The Morning Fix: YouTube-Viacom suit back on; Olbermann sues Current
After the coffee. Before celebrating the end of the morning TV wars.
The Skinny: I'm not a morning TV watcher, but I'll still be glad not to see another headline about what Matt and Meredith and Sarah are up to early in the a.m. If I get to a movie this weekend, it'll probably be Morgan Spurlock's "Comic-Con" documentary, to assure myself I'm not really that much of a geek. In real news, Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube is back on, Sky News has been dragged into News Corp.'s hacking scandal, and Keith Olbermann shocks us all by suing Current.
The Daily Dose: Now that Comcast is on the verge of allowing its subscribers to watch HBO Go on the Xbox 360, the sole remaining holdout is Time Warner Cable. Apparently there have been high-level talks between the premium network and cable provider, but there's no imminent solution in sight. Which doesn't appear to make sense, since TWC still gets paid regardless of whether I watch through its cable box or the game console and it already allows HBO Go on iPads and computers. But there's something about another device that connects directly to the TV that Time Warner Cable doesn't appear to like.
Not paused after all: Can't these judges make up their minds? First Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube was no good, a district court ruled in 2010. But an appeals court said Thursday that in fact the media giant's claim of massive copyright violation -- adding up to a conveniently round $1 billion -- was back on. Its decision was based on incriminating emails from the company's founders, such as one that said "[we should] start being diligent about rejecting copyrighted/inappropriate content." Analysis from the L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal and Reuters.
I'm sensing a pattern: News Corp.'s hacking problems aren't limited to its newspapers. Sky News, which is part owned by Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate, admitted Thursday that one of its reporters illegally hacked into cellphone voice mails two separate times. But the satellite service's head said the hacking was "editorially justified and in the public interest," which I'm sure makes us all feel better. Coverage from the Guardian and New York Times
Don't call it a publicity stunt: After a tiny bit of public outrage over the past few weeks as the MPAA and Weinstein Co. refused to bend on the R rating for the documentary "Bully," the two sides have reached a compromise and the film will hit theaters with a PG-13 rating this weekend in exchange for Weinstein editing out three of the six F-words that occur in the film. Coincidentally, this comes just as the movie expands to more than 100 theaters. Here's coverage from the Los Angeles Times, which reported this was in the works last week.
And we all thought he'd leave quietly: Keith Olbermann has filed the requisite lawsuit full of insults and outrage after being fired last week from Current TV. The anchor, who previously lost jobs at MSNBC and Fox Sports, is asking for $50 million to $70 million for seven separate breaches of his contract. He also says "dysfunction permeated the organization" at Current and calls its president, David Bohrman, "an individual without relevant experience." Here's analysis from the Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.
Still hungry for No. 1: A new pair of challengers step up to the box office this weekend, but "The Hunger Games" is expected to top the box office for the third weekend in a row. Jim, Stifler et al's sure-to-be-tasteful return in "American Reunion" is looking to be a close No. 2, while "Titanic's" 3-D re-release is cruising along at a more modest pace after its Wednesday opening. Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap.
Also in the Los Angeles Times: NBC has the rights to make a Broadway show based on "Smash." Jennifer Love Hewitt talks about "The Client List" and those virtually clothing-free print ads. Reviews of "American Reunion," and "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope."
-- Ben Fritz
Photo: Current promotes the ill-fated return of Keith Olbermann to TV on its channel just a few months ago. Credit: Current.com.