Posts Tagged ‘HBO’

HSN’s Universal Vault Hitchcock Jewelry Is For ‘The Birds’

October 31, 2012

Are we the only folks to find this a little disturbing?

Perhaps appropriately tomorrow, on Halloween, HSN will be presenting Universal Vault Jewelry: Hitchcock. This is billed as “jewelry inspired by iconic movies starring Hollywood’s most glamorous women.”

This collection includes a raven black crystal brooch, a gold bird ring and a feather stone brooch. Birds and Hitchcock? We wonder what movie this is referencing?

Of course, it is “The Birds,” a Hitchcock horror classic where these winged creatures all of a sudden, without explanation, start attacking people. This includes plucking Suzanne Pleshette’s eyes out, in a scene that in its day was terribly shocking. This was before gore porn films like “Saw,” remember.

And HSN is doing jewelry based on animals that are killers in this movie?

This jewelry line is particularly galling to us because we just watched the HBO movie “The Girl,” which is actress Tippi Hedren’s story about how a repulsive Hitchcock kept sexually harassing her during the shooting of “The Birds” and “Marnie.” He recites some disgusting off-color limericks to her that if he had ever said to a Jersey girl like us, we would have knocked him on his fat ass.

And, according to the film, REAL live birds were thrown at Hedren, two days on end, in a scene where she opens up a door and is attacked and bloodied by this monsters. Hedren claims that the sadistic director had led her to believe that mechanical birds would be used in the scene.

So how about an HSN pin with a bird holding one of Pleshette’s eyeballs in its beak?

‘True Blood’-Inspired Fragrance, ‘Bite Me’ Lipstick Coming To HSN

July 3, 2012

HSN apparently wants to do bad things with you.

Yes, talk about an odd couple, HSN and HBO. Really?

HSN and “True Blood”? Holy cow!

What would Sookie say? Well, she’s got a nail polish named after her now.

Here’s the deal: HBO Global Licensing is launching Forsaken, a fragrance inspired By the award-winning sexy vampire soap opera on HSN on Aug. 9.

This Forsaken Collection will include not only the fragrance developed by Givaudan, but also home goods from D.L. & Co. and the first-ever lip color with coordinating nail shade from Deborah Lippmann

Not for nuthin’, as we say in Jersey, but when we were covering cable we were mad about “True Blood,” and blogged about it, during its first season, before it became a big hit.

HBO has partnered with Forsaken LLC, a specialty licensing partnership created by Multi Media Exposure and Virtue Development, to create a one-of-a-kind luxury collection which includes: the Forsaken signature fragrance created by Givaudan; beauty products from Deborah Lippmann and home fragrance products from D.L. & Co.

A first for HBO, the line will launch exclusively on HSN in conjunction with the show’s fifth season. The collection will be available at the HBO Shop in September and will follow with worldwide distribution at specialty retailers late this year.

The Forsaken collection will be spotlighted on HSN with four one-hour segments running throughout the day on Aug. 9, starting at 12:01 a.m.

“We were thrilled to have met HSN through our existing relationship with Givaudan,” James Costos, vice president of HBO Global Licensing, said in a canned statement. “Mindy Grossman at HSN introduced us to amazing partners who made the Forsaken line a reality by developing and executing fabulous products. We are excited to provide HSN with the exclusive launch as it introduces the ‘True Blood’ brand to a whole new audience.”

HSN chimed in.

“HSN is proud to be the first to offer HBO’s Forsaken collection,” said Betsy Olum, general manager of beauty and merchandising strategy. “It’s one of a kind, sensual collection of products that taps into the essence of the show, and will excite both the HSN customer and the ‘True Blood’ fan.”

Forsaken will be available to consumers in an Eau de Parfum, a body cream and shimmering body veil powder.

Here’s the hype from the press release:

The fragrance is evocative of the dark and seductive world of ‘True Blood,’ capturing the soul of the show and combining it with trendsetting, iconic products.

Prominent fragrance house Givaudan developed Forsaken with an addictive blend of light and dark notes. Pulpy fruits paired with crisp pear notes are followed by mid notes of night blooming jasmine, also fittingly known as Queen of the Night. The scent closes with the dark muskiness of amber and patchouli. Ultra feminine, yet sultry, the fragrance will cast a spell on everyone.

