The Morning Fix: RIP Ronni Chasen. Playboy wants to get real and go soft. Kabul's must-see TV.
After the coffee and wondering why.
The Skinny: Pretty good episode of "The Good Wife," if you were wondering what I was watching Tuesday night. In other news, Comcast is expected to unveil its executive structure for its company post-NBC deal as early as Wednesday. I have no links for you because I figure by now you've read enough on the subject. Still no word on who killed entertainment publicist Ronni Chasen and why. Playboy wants to go soft.
RIP Ronni. The real world crashed into the entertainment world early Tuesday morning when veteran Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen was slain while driving home from a Hollywood premiere. Chasen, 64, represented a virtual who's-who of Hollywood over her lengthy career and was known for her fast-talking, old school, New York aggressiveness on behalf of her clients. She was not a person one quickly forgot after meeting. Of course, her death brought out the best and the worst in entertainment media while police tried to make sense of the killing and, as yet, had not announced any suspects or made any arrests. Straight coverage of the news and reaction from her stunned colleagues was tinged with the worst kind of speculation and tabloid headlines, all in the name of web hits. And then there were the comments from people who should really read what they are writing out loud before hitting the send button. News of her death and appreciations of Chasen's life from the Los Angeles Times as well as its columnist Patrick Goldstein, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Deadline Hollywood.
Hulu cuts prices. Hulu, the online site owned by News Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co., is lowering the price on its pay service only a few months after launching it. The reason: It wants to compete with Netflix, which has a similar service at a lower price. Here's an idea, Hulu. Just give it away. Oh yeah, tried that one and while consumers loved it, the folks who make the shows and the distributors who pay for them weren't too thrilled with that one. The latest from Bloomberg.
Must-see TV in Kabul. The Wall Street Journal reports on our government's television production efforts in Afghanistan. One show that has already made its debut is "Eagle Four," a police drama, and coming soon is "Birth of an Army," a reality program that tracks recruits from training to battles with the Taliban. The TV station carrying the shows is Tolo and the programs are being funded by the U.S. government. In one of the longest disclosures I've seen, the WSJ notes that "Tolo TV is part of the Moby Group, which also operates FARSI1, a joint venture with News Corp., which owns The Wall Street Journal."
Rather switch than fight. The Motion Picture Assn. of America was ready to slap James L. Brooks' romantic comedy "How Do You Know" with a dreaded R-rating because there was an f-bomb in it. Rather than argue that an f-word or two in an otherwise romantic comedy (which stars Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon and Owen Wilson) shouldn't mean an R-rating, the words were cut, per Variety. Having watched the trailer, I'm not so sure that many high school kids will be rushing out to see "How Do You Know" anyway.
Ailes talks. The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz gets a sitdown with Roger Ailes, president of Fox News. Among other tidbits, Ailes drinks coffee out of a mug that reads "Fair & Balanced." I need to get my team to start making Morning Fix mugs.
Lookout, Lifetime and Oxygen. Playboy, whose TV efforts on its pay channel usually consist of soft core adult entertainment (I'm trying really hard not to use the word "porn") and chat shows, is looking to attract more women with some reality shows that focus on couples and relationships. The challenge will be, of course, getting people who wouldn't look at Playboy ever. In terms of alienating its current audience with more soft (but not soft core) content, that's not much of a risk because its stuff is pretty tame vs. other adult fare on cable. The New York Times has the story in a nice brown paper bag.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: James Rainey on writer Buzz Bissinger's Twitter rants.
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