Viacom Selling Harmonix, Makers of “Rock Band”

Viacom Selling Harmonix, Makers of “Rock Band” (photo)

Posted by on

Late last week, Viacom announced that it was looking to unload Harmonix, the developer who first revolutionized the rhythm game genre with the “Guitar Hero” games and then with the “Rock Band” franchise.

Offloading the Boston-based studio will happen via auction and several buyers are reportedly interested. Harmonix was the cornerstone of Viacom’s MTV Games brand and the youth-cenrtic network’s cache probably helped bolster Harmonix’s ability to get musical acts to license their songs for use in “Rock Band.” Remember, too, that Harmoinx got full use of the Beatles music catalog for “The Beatles Rock Band” long before Apple did for iTunes.

And, symbolically, the “Rock Band” games filled the role that the channel once known as Music Television used to, namely giving viewers (players) a chance to directly interact with and re-imagine their connection to music and to bands. While the performance karaoke series hasn’t done the blockbuster numbers that it once racked up, it’s still a well-respected brand. This year’s “Rock Band 3” added a keyboard peripheral and new modes that offer basic instruction for playing real instruments. And as further testament to the fact that they’re still a uniquely talented developer, consider the fact that–more than “Kinectimals” or any game that Micrsoft itself developed–it’s Harmonix’s “Dance Central” that’s regarded as the cream of the Kinect launch crop.

In their Q3 financial report, Viacom states that Harmonix will continue to support “Rock Band” and “Dance Central.” One can probably assume that the never-ending work of building out the downloadable content stream for each game will continue until Harmonix gets acquired by another entity. Here’s hoping that the music masters at the studio won’t have to languish for very long.

Watch More

Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

Posted by on

He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

Watch More

Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

Watch More

Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on

From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet