‘Walking Dead’ creator sues AMC! WME near IMG deal. Leno wooed.
After the coffee. Before looking for a new dentist.
The Skinny: I had a dream I was an observer at a lunch in which former Viacom bigshot Tom Freston was negotiating a deal to head a new company. The agreement was sealed with fist bumps. I may need to up the therapy. Wednesday’s headlines include a legal fight between “The Walking Dead” creator Frank Darabont and AMC Networks. Also, WME has won the battle for sports agency and marketing firm IMG.
Daily Dose: Time Warner Cable hasn’t even started selling the Dodgers cable channel it partnered with the team on, but DirecTV may already be anticipating tough negotiations. A DirecTV subscriber contacted the satellite broadcaster to find out if it would be carrying the Dodgers channel and was told by a “resolution specialist” (no I’m not making that title up) that, “at this time we don’t have plans to carry this network.” Don’t panic, subscribers. A DirecTV spokesman said the specialist was speaking out of turn as no decision on the channel has been made and negotiations haven’t even started. Maybe DirecTV can get another resolution specialist on the case.
Have zombies deliver the subpoenas. Frank Darabont, creator of AMC’s massive hit “The Walking Dead” and Creative Artists Agency are suing AMC Networks, parent company of the cable channel. Darabont and CAA charge that he’s been short-changed on money he’s owed from the series and that he was unjustly fired after the first season. Without getting too specific here, Darabont alleges that AMC’s in-house dealing with its own production company served to keep “tens of millions of dollars” away from him. Details on the suit from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
Will Taylor Swift play the Christmas party? Hollywood talent agency WME along with Silver Lake Partners are wrapping up a deal to acquire IMG, a sports talent and marketing agency whose clients include Peyton Manning and Taylor Swift. For WME, the deal not only is the latest example of its desire to expand beyond movies and television, but to up the stakes in its long-running battle for supremacy vs. Creative Artists Agency. More on the IMG sale and its implications from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Variety.
Women welcome. With no big sports except for some college football, it’s no surprise that ABC caters much of its programming toward women. Of course, its efforts to broaden out and add more men (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) hasn’t exactly worked out. The New York Times looks at ABC’s successes. I only wish it had focused more on ABC’s inability to find a companion show to “Modern Family.” Why hasn’t the network moved “The Goldbergs” behind “Modern Family” where it would be a much better fit than “Super Fun Night?”
No commercials about nothing. Jerry Seinfeld’s latest hobby is helping advertisers make better commercials. No stranger to advertising, Seinfeld recently worked closely with Acura on a series of spots to accompany his Web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” Seinfeld chats with Variety about his creative process for commercials and what he will and won’t tolerate from a client.
What will Jay do? With his career as host of NBC’s “Tonight Show” coming to an end early next year, suitors are already lining up to be Jay Leno’s next boss. According to the Hollywood Reporter, CNN, whose boss Jeff Zucker used to run NBC, has expressed interest in having Leno host a show there. Core Media Group, a producer of “American Idol” and another company whose chief executive (Marc Graboff) is a former NBC executive, has also made an approach.
Who will play Matt Lauer? “Top of the Morning,” the book about the morning news shows by former New York Times reporter Brian Stelter who now covers media for CNN, has been optioned by Lifetime as a TV movie. Most of the dirt in the book is about the Ann Curry drama at NBC’s “Today.” Maybe Lifetime can have Rob Lowe -- whose had a second career doing movies for the cable channel -- play all the roles in the movie. Now that I’d watch. Coverage from, appropriately enough, TV Newser, the blog Stelter founded in college that launched his career.
Follow me on Twitter to the land of snow and toys. @JBFlint.
From the Emmys to the Oscars.
Get our revamped Envelope newsletter for exclusive awards season coverage, behind-the-scenes insights and columnist Glenn Whipp’s commentary.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.