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The Morning Fix: Simon Fuller's next move. Money man to the stars accused of bilking clients. CAA-IMG battle takes twist

May 28, 2010 |  7:32 am
After the coffee. Before sneaking out early to see "Sex and the City 2." OK, that one's a lie.

Simon's next move. "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller is looking to make a $600-million bid on CKX Inc., the media and entertainment company that owns 19 Entertainment, which produces the hit Fox show. Fuller, who sold 19 Entertainment to CKX years ago and earlier this year resigned from the company and the board, is teaming up with financier Roger Jenkins. Others pursuing 19 Entertainment include company founder (and former Fuller nemesis) Robert Sillerman, and industry investor Allen Shapiro. More on Fuller's plans from the Los Angeles Times and Financial Times.

Check your bank accounts. Financial adviser to the stars Kenneth I. Starr was arrested by the feds and accused of bilking his clients who have included Sylvester Stallone, Uma Thurman, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese and photographer Annie Leibovitz. He allegedly took some $30 million to enhance his own lifestyle and new condo (man, cable is expensive in New York). Details on Starr's arrest from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

Not as easy as A-B-C. One rumor that doesn't seem to fade is that Walt Disney Co. wouldn't mind unloading ABC. That gossip resurfaced earlier this week with the arrest of a Disney employee who tried to shop inside information about the company. Reuters notes that regardless of whether or not Disney wants to sell ABC, finding a buyer would be the hard part.

Viacom and Dooley make it official. Viacom upped Chief Financial Officer Tom Dooley to chief operating officer, which Bloomberg notes kind of makes official what everyone already knew anyway -- that he's No. 2 to Chief Executive Philippe Dauman.

CAA-IMG battle takes a twist. So a couple months back an agent at IMG, the big sports marketing agency, defected for Creative Artists Agency. That led to IMG filing a suit against the agent (and vice versa), and accusations of poaching and stolen files. Well, now the Wall Street Journal reports that CAA has dismissed Matthew Baldwin, the agent in question. Alas, the WSJ didn't tell us why. Come on guys, I need the dirt!

Is this a clue that the movie stinks? The decision of Lions Gate to not screen the Ashton Kutcher-Katherine Heigl romantic action comedy "The Killers" was spun by the company as an effort to "capitalize on the revolution in social media by letting audiences and critics define this film concurrently." Good, that way everyone can see it stinks at the same time. Here's the take on it from Hot Blog's David Poland.

Village Roadshow rolling in it. Village Roadshow, the production company that had some cash problems awhile back, has raised $1 billion in a credit facility for its movie slate, which is mostly distributed by Warner Bros. Variety says Village Roadshow will use the money to pay for its piece of "Sex and the City 2" and several other films.

CBS and Fox crow. The TV season officially ended Wednesday with CBS in first place for viewers and Fox on top among adults 18-49. The Hollywood Reporter breaks down the season. How'd that Jay Leno move do, anyway?

Idling Idol? Variety's Mike Schneider probes the past season of Fox's "American Idol" from the level of talent to the at times sloppy production in an effort to see just how vulnerable a Simon Cowell-less show will be next season. Here's one thing I don't get: Cowell kept saying he was getting bored doing "American Idol." So what's his next gig? Judging another musical talent show.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Conan O'Brien sidekick Andy Richter will host CBS' remake of the game show "Pyramid," but don't get too excited; it's just a pilot. Mary McNamara on HBO's "That Special Relationship," in which Michael Sheen again portrays Tony Blair.

-- Joe Flint

The Morning Fix will be off on Monday. Remember what Memorial Day is about and we'll see you on Tuesday.

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