The Morning Fix: Iger loves NY! Sony goes arty. OMG SMG is back!
After the coffee. Before trying to hide in plain sight.
The Skinny: I think two Monday Night Football games is one too many. We'll see if the ratings agree with me. Probably not. In the headlines: James Murdoch has been asked to appear before Parliament again. A video about Disney CEO Bob Iger is raising eyebrows, and Sony may be getting a little artsy with its movie releases. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I love New York. Now that former Congressman Anthony Weiner has tweeted his way out of running for mayor of New York in a few years, is Disney CEO Bob Iger thinking about throwing his hat in the ring? That's how some political consultants interpreted a video Disney made starring Iger talking about New York and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The video, produced as part of a tribute dinner that saluted Disney's donation to the building of the Ground Zero, was sent to employees and posted on Disney's ABC News website and features anchor Diane Sawyer gushing about the courage of her boss. That the video seems more about Iger than about the company he runs is what has some wondering if there is another purpose to it. More on the video and how it is being viewed by the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Encore! Encore! News Corp. Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch has been invited back for a second grilling by Britain's Parliament. Murdoch, who appeared with his mogul father, Rupert, in July to answer questions regarding how the company responded -- or didn't respond -- to phone hacking by its now-shuttered News of the World tabloid. Some of James Murdoch's responses about what he knew and when he knew it have been contradicted by other staffers at the paper. The scandal has put a cloud over James Murdoch, who had been seen as the likely successor for his father. More from Bloomberg. If that's not enough of a headache, there is also trouble down under as Australia plans a probe of News Corp.'s business practices. More on that from the AFP.
Who to hit up for a loan. It's time for another "who makes what" list from Forbes magazine. This time the Capitalist Tool (that's the magazine's nickname for itself in case anyone thinks I'm being crude) takes a look at the highest-paid men in entertainment. At the top is Tyler Perry. Also up there: Dr. Phil McGraw. Next month, will Forbes tell us which TV and movie pets are pulling down the biggest paychecks?
Can "Hunger Games" feed Lions Gate Entertainment? "Hunger Games," a movie based on a popular series of books by Suzanne Collins, doesn't open for several months, but already buzz is building that this could become the most important film property for Lions Gate this side of Tyler Perry. "There are three things on Lions Gate investors' minds for the next year: 'Hunger Games,' 'Hunger Games' and 'Hunger Games,' " analyst James Marsh of Piper Jaffray told the Los Angeles Times.
The newest art film studio. Sony Pictures has a slew of movies at the Toronto Film Festival. Usually, festivals are where movies made for adults get screened, which means big Hollywood studios steer clear because they're focused on making franchise films that will attract kids and lead to toys. The New York Times looks at how Sony is trying to produce both art and commerce.
New look for "Harry's Law." Last season, NBC got a pleasant surprise in the performance of "Harry's Law," a legal drama starring Kathy Bates from producer David E. Kelley. The show proved popular with a large portion of the audience. Alas, for NBC it was the wrong portion. Looking to add younger viewers, the show is being overhauled although whether it will be any less preachy remains to be seen. Details from USA Today.
-- Joe Flint
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