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Entertainment

How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
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Entertainment

Learning Channel Switches To All-Gilligan Format

ROSSLYN, VA—In a move considered inevitable by cable-industry insiders, The Learning Channel announced Monday its decision to give up attempts to package educational material for the commercial television market. Beginning July 15, the network will switch over to an "All-Gilligan" format.

A preview of The Learning Channel's new programming. TLC officials say that in the future, viewers can expect to see fewer science specials and more head bonks involving coconuts.

"To hell with learning," said Mark Almond, head of programming for the struggling network at a press conference announcing the changeover. "I mean, who were we kidding? A commercial station with programming that focuses exclusively on educational topics? Who wants to sit home and watch a bunch of penguins laying eggs or some crap like that? Gee, that should really pull in the ratings."

"Christ!" Almond added. "Who needs it?"

According to a network press release, under TLC's new format, viewers will enjoy 24-hour Gilligan availability.

"Beginning July 15 on The Learning Channel, there will be Gilligan, and the Skipper, too, as well as the millionaire and his wife," read the press release for the new format, which is being heavily promoted by TLC with the new catch-phrase, "Learning? Pfft!"

The format switch is considered the most significant cable-industry retooling since The History Channel adopted its current all-Hitler format in 1994.

TLC officials say that many new programming formats were considered by the network before the decision to go all-Gilligan, including: all-Danza, all-psychic, all-Manimal, and all-spandex aerobic crotch thrusting.

"We opted for the Gilligan-centered programming strategy after research indicated that there was no other show--whether sitcom, game show, drama, cartoon, musical-variety, or anything else--that required less intelligence to watch and comprehend," vice-president of programming Bob Hile said.

Plovis-area nine-year-old Timmy McWimmy, a member of TLC's new target demographic, was pleased with the announcement.

"It's funny how they can't get off the island. When Gilligan tries to get off the island he always messes up, and then they have to stay," McWimmy said, moments before spilling a popsicle on himself.

Sub-literate pre-teens, however, are not the only demographic group the all-Gilligan format targets.

"The widely varied cast of characters presents us with many opportunities for broad-based market penetration," TLC sales director Martin Vogler said. "The presence of Ginger, the movie star, provides the kind of sex appeal for adult male viewers that our learning-directed programming sorely lacked. Also, the wholesome Mary Ann draws viewership among mothers between 30 and 55; the Howells will attract high-income 55- to 70-year-olds, and the presence of the Professor ensures that there will still be enough science-based content for us to retain our old viewers who might still be interested in learning."

The fact that most Americans have already seen and memorized every episode of the critically panned mid-'60s sitcom is "of little to no concern," TLC executives said.

"Studies show that easy recognizability of deeply ingrained icons plays a greater role in positive viewer response to a program than does the desire to follow an unfamiliar narrative," Vogler said.

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