The Morning Fix: Blockbuster to start new chapter! Emmys need new TV deal and maybe some new winners. FCC appeals indecency ruling
After the coffee. Before the trip to the dry cleaners to get the tuxedo.
Not a Blockbuster night. Blockbuster, the video store chain that used to be king of the home entertainment business, is prepping for a bankruptcy filing. The company, which has lost ground to Netflix and Redbox, has been meeting with Hollywood studios to alert them of its plans to try to restructure its $1-billion debt load. Blockbuster closed 1,000 stores in the last 12 months and the chain's stock was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange last month. More on Blockbuster from the Los Angeles Times.
Emmys should show some love to newer shows. Alessandra Stanley, the television critic of the New York Times, says it's time for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to shake things up and stop honoring the same shows over and over. The Emmys, she writes, "have slumped into Brezhnev-style stagnation." She says she's pulling for ABC's "Modern Family," Fox's "Glee" and CBS' "The Good Wife" this Sunday. However, she's not rooting for Conan O'Brien. "His nomination for outstanding variety, music or comedy series is a little like President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize -- political, premature and meant mostly as an affront to his predecessor," she said.
And the next Emmy contract goes to... The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences needs to do another deal for the awards show as the current one ends after this Sunday's telecast. Even though the show's ratings improved last year, odds are that the broadcast networks -- who share the show -- aren't going to want to pay more -- or maybe even keep the same price tag for the awards program. Last time around, the academy was able to leverage interest from HBO into a big license fee, but that probably won't happen this time around. Details on the academy's television situation from the Hollywood Reporter. Oh, and here's a list of Emmy parties from Deadline Hollywood.
Time to mow the lawn. Or maybe clean that garage. Whatever you do this weekend, odds are you won't be rushing out to the movies. Nothing big coming this weekend as August comes grinding to a halt. There's a re-release of "Avatar" and Lionsgate's "The Last Exorcism" and Sony/Screen Gem's "Takers" opening wide at the domestic box office. Other openings include Lionsgate's "The Last Exorcism" and Sony's bank heist "Takers." Maybe I'll finally see "Cyrus" if it's still playing anywhere. Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Levitan on why he's anti-Hulu. Steve Levitan, the co-creator of ABC's "Modern Family," sat with the Hollywood Reporter to continue his rant against Hulu, the Internet video site co-owned by ABC parent Walt Disney, NBC Universal and News Corp. Levitan's concern is that Hulu, as well as ABC's own website, are putting shows online without full ad loads and potentially hurting their broadcast ratings. Oh, and that the creators aren't getting a piece of any revenues from those platforms.
ESPN3 a wedge in Time Warner Cable-Disney talks. Cable giant Time Warner Cable's deal to carry Walt Disney Co.'s ABC television stations and cable networks ESPN, ABC Family and Disney Channel is about to expire. Holding up a new deal may be ESPN's desire to have Time Warner Cable pay the sports giant to carry its broadband channel E3, according to Bloomberg. However, some cable operators, and perhaps Time Warner Cable, think Disney should sell E3 directly to subscribers instead of wanting the distributor to pick up the tab.
Why Eisner may be right man for Tribune. The Daily Beast's Peter Lauria takes a break from scooping everyone on the antics of Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone to take a shot at explaining why former Disney boss Michael Eisner may not seem such an odd choice to run the bankrupt Tribune Co. should the creditors advocating this plan succeed. Meanwhile, Jeff Shell, the senior Comcast executive who could become Eisner's No. 2 at Tribune, reflects the uncertainty that a lot of Comcast and NBC Universal executives are no doubt feeling as those two companies inch closer to a merger. More on that from Johnnie Roberts in the Wrap.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The FCC is appealing a federal court's ruling that its enforcement of its indecency rules is vague and chilling and needs to go. The California Department of Public Health reverses its finding that the Motion Picture & Television Fund broke state law when the charity transferred dozens of residents out of its nursing home. How the chicken gets made at the Governor's Ball.
-- Joe Flint
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