After the coffee. Before getting back into work mode.
The Skinny: I know its sacrilege to ever have a bad thought about "Mad Men" so I'll only say I'm glad "The Sopranos" never did a song-and-dance number with Tony. Today's roundup includes the Memorial Day weekend box-office report and the Tennis Channel's new online service. Also, the New York Times editorial page comes out against the Comcast and Time Warner Cable deal.
Daily Dose: IFC, Ovation and Sundance tout themselves as serious art channels. So what were they showing over the holiday weekend? IFC had a "Malcolm in the Middle" marathon, Sundance had a "Law & Order" marathon and Ovation was showing "Rocky" movies. Maybe over Labor Day weekend the three can team up on Kim and Kanye documentaries.
X marks the spot. "X-Men: Days of Future Past," which sounds more like the title of a Moody Blues album (yes, I said album) than it does a movie, dominated the Memorial Day box office with a take north of $110 million. Not nearly as strong was the romantic comedy "Blended," starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. It took in less than $20 million and is another disappointing performance for Sandler. Box-office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Variety. Also Los Angeles Times box office reporter Ryan Faughnder offers a preview of the summer movie season.
Tell us how you really feel. "There are good reasons the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission should block Comcast’s $45-billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable," an editorial in the New York Times says. It goes on to compare a combination of Comcast and Time Warner Cable to the AT&T of the early 1980s, which was broken up by the government. "This merger would fundamentally change the structure of this important industry and give one company too much control over what information, shows, movies and sports Americans can access on TVs and the Internet," the paper said.
Time to sell. Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone, who turns 91 today, has been busy selling shares in the two media giants. The Wall Street Journal notes that Redstone has exercised options worth about $300 million this year. The moves are said to be part of Redstone's estate planning. What happens to CBS and Viacom without Redstone has been a parlor game in Hollywood for years. The mogul has often said he'll control his empire from beyond the grave.
Switching courts. The Tennis Channel has launched an online service that it is selling directly to consumers. Called Tennis Channel Plus, the service costs $59.99 a year and is being marketed as a complement to the linear channel. The new offering won't have the same material as the flagship channel because that would likely run afoul of agreements the network has with distributors. The Los Angeles Times on the new outlet. Meanwhile Reuters reports that ESPN may be considering a similar move with the World Cup.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Musicians are getting increasingly vocal about the growing trend of Hollywood movie studios outsourcing film scores. Robert Lloyd on NBC's summer medical drama "The Night Shift."
Follow me on Twitter. I make every day a three-day weekend. @JBFlint.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times