Saturday, September 22, 2012
Digital Digest: Possible Earlier Release Date for Cagney & Lacey?; CSI - The Twelfth Season DVD Review; Charlie's Angels (2011) - The Complete Series DVD Review
We've talked about the Cagney & Lacey - The Complete Series DVD release for quite some time now, and this week, we finally got a "sneak peek" of what is to come from VEI after they were kind enough to send us a promotional screener disc for the set. Essentially, we received a disc which contained seven episodes as chosen by the series producer (yes, it was crammed, but this isn't intended for the general public), the original pilot movie, and a preview of one of the panel interviews which will be included on the release. From the preview we've seen, though, we already feel that we can say that the full set will be a release that is well worth it for fans. But an even more interesting note is that the information we received with the set gives a release date which is about a month earlier than what we've seen anywhere else... in fact, it gives a release date of October 16. Is this new "earlier" release date correct? We don't know yet, but we are hopeful!
Last week, we told you about TGG's release of In the Heat of the Night - The First Season. Now, TGG is planning something a little bit more with In the Heat of the Night - 24 Hour Marathon. The eight disc collection will contain 32 episodes of the classic series, just enough to fill up 24 hours, and come at a $29.96 MSRP. It is set to be released on October 23.
CBS is gearing up for a final "mission" on December 11 with Mission: Impossible - The Complete Television Collection. The 56 disc collection will not only include all seven seasons of the original series, but will also include both seasons of the follow up series from the '80s and a bonus disc containing special features new to DVD. It isn't a cheap set, though, and comes at a $379.99 MSRP, but we expect that to be discounted somewhat.
DVD Review: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - The Twelfth Season (CBS DVD/Paramount Home Video, $63.98)
CSI's forensic team never says die, even in a season packed with old friends and new faces...beginning with the introduction of CSI supervisor D.B. Russell (Emmy winner Ted Danson). From the start, Russell thinks outside the box in a locked room murder-mystery aboard a casino tram. From there the team, which also includes George Eads, Paul Guilfoyle, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Robert David Hall, David Berman, Wallace Langham and Elisabeth Hornois, takes on Vegas, including going old school science to solve a mysterious kidnapping during a citywide blackout. And they say goodbye to Catherine Willows (Emmy winner Marg Helgenberger) as they welcome blood expert Julie Finlay (Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue). Now in its twelfth season, Emmy and People's Choice Award-winning CSI continues to be the most watched show in the world. See why.
The 6-disc set contains all 22 sizzling episodes from the twelfth season (2011-12) season of the long-running crime drama. The episodes are presented in anamorphic widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1, English Stereo Surround and Spanish Stereo audio available. It has a total running time of approximately 15 hours, 46 minutes. The attractive packaging follows the eleventh season style, with a thin outer cardboard box and clear plastic snapcase. Marg Helgenberger, Elisabeth Shue and Ted Danson are featured on the front cover, with some buildings in the background. There is an embossed CSI: Crime Scene Investigation logo at the top of the box. The outer cardboard box and inner keepcase have the same design basically, with only the back cover photo of the case being slightly less cropped. A clear plastic snapcase slides out from the right of the outer cardboard box. The entire cast is in a montage of photos on the back of the box/case. Paul Guilfoyle, Elisabeth Hornois, George Eads, David Berman, Jorja Fox, Robert David Hall, Eric Szmanda, Marg Helgenberger, Ted Danson and Elisabeth Shue are featured in the photo. A short synopsis of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD specs are provided. Opening up the snapcase, there is a content locator which lists the episodes and the special features on the inside cover. The discs are very plain looking, with just a silver background and the CSI logo on them. Episode titles and the special features are listed on the discs.
The menus are simple and easy to navigate. There are no previews on this release, so it jumps right to the main menus. The main menu opens with some views of Las Vegas that lead to a montage of video clips from the show. A nice instrumental cue plays in the background and then the sequence loops. Options for Episode Selection, Set Up and Special Features (on Disc 6 only) are available at the bottom of the screen. Episode titles are listed vertically in blue boxes on the Episode Selection menu. You can play the deleted scenes for selected episodes from this menu. English 5.1, English Stereo or Español audio options are available on the Set Up menu that features Ted Danson. Some options and special features are not rated any may not be subtitled. As you would expect from such a recent show, the video and audio quality is outstanding. They do a lot of nighttime shooting and make the show look dark and like a theatrical film. There is no disclaimer on the back of the box about any of the episodes possibly being edited or any of the music being changed. Episodes are presented in their original broadcast order and numbered by the production number. The broadcast and production order differed for episodes 3-6 this season. Running times are between 42-43 minutes in length. Hopefully we'll see some seasons released on Blu-Ray in the U.S. at some point.
Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including the runtimes:
Episode 1201 "73 Seconds" (43:18)
Episode 1202 "Tell-Tale Hearts" (43:28)
Episode 1203 "Bittersweet" (42:48)
Episode 1204 "Maid Man" (43:18)
Episode 1205 "CSI Down" (42:08)
Episode 1206 "Freaks and Geeks" (42:08)
Episode 1207 "Brain Doe" (43:28)
Episode 1208 "Crime After Crime" (42:08)
Episode 1209 "Zippered" (43:08)
Episode 1210 "Genetic Disorder" (43:38)
Episode 1211 "Ms. Willows Regrets" (43:28)
Episode 1212 "Willows in the Wind" (43:38)
Episode 1213 "Tressed to Kill" (43:38)
Episode 1214 "Seeing Red" (42:58)
Episode 1215 "Stealing Home" (43:38)
Episode 1216 "CSI Unplugged" (42:38)
Episode 1217 "Trends With Benefits" (43:08)
Episode 1218 "Malice in Wonderland" (43:28)
Episode 1219 "Split Decisions" (42:38)
Episode 1220 "Altered Stakes" (43:28)
Episode 1221 "Dune and Gloom" (42:28)
Episode 1222 "Homecoming" (43:28)
A nice amount and mixture of special features are spread out over the six discs. Once again, there are only two audio commentaries on this set. This has been the norm with all of the CSI franchise releases recently. There are deleted scenes for four episode included. All of the interviews/featurettes can be round on Disc 6. Here is the breakdown by disc:
"Bittersweet" Deleted Scenes (4:26) - Ted talks to Ed Burrows. Sara talks to Janet Hughes at the hospital. Sara confronts Gina at the hospital. D.B. asks Sara what kind of food she likes.
"Brain Doe" Deleted Scene (1:28) - Catherine talks to Detective Vartaan outside the police department.
"Zippered" Deleted Scene (1:39) - D.B. and Agent Matthew Pratt talk to Drillbit.
"Genetic Disorder" Deleted Scenes (2:03) - D.B. talks to Hodges and Henry at the lab. D.B. and Catherine walk and talk. Dr. Robbins talks to David Phillips.
"Ms. Willows Regrets" Audio Commentary by Marg Helgenberger, Louis Milito (Director), Christopher Barbour (Writer), Wallace Langham, Elizabeth Harnois, David Berman and Jon Wellner
"Willows in the Wind" Audio Commentary by Marg Helgenberger, Alec Smight (Director), Christopher Barbour (Writer), Wallace Langham and Elizabeth Harnois - This was Marg Helgenberer's final episode.
Death, Trucks and Rock 'n Roll (8:34) - Fans can enjoy behind-the-scenes of Dune and Gloom and delve into the world of trophy truck racing. Follow the action as it takes us across the desert to a Hollywood recording studio with Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry as he scores the fast-paced action with stellar original music. Interviews include Director Jeffrey Hunt, Executive Story Editor Tom Mularz, Co-Producer Phil Conserva, Stunt Driver Rich Minga, Off Roader Alex Staats, Off Roader Ryan Staats and Joe Perry. The featurette provides some good background information on the episode, but it easily could have been double in length.
