After the coffee. Before figuring out where the sun went.
The Skinny: Finally finished Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead.” We are all in agreement that there’s something evil going on at Terminus, right? Wednesday’s roundup includes big news from Rupert Murdoch as his two sons get more turf at 21st Century Fox and News Corp. Also, analysis of the 2013 box office and a closer look at Ben Sherwood, the new co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks unit.
Daily Dose: The first Senate hearing on Comcast’s proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable has been delayed. No, it wasn’t a case of the cable guys not showing up on time, according to company insiders. The Senate Judiciary Committee had set April 2 to review the merger but now it has been pushed to April 9. Comcast is expected to file its public interest statement on the deal with the Federal Communications Commission as early as the end of next week.
World record. While movie ticket sales in North America for 2013 were pretty much flat at $10.9 billion, strong international box office helped the industry hit a new record of $35.9 billion, according to the Motion Picture Assn. of America. Hollywood’s international take was $25 billion, a 5% increase from 2012 and a 33% improvement from five years ago. “Gravity,” “Frozen” and “Iron Man 3" were the most popular movies overseas. In the U.S., there is some talk of lowering some ticket prices to boost attendance. More analysis of the 2013 box office from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Rising sons. Rupert Murdoch’s two sons -- Lachlan and James -- are taking on bigger roles in the mogul’s media empires. Lachlan Murdoch has been named a non-executive co-chairman of both 21st Century Fox and News Corp. James Murdoch has been named co-chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox. For Lachlan Murdoch, the appointments represent something of a return to the family businesses and perhaps makes him the new favorite to eventually succeed his father. Twenty-first Century Fox is the entertainment parent of Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox and other television and film assets. News Corp. is primarily a print journalism company. More on the moves from News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal.
Impressive resume. Ben Sherwood, the new president of the Disney/ABC TV Group and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, has a resume that would make even a high achiever envious. A Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar, Sherwood has written books, produced newscasts, penned front page stories for a major newspaper and run a network news division. Of course, anyone that ambitious (and successful) accumulates a lot of detractors along the way. The Los Angeles Times on Sherwood and the Hollywood Reporter on his biggest challenges in the new gig.
Double duty. The casts of the TV Land shows “Hot in Cleveland” and “The Soul Man” will take part in live commercials during upcoming episodes. “Hot in Cleveland” cast members will plug Toyota while “The Soul Man” actors will make a pitch for Bush’s Grillin’ Beans, according to the New York Times.
Endangered species. The PBS cartoon “Curious George” is still popular with kids. So why does PBS make so few new episodes? While kids are often content to watch the same episode over and over, now with Netflix and Amazon, even that can get, well, boring. Variety looks to make the case for PBS to light a fire under “Curious George.”
Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the challenges director Darren Aronofsky had making “Noah.”
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