‘The Walking Dead’ Is TV’s No. 1 Show — Why Aren’t Its Stars Famous?

This story first appeared in the Nov. 8 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

The Killing star Joel Kinnaman nabbed the title role in February’s RoboCop reboot. Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul toplines March’s Need for Speed and Game of ThronesKit Harington has several movies in the works including February’s Pompeii, in which he stars. But The Walking Dead actors Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus? Not so much.

As AMC’s fourth-season zombie drama continues to dominate as TV’s No. 1 show among the key 18-to-49 demographic, its runaway success hasn’t made stars of its largely unknown ensemble cast. Lincoln, 40, and Reedus, 44, recently signed with CAA, a signal the actors are asking the tough question: Why hasn’t Walking Dead done for them what Mad Men, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad have done for their stars?

PHOTOS: ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Most Shocking Deaths

“Maybe now that they have more significant representation, they’ll have a marketing strategy to push themselves out there more,” says Henry Schafer, executive vp at The Q Scores Co., which measures consumer appeal of celebrities. Schafer says requests to gauge the value of Walking Dead stars are few and far between: “If they’re not being requested by our clients, it’s a good indicator that they’re not being used for anything beyond Walking Dead.”

Gerry Philpott, president and CEO at market researcher E-Poll, agrees: “Their awareness is low.” He estimates that Mad Men star Jon Hamm has twice the awareness level of Lincoln despite Walking Dead having more than double the viewership. “Jon has been on longer, he won the Golden Globe, Mad Men is an Emmy darling, and their people get featured quite a bit more,” Philpott says. “Those all work together to have someone pop and stand out more.”

The Walking Dead cast isn’t high on bookers’ lists of prime talk-show guests. Lincoln (best known for Love, Actually before being cast on the zombie drama) last year appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and Late Show With David Letterman, but other promo spots have been rare, with a source noting bookers have to contend with his time in Atlanta and home in the U.K. outside of production. If castmembers appear on a magazine cover, it’s almost always in character (save for Reedus’ upcoming Men’s Fitness cover). The same is true for endorsement deals, with Reedus having appeared in character in a Time Warner Cable ad during the Super Bowl in February.

STORY: ‘The Walking Dead’ Renewed for Fifth Season, Gimple Staying Put as Showrunner 

Observers suggest Walking Dead — whose season-four premiere Oct. 13 drew 16.1 million viewers (and an 8.3 rating in the 18-to-49 demo) and was renewed Oct. 29 for a fifth season with Scott M. Gimple returning as showrunner — isn’t being seen by as many Hollywood insiders, who have helped other cable drama stars break through. For instance, Walking Dead has yet to crack the top Emmy categories.

Its Atlanta shooting location also might be an obstacle to stardom. Series talent often sets up shop in Georgia from April through November. “The Walking Dead is quite a bit of a time strain on their schedules,” says creator/executive producer Robert Kirkman. “I think we’ll see some big movies from these actors in time. I really feel like it’s on the cusp; we just haven’t gotten there yet.”

Reedus has been the biggest breakout so far, with the indie drama Sunlight Jr. with Naomi Watts set for Nov. 15. A source says the Boondock Saints alum was offered a one-day gig in George Clooney‘s tentpole Tomorrowland, but he had to pass because the Disney pic required him to change his hair (a no-no for Walking Dead).

PHOTOS: Inside ‘The Walking Dead’s’ Spooky Season 4 Premiere 

Where they are stars is at Walking Dead fan events. Reedus, along with Lincoln and current and former co-stars Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman, Laurie Holden and Sarah Wayne Callies, will appear at one Nov. 1-3 in Atlanta. Gurira starred in the Sundance indie Mother of George and has an award-winning writing career. Yeun has the indie film I Origins with Michael Pitt in the works, and young lead Chandler Riggs just booked the indie Home Invasion and has producer Jason Blum‘s Mercy in 2014.

Callies — who played Lincoln’s leading lady and whose character was among those killed in season three — has fielded multiple pilot offers and opted for a theater role as her follow-up. Holden has a part in Dumb and Dumber To. Former co-star Jon Bernthal, whose character was whacked in season two, might have the most promising trajectory, reuniting with original Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont for TNT’s upcoming Mob City and scoring roles in winter’s The Wolf of Wall Street and Grudge Match. He’s also filming Brad Pitt‘s Fury.

And if the series maintains its ratings, opportunities likely will follow. “We’re really in the beginning of the cycle,” says Bob Williams, CEO at Burns Entertainment, which matches celebrities with brands for endorsement deals. “Brands are typically looking for that strong face and name recognition, and that can take time.”

