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The Morning Fix: 'Modern Family' feud; News Corp. likes Roku

July 26, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Modern Family" isn't a happy family right now.
"Modern Family" isn't a happy family right now. (ABC )

After the coffee. Before hearing Katie Couric talk about her new talk show.

The Skinny: I had a weird dream that I was watching a different cut of "All the President's Men" in the middle of the night in an empty Rockefeller Plaza. Please send me numbers for good therapists. Thursday's headlines include analysis of the "Modern Family" dispute, a profile of "Today" executive producer Jim Bell, who will be in charge of NBC's Olympic coverage. Also, Dish makes some tweaks to its AutoHop that seemed designed to take some of the sting out of the lawsuits against the satellite broadcaster. Lastly, a look at Tom Sherak's run as head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Daily Dose: Peter Rice's promotion from chairman of entertainment for the Fox Networks Group to chairman and chief executive of Fox Networks Group will also mean additional duties for Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. Business affairs, scheduling and marketing, which had been under Rice, will now be Reilly's turf. Still a big mystery though -- at least to many at Fox -- is just who ultimately says yes or no to the network's reality chief Mike Darnell. 

Family feud. While tough negotiations with cast members are nothing new, the cast of ABC's "Modern Family" took it to a new level with its lawsuit against the show's producer, 20th Century Fox Television. Although several stars have sued and stayed away from work earlier this week, they are expected back on the set Thursday (even though their suits claim that their contracts are in fact illegal). Analysis and coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.

A tweak here and there. Dish has made some tweaks to its commercial skipping device AutoHop that seemed aimed at undercutting some of the charges made by CBS, NBC and Fox in lawsuits against the satellite broadcaster. According to Variety, now subscribers will have to do more work to get the AutoHop to skip ads and the device also won't automatically record programs from the four big broadcast networks. "While the changes may seem minor, they seem to represent a calculated strategy on Dish's behalf to shift responsibility to viewers for the recording and ad-skipping rather than let them passively receive these features," Variety said. 

Sell! Netflix stock tumbled for the second straight day as investors worry that its subscriber growth in the U.S. is starting to slow significantly. That comes at the same time it is investing in original programming and looking to expand abroad. All that has investors worried that the bottom line won't be as big as hoped. More from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Golden Bell. Besides all the new athletes competing for Olympic gold, there will also be a new man calling the shots in how the Games are covered. For decades, Dick Ebersol was the Olympics chief for NBC. But Ebersol left NBC last year and now "Today" executive producer Jim Bell will be in the hot seat. A profile from the New York Times.

Success walks hand in hand with failure. Manager and producer Gavin Polone says the only problem with the star system is that that it doesn't work. In his Vulturecolumn, Polone opines: "Big-name stars don’t necessarily sell tickets; they sell magazines when there is a story on the cover about their divorce."

Buku bucks for Roku. Technology company Roku, which makes boxes that connect TVs to the Web, has gotten endorsements from News Corp. and British Sky Broadcasting. The two companies, along with Menlo Ventures, and Globespan Capital Partners, were the lead investors in Roku's latest financing effort, which raised $45 million. The money will be used to market the product around the globe as well as for new technology. Details from Business insider and GigaOm

Don't let the door hit you on the way out. HBO and producer Scott Rudin have pulled the plug on their exclusive production deal. According to Deadline Hollywood, Rudin wanted out so he could shop material to everyone while HBO wanted out because it grew frustated in dealing with the producer, who has a reputation for being challenging at times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at Tom Sherak's run as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which is coming to an end. 

Follow me on Twitter. I'm clever without being too obnoxious.  Twitter.com/JBFlint

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