The Morning Fix: Julia Child on Amazon. Low profile for 'Anonymous'
After the coffee. Before figuring out who will fill in for me while I'm on vacation.
The Skinny: It's not easy being the Cal Ripken of reporters, but I do it for you. Thursday's headlines include Amazon snagging some vintage and new PBS shows for its streaming service, a new service for Hollywood stars who can't figure out whose parties to perform at, and a look at how Simon Cowell is letting down advertisers.
Get cooking. Julia Child's 1960s cooking show "The French Chef" is being offered by Amazon's Prime Instant Video, which is the online giant's competitor to Netflix's streaming service. Other PBS shows that will be part of the deal include "Frontline," "Washington Week" and the new Ken Burns documentary, "Prohibition." Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Going to extremes. Tom Watson, the British Parliament member who has been leading the charge against News Corp. over the phone hacking that went on at the media conglomerate's News of the World tabloid, bought some shares in the company and hopes to confront its chairman, Rupert Murdoch, at the News Corp. annual meeting on Friday in Los Angeles. More on his big trip from Bloomberg.
This isn't more embarrassing? Agreed to perform at a dictator's holiday party without realizing that wouldn't be so good for your image? Well, now Global Philanthropy Group and Human Rights Watch are here to assist you in avoiding that mistake in the future. The New York Times says the two firms will help those actors and entertainers too stupid, er, I mean too busy to decide for themselves who they should accept paychecks from to be a clown at their party.
Bin Laden moving again? Sony Pictures, which is rushing a movie about the pursuit of Osama bin Laden, will not release it before the 2012 presidential election, as originally planned, and is likely to now wait until after the votes are in. The studio had been accused by some of wanting to use the movie to play politics and try to sway the election to President Obama. More from Variety. Separately, Sony is no longer going to open its Shakespeare drama, "Anonymous," nationwide after industry research indicated that the movie was not going to be writing any records at the box office. Instead, the studio will go with a slow rollout. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Factor this. Ratings for Fox's "The X Factor" are not what the network promised advertisers, so now free commercials, known in the media industry as make-goods, are being provided to cover the ratings shortfall. While Simon Cowell's "The X Factor" is delivering better numbers than what Fox was averaging in the same time slots a year ago, the money spent promoting and producing the show means it has to be graded on a different scale. The Wall Street Journal on the show's performance. USA Today, meanwhile, offers up early report cards on all the networks.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. I'm all you need. Twitter.com/JBFlint