insults her customers, and takes slavery personally, and the gay black short-order cook at the roadhouse, Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis), who vends drugs and his own body. Tara and Lafayette are the equivalent, in True Blood, of clowns in Shakespeare and ghos
Read entire article here :http://nymag.com/arts/tv/reviews/50205/
You can watch the Glorious dead meeting here :
Gena Showalter --Lords of the Underworld
Laurell K Hamilton --Anita Blake Series
Kim Harrison --Rachel Morgan Series.
Kelley Armstrong --Women of the Otherworld Series
Raven Hart --Savannah Vampire Series
Christina Dodd --Darkness Series (Shapeshifters)
Eileen Wilks --Series(Werewolf)
J.R. Ward --Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.
Kresley Cole --Immortals After Dark Series (Paranormal Erotica)
Lori Handeland --Moon Series (Werewolf)
Keri Arthur --Riley Jensen series
L.A. Banks --Vampire Huntress
Chelsea Quinn Yarbro --(Books Historical based)
Maryjanice Davidson-- Betsy the Vampire
Laura Adrian's-- The Midnight Breed Series
Jim Butcher --Dresden Files
Jeanne Kalogridis-- Covenant with the Vampire (Diaries of the Family Dracul)
Jacquelyn Frank --The Nightwalkers
Patricia Briggs- Mercy Thompson Series
Other favorites ? Let me know and i'll add them !
In order for the VRA to pass, it needs to be sponsored by a Senator and Representative and introduced into Congress. Thirty-eight states are required for ratification. We are currently seeking sponsors in both the Senate and House.
Interview with Nan Flanagan
Listen Now [5 min 23 sec]
Ever since The Sopranos cut to black, HBO has been searching for the next big thing.
The show that replaced it, John from Cincinnati, sure wasn't it. Not only was that David Milch series a big disappointment, but its appearance meant the disappearance of Milch's Deadwood — the HBO series that, at the time, was the best drama on television.
Listen Now [39 min 4 sec]
Fresh Air from WHYY, September 10, 2008 · First he created Six Feet Under, the HBO series about a family that runs a funeral home and is steeped in death. Now he's created an HBO series about the undead: True Blood, about vampires who've emerged from the shadows — thanks to the development of synthetic blood — to live among the rest of us.
Their presence is so new that no one knows what to make of them. Some people find them sexy, while many fear them — and some are just curious.
Ball's other new project is movie Towelhead, based on a controversial novel by Alicia Erian. The protagonist is a 13-year-old girl, Jasira, whose budding sexuality makes her an object of desire both for her mother's boyfriend and — after she's sent to live with her father — a predatory neighbor.
Both projects, as becomes clear in his conversation with Fresh Air host Terry Gross, tap into Ball's own fascination with "the intricacies of humans relating to each other."
And, like all of his projects, with sex.
You too can better your game at Pebble Beach more info on Wii at Nintendo
* I think someone said this is Tiger woods 07 but I'm not sure
You can watch the segment here:
Clad in an expensive suit, the 32-year-old Aussie sits in the Four Seasons hotel restaurant in Toronto, flashing his dimpled smile as he speaks in his charming accent. Not only is he easy on the eyes, but he's very gracious to the attentive waitress, first politely declining anything to drink before timidly asking if they have any green tea.
"I felt bad not ordering anything," he explains after the waitress leaves. "Like I'm taking up valuable room."
The restaurant is practically empty.
The real-life Kwanten is a stark contrast to Jason Stackhouse, his character on True Blood, the HBO hit vampire drama from Six Feet Under creator Alan Ball. The actor agrees, admitting that he has very little in common with the "modern-day, redneck Casanova" he plays on the show.
"He has no willpower; he has an addiction complex; he has an insecurity complex," Kwanten says. "But I think everyone knows someone like Jason - well, maybe not to the full extreme of the trouble that he gets himself into."
He soon discovered that the hardest part of playing Jason wasn't mastering the Louisiana accent, performing the frequent nude scenes or even acting opposite vampires and daemons. No, Kwanten struggled most with making Jason a three-dimensional, sympathetic character.
"It was a scary thing for me because at first, (Jason) doesn't have a lot of redeeming qualities to him," Kwanten explains, adding that he didn't want Jason to be a caricature. "But I think if you look past what he gives you, he covers his insecurity by sleeping with women or not really being who he is. I think it's in the moments when you see him by himself, in his apartment or his parents' house, you see a little snippet of who Jason really is. I think of those times when he's alone are really powerful."
Luckily for the actor and everyone else involved with the show, vampires are experiencing another surge in popularity. While teenagers are all about Twilight lately, older viewers immediately gravitated toward True Blood, prompting HBO to order a second season after only two episodes had aired. The ratings have continued to grow as the weeks go on, with viewers continuously posting on True Blood message boards, eagerly anticipating the season finale this Sunday (Nov. 23). For his part, Kwanten still can't get used to overwhelming fan reaction to the show.
"I've done shows and films before that have had positive responses, but people are addicted to this show," he says. "It's great being a part of something like that. It's very rare in an actor's life where you have such a great, visceral response from people in all types of ways."
