The Morning Fix: Hulu in news. Hamm gets more cheese! Can Bay save 3-D?


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After the coffee. Before figuring out why shows about pawnshops and swamp lovers does better than ‘Men of a Certain Age.’ Then I’ll shoot myself.

The Skinny: Don’t worry, I won’t really shoot myself. I’ll just shoot the TV. In real news, there seems to be some tire-kicking going on at Hulu. Just remember, buying a fancy engine doesn’t mean much if the body and interior don’t come with it. Elsewhere, Jon Hamm will be with ‘Mad Men’ to the bitter end, as if there was any doubt.


That Hulu you do so well. Hulu, the online video site that is owned by News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp., is generating interest from potential suitors. The company received an unsolicited offer Tuesday from an unknown buyer. Online portal Yahoo is one candidate. While Hulu, which carries mostly television shows, is popular, it is also a headache to its owners, who fear giving its content away online cannibalizes other revenue streams. Hulu is trying a pay wall, but once you make the mistake of giving it away, people become reluctant to pay (sound familiar, newspaper publishers?). The owners of Hulu have not indicated they are interested in selling and any buyer would want agreements from them to keep the content coming. More on the Hulu news from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Bay’s bray. Director Michael Bay, whose latest movie, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” opens soon, is going on the offensive about 3-D, which has been taking a beating as of late. The New York Times says Bay ‘even called the chief executives of major theater chains to implore them to show ‘Dark of the Moon’ in a way that burns out projector bulbs more quickly but makes 3-D look brighter and sharper.’ The article notes that companies whose future is tied to 3-D have seen their stocks tumble as of late.

‘Lantern’ lights up teens. Warner Bros. ‘The Green Lantern’ took in over $5 million in box office Monday, which Variety says indicates the movie is catching on with the under-25 crowd and is a good sign for the movie, whose opening box office of $52 million was seen as disappointing.

Trump’s take. Donald Trump is getting a big raise to keep doing NBC’s ‘The Apprentice,’ according to the New York Post. Perhaps it was a thank-you for not running for president. The figure cited is $160 million, but reading the article closely reveals that figure is for Trump and producer Mark Burnett, which makes one think this is a renewal for the show and the money is used to produce it and yes, keep Trump in wind-resistant hair gel. Still, the number seems a tad high for a show which is clearly on the decline.

Hamm gets some more cheese. Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper on AMC’s ‘Mad Men,’ has extended his two-year deal to three years and in return will get a bigger paycheck. By year three, Variety says, Hamm will be making about $250,000 per episode. Nice cash but not Charlie Sheen money. Deadline Hollywood said the deal was in ‘eight figures’ but provided no specifics. If Variety is right, Hamm will come close to eight figures, but not more than that. Poor baby.

Sticking it to the little guy. News Corp.’s Fox has dropped three affiliates owned by small-market broadcaster Nexstar Broadcasting. At issue is a cut of so-called retransmission consent fees Fox wants from its affiliates. While many affiliates are planning on forking over a big cut of the fees they get from cable and satellite operators, some think the network is asking too much. Details from Broadcasting & Cable.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: James Rainey on Jon Stewart. Alexander Skarsgard has a meaty role on HBO’s ‘True Blood.’

-- Joe Flint

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