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Al Jazeera gets Current! HBO, Humane Association sued over 'Luck.'

The Morning Fix

January 03, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • HBO and the American Humane Assn. are being sued over the TV show "Luck."
HBO and the American Humane Assn. are being sued over the TV show "Luck." (HBO )

After the coffee. Before figuring out if it's too late for law school.

The Skinny: I worked last Sunday and I'll be working this Sunday. Doesn't the industry know it's football time? Some things should be sacred! Thursday's headlines include Al Jazeera's acquisition of Current TV and a look at why Dish Network may not be the funnest place in the world to work.

Daily Dose: Several top women golfers on the LPGA tour are from South Korea, and pay-TV distributors are making it easier for Koreans in Southern California to get the Golf Channel. Both DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are offering the network to subscribers of their Korean programming packages. Apparently the golfers' success has led to increased interest in the channel from subscribers of Korean descent.

Current event. Current TV, the low-rated news channel that hoped to rival MSNBC as a home for liberals, is being acquired by Al Jazeera, the Qatar government-owned international news operation. Current, which was co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, had spent the last few years rebranding Current, but its big bet on commentator Keith Olbermann backfired badly. Al Jazeera wants to rebrand Current as Al Jazeera America and focus on international news tailored to an American audience. It will be a tough road, though, from a business sense as Time Warner Cable, which was one of Current's biggest distributors, dropped the channel from 9 million homes. Coverage on Current from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

Not horsing around. Barbara Casey, a former director of production for the American Humane Assn.'s film and television unit, is suing her old bosses and the pay-cable channel HBO. Casey alleges that she was forced out of her job after complaining that in her view horses were being mistreated on the set of HBO's "Luck," which was canceled after one season in the wake of three horses dying during production. Casey contends that the Humane Assn. let HBO violate the association's safety standards and refused to report abuses. More from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter

A first for Bond. James Bond has bedded beautiful women and saved the world many times over. Now he can add another notch to his belt -- Producers Guild of America nominee. "Skyfall," the latest Bond flick, was nominated for the PGA's Darryl F. Zanuck award, which is its biggest trophy. More on the PGA nominees from Variety

We have ways of making you talk. The Senate Intelligence Committee, not happy with the portrayal of torture in "Zero Dark Thirty," the movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, wants to probe dealings between the CIA and director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. Details from Reuters

But do they have good dental? Business Week has dubbed satellite broadcaster Dish Network the "meanest company in America." Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen is described as an intense taskmaster. Employees, the article said, have to use fingerprint scanners to mark when they arrive to work. "If a worker is late, an email is immediately sent to human resources, which then sends another to that person’s boss, and sometimes directly to Ergen." Wonder if they time bathroom breaks too. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A preview of the Palm Springs film festival.

Follow me on Twitter if you want to laugh in 2013. @JBFlint.

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