The Morning Fix: Miramax bids heat up again! Lopez takes one for the team. What FX was offering Conan. 'Undercover Boss' wants to visit Wall Street.
After the coffee. Before seeing if I can score advertising dollars for my tweets.
Do I hear $700 million? The back-and-forth bidding for Disney's Miramax took another twist Tuesday with news from the Los Angeles Times that the bid by the Gores Group and Platinum, run by brothers Alec and Tom Gores, has been increased. That bid had been the lowest at $550 million. Whether the Gores brothers upped it to the $600 million in cash that the Weinstein brothers Bob and Harvey have persuaded Ron Burkle and others to invest on their behalf remains to be seen. The biggest bid may not be the winner as Disney will likely take whoever can most quickly get them the most cash.
Bergstein talks. Embattled (yes I hate that cliche too) movie investor and CEO of Pangea Media Group David Bergstein tells the Hollywood Reporter that he is a victim. He also denied claims that he didn't pay taxes and used company money for gambling debts. Sounds like a fun guy to work for.
Lopez takes one for the team. When Jay Leno was coming back to NBC's late night to take Conan O'Brien's job, George Lopez had as much fun with it as the rest of the late-night crowd (well, maybe not David Letterman). Now, though, he is moving his own TBS show back to accommodate O'Brien, which is what O'Brien would not do for Leno. Of course, we're guessing Lopez didn't have the type of contractual guarantees that led NBC to make such a huge payout to O'Brien. Nonetheless we're sure he probably got some bones tossed his way. More on Lopez from the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.
What Conan passed on at FX. According to Deadline's TV editor Nellie Andreeva, Conan O'Brien would have been offered lots of extras if he had done a deal with News Corp.'s FX cable channel (sister to its broadcast network Fox) instead of TBS. Let's see, he would've gotten to host the Emmys when they were on Fox. Wait, he's done that before and will likely do it again, so who cares? Oh, and he would have been featured prominently when Fox has the Super Bowl, which it does next year. Again, yawn. Bottom line is that Fox Broadcasting didn't want to push the show down the throats of its affiliates. If they really wanted him, they would've made it happen.
Greed is good TV. The Wall Street Journal reports that CBS' new reality hit "Undercover Boss," in which a president or CEO spends time in the trenches of his company, is ringing up financial firms looking to do an episode for next season's show. "Undercover Boss" has already had top guns at Hooters, 7-11, and most recently 1-800 Flowers participate.
CNN stands ground. Time Warner Inc.'s CNN made a pitch to advertisers Tuesday and the network's U.S. president stressed the network's commitment to just the news, a field he added that its rivals have "abandoned." Klein's boss Jim Walton added, "We're the only credible nonpartisan voice left, and that matters." These remarks, of course, brought a sharp rebuke from said rivals. MSNBC quipped that CNN still thinks it's 1985 and doesn't know viewers want more than headlines. Fox News cracked that if Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is happy with CNN's "dreadful" ratings then "who are we to judge?" More from the Daily News. Man I miss reading that paper on the subway every day. Meanwhile, CNN brass tells our Matea Gold that they are not planning any changes to their struggling prime time line up.
Now make "Goodfellas" in 3-D. Martin Scorsese is jumping on the 3-D bandwagon with plans to make his new movie "Hugo Cabret" in the format, per Variety. We were kidding about "Goodfellas." Don't touch it or "After Hours."Pass the newly created just for this show product insertion please. NBC Universal's Telemundo is looking to move beyond product placement and branded entertainment and have advertisers create new products specifically for their shows. According to the New York Times, Richline Group, a jewelry company that is tied to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathway, has specifically created products to be worn in the network's telenovela "El Clon" ("The Clone). The top priority, Telemundo President Don Browne says, is to have integrity. If you say so.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: James Rainey on the Pulitzer Prizes and the National Enquirer. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski gave some tough love to broadcasters at their industry convention. Yes, those are real film crews and real movie stars you've seen filming around town lately. The nation's biggest TV operators, including Fox and NBC, are teaming up on a mobile content initiative.
-- Joe Flint