WB Targets Booming U.S. Prison Population With New Sitcom

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ARIES: Some things only become funny when you look back on them years later. Conversely, the events of next week will seem funny at the time, but as the years go by, society will gain sensitivity and learn to outgrow that sort of thing.

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ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

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ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

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ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

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Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

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Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

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  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

WB Targets Booming U.S. Prison Population With New Sitcom

LOS ANGELES—Responding to the explosive growth of the U.S. prison population, WB executives announced Monday that the network will soon launch a new sitcom targeting the nation's approximately 1.8 million incarcerated TV viewers.

"America is fast becoming the most jailed nation on Earth, with prisons packed to capacity and a swamped, inefficient judicial system that is ill-equipped to keep pace with the ever-growing crime rate. Clearly, something had to be done," said WB vice-president of programming Grant Bachman. "And what better way to address this serious crisis than with the outrageous new comedy In Da Yard!, debuting this week as part of the WB's 'Lock-Down Thursdays'?"

"U.S. prisoners," Bachman added, "represent a powerful demographic that this nation's entertainment industry can no longer afford to ignore."

Described in WB promotional literature as "a hysterical look at the nutty goings-on in a typical American maximum-security federal correctional facility," In Da Yard! will give the nation's nearly two million convicts the chance to "follow the weekly adventures of a zany bunch of hardened killers, drug offenders, B&E men and wacky, psychotic rapos" just like themselves.

"It's basically a show about living and learning in the '90s in prison," Bachman said.

Advance advertising figures for the show are said to be "very promising," with several high-profile accounts already secured and airtime pre-sold for most of the show's initial six-week run.

"U.S. inmates spend more than $5 billion in cigarettes each year, using them to buy everything from toilet paper and de-lousing shampoo to playing cards and dice," said Bryce Kelso of Advertising Age. "They're a prime, untapped consumer market that any smart advertiser would want to reach. The fact is, every day this vast market continues to go untargeted is millions more dollars in lost revenue. That's a harsh economic reality, and we cannot turn a blind eye to it. It must be faced."

Added Kelso: "Do you realize that the average rapist is out on the street and in stores in just five years?"

The first six episodes of In Da Yard!, WB officials said, have been extensively focus-grouped on a wide variety of felons at some 70 maximum-security facilities across the U.S. The show has reportedly scored high among all major prison demographics, from armed robbers to child molesters.

Particularly popular among focus groups was the debut episode, in which main character Detroit Ray, sentenced to life without parole for the murder of his wise-cracking landlord, finds himself desperately trying to fend off impending group anal-rape in the prison shower.

"It's great, over-the-top physical comedy," WB president Dan Vittolo said. "And it really seemed to hit test audiences where they live."

Future plotlines include a side-splitting mix-up when Ray's buddy Jorge pretends to be his "bitch" to impress a visiting cellmate; Ray slashing the wrong guard "just because he's too proud to admit he can't see without glasses"; and a full-blown prison riot "gone totally haywire."

"I thought there was going to be a riot right there in the screening room after that one," Vittolo joked.

"We feel confident that we can provide the swollen, overcrowded ranks of the U.S. prison system with characters and situations they can truly relate to," said Miles Forrest, recent Harvard graduate and In Da Yard! head writer. "The difficulty of sneaking a spoon out of the cafeteria to sharpen on a concrete floor; the silly shenanigans that ensue when someone smuggles in heroin inside their rectum; the overworked, underpaid guards and their nutty, sadistic foibles; and the goofy rivalries between warring, tattooed prison gangs—whatever's funny."

What's more, In Da Yard! executive producer Ira Clausner said, the audience for such prison-themed fare will only grow in the coming years.

"The U.S. prison population has doubled in the past 12 years and will probably do so again over the next 12," he said. "With that kind of grim reality working in our favor, we can't lose. Numbers don't lie, and these alarming figures, the result of years of social neglect and public apathy, paint a very bright picture for the future of the WB."

Vittolo agreed. "The number of U.S. inmates now stands at an all-time high," he said. "We'd be fools to just stand around and watch things get worse without lifting a finger to capitalize on the situation."