The Morning Fix: Rosie O'Donnell wants back on TV! `Wimpy kid' shows muscle. Inside Oprah Winfrey and OWN
After the coffee. Before figuring out what the health bill means for my bottom line.
Rosie returns. With Oprah Winfrey set to leave daytime television in September 2011, Rosie O'Donnell smells an opportunity. She is teaming up with two former Warner Bros. executives to launch a comeback. Although Rosie had big success in her first go-round as a daytime talker, since then she has become much more politically active and could prove polarizing to television stations and viewers alike. However, a person close to the project says O'Donnell is a pro who can knows how to get big audiences and advertisers. Analysis on what an O'Donnell comeback faces from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and the Wrap.
Wimp shows strength. No surprise that Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" continued to dominate the weekend box office, but coming in second place was the underdog "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." It beat out the much more hyped "The Bounty Hunter" starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. Personally, can't say I'm surprised by this one. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Dave Poland's Hot Blog.
No surprise that Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" continued to dominate the weekend box office, but coming in second place was the underdog "Diary of a Wimpy Kid." It beat out the much more hyped "The Bounty Hunter" starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler. Personally, can't say I'm surprised by this one. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Dave Poland's Hot Blog.
Independent money comes to TV. TNT's new drama "Leverage" got some production money from Winchester Capital Management, an independent financier that counts veteran TV executive Jeff Sagansky among its partners. Variety notes that although such financing is commonplace in the film business, it is less so on the small screen.
Inside Oprah. New York magazine looks at Oprah Winfrey and the OWN network, a cable channel she is launching next January with Discovery Communications. Although the story breaks little new ground, it does provide good background on how the channel came to be and the questions about it. Winfrey still won't say what her on-air presence -- if any -- will be on the network, and there have been lots of personnel changes behind the scenes.
Inside Icahn. Sunday's New York Times offered up a lengthy profile at activist investor Carl Icahn (he prefers that to corporate raider), who last week finally made his long-expected hostile-takeover bid for Lions Gate Entertainment. Is Icahn a thorn in the side of corporate America or a man unafraid to take on big companies on behalf of disenfranchised shareholders? Depends on whom you ask. Either way, this one is a must-read for Lions Gate chief Jon Feltheimer. If it makes the folks at Lions Gate feel better, you are just one of many companies Icahn is battling with at the moment. Another juicy fight is brewing with Donald Trump.
Really? More media consolidation? Liberty Media Chief Executive John Malone, one of the godfathers of the modern-day cable industry, tells Bloomberg more media consolidation is on the way. Malone anticipates that smaller cable operators will have to get bigger to be on even footing with big programmers.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: In case you missed it, here's Matea Gold's big Sunday article on Fox News host Bill O'Reilly. Didn't make it to South by Southwest? Here's what you missed. From failed U.S. Open ball girl to queen of syndication -- Telepictures President Hilary Estey McLoughlin's back story.-- Joe Flint