The Forsaken fragrance will be incorporated into a nail lacquer developed by world-renowned celebrity manicurist, Deborah Lippmann, who began crafting her own nail colors over 15 years ago. The lacquer that carries the fragrance is entitled ‘Let It Bleed’ and is part of a combination set with a coordinating lipstick — Lippmann’s first ever — called ‘Bite Me.’

Lippmann also created two additional sets for the collection: ‘Sookie Sookie’ featuring full-size ‘Human Nature,’ ‘Fairydust’ and ‘Bad Things’; and a trio of minis including ‘Strange Love,’ ‘New Flesh’ and ‘Bad Blood.’

Rounding out the collection is a specialty line of home products from D. L. & Co., which includes luxury candles and diffusers with the Forsaken scent developed by Givaudan.

Here’s the press release’s boilerplate on “True Blood.” We don’t know why it doesn’t mention all the naked bodies and kinky sex in the show.

Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, ‘True Blood’ takes place in the not-too-distant future, when vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source.

The show follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her soul mate, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer). Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy-winning HBO series ‘Six Feet Under’) created and executive produces the show, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Actor Jon Seda, A Jersey Guy, Tells Us Why He Had To Play World War II Hero John Basilone In ‘The Pacific’

May 31, 2010

Clifton native Jon Seda as World War II hero John Basilone in The Pacific

It’s fitting that the profile we’ve been working to do since March, on actor Jon Seda, was posted today, Memorial Day, on

It was in March that we first made our request to HBO to talk to Seda, who portrayed World War II hero John Basilone in HBO’s miniseries “The Pacific.” In fact, we made the request before the episodes starting running. But Seda was busy working on a pilot, and then one scheduled interview got cancelled when one of Seda’s family members got sick. We finally spoke to him May 13.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that it’s not just about home shopping. It’s about our passions, which include TV programming and, God help us, New Jersey. And both Basilone, who won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroics on Guadalcanal, and Seda are from New Jersey. Basilone hailed from Raritan, while Seda is from Clifton. Seda is also of Puerto Rican descent, like us. So we just had to write that story.

When we asked HBO’s public relations exec to tell Seda to expect questions about Jersey, she said that wouldn’t be a problem, that he loves talking about his home state. And she was dead right.

Seda, whose work we’ve enjoyed in shows like “Homicide: Life On The Street,” called from LA. He was down to earth, warm, and was in fact an enthusiastic fan of NJ. He even married a Jersey girl, someone from Passaic.

Seda riding in last year's Basilone memorial parade in Raritan

We were especially interested in Seda because of his Clifton connection. Right out of Medill at Northwestern, our first job was at The Herald-News in Passaic. As it turns out, Seda told us he grew up right by The Herald-News building, a place we spent many hours in — and that his first job was as a delivery boy for the paper.

The Cloud 9 bar right next to The Herald was the paper’s hangout, and we spent many an evening there doing shots of tequila and closing the place down.

Seda’s favorite spot to eat in Clifton was The Hot Grille, a greasy spoon on Lexington Avenue that we’ve been to.

We also learned that up until a few years ago, Seda lived in the town we reside in now, Montclair. He said he loved it there, but that he had to move his family to LA for his career.

Seda said he felt a special affinity with Basilone. They were both from Jersey, and they were both boxers. Seda was good, training in the gym of comedian Lou Costello in Paterson, N.J., and of veteran boxing trainer Dominick Bufano in Jersey City. But his mom convinced to take acting lessons, and Seda’s teacher told him he had real talent.

The rest is history.

Basilone is a legendary figure for his part in repelling — with just a handful of men and several heavy machine guns — a wave of literally hundreds, if not 1,000, Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal in 1942. He won the Congressional Medal for that, and was then called stateside to tour and sell war bonds.

Seda with actress Annie Parisse, who played Basilone's wife Lena in The Pacific

But Basilone wasn’t content to stay safe at home. Congressional Medal of Honor winners don’t go back to combat. But Basilone wanted to be back with his fellow Marines in the Pacific arena. He was killed during the Marine invasion of Iwo Jima.

Some might call Basilone crazy for tempting fate and going back to the war, but Seda said he understood that. The actor still misses boxing, and could see how Basilone (who boxed while in the military) would want to go back.

“I look at it like a boxer, who just can’t leave the fight when they feel they still have that fight in them,” Seda told me.

