After the coffee. Before Joe changes his passwords.
The Skinny: I missed the MTV Video Music Awards, but here's my token reaction: One Direction won for song of the summer over Robin Thicke and Daft Punk? How does that make sense? Today's headlines include "The Butler's" box-office win and a new deal between Lionsgate and Tandem Communications.
Daily Dose: Lionsgate has teamed up with the Munich, Germany-based company Tandem Communications to co-produce TV series internationally. The first effort in that venture will be the drama "Sex, Lies and Handwriting," about an artist and handwriting expert who solves crimes.
'The Butler' cleans up: "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" was no match for Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, whose film got its second consecutive box-office win over the weekend. The teen fantasy film "Mortal Instruments" proved all too mortal, pulling in $14.1 million over five days. That, of course, won't necessarily stop the making of a sequel. Box-office roundups from The Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Cardinal rules: The University of Louisville Cardinals' midweek football games have become mainstays at ESPN, helping the network's ratings and exploding the profile of the Kentucky school in both sports and academics. That's the result of a close partnership between ESPN and the university. Naturally, the relationship has made some worry about higher learning's reliance on, to use the New York Times' phrase, an "institution of higher profits."
In case you missed it: Richard Nanula, the former chairman of Miramax and principal at the private equity firm Colony Capital, left his jobs in July after websites published photos of a man identified as him having sex with a porn actress. Daniel Miller has the full story of Nanula's spectacular rise and fall.
What liberals want: Kelefa Sanneh of the New Yorker takes a deep look at MSNBC's efforts to keep viewers' interest when there's not a presidential election going on. The 10-page piece traces the network's evolution from Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann to Rachel Maddow and Chris Hayes.
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