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Super verdict for Warner Bros.; Brandon Tartikoff files opened.

October 18, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Brandon Tartikoff not only ran NBC, but he hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live" and joked with Eddie Murphy in 1983.
Brandon Tartikoff not only ran NBC, but he hosted an episode of "Saturday… (NBC )

After the coffee. Before mourning the demise of Newsweek. 

The Skinny: Since Major League Baseball called a game for rain without a drop in the sky, I'm declaring today a snow day. Go back to bed! Thursday's headlines include Warner Bros.' big win in its legal battle over the rights to Superman, a look at all the Jeff Zucker-CNN speculation, and Dish and Cablevision may be near a settlement.

Daily Dose: CNN founder Ted Turner went on CBS' morning show Thursday and said he'd prefer  "a little less fluff" on the cable news channel. "I'd like to see more emphasis, myself, on hard news and international news," Turner told Charlie Rose. But when Rose asked Turner who he thought should run CNN, Turner demurred. "There's no point in me speculating on that ... I don't have an influence over CNN.

Super verdict. Warner Bros. won a long-running legal battle with heirs of Superman co-creator Joseph Shuster, who had been trying to reclaim their 50% interest in the character. The win means that the studio won't have to renegotiate its deals with Shuster and  Jerry Siegel, Superman's other co-creator, before introducing new content based on the superhero. Warner Bros. next Superman movie is "Man of Steel," which is scheduled for release in June. The Shuster estate is likely to appeal the decision. More on the ruling and what it means for Warner Bros. from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter

What will Zucker do? Guessing what former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker will do next (he's currently producing Katie Couric's talk show) is one of the media's favorite games. Lately, there is a lot of speculation that he will be tapped to run CNN when current president Jim Walton steps down later this year. But how realistic is that?  Here's my take on why Zucker may not be the right pick.

The Brandon files. Want to probe the mind of the late Brandon Tartikoff, the legendary NBC Entertainment executive whose stint at the network resulted in numerous hits? Now his memos are part of USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Tartikoff ruled TV in an era when programmers made decisions with their guts and networks weren't part of big media giants worried about the next quarterly report. A look at papers and Tartikoff's legacy from Variety. If I can ever get an afternoon off, I'd love to head over there and plow through the exhibit.

Peace treaty? Could a settlement be in the works that would end the nasty legal fight between satellite broadcaster Dish Network and Cablevision Systems Inc.? The breach-of-contract trial was adjourned Wednesday and lawyers for both sides were seen huddling together, according to the Wall Street Journal. The details of the fight are too complex to get into here, but a settlement could also mean a return of the AMC cable channel to Dish subscribers.

Who makes what. Forbes has published its annual look at who are the highest-paid actors in television. Having had to do a few of these stories in the past, my advice is to take it with a grain of salt. Unless you have someone's contract right in front of you, it is very hard to know the intricacies of someone's deal. Plus, big shocker, agents inflate what their clients are making.

No escape! Anyone looking to sitcoms and dramas as a get away from coverage of the presidential race is out of luck. Many shows, including "The New Normal" and "Last Man Standing" have incorporated election themes into their plots, observes TV Guide. I'll bet that will seem real fresh a few years from now when the reruns are on some cable network.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on the risk Tyler Perry is taking with the action movie "Alex Cross." Mary McNamara on what the candidates didn't talk about at Tuesday's debate.

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