Lost Finale Draws Fans, Not Throngs

The finale for Lost drew in 13.5 million viewers, which is very good for a long running series conclusion these days. However, the finale didn’t even come close to approaching the tens of millions that watched the conclusions of other shows, like M*A*S*H, Friends and Cheers.

“After months of fan anticipation and network hype, Sunday evening’s show was the most-watched Lost episode in more than two years, but still pulled in fewer viewers than episodes of some popular continuing series,” writes Shira Ovida. “For example, an average of 16 million people watched last week’s installment of CBS Corp. drama NCIS.”

The sixth and final season of Lost saw an a average of 11.6 million viewers per week, nearly a quarter below the peak of the series during the 2006-2007 season. The end of Lost and 24 is expected to put an end to shows with longer story arcs, as they are more expensive to make and worth less in syndication.

“You knew that it wouldn’t even come close [to the final episodes of M*A*S*H or Friends],” said Robert Thompson, professor of television and popular culture, at Syracuse University. “Even though Lost proved that an audience will pay attention to something really complex, you can’t expect too many people who didn’t at least have some familiarity with the show to stick with it for 2 ½ hours.”

The final episode was preceded by a two-hour retrospective with interviews from cast, crew and production personnel. Air time during the finale cost $900,000 for 30 seconds, which some companies used to specifically target the Lost audience: Target promoted $10.99 smoke detectors with ads that featured the malevolent “smoke monster” from the show and the retrospective episode had text messages from fans thanks to Verizon Wireless.

ABC billed the end of Lost as a TV event with a highly dialed in audience. Such occurrences, along with sporting events like the Super Bowl, have become very important to advertisers because the audience is less likely to skip advertisements.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Insomniac Wakes Up To Multi-Platform Development

Electronic Arts announced today that it has signed a publishing agreement with Insomniac Games. EA will publish Insomniac’s first multiplatform release in an all-new franchise for the PS3 and Xbox 360, currently in development at its Burbank studio.

“Working with EA Partners allows us to extend the reach of our games to a multiplatform audience while retaining ownership of the intellectual property,” said Ted Price, founder and CEO of Insomniac Games. “We are excited and eager to introduce Insomniac to a new group of gamers while reinforcing to our loyal fans what makes our games special.”

“This is an exciting day for all of us at EA Partners and for gamers everywhere,” said David DeMartini, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA Partners. “Insomniac is renowned for their commitment to quality and their ability to create unique, exciting worlds for gamers to explore. We look forward to help them bring their next blockbuster franchise to the millions of diehard Insomniac fans on PlayStation and the soon to be millions of diehard Insomniac fans on Xbox 360.”

While Insomniac has a long history with Sony and PlayStation, being independent allowed them to make this long rumored move. No release date was given for the unnamed product.

Dell Goes Streaking With Tablet Computer

Dell recently unveiled the Streak, a tablet computer set up as a competitor to the iPad. The Streak will first be made available in the U.K. in early June, with a U.S. launch planned for later this Summer.

The Streak features a 5-inch screen and is powered by Google’s Android OS. Powered by the ARM-based processor Snapdragon from Qualcomm, the device has a five megapixel camera and a VGA front-facing camera, along with built in Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth connectivity options.

“It’s curious that they’re doing a 5-inch form factor, which is half the size of the iPad,” said Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu, who thinks that a smaller price might be Dell’s target. “It’s an interesting move.”

Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies Associates thinks the Streak is targeted for a different audience than the iPad. “The Streak is closer to a phone in size and can go anywhere with the user,” said Kay. “It has some of the same touch commands as the iPad, but can be used for more specific functions, like navigation.”

Ron Garriques, president of Dell’s communication solutions group, said in a statement that the Streak “hits the sweet spot between traditional smart phones and larger-screen tablets.” Kay further added, “This is the first small tablet into the market by a major vendor. H-P has shown one but not brought it out. I suspect the Palm acquisition has something to do with that.”