A Crime a Dozen: Season 12 of CSI (23:29) - Executive Producers Carol Mendelsohn and Don McGill, along with the cast and crew, discuss the surprising mysteries that make the twelfth season the best season yet. This was a season of big changes with Laurence Fisburne having left after season 11 and Marg Helgenberger leaving sometime in season 12. They talk about the addition of Ted Danson to the cast. Marg Helgenber's exit from the show is discussed. Other topics discussed include Nick's journey this season, the relationships between D.B. and the other characters, Conrad Eckley's daughter, Hodges' mother (Jaclyn Smith), Elisabeth Shue's character, the tram scene, the second episode with three confessions, the helicopter episode, the stolen house episode, the blackout episode, the softball game, and other season highlights. Other interviews include Ted Danson, Executive Producer Louis Shaw Milito, Eric Szmanda, George Eads, Paul Guilfoyle, Jorja Fox, Elizabeth Harnois, Wallace Langham, Elisabeth Shue, David Berman, and Robert David Hall.
Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (12:51) - Meet the newest members of the CSI team and hear from the actors who play them as Ted Danson, Elizabeth Harnois and Elisabeth Shue share what it's like to join an already seasoned ensemble. They talk about D.B's character and his family, working with Ted Danson, the introduction of Conrad Eckley's daughter, the addition of Elisabeth Shue to the cast, the Finn character, and the relationship between D.B. and Julie. Other interviews include Carol Mendelsohn, Don McGill, David Berman, George Eads, Wallace Langham, Jorja Fox, Eric Szmanda, Executive Producer Louis Shaw Milito, and Contributing Producer Elizabeth Devine.
A Farewell to Marg (9:33) - Listen to the original cast member and fan favorite Marg Helgenberger as she shares about her departure from her television family after 12 years together. Marg had wanted to leave in Season 10, but she decided to stay another season. They talk about the story arc of Catherine leaving the team. Interviews include Carol Mendelsohn, Jorja Fox, David Berman, Executive Producer Louis Shaw Milito, Wallace Langham, Executive Producer Don McGill, Ted Danson, Elizabeth Harnois, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda, and George Eads. After 12 seasons, I thought there would be a more in-depth look at Marg's time on the show. Her departure is mentioned quite a bit in the other featurettes.
Putting on a Freak Show (8:47) - Producer Louis Milito, director Alex Smight and writer Christopher Barbour, as well as the cast and crew, explain what goes into creating a 'freak show' for the episode Freaks and Geeks. They talk about the idea of the episode, building the carnival set on a stage, and the production design and props. Some of the carnival performers are briefly profiled. Other interviews include Production Designer Daniel Novotny, Set Director Andi Brittan, George Eads, Ted Danson, George "The Giant" McArthur, Rania Bossonis, Brianna Belladonna, and Ted Shred. This is a fun behind-the-scenes look at the making of the episode.
A Family Affair (6:54) - Join host, Robert David Hall, as he goes behind-the-scenes and gives a glimpse into the private life of Doc Robbins. I've always loved the Doc Robbins character, so it was nice to learn more about his background and daily life. Interviews include Carol Mendelsohn, Elizabeth Devine, Director Frank Waldeck, Paul Guilfoyle, Eric Szmanda, Don McGill, and Wendy Crewson (Julie Robbins).
Season 12 was a year of transition for the series. Laurence Fishburne and Marg Helgenberger left the show. Fisburne exited after season 11. Helgenberger left in the middle of Season 12. I liked Fisburne's Langston character, but he was no Grissom. There were big shoes to fill. His character just never really fit in with the rest of the team. It was a sad and emotional farewell to original cast member Marg Helgenberger. She had talked about leaving the show in recent seasons, so it wasn't a complete shock. Her final episodes, known as the Willowgy, were the best and most memorable of the season. Thankfully they didn't kill off her character, so I think there's a good chance that she will return down the road in some episodes.
Three new cast members were brought in as regulars this season. I've always been a big fan of Ted Danson since his Cheers days. He brings a lot of offbeat humor to the show. His character is much more likable than Langston. I've loved Elisabeth Shue since her Karate Kid days. She really hasn't done a lot of television work in her career, so it's great to be able to see her on a weekly series now. Her character is very interesting and like a female version of Grissom. I enjoy the new characters, but I hope they don't forget about Nick, Sara and the rest of the team. I know they wanted to introduce the new characters, but longtime fans of the show don't want to see the veteran cast members pushed to the background.
