As television entertainment has evolved over the decades, some things have changed the more they have stayed the same.
For instance, I offer the formula that is coming from a team-up of Vince Vaughn and Glenn Beck. Beck has been at work crafting his latest venture, TheBlaze.com. The TV arm of the digital empire he is building is already available on DISH, and by online streaming for $9.95 a month. If the number of subscribers rises, chances are more cable outlets will make his channel available on its digital tiers.
Actor Vaughn and his production company are behind an effort to offer 20 filmmakers a chance to compete for a top prize of funding and distribution of an original documentary. "The Pursuit of the Truth" is a reality series off to find the next new documentary filmmaker, and it will be hosted by Beck's television enterprise.
The formula is that of either a judged program like "American Idol" or "The Gong Show," or some sort of audience participation like "Dancing With The Stars" or "The X Factor" ... this new program won't be laying any new ground.
The question that remains to be seen is whether political slant will have any factor in the programming. We know which side of the isle Beck comes from. The producers at TheBlaze.com don't hide that fact either. It will be interesting to see if the documentaries need to be political in nature and if they take a side on any one particular subject.
If you are an aspiring filmmaker, you can apply for the show here.
NEW CHANNEL: Time Warner Cable has added RLTV to its digital tier on channel 154. RLTV offers a range of programming aimed at people age 50 and older. Programs feature content on everything from financial planning and starting second careers to travel and entertainment. Other shows focus on health and wellness, as well as volunteerism and community building.
"Viewers who are 50+ are seeking programming that reflects their lives and relates to their interests," RLTV Senior Vice President Patrick Baldwin said in a statement. "We thank Time Warner Cable for its support and are delighted that we can help them deliver relevant programming to this vital audience."
VOTE NOW: WISN-TV Ch. 12's annual voting on area businesses is going right now. The A-List is the station's effort to let the audience weigh in on a number of different areas. You can cast your ballots here.
HAVE A FEW EXTRA MILLION?: Word is that premium channel Starz is up for sale at the right price. The network, which recently canceled its original production "Boss" with Kelsey Grammer, is being spun off by its parent Liberty Media. The cable outlet also recently lost a bid for Disney movies to Netflix.
RUNNING AWAY WITH WALK: "The Walking Dead" continues to take cable channel AMC into more households that it ever has. The mid-season finale on Sunday brought in 6.9 million viewers among the most desired demo of adults age 18 to 49.
Because of the numbers, I'm predicting some sort of program like the zombie drama will be pitched and green lighted for one of the Big 4 Networks – ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox – come next fall.
ELLEN ON THE EAST SIDE: If you had an ugly holiday sweater and went to Walgreens on the East Side Tuesday, you had the chance to compete for a $5,000 gift card from "The Ellen Show."
Hundreds turned out in the store's parking lot after the show went to Twitter to invite area followers. Seeking donations of new toys for Toys For Tots, the show filmed the segments for Wednesday's program, which aired at 3 p.m. on WISN-TV Channel 12.
In case you missed it, you can watch what happened here:
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.