The Morning Fix: Yeah, yeah, more Conan. YouTube and Hulu making moves. Apple readies another revoultion. Sundance horror show.
Is it over? The official announcement that Conan O'Brien is exiting NBC and Jay Leno will return to "The Tonight Show" is likely to come this morning. The official phone call that said official announcement is coming has been received. O'Brien will be free to go somewhere else this fall (run for the hills, Fox) with a pocket full of cash. Can you feel the excitement, or are you as tired of all this as we are? We could send you 10 different links that all will say pretty much the same thing so, that being the case, we're going to play favorites and go with the home team. Sorry, everyone else, there will be plenty of analysis and over-analysis to link to in the days, weeks, months and years (let's hope not years) ahead. So here's the latest from your friends at the Los Angeles Times. One last note, best zinger between talk-show hosts was Leno's response to Letterman's digs. "You know the best way to get Letterman to ignore you?" Leno asked last night. "Marry him."
OK, I lied. Forget what I just said in that first post. Brian Lowry of Variety has a nice little analysis of the missteps of Team O'Brien and his team at WME. There, now I'm done!
Apple wants big bite of old media. Steve Jobs' latest toy, a tablet device that will, we hope, have a cool name, may -- brace yourself -- change the way we consume media. Me, I just want to know how I'll put a tablet device over my eyes on a Sunday afternoon when I want to take a nap. The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times look at Apple's latest revolution.
Let's make it a YouTube night. That almost has a ring to it. Google's Internet video site YouTube is going into the rental business. So far, the site only has a handful of independent movies to offer, but ultimately YouTube could emerge as another competitor to Netflix, Redbox, Apple, Amazon and Blockbuster (yes, they're still around) and, of course, television. More from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Hollywood Reporter.
We knew it was coming. Hulu, the online video site owned by NBC, Walt Disney and News Corp. (those must be fun board meetings), is going to start experimenting with a pay model. The shows that will be part of a pay test include ABC's "Modern Family," NBC's "30 Rock" and Fox's "House." Details on that and other pay walls going up around the media (which, in a way, makes this gig a little easier) from the Los Angeles Times. One last thing. Can I deduct a Hulu bill from my taxes?
3-D clash. Warner Bros. is deciding whether to release its remake of "Clash of the Titans" in 3-D. The Hollywood Reporter says the studio has ordered a test and needs to make up its mind in 10 days or so since the movie is due to be released in the spring. I need stock in the company that makes the 3-D glasses.
Never mind. Ted Koppel will not be going back to ABC News for
hosting duties on its Sunday morning magazine show "This Week." The two had talks and a deal seemed likely, but in the end, old tattered
relationships could not be restructured. More from Broadcasting & Cable.
Train-wreck TV. Remember when the A&E cable network actually stood for arts and entertainment? OK, we can't either, but if we did, we are sure we'd be outraged that they are going to make a TV show out of the messy private life of former "Bay Watch" star and German sensation David Hasselhoff. Variety has the details on A&E's further descent into voyeurism. If you are wondering where you can find the type of shows A&E should be doing, it's AMC, which unveiled two new projects, and those details are also in Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn talks with five huge directors who will likely be on pins and needles come Oscar time. Horror and raunch could be big at Sundance this year, sign me up! The Senate starts its review process of the Comcast-NBC deal. The FCC throws a bone to sports fans and deals a blow to cable.
-- Joe Flint