Having already ditched the “phone” part of its moniker, movie-listings service Moviefone will soon distance itself from the concept of movies as well. Not entirely, of course: Acknowledging shifting cultural attitudes toward the telephone (a handheld communication device now primarily used to access the Internet and/or crush pixelated candy) and movie theaters (darkened rooms used for the purposes of texting and tweeting from handheld communication devices), an updated Moviefone app will soon expand its purview to include streaming and broadcast listings for television series, helping users avoid the moviegoing hassles created by the very devices with which they’re accessing Moviefone.
“Show rights are growing so fractured and sold all over the place in this Wild West of on-demand viewing that consumers are left wondering where the heck to go,” entertainment executive Lloyd Braun tells the New York Times in an article about the update. For example: Say that reading the words “Lloyd Braun” and “Moviefone” in such short succession kicks off a burning need to watch some Seinfeld reruns. Rather than turning your TV to a local affiliate and waiting around for hours while non-Seinfeld programming flashes before your non-blinking eyes, Moviefone will save you that hassle by giving you an exact time and date to tune in. Hours of your life will be instantly restored—time that could, in one example, be spent texting someone who may or may not be in a movie theater. (The chances that they are will be better than your chances of finding any streaming Seinfeld reruns anywhere.)
The introduction of this bold, new couch-bound version of Moviefone will also be heralded by the introduction of a bold, new voice of Moviefone. AOL and Braun’s Whalerock Industries (which own and operate the service, respectively), are currently seeking a replacement for their departed Mr. Moviefone, Russ Leatherman. The A.V. Club’s nominee for the job is an obvious pick, though he has an admittedly limited repertoire that’s stuck on the fictional new releases of 1995.
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