Of course, it's not Kwanten's first experience with an enthusiastic fan base. His last big TV role was as an Australian surfer on the CW drama Summerland and, despite the show being axed in 2005 after two low-rated seasons, he continues to hear from fans who obsessively watch reruns on Nickelodeon and are still heartbroken over its cancellation.
"It's a totally different kind of fan (from True Blood fans)," Kwanten says. "Even the ones who have since got older since Summerland was cancelled, they seem more wide-eyed, whereas the True Blood fans are more inquisitive. They want to know about the character and they want to know about the series - where is this character going? What happens then?"
To be fair to any Summerland fans, True Blood is certainly more layered and has more to analyze than the fluffy CW series.
"Well, you said it," Kwanten replies, chuckling. "That's a nice way to put it."
And unlike Summerland, he adds, when his parents watch True Blood, they say it's one of the few times in Kwanten's career that he's played a character completely different from himself - although they still aren't completely used to his nude scenes.
"Obviously my parents have seen me naked at some point in my life - but not in those positions," Kwanten says, grimacing. "But at least this way is certainly better than being over there and watching it with them. That would be a whole other thing."
So between taking all of his clothes off, starting a relationship with a witch, getting addicted to vampire blood and being framed for several murders, what else could the writers possibly think up for Jason in Season 2? Kwanten doesn't even want to guess.
"I'll put it this way: If I'd just suggested something at the beginning of the season, anything I suggested would pale in comparison to what they put me through. I'm happy to just leave it in the writers' hands and say, 'Look, whatever you want to bring to the table, I will do,'" he says. "I don't know what it's going to be - and I like that."
The True Blood season finale airs Sunday, Nov. 23 at 9 p.m. ET on The Movie Network and HBO Canada.
HBO’s ‘True Blood’ is fangtastic
By Laine Bergeson
Welcome to Bon Temps, La., where all the women are innocent, all the men have secret obsessions and all the vampires — save for a few — try to recapture their lost humanity. A small, swampy, fictional town set deep in (ahem) “real America,” Bon Temps is the central locale in HBO’s frothy new vampire series, “True Blood.”
The series centers on Sookie Stackhouse (played by Anna Paquin), a wide-eyed waitress and reluctant telepath who hears other people’s thoughts on a constant loop. Despite suffering the ritual abuse of growing up “different” — that is, a mind reader — in a small town, Sookie has managed to maintain her natural sweetness and charm. She’s also learned to be emotionally resilient and incredibly open-minded.
These, it turns out, are handy qualities to possess when the undead move into town.
Thanks to the creation of a synthetic blood beverage, Tru Blood (available in flavors A, B, AB and O), which meets all the nutritional needs of the undead and frees them from their dependence on human blood, vampires have “come out of the coffin” and have started mainstreaming into society.
Two years and the advent of a broad vampire-rights movement later, the first vampire, 173-year-old Bill Compton (played by Stephen Moyer), arrives in Bon Temps.
Most residents greet him with wariness and mistrust. Some are openly hostile. But not Sookie. She’s more than tolerant — she’s ecstatic to have company as the resident outcast. As far as she’s concerned, Bill’s arrival is something to celebrate. Laissez les bon temps roulez!
From this main premise — Exotic Other meets Fellow Outsider and together navigate a repression-filled backwater — show creator Alan Ball has spun both detailed fantasy and thoughtful commentary on nearly every pressing issue in modern cultural discourse.
These issues include, but are not limited to, gay rights, civil rights, racism, sexism, tokenism, regionalism, mysticism, cultural exploitation, drug culture and AIDS issues — and whether or not alcoholism can be cured by drowning a demon-addled possum.
In lesser hands, a show this dense might crumble under the weight of its own dogma. But Ball, an Emmy-Award-winner for his groundbreaking series “Six Feet Under,” never forces issues down the viewer’s throat. He lets meta-messages surface, has a bit of fanged fun with them, and then kicks them back to the sidelines so he can focus on the show’s more serious concerns — fantasy, suspense and good old-fashioned vampire sex. (In one episode, a patron at the local watering hole where our protagonist is a waitress remarks, “I read in Glamour that everyone should have sex with a vampire at least once before they die!”)
Yet something about this airy snack of a show sticks to the bones and satisfies the viewer’s hunger for deeper meaning. The secret is perhaps in the blood — human, vampire and synthetic.
Never mind being free from feeding on humans, “True Blood” vampires still crave the real thing, because it’s better, more satisfying and more connected to the humanity they need in order to become mainstream.
Other vampires have gone rogue, rejecting humanity and celebrating their monster qualities. They kill humans not to gain access to more humanity, but to vanquish it.
Similarly, the show’s humans have discovered that, depending on dose and origin, vampire blood has manifold affects on the human body. Called “V” for short, vampire blood drunk in excess — and from the right vampire — can heal fatal wounds. Taken as a single drop, V mimics the psychotropic affects of Ecstasy. Taken in a midsize amount, say a vial-full, V acts like a black-market Viagra, causing a day’s-long erection and other embarrassing medical emergencies.
