The Morning Fix: Emmy winners and losers! Justice Department looks at what Comcast-NBC deal means for Internet. Time Warner Cable and Disney near deal
After the coffee. Before shaking off the hangover.
Hot night for new comedies, same old story for dramas. The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards started off with a bang as host Jimmy Fallon led the cast of "Glee," Betty White, Tina Fey and Jon Hamm, among others, through a rollicking version of "Born to Run." Whether Bruce Springsteen would approve of this interpretation remains to be seen, but the audience ate it up. As for the awards themselves, there was a lot of new blood on the comedy front, with ABC's "Modern Family" taking home best comedy and a couple of other trophies. Fox's "Glee" also had a hot night, as did Jim Parsons of CBS' "Big Bang Theory." Edie Falco won best actress in a comedy for "Nurse Jackie," which also made her the first woman to take home Emmys for acting in both the comedy and drama categories. While comedy was fresh, drama was a little stale. For the third year in a row, AMC's "Mad Men" won best drama, as did Bryan Cranston, who won best actor for "Breaking Bad." Among the notable losers were ABC's "Lost" and Conan O'Brien, which meant NBC brass could breathe a sigh of relief that the former "Tonight Show" host wouldn't get to take the stage and bash his former bosses. News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
"The Last Exorcism" performs one on the box office. Lionsgate's "The Last Exorcism" was a last-minute winner at the box office. While Sony's bank heist flick "Takers" opened strong, the horror flick made a strong comeback to slip into the top spot. It may have been an East Coast/West Coast thing as "Takers" did very well in urban markets in the East while "The Last Exorcism" was particularly strong in Southern California. As for the re-release of "Avatar" with extra footage, apparently we've had enough as it took in just $4 million. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hot Blog.
And justice for all. The Justice Department, which along with the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing Comcast's proposed purchase of NBC Universal, is zooming in on what a marriage between the nation's biggest cable and broadband provider could mean for video on the Internet, according to the Wall Street Journal. Of course, the Internet is still something of the Wild West compared to the television industry, which is heavily regulated by the government, so it's only natural that the Justice Department would focus on this area. That said, the folks at the Justice Department are also looking at how Comcast deals with the programmers it carries on its cable systems as well as rival distribution companies and has talked to all the major media companies including CBS, DirecTV and Viacom. In other words, they're doing what they always do.
Pay-per-YouTube. Google's YouTube is trying to woo Hollywood studios to create a pay-per-view movie channel, reports the Financial Times. The push by Google is seen as its latest efforts to beat Apple and others including Netflix in the battle to be king of digital distribution.
Breathe easy, ESPN fans. It's looking like Walt Disney Co. will reach a new deal with Time Warner Cable without pulling any of its broadcast and cable stations including ABC and ESPN. While rhetoric was high as late as Friday, when Time Warner Cable said on its website that Disney is the problem, cooler heads prevailed over the weekend and both sides indicated that they expect a deal in place before for their current contract expires Sept. 2 at 12:01 a.m. One suggestion for the next contract: Make it expire in the middle of the afternoon rather than midnight. None of us like staying up that late to see if a channel is going to be pulled. The latest on the talks from the Associated Press.
Any silver dollars left? The New York Times takes a look at how mega-producer Joel Silver ("Die Hard," "Lethal Weapon") is faring in the current studio system. Silver, who is aligned with Warner Bros., is the master of the big bucks action movie. However, now Hollywood is about franchises and special effects as much as it is about grit and compelling characters. As for compelling characters behind the scenes -- whether it's behind the camera or in the corner office-- those are becoming rarer as the entertainment industry's corporate suits get blander.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on Jimmy Fallon's performance as host of the Emmy Awards.
-- Joe Flint
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