The Morning Fix: Will Arnold 'Cry Macho,' or just cry? Facebook effect hits TV. Controversy at Cannes!
After the coffee. Before figuring out just how familiar with the situation those people really are.
The Skinny: It's not raining in New York right now. Believe it or not, that's big news. Lets see if it's still not raining by the time I'm done writing this. Lots of talk about social media during this week's upfront presentations, but to me it's still about what's on the big screen, not the little one.
If we talk about Twitter and Facebook, maybe they'll think we're cool. This week, as readers of this space are aware, is when the big broadcast networks (and some cable networks too) unveil their new fall TV schedules to advertisers. This time around, besides the usual spin from the programmers about how these shows are the best ever developed and tested through the roof, network executives are acting all hip, talking about tweets and status updates. I'm not sure Ashton Kutcher's big following on Twitter will translate into more viewers for "Two and a Half Men," but it sure sounds sexy. Of course, so did launching a sitcom based on a cranky old man's Twitter feed and we saw how that went. This isn't to say social networks are not a valuable promotional platform, but if the shows aren't worth tweeting about, it won't matter much. More on the social media hype of the networks from the New York Times.
Same old story and writer. A new report from the Writers Guild of America West indicates that women, minorities and older writers are not moving ahead as fast as young white guys. The report updates a study done in 2009, but according to WGAW there wasn't much new to report. "The present report shows that women writers remain stuck at 28% of television employment, while their share of film employment actually declined a percentage point since the last report to 17%," the study said. And while "the minority share of television employment increased a percentage point to 10% (matching the shares evident in years immediately prior to the 2007 nadir), the group’s share of film employment declined to just 5% -– the lowest figure in at least 10 years."
Univision becoming multivision! Univision, the nation's leading Spanish-language broadcaster, has ambitious plans to add new cable channels to its empire and create more original content. The moves come as the Latino population in the U.S. continues to grow and media companies look to cash in. The cable channels will focus on news, sports and telenovelas. More on Univision's expansion plans from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Last gasp for last action hero? One of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's next movie projects may turn out to be a case of art imitating life. "Cry Macho," which Schwarzenegger is set to star in, is about, among other things, the relationship between a man and an 11-year-old boy who changes his life. Of course, Schwarzenegger's marriage to Maria Shriver just collapsed amid revelations that he fathered a baby with the family's housekeeper just over a decade ago. More on the coincidences and how "Cry Macho" came together from the New York Times.
CW steers clear of comedies ... as usual. The CW Network, a joint venture between CBS and Warner Bros., will introduce its new lineup and its new leader to advertisers Thursday morning. Longtime chief Dawn Ostroff is exiting and former ABC TV senior executive Mark Pedowitz is taking over. USA Today says the network's new schedule features three new dramas including one starring Rachel Bilson ("The O.C.") as a doctor in a small town.
And don't even think of taking a croissant! The Cannes Film Festival has told director Lars von Trier not to come around here no more (apologies to Tom Petty) for remarks he made expessing sympathy for Nazi leader Adolph Hitler earlier this week. The festival's board of directors issued a statement saying it "condemns these comments and declares Lars von Trier a persona non grata at the Festival de Cannes, with effect immediately," according to Variety. Von Trier did the usual "if I hurt someone" apology, which really isn't an apology and probably won't wash with the festival.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: There is not a lot of action on the high seas in the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" sequel. The debate over identifying the other woman in the latest Schwarzenegger scandal.
-- Joe Flint
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