5 Things to Watch This Week: Apple, YouTube, Fashion, Film, and NBC's Big Game
Monday -- Trivia Pursuit: It's been decades since we've had live game shows on prime time television, but that changes on Monday night with the debut of "The Million Second Quiz" on Comcast's (CMCSA) NBC.
The game that combines trivia with endurance challenges will take over the network for the next two weeks with live segments testing the mettle of the game's active contestants. Viewers will be able to play from home, and actually compete to join the live players.
NBC claims that this is the first live game show to air on a major network since the 1960s. It also won't be cheap to produce. Reality shows and contests are typically a way to save money on programming costs, but this venture requires a staff of 500 to hum along smoothly.
The show will have 10 live-prime time presentations during the next two weeks, but the game-play will continue off the air throughout the 12 days. Yes, the game itself will actually last a million seconds. That's not just the ultimate prize here.
NBC is hoping to get a boost in ratings. It's also hoping that the live nature of the show will make it DVR-proof. Folks will want to see it as it happens, and that will be good news for the show's advertisers.
Tuesday -- Apple's Calling: It's been nearly a year since the last iPhone update, and Apple (AAPL) is ready to show off its new smartphone. There's plenty of speculation as to exactly what the consumer tech giant will be unveiling on Tuesday, but most of the chatter centers around an update to last year's iPhone 5 as well as a cheaper smartphone that Apple will be able to use to make a dent in overseas markets where wireless carriers aren't subsidizing handsets in exchange for two-year commitments.
It will be a bonus if Apple also rolls out a smart watch, especially since it seems as if everybody's beating Apple to wearable computing these days.
Wednesday -- Let's Hear from Vera: We may not be in the heart of earnings season, but a handful of companies are posting quarterly results this week.
Vera Bradley (VRA) is one of the few companies reporting on Wednesday. If selling fashionable luggage and travel accessories sounds like a good place to be at this stage of an economic turnaround, pull up a stock chart.
Thursday -- No Reply: Video responses have been a major part of YouTube since shortly after its inception, but they go away on Thursday.
The leading video-sharing website, owned by Google (GOOG), warned its users two weeks ago that it will retire the ability to leave video responses to existing videos. Sure, a lot of the responses were not actual responses. They were self-promotional drivel more often not. However, it has been a major part of the YouTube experience. YouTube is promising new ways to connect community members. We'll see how it plays out.
Friday -- Hit the Multiplex: Things are quiet on the earnings front on Friday, but a couple of new movies will be hitting a movie theater near you."The Family" and "Insidious Chapter 2" are the two big releases. Neither one is expected to be a blockbuster, but that goes for most releases in the weeks following Labor Day.
If you're looking for an investing angle as you trek out to the multiplex, consider that theater operator AMC recently filed to go public again. The next time you find yourself forking over $8 for a tub of popcorn, just remember there's an exhibitor you can invest in that's cashing in on the transaction.
Is that insidious? Does that run in the family? Have fun at the movies!
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Google. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Google.