The Morning Fix: Sam Mendes to drive Bond? 'Spider-Man' caught in plot web. More 3-D TV. Comcast and Tennis Channel exchange volleys.
After the coffee. Before deciding you're not all that excited about the Google phone.
3-D TV! Ready to sit at home and wear goofy glasses while watching your $3,000 television set? The cable industry thinks you are. Although there are fewer than 1 million televisions out there that are 3-D compatible (out of the nation's 115 million homes with TVs), companies are lining up to launch 3-D networks. on Tuesday, ESPN announced it will launch a 3-D channel later this year, and next year, Discovery, Sony and Imax are teaming up on a network. Details and analysis from the New York Times , Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Mendes, Sam Mendes. The hot gossip Tuesday was that director Sam Mendes ("Revolutionary Road") was in line to direct MGM's next James Bond movie. MGM wouldn't confirm or deny that Mendes, who is not exactly known as an action director, would take the reins on the beleaguered studio's biggest franchise. If it does happen, it seems safe to say that the next Bond will be shaken not stirred. A debriefing on the Bond mission from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.
Spider-Man caught in web! Director Sam Rami and Sony Pictures aren't seeing eye-to-eye over the next "Spider-Man" movie. If they don't agree soon on the next plot and who the big villain will be, the movie might miss its May 2011 premiere date. Maybe the villain can be "Turnaround Man." More from the Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.
Tribune joins Food Network fight. Tribune Co. (my boss) has joined the battle between Scripps Networks Interactive, parent of the Food Network cable channel, and New York cable operator Cablevision. Unable to secure a distribution deal with Cablevision, Food Network and Scripps' Home & Garden TV have been off the operator's New York and Long Island systems since New Year's. Now some Food Network programming is popping up on Tribune TV stations WPIX in New York and WTXX in Hartford, Conn. Tribune is a minority owner in Food Network. Interestingly, Scripps has wanted to buy out Tribune's stake forever. Bet you're glad now that deal was never struck. Details on the spat from the Wall Street Journal.
Tennis anyone? The Tennis Channel has filed a complaint against Comcast Corp. at the Federal Communications Commission complaining that it is being discriminated against by the cable giant. Tennis Channel is claiming Comcast favors its own channels, including sports networks Versus and the Golf Channel, over those it doesn't own. Comcast called the complaint "groundless." With Comcast trying to get its NBC deal through D.C., look for more and more of these complaints since rivals and programmers may be betting that the cable company will do deals just to avoid scrutiny. Our gut says guess again. Bloomberg has more on the back-and-forth.
Saying goodbye. Variety's TV expert Brian Lowry on legendary producer David Gerber, who died Jan. 2 at the age of 86. There has been "no character more colorful" than Gerber, Lowry writes. We agree.
-- Joe Flint