Raritan hasn’t forgotten Basilone. Each September, it holds a Basilone memorial weekend, which includes a parade in his honor through town. Seda came to Raritan last September to attend the event, and met many of the town folk. They loved him.

So here’s to Basilone, and to all those who gave their lives for our country.

‘True Blood’ Will Be Back Doing Bad Things To You June 13 For Its Third Season

May 18, 2010

The Homeshoppingista’s passions include not only home shopping but also New Jersey and great TV programming. And we just got a press release from HBO on the return of one of our favorite shows, “True Blood.”

Oh, how we have missed Bill and Eric, and the phenomenal intro to the show.

Here are the fang-tastic details:

For Immediate Release


With Bon Temps still reeling from the Maenads’ reign of terror, Sookie Stackhouse begins her desperate quest for the whereabouts of Bill Compton, while her fellow townspeople face new threats that make their previous problems seem tame by comparison.

TRUE BLOOD kicks off its 12-episode third season SUNDAY, JUNE 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO, followed by other new episodes on subsequent Sundays at the same time. Mixing romance, suspense, mystery and humor, the show takes place in the not-too-distant future, when vampires have come out of the coffin, thanks to the invention of mass-produced synthetic blood that means they no longer need humans as a nutritional source.

The show follows the romance between waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), who can hear people’s thoughts, and her boyfriend, 173-year-old vampire Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), who went missing at the end of season two last year, and is now the object of a frantic search. Alan Ball (creator of the Emmy-winning HBO series “Six Feet Under”) created and executive produces the show, which is based on the best-selling Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

Other returning cast regulars on TRUE BLOOD include: Ryan Kwanten as Sookie’s trouble-prone brother Jason Stackhouse; Rutina Wesley as her in-mourning best friend Tara Thornton; Sam Trammell as Sookie’s shape-shifting boss Sam Merlotte; Nelsan Ellis as Tara’s sharp-tongued cousin Lafayette Reynolds; Chris Bauer as on-the-wagon detective Andy Bellefleur; Carrie Preston as Sookie’s fellow waitress Arlene Fowler; Todd Lowe as Terry Bellefleur; Jim Parrack as Hoyt Fortenberry; Alexander Skarsgård as vampire sheriff Eric Northman; Deborah Ann Woll as teen vamp Jessica Hamby; William Sanderson as Sheriff Bud Dearborne; Mariana Klaveno as Lorena Krasiki; and Kristin Bauer van Straten as Eric’s vampire sidekick Pam.

Joining the cast in season three are: Denis O’Hare as Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi; Joe Manganiello as Alcide, a benevolent werewolf assigned to help Sookie; Brit Morgan as Debbie Pelt, Alcide’s werewolf ex-girlfriend; Theo Alexander as Russell Edgington’s royal consort Talbot; Grant Bowler as Coot, a werewolf; Lauren Bowles as Holly, a new Merlotte’s waitress; Marshall Allman as Sam’s long-lost brother Tommy Mickens; J. Smith Cameron as Sam’s mother Melinda Mickens; Cooper Huckabee as Sam’s father Joe Lee Mickens; Alfre Woodard as Ruby Jean Reynolds, Lafayette’s mom; James Frain as Franklin Mott, a vampire with a hidden agenda; Kevin Alejandro as Jesus Velasquez, an orderly who connects with Lafayette; and Lindsay Pulsipher as Crystal Norris, a mysterious girl from out of town who shares an instant connection with Jason.

Returning this season is Evan Rachel Wood as Sophie-Anne, the Vampire Queen of Louisiana.

June’s episodes:

Episode #25: “Pack of Wolves”

Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 13 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)

Other HBO playdates: June 13 (11:00 p.m.), 15 (11:00 p.m.), 16 (10:00 p.m.), 19 (10:35 p.m.) and 30 (8:00 p.m.), and July 4 (9:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: June 14 (8:00 p.m.), 17 (10:00 p.m.), 18 (11:00 p.m.) and 20 (4:00 p.m.)

Sookie (Anna Paquin) turns to Eric (Alexander Skarsgård) for help in finding Bill (Stephen Moyer); Andy (Chris Bauer) urges Jason (Ryan Kwanten) to stay the course; Sam (Sam Trammell) reconnects with his past; Tara (Rutina Wesley) seeks refuge from her grief.

