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21st Century Fox made offer for Time Warner; ABC touts diversity

Television IndustryTelevisionMoviesTwentieth Century Fox Film Corp.Comcast CorporationABCConsumers
Rupert Murdoch wants Time Warner! ABC touts diverse lineup. Comcast's customer service call nightmare.

After the coffee. Before what promises to be a very long day.

The Skinny: Once again Derek Jeter delivers in the big moment. Anyone who wasn't teary watching him playing his last All-Star game doesn't have a heart. We've got some big news in Wednesday's roundup. All the talk recently about Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox wanting to make a play for Time Warner was on the money. The offer was rejected. Also, ABC touts its diverse lineup to TV critics.

Daily Dose: News of 21st Century Fox making an unsolicited (and rejected) bid for Time Warner may add some interest to a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hearing scheduled for Wednesday titled “At a Tipping Point: Consumer Choice, Consolidation and the Future Video Marketplace.” Among companies scheduled to testify are Comcast and Dish Network as well as producer Shawn Ryan. Interestingly, Netflix, which has been very vocal in its concerns about Comcast's deal to buy Time Warner Cable, declined a request to appear at the hearing.

An offer they could refuse. In the last few weeks there has been a lot of speculation about Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox wanting to make a move to buy Time Warner. Turns out 21st Century Fox did in fact approach Time Warner with an official offer (said to be worth $80 billion) to combine the two entertainment giants, but Time Warner turned it down. Such a merger would have put HBO, TNT, CNN, Fox News, movie and TV studios Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox all under the same roof. It also would have likely faced intense scrutiny from the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission. Motivating 21st Century Fox is all the consolidation on the distribution side, including Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable. More on 21st Century Fox's rebuffed overture from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

We have it all. ABC presented its fall schedule to TV critics Tuesday and touted the diversity of its programming, which includes "Blackish," a sitcom about a black family whose father is worried about the effect his financial success is having on his kids. Other sitcoms include "Fresh Off the Boat," about Asian Americans, and "Cristela," about a Mexican American law student. In some ways, ABC's efforts recall the kind of programming broadcasters routinely put on in the 1970s and 1980s before the growth of cable and the creation of channels aimed specifically at every conceivable audience. Coverage of ABC's press day from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, Variety and Deadline Hollywood

Where are the men? It's been a disappointing summer for Hollywood at the box office. Ticket sales are down 20% in North America compared to a year ago as there have been few blockbusters. The biggest problem with the summer is a big drop among teen and young adult moviegoers, particularly men, says the Hollywood Reporter. Hollywood already does a bad job making movies for women and adults over 30, so if they lose young men too there will be some real soul searching going on.

The customer service call from hell. A recording of a Comcast customer service rep aggressively trying to persuade a subscriber to not drop their broadband service has gone viral. In the call, the representative keeps grilling the customer on why he would drop Comcast and seemingly refuses to just throw in the towel and let them disconnect. The recording goes on for almost 10 minutes and only captures about half the call. It is an exercise in frustration for the customer and a black eye for the nation's largest cable and broadband provider. This tape will be used in training sessions on what not to do. Of course, if the rep had been successful he'd have gotten a raise or promotion. Details on the call from CNN.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on WE's new drama "The Divide." Television production in Los Angeles grew in the second quarter, thanks to increased original programming for the summer.

Follow me on Twitter. I'm your All-Star. @JBFlint.

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