The Morning Fix: iTunes signs some group called the Beatles. NBC's Gaspin is second Jeff to hit the door in wake of Comcast deal.
After the coffee. Before deciding how I can get a deal like Donovan McNabb.
The Skinny: Just guessing that ratings for ESPN's coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles' crushing win over my Washington Redskins on Monday night won't be an all-time ratings high. Another Jeff hit the road at at NBC as Jeff Gaspin said he would follow his boss, Jeff Zucker, out the door after Comcast's deal to acquire the company. Apple has some band called the Beatles on iTunes now. Oh, and Sarah Palin's show got about 5 million viewers.
Just a little touch-up needed. Comcast has not closed on its deal to acquire NBC Universal, but it is already measuring the drapes. On Monday, NBC's top executive, Jeff Gaspin, confirmed that he'd leave once merger is approved by regulators and the ink is dry on the marriage license. He follows NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker, who also has said he is out of there after the deal is done. The team Comcast puts in at NBC -- which for now is made up of former Showtime chief Bob Greenblatt and veteran TV executive Ted Harbert -- will have a lot of work to do, notes the Los Angeles Times. NBC, meanwhile, announced plans to revamp its prime-time schedule and will even try sitcoms after 10 p.m. on Thursday. Details on those plans from the New York Times and Variety.
All you need is love. Apple's iTunes is finally reaching a deal to offer the Beatles catalogue, which will likely also lead to a barrage of new commercials using Beatles songs. The Beatles were iTune's white whale, but there are still some other big groups missing, including AC/DC, which I need more on iPod when I'm at the gym than I do the Beatles. I mean, come on. What would you rather lift weights to, "Highway to Hell" or "Yesterday." Details from the Wall Street Journal.
Loud roar. For all the attention Lions Gate gets for corporate intrigue, what with investor Carl Icahn trying to take it over while at the same time the production company tries to pursue a merger with MGM, getting a little lost is the strong year the company has had at the box office. Variety provides a report card on the company, whose hits this year include the usual array of Tyler Perry movies as well as "The Expendables."
Shocking findings. The company whose primary job is to measure ratings from people who watch TV (and has struggled to find a way to measure how people watch things on other platforms), has released a study that says "most people who watch at least some content from the Web on their TV sets are 'cord keepers' rather than 'cord cutters.' Yeah, and at first people kept both a land line and a cellphone, but what's the trend now? The study was handed to the Hollywood Reporter.
Can you do that today? Entertainment Weekly looks at 18 movies that would have trouble getting made because they are so politically incorrect. There are some fairly obvious ones -- "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane" -- as well as some surprises, such as "A Fish Called Wanda." Well, let's hope no one tries to remake these classics, because even with the exact same scripts, they would probably still be bad, as we saw with the remake of "The Bad News Bears."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The battle between the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the makers of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" got uglier Monday with picketers and protests. Ann Powers on Bruce Springsteen's "The Promise." Facebook is launching its own e-mail service, which I kind of thought it already had.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter because I modestly speak truth to power. Twitter.com/JBFlint