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TMCNet:  The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Kirk Baird column [The Blade, Toledo, Ohio]

[January 04, 2013]

The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, Kirk Baird column [The Blade, Toledo, Ohio]

(Blade (Toledo, OH) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 04--Last year gave us a lot to be thankful for, but 2013 hints at even better things to come. Here's a rundown of what I'm looking forward to in the next 360 days.

Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Tuesday-Jan. 11. This splashy annual event is the media mecca for technology debuts and industry buzz. Having covered CES for years, I remember seeing the tablet years before the iPad made its debut, paper-thin OLED TV screens, the first consumer GPS devices, and the dawn of smart appliances. (OK, that high-tech trend never really caught on.) The buzz this year is back to TVs, with rampant and enthusiastic speculation about what Samsung will unveil. Could it be the realization of a bendable TV Stay tuned.

The return of Arrested Development, TBD. The much-beloved, ratings-cursed sitcom met an untimely demise after only three seasons on Fox. That was in 2006, and since then fans have agonized over rumors of its return. There had been no formal announcement of a resurrection until series creator Mitchell Hurwitz went public with the news that he was writing new episodes for an Arrested Development run on Netflix. This fourth season will feature 13 episodes, to be available for streaming at some point this year. Oh, and the original cast is back. If it goes well -- and it will -- there's a good chance there will be a follow-up feature film.

BioShock Infinite, March 26. For gamers, there's always a new title to look forward to, or the new-and-improved sequel. My biggest anticipation is with the much-delayed BioShock Infinite; in this case, the delay is probably a sign of good things, as game developer Irrational Games is known for its obsession with getting it right. Also, give them the benefit of the doubt since the company's Bioshock set a new standard for first-person shooters -- and, really, video game design as a whole -- when it was released in 2007.

E3, June 11-13. E3 is the big tradeshow for console and PC games, and I expect even bigger news than usual to come out of the Los Angeles event. Last year saw Nintendo's official announcement of the Wii U, its newest gaming console, which arrived in stores just in time for the holidays. This year it's widely assumed that Microsoft and Sony will have their turns in the media spotlight to announce their latest additions to the new-generation of gaming consoles: possibly named the Xbox 720 and PS4, respectively.

Rush inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Los Angeles at the Nokia Theatre, April 18. If you're a Rush devotee, you know what this elusive mainstream recognition means -- and frankly, it means more to the band's legions of followers than to the group itself. If you're not a fan of Rush, this is a good place to understand the band and its fans, and why Rush should be in the Hall of Fame: the 2010 documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, a fascinating, informative, and full-on Rush-geek-out.

Star Trek Into Darkness, May 17. At this point last year, I was excited about more than 20 big films; however, most of them proved to be disappointing on some level -- call it The Hobbit factor. Always the optimist, there are more than a handful of titles this year that, based on trailers, buzz, or stubborn belief in the potential of the movie no matter what, have me excited: Iron Man 3, The Great Gatsby, Man of Steel, World War Z, Kick-Ass 2, Monsters University, Pacific Rim, The World's End, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (I still think the Hobbit films will get better). Of all the films, though, I'm most excited about Star Trek Into Darkness. So, is Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan, as the rumors suggest Despite what Paramount and Abrams say, I'm betting the answer is yes, but that his true identity won't be revealed until a twist ending.

Contact Kirk Baird at kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.

___ (c)2013 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) Visit The Blade (Toledo, Ohio) at www.toledoblade.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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