After the coffee. Before getting a new filling. I wish that was a joke.
The Skinny: I must say, HBO's "Getting On," which at first glance was a grim and dark "comedy" about an extended-care unit which is code for a waiting-for-people-to-die unit, is growing on me. Initially the show was tough to watch and tougher to laugh out loud at, but that's starting to change. Maybe I'm just more twisted then I thought. Tuesday's headlines include the reunion of Miramax with Harvey and Bob Weinstein. Also, should "The Wolf of Wall Street" have gotten an NC-17?
Daily Dose: AMC's "Breaking Bad" was the most downloaded TV show on iTunes this year. If the show were coming back for another season, imagine the leverage Bryan Cranston would have in negotiations. AMC's "The Walking Dead" and "Mad Men" were also in the top five for iTunes. Guessing AMC's "Low Winter Sun" won't do quite as well.
Reunited and it feels so good. Brothers Bob and Harvey Weinstein are back together with Miramax, the movie production company they founded and then sold so many years ago. Weinstein Co. -- Bob and Harvey's current company -- has struck a production and distribution deal with Miramax. The 20-year deal will have the companies working on creating new movies and TV shows, the latter being an area the Weinsteins have struggled in. Since it involves the Weinsteins, the pact is getting tons of publicity (probably too much). More on the deal from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal. See what I mean about overkill?
Coal in Madea's stocking. There are few guarantees in life, but a Tyler Perry movie about his Madea character is usually a slam dunk at the box office. Not this time. "A Madea Christmas" took in just $16 million at the box office this past weekend, much lower than expectations. Bad weather on the East Coast may have been a factor, but there is also the possibility that the core audience has perhaps grown tired of the franchise and has other options this holiday season. Some thoughts from the Los Angeles Times.
Cracking down. On Monday, the Justice Department said it would approve a merger of Gannett's TV stations with Belo's stations if a property in St. Louis was sold off. The issue was the number of stations Gannett would operate in the Gateway to the West. The move by Justice to force a divestiture seems to indicate that the government is starting to grow concerned with consolidation among broadcasters, particularly when it gives one company de facto control of multiple stations in one market. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal. It's so nice to see something I've written about for almost 20 years finally getting some attention from regulators. And yes, there's some sarcasm in that sentence.
Reading the tea leaves. It will be anticlimactic when Charter Communications finally makes an offer for Time Warner Cable, perhaps as early as this week. Now the media are wondering whether Comcast will make its own play for some or all of Time Warner Cable. Personally, I think a lot of media outlets are throwing darts hoping to hit a bull's-eye so just keep that in mind when reading all these stories. Here's the latest from Reuters.
Dirty "Wolf." Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" isn't just about how a guy hustled investors. It's also about all the raunchy fun he had while doing it. The movie already has a "R" rating, but Deadline Hollywood wonders if that is too soft and also provides some dirt on how the movie worked the MPAA behind the scenes.
Do the hustle. David O. Russell's "American Hustle" looks destined for Oscar love. But there is a lot of division among critics and regular folks about whether the movie is fantastic or a fantastic failure. I've had two friends whose views I respect tell me how disappointed they were in the movie. At the same time, critics I respect have praised it. Here's a take on "American Hustle" from Variety telling critics and viewers not to be conned. Still not sure if I'll see "American Hustle" or "Grudge Match" first.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "I'll Eat You Last," the play about legendary Hollywood agent Sue Mengers.
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