This time last week, people had one less option for finally deciding to cancel their cable subscription. This week, apparently Apple has now come up with a plan to push you over the edge and cut cable out of your life.
If that wasn't horrifying enough (at least for cable companies, that is) Wes Bentley is coming back to stir up more horror in "American Horror Story: Hotel," a couple of extremely funny ladies and a former child star who once saw dead people join IFC's follow-up to the ridiculous "Spoils of Babylon" and a new teaser trailer has been released for Fox's "Scream Queens," which shows Emma Roberts and a demonic bubble gum bubble. Be afraid ... be very afraid.
1. Apple is planning a limited, low-cost streaming service to compete with cable
If it isn't apparent to you already, cable is dying. More and more people are canceling the often costly cable subscriptions and opting for a new way to watch their favorite shows. A lot more people are much more willing to pay for Internet access, but are finding it more expensive to pay for a more traditional TV cable subscription.
Is Apple planning on taking advantage of this generation? Quite possibly so.
According to the New York Times, Apple has held talks with a number of leading television groups to offer an Internet-based TV service that can be streamed through its products.
The service, which could be announced later this year, would offer a bundle of 25 channels, which is significantly smaller and cheaper than the large catalog in a typical cable subscription.
The plan would potentially offer networks owned by the television groups Disney, Fox, CBS and Discovery, the Times article mentioned. That could include the broadcast networks ABC, CBS and Fox, along with a lineup of other cable networks, such as ESPN and Discovery Channel.
As of now, there are a lot more questions than answers when it comes to Apple's plan. First, the total number of networks to be offered has yet to be determined. Second, according to the article, Apple is not including all of the networks owned by each of the TV groups as deals haven't been made yet, which could be problematic for some folks. Third, Comcast and its NBC/Universal has not come to terms on a deal with Apple. So, if they don't reach a deal, Apple's service will not include NBC or the other cable networks it owns.
According to the Times, Comcast could eventually be forced to come to a deal with Apple because of the conditions that it agreed to with regulators when it acquired NBC/Universal in 2011. Under those agreements, an online video provider like Apple could demand that NBC/Universal make its programming available if Apple has signed deals with other television groups.
This news follows last week's announcement that Apple had gained a limited and exclusive partnership with HBO to offer the network's HBO Now service. I would imagine that HBO Now would be included in Apple's cable service, but nothing has been confirmed. As far as pricing goes, there has been rumors that Apple's cable service could cost upwards of $30 to $40 per month. If HBO Now, which will reportedly cost $15 a month, is factored into Apple's service, then who knows if subscribers will have to pay extra or not.
Again, as of now, there are more questions than answers. The Wall Street Journal alluded that Apple will make an official announcement later this year with far more details and, hopefully, answers to raising questions.
2. Wes Bentley joins Matt Bomer and Lady Gaga for "American Horror Story: Hotel"
Now that Jessica Lange is done with the series, a cast is coming together for "American Horror Story: Hotel," which is set to premiere later this year. It's been recently announced that Wes Bentley is checking in to possibly cause more trouble. He joins the cast that already includes Matt Bomer ("White Collar") and Lady Gaga.
Bentley last appeared in "American Horror Story: Freak Show" in which he was the ghostly Edward Mordrake, a magician-looking creepy folk who was hell-bent on some revenge from beyond. In case his character's 19th century Chris Angel appearance wasn't freaky enough, he had a face on the back of his head that said evil things, causing Mordrake even more trouble.
Oh, and if the freaks performed on Halloween night, he would show up and kill one of them. But first, he'd determine which freak would die by making them to tell him their backstory, auditioning them to be part of his ghostly crew.
Although his character caused much of the confusion during "AHS: Freak Show," Bentley has that maniacal look, which is a perfect fit for show that aims to be as disturbing – or at least as disturbing as the network allows.
As of right now, mostly everything is being kept under wraps for what's to come in "AHS: Hotel." Although we can understand that it's going to take place in a hotel (obviously), we don't know what kind of terror is going to be checking in. For a show that already has had creepy spirits, a crazed killer in a rubber suit, aliens, a psychotic Santa Claus, demonic nuns, a killer clown, weird German surgeons, mutations and more, who knows what the new season will bring into the horrific fray.
No matter what the vague "Hotel" subtitle suggests (it's my hope that the new season will be inspired by "The Shining"), bad things are going to happen – and I'll be watching every second of it.
3. Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Haley Joel Osment join IFC's "Spoils of Babylon" follow-up
Funny ladies Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph and former child star Haley Joel Osment have joined IFC’s six-part comedic miniseries "The Spoils Before Dying." If you recall, both Wiig and Osment appeared in the first installment of the "Spoils" franchise, "The Spoils of Babylon," which aired on IFC last year and earned Wiig an Emmy-nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries.
Michael K. Williams ("The Wire") was previously announced as Rock Banyon, a struggling jazz pianist at the center of a pulpy murder mystery. Set in 1962 during the height of the Los Angeles jazz scene, the show will follow Rock as he becomes the prime suspect in the double murder of singer and occasional lover Fresno Foxglove (Rudolph), who is found dead in a car with another man. Panicked, Rock splits town for Mexico where he reunites with his one-time big band singer Delores O’Dell (Wiig).
Determined to prove his innocence and avoid the electric chair, Rock and Delores head back to the U.S. on a dangerous journey for the elusive truth. In the mean time, Rock’s manager Alistair St. Barnaby (Osment) obliviously pressures Rock to record a mainstream jazz album. Even more amusing yet, Will Ferrell also reprises his role as Eric Jonrosh, the auteur turned director who opens and closes each episode of his latest adaptation.
This is going to be all kinds of ridiculousness.
4. A new trailer for "Scream Queens" teases bubble gum terror
Considering the word is in the title, viewers better expect to scream when Fox's "Scream Queens" premieres this fall. The network has released a second teaser trailer for the new horror-comedy (horror com?) anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Ian Brennan and Dante Di Lorento – otherwise known as the production team behind "American Horror Story" and the equally horrifying "Glee."
In the teaser, co-ed Emma Roberts (last seen being sawed in two in "American Horror Story: Freak Show") walks up to the camera and reveals demonic chewing gum (not a misprint). Since this is only a teaser, who knows if the bubble gum in the show will actually be demonic. If it is, I bet the scream queens are going to get into quite the sticky situation.
For you horror fans, you'll be pleased to find out that Jamie Lee Curtis – one of the most iconic scream queens in history – is part of the cast in a key role. Starring alongside Curtis and Roberts are Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele, Abigail Breslin and Keke Palmer. Grammy nominee and "actress" Ariana Grande will also guest star in a recurring role, as will Nick Jonas.
The first installment in "Scream Queens" revolves around a college campus which is rocked by a series of murders. Production is scheduled to begin in the spring, with the series premiering later this fall with lots of blood to inevitably be spilled.
Colton Dunham's passion for movies began back as far as he can remember. Before he reached double digits in age, he stayed up on Saturday nights and watched numerous classic horror movies with his grandfather. Eventually, he branched out to other genres and the passion grew to what it is today.
Only this time, he's writing about his response to each movie he sees, whether it's a review for a website, or a short, 140-character review on Twitter. When he's not inside of a movie theater, at home binge watching a television show, or bragging that he's a published author, he's pursuing to keep movies a huge part of his life, whether it's as a journalist/critic or, ahem, a screenwriter.