The Morning Fix: Carl Icahn makes his move! TV's veteran shows ailing. Viacom-YouTube dirt
After the coffee. Before figuring out who will go see "The Bounty Hunter."
Like we didn't see this one coming. Carl Icahn made it official and launched a hostile bid for Lions Gate on Friday. Icahn is offering $6 per share for the studio. Lions Gate already rejected his offer to up his stake in the studio to almost 30% at that price. According to the Wall Street Journal, Icahn said, "Lions Gate previously criticized our tender offer for being partial ... that is no longer the case." More from the Los Angeles Times.
Viacom versus YouTube. Unsealed documents in the copyright battle between Google's YouTube and Viacom kept reporters busy Thursday looking for dirt. It wasn't hard to find. There were YouTube founders seemingly well aware that much of the material on their site wasn't kosher. There were Viacom folks putting material up on YouTube. There was debate at Viacom about buying YouTube back in the site's early days, for the low, low price of $1 million. Whether all the dirt, which Viacom wanted out but YouTube fought to keep sealed, will boost the media giant's battle remains to be seen, but it does make for good reading. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and the Financial Times.
MGM bids due; Miramax? Not yet. It's deadline day for bids on the struggling MGM movie studio, but don't look for long lines of people making their offers. Time Warner is the most serious bidder, and even its price may be too low for MGM's creditors. Details from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the Wrap reports that Disney has extended the deadline for bids on Miramax from Friday to the end of March. For what it's worth, we'd heard that Friday wasn't really a deadline anyway. In the running for Miramax are its founders, Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and Platinum Equity.
Showing their age. It's been a fairly decent season for network television, but lots of veteran shows including "CSI," "Desperate Housewives," "Grey's Anatomy" and "24" are in decline. The Wrap's Joe Adalian looks at the numbers and what the networks need to do to reboot some of these franchise shows.
Broadcasters pass on Palin. The broadcast networks have all passed on Sarah Palin's reality show, details of which are still not entirely clear. Leading cable contenders for the program, which is from reality ace Mark Burnett, are A&E and Discovery, says the Hollywood Reporter.
Tweet this, Seacrest! "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest tweeted the results of Wednesday's show before the episode aired on the West Coast. Oops! That didn't help the ratings very much, but it did give sharp-tongued Washington Post TV columnist Lisa deMoraes plenty of material!
Inside the Los Angeles Times: CNN's star foreign correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, will take over anchoring ABC's Sunday morning news show, "This Week," which would seem to indicate that the show will move at least a little bit away from its Washington-centric coverage. Mary McNamara on Kirstie Alley's latest show. There isn't much for Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" to worry about at the box office this weekend. What, you mean you're not racing out to see "The Bounty Hunter?"
-- Joe Flint