The Morning Fix: 'Mad Men' deal reached. Time Warner Cable iPad app flap. Ryan Kavanaugh's noisy helicopter.
After the coffee. Before thinking of the perfect April Fool's gag.
The Skinny: So Thursday I wrote one story about the flap over Time Warner Cable's iPad app. I did another story about the creator of "Mad Men" getting a new deal and ended the day at a party for Dr. Drew whose guests included Andy Dick and Gloria Allred. Forgive me if I'm a little disoriented. At least Ryan Kavanaugh's helicopter didn't wake me up. A dude going through my garbage cans did.
Will Brooklyn Decker serve me popcorn too? Adam Sandler's romantic comedy "Just Go With It," made for Sony, will be one of the first movies to premiere on what's been dubbed premium video-on-demand. Other studios that will make titles available for SVOD on satellite broadcaster DirecTV just two months or so after they've hit the theaters include 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Theater owners, as you might guess, are furious. Can't say I blame them. Shorter windows is one less reason to go to the movies. Coverage from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
Maybe he should take up blimp flying instead. Producer and budding mogul Ryan Kavanaugh's helicopter annoyed West Hollywood residents for months until enough complaints were gathered to get the Sofitel Hotel in hot water for letting him land it on the hotel's roof as part of his morning commute. While Kavanaugh's been grounded for now, the hotel wants to get a permit to allow such landings on a regular basis as part of another "luxury offering." Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Martinis for everyone. "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner sealed a new deal to keep executive producing the drama for AMC for at least two more seasons and possibly three if the bulk of the cast sticks around too. Weiner had been holding out for more creative control over the drama about hard drinking and womanizing 1960s ad men. Compromises were reached on the number of commercials in the show and Weiner was given some reassurances that he wouldn't have to kill off any characters through bad acid trips at Woodstock. I wonder if a contract dispute involving the show runner of "NCIS," a much more popular show, would generate as much media attention as this. More from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Time Warner Cable blinks first. You can forgot about crawling in your bed with your iPad to watch Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." After getting pressure from programmers, Time Warner Cable pulled several network's from its iPad app that allows its subscribers to watch live TV on the Apple tablet. Channels yanked include Viacom's Comedy Central and MTV, News Corp.'s FX and Fox News and Discovery's TLC and Discovery Channel. At issue is whether Time Warner Cable's deal with programmers gives them the rights to put the content on other platforms besides the TV. Time Warner Cable says it will fight back. We'll see. Stories from Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and Multichannel News.
What's next for Azoff, concession stands? Live Nation Chief Executive Irving Azoff is making a play for Warner Music. The deal might be a bit much for Live Nation's balance sheet to swallow as it is still trying to digest Ticketmaster. If he does push forward, it will be interesting to see if there is any blowback from Washington. The New York Post has the story.
And I thought it was because his last name was Murdoch. The Hollywood Reporter looks at James Murdoch, the youngest son of News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, and why he is best positioned to succeed his father at the helm of the media giant. Given that Rupert Murdoch's grandmother is over 100 and his dad just passed 80, James may be waiting for awhile.
Get out your violin. Chuck Lorre, the co-creator of "Two and a Half Men," used one of his vanity cards to gripe about his recent battles with star Charlie Sheen who was fired from the CBS sitcom last month. Wrote Lorre: "Whenever I've gone through tough times, well-meaning people have told me that God/the universe does not give us more than we can handle. Well, I've been going through a tough time recently, and sure enough, that old saying has been tossed my way on several morose occasions. After some careful consideration, I've decided it's bull$#*!." More on Lorre's card from Deadline Hollywood because that site's commenters gave Lorre a reminder that Hollywood hardship is not real hardship.
-- Joe Flint
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