The Morning Fix: Comcast-NBC Day II. Letterman's confession! NBC orders drama pilot (stop the presses). Michael Vick's non-endorsement deal.
After the coffee. Before making sure your DVR recorded Letterman last night.
Philadephia freedom. After 23 years, General Electric Co. may finally give up control of NBC if a deal with Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast actually gets done. The odds are still long but the talks that Comcast is looking to take a 51% stake in NBC Universal and combine it with its own entertainment assets was all the buzz Thursday. Reports and analysis from Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Wrap, New York Times, Variety and Broadcasting & Cable.
Letterman confession. David Letterman took to the airwaves last night to announce that he had been a target of an extortion plot by a fellow CBS employee (not someone from NBC) who threatened to expose the recently married late night host's sexual history with staffers on his show. Letterman, who had to testify Thursday in a grand jury proceeding against the employee who apparently worked on the news magazine "48 Hours," said he was being blackmailed for $2 million and did acknowledge flings with co-workers. Details from Variety. The disclosure comes when Letterman is really on a roll in the ratings, per the New York Times.
Stop the presses, NBC orders drama! In a stunning development, NBC has ordered an hourlong drama pilot! This news has floored the industry since NBC cleared out its 10 p.m. time period for Jay Leno. Apparently, the network has other hours in prime time to program dramas. Can you smell the sarcasm yet? Still wondering if there was this much noise from writers about NBC when it ran "Dateline" five nights a week a few years back. Anyway, the network has landed a much sought-after J.J. Abrams show about two married spies (wait, I saw that movie and didn't CBS have a similar show years ago?). Details from the Hollywood Reporter and Wrap.
Fire me, will you? Big shocker here. Jon Gosselin (it's scary that I can finally spell his name correctly in the first shot without having to Google), and his lawyer (who used to rep Son of Sam for whatever that's worth), filed a cease-and-desist order shutting down production on TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" "Kate plus 8." The move came after TLC said it was reducing his role on the show. If you want the details, the Associated Press has them. Can't wait to see what happens next.
News Corp. vs. Redbox. News Corp. said Redbox is trying to force a deal down its throats and asked a judge to throw out the video kiosk operator's antitrust suit against the media conglomerate and its movie studio. Details from Bloomberg.No deal but Vick still gets free shoes. Nike went on the record to deny speculation that it signed an endorsement deal with quarterback Michael Vick, who recently returned to the NFL after doing time for running dog fights. Advertising Age reports that Nike is providing Vick with merchandise but not paying him to wear it.
ESPN exits Atlanta. Well, its restaurant does anyway. ESPN has closed its ESPN Zone in Buckhead, according to the Atlantic Business Journal. Earlier this hear, ESPN shuttered its Denver restaurant.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: NBC Universal wants to build housing behind the Universal lot (will Comcast's Brian Roberts live there?). MGM gets a break on its interest payments. Rich Ross getting ready for his close-up at Disney.
-- Joe FlintFollow me on Twitter.