Tomorrow, Saturday July 7th, SKY Network Television is launching SKY On Demand – offering MY SKY subscribers the chance to get premium movies and special events whenever they want.

Designed to compliment the current Pay Per View and SKY Box Office schedule, MY SKY customers will be able to order and watch these titles at a time that suits them using their MY SKY remote.

“SKY On Demand is another new and innovative service, empowering our MY SKY customers giving them what they want, when they want it,” said SKY’s Director of Communications Tony O’Brien.

“Movies cost $6.99 and Events are $19.95 and once a purchase has been made, customers can watch the movie or event as many times as they wish during a 24 hour period, and will be able to pause, rewind and fast-forward if they wish,” he said.

The starting line up includes a selection of WWE Wrestling Events, along with movies such as Casino Royale, The Departed and The Devil Wears Prada. Each purchase is set to automatically delete after the 24 hour period has expired and both Movies and Special Events will be updated on a regular basis. The SKY On Demand service is an additional feature for MY SKY subscribers, who will continue to have access to Pay Per View movies and events in the same manner as before.

There are three ways that customers can access SKY On Demand:

1) Press the ‘guide’ button on their MY SKY remote and then press the Red button on your remote to access the “On Demand” menu.

2) Press the ‘box office’ button on your remote then scroll down to “On Demand’

3) Press the ‘active’ button on your remote, then scroll down to “On Demand’

This is pretty bad… and pretty funny! Spare Room reports both One News and 3 News used a photoshopped image from a woman who sent it in as a joke!

The following is a statement provided to us from TV3:

“TV3 was misled into using this image very briefly. As soon as we were advised it was potentially fake, we removed it from our system. It has served as a timely reminder to be vigilant with viewer contributions, particularly given the technology available to people at home.”

The following is a statement provided to us from TVNZ:

“Like many of the media, TVNZ used this image in good faith for a short time, and stopped using the image as soon as we realised it might not be authentic. We are very aware that photographs and video footage can be digitally altered, and we have processes in place to check the material that is supplied to us by the public. Because of this incident, we are reviewing these processes.”

LA Times’ entertainment site, The Envelope, has leaked what is said to be this year’s Emmy nominations. Official nominations are out on July 19.

The Top 10 drama series finalists according to the site are: Boston Legal, Dexter, Friday Night Lights, Grey’s Anatomy, Heroes, House, Lost, Rome, The Sopranos and 24.

The Top 10 comedy series finalists according to the site are: Desperate Housewives, Entourage, Extras, My Name is Earl, The Office, Scrubs, Thirty Rock, Two and a Half Men, Ugly Betty and Weeds.

The Office, The Sopranos, 24 and Lost have been previous recipients of the awards.

The site said “various independent reports sent to us unsolicited agree that these are the finalists in the top series races, but the information is unofficial and unverified.”

This Sunday on Native Affairs, Bishop Brian Tamaki of Destiny Church debates reo Maori and tikanga expert Amster Reedy and the vice-president of the Federation of Islamic Associations, Dr Mustafa Farouk on the hot topic:

Should Christianity hold official religious status in NZ?

Sunday June 3, 8pm: Maori Television

After weeks of endless dance practice and performances, the winning couple for Dancing with the Stars 2007 was finally announced: congratulations Suzanne and Stefano for taking out the title!

What did you think of the result and the grand finale?

The grand finale of Dancing with the Stars is tonight where ex-TrueBliss member and NZ Idol judge Megan Alatini will face off against saleswoman extraordinaire Suzanne Paul.

The Throng polls have consistently been correct at predicting the results but after Suzanne’s score from the judges last week it could very well be a different story once the votes are tallied tonight.

When it came down to it, last night more New Zealanders preferred to watch local talent in the form of previous reality tv contestants on Pop’s Ultimate Star than the American Idol spectacular.

Pop’s Ultimate Star built in the ratings throughout the show but the American Idol grand final failed to sustain the same level of interest from viewers.

I went into the first episode of Pop’s Ultimate Star with fairly low excitement. While it was a typically brilliant way for Julie Christie to chalk up some more zeros to the end of her bank balance, the idea of bringing together 9 contestants who have, let’s face it, pretty much been out of the spotlight and one kiwi who has done pretty well in Australia, simply scares me half to death.

Production wise, I thought the show was better than Idol and it seemed rather polished despite it kind of been thrown together at the last minute. So much so that poor Emily Williams had only been in the country a matter of hours before the show made it to air. Unlike NZ Idol 2006, there was an incredibly long list of sponsors in the credits which just goes to show that there are people who have faith in New Zealand talent.

