The Morning Fix: Utah station passes on 'Playboy Club.' Charlie Sheen looking for work? Cruise reaches for Reacher.
After the coffee. Before nitpicking the second half of "Super 8."
The Skinny: There's a cable convention in Chicago and a licensing show in Las Vegas, but I'll be here in Los Angeles just for you. In Tuesday's headlines: A Utah station wants nothing to do with Hugh Hefner. Tom Cruise is in talks to play investigator Jack Reacher and Comcast has found a way to make phone calls even more annoying.
Utah station declines membership in Playboy Club. KSL, an NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, has told the network it won't be airing its new fall drama "The Playboy Club." The issue for the station, which is licensed to Bonneville International Corp. but is ultimately owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the name of the show more than the content. It just doesn't want to be linked to Hugh Hefner's empire. NBC will likely find another station in the market to carry the show and life will go on in Salt Lake City. Details from the Los Angeles Times and the Salt Lake City Tribune.
That's a reach. Tom Cruise is in talks to play Jack Reacher in a movie version of author Lee Childs' "One Shot." This has some Reacher fans (including this one) upset. Not only are there are the physical differences between Cruise and the fictional investigator. Reacher is 6-foot-5 and weighs between 220 and 250 pounds. Cruise is closer to 5-foot-6 and 140 lbs. Reacher is the strong and silent type. Cruise can't go 10 minutes without flashing that perfect smile. Nothing against Tom Cruise, but couldn't Paramount Pictures have found someone a little more believable? I know it's called acting, but Cruise has long passed the point where viewers can separate him from what they're seeing on screen. More on the bizarre casting choice from Deadline Hollywood.
New anchor, same ratings, big savings. Scott Pelley's first days as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" attracted about 5.7 million viewers, which is what his predecessor Katie Couric averaged on her last week. While this has led to headlines about how the shift in anchors did not mean a ratings boost, what's lost to the reporters writing about the ratings is the economics. Pelley is not costing CBS News $15 million a year, which is roughly what Couric was making. CBS didn't promote the heck out of Pelley, the way it did Couric, and he still got numbers on par with her last days. A look at the numbers from the New York Times.
Cable's turn. Now that the broadcast networks are done selling their advertising for the fall TV season, the cable guys are taking their turn at bat. The New York Post says cable will see big gains. Of course, the majority of strong cable channels are owned by companies that also have broadcast networks -- Time Warner, Walt Disney Co., Comcast and News Corp. This week, top cable industry executives are gathering in Chicago for the industry's annual convention. Besides all the big media moguls, attendees will also get to hear from Oprah Winfrey. They probably won't get cars just for showing up, though. A preview of the show from the Hollywood Reporter.
Is there caller ID? Comcast has unveiled plans to team up with Skype on a high-definition video calling service. Yes, you can talk to your mother through your television set and in HD. Doesn't that sound awesome! Somehow Rep. Anthony Weiner will find a bad use for this technology. Just a hunch. More on the service from the Los Angeles Times.
Would you hire this man? TMZ says Charlie Sheen is shopping himself for sitcom duty and could have a deal with a broadcast network by the end of the week. Remind me to check in on this later in the week to call bull on it. Unless ION counts as a network, I'm not sure who out there would gamble on Sheen for anything more than stunt casting in a November sweeps episode.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The new owner of Paul Frank Industries -- Haim Saban -- wants to turn the brand and its iconic chimp mascot into a Hollywood star. Bloomberg made good on its threat to file a complaint against Comcast Corp. at the Federal Communications Commission.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. Why? Because I said so, that's why. Twitter.com/JBFlint