Whichever way the blood is flowing, a great deal of dependence — some might even say co-dependence — exists between human and vampire. And the dependence isn’t just physiological. The way each group approaches the other — with mistrust, skepticism and no small degree of fetishism — belies a prurient and all-consuming fascination with who and what each groups thinks it is — and is not. (“I’m human, and not like you!” “I’m the undead, and nothing like you).
So determined is each group to cast difference and doubt in the direction of The Other, that each fails to notice the time and energy devoted to the very group it scourges.
Jason Stackhouse (played by Ryan Kwanten), Sookie’s mortal, horndog brother, most personifies this dependence on The Other. When we meet Jason, we learn he has a rapidly burgeoning fetish for vampire sex. He doesn’t want to have sex with a vampire — not yet, anyway — but he has sex with fangbangers — people who have sex with vampires (and, incidentally, my new favorite word).
Jason watches homemade vampire porn, and starts dressing as a vampire during sex. Before long, his friend and drug dealer, Lafayette, introduces him to V, and a whole new dependence is born. For Jason, V is highly addictive. So much so that he can no longer live without it.
His connection with vampires isn’t healthy (which is the case with most long-repressed, socially frowned-on secret obsessions) but it is vital and, increasingly, necessary.
The larger point is not only the degree to which we depend on Otherness to shore up and shape our own lives, but also the degree to which Otherness isn’t so “other” after all. For most of the characters in “True Blood,” the scariest part of coming face-to-face with a vampire is that it’s like looking in a mirror. I am vampire, and she is me.
Early on, Bill asks Sookie if she is afraid to be alone with a hungry vampire. She says no. He responds, “Vampires often turn on those who trust them, you know. We don’t have human values like you.”
To which Sookie replies, “A lot of humans turn on those who trust them, too.”
Later, after a brush with death, Sookie wonders aloud if she should be spending time with someone so different. Bill explains that humans and vampires are not so dissimilar: “How we work is magic, Sookie, and my magic just happens to be a little bit different than yours. But it is magic all the same.”
In a year when a person who personifies many Americans’ definition of Otherness has ascended to the highest office in the land, and in a political race where racial fears and sexism and ageism and many other “-isms” bubbled to the surface, the meta-message of “True Blood” seems more apropos than supernatural, more banal than farfetched.
Our call as viewers, it seems, is to welcome the vampire who returns our gaze, to embrace and celebrate the otherness we embody but often repress.
Well, that and have sex with at least one vampire before we die.
Want more proof of the popularity of blood suckers? HBO execs are saying their freshman vampire series True Blood, also based on a series of novels, is developing an audience faster than The Sopranos, aka one of the most financially successful cable series in the history of TV. Michael Lombardo, HBO's chief of West Coast operations, says that The Sopranos' viewership numbers grew slowly. The big ratings jump didn't come until season two. But True Blood has fared better, with a 66 percent jump in Sunday night viewership since its premiere in September.
Does True Blood have Twilight to thank for its ratings success? Maybe. I'm sure it doesn't hurt the show to be associated with one of the most popular franchises since Harry Potter, but True Blood is obviously aimed at a much more mature audience that its teen-centric counterpart. I think those rabid Alan Ball fans might also have something to do with the ratings spike. This is the writer-producer's first series after viewer and critical darling Six Feet Under. With True Blood, it seems like Ball has been able to tap into a whole new audience without completely alienating fans of his previous work. Now he's got the biggest hit of his career.
So, will True Blood prove to be a bigger success in the long run than The Sopranos? HBO has already green-lit a second season, and Ball seems confident that he'll have stories to tell even after he burns through Charlaine Harris' source material. Or will its momentum fade when the vampire craze calms? I think the show can continue to succeed after the trend dies down, but I don't think it will be as successful as The Sopranos. It's hard to call, but something tells me the mobsters might win this turf war. They pack sliver bullets, right?
I just can't imagine any fans of TB not watching the wonderful and hilarious weekly review vlogs (video blogs) by Brian Juergens et al on afterelton.com.
Can't wait for next season ....
“True Blood: The Great Revelation” by writer David Wohl (“Witchblade,” “The Darkness”) with art by Jason Badower (“Heroes”) with colors by Blond from a story by Brian Cain and Gregg Hale (“The Blair Witch”) a comic book preview to the series.
Created by Alan Ball (“Six Feet Under,” “American Beauty”), “True Blood” is based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris and is set in a world where humans and vampires co-exist thanks to a Japanese-made synthetic blood substitute called TruBlood, the show follows Sookie Stackhouse in her life as a telepathic waitress who falls in love with a vampire. Premiering September 7, “True Blood” stars Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Alexander Skarsgård, Chris Bauer, Lynn Collins and William Sanderson.
In the Top Cow comic, “True Blood: The Great Revelation,” the ancient and wise “Vampire King” of California, Lamar, is summoned to Tokyo for a meeting with the executives of the company that produces TruBlood, where he’ll learn of their broader aspirations and the role they’ve devised for him. The first sixteen pages of the story will be available starting July 24 at HBO, with new installations every Wednesday. The book also contains eight pages of bonus material that includes an interview with Alan Ball.