E-mail: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thr/news/~3/yCVJ-K7s1ns/walking-dead-is-tvs-no-651658
Related Topics: Bosses Day   powerball   world trade center   gizmodo   meteor shower  

Advertisements

Google+ expands custom URLs to more people, commoners included

You no longer need to be a star athlete or a pop diva to get a vanity URL on Google+. Even if you’re but an Average Joe, you can now get a custom link that’s possible to memorize, so long as you meet a handful of (easy) requirements. If you have a profile photo, have 10 or more followers and an …

Source: http://feeds.engadget.com/~r/weblogsinc/engadget/~3/hVXJdP9VXC0/
Related Topics: Bobby Cannavale   lamar odom   tracy mcgrady   Jeff Tuel   Jennifer Rosoff  

Scientists reduce behaviors associated with problem gambling in rats

Scientists reduce behaviors associated with problem gambling in rats

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

29-Oct-2013

[

| E-mail

]


Share Share

Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia

With the help of a rat casino, University of British Columbia brain researchers have successfully reduced behaviours in rats that are commonly associated with compulsive gambling in humans.

The study, which featured the first successful modeling of slot machine-style gambling with rats in North America, is the first to show that problem gambling behaviours can be treated with drugs that block dopamine D4 receptors. The findings have been published in Biological Psychiatry journal.

“More work is needed, but these findings offer new hope for the treatment of gambling addiction, which is a growing public health concern,” says Paul Cocker, lead author of the study and a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “This study sheds important new light on the brain processes involved with gambling and gambling addictions.”

For the study, rats gambled for sugar pellets using a slot machine-style device that featured three flashing lights and two levers they could push with their paws. The rats exhibited several behaviours associated with problem gambling such as the tendency to treat “near misses” similar to wins.

Building on previous research, the team focused on the dopamine D4 receptor, which has been linked to a variety of behavioural disorders, but never proven useful in treatment. The study found that rats treated with a dopamine D4 receptor-blocking medication exhibited reduced levels of behaviours associated with problem gambling.

While findings suggest that blocking the D4 dopamine receptor may help to reduce pathological gambling behaviours in humans, the researchers note that further research is needed before the drugs can be considered a viable pharmaceutical treatment for pathological gambling in humans.

###

BACKGROUND

“Pathological gambling is increasingly seen as a behavioural addiction similar to drug or alcohol addiction, but we know comparatively little about how to treat problem gambling,” says Cocker. “Our study is the first to show that by blocking these receptors we might be able to reduce the rewarding aspects of near-misses that appear to be important in gambling.”


Methods: In the 16-month study, a cohort of 32 laboratory rats responded to a series of three flashing lights before choosing between two levers. One combination of lights (all lights illuminated) signaled a win and seven combinations (zero, one or two lights) signaled a loss. A “cash-out” lever rewarded the rat with 10 sugar pellets on winning trials, but gave a 10-second “time out” penalty on losing trails. The “roll again” lever allowed the rats to begin a new trial without penalty, but provided no sugar pellets.

Interestingly, the rats showed a tendency towards choosing the cash-out lever when two lights (near-miss) illuminated, suggesting that rats, like people, are susceptible to the near-miss effect. By blocking the D4 receptors with drugs, the researchers were successfully able to reduce the rat’s choice of the “cash-out” lever on non-winning trials.

The D4 blocker drug used in the study has previously been tested on humans in attempts to treat behaviour disorders like schizophrenia but appeared to have no effect.


Near misses: This common cognitive bias is considered an important factor in the development of pathological gambling problems. The fact that slot machines tend to have a relatively high proportion of near-misses in comparison to other gambling games may be the reason that slot machines are such a particularly addictive form of gambling.


Study authors: Paul Cocker and Prof. Catharine Winstanley (UBC Dept. of Psychology), Bernard Le Foll (University of Toronto, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and Robert D. Rogers (Bangor University). The study, A Selective Role for Dopamine D4 Receptors in Modulating Reward Expectancy in a Rodent Slot Machine Task, is available upon request.

UBC’s Laboratory of Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience, led by Psychology Prof. Catharine Winstanley, focuses on understanding the biological mechanisms of functions such as impulse control and gambling, leading to new and improved treatments for disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and drug addiction.


Problem gambling: Compulsive gambling affects between three and five percent of North Americans, according to recent statistics.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

[

| E-mail


Share Share

]

 

AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.

