The Morning Fix: Michael Jackson's still bad! Forget the popcorn, eat a peach. ABC ponders new midmorning show. Simon continues to flirt with Paula, but is it just a tease?
After the coffee, before deciding if Iggy getting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is cool or an embarrassment for him.
Michael Jackson's still bad. Sony Music Entertainment is betting that Michael Jackson still has a few moves left. The company has struck a 10-year deal with Jackson's estate for up to 10 new projects including unreleased songs and DVDs for as much as $250 million. "We and Sony feel that the future for Michael Jackson is unlimited," said his estate administrator John Branca. Can't help but think he could have come up with a better way to express that thought. Perhaps something more along the lines of "although Michael is gone, his music and genius will live on." Maybe his brain was clouded by the green being waved in front of him by Sony. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
The broadband plan is here! The broadband plan is here! Come on, you know you've been waiting for this. Demand was so hot that the Federal Communications Commission actually released its new national broadband plan a day early. The goal of the plan, which will be presented to Congress on Tuesday, is to bring broadband to the 100-million homes that can't watch Hulu at the same speed as the rest of us. Broadcasters are not too thrilled since they may be told to give up some of their precious spectrum as part of the plan. Details from the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Financial Times. If you want to read the plan itself, here you go.
Hold the butter. On second thought, hold the popcorn. Sony Pictures Chairman Michael Lynton told the nation's movie-theater owners that the industry should do a better job of serving healthy snacks for people at the movies. Great, can't wait to pay $7.99 for a banana (credit for that joke goes to Variety's Mike Schneider). Lynton, who was speaking at ShoWest (the movie industry's annual convention, which FYI is being renamed CinemaCon starting next year) also talked about the need for theater owners and studios to work together on solving the debates over when movies should go to DVD and other windows. More on his remarks from Variety.
Glickman says goodbye. Dan Glickman, who is leaving his post as CEO of the Motion Picture Assn. of America in two weeks, gives a farewell interview to the Associated Press. Piracy remains the key battleground for the movie biz. Glickman, who unfortunately had to succeed the legendary Jack Valenti as the industry's D.C. mouthpiece, was only in the job about six years. The MPAA has yet to fill the position.
ABC ponders midday news show. Let's figure this one out. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC is gutting about 20% of its news division, and yet at the same time the network is considering making a new midday news show that the New York Observer describes as half "The View" and half "Good Morning America." Well, at least if that's the formula you won't need any real journalists. What the Observer doesn't note is maybe developing this show has something to do with the idea of trying to move "The View" to late afternoons on ABC stations after Oprah Winfrey goes off the air in the fall. Still, the odds sound long for this one.
Busy week for buyers ... or not. Bids are due for both MGM and Miramax later this week, and now the price tag is out for Liberty Media's Overture. According to the Wrap, Liberty wants from $100 million to $125 million for the production company behind recent releases "The Crazies" and "Brooklyn's Finest." Although there is talk about bids for MGM and Walt Disney Co.'s Miramax, it remains to be seen if the asking prices will be met.
Look out, Hulu. C-Span, the nonprofit cable network that covers Washington, D.C., for political junkies, is putting all its archives online, reports the New York Times. That's right, some 23 years worth of congressional hearings, campaign speeches and press conferences. Its a goldmine for obsessed journalists looking for gotcha moments or just bad hairstyles. Wonder if I'll find clips of myself napping from my days covering Congress for the trades.
Will Simon and Paula reunite? No, they are not exactly Simon & Garfunkel (and yes, I'm showing my age with that one), but speculation continues to mount about "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell bringing back Paula Abdul for his new Fox show "The X Factor." However, ABC is in deep talks with Abdul about hosting its remake of "Star Search," and she does have long ties to that network's entertainment President Steve McPherson. Personally, I've always thought Cowell just likes playing with the press and making Fox executives nervous when he goes on about how much he loves Abdul. Anyway, the rest of this morning's round-up is pretty heavy so here's a piece from the Daily Beast on the Paula and Simon mating dance.Inside the Los Angeles Times: FX's new drama "Justified" is "Dexter" meets "McCloud," says Mary McNamara. Patrick Goldstein on Universal Pictures' efforts to jump start its fortunes with a remake of some old thing. Sony's new video game "God of War III" should be in hot demand. Unfortunately, there appears to be a shortage of PlayStation 3s which could spell bad news for the company.
-- Joe Flint