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Al Jazeera America preps launch, 'The Butler' had lots of help

August 15, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • "Lee Daniels' The Butler" (co-starring Lenny Kravitz) has more producers in the kitchen than most movies.
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" (co-starring Lenny Kravitz)… (The Weinstein Co. )

After the coffee. Before remembering to smile. Well, it's worth a shot!

The Skinny: Are the Dodgers ever going to lose? Serves me right for turning the game off when the Mets were up 4-0 and watching "Scarface" on AMC. Thursday's headlines include a preview of Al Jazeera America, which launches next week, and a look at why "Lee Daniels' The Butler" has more producers than I have plates. Also, Daniel Loeb buys some Disney stock.

Daily Dose: Fox Sports 1 will be available on Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network when it launches Saturday. That doesn't mean the new network has locked in long-term deals with all of them but they at least have made enough progress to agree to carry the network. That means Fox Sports 1 will be available in almost all cable and satellite homes. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Welcome to the neighborhood. Next week, the Middle Eastern media giant Al Jazeera will launch an all-news channel here. It has assembled a roster of well-known television journalists and executives and hopes to take on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC by offering in-depth coverage of the United States. But Al Jazeera America will face a lot of hurdles winning viewers. It is in less than half of all subscription TV homes and some viewers may still be holding a grudge for its broadcasts of Osama bin Laden's post-Sept. 11 diatribes and perceptions by that it has had at times an anti-American and pro-Palestinian bias. A curtain raiser on Al Jazeera America from the Los Angeles Times

WATCH: 'Talking TV' with TV Critic Mary McNamara and writer Yvonne Villarreal 

How many producers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? The new movie "The Butler," oh wait, I meant "Lee Daniels' The Butler," (sorry Warner Bros.) has enough producers to field almost five baseball teams. Like most movies, many of these producers got their credits because they opened up their wallets to get the movie made. That's nice but other producers who, you know, actually made the movie probably feel a little slighted. The Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times on all the cooks in the kitchen that helped get the movie off the ground.

Refund? Refund? Who didn't see this coming? Three Time Warner Cable subscribers have filed a class-action lawsuit against the cable operator over its refund policy (or lack thereof) with regards to the blackout of CBS-owned TV stations and the Showtime channel. I'm no lawyer but pay-TV distributors are usually pretty good at crafting language that gives them a lot of wiggle room on refunds. More from Variety and AdWeek.

They know everything. The Weather Channel is moving beyond just trying to tell you when it will rain. Now the media company is using its knowledge of how people use weather to try to predict consumer spending habits and woo new advertisers. The Wall Street Journal on the Weather Channel's marketing forecast business.

PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times

Does he get free theme park passes? Investor Daniel Loeb, who gave Sony Corp. a lot of headaches when his hedge fund acquired a chunk of the consumer electronics and entertainment giant, has now bought a tiny stake in Walt Disney Co. According to MarketWatch, Loeb will be a silent investor.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mark Olsen reviews "Jobs" and "Kick-Ass 2."

Follow me on Twitter and you'll know all you need to know. @JBFlint.


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