Scientists reduce behaviors associated with problem gambling in rats

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

29-Oct-2013

[

| E-mail

]


Share Share

Contact: Basil Waugh
basil.waugh@ubc.ca
604-822-2048
University of British Columbia

With the help of a rat casino, University of British Columbia brain researchers have successfully reduced behaviours in rats that are commonly associated with compulsive gambling in humans.

The study, which featured the first successful modeling of slot machine-style gambling with rats in North America, is the first to show that problem gambling behaviours can be treated with drugs that block dopamine D4 receptors. The findings have been published in Biological Psychiatry journal.

“More work is needed, but these findings offer new hope for the treatment of gambling addiction, which is a growing public health concern,” says Paul Cocker, lead author of the study and a PhD student in UBC’s Dept. of Psychology. “This study sheds important new light on the brain processes involved with gambling and gambling addictions.”

For the study, rats gambled for sugar pellets using a slot machine-style device that featured three flashing lights and two levers they could push with their paws. The rats exhibited several behaviours associated with problem gambling such as the tendency to treat “near misses” similar to wins.

Building on previous research, the team focused on the dopamine D4 receptor, which has been linked to a variety of behavioural disorders, but never proven useful in treatment. The study found that rats treated with a dopamine D4 receptor-blocking medication exhibited reduced levels of behaviours associated with problem gambling.

While findings suggest that blocking the D4 dopamine receptor may help to reduce pathological gambling behaviours in humans, the researchers note that further research is needed before the drugs can be considered a viable pharmaceutical treatment for pathological gambling in humans.

###

BACKGROUND

“Pathological gambling is increasingly seen as a behavioural addiction similar to drug or alcohol addiction, but we know comparatively little about how to treat problem gambling,” says Cocker. “Our study is the first to show that by blocking these receptors we might be able to reduce the rewarding aspects of near-misses that appear to be important in gambling.”


Methods: In the 16-month study, a cohort of 32 laboratory rats responded to a series of three flashing lights before choosing between two levers. One combination of lights (all lights illuminated) signaled a win and seven combinations (zero, one or two lights) signaled a loss. A “cash-out” lever rewarded the rat with 10 sugar pellets on winning trials, but gave a 10-second “time out” penalty on losing trails. The “roll again” lever allowed the rats to begin a new trial without penalty, but provided no sugar pellets.

Interestingly, the rats showed a tendency towards choosing the cash-out lever when two lights (near-miss) illuminated, suggesting that rats, like people, are susceptible to the near-miss effect. By blocking the D4 receptors with drugs, the researchers were successfully able to reduce the rat’s choice of the “cash-out” lever on non-winning trials.

The D4 blocker drug used in the study has previously been tested on humans in attempts to treat behaviour disorders like schizophrenia but appeared to have no effect.


Near misses: This common cognitive bias is considered an important factor in the development of pathological gambling problems. The fact that slot machines tend to have a relatively high proportion of near-misses in comparison to other gambling games may be the reason that slot machines are such a particularly addictive form of gambling.


Study authors: Paul Cocker and Prof. Catharine Winstanley (UBC Dept. of Psychology), Bernard Le Foll (University of Toronto, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) and Robert D. Rogers (Bangor University). The study, A Selective Role for Dopamine D4 Receptors in Modulating Reward Expectancy in a Rodent Slot Machine Task, is available upon request.

UBC’s Laboratory of Molecular and Behavioural Neuroscience, led by Psychology Prof. Catharine Winstanley, focuses on understanding the biological mechanisms of functions such as impulse control and gambling, leading to new and improved treatments for disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, and drug addiction.


Problem gambling: Compulsive gambling affects between three and five percent of North Americans, according to recent statistics.



[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

[

| E-mail


Share Share

]

 

AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.

Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/uobc-srb102813.php
Related Topics: Jamie Dornan   Hannah Anderson  

Deutsche Boerse gets offer from U.S. to settle Iran case

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse said on Monday it had received an offer from the United States to settle an investigation into the possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran for $152 million.

The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has notified Deutsche Boerse’s Clearstream unit that it has closed its investigation, Deutsche Boerse said, after the division had been accused of violating economic sanctions against Iran in 2008.

If OFAC was to issue a so-called “pre-penalty notice” it would include a penalty of $169 million, which would be reduced by 10 percent if the German company was willing to settle the matter, Deutsche Boerse said.

“Deutsche Boerse Group will analyze the information received and will decide on whether to reach a settlement with OFAC,” Deutsche Boerse said.

