Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Programming for dogs: DogTV is here, just like Scrooged said it would be

dog tv

Photo by Snugg LePup via Flickr Creative Commons

When real life imitates Bill Murray jokes on a global scale, it can only mean that civilization is evolving to weed out the unfunny ones. With this, we bring you news of DogTV -- an actual cable network developed to deliver round the clock programming for Rover.

Producers say the overall intention is to stimulate canine viewers with short segments designed to keep pups relaxed yet entertained, while their owners are out doing human things. Three to six minute pieces will feature Fido's favorites like fields, balls, and tummy rubs.

According to network executives, the shows are "scientificially designed" to appeal to dogs, with special consideration to those with separation anxiety, says the New York Times

Veterinarians are skeptical, however, and suspect the network may be successful at curbing human guilt about leaving their pawed pals alone, but not sure that it will do much to make the animals feel better.


'Mad Men' is lying to you: It's actually shot in Los Angeles

Premiere Of AMC's "Mad Men" Season 5 - Arrivals

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

File: Actor Jon Hamm arrives at the Premiere of AMC's "Mad Men" Season 5 at ArcLight Cinemas on March 14, 2012 in Hollywood, California.

"Mad Men" allegedly takes place in 1960s Manhattan, but as Curbed L.A. points out, the show's locations are almost all right here in L.A.

Those locations range from L.A. landmarks like the Millennium Biltmore hotel and the L.A. Athletic Club to homes in Pasadena, San Pedro and elsewhere. They even used a Downey Bob's Big Boy.

Some of the other "Mad Men" secret L.A. locations: Casey's Irish Pub, the Cicada Restaurant, the Music Center, Clifton's Brookdale, the Monrovia Bakery, Koreatown's HMS Bounty, the Quality Cafe, and Broadway's Los Angeles Theatre. The show's sound stages are at the Los Angeles Center Studios.

I apologize for ruining the magic, if Jon Hamm playing the jerky boyfriend in "Bridesmaids" and being the best addition to the pantheon of "Saturday Night Live" hosts in recent years hasn't already done that.


The Roundup: April 1st is a fool's paradise of TV

"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO this Sunday.

Looks like the hype worked as AMC secured its biggest audience ever for "Mad Men" with Sunday's premiere. It felt a little long to this viewer so I'm eager for the hour-long episodes. AMC is on track to pummel us with another 2-hour premiere, this time it's "The Killing" next Sunday at 8pm which is way too soon, making AMC look overeager to keep their momentum going.

Next Sunday is a veritable traffic jam of quality shows, from Fox's "Bob's Burgers" at 8:30pm, to the season premiere of HBO's "Game of Thrones," to Comedy Central's world premiere of "Jo Koy: Lights Out" at 10pm. Throw in Discovery's "Frozen Planet," Showtime's "Shameless" and "House of Lies," and PBS' "Great Expectations" and you have over 10 hours of "must-see" TV crammed into a 3 hour block. It's particularly frustrating to note that there is virtually no new programming on Saturday nights yet a deluge of it on Sundays. When will this programming trend change course?


The Roundup: 'Community' returns, 'Frozen Planet' premieres, Web series & more

"Frozen Planet"

Discovery Networks

This Sunday at 8pm, Discovery premieres its beautiful new series, "Frozen Planet"

The big news in TV this week is the return of "Community," the little show that could, to NBC this Thursday [*Update: Comedy Central has announced that they will begin airing reruns of "Community" in 2013 - also on Comedy Central this week is the return of "South Park," but perhaps more importantly, "Ugly Americans," beautifully drawn, surreal, and brilliantly funny, Wednesday at 10:30pm]. Sunday, Discovery launches its spectacular new series, "Frozen Planet," at 8pm. This is another beautifully shot show exploring the nature of the colder parts of our planet, both above and below the surface. Kind of ironic that this show hits the screens on the tail end of one of the warmest winters on record in North America. Sunday also brings the season finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead," a must watch, although it might be difficult to top the episode from two nights ago which had major developments.


'Downton Abbey': The rap song (really)

TV Downton Abbey

Nick Briggs/PBS/Carnival Film & Television Limited 2011 for Masterpiece/AP

File: In this image released by PBS, Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess, left, and Hugh Boneville as Lord Grantham are shown in a scene from the second season on "Downton Abbey," a drama about life in an English country estate.

Like the rest of pop culture-loving America (and much of the rest of the KPCC staff), I'm a huge fan of "Downton Abbey." Like the rest of a much more specific subgroup, I'm also a fan of nerd rapper Adam WarRock. So when I saw that Adam dropped a new track told from the perspective of Lord Grantham called "Downton"? Bliss.

The track gets a slight downgrade from me, as I would've loved to hear it based around the "Downton" theme with some amped up beats, but the "Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)" sample by Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz is a classic too. I'm in from the opening, with Grantham saying, "Perfectly acceptable. And if his grace doesn't like it, he can lump it."

As Adam puts it, it's "The best rap song about an early 20th century period drama centered around property law that you'll ever hear. Believe that."