The Morning Fix: Lions Gate board not interested in Icahn’s latest offer. Get ready Emmys, here come the Paleys. MGM’s small-screen plans. RIP John Kluge.
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After the coffee. Before wondering what happened to 5770.
Would you trade your Emmy for a Paley? The Paley Center, formerly the Museum of Television & Radio, is going ahead with its plans to launch a TV awards show meant to rival the Emmy awards. While there is still no TV network signed up to carry the show, the Paley Center said it would have a network and that its show is timed for May of 2012 and would be set in New York. That’s when the broadcast networks come to the Big Apple to hype their new fall lineups, so on paper that makes sense. But in reality, the networks have been cutting back on what they spend on upfronts and that includes just how much talent they send. An awards show will mean bigger travel budgets for talent. This isn’t the first time someone has tried to launch an awards show -- remember the American Television Awards? In this case, the Paley Awards have some heavy hitters in the industry backing them, including Sony TV chief Steve Mosko, Fox TV big shot Tony Vinciquerra and public relations maestro Dick Lippin. More on the plans and chances for success for the Paley Awards from Entertainment Weekly, Vulture, and Gold Derby; and as usual, in the name of transparency I remind you that I worked at the Paley Center for three years.
Rejected! Not really a surprise here, but the board of Lions Gate has recommended that its shareholders reject the latest offer for the movie and television production company from investor Carl Icahn. The latest offer was for $7.50, which was a boost from his previous offers. Shareholders have until Oct. 22 to decide how they feel about that price. The latest from the Los Angeles Times.
Oh Canada. The 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival kicks off Thursday and this year is poised to do some real business despite hurdles ranging from bedbugs to a hotel strike. Among the high-profile movies looking for homes include ‘Rabbit Hole’ starring Nicole Kidman an Aaron Eckhart, and Mickey Rourke’s ‘Passion Play.’ Previews from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
Piers Morgan wraps up CNN deal. Wasn’t this done already? CNN has finally announced that it has signed British TV personality Piers Morgan to host a news-talk show in the 9 p.m. hour. He will succeed Larry King and is just one part of CNN’s plans to make over its prime-time lineup. The network’s other big gamble is a political show featuring ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker. CNN has struggled against Fox News and MSNBC has also made big inroads on them. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Deadline Hollywood, Variety and the New York Times.
MGM to roar again ... in TV. MGM, which is gearing up for bankruptcy and financial restructuring, will put a greater focus on television when it emerges from redoing its books. Variety looks at what Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, the heads of Spyglass Productions who will become co-chiefs of MGM, may have in mind when it comes to the small screen.
Ready for some football? The NFL season kicks off Thursday night with the Saints and Vikings meeting in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. While ratings for the NFL have been on the rise, fewer people are buying season tickets as prices have been jacked up over the years to cover the costs of new stadiums. It’s the third straight year sales have declined. More from the Associated Press. RIP. John Kluge, one of the early media moguls, died Tuesday at 95. Kluge built Metromedia -- a collection of radio and TV stations whose holdings at various times included a billboard company and the Harlem Globetrotters. He later sold his TV operations to Rupert Murdoch, which led to the creation of the Fox network. He also had a colorful marriage and nasty divorce from Patricia Rose Gay. An obituary from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: At 80, Clint Eastwood shows few signs of slowing down. Univision beat the English-language broadcast networks in adults 18-49 for the first time ever. The CW’s Dawn Ostroff on how the network has beaten the odds and made it to five years.
-- Joe Flint
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