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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

Study Finds Cable-TV Violence Leads To Network-TV Violence

LOS ANGELES—A two-year study of television programming has established a link between cable-TV violence and violent scenarios on network television, the Institute for Media Research announced Monday.

A violent scenario from the cable series <i>The Sopranos</i>.

"Our data shows that cable violence, particularly the more brutal, consequence-free violence found on premium-cable channels like HBO, leads to violence on broadcast channels like ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox," IMR researcher Donald Peck said. "This phenomenon has created an ever-widening spiral of violence on our nation's airwaves."

Peck said the IMR based its report on analysis of 700,000 hours of cable- and network-TV broadcasts from the past 20 years. According to the report, prior to the advent of cable television, relatively little gratuitous violence aired on network television. In the years since the proliferation of cable, however, incidents of violent entertainment have increased dramatically.

"Back in the late '70s, when cable was in its infancy, the most violent image you were likely to see on network television was the Incredible Hulk bending a metal bar," Peck said. "Now, entire network programs, like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, are devoted to violent sexual assault. Where is this behavior coming from? It must have been learned somewhere, or people on TV would still emerge from car wrecks dazed but uninjured."

"Something must be done to stop this cycle of violence," Peck added. "It's killing America's TV children."

According to IMR statistics, a cable-television character is killed once every seven minutes. Between 9 and 11 p.m. EST, that rate is even higher.

"Some will argue that cable-TV violence is irrelevant to the real problem—violence on the nation's broadcast channels," Peck said. "But our study revealed that cable television has a quantifiable effect on young network shows. Impressionable shows often look up to their cable counterparts—who have greater freedom—and imitate them in an effort to stay 'edgy.'"

Peck said that even when cable networks aren't emulating cable shows, they often use cable shows to justify their own violent content.

"Networks see The Sopranos and The Shield, and they think they're seeing normal TV reality," Peck said. "They use it to justify their own violent content on everything from their family dramas to their police and courtroom thrillers."

Peck said that, ironically, television crime fighters are the most significant perpetrators of TV violence.

"TV cops say they're fighting violence, but more often than not, their own shows are the worst offenders," Peck said. "The cops on Law & Order claim to be working for the good of minor characters, but the more violent criminals they find and convict, the more spin-offs they create. These shows trade in the violence they purportedly denounce, and the violence spreads like a disease to other channels."

Peck said the study found that when violence begins to spread on the network level, the overall negative effect on the safety of television characters increases dramatically.

"Even though the acts depicted on network television tend to be less violent than those depicted on cable, there are more of them, and the net result is an increase in the amount of episodic violence," Peck said. "In this way, they do more damage than the premium-cable programs they emulate could ever do—even ones as popular as The Sopranos or Oz."

"Our findings are hardly surprising," Peck added. "Just last month, we released a similar report linking sexual promiscuity on cable shows like Sex And The City to increased sexual activity on young network shows like Coupling."

Sandra Gunderfeld, a member of the San Francisco-based television-character advocacy organization Stop All The Violence, expressed dismay at the IMR's findings.

"The fictionalized depiction of crime and violence is the greatest problem facing Americans on TV today," Gunderfeld said. "The IMR's message is clear. If we want to stop violence on network television, we need to attack it at its source: cable television. That's the way to make all of TV Land safer."

Fictional detective Andy Sipowicz said he is no stranger to the harsh reality of make-believe violence on network-television streets.

"It's true that something must be done," said the long-running character, speaking words written by NYPD Blue creator Steven Bochco. "You don't know what it's like for us imaginary characters out there on the front lines of America's TV streets."

"Every day, our made-up lives are on the line," Sipowicz continued. "If we catch a bullet, there's no way of knowing what could happen, at least not until after the next commercial break. Many who have fallen in the line of duty never make it back into the storyline. They're gone forever."

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