Company Town

The business behind the show

« Previous Post | Company Town Home | Next Post »

The Morning Fix: Waiting for Oprah. Moonves is bullish! Walmart slashing prices. Littlefield to pen tell-all (or more likely, tell-some)

November 6, 2009 |  7:48 am

After the coffee. Before getting depressed that "Sesame Street" turned 40.

Will she or won't she? It's that time of the decade again where everyone starts trying to figure out whether Oprah Winfrey will keep doing her daytime talk show or not when her deal is up in 2011. The newest round of speculation kicked off when the Los Angeles Times and others noted that the latest hire to work on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey/Discovery Communications-backed cable network in the works, was one of the talk queen's top producers. That was seen as a possible sign that perhaps Winfrey too would jettison the show to focus on OWN. Then Deadline took that speculation a step (or maybe a dozen steps) further and reported that Winfrey actually already had decided to move her daily show to OWN in 2011. That was quickly denied by both Winfrey's production company and CBS, which distributes the talk show. Both said no decision on the show has been made. Now today, the New York Times weighs in on the various options Winfrey has to choose from. Tired yet?

It's too soon to begin to look a lot like Christmas. But why should that stop Hollywood? This weekend, just one week after Halloween and three weeks before Thanksgiving, the Christmas movie season officially opens with Disney's "A Christmas Carol" remake. Forecasts and predictions from the Los Angeles Times and the Wrap.

CTlogosmall Happy Birthday. "Sesame Street" turns 40 next week. The show, which has won a record 122 Emmys, still shoots in Queens, New York, and often gets as many big-name guests as "Saturday Night Live." Among those who have visited with Oscar and Big Bird and the rest lately include Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais, Cameron Diaz and Jimmy Fallon. USA Today looks at the history and challenges of Sesame Street.

Stop the presses, CBS's Moonves is bullish! CBS Corp. swung to a profit in the third quarter and its ever-upbeat CEO Leslie Moonves said the company is seeing "strong evidence" of an economic recovery. The network's biggest boost came from reruns sales of its dramas including "Criminal Minds" and "Medium." Details from the Los Angeles Times. On that note, Variety reports that CBS has already sold reruns of its new hit "NCIS: Los Angeles" to USA Network for a walloping $2.5 million per episode.

Will must-see mean must-read? Warren Littlefield, the longtime NBC programmer who was one of the architects of entertainment during the Peacock's glory years, is writing a memoir on those days. Littlefield, who was known for (among other things)  asking questions then answering them, told Variety that the book would be an "honest, accurate, fun-filled tour."

Want to get depressed? It's time for the Hollywood Reporter's annual "Next Generation" special in which the paper lists the top executives under the age of 35, which no doubt leads to screaming from those not on it and anxiety for those who are over the age limit. Between that and "Sesame Street" turning 40, it's not a good day for us boomers and aging Gen-Xers.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Walmart Stores Inc. is cutting its DVD prices to $10, which will no doubt start a price war among retailers. Betsy Sharkey on the remake of  "A Christmas Carol" and "Precious." John Horn on the perils of taking "Spider-Man" to Broadway.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter.