The Morning Fix: Streaming Sundance. 'Electric Daisy' riot!
After the coffee. Before hoping the Hollywood riot has been cleaned up so I can get to my gym.
The Skinny: It's almost August! Where is this summer going? In the news, Sundance is going to stream movies from its festival. The Venice Film Festival has unveiled its lineup. There was a little riot in Hollywood at the premiere of "Electric Daisy Carnival Experience." Crazy kids!
Streaming Sundance. Directors who blew big wads of cash trying to get into Sundance and only ended up with a T-shirt and no deal can now have their movies streamed by the festival on various platforms including Hulu and Netflix. Filmmakers will get a piece of any ad revenue or rental fees. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
But we already put in the new carpeting! Although Comcast Corp. is already running NBCUniversal, a federal judge has issues with the consent decree the Justice Department issued in its approval of the merger last January. Approval is ususally a slam dunk but the judge apparently is troubled by arbitration methods Comcast has agreed to for resolving disputes over online distribution. It would be highly unlikely for the judge not to ultimately approve the consent decree, but never say never. More from the Wall Street Journal.
Does anyone go for the movies? The Venice Film Festival announced its lineup. I'm happy to see that Whit Stillman ("Metropolitan," "Barcelona") finally has a new movie -- "Damsels in Distress" -- which will close the festival. I know I don't seem like the type who would appreciate Stillman's witty and urbane preppy upper-crust characters, but there is something sweet, sincere and real about his movies. More on the festival from Variety.
Quid Pro Quo? The New York Times makes the observation that MSNBC's newest television personality -- rabble-rouser the Rev. Al Sharpton -- also lent his name to new MSNBC owner Comcast Corp.'s lobbying effort to get government approval of its merger with NBCUniversal. Sharpton, who is filling in as a guest host in the 6 p.m. hour, has been on MSNBC lots of times over the years. Both MSNBC and Comcast say there is no connection between his lobbying and his new prominence on the channel. In fairness to MSNBC, Sharpton has lent himself out to corporate media before. Fox recruited him when it was waging a nasty war against Nielsen over new meters the ratings company was introducing.
The man who knows all. The Wall Street Journal, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has turned up its coverage of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal after initially only going through the motions of reporting on the debacle. In Thursday's WSJ, a profile of Tom Crone, the former legal eagle of News of the World, who knows where all the bodies are buried and has offered up information that contradicts what Murdoch's son James, who heads the company's European operations, has told Parliament.
Nothing a little makeover can't fix. The Hollywood Reporter chats up CBS News bosses Jeff Fager and David Rhodes about their plans to revitalize the struggling organization, post-Katie Couric, and their thoughts about checkbook journalism.
Put a sweater on that! The Parents Television Council is lobbying NBC affiliates to refuse to air the network's new drama "The Playboy Club," which will premiere next month. The PTC said the show, set in 1960s Chicago, is putting the "veneer of sophistication" on the porn industry, according to a copy of a letter it sent to NBC stations obtained by Broadcasting & Cable. In an unrelated note, I missed a chance to go to the Playboy Mansion last night, but a friend of mine who has been there said the fantasy is better than the reality. The event was for the television critics tour. I'm guessing those were some sad-looking bunnies when they found out who was coming over to party.
-- Joe Flint
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