Company Town

The business behind the show

« Previous Post | Company Town Home | Next Post »

The Morning Fix: Comcast and NBC dancing! A DVR-less DVR. ABC and CBS won't say hey to Jay.

October 1, 2009 |  8:22 am
After the coffee. Before contemplating how "Live from Philadelphia, it's Saturday night" sounds.


From Rittenhouse Square to 30 Rock? Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast Corp. has had some flirtations with General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal about acquiring a chunk of the entertainment giant, perhaps as much as half. There has been lots of speculation lately about whether GE is finally considering unloading NBC, driven in part by uncertainty over what French conglomerate Vivendi will do with its 20% stake in NBC. Comcast denied that it was interested in buying all of NBC, but stopped short of saying there were no talks going on or that some sort of deal might be struck while NBC kept mum. NBC chief Jeff Zucker did issue a memo to staff today, but it didn't say much other than praise for the value of their assets. This morning, Wall Street punished Comcast stock just as it did five years ago when it went after Disney. Coverage from The Wrap, which first popped the news of the talks, the Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, Daily Beast and Bloomberg.

One less button to push. Time Warner Cable is introducing "Enhanced TV," a feature that will allow consumers to catch up on shows they've missed without having to use a DVR. This kind of sounds to us like on-demand, which is already available, but who are we to rain on this parade. Anyway, anything that means there is one less thing I have to remember to do (like record tonight's "FlashForward") is a good thing. Details from Bloomberg.

Hey Jay, don't call us, we'll call you. CBS and ABC are encouraging their talent to steer clear of NBC's "Jay Leno Show" since he's now a prime-time competitor, reports our Meg James. There is also still that camp of drama writers and actors no doubt rooting for Leno to fail so NBC goes back to scripted programming. Trying to remember if they picketed outside NBC News when "Dateline" was on five nights a week.

Hey ho, let's go! Fox Searchlight is near a deal to come aboard a Ramones biopic project based on a book by Mickey Leigh, brother of the late Joey Ramone, and author Legs McNeil (I still have an issue of Punk Magazine in my closet). The Hollywood Reporter  says manager Rory Rosegarten, who also was an executive producer on his client Ray Romano's CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," is involved in the project as well.

But is he right for the part? Matt LeBlanc will play himself in a new Showtime series, reports Variety. It's one of those shows within a show shows (confused yet?) and will be co-produced by the BBC, which will also run the series on its channel. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: The polarizing Polanski case. A visit to "Zombieland." 

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter.