The Morning Fix: Stunning news as Cameron agrees to 'Avatar' sequels! FCC hits return to sender on Cablevision letter. Charle Sheen's allergic reaction ... yes, that's what they're going with!
After the coffee. Before wondering why Warren Buffet didn't call me to succeed him.
The Skinny: Remember when the World Series would be ending at the end of October, not just starting? That's the deep thought for the day. In other news, Charlie Sheen has allergies! Cablevision sent a letter to the FCC, but it sort of backfired. James Cameron wants to make more "Avatar" movies. I'm sure that was a tough sell to 20th Century Fox.
Wait until you own NBC. Comcast Corp. said it had third-quarter earnings of $867 million, a drop of 8.2%, compared with the same period a year ago. The decline was attributed to a loss of almost 300,000 video subscribers -- maybe there is something to this cord-cutting -- and costs associated with its proposed deal to take control of General Electric's NBC Universal. More on the numbers from the Wall Street Journal.
New Zealand's long national nightmare is over. A deal has been reached to keep "The Hobbit" franchise -- directed by Peter Jackson -- in New Zealand. The agreement comes after rough negotiations and lots of back and forth among Warner Bros., which is making the movie, and various guilds and government officials. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was even involved in helping strike the agreement that will keep the production there. Of course, a few changes in labor laws and some tax breaks had to be thrown in to get it done. Hopefully, we're done with this story. Here's the latest from the Associated Press.
Cameron goes back to the well. Director James Cameron has announced his next two projects, and (drumroll, please) he will work on sequels to "Avatar." The first sequel is expected to be released at the end of 2014, with sequel No. 2 coming out a year later. Can't say this is a big surprise when "Avatar" made almost $3 billion worldwide. Here's the take from Variety.
It's not just a Halloween thing. Yes, there are lots of horror movies that pop up around this time of year but apparently it isn't just beacuse the Great Pumpkin is getting ready to rise up. Come to think of it, how come no one has ever done a horror movie about the Great Pumpkin? Sorry, got sidetracked. Anyway, the Hollywood Reporter explains that there are few tent-pole movies released this time of year, clearing the way for horror. Maybe, but couldn't it be that the tent-pole movies stay away because of the rush of horror flicks?
At the ballot box. With the election a few weeks away, there is a lot of speculation about what a change in control in either the Senate or House of Representatives could mean for the media industry. Issues that may get a new look include net neutrality and media ownership. The Wrap tries to predict what may be in the works.
Staying put. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, often seen as the straight man on a news network of larger-than-life commentators, has renewed a deal to stay with the network for several more years. Deadline Hollywood said Smith's last deal paid him around $8 million, so it seems safe to say he'll be getting some sort of raise since the cable channel has become a profit center for its parent News Corp.
Skating away. See, it wasn't drugs or booze that made Charlie Sheen trash his plaza hotel room while an unidentified woman panicked. It was a bad reaction to prescription medicine. Well, that's what his spokesman says anyway, so it must be true. Although reports from New York tabloids paint a pretty dark picture of what happened, it seems unlikely that Sheen's latest antics will mess up his probation from another case. As for his status on the CBS hit TV show "Two and a Half Men," well, the network and Warner Bros. have looked the other way at every other flap the star has gotten into, so why should this be any different? If NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ran a TV network, he'd suspend Sheen for four to six episodes. USA Today is on the Sheen case while the Hollywood Reporter has some fun with how CBS has reacted to previous Sheen incidents.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: MySpace has a new look ... again. Cablevision sent a letter to the FCC trying to push the agency to get more involved in its fight with Fox, but it didn't play so well in Washington. Can you believe that Jerry Springer has been around for 20 years? James Rainey on the diminishing value of privacy on the Internet.
-- Joe Flint
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