The Morning Fix: Dish snags Blockbuster! Netflix buys ‘Mad Men.’ Vieira ready to exit ‘Today.’


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After the coffee. Before deciding whether to follow Meredith Vieira’s lead. These mornings are getting brutal.

The Skinny: I got through today’s Morning Fix listening to Norm MacDonald doing stand-up. Hilarious. Otherwise, lots of news, but none of it too exciting. Dish Network thinks it can save Blockbuster. Netflix gobbles up reruns of ‘Mad Men.’ Oh, and Christian Slater tries a sitcom. Well, it beats a ‘Heathers’ sequel.


Dish makes it a Blockbuster night. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network won the auction for movie rental chain Blockbuster Inc. The company’s $320-million bid topped bids from several others including investor Carl Icahn. Blockbuster has seen its business go up in flames over the last several years because of Netflix and Red Box. ‘Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISH Network,’ said Tom Cullen, Dish executive vice president. Details from Bloomberg. It was a busy day for Dish, the company also struck a deal for streaming rights to 3,000 movie titles from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount, the three partners of Epix, a pay-TV channel. More on that deal from Variety.

Don Draper gets a second home. Netflix is shelling out $750,000 to $900,000 per episode for rerun rights to the AMC drama ‘Mad Men.’ While just about any story with the word Netflix gets blown up into a big deal, what shouldn’t be lost here is that the producer of ‘Mad Men’ -- Lionsgate -- is selling to Netflix largely because it is willing to pay a lot more than any cable network would for reruns of the show. Despite all the Emmy Awards and media love, ‘Mad Men’ has very small ratings. Furthermore, serialized dramas do not do well in reruns. Cable networks, including A&E with ‘The Sopranos,’ have been burned shelling out big bucks and are starting to steer clear. More from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

I feel her pain. ‘Today’ show anchor Meredith Vieira is getting a little tired of the morning grind. According to TV Guide, she has let her bosses at NBC know that she won’t be renewing her contract when it expires in September. Vieira stepped in for Katie Couric when she left NBC to anchor CBS’ nightly newscast. Hmmm. Maybe Couric wants her old job back. Kidding. Most are speculating that Ann Curry will be bumped up to co-anchor of ‘Today.’

The Hollywood code. Shawn Ryan, whose credits include ‘The Shield,’ ‘The Unit’ and Fox’s ‘The Chicago Code’ is changing homes. After spending much of his career with 20th Century Fox Television, Ryan is jumping over to Sony Pictures Television with a three-year deal. Details from industry website Deadline Hollywood.

Wonder if John Mellencamp will handle the soundtrack. Meg Ryan has landed her first directing gig and will helm ‘Into the Beautiful,’ which Variety describes as a ‘Big Chill’-like comedy. Honestly, I didn’t have any film stories and I’m seeing Mellencamp perform this Friday and she’s dating him now so I figured what the heck.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Christian Slater tries his hand at a sitcom with Fox’s new ‘Breaking In.’


-- Joe Flint

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