The Morning Fix: OWN will go to Hamptons! MGM getting new ZIP Code. Univision hits another high.
After the coffee. Before kicking myself for leaving my umbrella in the car.
The Skinny: I don't know about you, but watching football on Tuesday felt weird. There was nothing but reruns on everywhere else, so I'm sure numbers will be solid. Only two days left before Oprah Winfrey's OWN launches. Try to contain your excitement. MGM has new money and, soon, fancy new offices in Beverly Hills. As the sun sets on another year, it's time for predictions and reflections ... not yours, ours.
Small screen, big headaches. The end of a year always brings with it lots of stories looking back and looking ahead. After all, with little happening this week, papers and blogs (including this one) have to be filled with something. Variety looks at the big issues facing the TV business next year, including how a Simon Cowell-less "American Idol" will perform and what Comcast will have in store for NBC Universal. Personally, I think the game changers in 2011 will be the changing ways people get their content and the havoc that will wreak on traditional economic models.
New owners mean a new building. MGM, which is looking to be born again in 2011 with its new management, is moving its corporate headquarters from Century City to Beverly Hills. According to the Beverly Hills Courier, MGM is going to move into the office space that was originally built for William Morris Endeavor, which had been trying to get out of relocating to the building.
Jumping the gun. As if the Broadway production of "Spider-Man" didn't have enough problems, now two prominent theater critics, Bloomberg's Jeremy Gerard and Linda Winer of Newsday, broke the unwritten rule against reviewing shows before their official premiere. The show blasted the move, and some other media watchers also took aim at the two. More on the brouhaha from the Hollywood Reporter and some vitriol from Dave Poland's Hot Blog.
Carrying the torch or snuffing the flame? One of the first decisions cable giant Comcast Corp. will have to make when it takes control of NBC Universal is whether it will bid on the 2014 and 2016 Olympic Games. NBC has been home to all things Olympic for more than a decade but at a high cost. The 2010 Games lost more than $200 million, and although they are ratings gold, the long-term value to a broadcast network is debatable. The New York Times looks at the pros and cons for Comcast when it comes to the Olympics.
It's Oprah's world, we just live in it. We promised you a story on OWN, the new cable network from Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications launching New Year's Day, every day this week, and we're two days away from completing our mission. This story on OWN comes from Gary Levin at USA Today. Winfrey tells Levin that making the decision to create a cable network has not been worry free. "I would literally wake up in the middle of the night clutching my chest, thinking, 'What have I done? What have I taken on?' " she said. Meanwhile, in some good news for OWN, the channel cut a distribution deal with New York-based cable operator Cablevision Systems, which has subscribers in the Bronx and Brooklyn as well as the hoity-toity Hamptons. More on that deal from the Los Angeles Times.
Showdown. With only two days left before their deal expires, talks have stopped between Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation's biggest owners of local TV stations, and Time Warner Cable. The two are at odds over a new agreement to allow the cable operator to carry the Sinclair stations. Further complicating matters is an agreement Time Warner Cable has with Fox that would allow the distributor access to the network's programming should the Sinclair stations -- many of which are Fox affiliates -- get pulled. TV NewsCheck has details. Though these battles go on all the time these days, this one is worth watching because of Fox. Many affiliates are grumbling that the network's deal to provide insurance of sorts to Time Warner Cable is undercutting their own local TV partners.
Get some therapy! It's a slow week, so here's a piece from the Daily Beast about memorable moms in movies. This holiday season saw a couple of new additions, including Melissa Leo as Mickey Ward's tenacious mother in "The Fighter." I'm sure there is a Woody Allen joke here somewhere.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Who would have thought that when Bon Jovi burst on the scene with "You Give Love a Bad Name" the band would still be around all these years later? Bon Jovi was the top-grossing tour act in 2010, followed by AC/DC. Another ratings milestone for Univision.
-- Joe Flint
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