The Morning Fix: Hollywood's post-apocalyptic obsession; new deal for Apatow; Emmy flap grows
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to see "Funny People" or "(500) Days of Summer."
So much for the afterglow: Hollywood is obsessed with the end of the world and what happens next, says the The Wall Street Journal. Says WSJ: "A flood of post-apocalyptic stories is now headed toward movie theaters and TV screens: Expect to see characters fending off cannibals, picking up day-to-day survival techniques and struggling to maintain their humanity amid the ruins." Sounds like a typical work week to us.
Shouldn't they see how "Funny People" does first?: Universal Pictures has signed director Judd Apatow to a three-picture deal. Universal Chairman Marc Shmuger, who is under pressure as the studio is slumping, said, "To know he’ll direct his next three pictures here is a vote of confidence to our entire organization. It has become a true collaboration and partnership." Variety, Hollywood Reporter.
Hope this works out better than MySpace: News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal wants to create a rival to LinkedIn, the professional social networking site for people more interested in jobs than friends. TechCrunch says "WSJ Connect" is still in the planning stages.
Emmy exclusion flap: The decision by the TV Academy to move several major Emmy Awards out of the live broadcast including writing for drama and several movie and miniseries prizes has HBO (which usually dominates those categories) irked and others, too. While winners would still get their moment in the sun, it would be taped beforehand and relegated to a quick clip in the show. Believe it or not, the effort to make the show shorter on TV will likely make it longer for attendees. Variety, Los Angeles Times.
Disney down: Citing the economy, Disney said its second quarter profits fell 26%. Bob Iger, CEO of the media conglomerate that operates theme parks, a movie studio and TV networks including ABC and ESPN, said there are signs of stability but the pace of recovery is not steady. Coverage from The New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
Gaspin's secret plan: New NBC honcho Jeff Gaspin tells Newsweek that the network is working on a new branding plan to re-energize the Peacock. The problems facing the network per Gaspin -- Internet and cable taking viewers and, oh yeah, not enough hits.
-- Joe Flint