Morning Fix: CKX finally finds buyer! Matt Lauer said no to Katie Couric. Imax wants bigger screen presence.
After the coffee. Before asking around to see if I'm the only one who thinks a feature film about the Gotti mob family will flop.
The Skinny: While we have no Charlie Sheen story for you today, we do have a quote. In an interview with "Access Hollywood," Sheen said he didn't know "Two and a Half Men" was going to "rot and fall off the vine like this." Even when you were doing your best to hack at that vine, Charlie? In real news, CKX, parent of "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment, finally found a buyer. Disney Studio chief Rich Ross was stood up for his prom and Matt Lauer said no thanks to Katie Couric.
CKX finally sold. CKX, the parent of "American Idol" producer 19 Entertainment and operator of tourist mecca "Graceland," said it struck a deal to be acquired by private equity firm Apollo Global Management in a deal valued at north of $500 million. Over the last few years, several suitors including "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller and CKX founder Robert Sillerman have danced around buying the company, but no deals could be reached. Early details on the pact from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Bigger screens. Imax, the Canadian big-screen theater operator, wants to get even bigger and is pushing to expand in China, Russia and India. "We are significantly underpenetrated in the international markets," Imax Chief Executive Rich Gelfond told the Los Angeles Times. "The addition of Imax theaters in those markets will be a big driver of Imax's growth in the future."
Cruel summer? Disney Studios President Rich Ross got stood up for the big dance as moviegoers rejected "Prom," the first movie hatched under his administration at the studio. Next up is the slam dunk "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel, but he can't lay claim to the vision behind any of that gold. The New York Post looks at Ross' next few months and what is at stake.
Thanks, but no thanks, Katie. "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer said he has no plans to join his former co-host Katie Couric in a daytime talk show. Couric's camp had pushed a story to the media a few weeks ago that Lauer was interested in jumping ship to reteam with Couric. Lauer, on a conference call to discuss Ann Curry's appointment as Meredith Vieira's successor as co-host, said he was asked, but passed, which is also what CBS and NBC have said about getting into business with Couric on a daytime show. It seems only ABC remains in the bidding for the departing "CBS Evening News" anchor. More from USA Today. In other morning news, CBS' "Early Show" has yet another new boss. Details on that from the New York Times.
Reading the tea leaves. Everyone wants to take a shot at figuring out what holes the networks have to fill as they prepare to unveil fall schedules next week in New York. Here's a take on NBC from Vulture and a look at ABC from Variety.
-- Joe Flint