The Morning Fix: Plot around Hulu thickens! Time Warner Cable and Viacom hit pause in fight. Will Charlie Sheen’s character meet ugly demise?


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After the coffee. Before finding out if Whitey Bulger’s apartment is available.

The Skinny: Is it better to go into work and then get crushed with deadlines and pressure, or to know going in that it’s going to be a long day? I’ll let you know tomorrow. In the news, there is more Hulu speculation as the online site has retained investment bankers to explore its options. Also, the guessing game on how Charlie Sheen’s character will exit ‘Two and a Half Men’ is picking up momentum.


The plot thickens. Hulu has retained investment bankers to weigh a possible sale of the online video site. Hulu, whose owners include News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp., has been both an innovative service and a thorn in the side of the media industry. Its platform has been a hit with consumers who can watch some of their favorite TV shows. On the other hand, the folks that make those shows and pay for them argue that Hulu hurts the value of their content by giving so much of it away for free. No word yet on the candidates to acquire Hulu, but the question for any buyer is whether Hulu is the next Facebook or the next Friendster. News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg, Advertising Age, Hollywood Reporter, All Things Digital and Deadline Hollywood. In other Hulu news, Variety reports that News Corp.’s Fox renewed its content-distribution deal with the site.

Hit pause. Time Warner Cable and Viacom have hit pause in their legal battle over streaming content on Apple’s iPad. Earlier this year, Viacom, parent of cable networks MTV and Comedy Central among others, filed suit against Time Warner Cable, claiming that the cable operator did not have the right to distribute the channels on the iPad. Time Warner Cable fired back that it did indeed. Earlier this week, the two companies told a federal court in New York to suspend the legal proceedings while they tried to work out their differences. However, a person close to the matter said this was done only to remove the pressure of the court proceedings for a little while and not because a resolution is near. More from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Jounral.

Political cause. A slew of movies about politics and corruption are in the works. Besides George Clooney’s ‘The Ides of March,’ there is ‘Knife Fight,’ whose stars include Rob Lowe, and Aaron Sorkin has the rights for a movie about John Edwards. Of course, politics usually doesn’t translate to coin at the box office. More on the movies and their political slant from the New York Times.

Men running late. Will Smith’s huge trailer wasn’t the only problem plaguing the production of the third ‘Men in Black’ sequel. The Wrap looks at what’s going on behind the scenes of the movie and tries to paint a picture of a production run amok. Or it could be the same stuff that happens on the set of every movie. You decide.

Crash and burn. The guessing game of how ‘Two and a Half Men’ will deal with Charlie Sheen’s exit from the cast is picking up steam. Biographer Andrew Morton said on his blog, The Morton Report, that Sheen’s character will be killed off in a car crash. That would be one way for co-creator Chuck Lorre to get some payback against the actor. My hunch is that the departure will be dealt in a more subtle fashion. Also, kill him now and you ruin that series finale special guest appearance.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Elijah Wood is taking a gamble with the quirky FX series ‘Wilfred,’ which debuts tonight. The Los Angeles Film Festival includes several movies about Cuba.


-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. It’s going to be a long day, and you’ll need the comic relief.