Overall, this is another well produced set like you've come to expect. The featurettes are always very interesting and entertaining. I think the Marg Helgenberger farewell featurette could have been more detailed and focused on her entire 12 years on the series. It's hard to say goodbye to an original CSI team and cast member, who brought so much to the show, in under 10 minutes. It would be nice to see a few more audio commentaries and deleted scenes, but at least they haven't cut them out entirely. Season 13 premieres on CBS on Wednesday, September 26 at 10pm ET/PT.
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS.com Official Site
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The series aired Thursdays at 8PM on ABC and premiered on the 35th anniversary of the debut of the 1976 series. The series stars Annie Ilonzeh as Kate Prince, Minka Kelly as Eve French, Rachael Taylor as Abby Sampson, and Ramon Rodriguez as John Bosley. The voice of Charles "Charlie" Townsend is provided by Victor Garber. Recurring is Isaiah Mustafa as Detective Ray Goodson and John Terry as Victor Sampson.
Guest stars include Nadine Velazquez as Gloria Martinez, James Morrison, Elizabeth Pena, Dina Meyer, Peyton List, François Chau and Romeo.
The series was not as bad as everyone made it out to be. It was just fun with a lot of action, but these days people want critically acclaimed dramas. Shows like this are very sparse on network TV these days. The original series was never critically acclaimed either yet it had a nice long run with great ratings. As for this series, the series was canceled quickly and they only produced eight episodes. Only seven of those aired, so we have one leftover episode. Some of the more memorable episodes from the short-run includes the series premiere "Angel with a Broken Wing," where when a mission involving a child slavery ring results in Gloria's (Nadine Velazquez) death, Charlie persuades Abby and Kate to team up with Gloria's friend, Eve however they don't know it, but Abby, Kate and Eve will always support and look out for each other and they also discover that Gloria's death is also tied to the child slavery ring's elusive mastermind, which hits too close to home and very personal for Eve, who wants to seek revenge. In "Bon Voyage, Angels," the Angels take the case of an investigative journalist who disappears on a cruise ship, a case that connects with Kate's past. In an episode based on the classic series' episode "Angels in Chains," the Angels go undercover in Cuban women's prison, in which women are being kidnapped and sold as high-level prostitutes. In "Angels in Paradise," after a family is kidnapped and the Angels are sent to rescue them, they discover there's a bigger plan in the works and at Charlie's urging, Abby reconnects with her father when it appears that he has a connection to this latest case. In the last episode that aired on television, "Royal Angels," when a royal African king is shot and killed, the Angels must protect the king's son (Romeo Miller), who is also a target.
The episodes run all over the place, but it seems unedited still. The series probably ran shorter because it wasn't doing too well and ABC asked them to make it shorter probably. There are no chapter stops per episode, which is unfortunate. See the runtimes for each episode below:
1. "Angel with a Broken Wing" 43:09
2. "Runway Angels" 40:58
3. "Bon Voyage, Angels" 42:02
4. "Angels in Chains" 41:01
5. "Angels in Paradise" 43:10
6. "Black Hat Angels" 39:45
7. "Royal Angels" 41:32
8. "They Are Not Saints" 40:45
The packaging comes in a standard Amaray case. A nice shot of the Angels in white is used as the cover art, with a white background. The show logo and The Complete Series mention are both above the photo. The back of the case has four episodic images featuring each character along with a nice shot of them all together and a short synopsis of the series and the DVD specs are provided. The same photo of the Angels on the cover art are featured on the spine of the case. Inside the case, there is no artwork, just plain black. It would have been great if they included some episode summaries or additional photos. The discs just have a plain white background, with the Charlie's Angels. Generic!
The menu is very basic like other Sony MOD titles we have reviewed like Emily's Reasons Why Not. It just has various televisions in the background with a blue/green tint. They've used this same generic menu on other Sony on demand releases as mentioned. They couldn’t just insert a cast photo (or a hot photo of Minka Kelly?), even if it was just the same one as the cover art? The episode titles are listed vertically in black text in a teal box on the left side of the screen. There's a "Play All" button or you can view the episodes individually. A film canister type icon is next to the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. Unfortunately, there are no chapter stops within the episodes, which is disappointing to me.
