The Morning Fix: Disney takes hit on 'Medium' reruns. Denzel hopes to derail Megamind. Daily Beast and Newsweek say 'I do'.
After the coffee. Before finding out if "Glee" will return the favor and do an episode about watching "The Office."
The Skinny: Anyone else wondering why NBC would let "The Office" do an episode that served as one big free ad for "Glee?" If you figure it out, let me know. Disney's Lifetime took a hit on those "Medium" reruns. The latest "Call of Duty" game opened with huge sales. Are you ready for Sarah Palin's new TV show?
Didn't see this coming. Walt Disney Co. released its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings Thursday and said profits fell 7% to $835 million. One of the causes was a $58-million write-down the company had to take on reruns of "Medium," a drama about a woman who solves crimes by talking to spirits, that has not delivered for Lifetime, the cable network that Disney co-owns. Otherwise, it was not a bad quarter as Disney reported advertising gains for its broadcast and cable channels as well as improvements of its theme parks and film studio. Coverage of the results from the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and the New York Times. Disney is also investigating who leaked some of their results before it could.
Here comes the train. It may be another big weekend at the box office as Denzel Washington's "Unstoppable" -- the actor's second straight movie involving a train -- opens against last week's smashes "Megamind" and "Due Date." Also out this weekend is "Morning Glory," but the news report on that one is not expected to be something to smile about. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Starting out with a bang. Sales of Activision Blizzard's video game Call of Duty: Black Ops topped $350 million, a very strong start for the latest addition to the popular, and controversial, franchise. The TV ad campaign for the game is stunning and, at the same time, disturbing, at least to this viewer. According to the Wall Street Journal, some gamers actually dressed up in military uniforms to stand in line to buy the game. Not sure sure about that message, especially during the same week as Veterans Day, when we remember those who have served, not played video games about serving us. More on the record sales from the Los Angeles Times.
I think we already know the answer to this one. Indie Wire takes a look at what effect, if any, box office has on Oscar nominations. Uh, if box office had anything to do with it, the Academy would not have expanded the categories to try to get more mainstream movies in the running.
Together at last. After saying their talks had ended, Newsweek and the Daily Beast, the website owned by Barry Diller and run by Tina Brown, announced they were merging. Newsweek has been struggling to keep its print operations going while TDB has been trying to prove that the Web-only model can work. The merger comes only months after Newsweek was acquired by Sidney Harman. The memo on the deal from Brown and coverage from the New York Times.
Moonves meddling? The news that the CBS-owned TV show "Entertainment Tonight" was replacing Mary Hart with Nancy O'Dell, host of the rival "Access Hollywood," caught many off guard, including, according to the New York Post, "ET" executive producer Linda Bell. The paper says Lara Spencer, host of "ET's" sister show "The Insider," was the odds-on favorite for Hart's seat and Bell's choice, but CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves stepped in and pushed for O'Dell with lots of prodding from her agent John Ferriter.
Maybe they'll put a camera in your car to watch you. Everyone knows texting while driving is bad. Walt Disney Co. is now making it a firing offense. According to Deadlne Hollywood, the company has sent a memo to staffers warning them that they could lose their jobs if they are caught using their Blackberries or other devices for texting or e-mailing while behind the wheel. Guessing the motivation is to protect itself from any liability should some staffer cause a car crash while reading an e-mail from the company. The question some are no doubt wondering is how Disney will monitor its workers. Heck, maybe they already have a camera in your car and you just don't know it.
-- Joe Flint
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