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In Movies & TV Commentary

HBO Go makes the premium cable service portable and challenges Netflix and Hulu.

In Movies & TV Commentary

Channel 4's Lauren Leamanczyk leaves next month for Boston.

OnMedia: Still waiting for HBO's new app

HBO reports a million downloads of its new HBO Go app for the iPhone and iPad and Android devices, in the first week since its launch this month.

I've already downloaded the application, which turns your HBO subscription into a mobile service onto my own iPad.

But, until Time Warner Cable reaches an agreement with the premium programming service, it's useless to me. HBO Go service is available locally to satellite and AT&T U-Verse subscribers, but not yet for southeast Wisconsin's biggest program provider.

Let me quickly say that this has nothing to do with the Time Warner's local operation, so don't bother calling them to complain if you're interested in the HBO Go. This is corporate – national, not local – and the word is talks are continuing with HBO to offer the revolutionary service.

By the way, HBO is owned by Time Warner, so you'd think this would be easy. But Time Warner Cable and AOL Time Warner are now two completely separate companies.

The future of television is portable and available to watch at any time, HBO Go fits that bill, offering some 1,400 titles, including current shows and recent movies, along with classic programs, like "The Sopranos." And the fact that there's no extra charge, since you're already paying through your TV service, is an enormous plus.

It's a challenge to Netflix and Hulu, and could just be the first of a series of apps by individual programmers that continue to put viewers in control of their viewing, rather than programmers.

Here's HBO's own promo for HBO GO:

Off to Beantown: Veteran Channel 4 reporter Lauren Leamanczyk reports she'll be "trading cheese curds for chowder" and heading to Boston's CBS affiliate WBZ-TV next month.

Her last day at Channel 4, where she started in 2004, will be in early June.

"I'm excited for the terrific opportunity, but will be sad to leave the friends I've made in Milwaukee and at TMJ4. I have really grown to love this city," the Chicago native told me.

And I've already received questions about the number of Channel 4 people leaving in recent. TV folks come and go all the time, and each of the individuals have their own personal and professional reasons. We're more likely to notice such changes on a channel we watch, than on another channel.

It's human nature to create a pattern to events, but after many years of covering these comings and goings, they're all about the individuals.

On TV: reports that Hugh Grant was close to signing on to CBS' "Two and a Half Men," before pulling out. The hunt continues for an "A-lister" to replace Charlie Sheen.

  • Milwaukee's City Channel 25 (Channel 25 on Time Warner Cable, Channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse) is now streaming on the city's Web site.
  • Tucson's NBC affiliate won't air next week's "Law & Order: LA" episode in prime time, since it's based on the shooting that left six dead, and 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, wounded in the Arizona city earlier this year. Instead it'll air Tuesday at 1:05 a.m.
  • I can't believe there's much very much interest in the list of nominees for the daytime Emmys, but here's the complete list if you want to see it.

A successful "roadblock": That foster care public service announcement that I wrote about in Monday's column ended up airing Tuesday night on Channels 4, 6, 12 and 58, along with a handful of other Milwaukee outlets during the 10 p.m. newscasts, as well as in four other Wisconsin TV markets in a quest for 1,000 foster families.

In addition, the spot aired in the 10 p.m. half-hour on five Green Bay TV stations, three LaCrosse, or LaCrosse/Eau Claire stations, and three Madison stations.

Here's the spot, produced by Serve Marketing for Adoption Resources of Wisconsin:


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