The Morning Fix: 'New Moon' explodes! Life after Oprah. First look at Rich Ross studio boss. Microsoft and News Corp. vs. Google?
After the coffee. Before going to D.C. to try out as placekicker for the Redskins.
"New Moon" rocks the daylight too! Summit Entertainment's vampire saga "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" sucked the box office dry with a $140.7 million opening weekend. That was much higher than even optimists were projecting and made for the second-biggest non-holiday weekend opening ever behind "The Dark Knight." Warner Bros. tearjerker-football-saga and chick-flick "The Blind Side," starring Sandra Bullock, also was very visible, taking in a higher-than-anticipated $34.5 million. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.
Microsoft, News Corp. chatting. No, it's not a merger. News Corp. and its chief, Rupert Murdoch, have issues with Google. Microsoft has Bing, a search engine trying to compete against Google. The Financial Times reports the two companies have had talks about Microsoft paying News Corp. to "de-index" its news content off of Google. Complex stuff but important for newspaper publishers, which I guess means it's important to me too.
First look at Ross the boss. Disney Studios' new boss, Rich Ross, is keeping quiet, but his actions are speaking for him. The Los Angeles Times looks at the first 50 days of the Ross regime. Among areas he is focusing on is marketing and how better to sharpen promotional pushes for movies. He's also been busy putting his own team in charge.
Oprah: Chapter 2. Discovery Communications, Oprah Winfrey's not-so-silent partner in her cable channel, will now look to leverage the talk-show queen's stature to drive up the cost to carry the network. Word is, Discovery will look for as much as 50 cents per subscriber to carry OWN when it launches in 2011. That's a price tag on par with USA and TBS. Expect push back! Meanwhile, lots of talk shows are hoping to fill the void when Winfrey leaves daytime. Details from Broadcasting & Cable , Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
Discovering Discovery: Barron's takes a look inside Discovery, the growing cable-programming giant whose stock has managed to make gains while other media companies have struggled. It's not just Oprah Winfrey and Jon & Kate that make the company hot on Wall Street.
Harpo gets hot! Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions is developing a steamy drama for HBO, says Variety. The show will follow a woman who abandons her happy marriage to pursue the underbelly of life.
"Cougar Town" shuts down. Production was shut down on ABC's freshman comedy "Cougar Town" so star Courteney Cox could deal with a family matter. No other details were provided, said the Hollywood Reporter. The show, which has been given a full-season order, was already headed for a break for Thanksgiving.
The tan's not the only thing that's fake. The Wall Street Journal looks at the fine art of spray tanning on shows such as ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" and Fox's "American Idol." Tom DeLay says no to six-pack abs!
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Denise Martin's look at how Nickelodeon and other kids channels are using stardom as a programming theme for kids. Ann Powers on the women who ruled the American Music Awards. The latest (until something changes) on NBC Universal's efforts to cut a deal with Vivendi.
-- Joe Flint