The Morning Fix: Rupert buys an education tech company; 'Biggest Loser' strike ends; Bob and Harvey are back
After the coffee. Before wondering if regular Morning FixerJoe Flint is getting a TSA pat-down.
The Skinny: Joe Flint is travelling for the holiday, so you'll have to cope with a less funny (but taller!) fill-in. In Tuesday's Fix: The "Biggest Loser" strike has come to an end, the Weinstein Co. and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" are getting rebooted (no, not together), and News Corp. buys an education technology company.
Back to shedding those pounds: After a two-week work stoppage, Hollywood's highest-profile labor dispute this year has come to an end. About 50 crew members on the NBC reality show "The Biggest Loser" agreed Monday to go back to work after their union, IATSE, reached an agreement with producers that makes it easier to get or keep health insurance. Now they just have to hope incoming NBC chief Robert Greenblatt likes the show. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline.
Weinstein 2.0: No, it's not a new computer operating system that alternately yells at you and then convinces you to see a great independent film you've never heard of. It's the newest incarnation of the Weinstein Co., indie film impresarios Bob and Harvey Weinstein's film studio that was saved from near financial ruin this summer. With Oscar hopeful "The King's Speech" opening this week and a slate of festival-favorite indie films and sequels to genre pictures such as "Scream" and "Spy Kids" coming out, the Los Angeles Times takes a look at the industry's latest reboot.
Talkin' bout Rupert's generation: Sorry, that headline felt lame before I finished writing it. But Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has finally made the big move we all thought must be coming when it hired former New York City schools chief Joel Klein as an advisor. It is spending $360 million to acquire 90% of Wireless Generation, a start-up that provides education technology to teachers. Murdoch said in a statement that the education business is "waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs." More from PaidContent and Bloomberg.
Netflix makes it easier to get flix from the Net: Netflix is fast transforming itself from a DVD-focused company to a digital-delivery-focused company. For the first time, it's giving subscribers a lower-priced option to access its limited but growing number of movies and TV shows available to stream from the Internet. But those of us who want the broader array of movies on discs, or who like me enjoy seeing every blemish and background detail in Blu-ray, will get stuck with higher prices. More from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
Some fans want to put a stake in the "Buffy" reboot: Way back when I was a kid in the late '80s, I remember how outraged my fellow geeks were when Tim Burton cast Michael Keaton in "Batman." I had a sense of deja vu Monday as fans of Joss Whedon's female empowerment fantasy series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" learned it's in development as a film reboot at Warner Bros. -- sans Whedon. Here's the Hollywood Reporter with the news, E! Online with a sarcastic response from Whedon, and the L.A. Times' Hero Complex blog with an interview with the reboot's screenwriter, Whit Anderson, for those who actually want some details on what's making them so mad.
He also wants a Blu-ray release of "Lateline": Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is asking the Justice Department to investigate another facet of the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger. He's upset that incoming NBC-U chief Steve Burke announced a new executive structure for the media conglomerate before the merger was even approved by regulators. In related news, Burke is recruiting "Mad Men's" John Slattery to run against Franken in 2014 (that joke was for my fellow "30 Rock" fans only). Details from Bloomberg, the Hollywood Reporter and the L.A Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Disney's long-serving video game chief, Graham Hopper, is out, the latest casualty of a reorganization in the company's interactive unit; Tavis Smiley is unhappy with former PBS Los Angeles affiliate KCET; Patrick Goldstein on Russell Crowe and the nature of modern stardom.
-- Ben Fritz