The Morning Fix: Hollywood plays Grinch! Howard Stern plays waiting game. ABC joins NBC with late laugh strategy.
After the coffee. Before searching the Web for classic Don Meredith clips.
The Skinny: What the heck happened to the Jets on Monday night? That game may have had the shortest stay on my DVR ever. It may be Christmas, but someone forgot to tell Hollywood. Howard Stern hasn't decided if he's going to be naughty or nice with his bosses at Sirius XM. Kim Kardashian makes too much money.
Hollywood says, "bah, humbug" to Christmas. Remember how you could always count on at least one or two big Christmas movies? Maybe a silly comedy or a remake of a classic? Well, you're out of luck this year. The Los Angeles Times observes that there are no big holiday movies coming out this year or in the works for next year. "The way to do a big-budget film these days is to take stories that everyone in the world knows and take them in a new direction," said Joe Roth, a producer and former chairman of Walt Disney Studios. "But no one's come up with a fresh way to do a holiday movie, so we're all doing it with other kinds of stories." Well, at least they're not making a 3-D version of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." That alone is something to be grateful for this holiday season.
What will happen to the whack pack? Howard Stern's contract with Sirus XM, the satellite radio broadcaster, is up at the end of the year and he goes on vacation in another week or so. Stern keeps dropping hints that he is going to leave. If anyone is capable of creating their his brand and platform, it is Stern. That said, it is also a huge risk and the rewards may not be as great as what he is pulling down from Sirius XM. At an investor conference Monday, Sirius Chief Financial Officer David Frear said if Stern does stay, it would be for less money. More on Frear's remarks from the Hollywood Reporter.
Don't call it a comeback. After years of naysayers declaring that television was becoming passe as an advertising medium, apparently the small screen matters again. Speaking at an investor conference, Steve King, the chief executive of ZenithOptimedia, said TV's share of the ad market will hit almost 41% in 2011, up from 37% in 2005. The New York Times on the new love for television.
They made how much? Want to lose your lunch? The Daily Beast looks at what some of the top reality TV stars are pulling in. According to TDB, Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino of MTV's "Jersey Shore" took in $3 million from the show and assorted endorsement deals. On top of the heap is Kim Kardashian. I don't even want to tell you the number.
If three do it, we have a trend. There used to be an unwritten rule that you don't schedule comedies at 10 p.m. But when your dramas have stopped working, what choice do you really have? Earlier this fall, NBC said it was putting comedies at 10 p.m. on Thursday and now ABC is going to test out late laughs on Wednesday night. Details from Vulture and Deadline Hollywood.
HBO solo? Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes floated the idea that HBO could try its luck as a standalone service instead of consumers having to spend north of $50 on cable before they can buy the pay packages that feature HBO. Speaking at an investor conference Monday, Bewkes said that if the pay channel was "overly hindered by having to be part of $60, $80 or $100 packages, we could [sell the channel] through existing distributors" or via new digital platforms. More on Bewkes from the New York Post.
Building bridges. The video game industry and Hollywood don't always have the best working relationship but two firms are trying to take a big step. Variety reports that Digital Development Management, a video game talent agency, is partnering with Verve, a small Hollywood agency, "to pair up film writers and directors with game studios to create new titles." Verve will look to line up movie and TV projects from the game designers.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: With its deal to be an owner of Miramax, Colony Capital is in the spotlight. Patrick Goldstein on ESPN's documentary series "30 for 30." I'll be handling recaps for TNT's "Men of a Certain Age" this season. Here's my take on the show and Monday's season premiere.
-- Joe Flint
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