Written by Brian Buckner; directed by Daniel Minahan.

Episode #26: “Beautifully Broken”

Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 20 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: June 20 (11:00 p.m.), 22 (11:00 p.m.), 23 (10:00 p.m.), 26 (10:30 p.m.) and 30 (9:00 p.m.), and July 4 (10:00 p.m.)

HBO2 playdates: June 21 (8:00 p.m.), 24 (10:00 p.m.), 25 (11:00 p.m.) and 27 (3:00 p.m.)

Russell Edgington (Denis O’Hare), the Vampire King of Mississippi, concocts a plan to consolidate his power; Eric remembers his past; Sam tests the strength of his family bonds; Tara finds an ally in shady vampire Franklin Mott (James Frain).

Written by Raelle Tucker; directed by Scott Winant.

Episode #27: “It Hurts Me Too”

Debut: SUNDAY, JUNE 27 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)

Other HBO playdates: June 27 (11:30 p.m.), 29 (11:30 p.m.) and 30 (10:00 p.m.), and July 3 (4:40 a.m.), 4 (11:00 p.m.), 6 (11:30 p.m.), 7 (10:00 p.m.) and 10 (10:30 p.m.)

HBO2 playdate: June 28 (8:00 p.m.)

In search of Bill, Sookie heads to Jackson, Miss. in the company of Alcide (Joe Manganiello), a werewolf bodyguard assigned by Eric to protect her. Jason is distracted from his police exams; Bud (William Sanderson) reaches the end of his rope; Arlene (Carrie Preston) copes with unexpected news; Franklin charms Tara, and gets Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll) out of a jam; Eric bequeaths a gift to Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis). Haunted by visions from his past, Bill (Stephen Moyer) makes a surprising pledge of allegiance.

Written by Alexander Woo; directed by Michael Lehmann.

Concluding its 2009 run last September, the second season of TRUE BLOOD was a hit with critics as well as subscribers. The Boston Globe called the show “pure perfection,” while the San Francisco Chronicle termed it “bloody good,” and New York’s Daily News hailed the “exceptionally good ensemble cast.”

“True Blood: The Complete Second Season” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray May 25. Bonus features include “Character Perspectives,” “Vampire News,” trivia and in-depth audio commentary.

TRUE BLOOD was created by Alan Ball; based on the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris; executive producers, Alan Ball and Gregg Fienberg; co-executive producers, Brian Buckner, Nancy Oliver and Alexander Woo; supervising producer, Raelle Tucker; producer, Mark McNair; associate producer, Christina Jokanovich.

The Homeshoppingista’s Excellent Adventure To Interview ‘Jersey Couture’ Folk, And Wondering Why We Never Knew Actor Jon Seda Was A Neighbor In Montclair

May 15, 2010

We were in Freehold, N.J., to interview the Jersey Couture cast

It’s 1:35 a.m., so why are birds chirping outside?

Sorry no blog yesterday folks, but we were busy working.

Thursay we interviewed actor Jon Seda, who played hero John Basilone in HBO’s “The Pacific,” for a story we’re writing for Seda, of Puerto Rican descent like us, grew up in Clifton, N.J. And he lived in Montclair, our town, until a few years ago.

Friday, we drove down to Freehold to Diane & Co., the formalwear shop this is the setting for Oxygen’s new reality show, “Jersey Couture.” Loved the family that runs the shop and stars in the show, the latest in a flood of Jersey reality shows.

Did interview and then met BFF Ann McGettigan at Freehold Mall, where we had lunch at my fav, PF Changs. We had an apple martini, Ann was good.

We checked out Territory Ahead, where we bought a freshwater brooch that was on sale. Checked out the stuff we can’t afford at Nordstroms, then went to Borders where Ann installed The Homeshoppingista’s new blog logo.

We and Ann parted, and The Homeshoppinsta stopped at TJ Maxx. We bought an Our Lady of Guadalupe medal. She’s our special saint.

Stopped for chocolate milkshake at McDonalds.

Went to New York Sports Club on Route 9, to work off milkshake.

Drove home, opened mail, checked e-mails, wrote this blog.

Listened to and watched “Beautiful” music video by 10 years about 2 dozen times. That song is so haunting. We saw that video while on the elliptical at Freehold NYSC.

