Morning Fix: Cable cops! ESPN backlash. Hugh Jackman does it all.
After the coffee. Before finding a Starbucks not blasting Christmas music. Bah, humbug.
The Skinny: Tuesday's headlines include a piece on how the cable companies want to guard your valuables, a movie whose financing is almost as complex as its plot, and a look at Hugh Jackman.
Will these dinosaurs defy the odds? "Terra Nova," the expensive drama about a family that goes back to prehistoric times to try to save the future of Earth, is ending its first season on Fox this month. While it is averaging almost 10 million viewers and does well with men, a second season is no slam dunk for Fox Television, the studio that makes the dinosaur epic for its sister broadcast network. "Terra Nova" is very expensive and, because it has so many special effects, it takes a long time to produce. That's why there are only 13 episodes this season and why the studio needs to know pretty soon if it is going to get a renewal. Over the next few weeks, studio brass will start making their case to the network for a year two. Stay tuned.
Who you gonna call? It's late at night and someone is trying to break in to your home. Fear not. You've got protection from ... the cable company? That's right, cable operators -- including Time Warner Cable and Comcast -- want to be your bodyguard. Facing challenges to hold on to video subscribers in the face of a bad economy and increased competition from other distribution services, the cable industry is branching out into home security. Prepare for lots of jokes about scheduling security checks within a three-hour window once a week. More from the Los Angeles Times.
ESPN backlash. The rising cost of carrying ESPN took center stage at an investor conference Monday when Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei called the sports cable channel a "tax on every American household." Maffei also complained about the rising costs of regional sports networks, according to the Wall Street Journal. I guess that means when the Liberty Media-owned Atlanta Braves negotiate a new TV deal, they'll lower the rights fee and help out the little guy. Of course, this is not a new story. Here's a September piece from the Los Angeles Times about the rising cost of sports programming in which a former Cleveland Browns owner said the price tag to carry football games is getting "almost obscene."
We are the world. "Cloud Atlas," a time-travel drama starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, may also provide a road map to how films will be financed in the future. The New York Times tracks the financing of the movie, which includes money from investors in China, Korea and Singapore as well as subsidies from Germany. Producer Grant Hill called the financing an “exotic mixture" of deals.
Hollywood's dark side. In the wake of story in the Los Angeles Times regarding the arrest of a manager suspected of assaulting a child client, the Wrap weighs in with a piece entitled "Does Hollywood Face a Child-Molestation Crisis in Casting?" For those who didn't notice, the reporting on the crisis began here, with the Times' Dawn Chmielewski and Harriet Ryan.
Wait, the media overexaggerates? Turns out your kids may not be sexting with their friends 24/7. The Daily Beast on a trend story that didn't have a trend.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Is there anything Hugh Jackman can't do?
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: A scene from "Terra Nova." Credit: Fox