Source: MarketWatch

The Main Drag Tapped For RBN T-Mobile Artist-Of-The-Month

Harmonix Music Systems and MTV Games announced today that The Main Drag has been named the T-Mobile Artist-of-the-Month. The indie electro-pop group will see their content shared through the Rock Band Network music store and at the RBN content hub at t-mobile.rockband.com.

“The Main Drag’s melodies, hooks and DIY approach make them a great choice for May’s T-Mobile Artist-of-the-Month,” said Paul DeGooyer, Senior Vice President of Electronic Games and Music, MTV Games. “Whether they re self-releasing songs or authoring dozens of RBN tracks, The Main Drag personifies the spirit of the Rock Band Network.

The Main Drag are notably the first band to release two full albums for the Rock Band Network. The entirety of the 2007 album Yours As Fast As Mine and their latest You Are Underwater can be found at rockband.com/music/artists/The_Main_Drag.

Walmart Cutting Price Of IPhone 3GS To $97

While it is widely believed that Apple will introduce the iPhone 4G soon at their Worldwide Developers Conference, some anecdotal evidence was added to that theory. Walmart will lower the price of the iPhone 3GS with 16 GB of memory to $97 with a two-year service agreement.

There’s some precedent for this, since when Apple first introduced the iPhone 3GS in 2009, they lowered the price of the iPhone 3G to $99. It is expected this move is anticipatory by Walmart in order to get a jump on the price reduction iPhone 3GS will get after the iPhone 4G is announced.

Source: Mashable

Mass Effect Hitting Theaters

Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to make a movie based upon the Mass Effect franchise. Avi and Ari Arad are set to produce with Legendary’s Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni, with Mark Protosevich (I Am Legend, Thor) in talks to write the script.

Tull described Mass Effect as ripe for translation with depth, compelling characters and an engaging back story. Arad described the shooter/RPG series as a parable whose conflicts mirror the ones we currently face in our own world.  This story emphasizes the need for all cultures to learn to work together.

Avatar has apparently made studios warm to the idea of extra-terrestrial movies, since it showed the audiences can empathize and relate to alien characters. The folks at Legendary have experience with large undertakings like this, having worked on The Dark Knight, 300, Watchmen and the recent Clash of the Titans remake; Avi Arad used to chair Marvel and led that company successfully into movies, and is currently working on an adaptation of Uncharted for the big screen.

BioWare co-founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk will serve as executive producers. Casey Hudson, who executive produced the game and will do the same for the movie, said BioWare always thought Mass Effect was perfectly suited to be a motion picture.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Blur Pokes Fun At Mario Kart

An easy comparison to make with Blur is to that of Mario Kart, since it shares many gameplay elements with Nintendo’s cartoony racing franchise. Blur takes those comparisons head on in this amusing TV advertisement.

The Last Airbender Flips

Director M. Night Shyamalan has partnered with Flip Video for a special promotion for The Last Airbender Film cameras. These limited-edition shoot-and-share video cameras will feature some content Shyamalan shot on his personal Flip as well as interviews and behind-the-scenes movie footage; below is the piece where Shyamalan shows off the impressive sets used for the movie.

Lost Spin-Off Viral Video

Hey, have you just finished Lost and need a pick-me-up laugh This is the viral video for you! Hey, are you tired of hearing your co-workers talk about Lost and need a cheap laugh This is the viral video for you!


Six Flags Launches Mascot Social Game

Six Flags today announced that it is throwing its hat into the social gaming market. The theme park company is letting players control potential Six Flags mascots in Six Flags Mascot Park.

The game lets users dress up their avatar, and make him dance and react realistically with the ragdoll physics engine. The game is designed to be social, by letting you interact with friends Shows and Mascots, potentially buying virtual coins for set pieces, costumes or improved dance moves.

We wanted to offer fans a forum to entertain, amuse and interact but we also recognize the importance of integrating a unique and over-the-top experience to the online community, said Mike Antinoro, executive vice president of marketing and entertainment.

With the recommendation of friends being so key to the succss of Facebook games, branding is not as important as it is on the iPhone, so it will be interesting to see how Six Flags Mascot Park fares.

Source: Venture Beat