This DVD set is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media, as we mentioned. Thus, the packaging notes that this disc is expected to play back in DVD Video "Play only" devices, and may not play in other DVD devices, including recorders and PC drives. The episodes are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. It looks good to me. For the closing logo enthusiasts, we have the Sony Pictures Television logo along with Millar Gough Ink and Flower Films. The audio is an English Dolby Digital track. It sounds fine and it should for a series that premiered just this past season. So there is nothing to worry about here. Unfortunately though, there are no subtitles or closed captioning on any of the episodes. Pretty standard and basic, but both audio and video are perfectly good here. Very good!
Unfortunately, there are no special features included, just like the other Sony MOD titles. This is usually the case with these on manufactured on demand type releases. You just get the episodes here, which are fine I guess, especially for a show that was canned after quickly. No expectations. But this show was just aired this past season, so I'm sure they could have included some interviews that they did before the premiere of the series.
So I finally got to see that final episode produced. It's just a cool show. You know it isn't going to win any awards but the Angels are very easy on the eyes. It’s not that bad, but it certainly isn’t great. I wish the audience tuned in more, but honestly ABC should have moved it to Fridays or something. It would have worked. I’m glad this series was released on DVD, though. Even if it’s just a MOD DVD-R release, it’s still something! This set has flaws, but I think it is expected since it is a cheapened set. The audio and video are certainly not affected. They both are very good. Packaging and menus need improving though, but that’s not a major issue. Special features are never expected on MOD stuff, so if we even got something it would have been surprising...but they really should have included an interview or something. This is definitely a release for just the episodes and you get those! If you watched the series, then I think you should get this set to watch the unaired episode. If you’re a fan of Minka Kelly, then obviously you will want to have this in your collection. She looks great here, but it’s too bad the show never got a chance despite the ratings being not great. If you are a fan of this franchise, this needs to be in your collection with the original series and movies! Hello, Angels!
Claim to Fame: Canadian-born TV actor best known for his role of Jason Seaver on Growing Pains and successful TV theme composer from the '70s and '80s, now a contributor to The Huffington Post and self-proclaimed as "the Lost Kardashian"
Why You Should Follow Him: You wouldn't think that a sitcom dad from the '80s would work his way into pop-culture in 2012 too much. In fact, it seems that sitcom dads have a tendency to just fade away once the series fades away. But Alan Thicke is determined to remain a relevant part of pop-culture all of these years later, and let's just say, the man is addicted to Twitter. He has embraced Twitter to give him relevance in the modern era. If you follow him, you can expect to see up to a dozen tweets per day where he discusses everything going on in his world, as well as with his family.. And we don't just mean his real life family, he also likes to give shout outs to his TV family, including making quips and jokes during the Kirk Cameron controversy earlier this year... but most of it is all in fun and humor.
Fake Pick of the Tweets: "I don't understand politics - I'm just a sitcom actor. Barely know how to read," followed by "Anyone remember Triple-Stuf Oreos? Or was that just something I dreamed? #hungry" (These didn't really happen, this was just a Conan O'Brien parody... but if you read Thicke's tweets, it won't seem too unbelievable.)
Real Pick of the Tweets: "Don't recall being at the HIMYM 100th episode party. A sure sign it must have been a good one!" (March 11, 2012)
New on DVD/Blu-ray (September)
09/06 - Coach - Season One (Mill Creek) / Season Two / Seasons One and Two
09/06 - South Park - The Complete Ninteenth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - The Big Bang Theory - The Complete Ninth Season (Blu-ray)
09/13 - Newhart - The Complete Sixth Season
09/20 - 2 Broke Girls - The Complete Fifth Season
09/20 - Family Matters - The Complete Eighth Season
09/20 - Modern Family - The Complete Season 7
09/20 - Veep - Season 5
09/27 - The Wonder Years - Season Six
More TV DVD Releases / DVD Reviews Archive / SitcomsOnline Digest
Sitcoms Airing Tonight
Sunday, September 25
Family Guy - "A Lot Going on Upstairs" (Fox, 7:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
When Stewie refuses to sleep in his own bed because of nightmares, Peter can’t stand it, so he goes to sleep in the attic. Peter turns the attic into a man cave and all of the guys begin hanging out there, which makes Lois incredibly angry. Meanwhile, Brian helps Stewie overcome his fears by building a device to go into his nightmares and defeat his demons.
Bob's Burgers - "Flu-oise" (Fox, 7:30PM ET/PT)
When the youngest Belcher comes down with an epic case of the flu, Linda has a mishap as she tries to deliver Louise’s favorite toy to her daughter’s bedside. After Louise vows that she will never forgive her family for their mistake, she falls into a wild fever dream filled with familiar faces, zany musical numbers and a crazy adventure.
The Simpsons - "Monty Burns' Fleeing Circus" (Fox, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When Springfield is burned to the ground, the Simpsons beg Mr. Burns to fund its rebuilding. Burns agrees – with one condition: he gets to put on a variety show at the Springfield Bowl.
Son of Zorn - "Defender of Teen Love" (Fox, 8:30PM ET/PT)
After embarrassing Alan in front of his crush, Nancy, Zorn uses the Stone of Sight to spy on the girl for his son. Meanwhile, Edie is determined to move on and forces Zorn to finally move his old boxes out of her garage and into his own apartment.
Family Guy - "The Boy in the Band" (Fox, 9:00PM ET/PT)
Stewie and Brian form a children’s band that quickly rises to fame until they let a girl get between them and drive the band apart. Meanwhile, Peter and Lois insist that Chris gets a job so he takes a job managing Quagmire’s sex life as his personal assistant.
The Last Man on Earth - "General Breast Theme with Cobras" (Fox, 9:30PM ET/PT)
The safety of Tandy and the group is in jeopardy as armed intruders storm the Malibu beach near their home, and no one can agree on what to do. While Melissa takes drastic action, Tandy gets a new lesson in fashion.
K.C. Undercover - "In Too Deep 2" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
The Volunteens give K.C. an assignment that pits her against Craig and his job of protecting the ambassador.
Bizaardvark - "Pretty-Con" (Disney Channel, 8:30PM ET/PT)
The annual beauty convention Pretty-Con comes to Vuuugle and Amelia obsesses with beating out a beauty guru for the Golden Powder Puff Award; Paige and Frankie agree to help so they can meet the host and debut their music video.
Sunday, September 25
- Mark Consuelos (Hope & Faith) - Catch Mark on Watch What Happens: Live at 11pm on Bravo.
- Zach Galifianakis (Baskets) - Watch Zach on on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
- Rob Lowe (The Grinder/Parks and Recreation) - Rob appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS. He also talks about Code Black on CBS This Morning sometime between 7-9am and on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings. He will be on New York Live on WNBC in New York at 12:30pm ET.
- Kal Penn (We Are Men/How I Met Your Mother) - Kal is a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
- Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth) - Will visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC. He will also be on LIVE! with Kelly, so check your listings.
- Norm Macdonald (Norm) - Norm stops by The Late Late Show with James Corden at 12:37am on CBS.
- Margaret Cho (All-American Girl) - Margaret appears on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Jaleel White (Family Matters/Grown Ups) - Jaleel is a guest on @midnight on Comedy Central at midnight.
- Patton Oswalt (The Goldbergs/The King of Queens) - Patton visits Conan at 11pm on TBS.
- Whoopi Goldberg (Whoopi/Bagdad Cafe) - Whoopi drops by Harry, so check your local listings.
- Kristin Chenoweth (Kristin) - Kristin performs live on NBC's Today sometime between 7-9am. She also talks about her new album on the AOL Build Show at 3pm.
- Sutton Foster (Younger) - Sutton talks about Younger on NBC's Today in the 10am hour.
- The Cast of Younger) - Sutton Foster, Debi Mazar, Hilary Duff, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann, Miriam Shor and Molly Bernard are guests on the AOL Build Show at 2:15pm.