The Jon Seda profile and “Jersey Couture” story will be coming soon to

Find Out Why New Jersey, With Its ‘Loud and Proud’ Natives,’ Has Become Reality-TV Central With Shows Like ‘Jersey Shore’ And ‘Jerseylicious’

December 23, 2009

Jersey Has Become A Reality-TV Mecca

If you’ve read this blog at all, you know we’re from Jersey, and proud of it. Who knew that characteristic would make the Garden State appealing to reality-show producers.

We talked to the TV experts — including a gentleman who trains folks to get on, and be on, reality shows, Robert Galinsky — for our story on why ‘Joisey’ (as some morons still say, trying to mock us) has become a reality-TV mecca. It’s posted on

Galinsky, founder of the New York Reality TV School, told us that producers like the fact that Jersey natives are “loud and proud.” That makes for fun reality TV.

Which reality shows are rooted here? First there was the Bravo hit “The Real Housewives of New Jersey.” Then MTV’s controversial piece of garbage “Jersey Shore” made waves (get it) in Seaside Heights. On Wednesday New Jersey Italian American legislators called for Viacom to pull the plug on the trashy show.

On MTV2’s “School of Surf,” kids from Ocean City compete in the Red Bull’s Riders Cup.

TLC loves Jersey, with “Cake Boss” shot in a Hoboken bakery and “Table for 12” about a Marlboro family with two sets of twins and sextuplets.

And coming up next spring, in March, is Style Network’s “Jerseylicious,” about the owner and stylists at the Gatsby Salon in Green Brook. You’ll be hearing more about “Jerseylicious” shortly.

Big hair, leopard skin clothes, a lot of attitude and our own dialect — God, we love Jersey.

We Take Third Shot At Finding Out If Plastic Surgeon Dr. Robert Rey Will Keep HSN Gig, While Also Selling Product On ShopNBC

October 28, 2009

Call us crazy, but we’re taking a third shot to try to find out if Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Rey will continue to appear on HSN now that he’s got a gig at rival ShopNBC.

Rey, star of E! Entertainment Television’s “Dr. 90210,” has been selling Shapewear, fancy undies and bras, on HSN for some time. But last weekend he went on  ShopNBC selling a skincare line, Sensual Solutions.

We don’t offhand recall a time when a vendor was selling goods on two home shopping networks at the same time. We want to know if Rey’s tenure with HSN is over.  

So far, we have sent three e-mails to HSN corporate, which states it will only take questions  from “a media professional with a specific request.” No response yet. Maybe HSN doesn’t think The Homeshoppingista is a media professional.

Not for nothing, and not to toot our own horn, but we will when we must. We went to one of the best J-schools in the country, Medill.  We helped launch Crain’s New York Business. We won one of the most prestigious awards for business journalism, the Gerald Loeb Award, for a story on the impact of AIDS on the fashion industry.

We covered the cable industry for 16 years at Multichannel News, writing stories about the business and programming such as HBO’s “The Sopranos.”

And we are still reporting on the cable business, the multi-billion dollar home shopping segment, with this blog. QVC and ShopNBC are totally owned or partially owned by two key media giants, John Malone’s Liberty Media and NBC.

In between job hunting, we are also writing for the growing Web site, with a recent profile on Jersey’s Kurt Sutter, creator of the FX hit “Sons of Anarchy.”

We believe this all qualifies us as a media professional. 

We have e-mailed Rey twice, no response. But then we learned today that he has a PR firm that handles the media, and we shot an e-mail to them. Maybe they will answer our question. 

And we even e-mailed ShopNBC this morning, asking them if they know if Rey will remain on HSN.

Once again, we’ll let you know what we hear.

Did Emmys Slight HBO, While Giving QVC A Plug?

September 22, 2009

On Sunday’s Emmy Awards, host Neal Patrick Harris opened the show with a song called “Put Down the Remote,” where he want on to cite a long list of cable networks — including, surprisingly, QVC. That’s likely the first time that a home-shopping network has ever gotten a shout-out on the televised Emmys.

It’s unclear if QVC execs saw the Emmy mention, but they’d likely be thrilled. But some TV execs were not very happy that their channel was left out of the song. Today The Los Angeles Times writes in its Company Town blog that HBO officials “apparently were a little miffed” that the song didn’t mention their premium channel, which walked away with more primetime Emmys than any other network. Sore winners.