The Morning Fix: Cablevision and Fox reach deal! Jon Stewart turns media into pinata. ‘Saw 3D’ cuts it up.


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After the coffee. Before deciding what to do with the leftover Halloween candy.

The Skinny: Fox came back to 3 million Cablevision subscribers, but both companies are still bitter about their 2-week old dispute. Jon Stewart’s rally turned the media into a pinata. Oprah Winfrey’s cable network detailed its new programming. ‘Saw 3D’ hacked up the competition.


Peace at last! Well, sort of, anyway. News Corp.’s Fox Broadcasting and Cablevision Systems Corp. reached an agreement on Saturday that restored the signals of Fox’s New York and Philadelphia TV stations to more than 3 million Cablevision subscribers in that area. Although the two finally reached an agreement more than two weeks after Fox pulled the signals, that doesn’t mean everyone was happy with the outcome. Cablevision criticized the Federal Communications Commission for not intervening on its behalf, and said it was agreeing to bad deal. Fox countered that Cablevision had sour grapes. What led to the sudden agreement was Fox’s agreement to a similar accord with satellite broadcaster Dish Network. Details on the final round of the great retransmission consent fight of 2010 from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and Associated Press.

They came, they saw. Lions Gate’s latest installment to its ‘Saw’ horror franchise cut through the box office this past weekend. ‘Saw 3D,’ which is supposed to be the final chapter in the series (do you really believe that?), took in $24.2 million. That’s much better than the $14.1 million the last ‘Saw’ film took in. Coming in second was Paramount’s ‘Paranormal Activity 2,’ which scared up $16.5 million, an almost 60% drop from last week’s premiere numbers. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Sumner Redstone’s programming acumen. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said stories about his boss, Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone, pressuring MTV to carry a show featuring a girl group band was ‘overblown.’ Alas, there was no follow-up question to Dauman about how it was overblown or whether Redstone had in any way been pushing for a show featuring the girl band.

Guess it’s all in how you define empowerment. Since announcing that she was partnering with Discovery Communications to create the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), the queen of talk has stressed how the cable network will be about empowerment and positive values. OWN has finally detailed its plans in advance of its Jan. 1 launch, and some of the channel looks like it will be filled with shows that were rejected by VH1, including one featuring Oscar winner turned struggling relapser Tatum O’Neal and her estranged dad, Ryan O’Neal. Also getting a platform on OWN are Sarah Ferguson and the Judds. USA Today has the scoop on OWN’s lineup.

DreamWorks, take 2. DreamWorks, which is starting over as part of the Walt Disney Co., will premiere its first movie for its new home, ‘I Am Number Four,’ early next year. This time around, according to the New York Times, DreamWorks will focus on blockbuster movies with a few smaller films mixed in.

Maybe there is a video game in the ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear a case involving California’s 2005 law that tried to make it illegal to sell or rent video games with violent content to minors. Lower courts have tossed the law. If the Supreme Court agrees that such violent games can cause bad reactions in kids, it would be a huge blow to the video game industry. ‘Suddenly games would become a regulated commodity, like alcohol and cigarettes,’ Ted Price, president of Insomniac Games Inc., the company behind Resistance: Fall of Man, told the Wall Street Journal.


They came, they saw, they complained. ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart’s ‘Rally to Restore Sanity,’ held in Washington this past weekend, turned into a referendum on the media. So who better to turn to than the Daily Beast’s Howard Kurtz and the New York Times’ David Carr for recaps. And just for balance, here is a rebuttal to Carr’s column from Rick Ellis at All Your TV.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: ‘127 Hours’ director Danny Boyle’s movie about hiker Aron Ralston’s tragic journey has literally been knocking out viewers at screenings. The Hollywood Reporter said goodbye to its daily paper and will now be a glossy weekly magazine with a newsy website. R.I.P. director George Hickenlooper.

-- Joe Flint

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