The Morning Fix: Warner Bros. lays groundwork for succession! Katy Perry too hot for ‘Sesame Street.’ Tyler and Lopez settle into ‘American Idol.’
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After the coffee. Before wondering how a week can go by so fast, yet seem so long.
Bake-off time? Time Warner has extended Warner Bros. Chairman Barry Meyer’s contract for two more years and set up a process that could lead to determining who will succeed him as head of the company’s movie and television production units. Bruce Rosenblum, head of TV; Kevin Tsujihara, who oversees home entertainment; and Jeff Robinov, the top movie executive, will share the ‘office of the president.’ Does that mean they will share one bathroom too? Meanwhile, exiting is Alan Horn, president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. While on one hand one can argue that setting up a two-year, three-man horse race for the top job seems a little over the top, Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes has also sent a message that there will not be an outsider brought in to succeed Meyer and there is the possibility that all three could end up being equal after Meyer exits. Analysis of the corporate shuffling from the Los Angeles Times, Deadline Hollywood, the Wrap, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
Toys in the attic. Fox finally unveiled its new ‘American Idol’ judges Tuesday and promised a different kind of show that will focus more on the talent than the people giving their thumbs up or thumbs down. Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, and Jennifer Lopez met with the press along with the show’s producers and music industry legend Jimmy Iovine, who joins ‘American Idol’ as the in-house mentor. Tyler and Lopez’s big job will be making people forget about Simon Cowell, the lead judge whose sharp eye and sarcastic jabs helped drive ratings for the show for almost a decade. From a business standpoint, even if the ratings take another tumble, ‘American Idol’ will still likely be the top TV show, and with Cowell’s salary gone, Fox and the producers could still make a lot of green. More on the new ‘American Idol’ from the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.
If the shoe fits. The Federal Communications Commission is starting a probe into a new cartoon Viacom is planning to put on its Nicktoons cable channel. ‘Zevo-3,’ which is set to premiere next month, uses characters that were featured in a marketing campaign by the sneaker company Skechers. A children’s advocacy group filed a complaint at the FCC about it, arguing the program will violate rules regulating the number of commercials and exposure to products allowed in shows aimed at viewers age 12 and under. Viacom has argued the show is not in violation of any rules. More on the FCC and the Nicktoon show from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
The Ross Report. Hard to believe, but Rich Ross, the former head of Disney Channel who now oversees the media giant’s movie studio, is already coming up on a year on the job. While no movies that were developed on his watch have actually premiered yet, the Hollywood Reporter looks at what Ross has been doing to remake the studio and what it says about the movies he and his bosses want to make.
Blockbuster starts new chapter. Unfortunately for the video store chain, it’s Chapter 11. As expected, Blockbuster Inc., the video rental company, filed for bankruptcy. Blockbuster has struggled to compete against Netflix, Redbox and folks who now buy lots of DVDs because the prices got so low. Blockbuster said its 3,000 stores will continue to operate as if it’s business as usual. Isn’t that part of the problem? Details from the Associated Press.
Trading blows while asking about the kids. Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s ‘Daily Show,’ popped in on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ on Tuesday and while the two traded barbs on camera, off camera it was all kittens and puppies. More on what goes on behind the scenes when opposites attract from Richard Huff at the New York Daily News, my favorite New York paper.
Too hot for Sesame Street. Katy Perry’s video duet with Elmo shot for an episode of ‘Sesame Street’ will not be seen. Apparently the video, in which Perry is wearing one of her trademark sexy outfits (although it doesn’t look all that revealing, to be fair), got some bad comments from parents on YouTube and the Sesame Workshop decided maybe song duet ‘Hot ‘n’ Cold’ might be too much for the TV show’s core audience of little kids. Bet Oscar the Grouch liked the video. The dirt from the New York Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd likes NBC’s ‘Outsourced’ but not CBS’ '$#*! My Dad Says.’ Mary McNamara thought ABC’s ‘My Generation’ was fresh. I’m just going to have to disagree with her on that one.
-- Joe Flint
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