After the coffee. Before deciding if I should get a vanity plate.
The Skinny: Just got my car registration renewal notice. Maybe I should get a vanity plate that says "MorningFix." That way my groupies (I know you're out there) will have an easier time finding me. I'll be back in Pasadena today at the TV press tour to hear what CNN chief Jeff Zucker has to say but when I have any downtime I'm going to go back to reading about the Gov. Chris Christie scandal. I can't get enough it! Friday's headlines include the weekend box office preview, a review of HBO's "True Detective" (I loved it) and more on the WWE's new online network.
Daily Dose: Satellite broadcaster DirecTV has made it clear that it is not too happy with the WWE's plans to launch an online network that would also carry all of its pay-per-view events at a price tag of $9.99 month. DirecTV said late Thursday that it would have to reassess its relationship with WWE. That's code for we probably won't be carrying your pay-per-view events anymore and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Sneak attack. "Lone Survivor," the war movie starring Mark Wahlberg, may sneak up on "Frozen" in the battle for the box office this weekend. "Lone Survivor," based on a true story, is projected to make $20 million although Universal, which made the movie, is downplaying expectations. Also opening wide is "The Legend of Hercules" while "Her" and "August: Osage County" will be in more theaters as well. Previews of the weekend box office from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
We love award shows. Well, I don't love award shows but TV networks and Dick Clark Productions do. DCP produces several award shows including the Golden Globes and is now hoping to turn the Hollywood Film Awards into another big ticket event. Like sports, award shows are seen as having value because they are live entertainment. I sort of share the Woody Allen view. Remember in "Annie Hall" when his character, Alvy, tells Annie, "They do nothing but give out awards! I can't believe it. Greatest, greatest fascist dictator, Adolf Hitler!" The only reason I'm linking to these stories about award shows was so I could work that quote in. Here's the New York Times on Dick Clark Productions and the Hollywood Reporter on trophy fests.
Report card. It's already been a year since former NBCUniversal honcho Jeff Zucker took over CNN. Boy does time fly. While CNN still trails Fox News by two miles, there have been some signs of life. There have also been some embarrassing moments as well. Vulture offers a report card on Zucker's first year; Variety offers a take on what may be in store in the year ahead.
Seeing Starz. There have been no rumblings lately of anyone looking to make a run at Starz, but the stock has had a nice ride lately and the New York Post anticipates that suitors will start to come out of the woodwork for the pay channel.
Honorary discharge. Discovery Communications is rebranding the Military Channel as the American Heroes Channel. The rationale, the network said, is that it will give it an opportunity to broaden beyond war stories and try to fill the gap left by the History Channel's move away from actual history. I just wonder how the channel will sell overseas. More on the name change from Broadcasting & Cable.
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