After the coffee. Before eating something other than Sal & Carmine's pizza.
The Skinny: My diet has taken a turn for the worse since getting to New York. I'll need an extra long run in Central Park this weekend burn off the grease. Friday's headlines include a look at the weekend box office and ESPN's talks with a mobile phone company about covering data cap costs for its viewers. Also, if you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note.
Daily Dose: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a big fan of ESPN but he said Thursday doesn't think every cable subscriber should have to pay for the pricey sports channel. ESPN fired back that the sports empire "delivers more value to more consumers through more platforms than any other programmers" and that McCain's proposed a la carte model for cable TV means people will "pay more and get less." Industry insiders don't give McCain's bill much of a chance of getting off the ground.
'Gatsby' is good but 'Iron Man' is great. "The Great Gatsby," the long-anticipated movie version of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is expected to take in north of $40 million in its opening weekend. Normally that'd be enough for first place, but while Gatsby may be great, "Iron Man 3" is awesome and should take in another $70 million in its second weekend. Also opening is the Tyler Perry produced "Peeples" if you are in the mood for something silly. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Later Dawg! Randy Jackson, the last original judge on Fox's "American Idol," will exit the fading talent show after this season wraps up next week. Jackson may be leaping before he was pushed as it was expected that Fox and the producers of "American Idol" are headed in a different direction for next season's show. More on Jackson from The Wrap, which has reported that the rest of the judges -- Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban -- will also be shown the door soon.
Pay for play. If you're a sports fan who uses your mobile phone to watch a lot of ESPN, there may be good news for you when it comes to monthly data caps. According the the Wall Street Journal, ESPN has had talks with a major wireless character about helping to cover costs of data usage for its mobile phone audience. In a nutshell, ESPN would do this so watching its content on mobile doesn't eat up a viewer's monthly data cap and cause their bills to skyrocket. Sounds pretty tricky to pull off, though at it could raise eyebrows among regulators if it appears that mobile companies are playing favorites with data caps.
Will Bauer be back? Keifer Sutherland is in talks to make new episodes of "24" for Fox, according to Deadline Hollywood. For years, there has been talk of a "24" theatrical movie but it has never gotten off the ground. The return of "24" to TV would be as a limited series, which is what we used to call a miniseries. Guess Fox had to throw him a bone after canceling Sutherland's latest series, "Touch."
Thankless job. While all the attention is on what new shows will be announced to advertisers next week by the broadcast networks, the real pressure is on the sales people who have to try convince Madison Avenue to spend big on shows they've never seen! At NBC, that task falls to Linda Yaccarino, the head of sales for NBCUniversal. According to Variety, she's good at twisting arms and squeezing the last dime out of a media buyer's wallet. Also, from the New York Times, a preview
Follow me on Twitter for all your upfront news. @JBFlint.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times