Morning Fix: Lohan as Liz on Lifetime? Myspace to take on cable.
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After the coffee. Before figuring out how to stop my cold in its tracks.
The Skinny: I kept thinking I felt sore Monday because of my intense workouts, but I now realize that I’m just coming down with something. Nonetheless I persevere for you. Tuesday’s headlines include stories about how social networking site Myspace (remember them?) wants to take on cable TV, a review of CBS’ revamped morning show and a look at how ‘The Devil Inside’ is just the first of several low-budget horror flicks headed to the big screen this year. Oh, and Lindsay Lohan hasn’t hit bottom yet. She may be doing a movie for Lifetime.
Eye blinks. On Monday, we told you that CBS had annoyed TV critics by not having Nina Tassler, the network’s entertainment president, hold a news conference at the Television Critics Assn. press tour going on in Pasadena. Well, CBS caved and now will put Tassler up on stage for 20 minutes. I’m not sure I have a question for Tassler, but I may quote a few of the raunchier lines from the network’s sitcom ‘Two Broke Girls’ just to make trouble.
The copycat inside. The surprise hit ‘The Devil Inside’ is the first of several low-budget horror flicks coming out this year that use the ‘found footage’ plot. Of course, this is nothing new as fans of the original ‘Blair Witch Project’ know. Still, the low cost of producing such movies and the potential of getting a smash is tough for the industry to resist. ‘These films are so wildly profitable -- and even when they’re not, the cost of them is so little that it’s an easier shot to take,’ Lorenzo di Bonaventura, executive producer of ‘The Devil Inside,’ told the Los Angeles Times.
The future is now. One reason I don’t go to the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas (besides the fact that my editors haven’t asked me to) is that my eyes sometimes glaze over hearing about technology. This year’s show seems to be heavily focused on futuristic televisions and how they will interact with the Internet and the battle among technology companies for control of the pipe. An overview from the Wall Street Journal.
Those guys? Myspace, the once red-hot social networking site that turned into a money pit for News Corp, before the media giant unloaded it to tiny company Specific Media, wants to take on cable television. Myspace is planning to create its own distribution system for television content. These noncable cable platforms are described by the industry as ‘over the top’ because they use broadband as opposed to wire. There is lots of talk about over the top becoming a way to create new competition for cable, but the key will be getting programmers, who no doubt will be worried about alienating their cable partners, to help support the effort. Details on Myspace’s plans from All Things Digital and the Los Angeles Times.
Nightmare for oddsmakers. Folks looking to figure out who will score big at the Oscars aren’t getting any help from the industry guilds. On Monday, the Directors Guild did not nominate Steven Spielberg (‘War Horse’) or Tate Taylor (‘The Help’), further confusing folks who follow this stuff. If you are one of those folks, here’s a New York Times article on the challenge of handicapping this year’s awards season.
New bean counter. Discovery Communications, the cable programming giant whose holdings include Discovery Channel, TLC and 50% of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, has hired a new chief financial officer. Normally, the hiring of a new money man doesn’t rise up to the level of the Morning Fix (we have such high standards). But it is worth noting that in tapping Andrew Warren to replace previous CFO Brad Singer, Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav has again hired someone from NBC, his former stomping ground. Hope Warren doesn’t spend too much of his time figuring out how much OWN is losing. More on the hire from the Washington Post.
It’s come to this. Lindsay Lohan has been through a lot over the last several years. She’s been in trouble with the law, she’s had family problems and she’s seen her movie career come to a grinding halt. In a move that either indicates that she is on the way back or she’s hit a new bottom, the actress is in talks to do a movie for the cable channel Lifetime, according to Deadline Hollywood. She is considering playing Elizabeth Taylor. Well, at least Lifetime isn’t doing a movie about Lindsay Lohan. That would be bad.
-- Joe Flint
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