“A settlement with OFAC would not constitute a final determination that a violation has occurred,” it said.

Deutsche Boerse will include an amount consistent with today’s notification from OFAC as a provision in its third-quarter earnings, it said. The company plans to publish results on Tuesday after stock markets in Germany close.

The amount given on Monday is less than half of what OFAC had indicated before, as Deutsche Boerse said in January it could face a so-called pre-penalty notice for about $340 million.

(Reporting by Peter Dinkloh; Editing by David Evans)

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/deutsche-boerse-gets-offer-u-settle-iran-case-183526107–finance.html
Category: ABC Family   clemson   Joy Covey   ariana grande   irina shayk  

Could Facebook Fix Healthcare.gov?

Given all the trouble with the Obamacare website, we wondered why America’s biggest Internet companies haven’t volunteered to help fix it. (OK, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team did, sort of, in a recent Tweet, which they then deleted.) Surely Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Amazon, or Microsoft could design a more reliable site than the tangle of federal contractors who have bungled healthcare.gov. On the other hand, we can also envision a few drawbacks. Here’s how we imagine the site might look if each of those companies tried their hand at remaking it in their own images.

Source: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/low_concept/2013/10/how_google_facebook_or_microsoft_might_fix_the_obamacare_website.html
Similar Articles: Benedict Cumberbatch   pittsburgh pirates   burn notice  

College prices appear to be moderating

WASHINGTON (AP) — There’s some good news on college tuition. Yes, the cost has gone up — but not as much in the past.

For in-state students at a four-year public college or university, published tuition and fees increased this year on average $247 to $8,893. That’s a 2.9 percent increase — the smallest one-year increase in more than 30 years, the College Board said Wednesday in its annual report on college prices.

Out-of-state prices, as well as the costs to attend public two-year colleges and private institutions rose but they also avoided big spikes, said Sandy Baum, co-author of the report. These more moderate increases could lessen concern that an annual rapid growth is tuition prices in the new normal.

“It does seem that the spiral is moderating. Not turning around, not ending, but moderating,” Baum said.

The average published cost for tuition and fees at a private college for the 2013-14 academic year was $30,094 — up $1,105. An out-of-state student at a public college or university faced an annual average price tag of $22,203, which is up $670. The average price tag to for an in-state student to attend a two-year institution was much less at $3,264 — up $110.

Most students don’t actually pay that, though. There are grants, tax credits and deductions that help ease the cost of going to college. About two-thirds of full-time students get grants, most from the federal government.

But, in the two years leading up to the 2012-2013 school year, the federal aid per full-time equivalent undergraduate student declined 9 percent, or about $325.

That means students have to foot more of the bill themselves.

“The rapid increases in college prices have slowed, however, student and families are paying more because grant aid is not keeping up,” said David Coleman, president of the College Board.

While the average published price for tuition and fees for a private college is $30,094, the net price is $12,460 — up $530 from last year. The net price is what they actually pay after grants. There were years this decade that saw the net price going down, but it has gone up the last two years.

The average published in-state price for tuition and fees at a public four-year school is $8,893, but the average net price is about $3,120.

Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, in a statement called it “troubling” that overall grant aid is not keeping up with prices. Her organization represents the presidents of U.S. colleges and universities.

“Institutions are committed to holding down costs, but it is equally important for state and federal governments to play their part to make college affordable,” she said.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership group that promotes college access and owns the SAT exam.

The report spells out the large declines in state appropriations given to public institutions in recent years. These cuts have been blamed for rises in college costs. Other causes often cited range from the high cost of health care for employees to the demand by students for flashier campus amenities.

Among the other findings in the report:

— Adding in costs for room and board to live on campus, average annual published costs: At public, four-year universities, $18,391 for in-state students and $31,701 for out-of-state students; $40,917 for private colleges and universities; $10,730 for in-state students at public two year schools.

— The average published tuition and fees at for-profit institutions increased by $70 to $15,130 — an increase of less than 1 percent.

— New Hampshire and Vermont had the highest published in-state tuition and fees at both four-year and two-year institutions. Wyoming and Alaska had the lowest published in-state tuition and fees at a four-year institution, while California and New Mexico had the lowest in-state among two-year schools.

— In 2012-2013, $238.5 billion in financial aid was issued to undergraduate and graduate students in the forms of grants from all sources, Federal Work-Study, federal loans and federal tax credits and deductions. Also, students borrowed about $8.8 billion from private, state and institutional sources.

— About 60 percent of students who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2011-2012 graduated with debt, borrowing a total of $26,500 on average.

