Will Ferrell Announces ‘Anchorman’ Sequel

Will Ferrell’s swashbuckling newscaster Ron Burgundy had his own breaking news to announce Wednesday night: A sequel to “Anchorman” is finally happening.

Ferrell made a surprise, in-character appearance on “Conan” to regale the audience with a flute solo and declare a deal with Paramount Pictures. A sequel to the 2004 hit comedy, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” has long been discussed.

Ferrell informed host Conan O’Brien: “It’s official, there will be a sequel to `Anchorman.”‘

Earlier, Paramount had declined a musical plan put forth by Ferrell and director Adam McKay that also included a proposed Broadway stage show. No details on the project were immediately available but McKay, producer Judd Apatow, and co-stars Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are expected to return. (AP)

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‘Mad Men’ Gets Record Audience for Season Debut

Fans returned in record numbers for the first new episode of “Mad Men” in 17 months.

AMC says 3.5 million people watched the premiere of the fifth season. That’s 21% higher than the season four premiere. Adding in the repeat that aired later and 4.4 million people tuned in.

The audience had been kept waiting for 17 months after “Mad Men” aired its fourth-season finale in October 2010.

The much-acclaimed drama, set in the advertising world of 1960s New York City, stars Jon Hamm as ad exec Don Draper. (AP)

An Outsider’s View to ‘Mad Men’

Maybe you’ve already heard that Mad Men is returning to AMC after a 17 month hiatus.

Or maybe you don’t have cable – and you live in a cave.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve heard about this show – just within the past month – and I don’t have AMC.

Last night I watched a ‘special’ Charlie Rose featuring Matt Weiner, Jon Hamm, January Jones and some of the other actors.

Weiner emphasized how they strive for historical accuracy with props and even writing. A NBC ‘Rock Center’ segment this week aired a snippet with ‘I’m sooo over him.’ That kind of language is a more recent phenomenon.

Nitpickers point out other things like weather being wrong on this date in 196X. Because some people remember it being sunny that day in October, staff members strive to keep the actual calendar days accurate. Weiner mentioned how he tries to turn it around and use weather patterns/changes in his favor. If it rained on March 23, 196X, he tries to use that to heighten the conflict for a certain scene.

From other shows I’ve learned the cigarettes used are herbal, props are scrutinized over and the background view is actually a backdrop. I’ve only seen eight minutes of one episode – Don Draper and his wife were in Rome?- so I can’t speak that much about the show. I just think it’s so interesting how much attention is being paid to – to one show. (Note: As I write this, the Hunger Games made $17+ million in midnight screenings countrywide. Speaking of pop culture…)

Nitpickers really went after the show when Don Draper turned off the radio during a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech. How could he not listen to it – it was so important they complained. Weiner said Americans may not thought it was that important when it happened. And why aren’t there more balck people in it? Because not that many lived above 50th Street in New York City he learned in the 1960’s.

It sounds like hindsight is the devil with some aspects to the show.

Jon Hamm originally thought their audience would comprise of people 40 and up who remember that time. Turns out they have a huge core college audience. Maybe that age group romanticizes about a time long gone. It almost sounds like the show is a living textbook for some people.

History is just as important as the character storylines.

As a writer I appreciate how much detail is thought about and scrutinized, but at the same time, that’s the chance you take when you deal with historical ‘events.’ It really is a labor of love. I don’t know if I could deal with all that, but at the same time let me say I’m also not writing or working on Mad Men. I have a real job that’s not entertainment-related. And yes, I’d jump at the chance to if it was offered to me! Who wouldn’t?! I just can’t imagine overseeing it all.

It will be interesting to see how many people watch Sunday night’s 2-hour premiere – if the hype really does live up to all the news stories I’ve seen. ‘The Walking Dead’ season finale broke all sorts of records. AMC is becoming an important entertainment force in its own right. And good for them! That’s awesome! If Bravo can corner the market on housewives and History on pawn shops and TruTV on towing companies, then AMC can succeed with dramas.

Datsun to Make Comeback

I found this on forbes.com. I can’t tell you how excited I am by this. Growing up we had a ’78 280ZX 2+2 similar to the below picture.

If you were a car buff in the 60s and 70s, or love that era, you know about Datsun. And soon, a new generation of buyers overseas will know it, too.

Doesn’t ring a bell? Well, before there was Toyota, there was Datsun. Its first cars went on sale in Japan in 1931, a half a decade before Toyota’s.

