Michael J. Fox is planning a full-time return to TV. (Associated Press )
After the coffee. Before trying to make a cameo on TLC's 'Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.'
The Skinny: Is it just me or are perfect games starting to lose their luster? There have been three this season alone. I may have to learn to throw a knuckleball and give it a shot. Thursday's headlines include Apple's efforts to get into the TV business, Michael J. Fox plans a comeback and Mitt Romney gives PBS reason to worry.
Daily Dose: Dish Network appears to be nearing a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to keep Sinclair's 70 TV stations in almost 50 markets served by the satellite broadcaster. The current distribution agreement expired Wednesday but the channels weren't pulled and both sides expressed cautious optimism that a new contract would be signed soon.
Sparkle and fade. This Friday the musical drama "Sparkle," which counts the late Whitney Houston among its stars, opens. For Sony, the studio behind the movie, marketing it has proved to be a dilemma. On the one hand, it is a last chance for Houston fans to see her. On the other hand, Sony doesn't want to look sleazy or exploitative in its marketing of the movie. The Los Angeles Times on the selling of "Sparkle."
Planting an Apple seed. Apple is still itching to figure out a way to get into the television business. The technology giant has approached some cable operators about creating an Apple set-top box that could deliver live TV as well as other video options according to the Wall Street Journal. Apple, of course, already has Apple TV, a box that connects viewers to the Internet for content but does not have access to traditional TV networks and local channels. The cable industry seems at least a little wary about getting into bed with Apple. They probably fear they will be the turtle that agrees to give the scorpion a ride across the river.
Welcome back. Michael J. Fox, who was one of TV's most reliable stars until Parkinson's disease forced him to step back, is ready to try his hand at a starring role again. Fox, who in recent years has had recurring roles on "Rescue Me" and "The Good Wife" is working with Sony on a new sitcom. Details from Vulture.
Start worrying, PBS. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney likes PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts but not enough to keep providing money. In an interview with Fortune, Romney warns that he would get rid of subsidies for PBS and the NEA. "I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf," Romney said.
Keeping the flame alive. NBC wasn't the only network to get a nice ratings bump from the Olympics. Its typically low-rated NBC Sports Network, a cable channel that was previously known as Versus, also saw its viewership explode thanks to the Summer Games. But now NBC has to figure out a way to keep some of those viewers around even though the network as yet does not have a ton of marquee sports properties or dominant personalities. The New York Times looks at the cable channel and whether it can keep the momentum it picked up in London.
Not playing games. The New York Post says video game giant Electronic Arts is attracting interest from private equity suitors KKR and Providence Equity. EA declined to comment on the story and the paper indicated that while approaches have been made, a deal was far from certain.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Long time KLOS-FM morning man Mark Thompson (of Mark & Brian fame) gets ready to for his next chapter.
Follow me on Twitter. It's a heck of a ride. Twitter.com/JBFlint