The Morning Fix: Upfronts over (phew)! Google TV coming. CNN and Eliot Spitzer getting into bed together? Facebook and MySpace busted!
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Before my last sausage, egg and cheese and bodega coffee and the flight back to L.A.
Four days and 4,000 shrimp later, upfront week is finally over. It featured CBS moving its hottest show to a new night. NBC practically overhauling its entire schedule. ABC cutting back a little bit on those grand sweeping dramas and Fox shoving the cast of ‘Glee’ down our throats. Oh, and we heard ‘Tik Tok’ about 10 million times. But it wasn’t just broadcast making their big sales pitches to advertisers. TBS brought out its new star employee, Conan O’Brien, and ESPN, the network of big sports and even bigger costs, was also there making the case for why they were just as good. Here’s some programming analysis from my Los Angeles Times co-worker Scott Collins and some snarky business analysis from me. Still need more? Here’s additional coverage from the New York Times, USA Today, Deadline Hollywood, Daily Beast and Vulture. Oh, and all those new shows you’ve been reading about, check back with me in September and I’ll tell you which ones not to get too attached to.
Watch those expense reports! CNN has had some preliminary talks with former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who left office after it was revealed the legal eagle had been spending a lot of time with prostitutes. The New York Times said talks are informal but the network does have a big opening at 8 p.m. since Campbell Brown jumped before being pushed. CBS’ David Letterman, who knows a thing or two about female troubles, cracked, ‘That would be a switch -- somebody paying him for an hour.’
Busted! Facebook and MySpace have been secretly sending information about you on to advertisers even though in the past they’ve denied doing so, per the Wall Street Journal. The sites, the WSJ says, may have been violating their own policies as well as those used by the industry. ‘The problem comes as social networking sites — and in particular Facebook — face increasing scrutiny over their privacy practices from consumers, privacy advocates and lawmakers,’ the WSJ wrote. We pass this clip along because so many of us have Facebook and MySpace pages and sooner or later Google or some cable giant will start tailoring ads for our own homes, which is just a little scary to me. Of course, anyone who puts their life on a public website shouldn’t be surprised when the owner wants to take that info to make a few bucks. Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s company is featured on the cover of Time and tells the magazine, ‘People want control over what they share.’ Well, here’s a radical idea Mark. Give it to them!
Cuban vs. Sumner. Internet billionaire and sports mogul Mark Cuban is suing Sumner Redstone’s Paramount Pictures. Well, an investment fund that a Cuban-affiliated company manages is suing Paramount, but saying Cuban sounds sexier. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Content Partners, a Cuban-linked firm that ‘manages Hollywood profit participation revenue streams,’ filed suit claiming ‘breach of contract, fraudulent concealment and constructive fraud based on Paramount’s accounting for films such as `The Truman Show,’ ‘Face/Off’ and ‘A Civil Action.’’ Can I sue to get my money back on ‘Face/Off’? The other two were OK.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Google wants to overhaul the way you watch TV and maybe finally get the Internet on the big screen. The latest ‘Shrek’ may fall short of that $100-million opening the franchise is accustomed to getting. Maybe those $20 tickets some Imax theaters are charging will help.
-- Joe Flint