The Morning Fix: Disney messes with Mickey! Christmas comes earlier. The agent to the toys! CNN's woes.
After the coffee. Before throwing a fit that some stores are already in Christmas mode.
Makeover for Mickey. Apparently forgetting what happened when Warner Bros. messed with Bugs Bunny and gave him and other Looney Tunes characters a new look and attitude, Disney is working on a new version of its corporate mascot, Mickey Mouse. The new Mickey looks far from friendly and is designed to appeal to today's kids who don't have the same sentimental feelings about the mouse. But, as the New York Times warns, tinkering with Mickey could be akin to Coke making New Coke. Remember that one?
Get me Barbie's agent! If movies based on toys and games are the hottest thing in Hollywood, then it stands to reason that this is the growth business for agents as well. The Wall Street Journal looks at WME agent John Fogelman, whose biggest client today may just be Hasbro. Wonder how Whoopi Goldberg and Courteney Cox will feel when they get put on hold so he can take a call from a toy.
Oprah nearing finish line? Another major hire at OWN, the cable network being launched by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery, is setting off speculation that Winfrey is finally ready to give up her day job when her current contract expires. Of course, we've heard this before. Reading the tea leaves are the Los Angeles Times and the Wrap.
Remember when you didn't even think about Christmas until after Thanksgiving? Those days are long gone. It's not just your local mall that already has the trees and lights up; it's Hollywood as well. USA Today on the holiday rush at the box office.
Election night no longer a lock for CNN. Although it was an off-year election night, CNN's ratings drop was still eye-raising. A Fox News spokeswoman scoffed that CNN's ratings were better suited to the little-watched video game network G4 than a major international news channel. It's so great when they all play nice! Analysis on CNN's struggles from the Los Angeles Times.
Well, duh. Guess what? If you're selling diapers, buying ad time in a bloody crime show might not be such a hot idea. A study from the Alliance for Family Entertainment says family brands have a better chance of getting their message across by advertising in family-friendly shows, reports AdAge. However, if you are selling axes or knives, then definitely go to "CSI."
Don Cheadle: Mogul. Acclaimed actor Don Cheadle has set up a first-look TV deal with NBC and has projects in the works at ABC, FX and TNT. If this deal works, credit former NBC Entertainment topper Ben Silverman (yes, you read that right). Cheadle told Variety that it was Silverman who got the wheels in motion on a partnership.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: News Corp.'s earnings show a need to build a new space for MySpace. John Horn on the gritty "Precious" and how it will play during awards season. Mariah Carey's not-so-glam makeover for "Precious."
-- Joe Flint