The Morning Fix: MTV's big surprise! Fuller beaten by Sillerman. Chernin's secret MGM plan. FCC's indecency rules under attack.
After the coffee. Before getting the Golden Globes speech ready.
MTV's big bet. Looking to boost its ratings and regain its cred with the kids, MTV is betting heavily on sitcoms including "Hard Times," about a high school student with an unusually large ... well, you get the idea. The show is sure to generate controversy, but with the cable network's viewership on the decline, that may not be such a bad thing. Denise Martin on MTV's latest programming plans in today's Los Angeles Times.
Fuller loses power struggle. "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller has backed off of his "plans" to take over CKX Inc., the parent company of "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment. Fuller's camp has been telling anyone who would listen -- primarily the British press -- that he would take over for CKX Inc. chief executive Robert F.X. Sillerman some time this year. Instead, Fuller is leaving with a consulting deal, exiting the board of CKX and, oh yeah, Sillerman's company can take an ownership stake in Fuller's new venture. This all came about this week after the Los Angeles Times interviewed Sillerman, who laughed off the idea of Fuller succeeding him as chief of CKX.
Chernin's yearning for MGM. Peter Chernin has a secret plan to try to snag Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. We have the skinny.
FCC takes beating on indecency. The Federal Communication Commission's indecency rules took a beating in a hearing Wednesday in the 2nd Circuit court in New York, according to Broadcasting & Cable. "To say that the justices were extremely skeptical of the FCC's application of the indecency law from a constitutional perspective in this case is an understatement," the magazine quoted one observer sympathetic to the broadcaster arguments and who asked not to be identified. The hearing is tied to the FCC's going after Fox for Nicole Richie and Cher swearing during an awards show telecast but it could set the stage for all of the agency's indecency rules to be challenged.Upon further review. It's not looking good for the National Football League's effort to get the Supreme Court to give it blanket protection from antitrust challenges. The NFL's waiver is being challenged by a clothing manufacturer. While the league has prevailed in legal battles against the manufacturer, it asked the high court to rule on whether that challenge should be allowed, hoping a decision in its favor would strengthen the status of its exemption). The Wall Street Journal with details of the hearing.
How plausible is a Fox-Conan O'Brien deal? What, you didn't think we'd go through the whole roundup without one story on NBC's prime-time and late-night debacle, did you? Variety's Mike Schneider takes a look at the hurdles Fox would face if it wanted to snag O'Brien for its late-night schedule. Wonder if they can rent that $30-million studio NBC built for O'Brien on the cheap.
-- Joe Flint