The Morning Fix: Filling Sawyer’s heels. Disney’s DVD fix. Did WGA fight dirty? Artie Lange back ... at least for now.
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After the coffee. Before getting your audition tape to ‘Good Morning America.’Big heels to fill. ABC News is starting to narrow the search for Diane Sawyer’s replacement on ‘Good Morning America.’ The newscast will again go coed, with the network eyeing several male candidates to share the set with Robin Roberts. The leading contender appears to be George Stephanopoulos. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Broadcasting & Cable.
Disney’s DVD solution. Walt Disney Co. is working on a one-size-fits-all technology to allow consumers to buy content across multiple platforms. Code-named ‘Keychest,’ the technology is, among other things, seen as a way to combat the eroding DVD market. How it works is very complicated, so you’ll just have to read the article in today’s Wall Street Journal, then explain it to me.
Fighting dirty? TV writer Jonathan Prince is taking on the Writers Guild over how it investigated member misconduct during the 2007-08 strike. Prince was accused of being a scab but ultimately was found to have done nothing in violation of guild rules. WGA, meanwhile, used a secret informant and broke into his e-mail account to try to dig up dirt on Prince, the writer and his lawyer say. Details from Richard Verrier in the Los Angeles Times.
Oprah to make nice with Palin. Daytime talk show queen Oprah Winfrey will have former vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on to plug her new book next month. The Washington Post’s TV columnist Lisa de Moraes notes that last year Winfrey’s ratings took a tumble perhaps tied to her political activism and endorsement of Barack Obama. Maybe that is also why Winfrey has been less spiritual/aspirational and more, uh, well, we won’t say sleazy, so let’s go with down to earth in her subject matter on this year’s shows.
Early report card. USA Today takes a look at the new TV season so far and notes that although there are few breakout hits, there are also not so many total disasters. That said, the paper warns viewers not to get too attached to ABC’s ‘Eastwick’ and ‘Hank,’ CBS’ ‘Three Rivers’ and NBC’s ‘Trauma.’ So far that doesn’t appear to have been a problem.
Was that in his flash forward? Marc Guggenheim is leaving as co-show runner and executive producer of ABC’s new drama ‘FlashForward,’ which is about the aftermath of everyone in the world (well, almost everyone) suffering a two-minute blackout at the same time and getting a glimpse of his or her future. David Goyer will now become sole show runner, says the Hollywood Reporter.
Ferriter’s war. Agent John Ferriter, who specializes in realty TV, apparently doesn’t like the new reality of working at the combined William Morris Endeavor agency. Deadline reports on Ferriter’s battles with his new bosses at WME.
Artie’s back. Howard Stern fans breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday when sidekick Artie Lange reappeared after his latest misadventure. Lange, who has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, said he nearly relapsed. Details from the blog that chronicles all things Howard: MarksFriggin.com.
Inside today’s Los Angeles Times: Universal Orlando and Steven Spielberg restructure the director’s lucrative deal with the theme park. Patrick Goldstein on the challenges facing this year’s Oscar producers.
-- Joe Flint