Morning Fix: Tennis Channel aces Comcast! Rupert may get grilled.


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After the coffee. Before figuring out how to work a Kindle.

The Skinny: In the old ‘Mickey Mouse Club’ TV show, Wednesday was anything can happen day. I’m hoping this Wednesday is nothing happens day. Your Wednesday headlines include a big win for Tennis Channel in its fight against cable giant Comcast and an interview with volatile Guns N’ Roses singer Axl Rose.


Team effort.
Is the yet-to-premiere NBC sitcom ‘Are You There, Chelsea’ going through changes? Initially promoted as a starring vehicle for Laura Prepon, it is now being sold as more of an ensemble. The new promotion spots seem to focus as much on the show’s co-star, Chelsea Handler, as it does on Prepon. In the series, which debuts early next year, Prepon plays a character inspired by Handler’s books about her crazy life as a hard-drinking single girl and Handler is her more uptight sister. Viewing the spots it’s hard to tell who’s the star and who’s the second banana. Judge for yourself. Here’s a look.

Game, set, match? The Tennis Channel got a big win from the Federal Communications Commission in its fight against Comcast Corp. Tennis Channel has argued that the cable giant favored its own sports networks, Golf and Versus, over Tennis Channel when it came to selling the outlets to consumers. That’s a no-no per FCC rules and a judge at the agency fined Comcast and said it cannot discriminate against the independent network. Comcast said it would appeal the decision. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Multichannel News.

Big witness. News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch may be called to appear before the British government’s inquiry into journalism ethics. It was, of course, admissions of phone hacking at News Corp.’s now-closed News of the World that led to the government probe in the first place. More from the Guardian. On Tuesday, CNN host and former tabloid editor Piers Morgan testified before the panel and got into some heated exchanges. More on that from the Wall Street Journal.

Time to judge ‘The X Factor.’ On Wednesday night Fox will run the season finale of its heavily hyped singing show ‘The X Factor’ featuring former ‘American Idol’ judge Simon Cowell. The numbers for ‘The X Factor’ were big, but not as huge as many in the TV industry and Cowell himself had expected. The show has been picked up for a second season but there probably will be some tweaks. USA Today recaps the first year of ‘The X Factor.’

I’ve always wanted to watch the Super Bowl on a tiny screen. NBC, which carries this season’s Super Bowl, said the game will be streamed live over the Internet for free. This is the first time the biggest TV event has been shown on the Web. Of course, anyone with a TV will probably choose that over an iPad to watch the game, but now you can take the tablet with you anywhere you go so you don’t have to miss a thing. Maybe I’ll cancel my cable for one day just to see how my Wi-Fi TV works under pressure. More from the New York Post.

Don’t have too much fun with the extras. James Franco is in talks to play Hugh Hefner in a movie about Linda Lovelace, the infamous adult film star. More on Franco’s potentially lucky day from Variety.


Bah, humbug! It’s the week before Christmas and a little slow, so on a lighter note here is a list of the nastiest Santas to ever grace the big screen from the Wrap.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Axl Rose talks about yesterday and today and the future of Guns N’ Roses. ‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis and actor Brendan Fraser get an early Christmas gift in their legal fight with the movie’s producer, Bob Yari.

-- Joe Flint

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