First up, Emily showed what a true professional is like. During the ad break, she talked it up with the audience and exuded confidence often found lacking in kiwi performers. An obvious statement that she hasn’t been in New Zealand. The song choice for her was a tough ask though as we all know she’s an RnB girl. The song choice by the judges wasn’t stretching. It was plain and simply stupid. Emily has the pipes and the attitude to wipe the floor with most of the other contestants and to palm off a song that didn’t allow her to truly perform was insulting.

After his performances in Idol I was worried that Steve wouldn’t be able to stack up alongside some of these more seasoned professionals. Boy was I wrong. Although his hand still had a bit of a shake, young Steve used the stage exceptionally and rocked up a storm. The nerves might not be gone but he’s certainly tamed them and is a much better performer than he was on NZ Idol.

Camillia disappeared after the Idol tour in 2004 to look after her son. While many had hoped for an album, it was never to eventuate. Her performance tonight of a classic kiwi song added a nice new touch to it and could well make for a good single on Classic Hits. I’m not going to hold my breath for her to get a record contract though.

With an attitude filled song like You Oughta Know you’d think that the mouthy Jo Cotton would be able to do something with it. By the time she got to the chorus I was telling Rachel what her next dance move would be. She basically spent the whole song slowly moving forward 5 metres to where she finally spoke to the judges. Seriously. There’s a whole stage, a rocking band and a lively audience – not to mention the attitude in the song – and it was just plain ordinary. She certainly could have learnt a thing or two from the brown girl who performed the socks off it last year on Idol.

Nik Carlson still has a smooth voice. Didn’t really do anything for me tonight though. It was too much like his NZ Idol performances. Laid back and performing like he doesn’t really care whether he is around next week. If only the boy would show a little spirit when he performs then he’d be more than a pretty face with a nice voice.

Last year’s Idol winner was quite possibly the dullest performer of the night. Unlike the last time he was on TV (This is your life Jonah Lomu) this time he had his hands out of his pockets. Matt has a smooth voice but he is just so bland to watch.

Unfortunately, Rosita – or whoever came up with that dreadful arrangement – absolutely killed the song. The audience were really up for it and just didn’t get anything from Rosita to get excited about. Don’t get me wrong. The girl can sing. But that nearly sang me to sleep.

Our first NZ Idol had a tough ask on his hands tonight. A song that relies heavily on falsetto which in Ben’s case was considerably lacking. It was a tough song for him and I felt a little sorry as I think Ben possibly has the most to lose from being on this show.

Out of all the contestants on the show, Keri Harper has been gone the longest. In fact, out of all the TrueBliss girls, she is the one with the least amount of media time since the band vanished. As an unknown to many, Keri really showed her fellow “blister” up by storming the stage and commanding the audience’s attention. I was suitably impressed.

Lastly was ex Shorty Streeter David. Let’s face it. The guy has a weak voice at the best of times but when faced with a challenge like singing rock when you’re an RnB/Slow Jams kinda guy then what can you do but charge at it head on. The vocal was pretty average and pitchy but his performance was totally gutsy. He reminded of a Maori version of Michael Murphy with all his pointing and looked like he was about to bust into a haka at one point. I doubt he’ll win but his performance sure was entertaining.

As for the sound guys. Once again it was painful. Can anyone tell me if there are any decent sound engineers in TV in New Zealand? I think there’s a few awards for them aren’t there? I bet none of them work near a show like this.

Finally, what is up with those judges? Isn’t this format supposed to be similar in style to RockStar? If so, what is with all the namby pamby pandering by the judges. I mean, honestly! Where was the constructive criticism?! I have never in my life heard such spineless retort from a group of people who are supposed to be finding “Pop’s Ultimate Star”. According to the judges, they were all wonderful. Obviously this is why we have such a painfully pathetic pop industry in New Zealand when we have so called “professionals” who refuse to tell it like it actually is.

This show is likely to pull in better ratings than NZ Idol three but unfortunately the result will be the same. Nine of these contestants will fade away into oblivion and Emily will head back to her successful career in Australia where the industry there is nuturing and supporting her.

Pop’s Ultimate Star starts tonight on TV2 at 7pm. While I’m personally a little skeptical about the new Touchdown reality show, we’ve been invited by TVNZ to watch the first show which will be filmed this afternoon at the Bruce Mason Centre (not the St. James like later shows will be). Will be back before the show airs to write up some thoughts.

Variety magazine reports that the fifth season of Family Guy will debut with an entire episode which retells Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope using the Family Guy characters.

Character roles:

Peter Griffin: Han Solo, Lois: Princess Leia, Stewie: Darth Vader, Brian: Chewbacca, Chris: Luke, Cleveland: R2-D2, Quagmire: C-3PO, Herbert: Obi-Wan.