The Morning Fix: 'Fast and Furious' gets tune-up. Comcast tries to cure NBC headache.
After the coffee. Before another day filled with Katie Couric stories.
The Skinny: There is a saying that your best job is the one you have before you take your dream job. I think Katie Couric learned that lesson when she left NBC's "Today" for "The CBS Evening News." The question shouldn't be what Couric will do next but what the risks are in betting on her and what CBS News will do next. That's all the Couric news you'll get from us this Tuesday. Elsewhere, Universal Pictures is giving "The Fast and Furious" a makeover. NBC is in dire straits, and the NFL soap opera gets more intriguing.
We're hoping our midterm grades will really help our average. When Comcast bought control of NBC Universal, it became parent to lots of strong assets, including cable networks USA and Bravo. It also inherited NBC, a once-proud network that has fallen into disarray. Earlier this month, a much-hyped new comedy starring Paul Reiser premiered to just 3.3 million viewers and was canceled after only two airings. In a few weeks, top Comcast and NBC brass will go before advertisers in New York to unveil their first fall schedule and to try to persuade them to spend money on the network. The network hopes Tuesday night's premiere of "The Voice," a music talent show will give it a ratings boost. The Philadelphia Inquirer looks at the challenges facing Comcast and new NBC programming boss Bob Greenblatt as they try desperately to revitalize the peacock network.
Now the hard part. Netflix reported big growth for its first quarter, and Wall Street rewarded the company by pushing its stock price down by 5%. That's because the company lowered its expectations for the second quarter and said its programming costs will be rising big time. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.
Score one for the players. A federal judge sided with National Football League players and granted an injunction to end the league's lockout. Of course, it's not as simple as all that. The league requested that the judge stay her decision while they appeal. The New York Times on the verdict and what it means. On a side note, think people will tune into the draft, or is interest fizzling because of all the uncertainty around next season?
Really special effects. The cost to stand out keeps getting higher. Variety looks at rising special-effects costs and how many big summer movies are scrambling to meet release dates while juicing up their flicks.
Want to buy a cable system? Charter Communications, which has a big cable system here in Los Angeles, is looking to unload it, according to Multichannel News. With more than 500,000 subscribers, the Charter system would seem ideal for Time Warner Cable, which has nearly 2 million subscribers here already. However, so far the two have not been able to figure out a deal. Maybe Fox should buy the system just to stick it to Time Warner Cable.
Here is the good stuff. You know you want to read that Rob Lowe book. You keep skimming through the Vanity Fair excerpt looking for some hot stories. Well, now the Daily Beast offers up what it says are the best parts of Lowe's "Stories I Only Tell My Friends."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Universal Pictures is retooling its "Fast and Furious" franchise in hopes of getting better mileage. In another sign of the decline of Western civilization, the stars of MTV's "16 and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom" are the latest tabloid sensations. Fox made a bad move betting on McCourt.
-- Joe Flint
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