After the coffee. Before figuring out how to make May last longer.
The Skinny: I caught most of the Don Rickles roast/tribute on Spike on Wednesday night. It was pretty entertaining, although I'm not really sure what having newscaster Brian Williams brought to the festivities. Nothing against Williams, who was his usual witty self, but he's not a comedian, he's a TV journalist. Today's roundup includes coverage of Apple's purchase of Beats. Also, a new tax credit bill aimed to slow runaway production in California passed the Assembly.
Daily Dose: Satellite broadcaster Dish said it will now accept customer payments in bitcoin, a virtual currency. “Bitcoin is becoming a preferred way for some people to transact and we want to accommodate those individuals,” said Dish Chief Operating Officer Bernie Han. Dish will still accept real money.
Inching forward. The California Assembly approved a bill that would increase a state tax credit for movie and film production to as much as $400 million a year. The bill also widens the criteria to be eligible for the credit. The current $100-million tax credit excludes movies with production budgets north of $75 million. TV dramas are also not able to participate. The bill now moves to the state Senate, where the fight for survival will be tough. Also, there is no guarantee that Gov. Jerry Brown will sign it if it does hit his desk. More on the bill from the Los Angeles Times.
On the beats. Apple is shelling out $3 billion for Beats Electronics, the parent of a growing new music streaming service and maker of high-quality headphones that is headed by legendary producer Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre. For Apple, the deal puts a budding competitor to its iTunes under the same roof and gives it access to two of the music industry's sharpest minds. Coverage from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
Slow start. Normally, cable programming giant Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central) is quick to cut deals in the upfront market, which is when programmers sell advertising in advance of the fall TV season. But this year Viacom is taking its time, according to Advertising Age. Since networks that try to jump start the market often are seen as having a weaker hand, perhaps Viacom is feeling more confident this year.
Someone's missing. The writer's room at the hit sitcom "Modern Family" is already back at work on episodes for next season. But co-creator Christopher Lloyd is missing in action as contract talks between him and 20th Century Fox Television, which makes the show, are dragging. According to Variety, Lloyd just wants a short deal while the studio is looking for a longer commitment. My advice. Give Lloyd the deal he wants and worry about it later.
The show that just won't go away. According to Deadline Hollywood, Hulu is in talks bring back "Community," the critically acclaimed but little-watched sitcom that just ended its run on NBC. For Hulu, getting a show with a loyal -- albeit small -- following could boost its stature.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara says NBC's "Undateable" is unwatchable.
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