The Morning Fix: Judy McGrath out as Philippe Dauman wants his MTV. Pilot season heats up for real. 'Thor' hopes to roar.
After the coffee. Before seeing if there is a TV show in the Morning Fix. Maybe me in my robe commenting on headlines. Pitch me ideas!
The Skinny: It's my favorite day of the week. The one where I stare at the clock all day and try to avoid work. Oh wait, that's every day. Don't forget Mother's Day people. In real news, there was a big shakeup at MTV as one of the architects of the network is heading out the door. "Thor" will storm movie theaters this weekend. The networks are screening pilots. Now the real gossip about what's hot and what's not can start.
Lawyers killed the video star. Judy McGrath, the longtime head of Viacom's MTV Networks who played a crucial role in shaping MTV and turning it into a cultural icon, announced her resignation. McGrath, who ran MTV before being promoted to overseeing all of Viacom's cable networks -- including Comedy Central and Nickelodeon -- will not be replaced. As the Los Angeles Times put it, her exit "completes a wholesale shift in management style at Viacom, away from the maverick and bohemian personalities of McGrath and her former boss and MTV architect Tom Freston, to the more lawyerly and stiff-collar" Philippe Dauman, the CEO of the media giant. Sumner Redstone, the chairman of Viacom for whom McGrath toiled for about 26 years, couldn't be bothered to release a statement acknowledging her role in building the crown jewel of his media empire. Additional coverage from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and New York Post.
Remember when MTV played videos? One of the biggest gripes about MTV these days is the lack of music videos in favor of reality shows. Artists also seemed to ease away from the format. The Wall Street Journal says the music video is starting to make a comeback.
Will "Thor" roar? This weekend, Marvel's "Thor" will premiere, but it won't top the amazing performance last week of Universal's "Fast Five." Still, the movie is expected to take in north of $50 million, and some optimists are projecting a $70-million take. Other new releases include "Something Borrowed," which is yet another romantic comedy featuring Kate Hudson. Box-office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Now the real buzz can start. Remember all the reports of the last few weeks about pilot season. The truth is that pilot screenings at the networks hadn't even really started yet, so that buzz on what looked good and what didn't was kind of hard to take seriously. Now that folks who will make the decisions on what new shows move forward are watching, some real predicting can be done. Variety and Deadline Hollywood with looks at what's hot and what's not. Vulture notes that there is lots of girl action this pilot season. I'm just glad I'm not spending my day trying to find out what others are hearing, so I can say what I'm hearing.
I'm sorry. Sony Corp. Chief Executive Howard Stringer finally issued a formal apology to consumers whose personal information was exposed when hackers broke into the company's sites where people enter financial details to register to play video games. More from Bloomberg.
-- Joe Flint
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