The Morning Fix: Comcast throws cash at NBC. ‘Thor’ is not funny! How Kennedys control media. New Emmy deal finally in place.
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After the coffee. Before wondering if that phrase will be on my tombstone.
The Skinny: My new goal is to avoid putting the words NBC and Universal next to each other because I can’t stand the new ‘NBCUniversal’ style. Just because they do it, doesn’t mean I have to do it! In Thursday’s roundup, Comcast makes a financial commitment to NBC. Katie Couric is running out of suitors and the Emmys have a new TV deal.
Apparently there are problems you can throw money at. NBC’s new parent Comcast Corp. said Wednesday it would invest an additional $200 million in programming at the broadcast network, which has struggled in the ratings for several years. Another $100 million will be added to the programming budgets of the company’s various cable networks. This season, NBC has had very little to boast about other than the new musical talent show ‘The Voice’ and the legal drama ‘Harry’s Law.’ Details of Comcast’s spending plans from the Los Angeles Times and the Associated Press.
And then there was one. After all the hype about heated bidding wars for exiting CBS News anchor Katie Couric, it appears that ABC is the only one still in the running. It is still not clear if ABC is offering a syndicated show that it would sell to stations around the country or a network show that would air on its affiliates. The difference is that Couric could make a lot more money with a syndicated show. The downside is that a syndicated show would cut into whatever ‘gravitas’ Couric has left. What’s sad is that ABC could end up moving or removing its only remaining soap -- ‘General Hospital’ -- to make room for Couric, who is a big gamble. TV Guide and Hollywood Reporter with details. I’ll avoid a cynical prediction that a Couric daytime show won’t get past Season One. On a separate note, the New York Post says a senior NBC publicist was shown the door because of his email relationship with Couric.
No laughing matter. Marvel Studios wanted to make sure that its movie version of ‘Thor’ didn’t turn into an unintentional comedy. Variety takes a look at the risks in bringing Thor to the big screen and the thin line between serious adventure and satire.
Piracy debate. Barry Diller and Terry Semel, both of whom have been long out of the movie business, downplayed the threat of piracy to Hollywood at a panel held during Michael Milken’s annual conference. Arguing the other side was WME agent Ari Emanuel. We skipped the panel because we couldn’t understand why a panel about movies featured Diller, Semel and Hollywood Reporter editor Janice Min and not one executive from a major studio. But that didn’t stop the Wrap editor Sharon Waxman from going and, as expected, even finding a way to take a dig at Min in her coverage.
Don’t mess with the Kennedys. Richard Bradley has penned a long article for Boston magazine about how protective the Kennedys are of their image. Besides detailing the role of the family and close friends in derailing the History Network miniseries, Bradley recounts his own experience on trying to write a book about John Kennedy Jr., with whom he worked with at George magazine. It’s a good read with a name or two in it you might recognize.
Tony nominations aren’t everything, they’re the only thing! The Broadway play ‘Lombardi’ about legendary Green Bay Packer and Washington Redskins head coach Vince Lombardi is closing down. The play, which got a marketing push by the NFL, only got one Tony Award nomination, which Variety cited as a reason for the curtain coming down.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The TV Academy has a new eight-year, $66-million deal with ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC and have signed ‘Survivor’ creator Mark Burnett to executive produce the Emmy Awards on Fox this fall. Laker player Lamar Odom is not digging being a reality star with wife Khloe Kardashian.
-- Joe Flint
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