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CES show in full swing! Huell Howser RIP.

January 08, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Huell Howser
Huell Howser (KCET )

After the coffee. Before figuring out why I'm not at CES.

The Skinny: I think 7 a.m. is a little too early for Viagra commercials. Will someone please tell the NBC Sports Network that? Tuesday's headlines include good news for Hollywood on the home entertainment front, lots of news coming out of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and an appreciation of California TV personality Huell Howser.

Daily Dose: Joe Waz, one of the most respected lobbyists on Capitol Hill, is returning to Comcast Corp. Waz had retired last year but apparently shuffleboard is not as much fun as going head-to-head with lawmakers and regulators and now he is back full time with the cable giant as a senior strategic advisor. 

Happy days are here again. After seven years of declines, home entertainment revenue at the major Hollywood studios was up in 2012. The increase is slight, just 0.23%, but the industry will take it. Home entertainment revenue declined when people stopped buying every DVD on the shelf. The segment lost $4 billion between 2004 and 2011. The increase is a sign that consumers are catching up with technology and streaming more entertainment into their homes. A look at the numbers from the Los Angeles Times.

The future is now. The Consumer Electronics Show is in full swing in Las Vegas this week. Lots of pay-TV companies are showcasing new toys. Time Warner Cable struck a partnership with Roku. Dish is adding its Slingbox to its basic offerings. The Slingbox, for those who don't know, lets people watch live TV outside the home on tablets and computers. Roundups of CES from the Wall Street Journal, Variety, Associated Press and Bloomberg.

No guide for future. Mike Mahan is exiting as president of TV Guide, which is the company over the TV Guide Network, according to Deadline Hollywood. The TV Guide Network has been on the sale block for some time but so far has found no takers. Deadline also reports that the channel is rebranding itself TVGN. This is the latest trend among cable networks. Have a name that doesn't reflect what you do? Go with initials. It's why The Learning Channel, which stopped being about learning years ago, became TLC. It's why Headline News, which isn't news anymore, became HLN. With that in mind, the Morning Fix will now be known simply as MF.

Any publicity is good publicity right? Oxygen, a cable network that once had high-minded aspirations of uplifting women with inspirational programming, is getting heat for its latest reality show about a rapper who has 11 children with 10 women. I'd make an observation about Oprah Winfrey probably being grateful she is no longer affiliated with Oxygen, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time until something similar pops up on OWN. The New York Post on the Oxygen backlash.

Firing back. "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal sort of responded to criticisms from Capitol Hill about the depictions of torture in their movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The Hollywood Reporter on what the duo said at an awards show. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd with an amazing appreciation of Huell Howser, the public television personality who captured California life for decades.

 Follow me on Twitter and I promise to keep press tour tweets to a minimum. @JBFlint.

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