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MGM gets some new money. Katie Couric back for second season.

January 31, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Katie Couric interviews Mante T'eo.
Katie Couric interviews Mante T'eo. (Walt Disney Co. )

After the coffee. Before remembering to record the "30 Rock" finale. 

The Skinny: I know I'm in the minority but I want the new BlackBerry. Yes, while everyone else lines up for iPhones, I cling to my BlackBerry because I need the keypad! Today's headlines include stories on the renewal of "How I Met Your Mother," MGM getting some new financing and Katie Couric's talker getting a second season.

Daily Dose: As Al Gore makes the rounds to promote a new book, he keeps saying he sold Current TV because he found the independent news/talk channel couldn't compete against big media companies. No doubt, it's tougher for indies. But that's hardly a news flash. That was the case a decade ago when he bought the channel and a decade before that when he was vice president and a decade before that when he was in the Senate and heavily involved in oversight of the media industry. Guess he wasn't paying attention. 

By now Mom's a grandmother. Next season will be the last for the long-running sitcom "How I Met Your Mother," said CBS and 20th Century Fox Television, the studio that makes the show. Although having the show back for another year is good news for CBS, it also highlights how the network has struggled to develop new sitcoms that can take the place of aging veterans such as "How I Met Your Mother" and "Two and a Half Men." More on the renewal from the Los Angeles Times.

No CNN for Katie just yet. Walt Disney Co. announced that it was moving forward with a second season of Katie Couric's daytime talk show "Katie." The show is hardly a smash, but among the freshman talkers that hit the airwaves this year, it was the top performer. The move will quash, for now anyway, talk that Couric would abandon daytime TV after this season to reunite with her old producer, Jeff Zucker, at CNN. More on the renewal from Broadcasting & Cable.

Walking-around money. MGM, the once legendary studio that has struggled to compete for decades, is near a deal for $650 million in new financing, reports Variety. The studio, which had a big success with "Skyfall," will use the dough for more movies and digital ventures.

Time to go. Time Inc., the publishing arm of Time Warner and home to such magazines as Time, People and Sports Illustrated, is going to cut about 6% of its staff around the globe. That translates to almost 500 employees. As is always the case with layoffs in the media world, Time Inc. chief Laura Lang said the cuts would better position the company for the digital age. In other words, do more with less. I'm still not sure how that works. Coverage from AdWeek.

Big risk. It's been a little bit slow on the news front, and I've been working out of town. That's my way of explaining yet another article about Netflix's big bet on "House of Cards," an original series starring Kevin Spacey that will be available starting Friday. Netflix ordered two seasons of the political thriller without ever seeing a pilot and will make Season 1 available all at once rather than releasing episodes on a weekly basis. The Wall Street Journal weighs in on Netflix's gamble.

Just business. Talent agency CAA has filed a claim for commissions with the estate of Tony Scott, the acclaimed director who took his own life last year. According to a filing obtained by the Hollywood Reporter, CAA is seeking about $1 million in commissions from several Scott movies including "Man on Fire" and "The Taking of Pelham 123."

Inside the Los Angeles Times: If you want to look scary, then Barney Burman is your go-to guy for gore. 

Follow me on Twitter so I can stop begging here. @JBFlint.

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