The Morning Fix: Fox wants verification. Emma Stone!

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After the coffee. Before hoping ‘The Walking Dead’ will still be good in Season 2.

The Skinny: So it looks like anyone who got nailed by one of those traffic cameras may be off the hook if they didn’t pay. But if they did, then that’s another story. I smell class-action suit! In our little world, the headlines include Fox’s plan to require viewers to verify they are cable or satellite TV subscribers before being allowed to watch the network’s shows online. Also, a big day for James Murdoch on Thursday.

Trust but verify. In a move no doubt to appease cable and satellite operators, Fox said it would start requiring viewers to verify that they are subscribers to a pay-TV distributor before they can watch any of the network’s shows online after they’ve aired on the network. Fox, which is squeezing pay TV distributors for big bucks in return for carrying its TV stations, recognizes it can’t have its cake and eat it too. Distributors aren’t going to pay if the stuff goes online free right after it’s on the network. Fear not, consumers, if you can wait eight whole days you will be able to watch shows online without having to prove you are a cable subscribers. Details from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal.

D-Day for James. On Thursday, the board of British Sky Broadcasting, whose chairman is James Murdoch, will have its first board meeting since the News of the World phone hacking-scandal that led News Corp., the media giant that owns 39% of the powerful broadcaster, to drop plans to acquire the rest. There is speculation that the board may ask Murdoch, who is also deputy chief operating officer of News Corp. and is being probed about what he did and didn’t know about the hacking, to step back. Of course, there are plenty of News Corp. execs and cronies on the board so he won’t go without a fight. Coverage from the New York Times and the Guardian.


Help wanted. Frank Darabont, the executive producer/showrunner of AMC’s hit ‘The Walking Dead,’ has given his walking papers. There have been mumblings that such a move was possible for several months, but it still is something of a shock given the success of the zombie drama. Details from Deadline Hollywood.

Got your tickets? The Toronto Film Festival unveiled its lineup, which includes Madonna’s ‘W.E.’ Brad Pitt’s ‘Moneyball’ and George Clooney’s ‘The Ides of March.’ Details on the prestigious festival from Entertainment Weekly.

Enjoy the moment. Emma Stone is this summer’s It Girl. Her breakout role in the upcoming ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love’ has put her on magazine covers everywhere. It’s a long way away from VH1’s attempt to remake ‘The Partridge Family,’ which was one of her early gigs. A profile from USA Today.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Myspace gets ready for yet another makeover. DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg has a lot to say about ‘Kung Fu Panda 2' but not much on his company’s future. Inside an ugly fight between two local broadcasters.

-- Joe Flint

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