The Morning Fix: Get those MGM and Miramax bids ready! Joe Roth on Taylor Lautner. Cable wants help from government. Bye bye, Bauer!
After the coffee. Before the trip to the dentist.
MGM ... again. The New York Times and Wall Street Journal weigh in with their "what's up with MGM" stories in Wednesday's papers. Basically, it's a rehash of what's already out there. If the bids aren't high enough, there will likely be some sort of prepackaged bankruptcy. In other words, look for a prepackaged bankruptcy.
If you can't buy MGM, there's still Miramax. Walt Disney Co. has set a deadline of March 19 for the latest bids for Miramax, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The price tag is said to be $700 million, but that may be a little high. Among the interested are Lions Gate and, of course, the Weinstein Co., whose founders, Harvey and Bob, created Miramax.
Be careful what you wish for. In a move they may come to regret, cable operators led by Time Warner Cable have asked the Federal Communications Commission for new rules when it comes to negotiating distribution deal with broadcasters. This comes just days after Walt Disney Co. pulled (and subsequently restored) the signal of WABC-TV New York from Cablevision Systems. The consortium, which includes DirecTV and Charter Communications, also sent a letter to key members of Congress asking for new rules. Details on the effort from the Los Angeles Times.
Career advice. Former studio-chief-turned-producer Joe Roth tells the Daily Beast that he thinks Taylor Lautner is getting some bad advice. The Daily Beast looks at which of the "Twilight" hunks -- Lautner or Robert Pattinson will have staying power. Of course, Roth has a bit of an agenda here. He's a little miffed that the "Twilight" star bailed on his movie.
Get ready for those actors asking for raises. Forbes looks at which television shows generate the most advertising dollars. It's far from an exact science, as the magazine admits, but it does give a broad overview of what a hit show can generate. As usual, Fox's "American Idol" is in first place. with each half-hour of the show making about $8.1 million from commercials. The only comedy among the top shows is CBS' "Two and a Half Men," which makes $3.1 million per episode in ads. Just a hunch but star Charlie Sheen may not be in the best position to ask for a raise right now.
Bauer signing off? Looks like Jack Bauer is on his last mission. Word from Variety is this will be the final season of Fox's "24." The show, which premiered in the fall of 2001, became a big hit for the network with its action-packed episodes and unique format. The show was also controversial for its depictions of torture. Bauer was never one to shy away from inflicting a little pain to get the information he needed to keep the country safe. Don't fret Bauer fans, there may be a movie in the works.
-- Joe Flint