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The Morning Fix: Icahn and Lions Gate resume battle! Chris Isaak for Simon Cowell? DC Comics wants to up its game. 'Jersey Shore' cast gets new deals.

July 21, 2010 |  7:32 am

After the coffee. Before making my dentist even richer.

Lions Gate and Ichan step back in the ring. After a ten-day truce between movie and television studio Lions Gate and investor Carl Icahn expired without any real settlement, hostilities flared up again. Icahn resumed is hostile takeover effort to buy the company at $6.50 per share, which is 50 cents less than his previous offer. Lions Gate countered with some moves of its own aimed at diluting Icahn's stake in the company while at the same time boosting the holdings of one of its key supporters. Hope all of this back-and-forth didn't keep Lions Gate brass from attending the "Mad Men" premiere Tuesday night (it's their show). The latest on the fight of the year from the Los Angeles Times.

He's cute enough but is he mean enough? With auditions for the next season around the corner, the hunt for Simon Cowell's replacement on Fox's "American Idol" goes on. The Hollywood Reporter says crooner Chris Isaak has had two meetings with the network about the job. Fox has said no decision is coming any time soon. The story also dangles a nugget about a fight between "American Idol" and Cowell's new show "The X Factor" over a piece of talent. Alas, a nugget is all we get since the piece doesn't say who the two shows are fighting over. Isaak is no stranger to television. He starred in a Showtime comedy about his offstage life a few years back.

Taking their case to Washington. As Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Cable prepare for a potential battle over a new deal for Time Warner Cable to carry Disney's ABC stations and ESPN cable networks, both broadcasters and cable operators are making lots of noise in Washington. Cable operators want to the Federal Communications Commission to take a bigger role in overseeing these battles while broadcasters want D.C. to keep their nose out of it. Variety's Cynthia Littleton offers up a curtain raiser on the Time Warner Cable-Disney situation.

Google says government should stay out of news. Google, whose search engine is considered one of the biggest threats to the future of journalism, told the Federal Trade Commission that it should stay out of the journalism business regardless of how noble the intentions. One of Google's big fears was an idea floated by the FTC to create an antitrust exemption to let newspapers unite and form a paywall and end the free ride for not only consumers but also search engines and aggregators. More on Google's memo from Business Insider.

What about pepper? It hasn't even opened yet, but FX has already struck a deal for the cable rights to Sony Pictures' "Salt," which stars Angelina Jolie. FX has been pretty aggressive buying up movies in the past year, including "Avatar" from sister studio 20th Century Fox. Deadline has details, including word that FX also bought "Knight and Day." Good luck with that one.

Rising at Starz? Forbes sits down with Starz programmer Stephan Shelanski to discuss why the pay cable channel canceled critical darling "Party Down" and what is in the works.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Need an old train for that scene? Check out Fillmore & Western Railway Co., which has become the place to go for all your rail needs. Warner Bros.' DC Comics wants the town, and Marvel, to know they are players too. Fear not, the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" has new deals. The Garden State can continue to hang its head in shame.

-- Joe Flint

Wednesday is anything can happen day, but you won't know what's happening if you don't follow me on Twitter. twitter.com/JBFlint

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