___

Online: http://www.collegeboard.org/

___

Follow Kimberly Hefling at http://www.twitter.com/khefling

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/college-prices-appear-moderating-040219431.html
Category: big brother   Clemson University   us open tennis  

It’s City Vs. Creditors In Detroit Bankruptcy Trial

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.

Paul Sancya/AP

Detroit officially makes its case for bankruptcy before a federal judge on Wednesday. The city is currently saddled with $18 billion in long-term debt, and officials see bankruptcy as their only choice.

Paul Sancya/AP

In Detroit on Wednesday, a federal trial begins that will determine whether that city is eligible for the nation’s largest-ever municipal bankruptcy.

Hundreds of the city’s creditors are lining up to oppose the bankruptcy, arguing that Detroit is violating Michigan’s constitution and that if officials tried harder they could find enough savings to pay the city’s bills.

Officials here say a declining population, decades of mismanagement and at times corrupt city government has cost Detroit a lot of tax revenue, leaving it drowning in red ink.

So much so that in March, the governor appointed Kevyn Orr to be an emergency manager and take control of the city’s finances. He spent months crafting payment arrangements with some creditors, but hundreds of others rejected offers that amounted to accepting pennies for every dollar they were owed by Detroit.

Orr says that leaves Detroit with roughly $18 billion in long-term debt, and no other option but bankruptcy.

“There’s no way out,” Orr says. “The mountain of debt we have to climb over simply is insurmountable without some kind of process to resolve it. We simply cannot pay it. That’s it.”

Where Business Stands

Detroit’s business community overwhelmingly agrees with Orr.

Dan Gilbert owns Quicken Loans, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and in recent months has bought more than $1 billion worth of buildings in Detroit’s downtown. He’s betting that Chapter 9 protection will allow Detroit to get out from under its crushing debt load and pour money back into city services, which would help make his investments pay off.

“As hard as that is to sort of suspend democracy, for a short period of time if you will, my view is, let’s get it over with,” Gilbert says. “Let’s get it done. Let’s stop talking about it [and] go through the pain and then move forward, and I think it will fade into the background.”

But some of Detroit’s longest-standing creditors are fighting a bankruptcy declaration, arguing that it would create big problems for them.

At the headquarters of AFSCME Council 25, the union representing the majority of city workers here, a half-dozen retirees are making phone calls. Juanita Scott says Detroit’s potential bankruptcy puts her pension, her health care and her future on the chopping block.

“Because they’re going to cut my medical, that’s going to really hurt me bad,” says the 86-year-old Scott. “Right now I’m under three different doctors’ care and trying to stay in my neighborhood.”

Scott says she has to have a burglar alarm because all the houses around her are going vacant. “This whole thing of bankruptcy, it’s just bad,” she says.

The union leadership argues Detroit’s bankruptcy filing itself violates state prohibitions against cutting public pensions. Union attorney Herb Sanders even questions if Detroit is truly insolvent, because the state forbade city officials from approving tentative labor agreements that he says could have saved millions annually.

“When you think that the purpose of bankruptcy is to restructure debt, is to save the city money, and if that is your true intent then why wouldn’t you sign the collective bargaining agreement with the unions that would indeed do that?” Sanders says.

The Possibility Of Lawsuits

The union will argue in court Wednesday that Detroit did not bargain in good faith. But bankruptcy attorney Douglas Bernstein says the judge may see things differently.

“There’s no bright line which says what constitutes good faith and what isn’t good faith,” Bernstein says. “There’s isn’t an awful lot of precedent in Chapter 9.”

Bernstein’s firm worked with several of Detroit’s creditors who decided not to fight the city’s bankruptcy filing. He says those creditors and the city will be thrown into financial turmoil if the court finds Detroit is not eligible for Chapter 9 protection. The likely result would be a flood of lawsuits, he says.

“So they’ll be fending off all the creditors in a variety of courtrooms where everybody in the creditor body is trying to get the best deal for themselves rather than in an organized, unified setting in the bankruptcy court,” he says. “So you would have chaos.”

And chaos is the last thing Detroiters need in a city that has seen more than its share of it in recent years. Former officials sent to prison for corruption, high unemployment and crime rates, faltering city services and now a fight over what’s left in the city’s coffers.

Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/10/23/239681817/its-city-vs-creditors-in-detroit-bankruptcy-trial?ft=1&f=1001
Tags: steelers   Covered California   miss america   Will Smith Miley Cyrus   mumford and sons