The Morning Fix: Boston cable war! 'Mars Needs Moms' stings Disney. Decision day at Fox.
After the coffee. Before I get a big trailer like Will Smith's and park it in front of the Los Angeles Times building.
The Skinny: I watched "Funny People" last night. Parts of it were really good, but the last 30 minutes seemed like a completely different movie. Still, Sandler did a good job portraying a star who can get anything and has nothing. Ooh, deep! Back to the real world. Fox killed several series Tuesday afternoon including "Traffic Light," which actually wasn't bad. Mars invaded Disney and destroyed its earnings and Will Smith has a huge trailer that is making people in Soho mad!
Moms weren't the only thing Mars needed. Walt Disney Co. released its second-quarter results and acknowledged that the movie "Mars Needs Moms" wasn't just hard on the eyes, but also hard on the bottom line. The studio's net income fell to $77 million, a 65% drop from the same period a year ago. Overall, Disney reported net income of $942 million, down just 1% from a year ago. Revenue was up 6% to $9.1 billion, from $8.6 billion in the comparable quarter. ESPN remains a license to print money. Details on Disney's earnings from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.
If she's leaving, you can go too. There's another shakeup at CBS News as veteran producer Rick Kaplan, who had been overseeing Katie Couric's newscast, is headed for the door. The moved had been expected as the network attempts to take its evening news program in a different direction, with "60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley taking over soon. More from the New York Times.
Boston cable party. Boston is mad as heck about its cable bill. Mayor Thomas Menino is pushing the Federal Communications Commission for the power to regulate its cable provider Comcast when it comes to the price tag for basic service. The move comes, according to Menino, because Comcast recently raised the price tag. “This increase marks the 3rd straight year of hefty increases, totaling more than 60%, on a service that is supposed to be affordable,” said Menino in a statement. Now Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) also wants to get involved. The latest from Ars Technica, a cable policy site, the Boston Globe and Broadcasting & Cable.
Fox makes decisions. It was a busy afternoon at Fox on Tuesday as the network pulled the plug on dramas "Lie to Me," Chicago Code" and "Human Target", as well as midseason comedies "Breaking In" and "Traffic Light," a funny comedy saddled with a horrible title. The moves will make room for new shows. More on Fox from Variety and Deadline Hollywood and Vulture.
Who didn't see this coming? Paula Abdul, who just signed on to reteam with Simon Cowell on his new talent show "The X Factor," apparently doesn't want to give her agents at United Talent their commission on the deal, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Abdul figures she already knew Cowell, so what exactly did United Talent do? We'll see if this ever gets inside a courtroom.
Don't park that here! Movie star Will Smith has angered the Soho neighborhood of New York City with his huge movie trailer. Residents and business owners are griping about the large trailer being an eyesore and interfering with their daily rituals. Smith is in town shooting another sequel for "Men in Black," which will later be booed by Manhattan residents with long memories. More on Smith's trailer from the New York Post.
Security breach. Hackers have broken into a database at Fox Broadcasting and are causing troubles for the company's staffers and outlets. According to Gawker, an outfit called Lulz Security is taking credit for the hack.
-- Joe Flint
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