Datsun was  a key part of the global car market until 1986, when Datsun’s owner, Nissan Motor Company, controversially scrapped the brand name in favor of its own.

But Datsun is now set to make a comeback.

Nissan said Tuesday that it will revive the Datsun name on a line of inexpensive small cars that will be sold in India, Indonesia and Russia. The announcement was made by Nissan/Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn, during a visit to Jakarta. Ghosn plans for Datsun to become Nissan’s third global brand, along with Nissan and Infiniti.

an orginal 1971 Datsun 240ZAn orginal 1971 Datsun 240Z (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By sticking to new models for emerging markets, Nissan most likely can avoid the headaches that it encountered in the United States when Datsun was shown the door in 1981.

Nissan’s decision to rename Datsun as Nissan is considered one of the most memorable brand moves in auto industry history. By then, Datsun had been on the market in the U.S. since 1958, when Nissan sent a pair of executives over to help build sales and brand recognition.

Like Toyota, Datsun got off to a slow start, but it gained followers through the fuel efficient B-210 compact (sold as the Bluebird overseas) and the Z sports car, still considered a classic. Its high-powered fans included Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who even appeared in a Datsun commercial.

So it was a shock to many owners when the company began the task of converting its American dealerships and badges to Nissan. It was a name well-known in Japan, where its parent company was an industrial powerhouse.

Nissan had little resonance in the U.S., however, and the switch caused tons of confusion among American car buyers, and it took years for people to become accustomed to saying Nissan. Some analysts believe the move probably cost Nissan valuable time in competing with Toyota and Honda.

Depending on how well the new Datsuns do, they could be sold in European and UK markets, but there are no plans for now to put them on sale in the U.S.

March Madness is Alive and Well

If you know me, you know I play a NCAA Men’s NCAA Basketball tourney every year. Not for the fame or the fortune (!), but for the camaraderie that comes with the joy of beating friends at their own thought process.

I watched in horror Friday night as #2 Duke lost an agonizing game against #15 Lehigh. Me, and the rest of America, assumed it was a lock they’d win. Guess what?  ‘This is total crap!’ I yelled as the sound of millions of other brackets were torn to bits.

But now that a few days have passed, I can calmly say that’s what March Madness is all about. There’s a statistic out there that it’s like one in 100 billion gazillion odds that someone will correctly guess all the winners. We all know we won’t be that person – but we just all assumed Duke and Missouri would beat their respective opponents. Come on!

Every year when I’d ask my mom who to choose to win it all she always respond ‘Duke’s good.’

But she recently died so I had a tough choice to make – do I honor her wish or play who I think would win? Guess what I did? So happy she wasn’t here to see my anguish. Or – she’s up there and she also threw a fit!

Luckily, I also have my cat’s bracket still in good standing.

I’m learning that some people are good first round bettors – while others are good second rounders. And those are the people that are doing really well right now.

Most of us have had our brackets busted by now – which actually should spice up the race I’m in. I took some chances this year and chose Wisconsin to win. Why? I don’t know. But now, I am may be onto something. I think the new goal is getting as many points as possible – even without choosing the winner. Hell I just want to place second or third – at least get my money’s worth out of this blood curling tournament.

I never really was into bracketology until about a decade ago. I wanted to feel like I was a part of something so I joined. Last year I even named my bracket ‘the $5 I’ll never see again.’

And is it me or was this year really hard to predict? It seemed harder than most to guess. I don’t know – but it made my heart pound to even look at all the choices. That’s dumb. No one knows what will happen.

And that’s why everyone has their own method. Like me.

There’s me and Flea. A few years ago I watched a girl scrutinize over standings and records and thought I could prove her wrong and show that a cat could beat her. Took me 8 years but Fleabait co-won our bracket two years ago. The other co-winner had never entered before – it was his first one!

There are 37 people playing this year. Oh, and one cat.

Here’s hoping for the best for the rest of the tournament! Meow!

Nielsen: 9 million Viewers for ‘Walking Dead’

Television viewers can’t get enough of those zombies.

The Nielsen ratings company said Monday that 9 million people watched the season finale of “Walking Dead” on AMC Sunday night. That’s the largest audience ever for an episode of the series, which is in its second season.

It was the most-watched original drama episode ever on basic cable among some key demographics, including viewers under age 49 and among young men, although it fell short of being the most-watched drama ever on basic cable.

The show’s season average of 6.9 million viewers was up 32% from the first season. (AP)

Urologists Sell ‘Vasectomy Madness’ With NCAA Hoopla