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The Morning Fix

Can Seth MacFarlane make Oscar cool? Oprah and Tyler team up.

October 02, 2012|By Joe Flint

After the coffee. Before finding out why I didn't get asked to host the Oscars.

The Skinny: I went to the launch party for Time Warner Cable's new Los Angeles sports channels Monday night. Appropriately enough, the song I heard while walking down the red carpet into the event was Aloe Blacc's "I Need a Dollar." Actually, the subscription fee is almost $4. Tuesday's headlines include reaction to the choice of Seth MacFarlane to host the Oscars and Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey's new partnership.

Daily Dose: This morning, Major League Baseball will announce a new baseball contract with Fox and Turner Broadcasting that will see their rights fees double. Fox will now pay about $525 million a season while Turner will shell out $325 million. While there has been a lot of speculation that Fox will use baseball to launch a new sports network, no announcement on that front is coming. But stay tuned. 

Will Ted co-host? "Family Guy" creator and "Ted" director Seth MacFarlane will host the next Oscars telecast. MacFarlane is something of an unusual choice given that he's not known as a performer but more as a director, writer and voice-over artist. That said, he can sing and dance and recently hosted "Saturday Night Live." MacFarlane has a very raunchy sense of humor so it will be interesting to see just how much he gets away with hosting the Oscars. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline Hollywood, USA Today and Variety.

Perfect couple. Movie and television producer Tyler Perry has signed an exclusive deal to create new shows for OWN, the cable channel owned by Oprah Winfrey and Discovery Communications. For OWN, the agreement signifies its willingness to try scripted programming. For Perry, the move means he is ending his long relationship with Turner Broadcasting and also putting on hold his plans to launch his own cable TV channel. Details from the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and New York Times.

Changing habits. When that early ratings report shows up on your desk with your coffee, do yourself a favor and throw it away. The information on it is no longer relevant. The growth of digital video recorders and video on demand has changed the way people consume media. More people are recording and watching later and that means those early numbers are not as relevant. I wrote a column about this last week and now Variety and the New York Times have followed up with their own stories.

Make me a deal. Google got some sweetheart incentives to build its super fast broadband service in Kansas City, Mo., Kansas City, Kan., and now Time Warner Cable and AT&T want the same perks, according to the Wall Street Journal. "Among the sweeteners granted Google by both cities are free office space and free power for Google's equipment, according to the agreement on file with the cities," the WSJ said, adding that Google even was given access to "a team of government employees dedicated to the project." 

Help wanted. Microsoft, which recently sold its 50% stake in MSNBC.com, is looking to create its own news unit for its MSN portal. According to Reuters, MSN will primarily aggregate news from other sources but will have a smattering of original content. In other words, it will be just like every other news outlet contributing to the echo chamber. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on the kids taking over TV.

Follow me on Twitter. It's like watching a nervous breakdown in real time. @JBFlint.

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