After the coffee. Before considering a new air conditioner.
The Skinny: After writing the words News Corp. for my entire career, I now have to start writing 21st Century Fox when describing the company that houses Rupert Murdoch's entertainment assets. How many times do you think I'll screw up until I get that one down pat? Friday's headlines include the weekend box office preview and a review of "The Heat."
Daily Dose: Aereo, the startup company that offers customers broadcast signals via the Internet, said it will debut in Chicago next. Aereo has been met with lawsuits from the big broadcast companies over copyright issues and the legal battle drags on. In the meantime, Aereo still won't disclose how many people have signed up in New York City, where it is most active.
Boys vs. Girls. The big box office battle this weekend will feature "White House Down" going against "The Heat." The former stars Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum while the latter features Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. "The Heat" is expected to top "White House Down" but both will trail last week's champ "Monsters University." Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Stepping up. Hoping to continue to build its subscriber base and its standing with critics, Showtime is launching two new shows in the next few months -- "Ray Donovan," about a Hollywood fix-it guy, and "Masters of Sex," about sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. The Wall Street Journallooks at the business motivations behind Showtime's new shows. While I haven't seen "Masters of Sex" yet, I didn't care for "Ray Donovan," which can best be described as "Entourage" meets "The Departed" meets "The Sopranos" meets "The Boxer."
Urge to merge. The big obsession of the business media as of late is what cable mogul John Malone will do next. Malone's Liberty Media recently bought a minority stake in cable operator Charter Communications. Since then there has been constant speculation that Charter will go after Time Warner Cable and/or Cablevision Systems. Malone no doubt will be asked that every day he's spotted at next month's Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. The latest of what I guarantee won't be the last article about Charter and Time Warner Cable from Bloomberg.
Round two. The next round of bidding for Hulu is expected to weed out a lot of the suitors. Both the New York Post and Variety say Yahoo will be dropping out. The potential buyers getting the most attention now are satellite broadcaster DirecTV, Guggenheim Digital and the Chernin Co. Personally, like the Malone story, I've grown a little tired of this one too.
Back home. Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL-TV will start airing "Saturday Night Live" on a regular basis for the first time in almost 20 years. KSL-TV, which is owned by the Church of Latter-day Saints, has often refused to carry NBC shows it finds risque. However, according to Broadcasting & Cable, the reason behind the "SNL" ban was that the station did well with a local sports show in the same time slot. Now that show has lost some of its ratings prowess, so "SNL" is returning. Don't think Salt Lake City has been without "SNL" since 1995, NBC had simply get another station in the market to carry it.
Maybe Max will date Siri. Netflix is launching an audio service to help its customers find what they want to watch. Something tells me I won't be using Max too much. I spend enough of my day talking to fake people. More on Max from the Los Angeles Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on the Sandra Bullock-Melissa McCarthy summer comedy "The Heat." The film "Fruitvale Station" about the shooting of Oscar Grant by a Bay Area law enforcement officer is tough to watch for Grant's mother.