The Morning Fix: MGM has options. Dick Wolf bolts United Talent. Fox and Cablevision headed to 15th round in deal talks.
After the coffee. Before realizing I am now at the age where stretching is as important as the workout.
The Skinny: How about one of those miners having the same name as a street in Los Angeles? Good thing CNN's Larry King is still around to tell us these fascinating tidbits. In other news, the creditors of MGM will have to choose between Spyglass and Lions Gate. Dick Wolf is exiting his longtime agency. Fox and Cablevision are battling again.
Flip a coin. It's decision time for the creditors of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The options: Go ahead with a prepackaged bankruptcy plan that would eventually put management of the once legendary movie studio in the hands of Spyglass Entertainment or merge with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. On board with the latter is investor Carl Icahn, who has been trying to take over Lions Gate while at the same time accumulating MGM debt. More on the latest twists from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Law, order and commissions. Dick Wolf, creator of the "Law & Order" franchise, has left United Talent Agency after 11 years with the firm, according to Deadline Hollywood. Although on the surface that seems like it could be a potentially huge financial blow to the firm, the "Law & Order" brand is clearly on the downside, and Wolf has struggled step outside his wheelhouse to create other successful series. The bigger question is why Wolf needs any agency after all these years. Just keep a lawyer and save on the commissions. I'm sure UTA will tell me later why that's a bad idea.
Another showdown. Later this week, Cablevision Systems Corp.'s deal to carry News Corp.'s Fox television stations expires. If a deal isn't struck and the signals are pulled, New Yorkers could be out of luck if the Yankees make the World Series. Cablevision has over 1 million subscribers (actually more than three million, a spokesman reminded us), primarily in the New York City area, including Brooklyn and Long Island. Cablevision earlier this year went to the mattresses with Walt Disney Co.'s ABC, and the network went off its systems for about a day last spring. News Corp. and Cablevision have been trading letters, and things could get ugly by Friday. Details from Multichannel News and the New York Post.
Bye-bye. Bruce Davis, executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday night at the AMPAS board of governors meeting that he would exit his office next June. Davis has been with AMPAS for three decades. Deadline Hollywood had the late-night scoop.
Keeping Current. Current TV, the cable channel founded by Al Gore that has struggled to establish itself as a nontraditional news and documentary channel, is getting into the scripted and reality TV business while also trying to maintain its mandate to be a home for cutting-edge journalism. The Daily Beast speaks with its still relatively new chief, Marc Rosenthal, about the plans to makeover Current. I knew something was up when I saw the channel running movies the other day. Always a sign that commercial realities are starting to cut into nobel aspirations.
-- Joe Flint
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