The latest "Ice Age" froze out the competition. (20th Century Fox )
After the coffee. Before seeing if 'Breaking Bad' beat 'Political Animals' in the ratings.
The Skinny: Sorry Nickelodeon and Comedy Central fans, Viacom doesn't have a deal with DirecTV yet. The standoff enters its second week Tuesday night. Monday's headlines include a look at how the latest "Ice Age" dominated the box office, a peek behind the rope at Comic-Con, NBC buys out Microsoft's stake in the MSNBC website, and an appreciation of Richard Zanuck.
Daily Dose: There was no shortage of plugs for MSNBC in the USA series "Political Animals." The opening of the limited series (USA doesn't want to call it a miniseries because if it does well it could come back) was pretty much an ad for MSNBC. Of course, USA and MSNBC are both owned by Comcast Corp. We'll see if CNN or Fox News gets equal time as the series continues.
The big freeze: "Ice Age: Continental Drift" chilled out the rest of the competition at the box office. The fourth entry of the franchise took in $46 million. That was more than enough to beat "The Amazing Spider-Man" and its $35 million, which was a respectable 35% drop from the previous weekend. Overall, though, box office was down 40% from the same weekend a year ago. Box-office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.
Exclusive access. Once a festival devoted to putting fans in touch with the people behind their favorite movies and TV shows, Comic-Con is gradually turning into a Vanity Fair party that's invitation only. As if Hollywood power players don't have enough time to get together at the Grill or Craig's, now Comic-Con is full of exclusive parties too. While the spin will be deal-making it's really just another excuse to act powerful. More on what goes on behind the velvet rope at Comic-Con from the Los Angeles Times. Additional Comic-Con coverage from the New York Times.
Don't tell us the ending yet. The hit sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" was expected to be entering its last season this September. Now CBS is interested in ordering at least one more season, according to Variety. That could get expensive as both the producers and the cast will need new deals. With "Two and a Half Men" expected to wrap next spring, CBS may be nervous about losing two of its veteran players at the same time.
Going for online gold. Unlike previous Olympics, NBC will be putting the majority of the events from the upcoming Summer Games in London online. While there is a risk that such a move could hurt ratings for the prime-time coverage which, because of the time difference, is on tape, it is also an acknowledgment of today's media environment. The network hopes that social media and digital platforms will actually serve to drive viewers to the nightly coverage. A look at NBC's strategy from the Wall Street Journal.
Saying goodbye. NBC is buying out the 50% of the MSNBC website it didn't own from Microsoft. The deal, anticipated since the two companies parted ways on the MSNBC cable channel several years ago, means the MSNBC.com site will be rebranded as NBCNews.com More on the deal from, yes, that's right, NBCNews.com.
The NFL on Google? Sounds crazy right? But Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that the search giant and YouTube parent could eventually become a player for sports rights. The New York Post on Google's sports ambitions as well as other gossip out of the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the legacy of producer Richard Zanuck, who died last Friday. With Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez gone, American Idol will again try to reinvent itself.
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