The Morning Fix: Snookie on the SAT? Rupert Murdoch’s deal with daughter challenged. USA gets new presidents.


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After the coffee. Before steering clear of leprechauns.

The Skinny: I always thought St. Patrick’s Day was amateur hour, which is why you’ll never see me drinking green beer. Instead I’ll be watching basketball and trying to make you think I know what I’m talking about. In real news, some News Corp. shareholders are not hot on the company’s latest deal. Netflix’s discussions on original programming have some concerned and, in the most upsetting story of the day, reality shows are part of the SAT test.


Not so fast, Rupert. Amalgamated Bank of New York and the Central Laborers Pension Fund filed a suit in Delaware Chancery Court seeking to block Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. from going through with its proposed deal to buy the production company Shine, which is majority-owned by Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, for almost $700 million. News Corp. and Murdoch are accused of cutting a sweetheart deal for a family member and using the company as a candy store, according to Bloomberg. News Corp. said the suit had no merit.

Building a house of cards. Netflix’s decision to pursue an original-programming strategy has many in Hollywood and on Wall Street scratching their heads. The company is in talks with producer Media Rights Capital for ‘House of Cards,’ a political drama starring and produced by Keven Spacey. What has some worried is that Netflix is willing to buy two seasons sight unseen at a high price. Sooner or later, original content will no doubt be part of Netflix’s online offerings, but an expensive drama is risky for even an established programmer. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Movie City News, Reuters and Advertising Age.

Keep away from my windows! John Fithian, the head of the National Assn. of Theater Owners, said Hollywood’s desire to get movies onto video-on-demand sooner ‘will make a nickel and sacrifice a few dimes,’ according to Variety. Fithian was speaking at an investment conference in New York about the concerns theater owns have that they will get burned by Hollywood’s obsession with video on demand.

BFFs forever. The Wrap explores whether the relationship between Apple and Walt Disney Co. is too close. Apple chief Steve Jobs is on Disney’s board and the two companies do seem to enjoy a cozy relationship.

iPad TV’s not for me. I just don’t get it. Sure, it sounds great to be able to watch live TV on an iPad. But if the only place you can use the device to watch live TV is your home where you already have a TV with a much bigger screen, what’s the point? Nonetheless, Time Warner Cable subscribers are gobbling up the company’s iPad app that allows for live TV to be streamed to the tablet. Some cable networks are raising a stink that their deals with Time Warner Cable don’t give the distributor the rights to put their content on iPads. More from the Wall Street Journal.

Reid all about it. The Hollywood Reporter says music producer and Island Def Jam chairman L.A. Reid may be one of the judges on Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor,’ which is premiering later this year. Meanwhile, industry website Deadline Hollywood says Enrique Iglesias was ‘approached’ for a hosting gig on the talent show. Glad I’m not having to chase all this stuff.


Now watching ‘Jersey Shore’ is homework. As if learning all that math and grammar wasn’t hard enough, the latest version of the SAT test includes an essay question on reality TV. Now kids can tell mom they have to study Snookie if they want to get into a good college. More on this disturbing piece of news from the New York Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Pepsi has a lot riding on its deal to sponsor Simon Cowell’s ‘X Factor.’ USA Network names two presidents.

-- Joe Flint

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